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.