22 September 2013

The Open House and the Opera House ● by Jess

London Lifestyle Blog

Earlier this week we heard about this amazing thing that Londoners do once a year, which is called Open House London. The whole city opens up all of its iconic buildings for free to the public. So we woke up bright-eyed and bushy tailed with hopes to see the Gherkin (the building Jon was most interested in exploring).We jumped off the tube at Liverpool Street station and rushed over as fast as we could (honestly "rushing" may be a bit on the generous side as it was 7am and this little daisy was basically still in a coma).
London Lifestyle Blog
London lifestyle Blog

As we arrived, we quickly realized that we had severely underestimated the event's description of "popular."Even though the event had yet to begin, the line was out the door, down the road, and had come full circle all the way around the block! If it hadn't been so hilarious it would have been depressing. But we were determined to see something! So, we decided to camp out at the Lloyd's building across the street for the next two hours. Waiting in line turned out to be better than expected as we met some very friendly seniors who were not only well-traveled and very posh, but also enjoyed free stuff just us much as us! Finding fellow cheapskates is always a bonding experience. 

[The Gherkin is the building pictured immediately below]

london lifestyle blog
london lifestyle blog
london lifestyle blog

(Pictured left above) The building on the right of the frame is the Lloyds building. It looks like a Willy Wonka factory to me, so Jon and I enjoyed some celebratory hot chocolate while we waited, and waited... and waited to get in. 

London Lifestyle Blog

After several hours of patience, we finally made it in!! The architecture was really interesting and beautiful. Its a financial building so most floors had offices or transaction desks. The elevators are completely glass and are on the outside of the building (which also adds to the Wonka vibe). 

london lifestyle blog
london lifestyle blog
London Lifestyle Blog

After accidentally leaving (we thought there were snacks outside on a patio... dangit) we trotted over to Leadenhall Market, which is just around the corner. Apparently, the Leaky Cauldron is suppose to be around here somewhere (see photo), but we have yet to find it.

London LIfestyle Blog
London Lifestyle Blog
London LIfestyle Blog

It is a lovely sentiment; unfortunately, the cost of getting into this particular house of God was £16 per person, so we passed. 

London Lifestyle Blog
London Lifestyle Blog

After our Open House experience, we walked to Covent Garden, which is officially my new favorite place in London. There are no words to describe how much I love this place! Not only was there amazing food and ambiance (professional opera performances) but... (and this literally deserves a drum roll)... there is a SHAKE SHACK HERE! AH!! One of the few things that NYC still had over London, and here it is, in all its artery clogging glory. Bless the franchiser that put that thing here. Seriously, bless him. 
London Lifestyle Blog
London Lifestyle Blog
London Lifestyle Blog

Also, look how sinister the pigeons are here... those beady red eyes could give you nightmares for weeks.

London Lifestyle Blog

We also found Neal's Yard, which I was hoping to see. Its this colorful, magical little back alley way with lots of little shops. It reminds me of Taos, NM in a way, although was probably due to the smell of incense and all the dreadlocks :)

London Lifestyle Blog
London Lifestyle Blog

One of the MOST exciting things I've done this weekend was to go watch Jon perform at The Royal Opera House. 
Shortly after we arrived here in London, Jon joined a choir (they are *amazing*) and they just happen to be performing at this phenomenal venue. I was so proud of him!  I just wanted to jump up and down and yell, "that's my husband!!!!!" Fortunately for all, I bottled it in until he went off-stage. They sang a mix of selections from Verdi and Mozart and did a really fantastic job.

London Lifestyle Blog
London Lifestyle Blog
London Lifestyle Blog

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