Over the past few years as my friends and I have been growing up, I’ve had a few of them go to London for a work placement or to live after uni so I’ve visited at least once a year. Up until I was in secondary school, I had never been to London so coming from a small village, I was fascinated throughout my whole trip.
I am very much a countryside girl. I love living in a village, I love being surrounded by fields and water. Even when I initially moved to York for uni, I felt very much like a fish out of water but I learned to love it. That’s happening with London now too.
I visited with my family once and we stayed in a nice hotel and it was your standard tourist trip. I’ve then stayed with a friend in Brixton and a friend in Shepherd’s Bush. But over the weekend, I stayed with a friend who lives between Camden and Hampstead and it was the nicest area EVER. I didn’t even feel like I was in London which is maybe why I enjoyed it so much. She’s extremely lucky to live there, for sure!
I travelled down after work on Friday and arrived at Kings Cross at 9pm. I was shattered. But, we walked up to Hampstead and got a late night crepe. There was a cute little van outside a pub that served crepes until 11:30pm. I had one with Belgian milk chocolate and banana and I’m telling you now, it was the most delicious crepe I have ever tasted. If anyone reading this lives near Hampstead – you must go!
I was honestly so sleepy by the time we walked back to the flat so I had a cup of tea and fell asleep. The next morning, we got ready and headed to Covent Garden which I honestly think has to be my favourite place in London. The weather wasn’t great this time but when I visited last summer, it was a beautiful day and we sat and watched a street performer with an ice cream and the atmosphere is just always lovely there.
We had a late lunch booked so decided to just get a light snack. We went to Le Pain Quotidien in Covent Garden. We shared a bowl of baby roast potatoes and they were absolutely delicious. I then had a pot of tea and a mixed berry tart. It was the best pastry I have ever tasted. I finished it and felt like I wanted another. The fruit and cream were so fresh and the pastry just fell apart. The rest of the menu looked incredible too so I would certainly recommend!
We hovered around the flower benches to take a few photos but I’m telling you now, every single one of those benches in Covent Garden is high bloody demand! You find a free one but all of a sudden, a swarm of people are watching you be a posey mare and are waiting for their turn to do the same! We found a couple of free benches though and managed to take some good snaps but you definitely get judged if you stay sat on one for more than 2 minutes. The cheek of the women sat on one having a catch up! Do they not realise that those benches are Instagram GOLD?
We then mooched around a couple of shops. I fell in love with Brandy Melville but it stressed me out that all the clothing was “one size” because it certainly was not. I tried one top on that fit perfectly but another didn’t even fit over ONE of my boobs. Nonetheless, lovely clothes! Also, we briefly wandered around Kikki K and the stationery in there is incredible! So many pastel organisers and diaries.
We stopped for another cup of tea (of course) and headed for the tube. We arrived in Paddington! We had a late lunch booked at a new-ish spot called Darcie & May Green.
“Darcie Green provides the perfect setting for canal side dining, serving Aussie brunch, healthy lunch and relaxing dinners. With an Antipodean-inspired menu, dishes are bold, fresh and comforting.”
It was impressive! The restaurant was on a colourful barge boat just behind Paddington Station. Firstly, the outside of the boat is amazing. The colours and the LED light are so inviting and you can take some beautiful photos. As I carefully stepped onto the boat and walked down the stairs, the interiors jumped out at me immediately. There were hanging plants, marble tables and pastel velvet chairs at the tables. It was such a relaxing atmosphere and it was so beautifully decorated.
The food… Was absolutely delicious. I can’t bang on about it enough! I love poached eggs on toast because I can’t make them myself so I always treat myself to them when I go for brunch! They were cooked to perfection here! I had the poached eggs, bacon and avocado on charcoal toast and it was just heavenly. I was so intrigued by the black bread but it was so tasty! The avocado was fresh, the eggs were perfectly runny and the bacon was mouth-wateringly yummy.
I’ve had a few people ask me where this is after posting photos on Instagram. I highly recommend it to anyone who is partial to a fancy brunch in pretty surroundings!
And if you’re not bothered about the food, they have another barge next-door which is a bar so you can have cocktails on a barge boat! What could be better?
We headed home for a little rest before going out for cocktails. I made a silly shoe choice and although my boots are super snazzy, they are the totally wrong choice for walking around London all day!
We watched a couple of episodes of Queer Eye on Netflix and it’s so good! If you haven’t watched it, you must watch at least one episode! If you can’t tolerate it, I get it because it’s not to everybody’s taste but I really enjoyed it and it’s one of those tv shows where you can just switch off for a while and chill out which I definitely needed after all the walking around.
We then got ready to go out as we had a reservation at a bar in Shoreditch called Callooh Callay. This is probably one of the edgiest places I’ve ever been. We were taken upstairs to a very dark room with seats made out of bath tubs and booths behind curtains. We were then led through some dark curtains and up a dark staircase up to an even darker room with loud music playing. We sat on a table in the corner and a very friendly bartender came over to us to give us the cocktail menu and two glasses of water.
I definitely chose the wrong cocktail. They still had the St Patrick’s Day menu on so all the cocktails had whiskey in. Mine was SO strong and it took me a while to drink. So when I had another, I chose the same as Eloise and it was much nicer. They both went straaaaight to my head though.
The bathroom at Callooh Callay was incredible! There were cassette tapes stuck to the wall and I could have stayed in there for hours reading all the tape titles.
We then hopped in a taxi and went to the local which was The George in Belsize Park. I loved it in here! It reminded me of home and everyone in there was friendly and welcoming. Plus, they had my favourite gin! And then of course, we went and got another crepe… I’m not even ashamed.
Sunday was such a lovely day! We went for brunch at Black Truffle in Primrose Hill. I had poached eggs, yet again! This time on sourdough bread with chorizo. The bread was so good! And, my eyes kept wandering over to the hot cross buns and muffins – everything looked so delicious! We then wandered up Primrose Hill and around the streets and it was gorgeous there! Very jealous of anyone who lives there.
We then visited the amazing Columbia Road Flower Market. This is probably one of the best things I’ve ever done when visiting London! It was extremely busy which was quite overwhelming at times but the flowers and plants were absolutely beautiful! I wanted to take so many things back home with me but I knew more than two bunches would be too much to carry! I chose sunflowers because they were my Grandmas’ favourite and the symbol of the National Hospice Movement and I chose roses because I just think they look stunning in a vase together.
Of course, we went to find some colourful walls to take some photos! We definitely got judged as we walked towards the bright blue building but who cares?! The photos are great!
Everyone should visit! It’s so colourful and the flowers are all fresh and gorgeous! And yes, I managed to get a bunch of roses and sunflowers all the way back to Yorkshire in one piece! I LOVE them.
We then mooched around Camden and had another cup of tea and a scone at Tea & Glory. It was beautifully decorated in there and had a great vibe but I really wasn’t a fan of the tea. It was WAY too strong and floral. Camden is great though! There’s a great buzz and some unusual looking people walking around.
At this point in the day, I was exhausted! It’s so tiring walking around all day and being surrounded by so many people! Especially when you’re used to pottering around a small village! I really enjoyed my visit to London and I was in super great company! I finished my trip by meeting one of the first friends I made at uni for dinner as he’s also moved there! It was great to catch up.
Let me know if you’ve visited any of these places or if you can recommend anywhere for my next trip!
Thank you so much to my best pal and fellow tea-addict, Eloise for letting me stay in her lovely little flat, taking me to some fabulous places, taking candid shots of me all weekend, for listening to me rant for daaaays and for just being a brilliant person and friend. So glad I know you!