London – Day 5 – July 14, 2019
Headed off to Tower Hamlets Community Church. This is the church that Colin and I attended when we were dating and after we were married. Our friend, Tony Udin, from YWAM and his wife Anni are the pastors. It’s a great, multi-cultural, community-focused church and it was a joy to be there. Both the boys attended classes and had a great time.
There were still people attending from when we used to attend and it was good to see them as well as meet new people over tea and coffee afterwards. Zane was impressed with the treats on offer afterwards.
A bunch of the old crew headed off to Spitalfields Market after church – G&B, Tony & Annie, Claire and her son, Micah. We met up with our other Clare and everyone dispersed to get some lunch. There are heaps of food trucks as well as more permanent places in the market. When we used to go to the market after church on Sundays, the market had a few food places and a rustic market where people sold handmade goods. It was actually at this market that Colin and I decided on a design for my engagement ring and local jewelry maker made it for us. It wasn’t ever super crowded. These days, it’s crazy on a Sunday afternoon – there are heaps of built in shops and restaurants, tons of vendors, and thousands of people!
I really wanted to get falafel as that was one of my favourite things to get in the past. We found a falafel place and they made us an amazing falafel pita. It just so happened that right next door was a Jamaican place so we got a patty, a Ting, and a grape soda. Now to find a place where we could all hang out and catch up.
One of my favourite things about London is that you are never very far from a green space. Parks, church yards, and gardens. Right next to the bustling market were some gardens that belonged to local residents, but they were open to the public at certain times. Clare let us in on this secret and we found ourselves in a lovely green and quiet space and were able to spend time enjoying our lunch, chatting, laughing, and catching up while the boys ran around and played with their new friend, Micah.
After saying goodbye to some of our friends, another friend, Karen, and her family joined us and we sat and chatted for a while. It really is amazing to reconnect in real life with all these quality people.
On a side note, when we were preparing to go to London, we had a serious chat with the boys that they would be near us the whole time we were there – never far away, always in eye sight. They were getting a bit restless by now as we chatted and told stories. We had seen a koi pond earlier on the other side of the market. They asked repeatedly if they could go back to it. I took a deep breath and gave stern instructions to stay together, and just sent them off by themselves into the wilds of London! They were fine.
After we said goodbye to our friends, we still had a few things on the list for the day and they were all pretty close. We had a look at the Gherkin, which used to stand out so much, but is more understated now that there are more buildings around it, it’s still a great building though. We went to Leadenhall Market and found some cool art. Graeme was following the cricket and keeping us updated on the results.
Then we wandered through The City towards St Dunstan-in-the-East. The City on a Sunday evening is perfect to see the sights, and enjoy the architecture and art as there are no crowds. St Dunstan was one of my Pinterest finds and it did not disappoint. It’s a garden inside the ruins of an old church. We had it to ourselves for most of the time we were there and it closed right after we left. It was a bit magical.
By this time, everyone was feeling a bit hangry and we headed off to find dinner. We happened upon Savage Gardens which was quite cool as Truly, Madly, Deeply by Savage Garden was one of the songs at our wedding that my sister and brother-in-law sang. Colin sang a lovely rendition for us.
We had a lovely pub meal and everyone revived a bit. Had a great pint of Black Dragon cider which had such a different taste – very honey-like, but not too sweet.
We went over our plans for the next couple of days and headed back to the hotel. It was nearly 11 pm and time for bed!