LONDON CALLING

London Calling The annual Taste of English Football trip saw its largest group yet make their way across the pond where they spent 6 days/5 nights at the beautiful Rembrandt Hotel located in South Kensington, London.

The group had 19 participants this year with a mix of families, couples and staff many of which were traveling to England for the very first time. On Thursday the group departed from Logan Airport (Boston, MA) and made the short trip across the Atlantic via Delta Airlines. The group arrived as the sun was rising early Friday morning at London Heathrow Airport (billed as one of the busiest international hubs in the world). After making their way through customs, everyone hopped on the famous London Underground, or "Tube" and traveled on the Piccadilly Line to South Kensington station, located in West London. After checking into the hotel, everyone was able to explore London on their own and take in the sights and sounds of the historic city.

On Saturday, the group departed from the hotel and caught a train on the Southern Railway Service Line to Brighton. Brighton is located just an hour south of London and abuts the English Channel. The famous tourist town plays host to thousands of Londoners every year who hope to spend some time by the sea and more importantly in the sun! The group attended the Brighton & Hove Albion v Crystal Palace match which is referred to as the M23 Derby. Derbies (or local rivalries) over in England are fiery affairs and this certainly didn't disappoint. The atmosphere was fantastic and 30,000 Seagull supporters were willing their team on for 90 minutes but despite loads of chances and arguably being the better side, Palace were able to score in the second half which saw them run out winners on the day. Even though the result wasn't the best, the group certainly enjoyed the atmosphere and beautiful stadium.

Sunday served up more Premier League soccer for the group as they all made their way to North London to see Tottenham Hotspur against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Tottenham have recently moved into a brand new, 61,000-seater stadium which sits on the site of their old famous ground White Hart Lane. The brand-new stadium is similar to NFL stadiums back in America which is one of the reasons why it is the newest venue to host NFL games in London. Both teams are currently pushing for a European place and they went into the game sitting 6th and 7th in the league table. The game had everything in it and was tied 2-2 until late in the game when Wolves' in form forward Raul Jimenez scored the decisive winner which saw them leave with all three points.

After packing in two high profiled Premier League matches in two days the group was able to enjoy some leisurely time in the city known as 'The Big Smoke'. The usual tourist attractions were sought out including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Tower of London. The famous clock, Big Ben, was getting a long overdue facelift so it was adorned with scaffolds. In addition to seeing some of the famous sites, some people took in shows in the famous West End and did some shopping at the world renown Harrod's department store.

Early Wednesday morning, the group headed back to Heathrow once again via The Tube and were soon up in the air and making their way back to Boston. It was a fantastic few days in England spent with great company and everyone was able to enjoy London in their own special way. If you are interested in learning more about our international trips please email James Peterson at jpeterson@seacoastunited.com.