I made it through my first week at my new job and everything is wonderful. Like really super duper wonderful. I’ve had my full quota of dog interaction this week which is probably why everything feels fab. Currently in the office with me right now is a dog called Mulla (as in the yogurt) – she is adorbs.
So I kinda wanted to write you a post about my day in London the other Saturday because, well, it was just really super nice. And I think everyone should visit London in the run up to Christmas because the atmosphere is AMAZING and oh my gosh all the lights. So put up with the crowds, find some hidden gems and wear a woolly hat with the biggest pom-pom.
GET IN THE FESTIVE SPIRIT PEOPLE. (If you are struggling, read this)
So the day started off well because I was wearing my brand new khaki animal print swing dress from The Nook, Leigh-on-Sea. It gave me all the room for eating everything and anything in London – a fantastic way to start any day trip, right?
Allllll the possibilities.
We hopped on the train with zero plans. The only solid things on the to-do-list were Liberty London & good beer. Standard.
We started off by taking a roam through Denmark street – a road designed for music lovers and hard core guitar enthusiasts. Rows and rows of shops selling all manner of musical instruments and music related stuff. It was only a few years ago that I purchased June Cash from here (my tenner ukulele – she’s a babe). Worth a visit if you’re into that kinda thing and hey, it’s just nice to walk through london and explore it.
Top tip for London – avoid tubes wherever possible. You’ll be surprised how much is visit-able by foot.
First stop – Carnaby Street. Can I just say, a trip to Carnaby street is an absolute must for their ace Christmas decoration display alone. And if you haven’t discovered it yet, Kingly Court which is just next door is an awesome place to hang out and grab some food in between spending insane amounts on Christmas shopping. It’s a three storey courtyard with all manner of eaterys, including Pizza Pilgrams (sit outside under heaters and enjoy fresh oven cooked pizza nom), Stax Diner (they sell chicken and waffle, ’nuff said) & The Rum Kitchen (cocktails, people) to name a few.
Unfortunately, this place clearly isn’t a very well kept secret as it was absolutely booming on Saturday and we really struggled to get in anywhere. We ended up in Cinnamon Soho which was nice (they had a bicycle on the wall so y’know, they must be cool). We shared some whitebait and mini lamb kebabs over a really good pint of beer. Lush.
We then took five deep breaths and ventured into Liberty London. I don’t need to give you the run down, do I? Only the most prestigious department store in London, situated in a listed building with five floors of top-notch luxury goods. It’s the place for ultimate window shopping and people watching. Oh and did I mention that around this time of year it has a whole floor dedicated to Christmas decorations?
My advice for Liberty shopping & entering the Christmas floor on busy periods:
- You must, must, must be prepared for the ‘shuffle crowds’. You won’t be moving anywhere fast so just embrace the whole crowded Christmas experience, shuffling along at snail pace getting far too close to strangers armpits whilst browsing the whole array of decorations. It’s magical.
- Don’t get sidetracked by the overpriced designer furniture – you don’t need an egg chair.
- If you’re easily susceptible to stationary, the Liberty stationary shop is one to avoid unless you want to go home with your bank balance in the minus.
Max & I picked out six clear glass baubles with pink & blue sparkly material inside. Cute right? We were tempted by a gazzilion other things but y’know, we’ve gotta put food on our table too.
We chuckled our way through the designer clothes section (who is wearing some of this stuff? It’s outrageous) and I spent too much time in the stationary area. Nearly bought a Kate Spade notebook for £25. Glad I didn’t because that’s insane but if anyone’s looking for an outrageous xmas present for me this is the one (see photo below).
It was the perfect smudgy purple colour of sky when we left Liberty London, so we did what every basic bitch tourist in London does – we hit up Covent Garden in search of Christmas lights (and maybe a bad magic act or two).
You can’t pitter patter around this area without the serious festive bug. We stumbled across the Jamie Oliver ‘secret’ basement bar and decided to hideaway in there for a while nursing some good beer.
Proper snug in there. You forget you’re in the throws of one of the busiest squares in London for a wee bit. It’s nice that.
And then we wondered the streets of London taking in all its mysteries and hidden boutique eaterys, bars & restaurants. We picked up an adorable Christmas present in a seriously hip pop up shop called This Because. Despite looking all arty and too cool for school, we discovered that every item on sale was environmentally friendly and its profits linked with a charity. Winner winner chicken dinner.
The thing about London is that you don’t need to plan. You just need to plonk yourself in the right area and you stumble across things. That’s exactly how Max & I came across Brew Dog. I was starting to get hangry because my stomach was growling and we thought that this place was a trendy hot dog restaurant. Nah ah, this was a trendy beer bar and I’m so glad we came across it.
Max had the ‘Santa Paws’ brew & I had the ‘Elvis Juice’. They were seriously boozy pints. If you’re into beer, put this on your list of ‘places to visit when I’m wandering the London streets like a little lost lamb ‘. Great vibe.
After all the walking and eating and shopping and general festiveness, we were both absolutely starvin’ marvin’. We bolted into Red Dog Saloon for all the supersize American food we could eat.
I was so food focused (and maybe slightly pissed) that I took zero photos despite the food looking hubba hubba. Stacked up sexy burgers, home cooked BBQ beans and classic fries. A cheeky side of onion rings. I can recommend.
Safe to say we rolled home that night. Literally.
Folks – try and get your bums into London before Christmas. Get festive. And discover places that you never knew were there.
Hope you’re all having the best week.