While wind bites and breath catches, we set afoot with childlike glee, ready to explore.
There’s something to be said about travelling with a childhood friend. You know each other intimately, connect, appreciate and click together allowing for a trip brimming with memories, laughter and adventure at it’s finest.
Allow me to start with brunch. There’s a change in the air, humming like background noise and shifting the consumer conscience around it. Stodgy breakfasts compromised of deep fried meats, creamy soaked oats or overly sweet pastries are a thing of the past. Gone are the days of the post-meal guilt, and here lies the glorious future of nourishing, flavoursome and wholesome foods.
But just wait till you see the food.
I will dream of the buckwheat pancakes with such fondness. Deep, ridiculously fluffy and wildly tasty: they’re the anecdote to any rumbling stomach.
The avocado smashed and spread on gluten free toast sings a hunger-inducing song, as does the bacon coconut on the side.
Bacon coconut, you say? Yes, I did. Lightly smoked and toasted in the oven, they beautifully brown and crunch alluding to a faux bacon effect.
I know you’re reading this with an eagerness to visit, sample and savour and trust me, that is exactly what you need to do! It’s firmly my go-to brunch spot in the city now.
Where else is a gal to eat in the city?
For a decadent experience set in what’s arguably one of London’s finest hotels, opt for the Corinthia.
The service is exemplary of a cutting edge five-star hotel, as is the creative menu. What about the price tag?
£24 for two courses.
Yes. I kid you not. Book a table for the theatre menu, we chose 9.30pm as it allowed us to enjoy our evening beforehand.
Tip: Spend the time either grabbing a cocktail in the breathtaking marble-clad lobby. Centred around fresh seasonal flowers and high pewter ceilings, you’ll enjoy taking the time to appreciate the surroundings.
Fancy fresh and utterly delectable tapas set in the midst of Soho? Make a beeline to Tapas Brindisa (here) and you won’t regret it.
The staff are so friendly, the wines are delicious and the restaurant is truly authentic as you dine to the sounds of traditional Spanish music, clinking wine glasses and the passionate laughs of the Spanish staff. I’d argue the case they’re ‘that’ authentic that the kitchen porters don’t even speak English. Just ask Rebecca, as she popped to the bathroom in need of directions the porter simply replied ‘sí’ and for a second she almost felt transported to the midst of an Andalusian tapas bar.
Tip: If you can pry yourself away from the fantastic Rioja on offer, scoot to Polpo (here) nearby for cocktails. Delicious, relaxing and well priced at £8 a pop!
Finally, my new jaunt that deserves a lot of praise. Tucked away behind Oxford Street, Ethos (here) is a refuge for hungry shoppers and food enthusiasts alike.
We walked in the door to be greeted by a charming, bubbly and incredibly friendly gent. Not only did he enthusiastically explain how Ethos works, he exclaimed with passion their plans to expand and offer good food wherever possible.
The lunch menu operates in a very different manner. How so? Well, it’s a buffet-come-help yourself set up. Simply lift a plate, load it up with whatever you want (be that hot or cold food) and then pop to the till to have it weighed and take a seat.
Trust me, it by no means feels like a canteen environment and the food is also a testament to this. Simply awesome, and a welcome addition of good food done right in the middle of London’s busiest shopping streets.
I’m so thankful to share a friendship with Baj. Not only is she kind, intelligent, driven and supportive, she is a blast to appreciate art alongside. London offers some of the finest art, exhibitions and theatre in Europe and partaking in that is so much fun.
The V&A museum houses an extensive collection of artefacts from across the centuries and globe. Even the building itself is a sheer work of art and the fact it’s free to peruse speaks powerful volumes to me. I absolutely love it when art, history and culture combined is offered to the masses without a price on admission, for those are important things that a person of any background or social status should be able to enjoy over and over again.
In an age where people have exhausted the importance of experience, sometimes art needs to be lived to be understood. Grab a friend, wander for hours, laugh, stare, stand and discuss as you share in the experience.
Trust me, it’s pretty awesome. My favourite spot in the entire museum are the Cast Courts. With huge, high echo-inducing ceilings, you feel like a spec as you roam through the myriad of artefacts.
It’s quiet, and almost eerie yet simply breathtaking. I enjoy standing in the midst of the room, looking around and simply just being. Imagining the way things once were in the world, appreciating the cultures gone by and dreaming of what will be heralded from our time on earth in centuries to come.
The National Portrait Gallery is of equally epic proportions. Despite being smaller in size, she plays host to a vast collection of portraits with enough scandalous stories to fill a library ten times over. Pic It’s fascinating to stop and stare at each painted individual in the eyes as you read of the debauchery that almost plagued their lives.
I love how you can nonchalantly stroll through this museum, again, for free yet can also pay to experience some fantastic exhibitions ie. Vogue 100 years, Russia’s Tolstoy etc.
I swoon as I type this. Oh boy, a museum is a perfect first date!
Finally, when in London, simply stroll through the streets and appreciate the enigmatic energy before you.
With so many iconic districts, eateries, shops, museums and historical buildings, there’s truly no shortage of fun. Oh please, I implore you to go and share in that very fun.
We approached Gatwick with aching feet: a wave of fatigue washed over our bodies and our minds slowed to the gentle hum of the chatter onboard the train.
Our hearts, however, sang a tune of gratitude. Nothing sounds and feels sweeter than the song of adventure in an epic city with someone so special. Thanks for the memories London, maybe one day we won’t be parted permanently.