It’s been a while, huh? This blog has been very much dead for a month now because I have been a lot busier than what you should be allowed to be on your summer holiday. But I don’t complain because I’ve had an amazing time in Israel for example, but that’s coming here as soon as I can get it done. But now, what would be a better way to start again than by writing about London? Yep, that’s right, there isn’t a better way.
This was my third time in London but I think it’s one of those cities that whenever you come it always feels a little like a first time because there’s always something new (or old) to do, you can just never see or experience enough. But this time I had four days so I just spent them the best I could. I’m trying to keep this in a readable length so here you go, a little story and some pictures of what I did this time 🙂
One of the reasons my mom got this idea of going to London this summer was Audrey Hepburn. I’m a huuuuge Audrey-fan and she’s like my favorite actress of all time and my mom likes her too. This year, in National Portrait Gallery, there’s an exhibition called ”Portraits of an Icon” which is all about her life and career, so obviously we went there and it was SO worth a visit. The pictures were so beautiful and there were a lot of pictures I haven’t seen before. She’s just so pretty and the pics were so gorgeous I could go there again.
One other thing that I feel you need to do in London is a musical. When I was in London for the first time I saw Thriller with my family and it was just so great. This time we went to Lyceum Theatre ans saw Lion King. I have to say I was a bit sceptic at first, like ”are they gonna be dressed as animals or what” but I should have guessed that the costumes and decor and all that were just incredible. The whole show was like a big celebration of colors and different animals and music and it was so amazingly well made that I didn’t think of the different actors as people playing roles, they were more like the pure characters that you have in Lion King and all different personalities of the characters were so well captured and made to life that it was so wonderful. The music was great as well but for me the main thing were the amazing costumes and decorations and how they had made the story and its environment alive. It’s also maybe a bit different from all those more typical London musicals like Thriller or Mamma Mia etc. And for me, the theatres themselves are a true attraction. Somehow they are so majestic and decorated and fancy that going to one feels like an experience itself.
Oh, and one thing we did that I’ve been wanting to go to before but just hadn’t have time, is the Sherlock Holmes Museum. Even though I like Sherlock Holmes, for me the main reason to go there was to see how that sort of old English house would look like from inside. And since it was decorated with a that time’s style it was such an interesting experience. I think the whole house was so cute, it had like four or five floors but they all were so adorable and small and nicely decorated. It’s so cool that people have actually lived in those sort of houses, they were so different than any that I’ve seen before so I had such a great time exploring the house and all the stuff inside. If you’ve ever wondered how those sort of houses in London look like from inside, go there because aaaahhhh, it was just too adorable. I probably should’ve focused on like Sherlock Holmes’ violin and pipe and mysteries etc. but I was just ”OH LOOK MOM, HOW CUTE IS THIS TOILET?!!!”
Also, I’m not going to lie and be like ”no, I didn’t buy anything”, come on, it’s London so yeah, I bought something, a couple dresses and some other clothes. But not much! And it was time for sales when I was there so shopping was not that expensive. And I bought my long time dream, a polaroid or Fuji’s Instax Mini if you prefer, and I loooove it. Although I’m still learning how to use it (read: I have took like three too dark/light pictures) but I have taken a couple good photos so no worries. But the film is quite expensive, I was thinking I should probably order a lot at once from Ebay or something so it would become a bit cheaper. If you have a polaroid or something like that please let me know where you get your film!
Then one day we went to Notting Hill and Portobello Road. I think I had been in Portobello years ago but I didn’t remember anything about it so it wassuch a nice surprise! And the whole Notting Hill area! It’s like my new favorite area there, I just LOVE the houses and the little-town-like athmosphere that it reminds me of. It wasn’t so packed with tourists so there was plenty of space to just walk around and breathe.
And I found a cute little shop that sells posters of old photos and films and filmstars so I got an old Breakfast at Tiffany poster (yes, it’s my favorite movie) and also something I’ve wanted for a long time. You know the picture from 1930s of these construction men who were building skyscrapers in NYC and they are sitting on a girder above the city? I think it’s called “Lunch atop a Skyscraper” and it’s maybe my favorite photograph so when I found it I had to buy it and now when I’m back in Finland I’m going to find frames from Ikea or somewhere and put it in them. Now I got so excited about it again, sorry. But I just think it’s cool.
