At the end of October, my assistant and I went to England. The purpose was twofold. We went to shoot a wedding, but also decided to stay for a week after the wedding to go on vacation. My assistant is also my best friend, and we had not taken a nice vacation together in about two years. We visited London, Warwick, and Oxford. We sampled food from all over the world including Spain, Mexico, Portugal, and Turkey. We visited an 1100-year-old castle. This is the stuff dreams are made of. Castles... Food... Well, my dreams, anyways.
Anna and Caleb's wedding took place in Catford, a suburb of London. We hung out with the bride all morning as she got ready. We talked with her and her bridesmaids about grad school and the differences between American and British English idioms and sayings. The ceremony was held in a well-lit church, which allowed me to get great photos. At the reception, we sampled delicious Turkish food and wine, which was followed by a lot of dancing. Here are some sample photos from Anna and Caleb's wedding.
The day after the wedding, we headed over to Warwick to meet up with our friend Adam. When Ariel and I were getting off the train from London to Warwick, we got separated as the train doors closed too quickly, and she got stuck inside after I stepped onto the platform. That was scary. Thankfully, we seem to have read each other's minds. Adam and I rushed to the next train stop where we found Ariel sitting on her pink duffel bag. Adam lives around the corner from Warwick Castle. I've never visited a castle that had medieval reenactments. The entire staff walks around dressed in medieval garb. Too cool!
One of my favorite things about Warwick was having tea at Thomas Oken Tea Rooms. This tea house is over 500-years-old. The chinaware was gorgeous, the tea was tasty, and the scones were to die for! The atmosphere was so relaxed, and all around us, we could hear different languages being spoken. We loved the experience. That night, we had a delectable meal at Tasca Dali, a Spanish Tapas restaurant. The owner was a lot of fun. He stood by our table and spoke Spanish with us. We loved Warwick!
Our next stop was Oxford. I had wanted to visit Oxford for so long. I'm a big, big fan of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as well as the sequel Through the Looking Glass and what Alice Found There. I wanted to see the town and the University that inspired so many important authors. The Bed and Breakfast we booked was adorable. The walls were covered with antique wallpaper. It's the little things. We visited Alice's Gift Shop and then wandered the streets of downtown Oxford without having anywhere to be. What a fantastic feeling. We had lunch outdoors, and early in the afternoon, we took a train back to London.
The evening we got back to London, we had dinner at Cafe in the Crypt, which is a restaurant in the crypt of St. Martin in the Fields Church. Afterwards, we wandered around London. We saw the London Eye, the Big Ben, and then had a drink at the Sherlock Holmes Pub. The next day was almost exclusively dedicated to shopping. We started the day by going to a Portuguese cafe, Lisboa Patisserie, for breakfast. It helped to assuage my constant homesickness for Portugal and Portuguese food. We saw most of Notting Hill district, which was absolutely lovely. Ariel and I could probably spend an entire week shopping for cool clothes and antiques at Portobello Road. We wanted to buy everything. That night, we had dinner at Nando's, a Portuguese Peri-Peri Chicken restaurant. Later, we stopped at Tesco to stock up on Kinder Eggs , Cadbury Chocolate, and Maltesers to bring home. We didn't want to leave. It was a really great trip.
All in all, we had the BEST time, and we can't wait to go back and see more of England and the UK. It was great hanging out with old friends and making new friends. I hope Ariel and I can go back in the near future!