Hi, happy Wednesday! Today I’m sharing a recap of days 1-3 of our London trip.
Travel recaps are, quite honestly, a little bit selfish. 😉 Most of my foodie blog posts are written for y’all, because I LOVE sharing Austin food and giving you ideas of where to eat in this city! Travel recaps are, I hope, a little fun and a little helpful, but I also write them so that I can remember details about my travels. It’s so fun to look back at old travel posts and see photos and details about where we stayed and what we ate!
So, this post is also kinda for me. 😉
Nate and I spent 6 days in London for our fall trip. We flew nonstop on British Airways (sooo thankful that we have nonstop flights to Heathrow from Austin now!) and had the most magical time! Here’s a recap of our first 3 days:
^ Our Wednesday overnight flight was delayed a bit, but not to worry! The Austin airport has so many good eats now, it’s really not a bad place to kill an hour of time.
^ We perched at the bar at Second Bar and Kitchen and drank an IPA while we waited for the flight to board.
^ Yay! So excited to be heading to London with my person. The last time we were in London was 3 years ago. It was our first international trip to ever take together, so it has a special place in my heart.
Day 1: Thursday
^ We stayed at the K & K Hotel George (website), just about a block away from the Earl’s Court station. It was a good location (and reasonably priced!) for us to easily get everywhere we wanted to go in London.
^ Right after we dropped off our bags, we needed COFFEE and breakfast! Over Under is right across the street from the hotel, so that was our local coffeeshop for the week where we stopped every morning before going to the underground station. I started Thursday morning with big piece of avocado toast with fried egg and an iced latte.
^ Fresh off the plane and ready for our first day in London! I’ve learned something from my last few international trips: I need to plan a high-energy, scheduled activity for the first day! Any time I tell myself, “I’ll just wander around the city and play it by ear…” I end up going back to the hotel and taking a nap!
So this time, we booked a tour at the famous Fuller’s Brewery at 3 pm on the day we arrived.
It was perfect! Our tour guide was amazing, and I learned a lot about cask ale. After the tour, our guide gave us about 30 min to sample as many beers as we wanted, and it was incredible! The freshest cask ale I’ve ever tasted.
Our tour happened to be really small (just us and one other guy), so we were able to ask a bunch of questions and geek out over beer for a couple hours.
^ We walked along the River Thames until we got to The Dove, a Fuller’s pub that’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the smallest public bar space in the world!
(The regular bar is fully sized… there’s just a tiny bar in the front.) We got some London Pride and wandered up to the top patio. Rumor has it that Ernest Hemingway used to hang out here.
^ We walked a lot more (again, just trying to stay awake until about 7 pm on this first day of travel!) along the River Thames until we got to Putney Pies for dinner!
Nate said he wanted to try as many pies as possible during this trip (last time we were here, we sampled fish and chips all over the city, so we opted for a different “focus food” for this trip), and I was like, “sure, I’m game!”
^ Scotch Eggs, two types of pie, and banoffee pie for dessert. It was pretty chilly and dark outside, and this little pie shop was so cozy! We tasted a lot of pies during the trip, but this ended up being my favorite.
Day 2: Friday
Friday was AWESOME. The only thing we had on the agenda was a dinner reservation, so we spent the rest of the day wandering around drinking coffee and beer and eating food!
We started the day by wandering around Covent Garden, which is honestly the neighborhood we should stay in next time. There are so many cute shops, restaurants, and coffee shops!
^First stop: Monmouth for a flat white.
^We brought our coffee over to Bageriet, a little Nordic bakery that we loved last time we were here! We grabbed some Swedish sweets to enjoy with our coffee.
^ If you’ve researched London restaurants even a teeny bit in the last few years, you’ve heard of Dishoom, the Bombay Café that now has multiple locations in London. It’s super trendy right now! We managed to snag a table at 2 pm after only a 20 minute wait.
We got the samosas, cheese naan, and a curry dish. I loved it all! This place reminded me of the McGuire Moorman restaurants in Austin (Elizabeth Street Cafe, June’s, Clark’s, Josephine House, etc.). The food was good, but that’s not what makes it so popular; I think everyone loves it so much because the restaurant creates a mood and an experience for the diners.
