My blog will be taking a little bit of a travel turn today, as I have just spent 4.5 days in London! What an amazing city! I am so in love. The people are so friendly and kind, and the food we tried was delicious!
I flew in Thursday morning on a direct flight from EWR to Heathrow. It was a very easy flight that left around 10:30 pm, so I was able to sleep the whole way. My husband booked a room in Leicester Square, which was very easy to get to by underground from the airport. The only train that goes to the airport is the Piccadilly line, and the Leicester Square stop is 20 stops from the airport. It took a little over 45 mins and was only 3.1 pounds. I think it was definitely the most affordable way to get to our hotel.
My husband was in London for work, and he had to work the day I arrived. He also had a night event with his coworkers, so I had the whole day and night to explore on my own! It was so easy to occupy my time. I started by taking myself out to lunch at Browns Brasserie. I tried out their two course lunch from which I chose pea with mint soup and their version of fish and chips. I also had my first English breakfast tea. The food was amazing. So beautifully plated with a very delicious & unique spin on tartar sauce. I love how they bring each table their own tea pot. I don’t know if it was all in my head, but the tea was so much better than any tea I’ve had back home.
After lunch I headed back to our hotel in Leicester Square. I really liked the location of our hotel because there was always street performers out in the square and it’s so beautifully decorated with flowers and a fountain. We also had the TKTS booth right outside our hotel door, so I decided to buy myself a discounted ticket to see Waitress that night, as Katherine McPhee was the leading role. The ticket was only 30 pounds.
I did a lot of wandering around that first day, spending a lot of time watching the chalk artists at Trafalgar Square. It is completely insane how creative they are with chalk. I walked along the water to see the London Eye and tried to familiarize myself with the area. There were so many great stores to pop in. On my shopping list was a new cross body purse and some gold hoop earrings. I found the purse at Aspinal and the earrings at TopShop. I probably could have done some serious damage, however my luggage was already 42 lbs, so I had to tone it down a notch.
Waitress was so good and hilarious. Katherine McPhee was phenomenal. The plot line is a little strange, but the songs and acting were so fun. I laughed out loud often.
The next day, Dan was finished with work so we slept in a little and then set out to explore my love for the royal family. We started with a quick bite and coffee from Cafe Nerro, which was really good and has many locations and then we went over to Buckingham Palace. It was so beautiful and not incredibly far from Kensington Palace. We walked through Hyde Park in between, which had the most amazing birds. I could have sat there and watched them all day. They were so funny.
At Kensington Palace there was more places to walk around and explore like the sunken garden, a tour, and a small cafe with gift shop. We decided not to do the tour, but we did have afternoon tea at the cafe. We kept waiting for Prince William and Kate to join us, but no luck! We took the underground back to our hotel after Kensington Palace and showered up for dinner. We made reservations at the Chiltern Firehouse before coming to London. One of my friends from high school told us we should try this restaurant and she recommended to sit at the counter, which was such an awesome experience. You literally sit on the side of the kitchen and watch everything go down. It was amazing. I definitely couldn’t work in a kitchen like this because everything had to be, taste, and look so perfect. It is pretty expensive, so the pressure behind the presentation was understandable. We had grilled octopus, fresh sourdough bread, white asparagus, gnocchi, cod, and these amazing crab donuts. We couldn’t decide which was our favorite because everything was so good. I think I would have to pick the crab donuts. The cocktails were also so good. I got a vodka based cocktail. I think it was called the fire drill or something like that. After dinner we still wanted to go out so first we went to 108 Brasserie which had a good vibe (we wanted to go to purl speakeasy but they were overbooked) and then we wandered a little more and ended up at a gay bar that I can’t remember the name of, it was fun!
The next day we decided to switch our hotels because we wanted to see a different part of London. We decided to book the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge which has been really nice. It’s a little more off the beaten path, not as many restaurants and things to do right outside the hotel, but still really nice. We liked it because it was closer to some of the markets we visited.
Before leaving our first hotel we wanted to try this coffee place that my husband’s coworkers recommended Kaffeine. It was SO good!!! I highly recommend it, but it is a little expensive for the size, in my opinion.
After that, we packed up our bags and headed out the door seeking out a cab. We tried to walk in the direction of our new hotel and all the streets were closed. We learned that it was the day of the People’s Vote March on London which was completely insane. I think they said there were over a million people in the center of the city which was where we were wheeling our bags through. It was incredibly inspiring to see how many people cared and came out to protest the cause. I’m not going to lie, I was a little scared at times, but we were okay. We ended up just walking the entire way to our hotel because it was easier than trying to get a cab.
Once we were settled we went over to Borough Market which was so so cool. It’s an outdoor market filled with different food stalls and vendors. We tried a salt beef sandwich, fresh pasta and prosecco spritzers. The food was amazing. I think I could have come back every day to try something different. One thing I did see though is that the fresh pasta food stall isn’t open on Sundays, just a side note. We also got some unique and fun souvenirs to bring home to our parents. After the market we found this great liquor store called Laithwaites where you can try glasses of wine for £4. There are places throughout the store to relax and enjoy your wine. They do specific tastings, private tastings, host events or just cater to people straggling in like us. We ended up buying a bottle to bring back to our hotel room.
After our wine stop, we headed back to our hotel to get massages. It was sooooo nice and one of my favorite parts of our trip. We then went down to the steam room and pool for a little bit then came up to get ready for dinner. For dinner we tried Ichi, a sushi restaurant in our hotel. It was really good and I loved that we didn’t have to even step foot outside.
Today was our last day. Unfortunately I have a bit of a cold, but tried to suck it up since it was our last day. We grabbed some breakfast around the corner from our hotel then relaxed a little and then went off to our boat cruise. I bought the city cruises tickets back home for a boat cruise that included a tour of the Thames and lunch. I’m glad that I bought them ahead of time because there were a few people trying to buy them that day, and they were sold out. The lunch was really good but it was very hard to hear the tour they had playing. Regardless we enjoyed ourselves, especially being upstairs on the open deck going under the tower bridge by boat. We walked over the tower bridge after the lunch cruise, and then made a quick stop at Hamley’s Toys to get some exclusive Peppa Pig toys for our little chicky. We then decided to just relax in the hotel since I wasn’t feeling great. We got room service for dinner and watched some movies. It was nice since we were pretty much go go go the entire time.
I am so looking forward to getting back home and seeing my little girl and our doggy! We have missed them so much and so appreciate my parents help with the two of them!
Here are some pictures from our journey…