Because our 10-day itinerary stemmed from wanting to spend time in London, we were overly excited to have almost four full days. London was the perfect finale to our trip, and we’re already aching to get back and see even more of the city.
Much like New York and Paris, there’s a reason people count it as one of the greatest cities in the world. Naturally, that also means there’s more to see than you can ever fit in one (or two or three) trips. Luckily, I loved London so much that I don’t even have any misses. So instead, we’re switching it up: you’ll get two “hits & hmms” posts. I owe you some positivity after my cranky Brussels posts, right?
Eurostar // We’ve had our fair share of crappy train experiences in Europe, but Eurostar was lovely. The seats were comfy, the ride was quick, and the views through Belgium and France were gorgeous.
Regents Park and the Frieze Art Fair // Regents Park was seriously beautiful, and I couldn’t believe it was a public space. Walking through the rose gardens transports you out of the city, and parts of the park feel like the grounds of Versailles. Being there during the Frieze Art Fair was just an extra bit of luck, and made the park that much more of an experience to walk through.
Hush // Hush was a win before we even walked into the restaurant. Located on a tiny side street in Mayfair, we had trouble finding it at first. If you don’t know to look for it, you won’t realize there’s a cobblestone alley off tucked away! Along with Hush, Lancashire Court had tons of other cute little bars, shops, and restaurants, and if we’d had more time, we definitely would have gone back to explore. Appearance aside, Hush measured up food-wise as well. I’m looking at the menu, though, and I cannot remember what we ate. I do know they were out of the first two items I tried to order, which always makes my life awkward. But alas, that just means we’ll have to return.
The Wolseley // Tea & Salmon Eggs Benedict for me, the full English Breakfast for the hubs, and a seat by the window? Heavenly. The atmosphere was extremely lively for a Friday morning. Though I suspect most of the crowd involved business meetings (lots of suits floating around), it didn’t feel stuffy at all.
Borough Market // We found out after our visit that the market is only open Thursday-Sunday, and I would recommend keeping this in mind if you’re planning a trip. This market was so cute, and it was the perfect pit stop during our walk along the Thames. Once we decided we had to have a pie from the Pieminister, we walked outside the market and found tons of fellow foodies sitting around the lawn of Southwark Cathedral, eating lunch. Perfection.
In case you’re wondering, we went with the Heidi Pie: goat cheese, sweet potato, spinach, red onion, and roasted garlic. In a pastry. Annnnd I want one right now.
Tower of London // Hands down the most touristy thing we did, but this was my favorite part of my first trip to London and I wanted the hubs to experience it too. If you’re even mildly interested in this time in history it’s worth seeing. We decided not to join any of the tour groups. Instead, we slowly made our way around the tower at our own pace. The guides were all lively and in costume, though, so I’m not saying don’t find one and follow him everywhere.
High Tea at the Park Lane // Apparently our hotel is one of the top places in London for high tea. This meant our lack of reservation was kind of an issue. Instead, the room service option offered the same fare and we were free to not finish (or spit out in the hubs’s case) any of the little sandwiches that made us want to die. I’m half joking, but it was nice to have the option to be completely goofy while doing something fancy.
Roast // SO GOOD. Located directly next to Borough Market, the menu is all prepared with local ingredients — some directly from the market. The restaurant was huge, and the atmosphere was just as enjoyable as Hush, but without trying as hard. The hubs also made his first attempt at grouse, and was proud that he knew how to carve it. This is all thanks to our now-annual NYC Thanksgivings! Well, except grouse is on a much smaller scale than our most recent 20-pound turkey.
Park Lane Hotel // Neither a hit nor a miss, and here’s why: great location, great staff, in-room high tea complete with mini sandwiches and the ability to speak in a British accent without offending anyone around you. Normally, this would equal an automatic hit in my book, and as a whole, we enjoyed our stay.
HOWEVER. We received an automatic upgrade to their best available room, thanks to our SPG status. Long story short, they upgraded us, then downgraded us, then upgraded us. Upgraded room: huge, bright, clean, gorgeous. Standard room: so tiny they could barely fit the bed, dimly lit, kinda gross bathroom. So lesson here? I’m not really sure. It’s either that reward cards are seriously worth it OR skip the Park Lane. You know, unless you want to pay for a suite.
Up Next: hits & hmms part deux!