After waking up and barely checking out in time, we took off sight-seeing around London, completely thankful that our London hotel was kind enough to hold our luggage throughout the day. Our plane for Scotland didn’t leave until around 8pm so we had the majority of the day to fill. We did everything that was on my must-do list the day before, so the only possible idea I had for a London sight-seeing adventure was to cruise the River Thames. We were still getting accustomed to how cold it was compared to Texas, so a splashy boat ride along the river did not seem overly appealing.
Breakfast was priority one. We weren’t sure where we were going, but we did know that we did not want to pay for transportation until it was time to go to the airport. Andy turned to Google and found a nice sounding breakfast/brunch place that was within walking distance.
The walk ended up being lovely! Bill’s, the restaurant, is tucked away near the cutest little market street – complete with beautiful cobblestone streets. We didn’t have a reservation – oops – but the sweet staff fit us in at the bar with the option to move when a table opened up. We never took that option because the bar turned out to be the BEST place to sit. We spent over an hour chatting with several members of the staff and making friends. In addition, I got to marvel at their incredible selection of gin – which led me to ordering a delightfully refreshing gin cocktail. Andy even got to try a decadent hot chocolate for free because they had extra after making one!
All of the bartenders were friendly, but one stood out as our favorite. I just loved her vibrant personality! She was originally from County Clare in Ireland and seemed so excited that we planned to visit County Clare specifically during our honeymoon. We had too much fun chatting with her.
Our food was amazing as well. I got a perfectly executed Eggs Benedict with a side of chips and Andy ordered pancakes to satisfy his sweet tooth. We overheard a customer order a soy, decaf latte, no sugar and our sassy County Clare friend, aghast, declared, “What’s the point?” I had to agree with her – what is the point of that? Can a decaf coffee even be considered coffee?
We finished our meal, and, in a touching turn of events, found out that our entire bill was on the house as a honeymoon gift. The sweet and spirited bartender from County Clare that we had been enjoying chatting with was actually the manager! Crazy, right? I gave her a hug in thanks, and she told us to enjoy Ireland.
We wandered around for a bit after leaving Bill’s. Andy wanted to find the Yamaha store since it was much larger in London than in Texas, but it was still early so we weren’t in a rush. We saw a massive M&M store and, curious, we decided to poke in. It was EXTREME. Two floors of M&M’s and M&M merchandise. Any type of M&M you could think of, they had it, anything you could think of that should/could have an M&M logo on it, they had it – they even had a machine that would print your FACE on an M&M! Why?!
Well… we couldn’t walk in there and just NOT get M&M’s, so we each got a bag and filled it up modestly. I’m not being coy about that either, neither of us filled our bag to the halfway point. I got dark chocolate and peanut M&M’s in various shades of pink, and I added Skittles – freaking Skittles! – to the same bag. It was glorious! Andy mainly got the crispy M&M’s and he didn’t give a flip about the color options, so his entire bag stuck to the primary colors. Talk about a missed opportunity.
The place was teaming with people – swarming – elbow to elbow! It was a crush crowd, which was another reason neither of us filled our bag up halfway. I’m not pushing through a sea of people (or anything) for M&M’s. We waited in a line that was way too long to pay for these meager bags – each regretting the experience a bit by the time we got to the register. Then the cashier hit me with the price. 15 pounds – for two small bags of M&M’s. 15 POUNDS!!! My mind is still blown! I walked out of the store laughing – Andy was just shell-shocked. And that is the story of the most expensive M&M’s I have ever purchased.
We completely by-passed the Lego store across the street, determined that we were not going to be robbed again and, instead, walked to the Yamaha store. This place is a mecca. Absolutely gorgeous, high-end instruments – all Yamaha. I didn’t realize Yamaha made such beautiful, high-end instruments until I walked into this store! It’s sectioned off so you walk through a piano room, a guitar/bass room, a drum room, you get the point. It’s huge and very, very cool.
We eventually made our way back to the hotel and called an Uber to bring us to the airport.
We caught our plane to Scotland and landed around 930pm. It was FREEZING – way colder in Scotland than in anywhere else we went during our travel. We called an Uber (it really was the least expensive way to get around) to bring us to our apartment and – holy goodness – we were both instantly impressed with Edinburgh! It is absolutely beautiful and historical. Everything rings with an old-fashioned flare in the best of ways. We stayed on Grassmarket St. and I completely loved our location and its perfect walkability to everything we were interested in visiting during our stay. We could even see the Edinburgh castle from our apartment window!
We checked into our apartment and instantly ventured back out to find food. Most places were closed, but we found this cool, high-end bar called Ox184 that served food until 3am. The food was sensational! Andy and I both got steak, and I ordered an old fashion. It was seriously the best steak and old fashion I have ever had in my existence. After we ate, we walked around the town, not at all concerned at how dark and cold it was. We were fueled by the delicious food and the sheer brilliant beauty of the city around us. I was, and still am, transfixed by how completely wonderful Scotland is. Andy tagged several places that he wanted to take photos of in the daytime, then we made our way back to our apartment, ridiculously excited to tour Edinburgh the following day.