Day 2 began in the rain. We were aiming for Oxford Street first and our walk from the hotel took us through Seven Dials (one of my favourite areas in London with lots of niche shops, although all closed at this time of day). We took the wrong fork down Monmouth Street and ended up back in Covent Garden. However, this took us past the Monmouth Coffee Company where we bought takeaway coffees and a deliciously crumbly pastry each for breakfast, which we took turns in eating while the other held the umbrella.
I remember little of this first stretch – briefly, some road works, but mainly the rain! We arrived in Oxford Street but did not linger, although it was refreshing to walk down the busy shopping street and not bump into herds of people as it was still early. (Also, the rain had stopped by this time, so umbrellas did not take up all of the room.)
We reached Oxford Circus and turned onto Regent’s Street, a particularly grand London street, decked in London 2012 banners like many other streets, and we walked all the way to Regent’s Park. The route took us past the beautiful Langham Hotel, which was almost inconspicuous as a hotel, and All Soul’s Church with a round pillared entrance, which is the only surviving church built by John Nash in 1822-1824. Along the way, Mum pointed out a building, once a hotel, where she had gone for an interview for an au pair job (which she got) when she was 18!
We detoured a little to visit Regent’s Park (partly because we needed the toilet, and partly because it seemed silly not to, especially as I’d only been there once and Mum not at all) and enjoyed watching the 5000+ women who were doing Race for Life (we didn’t quite see 5000, but we were there a while!).
Moving on, we arrived at our final station, Marylebone, a very pretty station in a very pretty area. We also snapped a shot of Ladbrokes to use as our chance!
Onto Park Lane, although we came back here later, near to Marble Arch where there were a lot of big red buses, then onto Bond Street (New Bond Street and Old Bond Street, to be precise, meeting right by Tiffany’s). Evidently, a very rich street, with a lot of shops that I’m not sure I would go into even if I could afford it!
We then reached Piccadilly, and it was very strange to think we had never walked down Piccadilly despite visiting Piccadilly Circus numerous times. Definitely worth a wander, if only to see the incredible display at Fortnum and Major!
We reached Piccadilly Circus and deemed this the electric company (a bit of poetic license here, but they must use a lot of electricity lighting those billboards!), then past the Trocadero on Coventry Street.
We were now in Leicester Square, and just in time for lunch (12.30pm, but not quite busy yet), so we sat outside under the awning at Bella Italia and were served caesar salad, lasagne and cannelloni by a lovely plump Italian woman who made it feel more like an independent Italian restaurant than a chain, but I suppose that is London for you! We finished the meal with a coffee and, somewhat refreshed, continued our walk.