London, England (1/3)

November 23rd, 2019


  • Airline: Norwegian Airlines
  • Accommodates: Airbnb (shout out to Jane!)
  • Food & Drink:
    • Borough Market
      • Especially the olive oil stand
      • Try the mushroom pâté
  • Dishoom (locations all over London and even Edinburgh – we visited the Shoreditch location)
Westminster Abbey

London in one word is “charming.” It’s absolutely beautiful, though it is wet all of the time – even if It’s not raining, there’s a constant mist in your face. Plus side – the overcast sky creates the best lighting for photos! And of course, being able to meet up with a friend makes the experience so much better. On my first day in London, I was lucky to be able to spend the the morning and early afternoon with my friend Ben who currently lives in London. Walking through the city with him definitely gave me a better feel of London, which I realized I liked much more than I thought I would.

Yes, it’s rainy and a little “nippy” most of the time, but the city is alive – not dreary. There’s so much history everywhere and people are honestly very well dressed. I fell in love with Borough Market too, of course. Not only are there more trendy food booths, there are is also a ton of beautiful fresh produce and vendors with goods like preserves, breads, and oils. There are plenty of options for everyone, and we were able to eat a fully vegan meal after exploring the market. Ben had the genius idea of buying a caramelized walnut loaf (divine) and several dips, which included hummus, a mushroom pate (try this!), and a jar of sundried tomatoes.

London is an incredible city to walk. During my time with Ben, we passed by many major sites, including Shakespeare’s Globe, the London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tate Modern, and Westminster Abbey. Afterwards, I meandered over to Monmouth Coffee (by Ben’s recommendation as well) – they have a KILLER oat latté (I ended up coming back two days later) – and then walked through Trafalgar Square to meet up with Jacky at Buckingham Palace.

After some obligatory photos, we took the bus to Shoreditch, the “hip” part of London, if you will. Lots of bars and trendy eateries, definitely a good place for drinks or a night out. By the recommendation of several friends, we made it a point to visit Dishoom, which has several locations all over the UK and is inspired by the Irani Cafés of Bombay. Today it’s quite trendy and the lines are often, and I quote from a friend, “heinous.” We arrived at 5 pm and sat at the bar having drinks for nearly an hour before we were seated. Well worth the wait, however – especially the paneer makhani and house daal.

We couldn’t leave Shoreditch without a drink, so we met up with Jacky’s friend Fergus at TT Liquor – a unique spot that is a specialty liquor store on the top floor and has a cocktail bar in the cellar. This is a cozy, intimate spot and we were impressed with both the cocktails and wine selection. We closed off the night with a visit to the South Bank Christmas market (more on that in Christmas Market post!)

An incredibly fulfilling day. My heart was so full after spending the day with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and then with one of my best friends. Sharing experiences like this with people you care about is incomparable and I really did fall in love with London. AND I walked 15.6 miles (37,146 steps)!! Truly – I couldn’t ask for more.

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