travel blog: london, england
Woops! I went to London three months ago and am finally getting around to posting about it, which is ridiculous, because it immediately became one of my very favorite places. It’s such a vibrant city, like there is a pulse to it you can feel just by being out and about. The food, the culture, the history – it’s almost too much to take in! I absolutely fell in love with London and can’t wait to go back. Until then – here’s the adventure we had.
As soon as we landed we wanted to go sight-seeing, which was pretty easy considering we were staying within walking distance of Westminster. First stop was big old beautiful Ben.
Then we did a quick pass by Westminster Abby, which was truly breathtaking.
Of course we consider pubs a part of sightseeing, so when we stumbled upon this fantastic pub called The Ship, in Soho, we had to take a pit stop. It’s funny because it ended up being on our punk-rock walking tour the next day as a go-to for all rockers in town on tour. Apparently Kiss had been in the week before and back in the day Billy Idol, Keith Moon and more frequented the pub regularly, how cool is that?!
I was so happy to be in this beautiful city with my honey!
I’ll admit on the first night we just inhaled some pizza, it was perfect after our very fish + chips heavy jaunt in Scotland the week prior. After bouncing around some pubs in the Soho neighborhood, we got a good night’s sleep and were up and at ’em the next morning – and this was a FOODIE day. We started off with a delicious pear pastry while we were on the move to our punk-rock tour. Lordy lou, it was delish.
Dave booked our tour – the Original Soho Punk Rock Walking Tour – and I’m not exaggerating when I say this was the best tour I’ve ever been on. Despite the tour being a lot of, “hey look at that Speedo store, it used to be the famous Roxy,” the tour guide, Aiden, makes the whole experience super enthralling since he grew up in the area when the scene was just starting to explode. He’s funny as hell, has the most amazing personal stories of the time, and was incredibly knowledgeable. He even grabbed some beers with some folks after the tour – you seriously walk away from the tour hoping he’s your new buddy. Highly recommend!
After working up an appetite walking all over town hearing tales of Johnny Rotten, we were ready to eat. Everyone said to try Bao, and Dave and I have never had a bad reco from a local, so off we went. It was spectacular, and we tried a little bit of everything, including Taiwan beer, yum.
Pork belly bao was Dave’s favorite.
The classic was my jam – braised pork and coriander. I mean just look at this fluffy delicious thing! AH!
The fried chicken bao situation was also aces.
Brave old Dave even ordered and ate some blood sausage.
After our lunch we decided to pay the Queen a visit and bop on through Hyde Park.
From the tired looks on our faces, you can tell we needed to re-energize, so onto gelato we went. Gelupo to the rescue! Coconut + Pistachio, please and thank you.
And because we’re gluttonous, we also passed by a place where you could get a cone of meat. You don’t have to ask me twice!
Because we had to make sure we were ready for dinner, we took a nap. I just want to make sure you know there was a break between all this eating and the next. 😀
We headed to the Cinnamon Club, which is a fine-dining Indian restaurant. It was ah-ma-zing. The atmosphere is beautiful, as it is housed in what used to be the Westminster Library.
We had delicious naan bread – seriously every meal should start this way.
I ordered the wild spencer gulf king prawns with mango coriander sauce and rice vermicelli. This was an amazing dish that I’m already brainstorming on how to recreate, I loved the sweet + spice.
Then our lovely server asked if we were celebrating anything special, we just shrugged and said, “vacation!” which he thought was worthy enough to bring us a free dessert – a deconstructed strawberry cheesecake that was perfection.
Alright, now we were off to Camden for some nightlife. We hit up BrewDog, the World’s End, the Black Heart, and ended the night at Simmon’s dancing to the DJ playing 90’s R&B under a skull disco ball. What I love best about travelling with Sir Dave is that he’s always up for anything. We started this night out not having a plan at all but ended up bouncing around to all of these rad bars just by asking around and winging it. We had so much damn fun.
Alright, after our Camden dance party night, we got some much-needed rest and got up for our last day in London.
We basically planned our entire day around trying to get into Barrafina for dinner. It’s a highly rated tapas joint, with limited seating and no reservations. But as luck would have it, we made it in right when the doors opened and snagged a primo spot to take it all in.
Eating here is definitely an experience, you get to see everything be made right in front of you.
We ordered the Buñuelos de Bacalao, which is fried cod, and it was fantastic.
Every time we see ‘pig’s head’ on a menu, we order it because YOLO.
Next up was a prawn and piquillo pepper tortilla.
Last, but not least we ended with the chickpeas with ropa vieja. It was so decadent, rich and yummy.
Here are our ‘we’re too full’ faces – but it was worth it to try all the great dishes this place has to offer. I’d go back in a heartbeat to try a bunch more.
Full and happy, we were off to our last night out in London, so of course we just went straight to The Ship. We ended up making some hilarious and wonderful pals – and had a crazy, fabulous time.
London, it won’t be long before we see you again! <3