When I was six years old, I played tennis for the first time. It was a total accident, a trip to the park turned into a basic lesson from a family friend, and now today it is my favorite sport both to play and watch. Thus, a trip to Wimbledon was on the agenda while in London. Even waiting for the tour of the grounds to begin, it was incredible to see the draw boards, still intact from the last tournament in July. I made sure to find Venus Williams’ name and track her matches all the way to the finals. Also, I saw a gorgeous poster of all the 2017 winners. Special props to Claire Liu (second row second from the right) for winning the junior girls singles. Always great to see an American come out on top!
Other highlights from the tour of Wimbledon included seeing the BBC studios, the Hill, and the press room where players are interviewed post matches. Since the courts are currently not in use, the nets have been taken down so they just look like large rectangular patches of grass. Even centre court looked like this, but it was still a surreal feeling standing above it. I also got a chance to see the Wimbledon museum. It’s broken up by decade, so you get a chance to see how the tournament has progressed over the years, even since the late 1800s. Each decade has a corresponding little room filled with key remnants. Pictured above is that of the 2000s, and front and center is Maria Sharapova’s signed dress from her Wimbledon victory in 2004.
Not only did I take in some sports history this past week, I also got to play as well! Junkyard Golf is a super cool and creative mini golf course that has four different courses to choose from. I chose the Bozo course which, obviously, is creepy clown themed. I picked this one as a joke because, fun fact, I am terrified of clowns but after playing it I’ve decided I’m just afraid of actual clowns and not clown objects. Since I was alone and it wasn’t too crowded I was instructed to challenge one of the staff members since, if I won, they would buy me a drink. I did absolutely horribly and came nowhere near winning but the kind staff member still bought me a can of PBR.
Sorry if you think the images in this post are taking a dark turn, I promise it’s mostly food after this. Junkyard is located in Shoreditch, which I’ve recently discovered is probably the *it* neighborhood in London right now. There is graffiti literally everywhere and tons of restaurants and bars catering to a younger crowd. As you can see from the two images, the graffiti does tend to be a bit dark and very politically charged, but there’s the occasional cute cartoon also.
A few days later, I came back to Shoreditch for dinner at Dinerama, another food hall that reminded me a bit of Pop Brixton that I mentioned a few posts back, except it’s almost entirely indoors and all the vendors are in the same space. I had a delicious burger and waffle fries from Burger & Beyond! Yum!
I also popped in Ozone Coffee for a quick peppermint hot chocolate because it can get quite cold here in London past sundown. The shop was incredibly cool and a perfect place to get some work done. Regarding the hot chocolate, no complaints on flavor, only size, because I don’t think I’ve ever been served such a tiny beverage.
My final Shoreditch adventure was to Trapeze Bar, a fun circus themed spot with all night happy hour on Wednesdays! I ordered the “Would I Lychee to You…?” which is a mixture of rum, lychee, raspberry, and basil. Quite good, and I loved the charming pink cups the drinks were served in.
This is a picture of Ruskin Park, which is located right by where I’m staying. No fun stories here yet (except running though it trying to catch a train) but I just wanted to say I appreciate having it right around the corner.
I also stopped for brunch at a super cute place called The Table. By stopped, I mean overslept by forty-five minutes, frantically got ready, Ubered over, and still arrived after my food had already been served so it totally looked like I had stood my friend up. Then, we had a bit of a disaster at our table when my friend missed the cup and accidentally poured water all over her breakfast. We both got the same thing, the Breakfast Bruschetta, leading to a day full of “druken bruschetta” inside jokes, even though neither of us had a drop of alcohol! Needless to say, I bet the Table wants nothing to do with us ever again.
After brunch, we headed over to Borough Market for a Bread Ahead doughnut. This is salted caramel topped with honeycomb, beautiful to look at and super yummy to eat (except the honeycomb, not the biggest fan of it.)
We then went to the Tate Modern to look at some art. This was my second time at this museum, but I had only gotten through half of it the first time, so I got to see the rest. My favorites were a room full of hanging sculptures that you could walk through (picture number one) and Bruce Nauman’s neon paintings that made absolutely no sense but were a lot of fun to look at and photograph.
Something new at the Tate was a jungle gym-esque sculpture on the ground floor that was full of swings! I felt like a kid again!
And, of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to the Tate without a trip to floor ten, the outdoor observatory. Hello, Shard!
Ta-ta for now,