My Favorite Things: London

About 3 weeks ago, we finished up a 4 month stay in England (over the winter, huge mistake, go to England in the summer, I beg you) which gave me time to finalize my “My Favorite Things” post about one of my favorite cities.

As with all of MFT posts, I’m not necessarily playing tour guide here, I’m just making a list of many of the things I like, and that I think you might like too. So, here we go!

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Eat

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Churchill Arms – If you’ve ever been on Pinterest, you’ll know this famous London restaurant. The building is absolutely covered in flowers, but the surprise is, they serve well-priced, really good, Thai food inside.

The Orangery at Kensington Palace – This is my favorite place for tea in the city, simply for proximity to the Palace. Kate and Will keep a pad at Apartment 1A, and you won’t see them, but the gorgeous Orangery space will make you forget all about that.

Candella Tea Room – Adorable, adorable, adorable. This is the place to pop in for a simple cream tea and just bask in the traditional decor.

Granger & Co. – Yummy Mummy central, this Notting Hill restaurant is simply delicious. Breakfast is supposed to be the best, but honestly, every meal is top notch.

Indian Food – London is a hotbed for international cuisines, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll really appreciate this. My favorite is Indian food, I’m obsessed with curry, so I always stop in any curry shop I spy.

Cereal Killer Cafe – Sure, it’s overpriced (welcome to London, y’all), but you can create any sort of mix with pretty much any type of cereal ever created. Go to the outpost in Camden Market for a super hip vibe.

Shop

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The Portobello Print & Map Shop – Hitting Portobello Road’s market is a must-do for anyone visiting London. Shops and stalls (and hoards of people if you go later in the day) line Portobello Road in Notting Hill, and my favorite of them is the Print & Map Shop. Filled with original maps (imagine that!) from all throughout history, I want every single one for my future home.

Gift Shops – Kensington Palace, the V&A, The Queen’s Gallery, National History Museum, the National Gallery, the list goes on and on. London has the best museums, which typically equals the best gift shops.

Liberty London – Liberty is the HOLY GRAIL of shopping experiences. Not only is the building itself beautiful, but they have a lush flower shop and will be my first stop when I finally hit those billion dollar powerball numbers.

Boots – Boots is one of my fave shops on the planet. It’s like Target, but without the furniture and Starbucks (this part I don’t like). And much, much heavier on the cosmetics. If you’re a product junkie, do yourself a favor and binge.

TKMaxx – Just like TJMaxx, but kinda better. The toiletry section is better (hello European beauty product mecca) and they always have a really robust selection of reasonably priced clutches.

Fortnum & Mason – Along with Harrods and Harvey Nichols, F&M is classic British department store. I can’t always justify the splurge, but I can always pick up a box of their Turkish Delights, best on the planet.

Play

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Kew Gardens – A little bit outside London, Kew Gardens is worth the trip if you have some free time. The Palm House and the Princess of Wales Conservatory are my favorites, and when the orchids are in bloom, it’s heaven.

Tate Modern – Even if you’re not into modern art, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to the Tate. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I love modern art, so I’m always up for a swing around this museum and they make a mean espresso.

Double Decker Bus – So cheesy, yet actually kinda fun. On my very first trip to London, when I was just a little travel baby, I took a double decker bus tour. I was horribly embarassed until I got up top, took the front seat, and had the time of my life. If you’ve got limited time in the city, and ya wanna see it all fast, this may be for you.

Notting Hill – We’ve all seen the movie, Hugh Grant wandering through stall after stall on Portobello Road during the market, while the seasons change around him. An actual day is Notting Hill is just as wonderful. Stroll the neighborhood, stop for a late breakfast, take photos by the columned homes, and generally enjoy this plush hood.

Chelsea – I love Chelsea. Lilly loves Chelsea, too. Everytime we’re in the neighborhood, she meets another posh pup, which makes me squeal with joy. I like to shop, people watch, and explore the colorful side streets off King’s Road.

Hyde Park + Kensington Gardens – On a summer day, this is the spot. Bring a picnic and camp out in Hyde Park for a truely wonderful and relaxing day. I like the Italian Gardens and the sweet Peter Pan statue.

Victoria & Albert Museum – Another fantastic museum, but if you’re museum-ed out, head to the courtyard on a sunny day for a bite to eat. If the weather happens to be gray and dreary (it is England after all), explore the Ceramics Gallery and the indoor Dining Hall.

National History Museum – This is my favorite museum in London, and better yet, it’s free. (Kudos to London on the free museum front, they’re top notch at it.) Before you step inside, prepare for breathtaking. The museum itself is visually stunning, and please don’t forget to check out the stellar Minerals Gallery.

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