London has always been at the top of my travel bucket list, so when I finally got to go this past weekend, I could not be more excited!
I arrived Thursday night and didn’t leave until Sunday morning, so luckily I had plenty of time to explore the city. We pretty much walked everywhere, but also took the tube and double-decker bus so I could get the full London experience. After all, the best way to discover a city is by foot, right? Shout out to my friend Zoe for being the best tour guide! Here are some of my favorite moments:
- Arriving at Waterloo station in Central London and being greeted by the beautiful skyline, all lit up at night. We got to see the London Eye, Big Ben, House of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey all at once!
- Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park via double-decker bus, passing Piccadilly Circus on the way.
- Wandering through the streets of Knightsbridge, Chelsea, and Kensington. Something I love about London is how unique all the districts are. They all had their own distinct vibe which made walking through them so much more fun!
- Window shopping at Harrod’s. Gosh, that place is HUGE! And all the FOOD!!!
- Grabbing lunch at The Kensington Crêperie. I had a countryside crêpe (chicken, onion, spinach, garlic, carrot, cheddar cheese) and a “pash n’ shoot” smoothie (passionfruit, pineapple, mango). Though the crêpe wasn’t as good as the one in Geneva, the highlight of the meal was a free smoothie! This marked the beginning of our weekend of “free” food… keep reading to find out more. 😉
- “Shopping” on Oxford Street, including my first Topshop and Primark experience!
- Grabbing bubble tea! Matcha bubble tea = the perfect afternoon snack.
- Exploring Soho and obsessing over all the cupcake shops. Too cute.
- Pho for dinner! Since the restaurant’s ticket machines broke down, they lost our order and we had to wait a while, so we ended up getting the meal for free. 2/2! Thanks Pho Soho, you’re the best!
- Chilling in Zoe’s dorm room and watching The Young Victoria (aka “learning” some British history). Perfect night in and reminds me of university back home. We used to have movie nights all the time freshmen year!
- Free food #3: mocha latte for breakfast! A fancy organic cafe was giving out coupons, so why not get a free coffee to start off the day? We totally scored with food this weekend, hehe.
- Exploring Covent Garden and waiting in line to get tickets for the Royal Ballet’s Carmen! Marianela Núñez!!! SO EXCITING!*****
- Vintage shopping on Brick Lane, passing St. Paul’s Cathedral along the way. Brick Lane’s a super hipster area that reminds me of Brooklyn. There’s apparently a huge street food market there on Sundays. I was there on Saturday, so there weren’t as many options, but the food was still good though! Also, we spent forever looking for a dress that I fit in and I could wear that night (#shortgirlproblems) and we FINALLY found one at one of the vintage stores… turns out it was AMERICAN APPAREL!!! Go figure. I admit I was pretty disappointed — I was so excited to get something ~vintage~ and ~British~, ha!
- Tower Bridge. For some reason whenever I think of Tower Bridge I think of the 2012 Olympics. Not pictured, me getting pelted in the eye by a giant wood chip.
- Dinner at Battersea Pie: butternut squash and goat cheese pie with mashed potatoes… yum!!
- *****Finding out that we actually got tickets to see Carmen….. the OPERA. It was a bit disappointing at first because we were SO excited to see the Royal Ballet, but we got a good laugh out of it. It turns out the ballet was a production part of a mixed program during the week, and that night they were performing the opera. Go figure!
- And last but not least… seeing Carmen! We decided to get dressed up, go to the opera, and make the best of the night. The opera was beautiful and we ended up having a great time. Plus, how often can you say you went to see the Royal Opera?!
I had an incredible time in London and I definitely plan on going back sooner than later. For now, it’s back to reality for a bit before my next (and maybe last) trip. Until next time!