Then the FOOD. Like many other big cities, I think London is like a food Mecca, I mean I can’t think of anything you couldn’t get from there. So obviously there are a lot of vegan and raw food places to explore as well and I only had time to go to a few. But here are some.
My lovely friend recommended this place in Notting Hill called Nama Foods. Since I wanted to go to Portobello as well I didn’t have time to stay there to properly eat so I just decided to grab a smoothie and it was gooooood. It was called Chocolate Heaven I think and it was truly heavenly. The placed looked really nice and when I looked at their menu I would have liked to eat everything (not a rare situation for me though) so that is a place where I’ll definitely go back.
Probably the food highlight of my trip was Ethos. Oh myyyy, definitely some of the best vegan food I’ve ever had. I was there at lunchtime and then they had this sort of buffet table where you can take what you want into a plate and then you pay by its weight (for Helsinki people reading this, like Silvoplee but maybe even better) And though it’s maybe a little bit more pricey than a normal lunch place would be, it’s not over the top and it’s definitely worth it, at least mine was. My plate cost was it 15 pounds but I also chose some heavy stuff so it’s also up to you how much you pay. But the food was oh so incredible. All the flavours were so well thought and put together and everything was so nicely made. All of the options were vegetarian, most of them vegan and gluten free. Also the place itself was nice and the staff was friendly. Anyone who says that vegetarian food doesn’t get you full or isn’t tasty or some of that nonsense, should definitely go there. The location is also very good, it’s a couple streets off from Oxford Street. This place became a must for me whenever I go to London in future.
It was my mom’s idea that we should try Comptoir Libanais and I’m glad we did. They have many locations in London but we went to the one in Soho, it was near where we stayed. Basically it’s a Lebanese restaurant but more like a relaxed lunch and take away place. Lebanese and other North African type of food is personally my favorite type of food so I sort of knew that it was going to be delicious. There are a lot of vegetarian and also vegan options but meat as well so it’s really for everyone. I shared a meze plate with my mom and it was just as delicious as I expected it to be. It was very basic Lebanese but in this case basic is very good. And it’s fairly cheap so if you don’t want to spend a lot of many eating out but still eat delicious food you should go there. And the place is very pretty and colorful!
This was also my first time ever at Borough Market. And oh my gosh, it’s a heaven on earth! Like all delicious street food you can imagine in one place and then some veggies and fruits and bread and other yummy fresh stuff! The place has got such a nice feeling in it, a mixture of so many things and flavours and smells. I’ll just put some pictures here.
And then some Whole Foods lovin’. If you’re from the States or UK or somewhere else where you have Whole Foods you can skip this because I’m going to sound ridicilous to you. My last visit to Whole Foods was in Miami over a year ago and I had missed it so much! I don’t know if I should be ashamed of this, hah. But all the baked stuff and juices and smoothies and all, we have some of that in Finland but in a muuuch smaller scale. I was there like everyday, buying juices and this amazing vegan ice cream. And I found my new addiction, raw chocolate covered mulberries!! Wha-wha-whaaaaat, they are so yummy! I’ll have to find out if we have those in Finland, otherwise I have to make my own because I have just a few left from there. And then I also bought some raw bars that I know we don’t have here. And I bought a cat shaped ice cube tray. Don’t ask. But I mean come on, cat shaped ice cubes (!!!) Is there anything better? I don’t think so.
I’ve said it a million times but I love London. And I can’t understand how anyone could not like it. I’ve heard some say that ”London is so grey and dull” but I don’t find it true. Very few cities have such a mixture of cultures, people and lifestyles and for me that makes London so very colorful and special. It can be very rushed and packed with people sometimes but there are also more quiet and peaceful places.
And for me what I love about it the most is that even though it’s such a huge city, it has got this somehow very town-like feeling sometimes. I don’t know if it’s the old buildings or what but I just like that everything isn’t all glass and skyscrapers and other modern stuff. The whole place is so diverse, you can find so many different things to do or eat or see or experience. You could call a place quite wonderful if you’re already in the plane home planning what you’re going to do next time. I did. And I’ll definitely be back ❤