Semi-Final Football!

As mentioned in our last post, we headed back to London early from Ireland so we could watch the Liverpool vs Aston Villa semi-final football (soccer) match.

This was on our list of things to do so we were extremely fortunate to be given tickets to the game by a good great family friend, that included a four course lunch and seats right behind the players.

Wembley Stadium

Walking to our seats, we got goose bumps from the fan’s chanting & cheering. It was also fascinating to see the fans divided equally into the two sides of the stadium, to prevent any rivalries between them. Although the team we were going for (Liverpool) lost, the experience was everything.

From West to East

For our last week in the UK, we moved from the west side of London to the east – from Richmond to Shoreditch. It took the same amount of time to fly from London to Scotland as it did to get from Richmond to Shoreditch!

A high school friend we hadn’t seen in 4 years generously hosted us at her new apartment. Knowing how big London is, it was a treat to be able to see & stay in two entirely separate areas of London. Shoreditch reminded us of an area in NYC called Williamsburg. A young hip crowd of people with lots of bars, restaurants and graffiti filled walls.

Highlights from East London & Shoreditch

Sky Garden

The Sky Garden is an awesome new establishment on the top of the “Walkie Talkie” building. It’s 34 levels up, with amazing views of London, a rainforest and three restaurants & bars, ranging from casual to semi-formal.

It’s free to go up, but you must reserve a free ticket & time online prior to your visit. A much better deal than paying 20 pounds to go up The Shard, the building directly opposite.

Sky Garden

Brick Lane

A really cool area/street mainly focusing on Indian & Pakistani food. This street is all about competition and every restaurant had their own claim to fame, trying to draw tourists in.

Eg. “Best Curry in the UK” ,“XX Award Winner” “Top Rated on Trip Advisor”, and our favourite was “Chef of the Year” with an extremely small “runner up” above the logo. Very cheeky.

Runner Up Chef of the Year

We opted for Sheba, an Indian restaurant recommended by our local friend. It probably was the best Chicken Tikka Masala we’ve ever had. Buttery, spicy, full of flavour & cheap!

Dishoom Indian Restaurant

Another highly recommended Indian restaurant, this one a bit fancier. Dishoom have several locations around London; originally we tried to go to the one in Leister Square, but with a 1.5 hour wait that wasn’t happening so whilst we were in Shoreditch, we were lucky enough to walk right in for an early dinner. So delicious and a must do! A fun twist to Indian food.

Box Park

A trendy shopping centre, food court & beer garden created from shipping containers. On the bottom floor, there are fashion & variety stores and on the roof there are a variety of places to grab a cocktail or a bite to eat. We came back here 3 times during our stay in Shoreditch.

Pizza East

A smart casual pizzeria just opposite Box Park. It has a young hip vibe with decently priced pizzas and delicious cocktails.

More Recommendations in Shoreditch

These were provided by a friend who has been living in Shoreditch for some time.

As main reference here below the 4 main areas:

  • Shoreditch High street
  • Hoxton Square
  • Brick Lane
  • Old Street

Bars & Pubs

Restaurants

Cheap & Convenient (below £35)

Over £30 but not super luxury.

Treat yourself over £70

Photos!

Morocco & Sahara post to follow!

Number of marriage days survived: 34

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