I LOVE LONDON!
I’m very lucky to have family in London and try and spend as much time as I can with them, but having family in London means I don’t generally take the opportunity to be a tourist, so this weekend I did.
I wanted to use this weekend as a trial run for my impending trip to New York. I did my research and made sure I knew where I wanted to go (Instagram is my favorite way to do this), the best order to do them in and by using the Citymapper app, found the best ways to get there. I was very fortunate to have 2 days of lovely weather whilst I was in London, something that does not happen very often, but being November it meant that I spent most of my weekend freezing cold and wishing I'd packed warmer clothes.
My London Hit List:
Madison’s Bar (St Paul’s)
Trafalgar Square (St James rooftop bar)
Natural History Museum
Holland Park (Chelsea & Kensington)
I didn’t quite make it to all of these places, only having a weekend meant that I was limited time wise and being winter resulted in it getting dark around 5 PM but I sure tried my best! I came back from my weekend away needing a weekend away.
I have put the photos from my trip in the order they were taken, giving you a bit of a better idea the routes I took each day. It is so easy to get lost in London, even having lived there I still manage to get myself lost and walked far more than I needed too - nothing like a bit of cardio In heels to replace those weekend gym sessions.
As I was staying In Nottinghill, I thought it would be rude not to explore the streets in the morning. The houses are obviously going to be beautiful (and expensive), and you can't help but pretend house hunt. Holland Park is just absolute goals, I could have walked up and down that street all day but considering the number of famous people that live on the street, I probably would have been arrested pretty quickly.
After getting lost trying to find the tube station (I couldn't figure out which way I was walking and I kept stopping to take photos), I arrived at Westminster Bridge. Being a Saturday it was packed! I rarely head down here for this reason but the weather was just so perfect i thought it was a shame to only visit my regular London locations.
I got so many funny looks taking these photos, I have no shame. If i know something is going to take an amazing photo I really have no worries about embarrassing myself in front of complete strangers (you're never going to see them again after all!). After my little mini photoshoot I actually had a few people ask me to take similar photos for them before I packed up and headed to my next spot, so at least not everyone thought I was completely mad.
I'd arranged to meet a friend at Madison's bar in St Paul's. I'd been here a few times before and always loved it so thought it was perfect for a few afternoon drinks and a catch-up. I actually actually ended up spending more time here than originally intended so I made the most of it watched the sunset which was absolutely amazing! I love a good sunset but there is something a bit special about a cityscape sunset.
After the sun had set it got pretty chilly so I decided to head back to Nottinghill, I might have also gotten slightly distracted on the way and stopped in a few shops - I had to stop somewhere and warm myself up, sue me!
On my 2nd day, I made plans to head to Sloane Square, Harrods, Bond Street, Oxford Street and Trafalgar Square. After doing a little bit of research in the morning I decided to cut out Sloane Square and add in Covent Garden. As I wanted to go to Bond Street I felt that Sloane Square would just be more of the same so decided to give it a miss this time. I headed off to Harrods, stopping by the ice rink outside of the Natural History Museum. Harrods always looks better in the late afternoon/ night, something I need to remember for next time.
The Ritz Hotel was a last minute add in. When checking how I was going to get to Bond Street from Harrods I realized that I have to switch tube lines at Green Park (the stop for The Ritz), so I decided to get off there and walk up to Bond Street.
Not that I've spent Christmas in any other big city, but London really does pull out all the stops. My favourite place to head at this time of year is Selfridge's. If the window displays don't do it for you, then the Christmas Emporium on the top floor definitely will! I was feeling a bit of a Scrooge before I headed up to London and hoped that I would be able to find a little bit of Christmas cheer and Selfridge's delivered.... until someone stood on my foot and I wanted to get out of there. Shopping in London, on a Sunday, around Christmas requires a fighting attitude, it's a war zone.
I ended my day at yet another rooftop bar (shock!). The rooftop at St James was an Instagram find, It just shows the value of the app for businesses. I have been to London so many times over the years and I have an unhealthy obsession for rooftop bars for someone that suffers from terrible vertigo, and I have NEVER seen or heard of this bar before, nor had any of my family (London born and bred). I was completely in awe of the view and could not believe the view and the fact we were the only people there on a Sunday afternoon (granted it was very cold, but they had alcohol and blankets).
I happened to have a few technical issues on the 2nd day, in case you hadn't noticed the majority of my photos were blurry. This was because I stupidly turned off the auto-focus on my camera and basically wasted my whole day. This trip was supposed to be a trial run for New York though so I'm happy it happened now because I would probably have cried.
So, I also managed to do a little bit of vlogging during my trip! I am currently having technical issues with getting the videos onto my laptop to edit - I am not a tech-savvy millennial. So hopefully when I have figured that out and if I don't decide I hate the sound of my voice, I will be up and running on Youtube! Watch this space....
But in the mean-time give me a quick stalk on Instagram @beesrichards