The only bad thing I have to say about London is that my time there was too short! I did a sort of bad job planning and should have either taken a late afternoon train to Paris (so that I could have spent the morning and early afternoon in London)) or stayed another night. Live and learn and I am coming back this summer for Briony’s wedding, so I won’t complain. London is in my top three cities. New York, Charleston, and London. I can’t seem to pick a favorite between the three but I love them all so very much.
I went with my friend Aly. She is one of my best friends in the world… prior to London I had been visiting with her and her family (she’s a mom to three adorable boys!) in Belfast. So it was really nice to have some girl time after that! We stayed at the beautiful Dean Street Townhouse. I’d totally stay there again. The room was dreamy (sorry for photo overload), the location is fantastic (right in the middle of Soho, very central), the staff is incredible and friendly, and ALSO: there was a giant bath tub in the middle of our bedroom. It was a wonderful place to stay.
Upon checking in, we dropped our bags and headed to the Tate Britain to meet Briony and see the David Hockney exhibit. If you’ve been reading here for long then you know how much I love art, and London has my favorite museums and galleries. David Hockney is one of my favorite-favorite artists, so this was especially fun. I love his pool scenes and all of the gorgeous color he uses. The exhibit did not disappoint – I would 1,000% recommend checking it out if you find yourself in London. It’s a bit far from where we stayed so we took the Metro (my first time!) As you can see from the photo, the exhibit will be up through May 29th. I truly cannot say enough good things – go!!!
After the exhibit we scrambled back to Soho where we met up with Emily (I have followed her blog for SO long now, so it was really fun to meet her in real life, off of Instagram) for drinks + snacks at the Dean Street Soho House… and then dinner with Briony. B took us to Polpetto, which means Octopus! We sat at the bar and ordered several small bites (the cauliflower was surprisingly delicious) and sipped red wine out of little glass tumblers. It was the perfect casual, delicious meal.
The next day, we were up and at ’em! Our first order of business was a coffee and a big juice at Joe & the Juice. Joe & the Juice is one of my favorites back in New York but it actually originated in Copenhagen and now they are all over the world.
From there we took a taxi over to Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery which had been on my list for so so long! Damien Hirst is a favorite of mine and the gallery displays works from his private collection. In this case, there was an exhibit of Gavin Turk’s work. What I loved most of all about the gallery was the space itself. The architecture + structure of the gallery itself is really beautiful. I loved the Gavin Turk exhibit – if you like weird modern art you’ll really enjoy it.
The stairways were so cool!
We both went nuts over the decor in the cafe… there was a definite pharmacy theme! It was only 11am so it was too early for a cocktail but if it had been later in the day we definitely would have stayed to hang out.
After Newport Street Gallery, we decided to walk to the Royal Academy of Arts for the Russian Art exhibit. This exhibit has received a LOT of press and I can see why. It features art from 1917-1932, during the revolution + the reign of Lenin and then Stalin. It was a great refresher in Russian history, along with some powerful art. It’s on display through April 17th – highly recommend!
And after all of that art (and walking!) there was only one thing to do: champagne! Aly and I wandered into Fortnum and Mason where I picked up their delicious sea salt caramels as a gift for my friend who was watching Tyrion. And then we went down into their little basement for some bubbles and a little snack.
My t-shirt is from Vineyard Vines. It’s the best.
After champagne, we ventured to Liberty, which is hands down my most favorite store in London. I pay it a visit every time I go, and always do a little bit of shopping. I picked up more gifts for my friend who cat sit, and also the Needle & Thread dress that I wore in Paris and in this post. Liberty is a must-visit. From their iconic floral prints to their amazing section of interesting housewares, it is just the best store ever.
For dinner that evening, I met up with my friend Rob. We started with a cocktail at The Blind Pig (a really cool, hidden top-floor bar in Soho that had an incredible cocktail menu!) For dinner, we went to Vinoteca which I loved. It’s a warm, cozy environment (with lovely high ceilings), a delicious farm to table menu (I had french onion soup and the yummiest white fish). I would definitely recommend both spots! After dinner we met up with Aly (back at the Soho House) for one last cocktail and then it was to bed! I had to be up at 6:30 to make my 9am flight to Paris (a rookie move, by the way – next time I will take the Eurostar.. much more convenient!)
