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Honeymoon in London: Life in Kensington

Hey strangers. I know, I know I promised this post on Saturday, but the weekend was busier than I anticipated. My sister and her boyfriend moved to Fayetteville on Saturday, and we spent yesterday at the lake then grilled out at our house with friends. So without further adieu. . .

Time for the final  Honeymoon Week post! This post is Part 6 in a 6 part series chronicling my honeymoon from last summer.
Catching up on previous posts?

 

I’ve mentioned our hotel briefly before, but we stayed at base2stay Kensington, a ‘boutique and luxury budget hotel’ in the South Kensington neighborhood of London. 

“Adjoining a quiet and charming Central London garden square, base2stay Kensington is situated in an ideal location, only a few minutes walk from either Earl’s Court or Gloucester Road underground stations.”

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Kensington is a district of west and central London, England within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It’s an affluent and densely-populated area, which made it safe enough for us to wander and also filled with little shops and delicious restaurants. We did NOT feel like tourists walking around Kensington and Earl’s Court which was really important to us. 

Our room was small (like most in Europe) but it was clean and modern and it suited our purposes perfectly.

base2stay Kensington Hotel

base2stay hotel viewed from Courtfield Gardens, Kensington (source)

We rented a Standard Double room that featured a Queen size double bed and an oversized shower.

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It included a mini kitchen (microwave, fridge and kettle)

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I loved that our room had real dishes in it and a real hairdryer instead of the usual miniature hotel versions.

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a mounted HDTV and free internet access ( a HUGE plus).

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Overall we loved this hotel and would definitely recommend it to someone looking for budget accommodations (FYI budget accommodations in London still means over $200 a night).

Every day we woke up and got ready, walked down the block to grab a pastry or sausage roll at a deli and crossed the street to the Earl’s Court tube station.

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On our first day in London we each bought a 7 day Oyster travelcard. Oysters are plastic smartcards you can use instead of paper tickets to ride the London subway systems.

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In the afternoons we would make our way back to Earl’s Court and often grab a cone of gelato at a little shop down the street or a beer at the pub across the street from the tube station. The neighborhood was charming, full of little townhouses and parks with plenty of shops and grocery stores where we could stock up on snacks. I bought a candy bar called a Crunchie the first day and became obsessed.

 
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I ate at least one every day of the trip and definitely brought several packages home with us.

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Our days in Kensington, and the rest of London, were wonderful. It was the trip of a lifetime and we truly cannot wait to go back.

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Congratulations, you survived Honeymoon week! We will now resume regularly scheduled posting. Coming up this week will be some new house projects, a Lois update AND our first wedding anniversary!

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Time for another Honeymoon Week post! This post is Part 5 in a 6 part series chronicling my honeymoon from last summer.
Catching up on previous posts?

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We began our last day in London with our nerdiest quest of all. Finding Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross and try to catch the Hogwarts Express. I’m just going to assume you get that that’s a Harry Potter reference.

Finding the platform was easier said than done, and we wandered around the station for awhile before we saw a few people duck into an alcove that held the fake platform.

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Naturally we posed for dorky pictures.

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Nerds.

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All that searching had left us hungry and we left King’s Cross to look for lunch. King’s Cross Station is across from the beautiful St. Pancras Station.

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We grabbed lunch nearby and made the short walk to the British Library.

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Those are the only two pictures I have of the British Library because photos are prohibited, but it was amazing. The Magna Carta, ancient maps, early Gospels on papyrus, the original Beowulf, the Gutenberg Bible, pages from Leonardo’s notebooks, and original writing by the titans of English literature, from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Dickens and Wordsworth is all in one room! There’s also a wall dedicated to music, with manuscripts from Beethoven to the Beatles. Very, very cool.

Continuing with the museum theme, we decided to visit the British Museum next.

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All of the gardens out front were planted with exotic plants from Africa.

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When we entered the enormous museum and ducked into one of the wings, the first thing we were greeted with was The Rosetta Stone.

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The Rosetta Stone is a stone with writing on it in two languages (Egyptian and Greek), using three scripts (hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek). Because it has  essentially the same text in all three scripts (with some minor differences between them), it provided the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs.

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We spent awhile exploring the Egyptian wing of the museum.

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Indiana Jones was studying up for his next adventure. british_museum8 british_museum7

When we left the museum did some shopping for souvenirs and took the Tube to our last attraction of the day, Harrods.

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Harrods  is one of the largest department stores in the world, with over one million square feet of retail space and over 330 departments.

Harrods is owned by Mohamed Al Fayed whose son Dodi was killed in the same car crash as Princess Diana. Two memorials have been erected within the store in memory of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed. We saw one of the memorials, photographs of the two behind a pyramid-shaped display that holds a wine glass smudged with lipstick from Diana’s last dinner as well as what is described as an engagement ring Dodi purchased the day before they died.

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I snapped a few pictures of the dessert counters in the famous food hall before I was told photography was prohibited. Oops.

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After leaving Harrods empty handed it was time for our last dinner in London. We decided to return to the Troubadour because we had loved it so much the day before. Best decision ever.

I finally got a glass of Pimms. Pimms is a gin-based liquor made in England from dry gin, liqueur, fruit juices and spices and was the only thing the coordinator at our wedding reception insisted I try while in London. Good call Julie.

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  For dinner Jacob ordered the special which was pasta made from scratch that melted in your mouth. I got Bangers and Mash & Onion Gravy which on paper is sausages with mashed potatoes, but in reality was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. 

It was a lovely meal and the perfect way to end our wonderful honeymoon.

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We’re almost done! Tomorrow will be the last Honeymoon Week post on our hotel and little neighborhood that we loved

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