Coffee Bombs & Pestilence

Coffee today was had down at the Imperial War Museum near Elephant and Castle station. The IWM has five locations in the UK, three of them are in London (The other two are the Churchill War Rooms and the HMS Belfast). The IWM is on the old site of the Bethlam Royal Hospital (Often referred to as Bedlam). Coffee was 6.5/10

The museum has 5 levels of displays, the bottom level focused on WW1. This is where we spent the most time as it was relevant to some school assignments Emma was working on. Its interesting to compare the WW1 display here with what we have in Canberra. Here in the London museum, Gallipoli is barely covered and only warrants a small mention where for Australia its a nation defining moment and warrants significant space in our National War Memorial.

After a few hours at the museum we headed back to the apartment, grabbed some sandwiches for lunch then headed out on a Fire, Pestilence & Plague walking tour organised by http://freelondonwalkingtours.com. The tour was very good starting at the fire monument and ending up near St Paul’s. The tour covered much about the fire and plauge

  • How and where the fire started
  • How building methods contributed to the deadly ferocity
  • Why it spread
  • The incompetence of the authorities that allowed it spread as far as it did,
  • how the French & Dutch were initially blamed (with one person hanged)
  • Where it eventually stopped
  • The spark the started the London Banking, Finance & Insurance industries
  • How many streets got their name
  • Why pudding lane should really be called Rotting Animal Guts Lane
  • Where and when the plague took hold
  • Where the burial plots are

The tour was well worth doing, its “free”, however nothing in life is free and especially not in London. The guide explains that its expected that if you enjoy the walk you will leave a tip. No problems with that, it was a fantastic two hour tour. We also learnt about a massive Roman amphitheatre that was discovered where the public can view the ruins on a Thursday.

After the tour we walked across the Millennium Bridge for a drink at a pub along the river, then off to Brick Lane for a curry at City Spice

This is the third year in a row we have been to city spice.

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Not everyday you see someone riding a 1970s chopper bicycle in the middle of London ! I just love this city.

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The ODG (Obligatory Daily Gherkin)

Once on the way to dinner, the other from an Uber on the way back

Ducking in for a Coffee

We all had a bit of a sleep in this morning, we have all changed time zones, Sharon and Emma dramatically and were of course very tired. We did like Elvis and exited the building around 10am and started looking for breakfast. Being central London there isn’t much open around this place on weekends so we headed up towards Liverpool St station to see what we could find.

On the way up we walked past my favourite building in London (The Gherkin) and now that I’m in London, the Obligatory Daily Gherkin returns:-

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I know there is a great restaurant that does breakfast called the Duck and Waffle on the way to Liverpool St Station, but wasn’t sure it was open today and I knew I didn’t comply with their dress code (shorts and trainers) but what the hell, might as well give it a go. Sure enough at the entrance the guy looked me up and down and reminded me of the dress code but said they would make an exception for me today. Of course inside almost every other guy is in shorts and trainers…. Well hey, At the end of the day £50 is £50….. Their entire market today was tourists, everyone taking photos of the spectacular view, selfies etc.

The food here is phenomenal and considering the view you get it’s actually great value. It would have cost us way more to go to the viewing area of the Shard and here we got food in the price. Also it’s a lot closer to the other buildings than the Shard. Coffee is a healthy 7.5/10 and my coffee was free as I ordered a second one, they forgot about it until I reminded them so gave me my coffees for free. 

Here we are and the restaurant is so high it looks down on the Gherkin.

And lets not forget the coffee and food ! Emma had some Waffles, I had Yoghurt with berries and a side order of toast. Sharon had some amazing duck eggs with truffles and mushrooms and a side of crispy bacon.

Kansas is now a zillion miles away Toto….

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Whilst there I decided to take a selfie with the the Gherkin in the background. Emma has christened any selfies with the Gherkin in the background as a “Gherkie”. After breakfast we continued up to Liverpool street for the next adventure of the day,

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