Thursday, March 28, 2013


So after a fun filled long weekend in the English countryside taking in the sights (and even more pubs) Tommy and I were up bright and early to catch the very fast Virgin train from Birmingham to London. I tell you I really wish the US would adopt train travel as is done in the UK and Europe. No need to rent a car on vacation or even take a car on a commute. The trains are so easy to catch and are very fast. We left B'Ham at 8:30 and arrived at Euston Station in London by 11 am!

I studied here in London for my spring semester at Michigan State many moons ago and have been back a couple of times but for whatever reason I never made it back to my old dorm area off Baker street. That was rectified on this trip as I really wanted Tommy to see where I spent 3 great months in college.

Here we go on the train. A really comfortable ride and fast. It would certainly be my preferred mode of travel!

We arrived at our hotel, the Renaissance St Pancras which is an historic old restored building that was absolutely beautiful! This is the view from our fantastic room!

We were upgraded to a junior suite in the old historic chambers club section of the hotel. I highly recommend this hotel and this particular section if you want a 5 star, luxurious and historic stay!

walk upstairs to our beautiful marble bathroom complete with rubber ducky on the tub!

We hopped the tube (this was our method of travel every day and it was easy easy easy!) and headed to Chinatown for lunch

Just a couple of blocks in London but some of the Chinese New Year decorations were still up which looked pretty cool

Never made it into this restaurant but it's notorious for it's rude wait staff! Sounds very much like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld! We ended up at a Trip Advisor recommended restaurant called The Four Seasons instead. I suspect that some of Wong Kei's waitstaff migrated over here based on our experience!

We spent the rest of the day hopping around seeing the sights. Look kids - Big Ben...Parliament!
My husband could be Clark Griswald on any given day believe me. I have the scrape on the ceiling of our living room from the way too tall Christmas tree as proof!

Trafalgar square and St Martin in the Fields

So next we headed over to Baker street station and headed to find Hanover Lodge, my old dorm. Fortunately I did some research to find out that they razed the old dorm and built beautiful individual villas. Hanover Lodge, the original Hanover Lodge, was restored and sold for £120!! It has made history as the most expensive home sold in the UK! It's a far cry from my old dorm let me tell you!

Here it is!

Hmmmm... I don't remember it quite looking like that!

This villa right next door is where I believe the large dorm actually was with the original "Hanover Lodge" home next to it

The canal behind the dorm/villas is the same although much nicer now and kept up well. There was a dirt path along the canal that we used to walk along to get to Baker street. 

This was my old college that we would walk to through Regent's park every morning to get to classes

The mosque was there then as well and you could see the beautiful roof from the window of my dorm room

My beautiful walk every morning through the park to get to class. Just Like the beautiful walk on MSU's campus as well!

One more trip down memory lane took us to my favorite fish and chip shop, The Seashell of Lisson Grove. Back then there was only a take away window with a picnic table out front if you wanted to eat it there. They still have the take away window but now a fancy restaurant next door which we opted to do.

as good as it was, NOTHING beats eating a giant slab of fried cod right out of a newspaper drenched in malt vinegar!

Tommy isn't much of a fish guy so he opted for the bangars and mash and loved em!

Topped it off with my new favorite British drink - Aspall's Suffolk Cyder! YUM!

Wouldn't be our trip if we just had statues and historic buildings now would it?! Finished off a great first day and a half in London at the pub!

Stay tuned for the rest of the London adventures and the grand finale in Paris!

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