Once I posted on my Instagram Stories that I’m flying down to London my inbox received a dozen messages asking why and for how long I’ll be away, which I found so sweet. It’s funny how through all these years of blogging, I developed online friendships with people who I have never met in real life but it feels like I somehow know them (and vice versa) – people who genuinely care about me and my trips and if possible want to meet me when I fly to their side of the world. Blogging is an amazing thing, isn’t it?
Since my time here is limited and I have a jam packed schedule to follow, I thought that instead of answering to each message individually, I could write a post about my trip to the capital, briefly explaining why I am here and how I spent my time so far. As I am typing this, I am having a cappuccino at the Hayward Gallery Cafe, overlooking Waterloo bridge and Embankment. London is so beautiful at this time of the year, the leaves have turned into a glorious, warm, orange hue and suddenly the Victoria Embankment Gardens look twice as pretty as they would normally look!
DAY 1- TUESDAY:
I flew down on Tuesday night and as I arrived quite late, I stayed with my friend Alexandra at Gatwick.
Alexandra is an air hostess for Norwegian Airlines – who by the way, as we speak, is flying to NY and I am so envious of her as it has snowed in NY and it looks gorgeous on all the NY based Instagrammers posts – and we’ve known each other for quite some time now.
We met on-board almost two years ago; I was flying out on a press trip to Copenhagen and she was one of the air hostesses in the flight. I remember her asking for my number and since then our friendship has grown and became stronger with time. She is the person who calms my nerves prior to flying and I feel like she is my younger sister who I can rely on and have a casual chat anytime needed.
DAY 2- WEDNESDAY:
The next morning, we woke up tired (what an oxymoron, right?), as we had stayed up until 4.30 am the previous night catching up on all our news. In between graduations and transatlantic trips we found ourselves chatting away without having any sense of time and how late it was once we fall in our beds (we totally regret it the next day…)!
As it was a busy day for both of us, we headed out to London where I had an early morning meeting and then met with another friend, Michelle, a popular London based Instagrammer who posts stunning shots under her account, the Crazy Cat Lady.
^^ Michelle (aka the Crazy Cat Lady and I), outside the Covent Garden Market. Aren’t the Christmas tree decorations pretty? ^^We met at St. Pancras and shortly headed to Covent Garden as I wanted to visit the Petersham Nurseries. The shop is as good as I had seen from its windows last time I was in London. An impressive, big space with loads of sunlight that features three Victorian atriums. Every single piece in here illuminates and the sunlight and airy atmosphere makes you want to buy things that you didn’t even know you wanted before stepping in. Once we had a good look at everything on display, we popped into the cafe next door.
Keeping with the Italian theme, there was a range of traditional, Italian, artisan products and food to choose from, as we had just had breakfast we opted for a few drinks and promised to be back for the carrot cake and mouth-watering foccacia and homemade fresh pasta.
We chattered and prattled about all things Instagram and blogging – I wanted to know about all the brilliant events I am missing out while not living in London, and Michelle was definitely the girl in the know to update me on the scene, as she gets invited to the most glamorous trips and afternoon teas via her gorgeous Instagram account!
^^ the famous Covent Garden vintage festive car ^^ After we exhausted the subject and took a few pictures around the streets, we headed to the Covent Garden shops (LOVED the Cambridge satchels store), before ending up at Liberty London and Anrhropologie on our way to Piccadilly Circus.
Christmas has arrived at Covent Garden and everything was so beautifully decorated! A giant wreath greets the shoppers entering the Covent Garden Market from the northern side of the square, there are giant bows outside the Covent Garden’s Jubilee Market, and they even placed a vintage, festive car carrying Christmas gifts, no doubt for the Instagram lovers! The Christmas tree lights have been lit too and shiny disco balls and mistletoe decorations are hanging from the roof.
^^ A glass of Prosecco was offered to us once we arrived at Anthropologie, what a sweet gesture! ^^ ^^ Can you tell how much I liked these shoes? Bees and sparkles, yes please! ^^Trying to be the ‘go wild or go home‘ cool girls, we popped in The Shop At Bluebird, a luxury, designer’s store set in a stunning, coach house on Floral Street, ‘with its original pulleys and beams set against modern art installations and a delicious restaurant‘. Picture this, two Instagrammers in the most Instagrammable shop with the most Instagrammable clothes, things went pretty wild after this!
^^ The interior of The Shop At Bluebird is pretty spectacular! ^^ ^^ Christmas shopping at Liberty London ^^
^^ anyone having some spare £850 lying around the house to buy me this cape? ^^ 🙂
By the time we finished our window shopping, it was already late in the afternoon and quite dark outside so we decided to part our ways and so I got back to the hotel.
DAY 3 – THURSDAY:
The following day, I did a presentation of a Marketing Campaign I developed the past month in a Research Organisation in Farringdon, followed by a couple of meetings with two different Marketing Agencies that we have worked in the past and we are currently collaborating on a few Christmas projects.
I had this back and forth communications with the girls since last October, so it was finally nice to put a face to the name! One of my meetings was down the river by Millenium Bridge and the other on took place in Covent Garden so having a day ticket with unlimited travel between the London zones came in handy allowing me to use the tube and go from one place to another (albeit I cannot claim I didn’t lose my way a few times…).
I will omit the names of the agencies just now, as the contracts I have, have strict regulations and I am not allowed to discuss anything online and until the projects go live, but all I can say is that it was quite refreshing to be treated with respect and so much enthusiasm! The girls creativity and welcoming gestures definitely made my trip to London a bit more special than I had expected!
After finishing all my work commitments I met with my friend Terpsi – with whom we have been friends for the past 8 years – and went for a wander around High Street Kensington before ending up at the cutest cafe with the most thick and tasty chocolate I had in a while, Artisan du Chocolat.
Terspi insisted we go there and even though I was exhausted after all the walking and talking, once I had the first sip of my hot chocolate I could see why she was so tenacious. I had the Aztec spice flavour hot chocolate and my friend got the cinnamon flavoured one. They both came in cute, black and white cups (so French!). We also got a few gift chocolates to nibble while on our way back. The orange and ginger chocolate bites were delicious. Thank you Terpsi for the wonderful suggestion!
As I don’t see Terpsi quite often – how I wish London was closer to Aberdeen! – we spent the majority of our date catching up on as many news as possible, not wanting to leave each other without getting a good update of our lives. Around 8pm, we toasted our hot chocolate cups and said our goodbyes with the promise to see each other very soon.
Meetings, presentations, loads of friendly catch-ups and coffee dates could summary this short trip to London. Right now, I am looking forward to getting my train back to Gatwick and boarding on my plane to Aberdeen, but for now, I’ll just have another cappuccino and soak in the view.
Happy Friday everyone!