Hello from Heathrow! We’re heading back to Toronto after an amazingggggg few days in London. I’m squishing six days into one post – a photo dump for you and memories for me. Forgive me and let’s recap.
After a bit of an interesting flight (long story) and hallucinating thanks to the Gravol (there’s a reason why I don’t take drugs very often), we took the Tube to our hotel, settled in for 2.5 seconds and then hit London-town.
We were starving so walked to Borough Market straight away…
I opted for a quinoa-veggie-burger with a veggie slaw and roasted veggies. It was delish.
And we shared some amazing berries – so fresh.
We strolled along the Thames River (that’s the Millenium Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral in the background)
And admired the Tower Bridge…
And explored St. Katherine Docks – a really cute area and Les had a great latte.
In the evening, we walked to Ledenhall Market (which was bustling with tons of people drinking and having a great time)
But being the cool girls we are, we passed on the beer because we really only headed there to see the site where they filmed the Leaky Cauldron. Duh.
We ended the day with dinner at Nando’s: lemon herb chicken, avocado and ratatouille. So good.
Psst… check out Lesley’s recap of our first day here. Her pics are gorge (I stole a few).
I woke up, ate a Larabar and ran 10 miles along the Thames River – stopping for a few pics along the way. It was such a great run – I felt like I could keep going – it may have to do with the gorgeousness of this city. Just maybe.
The food was amazing but the company was even better. Lauren is so nice, fun (and pretty!) We all had a lovely time – Lauren’s post about our meet-up made me smile from ear to ear. I wish we lived in the same city. Why do I have so many long distant friendships?
I got “Bill’s breakfast” – 2 fried eggs, bacon, sausage, tomato, mushrooms and toast (subtract the toast, add avocado). First time eating bacon in years – forgot how good it is. Les and Lauren both got “Eggs royale” – poached eggs with hollandaise, smoked salmon on toast.
We said our goodbyes and then Les and I took the Tube to Hampstead, which is such a cute neighborhood just outside of the city.
We walked to the Pergola Gardens, a beautiful place off the beaten path.
and snapped some pics with the ‘roid.
Les had the fish and chips with mushy peas,
and I had a roasted squash and endive salad with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and a delicious jam.
Afterwards, we walked through the Heath (an 80 acre park) enjoying the sun and fabulous view of London.
Then we walked some more: through Belsize Park,
making our way to Primrose Hill – fave view of the city.
If you know London, you know that we walked really far. We were exhausted, my legs were sore and feet ached but it was so worth it.
And then set off to explore the area. Every Sunday, is the Columbia Road Flower Market – so pretty and fun to walk around.
We strolled along Brick Lane – a fun street where lots of vendors sell all kinds of stuff and tonssss of food. Too bad we were stuffed from breaky.
Before making our way to Spitafields Market – very trendy and cool marketplace. Also food and stuff, but a bit more high end.
Funny enough, my friend Alyssa was in Paris on a birthday trip but hopped over to London for the day. So I picked up some flowers from the market and a cupcake from Lola’s before meeting her.
Pretty crazy that we are across the world and hanging at Harrods – happy birthday Lyss!
And I picked up a make your own salad (spinach, cucumber, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, egg, chicken) and my favorite chocolate scone (gluten and sugar filled get at me) from Harrod’s as well. That’s my kind of healthy balance :)
After not enough sleep (thank you jet lag) I grabbed a Larabar and banana and went to CrossFit London in the morning – I had a bit of trouble getting there but glad I did. It was so much fun and I was nervous for nothing! We did a partner WOD and everyone was so nice. Thank you for having me!
We went to Granger and Co in Notting Hill for brunch. I had the soft-boiled Cotswold legbar eggs (duck eggs) with bacon and avocado. Les ordered the ricotta hot cakes with berries (I had the hot cakes the last time I was in London). Best. Brunch. Ever.
We walked around Notting Hill for a bit – down Portobello Road, which is a really cool area with great shops and a bit of a market too.
I think we packed a lottttt into a few days and Les caught a bit of a cold – and probs a fever, eek. I was tired too so we took it easy for the rest of the afternoon and evening in the hotel (okay, did some work/studying).
I picked up dinner from Pret a Manger – chicken avocado sandwich and tomato soup for Les; superfood salad and tuna nicoise salad for me; berries for both. And watched Made in Chelsea – in real time, on TV! It was exciting.
Well the rest didn’t kick Lesley’s cold (definitely a fever) so I worked in the morning and picked up another hotel room meal from Pret for breakfast: porridge for Les and hard boiled eggs + spinach, fruit salad and a banana for me – plus a Larabar I packed.
I honestly didn’t mind working, studying and watching a few shows in the hotel. We were staying in a gorgeous hotel, the Langham, right in Oxford Circus. Yay free trip and a free glam hotel!
