Our weekend in London started out a bit differently from pretty much any trip I’d ever been on before. Boyfriend had told me two days before my birthday that we were flying somewhere & that I’d need to pack a bag for similar-ish kind of weather. That’s all the information I got. He had packed the passports, checked us in, booked the bus tickets & train tickets & everything else that’s involved in travelling. All I had to do was pack a bag & try not to nose around in Boyfriend’s stuff for clues during the next two days, which was torture, but I somehow managed it. Only after we’d got through security at the airport on my birthday, as we sat down to a desperately needed coffee, Boyfriend handed me a gorgeous birthday card with a bright blue oyster card held within.
(I died. isn’t he the best?)
London is one of my all time favourite places to visit, so as soon as I saw the oyster card I quickly became one of those smiley, annoyingly happy type folks that we all hate to see at the airport, especially before 5:30 in the morning. The birthday card invited me to dinner that night at Wahaca, but other than that Boyfriend informed me that he’d left the weekend relatively unplanned so that we could just explore & have fun without having to stick to a schedule.
The two of us had done most of the touristy attractions in London previously, so we decided to stay away from any of the crowded main areas, choosing instead to spend our time wandering the streets of Bloomsbury, Hampstead, & Notting Hill, three areas of the city I’d never spent much time in before. We had nothing particular in mind for our time in London, other than to eat as much food as we could possibly get our hands on & drink as many margaritas as we could hold down. Life goals.
I have to admit, I fell hard for the beautiful streets of Hampstead, lined with the types of gorgeous houses I will never own – the two of us wandered around (with a £4 sausage roll in hand) gawking in the windows of other people’s homes. The same thing is true of Notting Hill, but we mainly only made the journey out there for one thing: The Blue Door, from Notting Hill the movie. One of my top 10 movies of all time, I was determined that we’d hunt down the door & snap a picture.
Below is a list of some of the places we loved on our trip, as well as a handful of photos that give a small sneak peek into our weekend.
where to eat
Wahaca // home of what turned out to be – hands down – the best tacos Boyfriend & I have ever had, ever. pork pibil is the taco of choice, and it should always always always be washed down with a classic margarita or a Negra Modelo Mexican beer.
The Hawksmoor // we’re one of those couples that order the same thing against our better judgement, and this time it came back to bite us – the Hawksmoor Burger with bone marrow nuggets didn’t live up to expectations (too much mustard), but the beef dripping fries are almost worth a visit alone, so dang good.
Byron // I have a secret to share with you: Boyfriend & I stopped into Byron to grab a burger… after we’d just had dinner elsewhere. That’s how good these burgers are. Classic, no cheese, always rare, always perfect.
Bloomsbury Coffee House // we found ourselves here on our first morning in London. Standard breakfast menu, good coffee, delicious cinnamon sugared french toast with bacon.
Raoul’s // busy little restaurant in Notting Hill. Boyfriend had some of the best pancakes he’s ever had, soaked heavily in butter maple syrup.
Chipotle // so cheap & so good. We stopped in for some emergency guacamole & tortilla chips (genuinely a real emergency), as well as some happy hour margaritas. Both were surprisingly great for the price!
The Hampstead Butcher // I’ve never before seen a butcher with a queue out the door. We paid £4 for a sausage roll & we don’t even regret it one bit.
Fabrique // Best. Cinnamon. Buns. Ever.
where to drink
Coach & Horses // classic English pub. Somehow has found the medium between regular old timers & new hipster type folk, making it one hella pleasing experience. Bonus: they sell Aperol spritzs here!
The Horseshoe // cozy restaurant in Hampstead that has a killer ranger of Camden Town beers. Boyfriend highly recommends the standard Camden lager.
The Holly Bush // cozy old style English pub hidden up a small lane way in Hampstead. Perfect for nestling in with a quiet pint.
Freud // down the stairs into a basement under an abandoned old shop lies Freud, a hidden gem. The bar is only identifiable by a sign in the window of the shop above, giving a real speakeasy feel to the place. Boyfriend & I managed to squeeze ourselves onto a step in the middle of the chaos for a well priced cocktail.
what to do
The British Museum // Boyfriend suggested we wander around the BM to add some culture to our trip & I must say we really enjoyed it. Only when we were inside did I remember that they house the original Parthenon frieze here, which is approximately when my inner archaeologist started to fan-girl all over the place.
National Portrait Gallery // we saw a totally amazing exhibition here on William Eggleston, so I have high hopes that all of their exhibitions are totally amazing.
just cool places
Foyles Books // the best book store I have ever been in. Five floor of books & knowledge & a great cafe on the top floor & a killer cookbook section!
Monmouth Street // such a cool street to wander down, filled with quirky little shops & coffee bars.
Forbidden Planet // Boyfriend got to relive his childhood love for movie memorabilia while we wandered around. It was amazing.
St. John’s Graveyard // I have a thing for graveyards, which works for us, because so does boyfriend! A beautiful graveyard to wander around, also home to grave of John Constable.
280 Westbourne Park Road // because everybody has to go and see the blue door from Notting Hill the movie. It’s disappointing, sitting beside a Starbucks, but still. This is the door that Anna Scott falls in love with William Thacker at & that’s the best reason ever to go and take a picture outside someone’s front door.