^ Wandering! I’m wearing Nate’s hoodie because it was starting to get chilly in the afternoon. I brought my Patagonia down jacket (this one), which I was able to squash down and roll up and fit in my purse. I couldn’t believe how small it got! But it also meant I didn’t want to get it out of my purse until the evening when I’d be wearing it permanently, because it’s time consuming to pack it up again. So I stole his hoodie instead…
Anyhow, I was impressed with how tiny that jacket became when it was all rolled up. Kind of handy for traveling and walking around all day!
^ We stopped by the British Museum in the afternoon. I love how most museums in London are free! It’s perfect for people like me who just want to pop in for an hour, but don’t want to commit to a full day at a museum.
^ We made multiple stops at pubs! Nate downloaded the CAMRA app (CAMRA stands for “campaign for real ale”). The app provides a map of “real ale,” so we could be sure we were drinking cask ale that was brewed from traditional ingredients and served without added carbon dioxide.
Cask ale is served slightly warmer and flatter than traditional keg beer. It’s a totally different beer experience than what we can find in the states (except for a few breweries, like Hogs Head in Denver), and I love how it tastes!
^ Our dinner reservations was at Noble Rot. We had so much fun here! If you’re planning a trip to London soon, make reservations at this place!!
^ The building must be very old, because there are all sorts of nooks and crannies. It was such a cozy place to eat! We were shown to our table in this tiny little cubby in the corner.
^ My cute date. 😉 Wine was available in full glasses or small 2 oz pours. We opted for the small size and tasted 7 different wines throughout dinner!
^ The food is seasonal, so what we ordered might not be available when you dine here. We tried Snail and Oxtail Lasagna, and the Gnocchi, Romanesco & Scottish Chanterelles. Both were fantastic!
^ Still in the mood for wine, we walked over to 10 Cases, a little wine and tapas bar in Convent Garden. We perched at the bar, enjoyed more wine, and ordered some dessert to finish off the night.
Day 3: Saturday
^ Breakfast in the hotel on a Saturday morning! They have a wonderful buffet breakfast that was included in our reservation. We only ate here twice, though, because there was so much food and coffee around London that we wanted to try and we didn’t want to fill up at the hotel every morning.
^ First stop on Saturday: Harrods! I had never been and wanted to experience this massive department store at least once. I wandered around, scoped out the next hand bag I want to buy (Nate is sweet – the man couldn’t care less about YSL bags, but he sat there with me while I tried a bunch of them on and gave me his opinion about which ones he liked best.)
I wandered through the food hall. It’s a huge room full of lots of options for lunch, sweets, chocolate, cheese, meat…basically anything you could want. I don’t know, though…for some reason it didn’t make me feel all that excited! It was just all soooo touristy, and I wasn’t in the mood for any of it.
I think the food hall at Harrods is not for me.
^ You know what is fun, though? The Christmas World at Harrods! I hate buying lots of souvenirs when I travel, so a couple years ago I decided to make things simple and just get a Christmas ornament from every place Nate and I visit together.
I don’t have to think about what to buy, they’re easy to find in any city, and they’re small and light to fit in my luggage.
We found a cute little Harrods ornament to put on our Christmas tree this year!
^ Saturday was the only day it was raining! We donned our rain jackets and braved the cold weather to walk to lunch.
^Lunch at Poppies! This is a little chippy that has been around since the 1950s. The fish and chips were so fresh and good!
^ Quick stop for a flat white at Kaffeine to fuel up for our afternoon. This is one of my favorite London coffee shops. It’s so cozy; I could have stayed there for hours!
^ We boarded the underground toward Wembley Stadium. I say this every time I visit a city with amazing public transportation, but I wish we had a subway system in Austin! It makes life so much easier.
^ Here’s a weird thing: you can’t take food or drinks into Wembley Stadium. We ordered our beers and were about to walk in, and were told that we had to finish them before finding our seats. I thought that was so strange!
^ Tottenham won for us. Thanks, guys.
^ Heading back to the hotel. I took a nap, and Nate went out to taste more cask ale. 😉
^ Saturday night dinner was at Trishna, a beautiful Indian coastal cuisine restaurant in Marylebone Village. They received a Michelin Star in 2012, so we thought that this would be a good place to splurge on a 7-course tasting menu for dinner.
FREAKING FANTASTIC! This was a fun finish to our Saturday. We were the last people in the restaurant, finishing our meal around 11 pm. That never happens in normal life, only vacation life. Ha!
Thanks for stopping by! I’ll share London days 4-6 next time. Until then, here are a few more recaps from 2018 travels:
Looking for more travel recaps from other years? Click here to see all of my travel posts.