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Walking Along South Bank

As you know from my Night Walk and St. James’s Park posts, one of my favorite things to do in London is to walk around. Often the best way to get to know a city is by wandering around without a plan!

My latest walk started at the Westminster tube station. My friend and I crossed over the bridge to the south bank of the Thames and walked past the London Eye. It was a beautiful yet slightly cloudy day.

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We continued along the south bank of the river, taking in the wonderful views of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

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When we spotted The Shard in the distance, we thought it’d be fun to go up to the top. That is, until we discovered that it costs £24.95 if you book in advance or £29.95 the day of (if tickets are still available). That is a whole lot of money for a pretty view! So instead of paying that price, we decided to visit one of the ritzy bars inside The Shard. If you’re going to pay a lot of money for a view, you might as well have a fancy cocktail in your hand, right?!

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We went to Aqua Shard, a lovely bar and restaurant on the 31st floor of the building. We were lucky to get the last table by the window! After settling in, we got down to business and ordered drinks. I chose the Finsbury Punch, which is a combination of Belvedere, Stone’s Ginger Wine, Cocchi Americano, Jasmine Silver Tip tea cordial, plum bitters, peach bitters, and fresh grapefruit.

It was such a beautiful cocktail and tasted just as good as it looked:

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My friend ordered The Camomile Lawn, which is Sauternes and camomile tea reduction, Xante, quince liqueur, lemon thyme, champagne, and blue cheese-stuffed grapes. That cocktail was fabulous as well. I didn’t try the grapes, but I’m assuming they were delicious, as my friend finished them off very quickly.

The views from the 31st floor are absolutely stunning.

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We could see so much of London, even though it was cloudy and hazy outside. Imagine what it’s like on a perfectly clear day!

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I highly recommend going to The Shard, whether you go to the very top or enjoy the views at one of the many restaurants inside the building. We were only halfway up The Shard and the views were spectacular. I can’t even begin to imagine how beautiful it is at night.

Refreshed and rejuvenated from our cocktails, we continued our walk along the Thames and headed to Tower Bridge.

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The views from the middle of Tower Bridge are beautiful as well.

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As are the views from the other side of Tower Bridge.

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I could walk around this city forever.

~S

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I am #traveling across the #world for the next few weeks to #celebrate my #30thbirthday! Since I doubt there's wifi on the back of a #camel, I won't be posting until I get back on July 5th. Stay tuned for some amazing #travel stories!

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