I just came back from 6 days in London. Days spent there are always the best of my life. I hope with my whole heart that I'll be able to live there again in the future (after loads and loads of travelling adventures - in an ideal world). The great thing about holidays in a city where you used to live is you don't have to do the touristy things anymore (altough I feel kind of weird I haven't seen Big Ben once during this trip) and you don't feel guilty being lazy if you feel like to (which happens to us A LOT).
I took my camera for its first big outing abroad but in the end I ended up not using it that much except during a day in the Kew Gardens. I will do a post dedicated to that later because there are waaay too many pictures.
Wednesday, 14 March
We arrived in Stansted airport in the morning and took the coach to Stratford where we made our way to East Ham (that's where my broke self used to live 4 years ago). In proper memory lane style, we had to have a chicken fillet burger from Sam's (the best ever) while sitting in Plashet Park.
We left the 'hood to search for our hotel... We ended up walking across the whole Kensington area because I couldn't remember which station to get off at. Typical.
After resting our legs on our budget bed in our budget hotel, we headed to Camden to have a drink in the infamous Dublin Castle (best juke-box ever). My brother was in London as well with his mate so met them in Piccadilly for more drinks afterwards.
Thursday, 15 March
For once, we woke up early and finally made it for the inclusive breakfast, for the first time ever.
We then hobbled along to the Kew Gardens. The area is so pretty, it could be the set for a soap opera (Westenders?!). Too bad about its proximity to the airport. The planes were flying so low, they seemed to be at arm's length.
We spent all morning and a good bit of the afternoon wandering around the botanical gardens, and we still only managed to cover half of the park. The weather was glorious, I never wanted the day to stop.
But all good things have an end and we decided to go to the city centre for some retail therapy. And what better place than Liberty London to gasp and gawp in front of shelves and shelves of prettiness. We stopped by the Japan Centre too so I could get my hands on a copy of Fudge Magazine.
Our legs were so stiff that we didnt even pretend to look for a nice place to have a drink and we just crawled inside the first establishment we could see. Unfortunately, it was a chain Irish bar, close to Paddy's weekend, no less.
Friday, 16 March
We met my brother for brunch in the Kensington area and hopped on the tube to go to the Tate Modern. I have been wanting to visit the Yayoi Kusama's exhibition ever since I saw Narumi's post about it (check it, her pictures are extraordinary). The whole polka dot thing looked dazzling, little did I know that they had a dark meaning. Kusama called this phase of her art 'self-obliteration'. I don't think I'll ever see polka-dots the same way...
After filling our head, it was time to fill our tummies so we went back to the hotel to have a takeaway pizza. Later, we met my brother and his friends at the Lock Tavern, in the disco upstairs.
Saturday, 17 March
saturday+paddy's day+rainy = helloooo hell! As
agoraphobic rational people, we decided to avoid all that! My boyfriend actually discovered that there was a Sam's in Shepherd's Bush not too far from our hotel. We had lunch there (we managed to see a lovely lady vomiting her guts on our way... man I love Paddy's day...). With our belly full, we waddled to the Westfield shopping centre, had a look around and got ourselves a stack of magazines from the newsagent as well as American sweets!
We went back to the hotel and enjoyed the above in the quietness of our room.
Later, my brother joined us for another Sam's session and then went back to his hotel for a quick nap before meeting us on Brick Lane for another one of those dancing nights.
Sunday, 18 March
We had brunch again with my brother in Kensington and saw him off to his train back to Brussels. We then proceeded to go to Goodge street where there's an arcade my bf was interested in with retro fighting games (apparently there's a whole world of difference playing on an arcade machine compared to your console at home... right... I'm not even going to pretend I understand... I got myself a chai latte and sat there happy, daydreaming while the boy was having the fight of his life).
I felt like going to Greenwich after that. I absolutely adore the area. But I found out when arriving there after 8 o'clock that it loses all his magic in the dark. How queer! I could hardly find my way and I had been there countless times during day time. It was like a reverse Spirited Away if you know what I mean. Anyways, we were starving and I couldn't resist going back to Noodle Time where we ate like happy pigs.
Monday, 19 March
We checked out of the hotel and went back to the Westfield shopping centre where i went totally bankrupt in uniqlo. I couldnt believe how many good cut simple clothes there were around me. I dont know how they're gonna pass the test of time but I had to invest. I've been on the look-out for gingham shirts forever (I finally found one in M&S last month) and there were so many options in uniqlo... I settled for black and red and added to the cart an indigo pair of jeans that hug me at the right places (so comfy!) and a 3/4 length bubble-gummy slim + stripey t-shirt for my holidays (more on that later). We then headed to the next door bookshop where I bought London Fields by Martin Amis.
Purchase totally inspired by our next destination... drum roll... London Fields!
I was itching to visit the area after watching this video where Susie Bubble talks about her favourite bookshop (I was also hoping to find Lula Magazine...). Silly old me didn't have any precise directions so we ended up sitting in the park and then made our way to hackney central station, en route to the Victoria Coach Station where our bus for to the ole country was awaiting.