Recently had the opportunity to travel down to Londinium on the company's dime. That's always sweet. The first thing that makes me laugh is travelling down there from Scotland. The fight from Edinburgh to Heathrow is just under an hour. Which is approximately what the flight time between Houston and Austin is. Mileage wise, it's almost twice as long - 400 miles between Edinburgh and London vs. about 160 miles between Houston and Austin. Except you don't get that sweet, free British Airways booze for free on the flight to Houston - unless you're taking British Airways to Houston, I guess.
After finishing with company business, I had the chance to slip away down to Londinium for a poke around the City.
My time was to be limited, so I had to stick to just a few of the key highlights. I figured I'd make my way to Soho, see Big Ben, check out East London and then back to the tourist mecca that is Wembley.
My first stop, after checking Wikipedia, of course, was the destination of none other than the legendary Marquee Club in Soho! Why is this place famous, you ask? Well, I don't know if you might have heard of a little band called The Rolling Stones who used to play there?
Nowadays the club is the home to a Ann Summers lingerie shop, which somehow seems weirdly appropriate. While in SoHo I had a falafel, which was pretty good, but I got a look when I handed the counterperson a Scottish £10 note to pay for my middle eastern goodness. You'd think that in London they'd be more used to seeing notes from all over the country (yeah, Scotland is part of the same country guys, remember?) but they sometimes give you a hard time if you try to use non-English currency. Don't even think about trying to spend some of those crazy Space Shuttle £5 notes from Northern Ireland there....
My final destination for the evening was the White Hart pub in East London (that's it up there at the top of the article) and the only stop of my aborted Jack the Ripper Tour. I thought I had more time than I did, so I wound up calling the tour off after one stop, but it was a good one. The White Hart pub is where Ripper suspect George Chapman lived. Well, not in the pub, exactly, but right underneath.
There was even a creepy Jack the Ripper-esque arched alleyway conveniently behind the pub that I didn't take a picture of. But it was there! And creepy!
I didn't manage to piece together the Ripper mystery while I was there (perhaps it was the same person behind the Servant Girl Murders in Austin!) , but I did manage to sip on a nice pint of Spitfire beer.
I returned early enough to Wembley to hopefully have a nightcap on my way to the hotel room, but the town was closed. I mean EVERYTHING was closed.
If you're ever looking for a late night drink in Wembley, you're much better off having a drink with Jack the Ripper, or trying on some panties in the Rolling Stones lingerie shop .