Contrary to popular belief, Tower bridge is not London bridge. London bridge is an ordinary-looking bridge that was built in 1973, and is walking distance from borough market. Tower bridge on the other hand is located at Tower hill tube station and is painted in white, blue and red for Queen Elizabeth II's silver jubilee in 1977. And because it spans across the River thames, it's extremely windy and cold during winter (there's a Starbucks on the lower south side of the Thames if you need to grab your cuppa warm joe to bear the chills).
Taking the tube down to London bridge, Borough market is definitely one of the places in London that I miss greatly for it's wide range of gourmet treats and alluring carts of delicacies (missing the Banoffee pie immensely, if only R could pack it back from London). I'm no food connoisseur myself, but even if you're full from lunch, you can always score some free samples before making your purchase decision or get nuggets of trivia from the friendly store owners.
William Shakespeare is one of the most recognizable names across the globe, so it comes as no surprise that Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, a recreation of the playwright’s original London theatre, is one of the city’s most popular attractions. There is something so magical about standing beneath the stage of The Globe, and the fact that the theatre only dates back to 1997 doesn’t seem to matter. After meeting with the group, we were taken to the pit- the area directly below the stage that functioned as the cheap seats back in Shakespeare’s hey-day. (Although there were of course no seats, standing room only, which remains today.) This was my favorite part of the visit, as standing under such a famous stage really made the imagination run wild. The entire theatre was built without modern tools, using the same designs and materials that were used in the original buildings. There were two Globe Theatres before the current one actually. The first was built in 1599 but was destroyed by fire after an accident involving a cannon on the stage. (I’d hate to be the guy behind that one.) The second was built in 1614, but closed and destroyed by the Puritans- our guide called them ‘the boring people’. It wasn’t until an American actor by the name of Sam Wanamaker, brought his dream of re-creating The Globe Theatre to London in 1970, that the third theatre was built. He envisioned visitor’s coming to the Globe, and watching the same plays that Shakespeare put on, in the same ways. For that reason, microphones are still not used in the theatre- the incredible acoustics enable an audience to hear a pin drop, even when filled to capacity. These details are still very evident as you take in the stage, from the same type of trap-door that was used back in 1599, to the beautiful murals adorning the stage ceiling. There are lights installed for the night shows, but these do not light up the stage in any fashion- and only function to ensure that the actors and people of the audience can
The Horniman At Hays
We then headed down to The Horniman at Hay's for classic british fish'n chips and tea - perfect for the English winter. It's along Queen's walk and beside the River thames and was pretty popular so I was quite surprised that we managed to walk in and get a table for 6 almost immediately. The serving was generous but the food was not as great as expected.