My London Day Trip!

skyline

Hi everyone, so I excitedly posted last week that I had an exciting few days planned which included a snazzy trip to London for the day with one of my best friends and so I thought I’d share it with you all as we had a truly amazing day out! As you may or may not know, we were due to go on a lunch river cruise across the Thames as I had been given this voucher as a Red Letter Days gift from a close friend. We arrived in London at around 11am after catching the Oxford Tube from Gloucester Green bus station in Oxford; the tube took us past various stops including Notting Hill & Shepherd’s Bush, but we departed at Marble Arch as we wanted to work our way around the city from there!

 marblearch

Marble Arch/Hyde Park is a beautiful area and we started off our trip in typical London fashion by running like wild geese for the next tube at Marble Arch station so as to get to our boat trip on time! We knew the boat departed from The Embankment at 12.15pm so were limited on time but knew we could get there efficiently. After a few stops we arrived at the famous Embankment and eventually (after a few runs across the Hungerford bridge as we were on the wrong side and a stop at the ‘Jubiloo’ toilets – see my selfie below(!!) – we made it to the port of Bateaux London which is where our boat was to depart from.

 jubiloojpg  londoneye

We were greeted on board The Symphony by a very handsome captain whom we chatted to afterwards as well (fit or what?!) and we were ushered to our seat by the lovely staff who I have to say were hugely welcoming and friendly thorughout the cruise.

captain  boat.pg

girls boat

A three course lunch was included on the cruise (all drinks are separate) and the first course was either a choice of butternut squash with goats cheese or a salmon pate with pickled cucumber. I opted for the vegetarian option whilst my friend chose the salmon; mine was delicious and I was told that my friends was too, so that was a good start! Main was either chicken en-croute with celeriac mash and runner beans or a root vegetable pastry dish with pesto; we both chose the chicken which was lovely although I would’ve liked a bit more pastry and would have swapped the mash for roast potatoes, but you can’t have everything! Dessert was gorgeous and was a vanilla panna cotta with almond biscotti on the base and a raspberry coulis on top – heaven!

 starter  chicken  pudding

Throughout the 1and a half hour cruise there was a guided audio commentary giving interesting facts about specific landmarks in London that you sailed past on the boat which really added to the atmosphere on board and we both found it fascinating! You could wander up and down the boat and take as many pictures as you liked but we didn’t need to leave our seats much considering the boat was all glass and you could see from virtually any angle which was brilliant. The only thing that would’ve made the viewing a little better was if the blinds on the ceiling were raised as we couldn’t see certain landmarks when we were passing under them; Tower Bridge, London Eye etc… but generally the boat was perfect for viewing all the major hotspots!

parliament

aquarium shard

tower

Some of the landmarks that we passed were the famous Houses of Parliament, EDF Energy & the iconic Big Ben, the London Aquarium which houses the new London Dungeons, the historic St Paul’s Cathedral, the buzzing Canary Wharf Docklands business area, the brand new Shard building and of course the beautiful Tower Bridge & Tower of London which is a personal favourite of mine – I’ve loved it ever since I first set eyes on it on one of my first trips to London with my ex boyfriend, we had a magical time and I’ve adored it there ever since!

gherkin  towerbridge

view

After a really lovely cruise down the river we headed back to the Embankment where we departed and made our way to Oxford Street to do some serious shopping! We hurtled up to Temple tube station across to Oxford Circus and started at the flagship Topshop store before zig-zagging our way up the high street and frequenting the likes of Miss Selfridge, Zara, River Island and the ever desirable Primark! After a busy couple of hours our feet were beginning to hurt and our arms were starting to ache from carrying all the heavy bags so we made our way to Tottenham Court Road tube station and ended up where we started at Marble Arch ready to get the Oxford Tube back home.

primark leaf limo1 limo2 mirror

 

We finally arrived home at just after 9pm which, after leaving our doors at 8am, was definitely a very long day and it’s safe to say that we both slept like babies that night! We had a truly wonderful day out in the big city and I can’t wait to go back and do it all again soon! I would love to book an evening cruise with three course dinner to see the city lit up at night as I think that it’d be even more beautiful than it was during the day time! For more information on how to book a river cruise with Bateaux London please visit their website (http://www.bateauxlondon.com/) or check out which offers Red Letter Days (http://www.redletterdays.co.uk/Home) are currently promoting… enjoy!!

bateaux

 Love Jess x

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