On another note, I like to imagine the lush green that these black and white photos are hiding. It’s like reading a book and having to use your imagination about how a character or place looks.
2 | Celebrities spotted. I was in London all of 20 minutes when I walked past Bill Nighy in Soho. Then on Sunday I headed to The Wolseley for brunch (seriously love The Wolseley) and Samuel L Jackson was having some eggs.
20+ | Hours spent on buses, trains and tube. I stayed at a friend just past Hackney after I got into London got back to using the bus a lot. Definitely the best way to get around London if you aren’t in too much of a hurry. Plus a train from my Mom into London, to Cambridge and back and to the airport, plus the occasional zip on the tube. I have to say it was a little exhausting all the moving around though – I only take the bus once a week to go to one of my little tutoring jobs. And occasionally to the beach.
3 | Nights slept in my styled hair. Four days and it still looked decent! Very impressed
12 | Charity shops visited. I was looking for some bits for the wedding and was fairly successful. This was split between one near my mum in Bracknell, Crouch End and Cambridge.
At least 10 | Number of jugs in said charity shops that I eyed up longingly. I have a thing for them.
18 | Friends caught up with. Not everyone but glad that I got to spend some quality time with a bunch of my special friends.
1 | Photo shoot. Had to some work (although always so fun).
2 | Pairs of shoes bought. A smart move with the Tom’s but got massive blisters from the cheapo high street purchase. Oops.
gazillion | Calories consumed. In case you are interested this included meals from the following: The Vintage Tea House with my mum (great cake!), a late dinner at Maeve’s Kitchen (a simple menu but lovely cosy feeling), Tibits (a great central vegetarian restaurant which is great for a bite with a friend for lunch), Rosa’s (to get some Thai food fix), Beam (still thinking about their salad), Franco Manca, a little caf’ in Cambridge where I had a full veggie English (yum), The Wolseley (always brilliant), an amazing Turkish falafel wrap from Dom’s Place (a hipster kebab joint basically. It has been there since the 1970s but recently refurbished. Super good wrap too). So many new places had popped up in favourite neighbourhoods and exploring new areas meant I was keen to try 10,000 more but afraid my stomach and wallet could not handle that. Time for a detox now!
>>> A hairdo and makeup session from Blow Ltd is well worth the money. After seeing some people post about this new salon on twitter I thought I would try it out as an option for my wedding and I will definitely be heading back. Three strangers complimented me on my hair and the makeup lasted until after midnight (though admittedly I wasn’t dancing away, something I plan to be doing on my wedding night). I slept on my hair two nights in a row and it was still looking good on Sunday!
>>> Left to my own devises I generally spend more money than I should (sorry Tim).
>>> Chocolate chip biscuits from the in-store bakery at Marks and Spencers still taste amazing.
>>> The staff at Schuh in Covent Garden are really friendly and helpful. The level of service was made even better by the contrast of staff at another high street chain. Schuh also give you a year to return items. A year!
>>> Lunching with a good friend is the best. Made even better when the food is so good. I don’t think I have ever had a restaurant salad so good as the one from Beam. Walnut and tahini dressing is definitely something I will have to try and create at home.
>>> Some people obviously get gifted items from West Elm that they don’t realise are awesome. Picked up two little owl cups for £1 each in a charity shop. Not practical but so fun!
>>> Crouch End is an awesome corner of London (note lunch and charity shop finds above). Plus it has the prettiest florist. I think in another life I might have tried my hand at flower arranging.
>>> Cocktails served in teapots and drunk out of tea cups taste better.
>>> Franco Manca is worth the queue. (And I must have a serious love for Italian food to eat it when I am on holiday from Italy!)
>>> Blogging ladies are the best.
>>> A table of women in a pub have a gravitational pull on drunken men at tables next to them. Also I am glad I am not on the dating seen. Hard work if that is what is out there.
>>> The most popular photos on instagram (based on a small study of 2 instagram profiles) contain at least two of the following elements: trees, fog, the sea, a sunset, old men, birds, leftover food (strangely more popular then ‘fresh’ food). Some combinations are more popular than others. I am now thinking of a way to combine all these elements into one shot.
This post had no sponsors, just so you know.
As a supreme gelato lover I had to do a parting gift to lovers of London and gelato.
The main glut of gelaterias is in the West End. The above map does not show all the options of frozen desserts as I have not tried the ice-cream parlours in the area and don’t believe frozen yoghurt is an option when gelato is around.
My top pick in London will always be Gelupo. Their quality is brilliant, the flavours seasonal and interesting and their staff always friendly. Feel free to ask for any samples if you want to dip your toe in before taking the leap. Their sorbets are also out of this world amazing and their bitter chocolate is pure heaven on earth.
That said if you are a little far from Archer Street, Covent Garden offers a good selection. La Gelateria probably offers the most interesting flavours and you can also find them on Maltby Street on the weekend. Gelateria Danieli has a number of stores in London, including one in Richmond Park if you find yourself out for a wander in that end of London. Gelatorino also has a more traditional feel to it but a good selection and also convenient placed.
There are also a couple gelaterias if you head out of the West End, though not as many as I would like! I’ve made a gelato map of ones that I have tried (including a few ice-cream parlours too – their in blue on the map).
My next favourite is probably 3Bis Gelateria at Borough Market. They have chocolate sauce on tap! Literally. Need I say more. The perfect spot for grabbing a refreshing gelato after scooping up all the food in the market.
Notting Hill offers you Dri Dri which offers parties – but unfortunately these are only for kids.
If you are heading to Broadway Market (Saturdays) or even further East to Chatsworth Road (Sundays) in the Summer months you can find the lovely Sophie of Chateaux Gelato who chooses a selection of flavours from the top London gelaterias to offer each week.
I am sure there are others but these are the ones I have tried. If you have other suggestions leave a comment!
The past eight years in this city have been the most amazing of my life so far. I have made the most amazing friends, lived in some of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world (yup I would say that), discovered more of who I am and grew a love that will last a life time. I know there are many people and things I will miss but I am really excited for our new adventures and look forward to sharing them here.
I have organised a week of guest posts for the coming week talking about adventure, while I get settled in our new home.
Oh, and if you find yourself in Trieste in the future, drop me a line.
Here are some London links:
- my favourite London poem
- my favourite London market
- my favourite London restaurant
- the best river in the world (I know at least one other person agrees with me)
- the best gelato this side of the Italian border
If you have any other London favourite’s let me know and I will add it to my London pinterest board.
The weekend gone was my last in London! I mostly ate. Am I going to find Indian food in Trieste or pancakes like this? Probably not, but hell there will be a lot of new things to discover! Saturday was such a lovely day that I spent some time just walking around and thought about how much I fricken love this city. Made me feel like I should have sometimes been a bit more like this guy …
It is going to continue being a bit sporadic around here this week as I finish off some things and say goodbye-until-you-visit-me-in-Trieste-very-soon to a few friends. I think I might get a bit emotional.