London: Day 4 (Portobello Rd Market, Victoria & Albert Museum, Harrods)

Our last day in London! Since it was a Saturday, our first priority was hitting Portobello Road Market. This was actually one of Jason’s few requests. You see, he adores the movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks and there is a song about Portobello Rd that he often belts out with (ask him to sing it!). While I hate the movie, I love markets!

And yes, just like the song promises, you can find just about anything there.

If you haven’t already noticed from the pictures, we had A-MAZING weather. Picture perfect, really! This morning was the only time it was actually raining but we ventured on, grabbing a bus and heading towards Notting Hill to the market.

By the time we arrived, the rain cleared out leaving us with a warm, sticky day. But it was dry!

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The crowds were very small when we arrived but as soon as the sun appeared, it became a mass of humanity.

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Lots of antiques, jewelry, souvenirs, art, and towards one end, a collection of food vendors. Unfortunately we had just finished breakfast at the hotel and couldn’t eat one more thing but it didn’t stop me from drooling!

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I love seeing how people display and present food. So gorgeous!

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I’m a big fan of paella so my head about exploded over the size of these pans. And it smelled AMAZING even at 10am. I almost dove in headfirst.

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You can also get flowers there, but they don’t taste as good as paella.

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My original plan was to then travel to Borough Market (food market – notice a trend?) but when we realized how complicated it was to get there from where we were (short a pricey cab ride), we opted to ditch the plan and instead hit a museum & Harrods.

There are lots of museum options and we discussed which we’d prefer to hit and landed on the Victoria & Albert Museum, which is the world’s largest museum of decorative art and design.

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Gorgeous blown glass chandelier that hangs in the entrance:

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And from the 2nd floor:

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They have galleries on fashion, photography, furniture, sculpture, ironwork, and so much more.

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Interestingly, Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty is there right now and we saw it while in NYC a few years ago! It is an incredible exhibit, and I would have loved to see it again but unlike The Met, there was quite the extra charge for admission (nearly $30/ticket). I’m cheap so I passed.

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On the 2nd level, near the photography exhibit, there was this gorgeous huge window looking out onto at church.

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Since my lunch plans at the market were ditched, we did what seemed popular – we ate at the museum. They have a beautiful outdoor courtyard, where lots of people were eating and enjoying the weather, plus lots of seating inside.

I neglected to get pictures of the food but they had various stations, you collected what you’d like, and then paid. We had mostly sandwiches and salads and they were all delicious and relatively inexpensive!

Following our museum adventures, we hit the road and walked to Harrods.

I, again, neglected to get many pictures. The crowds on a Saturday were ridiculous so photography was a challenge. The food halls were unbelievable – I’m so glad we stopped in to see. Really, the entire place is unbelievable. I wish I had photos!

Jason spotted the ice cream parlour so we decided to stop. It’s not a grab and go shop; it’s an actual restaurant with waitstaff. There are tons of food options in addition to the food halls and the ice cream shop sits across from the Italian eatery, which had a waiter who would burst into opera occasionally.

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Let’s be real: this was the most expensive milkshake I’ve ever had but it was tasty, they provided a chair to rest in, and the waiter refilled my (free) tap water.

{it only took me a day to figure out to always specify TAP water}

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Mmmm, pistachio.

This was the point where we decided to pool the collection of coins/bills we had left and spring for our first London cab ride back to the hotel.

We had a casual dinner at an Italian spot right around the corner from our hotel and called it a night – the car service came early the next morning for our flight to Dublin!

London was gorgeous and everything I’d hoped it would be. Ever since my childhood obsession with Princess Diana, I couldn’t wait to visit the city. While 4 days wasn’t long enough to even scratch the surface, it was a great taste of all that it has to offer. And it also helped us know what to prioritize the next time, and what we felt was worthy of a ‘once and done’ decision.

We did underestimate how physically exhausting the city was; way more so than we found NYC to be though a longer trip could have meant more time to rest. I also have no idea how anyone with mobility issues could live or travel there! SO many stairs – especially when you’re hunting for the restroom. I could not have done it even a year after my broken leg, when I was still struggling with stairs. Kudos to my dad for keeping up the entire time! He’s no spring chicken 🙂

Last day in London walking count:

saturday

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