Grafton Arms in London

This is the last post from our trip to Europe- hopefully one day we’ll get to go back so I can visit more places…three days in London wasn’t nearly long enough. Our first day there we went on a guided tour of the city and saw the majority of all the landmarks you should see…so the last two days we spent a lot of time just wandering around. It was on one of those walks when we were looking for food that we stumbled across a place called Grafton Arms, a pub we hadn’t seen before, so we gave it a try.

It was bigger than most of the pubs we’d visited- although still small compared to what we are used to here at home. We ordered food and beers from the bar and then went to sit at one of the tables. The beer we got was called London Glory- described on their website as ” a rich and fruity brew that combines crystal malt with challenger
and goldings hops.” I thought it was decent; I do prefer darker beers which I didn’t see on tap there, but this one was just fine to have with dinner.

While waiting on our food, I noticed that all of the artwork on the walls were cartoon drawings of something called The Goon Show, which sounded vaguely familiar to me but I couldn’t figure out why. After a quick search of the pub & The Goon Show on my phone, I realized I had stumbled onto a pretty cool place, being the radio geek that I am. This particular pub, according to their website, has an upstairs room which was used by Spike Milligan and other members of the Goons and was where some of the first scripts for the Goon Show were written. (The Goon Show was a British radio comedy program in the 50’s that starred, among others, Milligan and Peter Sellers). So for me, that was just another reason to love this place- plus the artwork was pretty cool and made for a fun atmosphere.

So the food- this was honestly the best food I had while in London. Eric got fish and chips, which we’d had a couple of days before at an outdoor market. And while that was good, the fish and chips here at Grafton Arms was a lot better. (Obviously I took a bite). I ordered the chicken and mushroom pie with mashed potatoes. First of all, if I could eat this kind of food daily, I would. This meal is exactly what I think of when I think of pub food, and it didn’t disappoint. I would highly recommend this place, and I hope one day I get a chance to go back!

London Grafton Arms 4London Grafton Arms 1London Grafton Arms 2London Grafton Arms 3London Grafton Arms 5

London- The Red Lion Westminster

In my last post I promised some photos of my two favorite pubs we visited while in London. We went to many, but two really stood out for me based on their atmosphere and of course the beer and the food.

The first place is The Red Lion in Westminster. It was, like most places we went to, in walking distance from our hotel which was a bonus. This pub is right by Big Ben, so it’s in a busy area and it always seems to be full. We visited it twice- the first time we couldn’t get a seat inside so we sat outside on the benches up against the side of the building.

The second time we snagged a table inside, so we were able to grab some food as well. I didn’t get any pictures of the food…it was after a long walk and I didn’t think about taking photos until I was halfway finished eating- when I’m hungry I don’t have the greatest concentration, sorry! Our food was fantastic though, we decided to order food that’s probably considered a little less traditionally English; Eric got a jerk-spiced chicken sandwich and I had the Chickpea Falafel Flatbread. I love falafel and I love a good flatbread, so I was happy.

The other nice thing about The Red Lion is they serve Fuller’s beer, which is Eric’s favorite. He was so happy to be able to actually have a Fuller’s London Pride on tap while IN London. As for me, I tend to like darker beers (yes even in the summer) so I went with the Fuller’s London Porter, and it’s quite possibly MY favorite new beer. I’m usually a fan of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, which is also an English beer, but the Fuller’s London Porter was quite an experience. Or maybe it didn’t hurt that we were drinking it in a really cute pub while looking at Big Ben and Parliament. Needless to say, we enjoyed the Red Lion very much, I believe it’s the only place we visited more than once, and if we get to go to London again I’d definitely go back. Next time, I’ll tell you all about the pub where I found my favorite thing I ate while in London!

London Red LionLondon red lion 2london red lion 1

London In Pictures

I’ve told you all about our trip to Prague this past summer…after we left Prague we went to London for three days. Once we actually got there it was great- there was a connecting flight from Prague to Rome that we barely made, and our luggage did NOT make it, so that made the first day and a half of our stay in London a little stressful- but finally we got our bags and all was good.

London is a place I’ve always wanted to go since I can remember. I think part of it is because nearly all of the music I love comes from there- Bowie, the Beatles, the Stones, for example, so I’ve always gravitated towards English things. My mom was a big fan of Princess Diana, and even though I was really little I do remember watching her wedding on tv, so getting to see Buckingham Palace in person was pretty awesome.

