Day Two: London

London is a rainy city. You probably already knew that, and as our luck would have it, it rained during every day of our stay in England. On our second day, it poured incessantly, which was unfortunate, because we had planned to visit the Tower of London.

We decided to brave the weather and go anyway, and arrived over an hour later than expected after some transportational rerouting and traffic jams as a result of the inclement weather. Famished, we took a break at Tower Hill Diner, where I had bangers and mash:

It was one of those dishes where the first couple of bites are good and then it all begins to taste heavy and overly-salty and yet simultaneously bland. I love sausages, but I’m guessing that sampling a British classic in the middle of a tourist zone flanked by Americans may not have been my best bet for authenticity.

We purchased our tickets and walked into the palace, poking in and out of the tower over the course of the next few hours:

My guidebook stated that the famous Kooh-i Noor diamond is housed here among the crown jewels, but much to my dissapointment the closest I got was seeing it in the Jewel House on a theater screen extolling the victories of the British Empire. (At least I got to get up close and personal with the Darya-e Noor diamond in Tehran a few years ago! And by up close and personal, I mean behind an alarm-generating, touch-sensitive, bullet-proof glass case.)

After a quick cup of coffee, my family and I walked across Tower Bridge over the River Thames, to get to the Underground:

Our next destination was Harrod’s, or as far as I’m concerned, Harrod’s Food Hall, also known as The Place Where Mariam Becomes Filled With Awe-Like Contentment And Wonder. Seriously, I was in my natural habitat. From foie gras and caviar to dim sum and South Asian sweets to cured meats and fresh seafood, this place has it all:

Part of me wishes we had something like this in California, and yet another part of me knows that if we did, I’d go broke on limequats and cecina and whatever else I could get my hands on.

Oh, London. So much rain, so little time to spend at your perfectly stocked gourmet foodstuffs.

4 thoughts on “Day Two: London”

  1. I know it must be out there somewhere! I wanted to have a meal at St. John’s but didn’t get around to it. Hopefully next time.

  2. Ah, your photos brought back fond memories of my student days in London! Our hall of residence (Brit-speak for dorm) was right across the street from Harrods. Talk about dangling a carrot in front of a poor rabbit. My friends and I used to frequent the Food Hall, either for fancy cakes on special occasions or on Friday afternoons when their fresh produce was heavily discounted — basically, the only time we could afford to buy our weekly grocery stuff there.

    Yadesh bekheyr. 🙂

  3. I can’t imagine living that close to Harrod’s! I had no idea that their produce is discounted on Fridays – unfortunately I was not in London on a Friday, otherwise I would have taken advantage of the opportunity. 🙂

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