Playing Tourist

Living so close to London and visiting so often, it’s easy to forget that there’s really obvious things you should visit. I’ve only visited Buckingham Palace a handful of times, and never been inside. I’ve seen Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. I’ve stood underneath the London Eye and been the Millennium Dome (O2) a lot of times. But I’d never been inside Westminster Abbey, so on Monday we decided to fix that.

We’d decided where we wanted to eat dinner but wanted to miss any potential busy spells so had a late breakfast, decided to miss lunch and have an early dinner. I’d seen a recipe on Pinterest I wanted to try so this seemed like a good day for it. Banana pancakes which are literally 2 ingredients – 1 banana and 2 eggs. Mash the banana, whisk in the whole eggs (I tried to get as much air into them as I could) and I added a sprinkle of cinnamon. I sprayed the frying pan with some 1 Cal cooking spray and then spooned the mixture in. I was able to make 6 small pancakes but I could have easily made a short stack of regular sized ones.

pancakes

I topped mine with a few banana slices and a drizzle of honey. They were so delicious – I would have eaten them on Tuesday too had I not used up all the eggs!

A humid day I was determined that shorts and sandals were the way to go, but the sky looked gloomy. As we got off the tube we could feel spots of rain on our skin. A short wait outside the Abbey and we were inside and undercover. The Abbey is beautiful and there’s so much to see. We were in there a good few hours before we knew we had to leave and get a drink and something sweet to perk us up again. We headed for Whole Foods to have a mooch before heading for dinner. I found some wonderful looking things:

photo

There’s organic fruit breath mints in berry flavour, American BBQ Rub, Australian Liquid Smoke, lemonade VitaCoco (which I’ve been wanting to try for ages – incidentally, stay tuned for my big VitaCoco review), Green Tea matcha Mylk, and a GoMacro bar. I could have bought so much more too. I love Whole Foods! I’m especially looking forward to trying the liquid smoke and bbq rub!

We headed to Kingly Court in Carnaby to a restaurant that has only been opened for 2 weeks, called Stax. It promises authentic food from the American Deep South – just take a look at their menu and you’ll salivate. I was sold at chicken & waffles but when Gary saw fried green tomatoes and battered pickles we couldn’t wait to try it. Not only that but they serve homemade sweet tea, lemonade and pink lemonade.

staxview

We were seated by the window and brought a bottle of water with ice and lime in the glasses. The menus were shaped like paddle fans and it didn’t take us long to let the wonderful waitress know what we wanted. I ordered an Arnold Palmer to drink which is half lemonade half iced tea. Perfect!

stax

The view from our seat overlooked the rest of Kingly Court and we could see the hustle and bustle from inside, but since the window front was open we felt like we were dining outside even though we were dry from the spatters of rain that were trying their hardest outside.

The food arrived and did not disappoint.

waffles

I know it sounds picky but I like to taste the ingredients I’m eating. The chicken tasted like chicken! and I could taste the seasoning in the batter. The waffles were amazing, the pickles boiling hot but delicious dipped into the ranch dressing and having tasted Gary’s chips I was delighted by the fact that they tasted like potatoes – and seasoned wonderfully! I tried a bit of Gary’s fried green tomato burger too – so good! We were so full but both ordered desert so that we could at least try it. I had a Duffin sundae – the Duffin invented by Stax’s owner and head chef Bea. Our food was cooked by Bea herself and we were delighted to be able to tell her how much we had enjoyed her food! We’ll definitely be back – I need to try their brunch menu and also order some fried green tomatoes for myself!

We had some time to kill before our train so went to Liberty for a mooch and to escape the rain – any excuse to eye up some pretty Manolo Blahniks. By the time we got home we were both exhausted and needed to head to bed as we had a run planned for the morning, which we weren’t allowed to skip, especially after eating all that amazing food!

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One thought on “Playing Tourist

  1. Those pancakes look and sound great. So easy to whip up quickly on a morning. Will have to give them a try!
    I’d never been to London until I was 23. Dan took me down and we did all the touristy things then, but I’ve never really been back. A couple of times for events, but I’ve never stayed down since and there’s still so much I’ve never seen or done.

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