Tuesday, April 18, 2023

London & Belgium

We decided to visit London and Belgium during kid’s Spring break. This is our first main trip in 2023. And we were all waiting for this break! Have give a quick summary in the beginning, so you can avoid the detailed sections, if not interested.

  • Our Itinerary

    • Land in London
    • Day 1 : Cotswolds Private tour  
    • Day 2 - London Sights like Big Ben, Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus & Lords Tour 
    • Day 3 - Westminister Abbey, Camden Market & Harry Potter Tour 
    • Day 4 - Tower Bridge, Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral
    • Day 5 - British Library & Travel to Brussels. Stay in Brussels 
    • Day 6 - Herge Museum (Tintin) & Antwerp
    • Day 7 - Brugge 
    • Day 8 - Travel to London, High tea, London eye, Trafalgar Square 
    • Day 9 - Hyde Park, British Museum, Borrough Market
    • Day 10 - Flight back

  • Places we stayed 

  • Places we ate ( the main ones are here, we definitely have had in couple of cafes, which might be missed here)

  • London 
    • Wasabi in Paddington station- great fast food and yummy combos
    • Nandos - Another great fast food place. Their Peri-peri chicken was great.
    • Pret the Manger - quick food sandwiches, coffee etc 
    • Darwin Brasserie, Sky Garden - great for a dinner / lunch & great views of London
    • Dishoom - good Indian food 
    • Cafe rouge - high tea - good but there could be better places with better experience too
    • Leon - Great fast food.
    • Borrough Market - Lot of food options here
  • Cotswold
  • Belgium
    • Brussels 
      • Le Falcon - most amazing food we have had in a while. Even though the trip advisor reviews were bad, it was because the ownership changed recently and the new owners have really taken care of food and customer experience here.
      • Lyods Cafe - Sree's morning coffee daily was from this place
      • Waffle Factory - Amazing Belgian Waffles.
      • Herge Museum Cafe - Very good food!
    • Brugge 

  • London Notes

    • The London Underground is awesome! Use the city mapper app for all navigations. This was the best thing we loved about London.
    • The Oyster card is useful to have, or you can use your credit card everywhere, including buses.
    • People are very helpful and it’s always fun to start a conversation with someone in the train, tube or bus. I love that we could people watch and see so many from different parts of the world.
    • There is a lot to do in London, and we felt happy we spent enough days at least to scratch surface of London and get a feel for life here.
    • We loved visiting Cotswolds, and would highly recommend visiting this area. But the best way to visit cotswolds is if you can drive down there, or atleast rent a car and drive around the area.
    • We could not visit Bath or Stonehenge, as It would have been too tight for us to do that, and travel to Belgium and back too. But I have heard Bath and Stonehenge is also worth a visit.
    • Try a high tea in London. It’s a pretty Londony thing to do. We tried in Cafe Rouge, but its a basic one. There could be more fancier ones.
    • We recommend the Harry Potter tour in Warner Bros studio if your child is a Harry Potter fan. But you might need an Uber or figure out shuttle services to the near by station. 
    • Also highly recommend getting the london explorer pass. It just helps you cut the queue quiet a lot. We used it in Tower of London, Tower Bridge, the Thames cruise, and the St Paul’s Cathedral. For Westminister I mistakenly got another ticket, though I could have used the London pass for Westminister too. 
    • Well the London eye - it’s an expensive Ferris wheel. But yes you do get a good view of Big Ben, Parliament House and all of that area. We did it mainly for Pranav as he was insistent
    • The British Library is not a normal library, its mainly a research library. We did see two exihibits there, but all the reading rooms were closed due to a strike that was happening on the day.
    • Watch out for the London Underground commentary - See it, Say it, Sort it :D. We heard that so many times.

