United Kingdom

London Favourites (month one)

To date, I’ve used this blog to share travel planning tips and recos for my favorite places in cities I’ve visited. Having kicked off the year with a move to a new country, I’m conscious of enjoying (and remembering) this season of life.

It’s to be determined how this series takes shape over time, but for these first few months, I’ll be sharing my favorite discoveries, moments and things making up my life in the United Kingdom.

**Update: Ended up folding these updates into my #Take12Trips series throughout the duration I lived in London.

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How I Spent My Days

  • When I wasn’t working or searching for a flat/moving into a flat, I tried to spend a bit of time exploring my new neighborhood, Angel
  • Headed to Canary Wharf one night to check out the Winter Lights festival. Such cool light installations, will definitely check it out again next year and see more of the exhibits. We were short on time and were only able to check out the art in one building
  • Managed to fit in a weekend trip to Edinburgh at the end of the month. It was my first time in Scotland, and I loved it so, so much. Can’t wait to return and explore more of the highlands img_4715 fullsizerender fullsizerender_1 thumb_img_5040_1024 thumb_img_5315_1024

My Favorite New Places & Things

Coffee Shops

  • The Coffeeworks Project: Love, love, love this outpost of Coffeeworks in my neighborhood. Whether I’m in the mood for a flat white, slice of vegetable quiche, toasty banana bread or fresh mint tea, this coffee shop is my jam
  • Appestat: A cute coffee shop in my neighborhood. It’s not my go-to, but one I still enjoy nonetheless for tea or an afternoon treat
  • Curators Coffee Studio: Yes, the flat whites are good, but so is the biscotti and mint tea
  • Department of Coffee & Social Affairs: Stopped here one morning while waiting for my BRP. Good coffee and awesome porridge in a cafe big enough to settle in and work for a while img_4269 img_4391

Bars

  • 69 Colebrooke Row: A lovely intimate speakeasy with cool drinks. Try the Prairie oyster if you go- it’s weird and wild
  • The Old Queens Head: The first of many awesome pub discoveries in my ‘hood
  • Duke of Cambridge: How lucky am I to have an organic pub (with awesome vegetable dishes and cheese plates) in my neighborhood? Can’t wait to spend warm summer evenings sipping a pint at one of the outside tables
  • The New Rose: Another lovely pub nearby where I live 🙂
  • The Charles Lamb: What’s that? Another pub walking distance from my flat? Lovely. Really dig the beer and cider selection here
  • Sink Pong: Who knew ping pong bars were so popular in London? Came here with colleagues for a work night out- cocktails and ping pong tournaments? Pretty good mix img_4125 img_4228 img_4133 img_4130

Restaurants

  • Rossopomodoro: Italy meets Shoreditch. Really great pizza (something that’s hard to come by in London) and the tastiest burrata. PS. If you’re GF, there are plenty of great options on the menu
  • Pistachio & Pickle: This cafe is adorable- beautiful cheese selection and fresh baked breads. Had a cheese toasty here that was absolute perfection
  • Broadway Market: Checked out this market on a Saturday afternoon and looooved it. It’s much smaller than Borough Market, but the food stalls are just as good. If you check it out, be sure to stop in Broadway Books and Climpson and Sons for a coffee
  • Damson & Co: Located in Soho, this place is good for brunch or a coffee on the go, so warm and cozy img_4541 img_4540 img_4542 fullsizerender_2 img_4544

Shops

  • Marks & Spencer: Okay, I know this is technically a grocery and retail store, but I come here to buy the Percy pig gummies, which are my jam when I need a sugar fix
  • Haygen: Y’all. There is no underestimating how stoked I was to find the perfect Scandi store in my neighborhood (Angel). The fact that employees know my name already is saying something 😉
  • SMUG: Down the street from Haygen, I’m also digging this boutique with cute cacti and neutral ceramics
  • ETC.: Also near Haygen and Smug, ETC. is a cute card and gift shop
  • Prick: Wasn’t even here for a full month and I found a shop dedicated to selling cacti in Dalston. Took home a few plant babies and plan on coming back here for a larger cacti once I’m more settled in my flat

Also had my first British cinema experience at Everyman in Hampstead to see La La Land. A++. We paid a bit more to sit in the balcony on plush couches, dug being able to order wine and honeycomb candy during the show 🙂

Best Places & Spaces I Rediscovered

  • Shoreditch Grind: Seriously great coffee & espresso martinis. This place is around the corner from where I work, making it a go-to when I need a caffeine fix
  • Ozone Coffee Roasters: Having this right outside of my office is tempting, especially now that I’ve given up caffeine for the most part. However, when I do decide a shot of espresso is needed, it’s always here for Shoreditch Grind for my energy boost
  • The Salad Kitchen: I usually meal prep and bring lunch to work, but when I eat out, this place is always my first option. Seriously, I work in an awesome area (Shoreditch), and couldn’t even recommend the best places to grab lunch because I’m always here. It’s no Sweetgreen, but the next best thing
  • Happiness Forgets: Awesome cocktails. There’s a reason why I keep coming back to this below street level cocktail den in Hoxton Square
  • Saint Espresso: A beautiful coffee shop in Angel with great flat whites
  • Fabrique Bakery: Popped in here one morning on the way to Hackney, truly some of the best cardamom and cinnamon rolls

And! I’m still looking for a yoga studio nearby Angel / Islington, so if you’ve got any recos, let me know! I’ve tried a few, but haven’t found one that I love.

I can’t believe I’ve been living in London for a month- some days, it feels like much longer and other days, it feels like I’ve only just arrived.

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