Such a fun (little!) trip. I cannot wait to get back to London this summer. Also: I’ve updated my London Travel Guide with recommendations from this trip and all of the others… it’s nice to have everything in one place! (See the rest of my travel guides here!)
photography by Aly Harte.
I’ve always wanted to go to London – looks like a fun quick trip!
it was.. and I hope you get there!
Oof, you make me miss my solo trip to London so bad. Mine was nowhere as fancy as yours, though!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
london is the best!!! i miss it so much too.
Looks like a beautiful whirlwind of a trip! That bathtub is so wonderful. I love a giant old school, luxury tub in the middle of a room. I’m dying to get to England sometime soon, but transnational flights can be a little pricey! Do you have any tips on how to shop flights?
I’ve definitely mentioned it before but I find the best way to get to Europe is to take Norwegian Air or WOW (often maybe to somewhere less mainstream like Copenhagen or Stockholm) and then take the train and find cheap flights on Easyjet to get around in between! My friend Stan got a flight for $100 from NY to Copenhagen on Norwegian Air, and then $150 back from Dublin to NYC on WOW. You just have to get a little creative, but inexpensive flights are definitely out there. My own flight was around $400 (Norwegian Air – NYC to Copenhagen and then Paris to NYC)
It looks amazing! And this also something I don’t see much of London. Usually, bloggers do all the things everybody does like go to the Big Ben, the London Eye, you know. It’s nice to see a bit of a different side of it.
Oh good! Yeah, I did all of those things when I was younger (before I had a blog, haha) so when I go to London these days it’s usually to see lots of art! Glad you liked my little roundup!
Ah! I loved London (I think you had just left when I arrived)! We stayed in Knightsbridge – but I loved exploring Notting Hill and shopping on Regent Street!
Pink Champagne Problems
I love Notting Hill!!!
Looks like you had such a great time! I always hate taking short trips bc I feel sad to leave so soon lol
I feel the same way. Next time I am definitely going to go for longer!
London is my absolute favorite place in the world. My favorite cities are probably London, NYC and Paris — but maybe that’s because I’ve never been to Charleston! And the tube is the best! Hands down my favorite subway system out there. So efficient + clean! And I love all its little things… like the mind the gap and the announcer’s voice. It actually makes me very sentimental, LOL. Your trip looked so wonderful. I’m adding all these restaurants to my list for the next time I go.
You have to go to Charleston!!!! If you love London and NYC you will adore it. (A much less expensive getaway too, haha!) x
Ugh! So good!!! London is the best, and it sounds like you had the most wonderful time!
it really is just the best city ever!!! I could totally live there.
London is always such a “treat”! I love London! This was a great, 36hrs in London, diary. 🙂
Thank you Natali! xx
London looks like so much fun and I’m glad you had a fun 36 hours! Definitely on my bucket list after so many people have recommended it to me! And my boyfriend’s fave soccer team is in the U.K. as well. WHY NOT! – Jessika
hank you jessika! i hope you get there!!!
Mmm, I don’t know, I think I would have to break up the cities, US and International. Currently, my favorite US cities, are San Francisco,( ah hem, we happen to be one of the top world wide destinations! ) New York and Washington DC. I still have Charleston on my must see list. My now NY sissy lived in London for several years, so I was lucky to go many times. Love London! Also love Paris and Mexico City. In Italy, Florence and Sienna, but I still need to get to Rome and Venice. My sister lived in Notting Hill and there was a cool underground club, right down the street from her flat! I love your tips!
thanks cy! have a great weekend!!!
We just went to London this past December, my first as an adult and my second time since I lived there as a kid. It’s such a special city to me! I don’t know the next time I’ll get to go back but so wish I could once again live there.
wow, you are so lucky to have gotten to live there! it’s such a special city. i would love to live there at some point.
Thank you so much for the kind words! See you back in NYC
aw, thanks for stopping by! x
It just looks so glamorous! It is definitely on my bucket list!
aw thanks! I hope you go! x
Oh my goodness, London looks amazing- definitely on my travel bucket list!
Thank you so much Katie! x