August 1, 2014 by maddieswab
During my trip to Europe, my aunt and I took a two-day outing to London! I was so excited to go because I had never been to London and have wanted to go, plus it was really nice to get to spend some one-on-one girl time with my aunt. Here’s a recap of everything we did! (I also might have an upcoming post just about the clothes and accessories I purchased in London, Belgium, Spain, and Maastricht. I haven’t decided yet, but let me know if that’s something you guys are interested in!)
After we took the Eurostar from Brussels to London, we arrived in London midmorning. This gave us plenty of time to find our hotel, figure out what we wanted to do, and buy tickets to see a show (more on that later). After all of this, we grabbed a bite to eat and sat in a park to enjoy our early lunch. After we were done eating and were walking around, we heard quite the commotion and decided to head towards it. Little did we know that we had walked to Buckingham Palace at the perfect time–we got there right before they started the changing of the guards! We didn’t get to see much since there were tons of people already lined up everywhere around the palace, but we got to hear and see the marching band as they went from the park to the palace. It was pretty cool to see all of the pomp and circumstance!
We then decided to visit Harrods where we easily spent hours walking around the luxurious store, going from the toy department to the food department to designer bags and cosmetics. So amazing! I picked up an umbrella and some Cath Kidston hand cream, so now I can say that I’ve shopped at Harrods haha!
Next, we walked around another park some more (seriously, I could spend hours in London’s gorgeous parks!) before seeing Kensington Palace. Then, we met up with my aunt’s friend and her little daughter for afternoon tea at The Orangery at Kensington Palace. This was definitely one of my favorite parts of our trip to London! It was so cool to be able to partake in the traditional English afternoon tea, plus I felt pretty fancy! I had some delicious wildberry tea, and our afternoon tea arrived with tons of little sandwiches (I decided not to indulge in any of these and keep my appetite for the sweets, since I’m not a huge sandwich person) including smoked salmon and cream cheese, mayonnaise and cress, honey roasted ham with English mustard, and cucumber and mint; orange-scented and currant scones served with clotted cream and strawberry jam; and a ton of pastries. It was beyond delicious!
In the evening, we went to see Once at the Phoenix Theatre. I had heard amazing things about this show from bloggers and Florian and Charlotte, so I was prepared to like it. Um, I didn’t just like it, I absolutely loved it! I left the show with tears in my eyes because I was that attached to the story, the set, the cast, the music, and the plot. Plus, we got to go up on stage during intermission to get drinks at the bar that’s the setting for the show! How cool is that?! But seriously, if you have a chance to see Once in London or New York City, or just watch the movie the musical’s based on, you should!
The next day after eating a traditional English breakfast at our hotel, we started the morning off early with a walk around the Tower of London, the Tower Bridge, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. It definitely was a lot of walking, but it was well worth it since we got to see so much of London’s classic structures. They were all so gorgeous, but I think I liked the Tower Bridge the most! It’s just so stunning with the blue color on it, plus I’m a sucker for a walk on a bridge.
Next, we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum to see the photography and fashion exhibits, which were beyond amazing. The photography exhibit had a range of photos from the beginning of photography to modern day photography. And the fashion exhibit showed how fashion in London has evolved from the 1800s to now. It was jaw-dropping to see all of the gorgeous gowns and designer garb! Plus, I picked up The London Cookbook at the bookstore there so that I can eat a little piece of London at home 🙂
After the museum, we shopped a lot. I was looking forward to Topshop and Uniqlo, since the last time I’d been to those stores was the last time I was in New York City and they’re definitely two of my favorites! I picked up a skirt on sale and a Peter Pan collar shirt from Topshop and harem pants and a rain jacket (which I’ve been wanting forever!) from Uniqlo, but more on those in upcoming style posts!
After shopping until we almost actually dropped, we went to The Queen’s Head pub and ate a delicious, classic meal of fish and chips. I’ve had fish and chips before in the US, but nothing compares to the real thing in a real British pub! Delish!
We had a little time before we had to board the Eurostar, so we made a last-minute trip to the British Library to the John Ritblat Gallery to see the treasures of the library. They had over 200 of the library’s greatest treasures, which was so cool to see! They even had the Magna Carta and the original copies of many books! I think my favorite display had to be the ancient religious texts–they were so ornate and many were gilded in gold, and it was pretty neat to see how much pride people put into their religions.
I loved London, and I can’t wait to get back! Keep an eye out for my last post about my trip to Europe (I’m already tearing up!) about Belgium and our day trip to the Netherlands and Germany!