January 18, 2018

A London Travel Diary: Part 1

The minute our plane touched down in London this past November, I was home. London is not only my favorite city but it's my favorite place on earth. I can't believe I let five years go by without a proper trip to London and that definitely won't happen again. We're already planning a trip back later this year.

As with almost all of our trips, this one was pretty last minute. We flew out the day after I got home from Seattle. We booked an Airbnb in Notting Hill and landed bright and early on a Monday morning. Heathrow is always a bit of a disaster when it comes to clearing Customs so by the time we got out of the airport and made it to Central London, we only had about 90 minutes to kill before we had to check in, so we popped over to Granger & Co for breakfast. We had eaten at one of Bill Granger's restaurants in Sydney and loved the food! I don't know how it's possible that he makes such good eggs but seriously, his restaurants have the best scrambled eggs you'll ever eat!

We checked into our place, took a quick nap, and freshened up before heading out for the day. I never shop back home but when I'm in London, I always start my trip with shopping! Some of my favorite pieces are from my last trip to London (yes, five years ago!). We started at Primark (and splurged on their new Harry Potter collection!) on Tottenham Court Road and then made our way down Regent and Street. 

For dinner, we went to Wagamama and ate so much food! I know Wagamama is a chain but when I was living in London, there was one right in the High Street that my friends and I used to go to. Wagamama is full of memories and damn good food and I wouldn't skip it!

After dinner, we walked down Carnaby Street and eventually made our way to Piccadilly Circus. We did some shopping at Lily White's, Waterstones (book), Fortnum & Mason, and Hatchard's (more books) before calling it a night and heading back to Notting Hill for a round of pints at the neighborhood pub, the Prince Alfred

The next morning, we woke up to a fairly typical rainy fall morning in London. 

Our first stop was the Tower of London. I had visited the Tower on my first trip to London (when I was 16!) and had just finished my first Phillipa Gregory book (and didn't really know anything about British history) but The Pilot had never been and I really wanted to go back!

From there, we decided to check out the newly opened Sky Garden. While it was really cool up there, I don't recommend going on a rainy day. The whole point of the Sky Garden is the view and, with rain and low visibility, it wasn't really worth the trip. It's free so it wasn't a total disappointment but I would try to plan for a better day!

We left the Sky Garden and made our way to Borough Market to wander around. 

Borough Market is definitely better on designated market days but it's also super crowded. It wasn't a market day so there weren't as many stalls open but I love wandering around this market! It's one of my favorites!

Next, we made our way the Strand and bought some tea at Twinings. We had banoffee crepes at Creme de la Crepe in Covent Garden and listened to live music. We stopped at yet another bookstore, Foyle's (we, ok fine, I bought SO many books on this trip!) and then we bought tickets for the West End production of An American in Paris (which, I didn't actually like). After the show, we had a late night dinner at Byron

It was the perfect start to our London trip and I couldn't understand why we had let five years pass between visits. We've both traveled a lot and while I have a lot of favorite places, London will always be "my place." I love going back and pining for the city that always feels like home the second I land!

Stay tuned for with more details our trip!

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