First day: London

Our first day started with a lot of waiting. We landed early then had to wait almost half an hour to get a gate to disembark. It took an entire hour to get through passport control. Our ride from Heathrow to Tate Modern was almost an hour and a quarter. We just made our lunch reservation at the newest restaurant at Tate located in the new expansion building.

The restaurant is on the 9th floor with views across the Thames River.

There’s also a 10th floor viewing area from a balcony that runs around the entire building. I stayed inside. Didn’t want to test my vertigo.

The U.K. Is replacing some of its  coins and notes, like the 10 pound paper note with a plastic note. Before we left  we sorted out all our British money that is no longer legal tender. Including pound coins, it was over 30 pounds; that’s over $50. If you go to the Bank of England you can exchange it but we didn’t want to take the time and effort.

We donated it to Tate.

We visited some of the new space but ended up looking at some of my favourites, the Rothkos.
We then headed 3 kilometres north to our hotel. St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, which is connected to St Pancras station. The hotel used to be the railway station and they have retained many of the old features.

We got a free upgrade to one of the hotel’s signature suites  named after the artist instrumental in saving the building. The suite is enormous with really high ceilings.

Even the bathroom is huge.

We look out onto Kings Cross Station.

We took advantage of the spa at  the hotel and had a massage. Good way to get out some of the stiffness from travel and not too much napping took place.

The suite is part of the original building and offers access to the “Chambers Club”, which looks like an old boys club with free food and alcohol. Despite that we tried it during the pre-dinner canapé hours, although some people looked like they were eating dinner.

Our window from the outside:

We strolled around outside for a bit before heading to dinner at the Gilbert Scott, a Marcus Wareing restauant attached to the hotel. Marcus Wareing was a Gordon Ramsay protege. We started with a drink in The  George Bar, which also  has really  high ceilings and interesting light  fixtures.

More interesting ceiling in the dining room.

Then dinner and an early to bed.

Chateaubriand and beef marrow with triple cooked chips. Not shown is the asparagus and green salad. Really, we ate some vegetables.

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