There are great cities and then there are the ones so remarkable that they become permanently etched in your sensory memory.
So, when Gareth pulled me aside last week with the crazy proposition of going to London for the day I all too naturally responded with an enthusiastic, heck yeah!
I’ve always had a fascination with London, to many it’s the epitome of the saying ‘overworked and underpaid’ but to me, it’s simply magical in a rather je ne sais quoi way.
After an obscenely early start to the day (which I kinda enjoy, the airport buzz is so fun) we arrived in central London at 9.30am.
With empty stomachs, plenty of laughter and excitement clouding the air we made a beeline for The Wolseley (here). I’m a somewhat creature of habit, and whilst I love to try new things some spots just have to be cherished and revisited.
We sat chatting, laughing and simply soaking up the wonderful atmosphere unique to this iconic eatery. As we sipped coffee to the clinking sounds of cutlery and the chatter of servers, we relished the fact we were surrounded by businessmen deep in serious conversation, to young couples on a brunch date.
Trust me, the variety of hungry eaters, decor and views make for a wonderful introduction to a day in London.
Next up? We strolled through Mayfair to Liberty (here) as the sun gently kissed our faces. What a beautiful day! It puts a smile on my face now to even think of how perfect the weather was.
I finally tried a few Byredo perfumes, whilst you know I’m an obscene collector (and user) of Jo Malone, I’ve been intrigued by this Swedish brand for some time.
While Gypsy Water (here) seems to be the scent of the year, I interestingly was drawn to Bal D’Afrique. The scent settled to form a warm, inviting and romantic aroma. With a subtle note of bergamot, I was a huge fan.
When in London it feels almost criminal not to visit Selfridges, especially when you’re a mere skip hop and jump away.
If you follow Livia’s Kitchen (here) you’ll have seen these delicious treats widely posted across social media. They look absolutely delicious, and sound wonderfully nutritious: ergo, I’d wolf the entire tub in one sitting, which is precisely why I didn’t buy any.
Go me! Go willpower!
I laugh as I type this. Mid food haul excitement (please tell me this feeling of elation washes over others when they arrive in a food hall), Gareth turned to me with a smirk on his face that suggested a proposal was coming.
Sushi. My love. How dare I refuse?
Face to face with the glorious English sun, we eagerly walked from Selfridges to Harrods. Slightly unnecessary but such a fantastic way to just enjoy the day, soak up the atmosphere and appreciate every second of sunshine.
Harrods was eerily empty, which worked in our favour as we could skim through each department without having to battle the relentless waves of tourists doing the very same thing.
As a token of homage to the beautiful weather, we sat for hours in Laduree (here) outside in the warmth. Chatting, planning and laughing: you’ll see all of this on the vlog!
Being the chief navigator means one thing, and one thing only: you maintain the ability to sneakily lead your group to somewhere they maybe necessarily didn’t want to go.
Deliciously Ella’s Mae Deli (here). Otherwise known as, Gareth’s idea of a nightmare.
Honestly? The staff were so incredibly friendly: it’s clear they practice what they preach which is a genuine breath of fresh air. I love supporting businesses that promote authenticity. Our server was so genuinely cheery and pleasant that it really added to the entire experience, along with the seriously tempting food. Whilst the deli is small, it reminds me of somewhere I’d happily trek to because ‘it’s my favourite’..
Not that I’m a creature of habit or anything, right?
Ps. I gobbled a ridiculously tasty sweet treat that I’ll show you on the vlog. This morning I woke up thinking about it, I harped about it in work to the staff and right now I’m dreaming of how it compliment my cup of green tea.
Claridges (here) is probably one of my favourite hotels in the city. The staff beautifully balance the delicate act of polished, gracious service whilst treating each customer like a human, not another number. Beyond refinery, there’s something special about feeling welcomed and valued in such a hotel without any snobbiness.
Finally, in final pursuit of (more) food, we trotted to The Edition. This youthful hotel plays home to Berner’s Tavern, (here) a seriously wonderful restaurant that you simply need to try.
With an electric ambience reminiscent of New York, this place has serious style and substance to boot.
If you’re in the city, reserve a table online and eagerly head here. You’ll fall in love.
Oh, what a day! My heart is so happy as I type, it was such a fun and exciting trip. That’s one thing I’ve learnt to really do this year: embrace life and the opportunities thrown at you. Do it and do it wholeheartedly, it is so much fun!
If you’d like to know a little more about our flights, then bingo let me tell you. Our flights were a mere £25 each (return) from Belfast to London Gatwick. We arrived in central London at Victoria at 9.30am and left that night on the 8.30pm express. Thank you, Ryanair!