London: April 25-30, 2014

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.

Friday

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…

Tomatoes at Borough

Borough Market1

I opted for a quinoa-veggie-burger with a veggie slaw and roasted veggies. It was delish.

Lunch from Borough

And we shared some amazing berries – so fresh.

Fruit from Borough

We strolled along the Thames River (that’s the Millenium Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral in the background)

Amy on Thames

Lesley on Thames

 

And admired the Tower Bridge…

Amy Tower Bridge

And explored St. Katherine Docks – a really cute area and Les had a great latte.

St Katherine's Docks

In the evening, we walked to Ledenhall Market (which was bustling with tons of people drinking and having a great time)

Ledenhall Market

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.

Leaky Cauldron

We ended the day with dinner at Nando’s: lemon herb chicken, avocado and ratatouille. So good.

Nando's Dinner

Psst… check out Lesley’s recap of our first day here. Her pics are gorge (I stole a few).

Saturday

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. 

London Eye

Chelsea Embankment

Amy London Run1

I showered and then we hopped on the Tube to meet Lauren for brunch at Bill’s in Covent Garden.

Amy and Lauren

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? 

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. 

Bill's Brunch

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.

Hampstead3

Hampstead2

Amy Hampstead

We walked to the Pergola Gardens, a beautiful place off the beaten path.

Pergola Gardens3

Pergola Gardens2

and snapped some pics with the ‘roid.

Pergola Garden Polaroid

When our tummies began to grumble, we stopped for a bite at The Spaniard’s Inn. We split a scotch egg – meat, soft boiled egg, deep fried… quite yummy. 

Spaniards Inn

Les had the fish and chips with mushy peas,

The Spaniards Inn1

and I had a roasted squash and endive salad with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and a delicious jam.

The Spaniards Inn2

Afterwards, we walked through the Heath (an 80 acre park) enjoying the sun and fabulous view of London.

The Heath

View from the Heath2

Then we walked some more: through Belsize Park, 

Belsize Park

making our way to Primrose Hill – fave view of the city.

View from Primrose Hill2

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.  

Sunday

We took the Tube to Shoreditch High Street and stopped for breakfast at the Hoxton Grill: scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and avocado – nom.

Breakfast at the Hoxton Grill

And then set off to explore the area. Every Sunday, is the Columbia Road Flower Market – so pretty and fun to walk around.

Columbia Road2

Columbia Road Flower Market3

Columbia Road Flower Market2

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.

Brick Lane2

Brick Lane

Brick Lane3

Brick Lane4

Before making our way to Spitafields Market – very trendy and cool marketplace. Also food and stuff, but a bit more high end.

Spitifield Market

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.

Birthday Cupcake

Pretty crazy that we are across the world and hanging at Harrods – happy birthday Lyss!

Amy Alyssa Harrods

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 :)

Salad and Scone from Harrods

Monday

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!

Amy CrossFit London

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.

Granger and Co Brunch

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.

Notting Hill1

Bee Me Shop

Portobello

Lesley Portobello Road

Amy Notting Hill

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.

Pret Dinner

 

Tuesday

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.

Pret Hotel Breakfast

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

American Food

LOL.

I made my way to Hyde Park and strolled around for a bit.

Hyde Park

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)

Salad and Nashville

It was finally time for what we were sent here for, aka the contest Lesley won: to attend the Kate Moss for TopShop launch.

Kate Moss Launch1

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.

Kate Moss

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.

Amy Les TopShop

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.

Shrimp Lobster App

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.

Dinner at the Edition

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.

Tea at the Edition

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.

Wednesday

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.

Regent's Park1

Passing by the London Zoo and saw plenty of runners sweating away and families out for a stroll.

Regent's Park2


We made our way to Primrose Hill for a final farewell.

Primrose Hill1


A view from the hill…

Primrose Hill2


…and a view of me!

Amy Primrose Hill


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.

Eye and Big Ben

Disclaimer: This post did NOT document everything I ate while away. 

 

Questions of the day…

What have you been up to?! Fill me in! 

Have you ever been to London? What is your favorite city other than your own? 

 

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24 thoughts on “London: April 25-30, 2014

  1. So glad to see that you had a fab time! And that your Crossfit London experience rocked!

    Although you did just make me crave Nandos…!

    I’m off to London for a week at the end of June! Can’t wait!!!

  2. Ah you are so sweet! You just made me smile from ear to ear too! It was so much fun meeting you :). I can’t believe how much you both fit in this trip, amazing – loving the casual A-list party thrown in too. I am looking forward to your next trip over ;) we can go Andy and Jamie stalking…
    Safe flight home and speak soon xx

  3. Your trip sounds so amazing, Amy!! I love all of the walking and tourist things you got to do, not to mention the amazing food it looks like you ate! And the fact that this whole trip was with your sister is even better! I went to London two summers ago on a mission trip for ten days, and it was great. We were mainly working with some churches though, so I only had one day to go out and explore London. And you know London is far too large and wonderful to do all of the exploring in one day! Hopefully I can go back one day, and I would love to get in a run while I’m there!

    1. I hope you get back there! You are right that it is far too large for one day :) This was my third time in London and I still have sooo much more to see.

  4. Wow- I don’t even know how to comment on this post..? So much good food, beautiful living, and happiness hanging out with your sister! I am glad you guys had a blast and I think you guys were totally not out of place stylin around London with Kate Moss!!

    1. It’s a bit unpredictable but I’d say similar to the North East. Most of our days were in the 60s with some light rain in the mornings. But two days were sunny and high 70s!

  5. Amazing post and beautiful pictures! Makes me so nostalgic for London. Funny side note: the veggie burger from Borough Market is my go-to! I absolutely LOVE it and all the amazing samples always take me from full to totally stuffed!

    We have very similar food preferences, so this post was right up my alley!

  6. Your trip looks like it was absolutely amazing and I am way too jealous, so the next time I’m inviting myself :) I would’ve pooped my pants from nerves of dropping into a different box! I even get nervous to go to my cousins box, what a wuss. All that food seriously looks bomb dot com.. Egg in the fried meat thing, heavens! Glad you had fun!

  7. Hi Amy – really pleased you had a great time in our capital city. I only live 45 mins by train from London, but when I go for work I tend to rush in and out again. You’ve reminded me of all the great stuff there. Great post, thank you for sharing.

    1. I hope you can explore sometime soon… it is such a wonderful city with so much to do! And you are so lucky to live so very close :)

  8. Just sparked a desire in me to travel to London – this post was amazing! Nice work on the recap…and I know I didn’t mind the length either! Your eats look so so good. Yum!

  9. I know I’ve already commented on some of these on Instagram, but …. your 10 mile run makes me so happy, your food looks AMMMAZING, you are adorable, and I hope you’re feeling better soon! Keep enjoying!!

  10. Wow you did loads! London is my favourite city in the world, I have lived there for two years but if I had a spponsored job and visa I would be there still!

  11. What a recap!! I am so jealous of the glam event. Would love to meet Sienna Miller, she’s my fashion idol!
    Views are gorgeous, food looks delicious – I hope you two are back to full health by now!!

  12. Your trip sounds amazing. I miss London so much! I felt like I was having a flashback looking at all your pictures. For me at least, one of my favorite parts of traveling is eating new interesting foods, and it sounds like you were able to strike the perfect balance of adventure/delicious eats and fueling for busy days.

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