  • Belgium Notes

    • I would say, don’t spent more than a few hours or half day in Brussels. Spend more time in Brugge, Ghent and Antwerp. We could not visit Ghent this time, but Brugge’s is an absolute must in anyone’s trip to Belgium.
    • Belgium Trains and Metro are amazing too. The only place we got stuck was in the area of Herge Museum (Tintin). We were there on a bad day, where the Metro line was broken, and the buses were not so frequent. The buses from here needed cash, and hence having some Euros in hand helps. Not all buses take the credit cards, like London or Brussels did.
    • The food scene both in London and Belgium was simply great!
    • The Eurostar and also the intercity trains from Brussels to Bruges and Antwerp were both so neat, on time and had all the needed facilities inside.I later heard some of the flights might be half the price from London to some of the cities in Europe and Eurostar might not be the best economic option. 

You can skip the detailed blog if that does not interest you.

The Detailed Blog 

It started off with finishing up work on Thursday evening, running around for kids classes and some errands and then finishing up the packing. 

Day 1 - The travel day! 

On the day of the flight, we got up, we had enough time to finish up remaining of the packing. Cleaned  home, and took the uber to the airport. We started to the airport by around 1 pm, reached around 2 pm, checked in, cleared security and had a good lunch. 

We had an hour to kill, and I decided to finish up some last minute work, before I switched on my vacation mode:). 

Our flight was at 5 pm, and was on time. 

In the 10 hr flight, I could hardly sleep a wink. I watched this beautiful movie - A man called Otto. I also watched the movie Lukka chuppi. The food was ok. I tried to catch some sleep, but in vain. 

On our way to the airport 

Flight pic

We reached London Heathrow around 12 pm London time, completed immigration, and got our luggage. After which, we figured out the underground to take. This took a few minutes to figure out, and once we landed in the right underground station it was pretty smooth.

We were staying in Earl’s court, and we decided to use city mapper app and follow the steps mentioned in that. We transferred between two lines and got out at West Brompton and the hotel was a quick 0.3 miles walk.

We checked in, got a quick bite from the near by turkish/indian place and all of us took a 2-2.5 hr nap. Once we woke up,  realized as we were checking our train to Cotswold tomorrow, that there is a huge disruption and the direct line from Paddington is cancelled. We decided to go to Paddington, talk to the authorities there, and figure out next steps.

Our Cotswolds tour guide, also pinged us and gave us some options.

Once we reached Paddington, the first thing we did was get a coffee, and then we spoke to the station folks and figured out alternate route which was a longer one but doable. The alternate route was to take the train from Marylebone station. 

We traced the entire route via tube and figured out what exactly we need to do, as we had to have an early start tomorrow. Which meant we have to go to Marylebone and catch the train to Oxford, and then from Oxford to Maritone in Marsh. 

We grabbed something for dinner from this amazing place Wasabi hut or something in the Paddington station. Then we traced our route back to our hotel. 

In the london underground 

Paddington station

Having some food from Wasabi at Paddington

So on day 1, we did a lot of tube travel and was happy that we can explore the city by train. 

Day 2 - Cotswolds 

Today was a really long day. We woke up 4 am, got dressed and was out of the hotel by 5:30 am. We walked to the tube station. Then, we got the train to Paddington, and from Paddington switched to Marylebone and then took the train to Oxford. This was a 1.5 hr journey and we all enjoyed the morning sun and scenary outside. 

We reached Oxford, got some quick hot chocolate and croissant in the station and got into the next train to Maritone in Marsh. 

Once we reached there, Mike our driver guide, met us and we started going around the Cotswolds area. Cotswolds in itself is not one single village, but a very vast area of many villages spanning over 850 sq miles. 

We went through Maritone in Marsh, and was immediately taken by the beauty of these English villages. We have seen these in series like Midsomer Murders, Father brown series and it was fascinating and so picturesque to see it in person . 

Mike told us the honey colored limestone walls are typical cotswold, and also spoke to us about thatched roofs. Mike has lived in Cotswolds all his life.

Every house here looked beautiful! And many were as old as 1200s! 

