After finally finishing all of my academic adventures at Oxford, these past five days mark the true start of my summer. I’ve been in a class of some type since January and having these last three weeks of summer to relax is perfect. On Saturday, my family joined me in London for a week-long tour visiting London and Rome. Today we’re headed to Rome, where we’ll spend two days before flying back to the U.S. on Saturday.
Arguably the best part of this second mini-adventure is being able to finally see Real Katie. Traveling and seeing all of the amazing sites in London and Rome are obviously incredible, but after three weeks of being apart, the sites make a great background to Katie and I’s pictures.
Tuesday night, I had the incredible opportunity of having a night out, just the two of us, in London. Before our date really began, we went on a wild shopping spree and spent several hours walking up and down Oxford Street going in and out of different stores, often not buying anything. Our date really started that evening at one of the “hidden gems” of London. Queen Mary’s Rose Garden located in the center of Regents Park was an absolute masterpiece. Walking through the garden was an absolute sensory explosion. The massive silver and gold gates welcome you into this foreign world filled with colors and aromas. As you walked along the stone path past flowerbeds filled with fiery red and hot pink roses, Katie and I couldn’t help but just stop and saw “wow.” The entire garden was a living painting, artfully stroked by a creative and divine artist. Aside from the colors, the smells of the garden slapped you across the face at every turn. Every individual flower had it’s own unique and flavorful note that tickled a different part of your nose at every turn. Just when you thought you were used to the smells of the garden, a soft English breeze would waft a new smell up your nostril.
The only bad part about the garden was leaving, we had reservations at this floating Chinese restaurant in the garden and this place did not disappoint. We were welcomed by a smiling, but small staff and escorted to our table by the window overlooking a small stream, which circled the park. Each dish we ordered from crabs to curry playfully delighted our taste buds and left us with our own personal food babies to carry around the rest of the evening.
After dinner, we were making our way back to the London Underground station when we walked past a rack of bikes available to rent. After coaxing me past an irrational fear of bicycling, Katie convinced me to ride our bikes through the park. Besides from being faster than walking, the bikes gave an entirely new perspective to the park. The wind blew a little faster as we flew past the joggers, walkers, and people playing soccer. It was a completely new experience I’m glad Katie talked me in to.
As our night drew to a close, we made our way back to the last stop of the night. Gordon’s Wine Bar located right near Covent Gardens was a dark and intimate atmosphere. The wine bar was simply a hole in the wall which led down a flight of stairs to a room that looked as if it was dug out of a cave that same morning. We ordered quickly and managed to sneak into a table in the corner of the room. Around 40 people filled this tiny cave and although it was loud, it felt quiet. The candle lit tables made Katie and I’s time together feel like a secret. Although we were definitely yelling at each other in this loud cave, it felt like we were just whispering back and forth. It was the perfect ending to an insane day of walking and biking across parks and gardens.
For anyone looking for date spots in London 10/10 would recommend all the places we went, and make sure to bring a camera.