When we got home so many people asked me what my favorite part of London was… but I can’t think of just ONE thing. I think my favorite part was just being there. I want to go back again for sure!! We did stop by a few pubs that I really loved, and I’ll share those experiences separately because I just have SO many pictures from the trip! The photos below are some of my favorites- you can always follow me on Instagram at KarenOnTheAir for more!

London 21London 20London 18London 19London 22London 23

londonLondon 1London 2London 3London 4London 5London 6London 7London 8London 9London 10London 11London 12London 13London 14London 15London 16London 17London 24London 25

Prague- Food & Drinks in Pictures

So being a foodie one of the best things about getting the chance to travel abroad was the prospect of checking out foods I’d never had before. While in Prague, we did mostly eat breakfast at the hotel since it was free & we tried to save money where we could. I did however have probably THE best gruyere omelette I’ve ever had at a little cafe one morning while we were out. The downside was, I didn’t get many photos of the food while we were there- usually because we walked everywhere we went & I was SO hungry by the time the food got to us! In addition to that omelette, I also had great Mexican food, of all things, while in Prague, and we had pizza twice and it was fantastic as well. I did however get photos of ice cream & some adult beverages while we explored the city that I want to share!

I didn’t get a photo of that omelette, but this is the coffee I ordered along with it- and it tasted as good as it looks!

prague coffee

Now let’s talk ice cream. Right down the street from our hotel there was this little ice cream stand surrounded by other shops & a farmer’s market. The longest line was always for this dessert- The Trdelnik is a Czech pastry that’s used as the cone, it’s a dough that’s wrapped around a stick and grilled- and then it’s filled with some of the most awesome ice cream I’ve ever had. I was able to snap a few pictures while in line..

prague ice cream 3prague ice cream 2prague ice cream 1

Now let’s talk bars. There were two that we went to that I really loved- one was called Bar & Books, and it was just that. A bar, that kind of looks like an old yet fancy den or study, filled with all kind of books on the shelves. They had some really fun mixed drinks on their menu…here are a few that the group of us had, and a snapshot of the inside of the bar.

My favorite place we went to was the Hemingway Bar, named after the famous author who used to frequent this place years ago. The first thing that I noticed before walking in was a list of bar rules- ..I’m sorry to say I broke a few rules while there…no vulgar language, I can’t do that!!

prague hemingway 7prague hemingway 4prague hemingway 1

In addition to the unique atmosphere, they had some of the most fun drink presentations I’ve ever seen!

As I mentioned above, we had some really great Mexican food in Prague- something I wasn’t really expecting! The restaurant we went to was called Agave, if you’re ever in that area, I highly recommend checking it out! I had their carnitas burrito- I always order carnitas when I go to a new Mexican place, it’s one of my favorite things & Agave didn’t disappoint. Again, I wish I had taken a photo before I started to eat, but there was no waiting around once that plate hit the table! However I did order a strawberry margarita after dinner, and I think it’s the prettiest margarita I’ve ever seen- just as delicious too! prague drink 1

So that’s about it for my Prague photos…up next I’ll be tackling the London portion of the trip…I still have SO many pictures to sift through, so hopefully I’ll have those up for you soon!

Prague in Pictures

This past July I was lucky enough to go to Europe for 2 weeks. I’ve rarely traveled in my life- something I hope to rectify- so going to another country was something I never thought I’d get the chance to do. My husband Eric & his co-workers had a conference in Prague that they had to go to, and I was able go along. Eric & I had always talked about going to London one day, which we did after we left Prague- but that’s a whole other post for another time!

To be honest, I didn’t know very much at all about Prague before we went, other than geographically where it was located, that it was very old, and that Prague is known for their beer. (Sign me up!) What I didn’t expect was to absolutely fall in love with it. Not having been many places this may not mean much, but to me it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited- it was so overwhelming to be surrounded by buildings that were so old & full of history! We walked everywhere- so I didn’t feel bad for all of the eating & drinking we did…but my FitBit probably thought it was stolen. I don’t think we walked less than 20,000 steps each day, but it was so worth it to see this place. The weather was fantastic & the people were extremely nice. To me it’s hard to put in words, so I thought I’d post some of my favorite photos I took while there- this is nowhere near all of them- to see more, you can check out my Instagram account at KarenOnTheAir.

There are other photos I want to share- of some of the food and drinks we had while in Prague, but I’ll save that for next time!

prague1prague 7prague 18prague 19prague 3prague 4prague 6prague 5prague 8prague 2prague 12prague 13prague 14prague 15prague 16prague 17prague 10prague 9prague 11