But I did leave Les to sleep a bit and went walking along Regent and Oxford Street. I popped into a few stores but resisted the temptation and did not dig into my wallet. Couldn’t help but snap a pic of this in Selfridges…
I made my way to Hyde Park and strolled around for a bit.
Then picked up a salad from Chop’d, walked back and snuggled under the covers while eating and catching up on Nashville. In the mix: spring leaves, beetroot, carrot, cucumber, peppers, 2x roast chicken and olive oil. Delish. (Plus some nuts for snacking)
It was finally time for what we were sent here for, aka the contest Lesley won: to attend the Kate Moss for TopShop launch.
I honestly had no idea what to expect but I was pretty blown away. I was really out of my element, but enjoyed every minute! We arrived at TopShop Oxford Circus and were escorted inside and greeted by bottles of Moet.
Then we went downstairs and there she was.
She meaning Kate Moss – alongside many celebs and influential fashion folks. Above: Chloe Green (remember when she dated Ollie?), Sir Phillip Green, Kate and Nick Grimshaw. Sienna Miller also made an appearance. Lots of money. Lots of fashion. Lots of fun.
After Kate did her thing, showed her face to masses outside and Duke Dumont played, we went downstairs to shop the collection. I absolutely love it (so does Les) and we had fun trying things on but didn’t make any purchases.
I felt pretty out of place but it was really cool and I learned a lot about the industry. We met up with our contacts at TopShop and other International fashion writers from Singapore, Brazil and Denmark to go to dinner at the prestigious Berners Tavern at the Edition Hotel. I didn’t realize how exclusive this restaurant is and how hard it is to get a table. We also spotted Jeremy Piven dining there – I really wanted to go over and call him Ari Gold but played it cool.
The TopShop folks told us to go “all out” so we did. Everyone was sooo nice and made us feel very welcome. I had a lobster, prawn and avocado and Les had the beef tartare to start.
For my main, I had a grass-fed (!!!) fillet (locally raised too, eek!) with roasted carrots and greens. I actually sent the steak back because it was wayyyyyy too rare for me. Even Les legitimized me sending it back. But then it was perfect. And delicious.
Les had mac n cheese with ox-tail and bone marrow. She’s crazy adventurous but said it was delish. We were too stuffed for dessert but both had some hot water with lemon and a delicious little chocolate chip buttery biscuit.
Great event. Awesome dinner. Glam evening. Truly wonderful experience! A big thank you to the Hudson’s Bay Company and TopShop for this trip and to Lesley for bringing me! I feel incredibly lucky :) You can read Lesley’s post for more about the launch here.
I planned on getting a workout in this morning, but was nervous that I am getting sick too and didn’t want to put any more strain on my system so skipped my run and replaced it with an epic breakfast. Annoying but a good decision.
We are kind of obsessed with breakfast – if you haven’t noticed. We also established that we don’t really like dinner food – well, except last night’s dinner, that was amazing. We had breakfast at the hotel. Les had orange and chocolate french toast with a side of fresh berries and I had poached eggs with smoked salmon and a side of berries too.
Sorry, I didn’t take pics (which is a first) and Les wasn’t in the mood to share – it’s not always butterflies and unicorns between us two. It’s definitely not easy being with anyone 24/7 but we move on, it happens. Just trust, it was another beautiful and delicious meal.
Anyways, we packed, checked out and stored our luggage before taking one last walk. We walked through Regent’s Park, which is probably my favorite park in London.
Passing by the London Zoo and saw plenty of runners sweating away and families out for a stroll.
We made our way to Primrose Hill for a final farewell.
A view from the hill…
…and a view of me!
We hopped on the Tube to Heathrow, but couldn’t get there because of construction with the Tube. Taxi it was. And that’s a wrap!
Okay so that was a lotttttt in one post. Insert the snobby and annoying “sorry I’m not sorry” here. It was an amazing trip! I definitely wasn’t a food snob, I ate what I wanted, worked out when I wanted to, we walked a lot and I balanced my choices – healthy travel without missing out on a thing!
I love having this blog to document my adventures and hopefully give you some ideas to make your own adventures. Do you want to go to London now? DO IT. I love this city. If I could move anywhere it would be to London or back to Boston. I wish I could ditch this flight, hop on the Tube and head back to Hampstead right. now. But instead I’m gonna run to Pret to pick up some dinner for the plane and fly back to Toronto, aka reality. Well, reality is still pretty good so I’m not complaining. Until next time Londy – I’ll be back soon.
Disclaimer: This post did NOT document everything I ate while away.
Questions of the day…
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Have you ever been to London? What is your favorite city other than your own?
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