Europe Trip - Highlights from London
Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living. (Miriam Beard)
The first time I had my passport stamped was last summer. My Mister and I went on vacation to celebrate our engagement and him finishing business school. We visited London, Rome, Cinque Terre, Lucern, and Paris. It was 19 days of romance, delicious eats, and lots of wine. During that trip, I never thought we would travel to Japan and Korea a few months later, and back to Europe again this year. Life is surprising. We are grateful for these travel opportunities through My Mister's work, and it's lucky I have the flexibility to come along.
Two weeks ago, we packed a few small bags and headed on a direct flight from Austin to London. I celebrated the completion of my Whole30 with a glass of champagne and we watched the movie Chef before catching a few hours of sleep. We had four fantastic days in London before packing up again and leaving for Munich.
Here are a few restaurant recommendations + highlights from London:
We stayed at The London Edition, which is a Marriott hotel. It was modern and nice, with a great restaurant and busy nightclub in the basement. They also have a small reservations-only bar known as the Punch Room. We may or may not have ordered seconds of the Oxford Punch, which is a blend of port, Cognac, rum, green tea and sherbet. Yum!
Our hotel room was spacious enough for me to unroll my travel yoga mat and practice during our stay. We were quite comfortable, aside from the noise from construction next door. Perhaps we should have complained to the front desk, but I think we are just used to it from living in downtown Austin.
Since this was our second time in London, we focused our sightseeing on things we missed last year. Our first stop after arriving into town was the Notting Hill neighborhood. I loved all the cute houses and shops. Another highlight was St. Paul’s Cathedral, even walking the 528 steps to the top. The view was worth it!
We also walked through the Southbank area and went to the Tate Modern art museum. I especially liked the pieces from Picasso and Jackson Pollock, and my Mister’s favorites were by Yves Tanguy. We stepped onto the balcony for a cappuccino break and watched a band finish their set on the steps of the Millennium Bridge. The lead singer was dancing around like crazy… even from far away, the mini rock show was fantastic.
We had some great meals in London, here are my restaurant recommendations:
- Lal Qila - our first dinner in London had to be Indian, of course! We tried the Madras and Vindaloo Chicken Curries with Garlic Naan. The chef prepared everything deliciously spicy… just the way we like it.
- Berners Tavern @ The London Edition - I had a solo lunch here while my Mister was out on business meetings. Their rendition of a Caesar Salad has a flattened and grilled chicken breast as the base, with lettuce and dressing on top. Very good!
- Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack - this was a tiny little restaurant with a focus on seafood (the name might give it away!). The crab starter and Rosemary Salt Skinny Fries were our favorites.
- The Wahaca Southbank Experiment - we ate lunch here during our last visit to London and had to come back! The restaurant is built out of shipping containers and they serve Mexican street food. We loved the black bean dip and the Pork Pibil Tacos.
- Edwins Borough - our last meal in London was at another small and cozy restaurant! Their Rabbit, Polenta & Parmesan starter was unbelievable. We also enjoyed their cocktails, I had the Bourbon & Ginger Flip and my Mister had the Pear & Cardamom Sidecar.
We had such an amazing time. As we were walking around the city, I could imagine how fun it would be to live there. It’s so beautiful, lively, and interesting! My Mister kept trying to remind me that it’s been unusually beautiful weather during both of our visits to London. After our four days, we headed to Heathrow for a quick flight to Germany. I will share our highlights from Munich + Oktoberfest in another post soon.