We saw the pub, which the author of Lord of the rings used to go to, the church where the father brown series was filmed. We went through a village called Blockley known for its thatched roofs. But our favorite was Chipping Campden. 

We walked through this town, got  some souvenirs and spent some time here. We explored the broadway tower and its magnificent views of the rolling hills from there. Saw many sheep’s before stopping for lunch at Broadway. 

We had a very good lunch at Flipside and took an hours break here. We walked along Broadway and Mike picked us up again for the rest of the tour. From here we went through the cotswold plains and was soaking in the beauty. We reached Burton on the water, where me and Sree took a 20 minute stroll, had an icecream, and then came back to the car. 

From here, we wanted to see Stove in the wold, but due to the crowds, we had to skip it. We drove through 4-5 more villages and enjoyed each of the facts that made each village unique.

Around 5, we caught the train back to Oxford, and then Oxford to Marylebone and back to Paddington and West Bromstad and walked back to the hotel. We again did a quick bite at the wasabi place at Paddington station.

Came home, discussed next plans and crashed. It was a long but beautiful day and the weather also cooperated.

Ready to explore cotswolds

Chipping Camden

A nice pottery exhibit that we found

Braodway tower

Lunch at Flipstones

Burton on the water 

Day 3 - Lords tour, Thames tour & London sights

Today we started the day with the Lords Stadium tour. We had a very nice breakfast at the hotel, and went to the tube station and to Lords. We waited there for a bit and the tour started with a cricket museum tour, and then a tour where the very nice old gentlemen explained how Lords was constructed, a little about cricket and some of the major players etc. 

we saw the 1983 Prudential cup that India won. We loved being in the stadium and also watching a game from the media room which had a great view of the grounds.

London Phone Booth

Lords stadium

After the tour, we sat down and watched for a bit - a game of county cricket was happening. 

We got the Cornish pasties that a small shop was selling. But I did not like it much. Sree and kids also had the same during the game. After about 30-40 mins of viewing the game, we took a bus ride  to westminister and walked towards Buckingham palace. The whole area was crowded.  We saw the guards and clicked some pics of the palace.

Then we walked all the way through St George’s park, to Big Ben. We stopped at St George’s park for a quick rest. 

The Big Ben area was also bustling. We saw London eye, The Thames, and walked towards Covent Garden, and Picaddily Circus. 

Buckingham Palace 

London eye

St George park

London Double decker 

On the way, we stopped at multiple places to take pics with the kids and some of the street artists. 

In Covent Garden, the highlight was Pappu volunteered to a street artist and he actually performed everything the artist showed him and he got a large crowd cheer. It was an amazing feeling as a parent. And he also got 10 pounds back for his work. His first amount he collected. This was a highlight! (Watch the video here)

Covent Garden

Then we went back to Westminister and did the Thames River cruise. That was really nice with some nice commentary and saw the tower bridge for the first time!

Thames Cruise 

After this, we were in search of a pub to have food and went till NottingHill. And the pub we wanted to go called Churchill alms was too crowded. The near by Swan had stopped serving food. And so we ended up in a nottinghill kababs - food was ok. And to satisfy the kids we got them icecreams next door and came back home and crashed.  

Today was a lot of walking, but loving the bustling city of London.

Day 4 - Westminister Abbey, Harry Potter tour & Camden Market 

We woke up, had breakfast and started to Westminster Abbey around 9. It was raining so borrowed an umbrella from the hotel. It was super quick and automated. Then we walked to West Kensington station and took the train to St George. We got down there, and walked to Westminister Abbey. We went  through security check there and we got into the chapel.

It had many tombs of all the previous leading men in the British Monarchy. The architecture inside was magnificent. After about an hour and a half of the tour, we decided to go to British Museum. 

Rainy day

Inside Westminister Abbey

London in the rains

But when we reached there was so a lot of crowd and they said you can’t enter unless you have a ticket. And also many parts of Museum is closed due to some strike that’s happening in London. 

