Friday, December 8, 2017

Starting Out on A Tourist Day in London

We arrive in London late in the evening and have reserved two nights in the hotel so that we can spend a day in London.  We stay at the Renaissance Hotel in Heathrow, convenient to our early morning flight in a day and with easy access to London on the Underground (also called "The Tube").  Buses are free inside the airport boundary, taking us back and forth between the terminals, the hotel, and the airport Tube station.  We purchased Oyster cards for London transit, including the Tube, through the mail before we left the US and we are good to go for our exploration of London.

First stop, Harrods, the famous London department store in Knightsbridge, with over 1 million square feet of retail space on a 5 acre site.


We pass through the specialty shops at the entrance and head into the food court to admire the offerings, ranging from fresh meats and seafood to teas and spices to full prepared meals, with food to go or counter and table service for dining in.

 Specialty shops

 Harrods food court offerings

One of my favorites is the Beijing Duck Kit, with a whole duck, 18 pancakes, cucumber, spring onions, and hoisin sauce.

Beijing duck kit

We take the beautiful old escalator up several floors and find the art section, which has a wide variety of styles and prices, including a Picasso for several hundred thousand pounds/dollars.  This is a small museum!

 Harrods escalator

 Harrods art department

We don't purchase any art today, but our next stop is Harrod's Christmas World, where we shop for ornaments (more in our price range).

 Harrods Christmas World

We acquire our ornaments and then wander through more merchandise departments (ranging from full kitchens to books and flowers, tea shops, and other retail experiences) and eventually end up back at the food court, where every spot at the lunch counters is taken.

 Other departments

Ok, no seats left at Harrods for lunch, let's go to Harvey Nichols, another grand department store down the street.   We stroll two blocks over, take the elevator up to Harvey Nichols Food Market and settle into Zelman Meats for a wagu beef burger and a bottle of wine.

 Lunch at Zelman Meats in Harvey Nichols

 Food market at Harvey Nichols

 As we head outside, the sidewalk is packed because Riahanna is at Harvey Nichols to show her makeup line and everyone wants to meet her.

 We work our way around the line and move on -- it's time to walk the city.

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