London for a Day

As one of the coolest days one could ever have at “the office”, I have to share this day. Last week Wednesday I went up to London to experience what it’s like to scout for events for a big wine launch (The answer is: pretty cool).

My idiot moment of the day managed to take place approximately 40 mins into the day. I took the tube up to Waterloo Station in the rush hour, which sucks by the way, and I had been told to meet under the big clock. I arrived at Waterloo and came up about a hundred escalators to the main station. I was a bit early so I grabbed a coffee and started to look for the clock. The way everyone had spoken about it I was sure that it would be easy to find. Ha.

I walked around for ten minutes, but I really couldn’t see the clock. I thought that I was going mad, and started checking that I was definitely in the right station, but I was. Eventually, I was texting the lady I was supposed to be meeting and she phoned back and asked me if I was at the right station.

“Uh, yes!” I said, and I read off of the sign above my head, “Waterloo Underground Station!”

She laughed, and told me that I was still in the station below the main main station. What kind of maze is this place? (Just to justify my reasoning, the Underground Station is at street level with doors outside, so it was understandable to think that I was at the top level). Eventually, when I found the other escalators I walked into the main station. I almost literally kicked myself. This is what the clock looks like.

Waterloo Station Clock - Anne Brown

(source)

And then, just to show you how obviously visible it is to everyone in the whole station.

Underneath the clock, at Waterloo Station

(source)

So, that was a good start to the day.

Then the real work day started, and we got a taxi to Vinopolis, which is a really cool wine tasting experience. We got a tour of the place and event spaces, which was so so interesting. Then we took a trip over to the Tower of London (I’ve always wanted to go there, so that was a nice little quick touristy thing for me). As official visitors we had to get picture badges printed and we could skip the queue. The Tower of London is such a beautiful place. We went to see their event space, who knew the Tower of London has an event space? Apparently it’s quite popular for conferences, which would be a pretty different experience.

 

Totally met the only female Beefeater (who prefer to be called Yeomen) at the tower. (Grover was there too, more in his next adventures)

Then we crossed back to the Vaults at the RSA (Royal Society of Arts), which is a series of exposed brick vaults underneath the RSA building, which house a restaurant and kitchen. It is such a unique venue, and such an interesting place to visit.

After a quick lunch, of wraps at All Bar One,  we had a trip up the Shard! The Shard, if you don’t know, is the tallest building in the European Union (crazy!) and has viewing platforms on the top floors that give an uninterrupted view of the entire city. Even though we only went less than half way up the Shard, I checked, it felt like we were a lot higher. I do not do well with heights and the elevator goes up so quickly that you don’t really have time to adjust to suddenly being 32 floors off of the ground. My legs were shaking like crazy, but the views were beautiful.

 

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An artist’s installation of poppies, still a work in progress. Details here.

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At the Tower

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Tower Bridge!

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Lunch…

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“No seriously, we’re going up there.”

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“Are you sure….?”

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I did actually learn stuff that day, despite what it looks like, about what to look for in event spaces and what will work and what won’t. Most of the things that were asked, I wouldn’t have thought about until later, so it was quite an eyeopener. It was a beautiful day for it, and I saw so much of London, and Starbucks. I really really loved seeing the city, London is somewhere I never get tired of.

In the words of Samuel Johnson, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”

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