So we ditched that and also checked the Library which they said might be closed due to bank holiday. So we took a train to Kings cross  and there we walked towards Dishoom. Kings Cross station is where Dilwale Dulhania was shot. And also some parts of Jab tak hei Jaan. It also has the platform 93/4 in there. There was a huge crowd for this pic. So we decided we won’t do it now as we are going to the Warner Bros studio anyways today evening. 

We walked into Dishoom and they were able to accommodate us in 15 mins. 

We had a good yummy lunch of okra fries, mango lassi, watermelon sharbat, biriyani, naan and tandoori roti , gunpowder potatoes, vada pav and chicken tikka. The highlight was the amazing chai and the dessert which was chocolate pudding with Kashmiri chilli icecream. 

The Dishoom restrooms were also very interesting. 

From here we took the tube to Camden Market. It had a very different vibe. More and more like India. It had so many shops selling stuff and so many street food eat outs there. I wanted to go to Borough market more than Camden. But Borough was closed on Mondays. 

Camden Market 

Camden Market

From here we took an uber to Warner Bros. Kungu was so happy starting from the gift shop views. We had time to kill so she got her purchases and we waited for 30 mins and then joined the tour line. This was the last tour. 

This was an amazing experience for the kids. It was like they were in the Wizard and Witchcraft world. The tour shows how the entire Harry Potter production was done and with many interactives.

It was a 3.5 hr tour. By the time we finished it was 9:30 pm and the three of us slept off in the uber back and came to hotel and just crashed completely. 

Hogwarts Express

Butter beer

Diagon Alley

Day 5 - Tower Bridge, St Paul’s, Tower of London, Nandos 

We had our usual start with breakfast and then walked to West Kensington and caught the tube to Tower Hill. 

We got down there and I got a text from Tara’s friend Catherine’s mom that they are coming to Tower Bridge too. I knew they were in London, because Tara had mentioned. But meeting them was not in plans as it’s hard to match schedules. But it was great thjs worked out and we all met on the tower bridge. Tara felt happy and Catherine’s sister Evelyn is in Pranav’s class too. 

We explored the Tower Bridge and the kids had fun getting stamps in their books etc. 

Afterwards we said bye to them, and got two slushees and a hot dog for the kids and walked towards St Paul’s Cathedral. 

With Le, Catherine's mom inside Tower Bridge

When we met Catherine and Family at Tower Bridge 

With the tower bridge behind us

Some fun art work

This was a nice walk and we reached St Paul’s cathedral. The London Pass came into use well and we entered the St Paul’s Cathedral, explored the architectural elements and then climbed the 528 steps to the top of the dome. The climb included some spiral staircases which was keeping us on the toes with kids. We finally reached on top, and the views were amazing! After taking the full 360 views , we climbed down and exited St Pauls. We got a quick lunch at Pret a manger. Their sandwiches and other options were good.

St pauls Cathedral
St Pauls as background

Inside St Paul's

View from top of St Paul's Cathedral

We took the tube to Tower of London. The Tower of London, again the London Pass came into use. We were able to get in quickly, but the queue to see the Crown Jewels was almost an hour long. We waited in queue for a long time and then finally went in to see the crowns and especially the one which had the Kohinoor on it. After exploring one more tower which had the armory and things used by Kings, we came out of Tower of London. We took the tube to Baker street, but the Sherlock Holmes museum tour was an hour long wait and hence decided to skip it. We took some pics in front of 221 B as my dad was a great fan of Sherlock holmes. 

Went into a near by cafe, and had some yummy egg tarts! Then went into Pret the manger next door and sat around and did some people watching in the rain. 

We then went to Nandos near by. Apparently this is fast food, but pretty good. We tried their chicken platter and kids and us enjoyed it.

Tower of London

To see the kohinoor

Took a pic at 221 B baker street.

