London: December 23-25, 2013

Hi friends! How have your holidays been? I hope amazing! I’m blogging from Sintra, Portugal but wanted to stop by to share the first part of my trip… two glorious days in London.

This was my second time in London so I felt like I knew my way around a bit. But my sister is the professional as she studied abroad about an hour south of London last year. I am falling more and more in love with this city!

Amy telephone booth

In typical London fashion, we were welcomed by rain. But a little (okay a lot) didn’t stop us. After getting settled, we walked through Notting Hill for some food at Gail’s Artisan Bakery – a lovely, fresh cafe. I went with a heaping bowl of porridge topped with blueberry compote. I didn’t love this porridge; I think it had too much tapioca. But the porridge from Pret A Manger is delicious.

Gail's Bakery

Gail's Porridge

The rain was coming down quite hard in the afternoon, so after a bit of a wet stroll on Portobello Road (a trendy shopping street) the British Museum was in order. The museum is free and huuuuge with lots of cool exhibits. I loved the Egyptian rooms (minus the mummies… they kinda freak me out) but to be honest I was exhausted.

After much needed nap time, our bellies began to grumble. We headed to Covent Garden for dinner at Jamie Oliver’s Union Jacks restaurant. Delicious! I had the Warm Roast Pumpkin and Squash salad… with ricotta, chestnuts, arugula, roasted purple onions. So yummy — even the onions, which I typically don’t like.

Roast Pumpkin Salad

We finished off the evening with La Duree. Confession: this was my first time trying French macaroons! I know they have been sweeping the foodie world (cupcakes are sooo passe) and for good reason: they are light and delectable cloud cookies. My sister and I split six flavors. The pistachio (green) and vanilla (white) were my favorite.

Macaroons

The next morning, I was up before everyone so I made some oatmeal in the room for breakfast. I bought an outrageously expensive banana from the hotel and topped the oats with granola that I brought.

Once everyone else woke up we hopped on the London Underground (aka the Tube) to go to Camden Town. Camden has a series of wonderful markets: food, antiques, vintage, art, fashion. We got caught in a bit of a downpour but once the rain cleared we ventured back through the market and I spotted a vegan and gluten free bakery called Cookies and Scream. I couldn’t resist so I enjoyed the most delicious, gooey, melt in your mouth peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie EVER.

Cookies and scream

Vegan GF Cookie

We then made the quick walk along an embankment to one of my now favorite part of London: Primrose Hill. We stopped for a take-away tea at Melrose and Morgan before strolling through this quaint and elegant neighborhood. One of my favorite spots was Chalcort Square but the view of London from the top of the hill is truly amazing.

Amy Les Chalcot Square
Chalcot Square

Amy Primrose Hill Road

Girls on the hill
View from the hill

Back on the Tube we went. Next stop: Oxford Circus. Oxford Circus is quite the shopping area so you would think that heading there on Christmas Eve wasn’t the smartest idea. Au contraire. It was so much fun — the holiday spirit was incredible! I have never experienced that last-minute-Christmas-shopping rush (thank you Hanukkah) so it was pretty cool. And the scenery was magical.

Oxford Street Christmas

Amy Les Regent Street

After very little sleep (oh hello jet-lag) it was time to get up, head to the airport for our flight to Lisbon. It was delayed so we snacked and ate lunch at Pret A Manger. Larabar, fruit salad, root veggie and bean soup & quinoa, edamame, watercress and salmon salad.

Heathrow Breakfast

Pret Airport Lunch

And now we’re in Portugal! It has been amazing thus far — recap to come soon :) We head back to London on the 30th for five more days and then it’s time to return home. Can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Questions of the day…

How have your holidays been? Score any Boxing Day deals?!

Have you been to London? What’s your favorite part?

24 thoughts on “London: December 23-25, 2013

  1. About to head out before this popped up on the reader- had to chime in first.

    So far so good- I love London- honestly New York, toronto and London are the three cities I’d kill to live and work in. Camden market is awesome- if only you were in London on Boxing Day you could have hit up Oxford Street- lucky its on the way back where suitcases can be as heavy as you want them to be!

    Continue having a blast buddy!

  2. I was in London over Christmas a few years ago visiting my stepfamily, It was so cold and rainy the entire time we were there. It looks like your having a blast, the gluten free cookie bar looks fun, and tasty! Glad your enjoying your trip!

  3. I’ve never had macaroons either, but they looks delicious and colorful!….aaaalmost as delicious as that chocolate chip cookie. Oxford Circle looks beautiful around Christmastime. I’m glad to see you’re have fun! (not that I thought you wouldn’t be). Anxious to hear about Portugal!

  4. To say that I am envious of your trip is an understatement. I hope you are having a fab time! Seriously Pret a Manger is the best. And I am so jelly that you ate at a Jamie Oliver restaurant! He is one of my favorite chefs.

  5. It looks like London was a blast! I was actually kind of obsessed with England back when I was in high school (thanks to the Beatles, Nick Hornby, and Orlando Bloom haha) and I still really want to visit it someday. I’m so jealous you went to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant!

  6. Ahhhh this looks so amazing! I want to go to London so badly… and I want one of those PB chocolate chip cookies. Can’t wait to hear all about Portugal! enjoy the rest of your trip love xo

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