Who hasn’t dreamed about christmas shopping in a big city at least once in their life? I remember growing up, there always used to be sweepstakes and competitions in the fall to win a trip to go christmas shopping in New York City during the time of advent. Of course I always wanted to go.
This year with having my brother doing his master’s in London my dream came true. We booked a beautiful AirBnb, a cheap flight and off we went. Here is what we did. Honestly, we did not do much shopping. All we did was sight-seeing and eating. And it was perfect that way…
This was down the road from our BnB. Cute gastro-pub with amazing food and a jolly atmosphere. I believe every person in the pub was talking at the same time since it was that noisy. Which made it all the more enjoyable. Even though it was super busy we received out food in no time at all. The menu is short and anything but simple, everything we had was delicious and the brother did not even finish his boef bourguignon. How is that for pub food? Also the interior was very my style – I could have just moved in. Big recommendation!
Oh, to go out for breakfast! And to a posh place like this! Charming 20s style interior, attentive and friendly service and oh the eggs benedict on avocado and toast, the maple syrup on pancakes, the pastries. I could have eaten it all, so we shared each a bit of the above mentioned. Looking at the menu now, I wonder why I did not have a Vanilla Berry Crush mocktail. But hey, the menu there changes as my brother learned last saturday. So they might not have had the drink then?
Those who know me, know about my afternoon meltdowns when the blood sugar is low. Patisserie Valerie saved me (and my family) last week. It was super busy and filled to the brim but the service was fast and staff was smiling and not stressed at all. Unlike me. But Madame Valeries Cream Tea with great scones and clotted cream lifted my spirits up again. Thanks!
After strolling through Harrod’s we felt a little hungry again. And somehow the ristorante from across the street that nobody had noticed except for me must have set the tone. A few (okay, a few more) steps down the road and opposite the Victoria and Albert Museum we settled for Orsini. Quick service, friendly staff, trip advisor was right about the place. It just could have been a little more on our plates.
So we really wanted to have traditional Afternoon Tea. We had almost given up when we found ourselves outside of Haymarket Hotel and its restaurant Brumus. I think the main reason we noticed it was that a London bus with a wedding party had just arrived there, too. We got lucky we got a table, because the restaurant was packed. I guess, they mistook us for guests that had booked? Anyway, fabolous time at the Brumus. The tea was great, the choice of treats enormous and we could not even finish it all. My favorite part though was running into the bride from earlier in the bathroom. It’s the little things y’all.
The hipster place among the restaurants we went to while in town. I loved that they played pop music the most – like the embarassing kind of pop music. Also measuring how much wine we drank with a stick measure like you see at fabric stores. And the huge pizza! We only had a 25 minute wait and it was so worth it. We had salami, rocket, parmesan on one half and onions, olives, anchovi on the other half. Thumbs up for the salami, the onions on the other hand were a little too toasted. Can we please go back tonight and try some more toppings?
Apart from the pub another place I could have just moved into was our BnB. It was cosy, cute and calming – the perfect spot to relax after a busy day in the city. As a surprise we got the whole apartment to ourselves as the hostess had just moved and is now selling the place. I could just buy it as my christmas present… Super rad first AirBnB experience!
My favorite part about this time in London? Christmas markets and sightseeing was wonderful, but outside of Buckingham Palace we ran into a film crew, lots of oldtimer cars and people in 20s outfits. It would have made my day, no year, if it would have been Downton Abbey 😉 It was for a netfliy series. Still, something I have never experienced. Thanks a lot, London! And thanks to the patient tourguide Christian, who also took some of the photos!
Have a beautiful fourth of advent! Anna