Yummy egg tarts 

People watching at Pret the Manger 

We headed back home and took the tube back. We rested for the rest of the time and called it a day. 

Day 6 - Travel to Brussels

We woke up super early. And could not sleep much post 5:00 am. I got up around 6:30 and we packed our bags for Belgium and what we should leave back in London. 

I was thinking if we should go for changing of the guards and was trying to convince Sree. But he was pretty sure we won’t have time for that. So we left that idea and as planned took an uber to the hotel after bidding goodbye to the wonderful holiday inn staff. Pranav also took a photo with one of the staff whom he has been helping to clean tables. 

We reached crowne plaza and stored our luggage. This was super helpful. Then we walked to the British Library. We saw couple of exibits there, but rest of the area was closed. Also this is a reference library and could not give the exact experience for Tara.

After this we grabbed a quick lunch in near by Leon which was decent and took a bus to crowne plaza.

We collected our luggage for Belgium and took a cab( I wanted to go in London Taxi). But the one that came was not exactly the london taxi, and got down at St Pancras International.  

The process there was super simple, we went through baggage check and immigration and waited for boarding the Eurostar. 

Once boarded the train was super quick  and we reached Brussels in two hours. The train also had a cafe and good toilets. 

Pigeons on our way to British Library

British Library

Train to Brussels 

We reached Brussels and we figured out the metro and got down at the station where our hotel is. And walked down there. 

The hotel was pretty cool. It had a vintage vibe and was called the Vintage hotel Brussels. 

Post checking in, and loving the rooms ( it had a split set up, with kids room a few steps down tucked in a nice corner).

We rested for 30 mins and got out. We caught a bus from the center and got down a few steps from the grand place. 

We walked and found the waffle factory. But they were closing. So we walked further and had waffles from another place next door. Got our first taste of the Belgian Waffles.

The Brussels Ferris Wheel

We walked further down and was caught by surprise at this magical square of beauty. The grand place. It had these beautiful old buildings all around. We had to find a place to eat and we started walking a bit further out, to see lot of restaurants and eateries in and around the area. 

We then finally found a place, which looked closed but Tara said it’s open. 

Belgian Leige Waffle 

Brussels Grand place

And then, we sat there and the owner of the restaurant came by, and she was such a lovely lady.She wanted to make sure we had a good time and explained the dishes and ingredients etc. 

The food was amazing! Sree got his Belgian Beer which was wonderful too!! 

My cocktail was good and the kids Pasta was yummy. 

We enjoyed the food and dessert and took a cab back to the Vintage hotel as Pranav had already slept and called it a day thinking about the yummy food. 

At Le Falcon restaurant 

Day 7 - Tintin Museum and Antwerp 

We had a good rest. I got ready and figured out the breakfast situation. The kids and me paid $5 euro and had breakfast at the hotel. Sree went to a nearby coffee shop - Lyods and had coffee there. 

Then we started off to see the Manekkin Pis and it’s still amusing to see how many people including us wants a pic in front of it. It’s so quintessential Brussel thing to do. From the near by shop, we got some magnets and gifts. And we walked to find the Tintin Mural on Brussels. A few feet from Mannekin Pis, one of the walls had the mural. Brussels have these comic strips everywhere. I know they have one of Asterix, which I did not have time to go check out. 

Mannekin Pis Brussels

Tintin Mural, Bru

Then we took an uber to the Herge museum on the outskirts of Brussels. 

This was amazing. We were instantly smiling the moment we entered the museum. We spent some time in the gift shop and got two books -a snowy fluffy toy for Pranav. 

The museum was two full floors describing Hegre’s life as a comic artist and all his original sketches etc. it’s a very well done museum. And highly recommend to all Tintin lovers. 

After spending a good amount of time here, we had a very nice lunch in the museum cafe. Very impressed with the food. 

With tintin all around 

Captain Haddock

Red Rackham's treasure submarine 

Our plan was to take an uber back, not no uber pick ups or Taxi was available there. 

