I just got back from a lovely three weeks in London where I took a short course in fashion design at Central St. Martins. Besides my time spent in class, I loved all that London has to offer. Below are some places that I thought you all might enjoy visiting if you are in London!
The iconic luxury department store is like walking through a museum. All of the displays and merchandise were picturesque, and the store itself is massive! One could easily get lost. Harrods carries some of the most valued designer brands such as Alexander McQueen, Ralph Russo, and Elie Saab. The store also includes an appetizing food court and the beloved bakery Ladurée.
DOVER STREET MARKET
This is another high-end department store. It has the most unique store displays, and features new and upcoming designers. Dover Street Market is a must-see if you’re into fashion!
ONE OF A KIND
The vintage store’s name holds true to its merchandise. It’s a capsule of rare and vintage designer merchandise from garments dating back to the 19th century to pieces worn by celebrities today. Looking around the store is like being on a scavenger hunt—it is decked out in clothing and accessories from floor to ceiling - literally. Kate Moss, Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford, and Stella McCartney are just a few of the many celebrities that shop there. So, if you’re ever wandering around Portobello Road Market, be sure to stop at One of A Kind.
Camden Passage is a treasure trove of cafes, boutiques, and vintage shops! Great way to spend a relaxing morning or afternoon in London.
I love going to markets because you can always find the most unique and fun things. It just so happens that London is crowded with them! Here is a list of some of the most popular markets in London:
TO DO / SEE
Electra cinema in Notting Hil is one of the oldest working cinemas in the country! The overall atmosphere of the theater is classy and elegant. It is the perfect place to escape a rainy day in London.
ST. DUNSTAN’S IN THE EAST
Truly a hidden gem, the garden is tucked behind the city’s skyscrapers. The best way to describe this dwelling is simply enchanting or straight out of Narnia.
GOD’S OWN JUNK YARD
This cool place is overcrowded with neon signs featured in movies or collected from the streets and then resurrected. Vogue Magazine also had a photo-shoot there!
THE IVY CHELSEA GARDEN
A charming and lovely restaurant to enjoy brunch, or afternoon tea. I highly recommend making a reservation in the garden.
Petersham Nurseries looks like a scene from Alice in Wonderland: antique furniture scattered on a gravel floor surrounded by lively and intriguing plants. It’s a great lunch spot to enjoy a fresh and seasonal menu.
Sketch is the most unexpected and superb restaurant I’ve ever seen. It encompasses 5 rooms, each with it’s own exclusive vibe and atmosphere. Even the bathrooms are cool - the stalls are “eggs”! My favorite room is called The Gallery, which is the main dining room. It is posh and completely pink! Kylie Jenner happened to eat there while I was in London.
THE MAYOR OF SCAREDY CAT TOWN
If you eat at The Breakfast Club in Spitalfields, ask your server if you can “See the Mayor”. You will then be escorted through a refrigerator door into a secret basement bar!
EVAN & PEEL DETECTIVE AGENCY
This is another unique speakeasy. To get in, you ring a bell and a “detective” answers the door. You then proceed to role play a mystery you've made up and convince the detective to help you solve it. Get creative, it is so much fun!
COOKIES & SCREAM
If you are gluten-free, vegan, or both… Your prayers have been answered. Cookies and Scream is an entirely gluten-free and vegan bakery! Everything looks and tastes unreal! Even if you don’t have food allergies I highly recommend going, it’s delicious! They have one location in the Stables Market in Camden, and another in Holloway.
A beautiful floral window display makes this cake boutique unmissable! Peggy Porschen’s is the perfect place to enjoy an award winning cupcake and a cappuccino.
The whimsical biscuit boutique draws you right in! The store exterior and interior is charmingly decorated. They offer scrumptious iced biscuits (Britain's version of a cookie)! Gluten free options are available too :)
I hope this was helpful for navigating unique spots around London!
With all the traveling I have been doing this summer I have picked up some great tips that make flying even more enjoyable. Like in life, I have found that it is the little things that make a difference when traveling too. I hope these travel tips help wherever your jet leg takes you!
My travel uniform consists of Lulu Lemon and… Lulu Lemon. I have always been obsessed with this brand because 1. They're workout clothes so it feels like you're wearing sweats and 2. They're so chic it doesn't look like you're wearing sweats.
Travel beauty bag
Flying tends to dry your skin out due to the high altitude and low humidity. To prevent this issue, I mist moisturizing spray over my face a couple times throughout the flight to maintain a dewy and glowing appearance. Below I made a link to my new favorite travel-sized moisturizing kit. It includes a lip moisturizer, body and hand butter, and a small bag to keep everything in it!
Even when you are in the air, UV rays can still get to you through the windows and cause your skin to become sun damaged and dry. This is why I make sure to have sunscreen on my face and hands for added protection.
To compensate for dry skin, your body can sometimes produce more oil. When that happens I use these oil absorbing wipes to keep a matte complexion. Another bonus is that they don't take off your makeup.
NOISE CANCELING HEADPHONES
I like to pack my noise canceling Bose headphones. Once you use noise canceling headphones on an airplane, you can't go back. They are so helpful when you want to tune out the noise and sleep. If you don't have headphones, or would rather leave them at home, foam earplugs are a great option and work well too!
I've found that packing a soft scarf is essential because unlike airplane blankets, scarves are more practical and cozy to stay warm. They also make a great pillow.
FILTERED WATER BOTTLE
Staying hydrated is key because, as I mentioned before, an airplane has very low humidity and is drying to the skin. To make sure I am drinking lots of water, I pack a filtered water bottle. You can fill it up just about anywhere and the water will be safe to drink right away. It is also handy when traveling in other countries because you have the added assurance that the water you're drinking is ok to drink.
I'm gluten free so it's sometimes hard to find food, so that's why I pack snacks whenever I travel. Right now, my go-to snack is an RX Bar. My favorite flavors are coconut and peanut butter. Even if you don't have food allergies I think it is still a good idea to pack some snack food. For example, if there is a delay, you will have food on hand to hold you over.
I always make sure to board the plane with some defense weapons, also known as Lysol wipes and hand sanitizer. Once I'm seated, I whip out my wipes and wipe down the tray table and arm rests! Who wants to show up for a week somewhere sick from the person who had a cold and sat in the seat before you? Not me :)
Last but not least, I like to travel with reminders of those I love. Lately I've been traveling with this button of my boyfriend when he was 8 years old. I pin it on my carry-on bag and it makes me smile everytime I look at it. It also happens to raise a lot of questions from strangers, ha... oh well!
I suggest packing something meaningful to you too :)