England v Lithuania
Sunday 26th March 2017
The tickets were a gift from my wife and we soon decided it would be great idea to turn one match into a weekend away in the big smoke with friends. I was as excited as a youngster going for the first time.
We chose to stay at the Hilton London Wembley and that was the first of many great finds that weekend. A fantastic, secure and reasonable priced carpark made life so easy getting in and out of London, even in the midst of 80,000 fans all escaping Wembley.
I don't want this to turn into a hotel review but a great hotel at a great price, in a perfect location for the game and for the tube straight into town. A lovely clean modern room with a view of Wembley Arch. Surrounded by a great open air shopping centre and restaurants all within in this new Wembley Park bubble.
We dropped the bags off and headed out for a look around to get our bearings, before we knew it we're on the tube heading into baker street. With a little bit of luck and help from google maps we navigated on foot our way through the beautiful streets of Marylebone lined with fine townhouses and swanky wine bars. Soho was lively as the sun was starting to set, lots of Londoners heading out for food and drinks making a real social event of their weekend.
Passing through Leicester Square and a few other tourist spots to our destination Covent Garden. We had a stroll around a few stalls making our way downstairs to Punch and Judy for a couple of local ales. Sat outside but under the cover of Covent Garden you could appreciate the atmosphere and buzz that London has to offer. It was that entertaining that we decided to grab a bite to eat at Jamie Olivers UnionJacks restaurant in which they provided heated seats and blankets on our laps that helped us stay comfortable as we drank and ate the night away.
A steady stroll to walk off the podge we had gained in our little heated Jamie oasis. Time was getting on but London showed no time of slowing, still plenty of tourists in the usual spots, locals filling the local boozer and bumper to bumper traffic everywhere. Our walk around the city found us on Carnaby st and a fore mentioned old fashioned boozer was calling us in for a nightcap. Filled with a mix of sorts it was everything I had hoped for, another big tick for the weekend away.
Carnaby st to Wembley is a good distance and with the clock heading for Midnight we decided to take a taxi, not just any old taxi. UBER. Another great find of the weekend, yes I may be late to UBER but in my everyday world I have little use for it. In a busy city with ever rising tube fares this seemed the best option, the driver was with us in 2 minutes and had already agreed to take us for less than 20 nicker before we even clapped eyes on him. Bargain.
Match day started with the typical full english and copious amounts of tea, a min shopping jaunt around Wembley to kill time. It took just a few minutes to take a few bags back to the car, we emerge and all of a sudden it feels like half of England has descended on Wembley Park, with the very friendly atmosphere building it was time to get in the mix with all the other fans. In light of last weeks terrible attack in London there was a lot less visible police than I expected.
Wembley Stadium is magnificent, the game was ok but the result was what we needed.
A swift exit, on the final whistle I add, not before. We marched with the crowd back to the hotel and headed back North to our Humble abode. From the Final Whistle to North Nottinghamshire took us just a total 3 hours and that included a refreshment pit stop.
LONDON - TICK