So we asked around and they said the train line to Brussels had some work and no trains are going to Brussels. So we asked someone else and they took us to the Bus depot, and there we waited for the No 11 bus which will take us to Brussels. But we missed the one right as we were walking down. We waited for 25 mins for the next one, and just as we were a getting in, they said they won’t take card. So Sree rushed to see if he can get a ticket and the machine would not issue a new ticket. You can only recharge. Later, we found someone who told us to take cash from atm, and we did that and boarded the next bus. The buses took cash. We reached a stop where we had to get down, and then took an uber to the midi station. We did not want to hop on and off the metro now. Then, finally at MIDI, we took the train to Antwerp. 

We reached Antwerp by 5, was amazed at the nice architecture of the train station. It had 3 floors of platforms and boasts its Europe’s most beautiful train station. 

We got out, grabbed a quick snack for kids and walked to the Cathedral of St Mary which is at the city center. This street was full of shops and was buzzing with people and it had a very young and trendy vibe. We reached the Cathedral and found a place to have food. The waiter was very kind to give us our food very quickly and after this  we walked back to the Central station taking in more of the buzzling streets. Pappu and Kungu had some fun as they had these trampoline jumps in front of the station.


Cathedral Antwerp

A great quick dinner 


Fun Jumps 

Antwerp Central Train Station

Again the train station looked very elegant. We found our platform and went down couple of levels and got into the train back to Brussels 

We reached back to the hotel after taking the Metro back to station near our hotel. 

We called it a day post this.  

Day 8 - Brugge

After a good rest, followed with breakfast at hotel for the three of us and Sree having his coffee in the next door coffee shop Lyods, we were on our route to Bruges.

Train was super easy, we took the 10:05 train and got there by 11:00 am. 

We walked out of the train station and the beauty of this place started from a few feet from the train station. 

I cannot express which part of it was more beautiful as I loved every corner I turned to. 

It’s a medieval town, and it’s preserved so well. We walked to the market square which was this huge square where people hanged out with eateries around.  

On my way to Brugge


So many chocolates 

This is a few steps from the train station

As we were not staying in Brugge and there was a lot to take in, the first thing we did was take the tickets to go to the top of Bell Tower at 3:00 pm. With some time to kill, we first had lunch in a brewery where Sree could sample the beers. Then, we walked to the Cathedral and checked that out. 

Post this, I went to the Choco factory to see the chocolate history and how they make chocolate. The demonstration was nice towards the end, the rest is a self guided tour. Also you get free chocolates to have. 

I rushed back to the bell tower to meet up with Sree and kids, who by then had got some chocolates from this recommended chocolate shop. 

Choco factory Brugge

This is made of chocolate 

Then we started our climb up to the bell tower. A spiralling 350 steps take you to the top of the bell tower with some stops in between to read some history, and see how the bell is programmed to ring every 15 mins. The view from the top was really nice apparently a guy just proposed on one side, we kinda missed it. 

Then, we climbed down, and walked towards the canal tour. We got into the boat and had a nice canal tour with the captain talking a lot about Bruges in general. Bruges is just beautiful, from land and water. 

After the canal tour, we had about 3 hrs. So we did a walk to see the windmills. This was through the non touristy part of Brugge and was beautiful. We spoke to a local who told us, we have to stay in Brugge, and not in Brussels. I do agree with that, now that I have seen Brugge. We spent some time at the Windmills. The scenary from the windmill was so pretty. 

View from the bell tower 

Climbing the bell tower 

A break for boba tea 

Canal tour 

View from the windmills 

What a great walk and place this was 

Post this, we walked back and decided to have dinner at a restaurant by the side of the canal. It was a perfect setting. I had a glass of wine and some yummy pasta. Kids had lasagna and meat balls, and Sree had a beer and some soup. Food was yummy!!! We all felt happy. Post this, we walked back to the market square, clicked some pics and w walked back to the train station. 

