London: Day 1
As many of us do, I fantasized about traveling Europe. I used to with New York, but I’ve already been there four times, always seems to amaze me. After seeing such beautiful sights on movies, we all create this illusion and eventually want to visit every place and take that beauty in. So I arranged this trip with my friends and set on six places to visit all through Europe.
Our first stop was London, England. We arrived there on a Sunday at 6am local time. We got out of the station and after walking for a while under the rain in about 20° or so we started noticing that pretty much everything was closed or opened later in the morning. We were freezing, also starving and later discovered Sunday is rest day in London. Almost nothing is open, except around the city. A lot more walking later we found a place called Polo Bar were we had some traditional British breakfast. The service was excellent and the food was really good there.
After getting our bellies full we went to Spitalfields Market and that’s where we discovered Crosstown doughnuts. These donuts are all made from scratch, from the dough to the fillings and I have to tell you they are AMAZING! I tried their Crème Brûlée one, delicious. You can also find all sorts of handmade everything, from clothes to socks. It was already check-in time so we went to our first AirBnb which was located in the bank area, not a very busy one. In this case, our host, though nice, wasn’t really helpful guiding us around. We were a little shocked with the weather we encountered and on top of that we had no idea how to get around in terms of transportation.
We decided to take a nap, after that 10 hour flight we were #dead. When we got up at night we went to The Garrison Public House which is this adorable restaurant were we made a reservation. We were greeted very warmly and got a little table that was candle lit and had flowers, it was adorable. The place was packed and everyone seemed really cheerful, talking amongst themselves. Actually involved in conversations and you could see that no one was in their devices. We ordered Sunday Roast. The food came out really fast and was delicious. The wine there was great too. After an amazing dinner we headed to the London Eye. Unfortunately we couldn’t go up, because it was under some sort of construction. We admired its beauty and kept walking to the Big Ben which was just across from it. We kept walking a little more and decided to go back to the apartment to get some rest. During our trip on London we used Uber as our primary transportation. We found that in general people were not really helpful towards us and the metro system was a little complicated for us, so our best option was Uber. The prices were actually affordable and since we were splitting it three ways, the total for each was less than £5 almost every time.
London: Day 2
We got up early the next Monday morning. Did a little research before leaving the apartment. Headed to a place called The Breakfast Club down in Soho and while waiting on the line we got more Crosstown Doughnuts cuz, why not? The food there was also really good, the coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice were delicious. I have to say from the start that I got into a relationship with orange juice. I had one almost everywhere we went, I’ve taken my vitamin c intake to a whole new level. After a fulfilling breakfast we headed to Oxford street where we find all sort of shops including Primark. This store is HUGE and it has everything. From clothes to accessories, shoes, makeup, hair tools and product, even things for the house. The prices are great, its really affordable. Oh, they even have luggage! It’s an awesome store. Period. Oh we were exhausted after all that terrible shopping we did so we needed a break. We had another reservation for Afternoon Tea at the British Museum. We went around for a while and then headed up for our tea. We each ordered one, so they bring you this cute kettle just for you with your choice of tea. Mine was chamomile. Little sugar cubes, so cute. Two scones with strawberry jam, these were so good. And your own little tray. In the bottom it had a little rectangular cucumber/egg sandwich, a bagel with salami, a mini quiche and a salmon with cream cheese sandwich. On top we had a mini chocolate muffin with cream cheese frosting, a caramel macaron, a zucchini muffin and my favorite, a vanilla and strawberry tart. It seemed little, but the amount was actually really nice and fulfilling.
After we got out of there we walked for a while to Selfridges, which is a huge store. Kind of like a Nordstrom. It has a variety of big name brands and also some food shops inside where you can get all sorts of goodies. On our way to the Buckingham palace we started getting hungry yet again and decided to stop at The Spaghetti House which was in our way. One of the best decisions we made. This place is an authentic Italian restaurant, here I had a Margherita pizza and it was so good. Also the service was spot on. The waitress was named Victoria and was the sweetest. We decided to leave the Buckingham Palace for the next day, we were already so tired and wanted to just do something more relaxed and entertaining for that night.
So, we headed to the Everyman Theater, which is a speakeasy inspired theater. When you go in it has a little bar with some tables around. There were a few people drinking and talking before the movie started. My friends got some beer while I got more orange juice and headed inside to see La La Land. Inside there were a lot of couches divided by little tables with cute lamps for lighting. The people that work there were really energetic and welcoming. The overall experience was really pleasant. We got out there around 11 so we went straight to sleep.
London: Day 3
The next morning I got up really cheerful cuz we were gonna have breakfast at Dominique Ansel which I LOVE!!! My friends got two Perfect Egg Sandwiches and I, after realizing they had cronuts and pretty much freak of excitement, got one as breakfast 🙂 The flavor of the month was Lemon-Chamomile with mascarpone vanilla filling, and let me tell you, every bite was a magnificent experience. Cronuts are the real deal. Also DKA’s. These things are like a puffy magical concoction. In Puerto Rico you can find something similar at Levain, they’re called Kouign Amann and they’re really good too.
Right by Dominique Ansel there’s Peggy Porchen, which is this adorable cupcake shop. They make beautiful and tasty cupcakes, somewhat the Double Cake of England 😉 After walking for a while we came across this beauty parlor called Why not? (suiting right?) and us girls being girls, wanted a little pampering (also my hair was a disaster and needed some TLC) so we went in. The hairdressers were both from Spain and very friendly. I got an amazing massage with my hair wash and they were so nice and attentive, we loved the experience there. With that out of the way and our hair looking fabulous, we headed to the Buckingham Palace feeling like royalty. Soaked all that beauty in and headed to Shake Shack, because if there is a Shake Shack around… I’M THERE! Devoured that burger and headed to a bar called Purl, where we were going to meet a new friend we made on this trip.
Arriving at the Purl, we got down the stairs cuz it was underground (exciting!) once we got in we fell in love with it. The light was dim and they have tables on the back, speakeasy style, kind of private and the decor was so suiting. There was a piano in front of us that was used as another seating area. I had a cocktail called To flip or not to flip, it was sweet, cuz thats how i like them and delicious; I ended up getting one more. A few minutes later King Joffrey Baratheon (played by Jack Gleeson) from Game of Thrones walked in and sat right across from me, I freaked and went full on fan girl on him. Thank God he was the nicest and even wished us a safe trip back home, that happened to be our last night in London. I think this was the perfect ending to our visit to London.
Things you should know:
- Sunday is Rest Day (not much is open)
- Public bathrooms cost to 50 pence to 1 pound
- Know your way around because people can be rough
- Foreigners are very nice
- British accent is hard to understand
- Take time to understand the transportation system
I would give London 6/10