London Part II: Whitechapel, All the Food, and a Crash Course in Archaeology at the British Museum (Pic Heavy Post)

In my last post I told you about the theatrical highlights of our most recent West End Weekend (which included meeting Daniel Radcliffe!), but this post is going to be about what we got up to between the performances. I’ve been to London more times than I can count, but I’ve still barely scratched the surface of that city. Guess that means I’m just going to have to keep going back!

Being from the San Francisco Bay Area, food in the UK isn’t always a lot of fun for me. I don’t mean to say British food is bad, only that trying to find ingredients for the international foods I’m used to is not easy. It’s definitely gotten better over the last few years- I don’t silently weep in the grocery stores as much anymore- but it’s still a far cry from the culturally diverse cuisine I’m surrounded by when I’m back home.

London, however, is a totally different story. I could spend months in that city doing nothing but eating all the amazing different types of food they have. Half of what I plan when we go down to London for our WEWs is where we’ll eat.

Whitechapel is a vibrant part of the city that’s bursting with diverse food choices so when we arrived a couple hours before our hotel check-in time I was excited to start exploring the restaurants in the area. My British husband however?

Him: “Hey! Let’s go get pie in that pub!”
Me: “Dude, we’re in London literally surrounded by so much incredible food. Right by us is Thai, Vietnamese, Lebanese. I can even see a Filipino and Hawaiian restaurant over there!”
Him: “But they have pie in that pub…”
Me: There’s pho in that restaurant!
Him: But…pie…

So, yeah, we had pie in a pub.

And it wasn’t even the kind of pie Dean Winchester likes.

After we ate our pie and checked in, we had cocktails and tapas in the sky before heading to Shakespeare’s Globe for an amazing candlelit performance of The Taming of the Shrew.

The next morning we decieded to explore Whitechapel with a focus on hitting the numerous markets in London’s East End and all the food the area had to offer.

Nestled in the basement of another market we stumbled upon, The Brick Lane Vintage Market was an intense nostalgia trip.
San Jose pride!! Although as much as I love the Sharks and the 90s, and I even had one of these as a kid, the price of this jacket was a little more than I could justify.
The Spitalfields Market was a massive, sprawling place with so much food to choose from I nearly had a nervous breakdown when I realized my stomach could only hold so much food.
I didn’t take too many photos of food because I was too busy stuffing my face. The only reason this got a photo was because I was trying to be polite and wait for my husband to come back with his food. I almost didn’t make it.
Despite his face he was actually enjoying our market excursions. The Tearooms Market is the only place I ended up buying anything: a handmade candle that is a perfect dupe for the more expensive Woodwick candles and a rare copy of an Aldous Huxley book.
Full of amazing handcrafted items, it was hard keeping myself from buying everything.

The following day was a major nerdy treat for the both of us. We booked a private tour of the British Museum that was touted as a “crash course in archaeology.” I’ve been to the British Museum dozens of times (we’re even members), but this day-long tour really put the museum in a whole new light for me. I learned a few new things and the factoids I already knew were put into different perspectives that had my archaeologist brain on high. Plus our guide was not only insanely knowledgeable but was really funny, too. We had a blast!

If you’re ever in London, I definitely recommend taking this tour so you can get the most out of one of the greatest museums in the world.

The controversial Elgin Marbles.

Ramses II sure liked to put big ol’ statues of himself everywhere. 
The famed Rosetta Stone. Until Napolean’s men found it, Egyptian hieroglyphics were a mystery to the world. Our guide told us about the long history of its translation and the story is INSANE.

The winged bulls (Lamassu) of Sargon II’s palace are my favorite artifacts in the museum.
Behind one of the flanks of a winged bull, a game board was found scratched into the stone. Called The Royal Game of Ur, it was thought to have been carved by soldiers bored at their posts at the palace gates.
Our guide had a beautiful replica of the game made and we got to have a go!
I absolutely adore Assyrian artwork and its intricate details.
Remnants from one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. These statues were once atop the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.
Having never been to Easter Island, seeing one of the moai up close was incredible. And this is one of the smaller ones!

As you can see, we had a decidedly busy weekend in London. I’m still completely wiped out from it all. I have one more post coming about our weekend that will be focusing more on the more bookish side of what we got up to so watch this space!

Have you been to any of these places? What’s your favorite thing to do in London? Let me know in the comments! 

2 thoughts on “London Part II: Whitechapel, All the Food, and a Crash Course in Archaeology at the British Museum (Pic Heavy Post)”

  1. I used to live in the East End of London (Bethnal Green), and my University was in Whitechapel. I literally had to walk down Brick Lane to get to Uni, and it is one of my favourite places in London. This post made me miss it so much!
    Also, the British Museum is absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to take my daughter there when she is a little older 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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