Bell tower in the background 

Dinner! by the canal

Our train was on time, and we reached Brussels in an hour, and took the metro to nearby our hotel and walked back. 

Such a lovely day, with lovely weather. 

Day 9 - Travel back to London

Today was our travel back to London. I wanted to have the Waffle one last time from Waffle factory, and so I took a trip down to the Grand Place where Waffle factory is. I took a bus, and then a bus back. I also visited the Grand place one last time too. Loved the Waffle factory waffle. 

Waffle factory

Once I returned, we packed and went to Brussels Midi to catch the Euro star back to London. We had a wait for an hour out there.

In the train ride back, the kids were on their devices, I read for a while and rest of the time me and Sree chatted.

We reached London, and it felt home. We checked into the Crowne Plaza, where we are going to be the next two days. We had a high tea reservation at 4 PM in Cafe rouge in Victoria. We were so hungry, that we got very restless by the time we took the tube and figured out the way to Cafe rouge. Pranav was also very restless which made the journey more difficult with handling hunger and him. 

We got in there with full hunger, and the the whole high tea experience, is something you take time to do, was over in 30 mins :D. But I chatted with the waiters about our trip etc and it is always nice to have a conversation with people from different parts.

High tea!

We fell into the tourist trap, and booked the London eye. Pappu really wanted to go so badly. So we bought the expensive tickets and went on the London eye. I would not say its a complete waste, as the views were incredible.

After London eye, we walked to Trafalgar Square, and got into a Book Cafe. Tara wanted to visit a book shop and this was her time. After spending some time here, we spent some time in Trafalgar Square and took the tube back. In the tube, Pappu as usual made friends with two girls 20-ish something and went on yapping.

We came back to the hotel. The major concern was our power bank had no charge and we were running on 5% phone charge for all navigation.

Trafalgar square 

Day 10 - Our last full day in London.

After a rested sleep, we got ready and took a bus to the British museum. We had a quick breakfast of some amazing hot chocolate and pastries and then walked to the British Museum. The museum was pretty impressive and they had rooms for Egypt, Japan etc. we saw the ruins of Mesopotamia, and also saw the Indian sculptures preserved there. 

The Nataraja was taking a center stage. 

British Museum

The Nataraja statue

After the museum, we went to the Borough market. This had so many food options and we had a good lunch. I tried the Indian food, and Sree tried the Mexican one. There was also multiple options for drinks. And we also ended it with some icecream and milkshake. 

Borrough Market 

Post that, we went to Hyde Park. Here I was meeting a friend of mine after ages. He and his son came over to Hyde park and we all sat and spoke for a long time and walked around the park. It was nice to hear stories of London as a local etc.  Hyde park was also beautiful and had beds of flowers in the garden area. 

Hyde Park

With Vimal

Our  friend came with us to drop us off at the Sky garden and we said our byes. 

Our reservation in Sky Garden was at 6:45 pm. We were in promptly and the views  from  the top was amazing! 

We had a good dinner. Tara spilled some pasta on her white dress and she was upset and hence I gave her my top from the morning to wear. It fit her perfectly and I realized that now she and me might have opportunities to exchange clothes. 

Spectacular views from Sky Garden

After a good dinner we took the tube back to Crowne Plaza and called it a day after some packing. 

Day 11 - Travel to SFO

Travel day from London to SFO. We had an expensive breakfast at the crowne plaza ( in future I will not do this) and took the train to Heathrow from Farrington station. We took an uber to Farrington. 

We reached Heathrow and was on time for baggage drop off, security and boarding. The boarding was a pain as we waited for the bus to take us to plane for a long time. It was very inefficient. But finally we boarded.

We will truly miss the people watching, the efficient tube system and the beautiful architecture and food in both London and Belgium. But there is always a next time. 

I end with the very common commentary we have heard so many times in the London Underground - "See it, Say it , Sort it :D"

Flight back