"I can't believe I haven't been to London earlier" - probably my most used phrase of last weekend. Granted, I visited once during a school trip, but after that the city somehow never made it to the top of my travel bucket list. This changed when a close friend of mine moved there and so I booked a flight. In my luggage: not a single expectation of what awaited me, because the closest thing to research that I did was skimming through London-related blog entries at the airport. That's very unlike me because I'm an obsessive organizer and researcher (who'd have thought haha) but I had absolutely no time and I fully trusted my friend to know all the best places wherever she goes. And of course, she did!
Here I'm sharing with you the things I did and the coolest places I visited and would 100% recommend you to visit too when in London. But instead of overwhelming you with a million explanations, I'll let my millions of pictures speak for themselves.
First things first. I got a coffee fix because my flight was too early. In addition to soy and almond milk, Starbucks now has coconut milk! This makes me unreasonably happy and I need to stop mentioning it everywhere.
We went to explore Soho and Oxford Street and got free cotton candy - yay!
London blessed us with its most beautiful weather which made everything look even more breathtaking.
I was wearing: My military sweater that I love dearly, black MNG jeans, my beloved Nike Free Runs.
This day started with one of the best breakfasts ever at Farm Girl Café in Notting Hill and I wish I could recommend this place completely, but it really could be managed better. Overall service was great, but the guy in charge of assigning seats to people waiting in line had no clue what he was doing haha. Friendly, but clueless. At some point there were 10(!) seats available and he just kept running around putting more people on the waiting list instead of giving the free tables to anyone for a good 20 minutes. The food, however, was absolutely delicious. This is avocado bread, a coconut sandwich (weird description, I know, but it was so good!), açaï bowl, and toasted bread with macadamia nut butter and cranberry jam, which still has me dreaming. I need to start making my own nut butter - please let me know if you have any good recipes!
We then continued exploring Notting Hill, mainly window and walk-through shopping (this last expression may not exist). Notting Hill is beautiful but it's almost a little too perfect with its blossoming trees, cute little shops and neatly cleaned pavement. Still a must-see in London, not least because of the tons of brunch spots there!
Wearing: Veja shoes, black Mango jeans, a Maje sweater (courtesy of my friend Fiona) and my current favorite: an embroidered, velvet-like Topshop jacket which I'll show you in a different post.
After that we visited the Saatchi Gallery in South Kensington (current exhibition: From Selfie to Self-Expression) and then went for a walk in the Hampstead Heath park overlooking the City of London, where I spotted the cutest little dog ever. Look at him! He knows he looks fabulous posing in the last sun rays of the day.
After brunch at Grangers & Co. we went to the stunning Columbia Road Flower Market in East London, which is open every Sunday from 8 AM to 2 PM. If you go - and you should, because it's really nice - make sure you go early. Unless you like physical contact with strangers and a lot of that: The road is pretty narrow and it gets extremely crowded in the afternoon. Absolutely worth visiting though!
Isn't she the prettiest?
We continued to Brick Lane in East London and this is where things got really exciting. I completely fell in love with Brick Lane Market, where you can find tasty street food, hand-made jewelry, clothes, arts and crafts all lined up in and outside of (you guessed it) brick buildings. The streets are filled with a unique atmosphere and a mixed public of trendy Londoners, people looking for a bargain and a surprisingly high number of street musicians. I tried to capture the atmosphere but I think you'll have to check it out yourself if you get the chance.
I got the most amazing, vegan Ethiopian food from this little stand in a food hall. The bread you can see on the right side of my plate is Injera - an iron-rich sourdough bread made from teff flour. Just a tip for my Viennese friends: We even have an Ethiopian restaurant in Vienna, which is really nice and worth trying.
Wearing: My faux leather Morgan de toi jacket and again, my Nikes because my beige Veja sneakers would not have survived this market.
The day ended with delicious dinner cooked by Italian friends of Fiona (thanks so much guys if you're reading this!) and a one-hour nap before taking my flight back home.
Is there anything I should definitely see next time I'm in London? Let me know. XXx