With thanks to our hotel’s personable front desk staffer, our first London meal at The Two Chairmen came strongly recommended not only for its proximity to our destination but also for being a bit off the tourist track. It’s somewhat hidden from the madness of the trifecta of Westminster Abbey, Westminster Palace, and Big Ben, which as we saw is still going through a facelift, but not too far to be unreachable. The delicious buttermilk fried chicken burger hit the spot for me well enough for the several hours we spent in the area – it was honest pub food and was exactly the lunch we needed that day. It was odd to find pre-teen kids being brought into a pub, and a bit annoying as they sat next to us quite loudly, but we were nearly the only ones there for lunch and enjoyed some nice peace and quiet for most of the time.
Since our tour of Westminster Palace didn’t start until mid-afternoon, we had time to kill by walking around – and like nectar to a bee got drawn into the nearby Churchill War Rooms Museum, where the powerful elite charted the country’s course in World War II. It was a good precursor to the only thing we planned that day – to see where John Bercow sat in the House of Commons.
The £22 to get in at the War Rooms Museum was I suppose worth the price, though not entirely for those who aren’t into 20th century history. And sad to say photos aren’t allowed inside Westminster Palace, an archaic practice for what is probably an equally archaic institution – I can appreciate that it could be for security reasons though it would be naive to think that any part of the structure isn’t documented by enemies of the union at this point. Same sentiment can be said about not giving out ear pieces to tour participants – booming voices from tour guides, especially one with throat challenges as the one we had yesterday could be easily avoided. Methinks the land of Shakespeare and Churchill still has trouble keeping up with the times.