Welcome to another edition of the Kelsie-Wants-To-Move-Everywhere-She-Visits travel diary. This time? It’s London (again).
I got the chance to go to London in February (check out this post on how I travel frequently while still ballin’ on a budget), and, once again, I didn’t want to get back on the plane to come home.
The last time I visited London was a couple of years ago when Lexi and I were living in Germany, and we stayed on the outskirts of town. This time, I met my parents over there and we stayed in the Soho area in a quaint Airbnb apartment in a building that was hundreds of years old. The apartment was smack dab in the middle of a restaurant haven, so it was obviously a fitting choice for us.
The majority of this visit was filled with visiting markets, eating, drinking and going to the theater. We saw Book of Mormon, which was absolutely hilarious (if you find South Park humor appalling, I don’t recommend seeing it) and an Aziz favorite, Les Miserables. Before and after the nights at the theater, we would roam around Chinatown, or stop in a pub for a pint.
We were able to walk to the majority of places we went, but we did take the tube on occasion. I highly recommend getting an Oyster card if you’ll be in the city even for more than a couple of days. It’s a 5 pound deposit (which you get back!), and it works like a debit card. If you have money left on it by the time you leave, you’ll get that cash back, too. It’s simple, quick and makes commuting much easier. Plus, you look like a ~local~ swiping your card. (side note: I’m now obsessed with London street style and constantly found myself thinking how cool the locals were)
As for markets, we went to the Old Spitalfields Market in East London, which is an area I hadn’t explored before. One travel site my dad read described the streets of East London as “mean,” but I think if you stay in the main areas, you’ll be good to go. The Spitalfield Market is now one of my favorites, along with the Borough Market, which we also visited. We headed to the Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill on a Saturday morning, which is more of an antique-y market than food (although there’s lots of food, too).
I could honestly spend an entire vacation in Europe roaming around the open markets – they are like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and the food is delicious.
One of my favorite parts of the trip, though, was popping into a local pub across from our Airbnb on a Saturday afternoon to watch the Tottenham v. Arsenal game. European soccer (football?) is one of the most fun sports to watch – the crowds are passionate, and the players are some of the best athletes in the world. Watching a soccer game (football match?) in Europe – whether it’s in the stadium or in a pub – will forever be one of my favorite things to do, especially with my dad.
The last Sunday we were there was Mother’s Day in the UK, so during the week, I took my mom to champagne high tea at the Dorchester Hotel to celebrate. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience – pinkies UP, y’all. The service was impeccable, the food delicious and the tea was perfection. The hotel was stunning, too. It’s definitely an affair, and one you should experience at least once – especially with your mum.
Cheers! – kels