If you had asked me years ago, after my first trip to London, what I thought of the place, I would tell you it was overhyped and too bust for little old me to handle. After a few more trips my opinion is slowly changing- especially after spending a weekend there with my friend Annie, who lives there now.
Last Friday, after the first full working week I’ve done in about a month, Shaunagh and I grabbed some train snack and a cheeky bottle of wine and headed to London to be reunited as three friends- something that hasn’t happened in a good few months now! After making friends on the train we were there before I could believe it. It never fails to astound me how quick it is to get to London from Manchester, just over two hours, which considering it’s about the same distance to Edinburgh (which takes three and a half), I think thats pretty impressive. After a long day we spent the evening chatting over crisps, dip and some strawberries at Annies- the perfect first night with friends.
Saturday was the day of action. With Shaunaghs fitbit starting at zero steps, I don’t think any of us imagined that roughly 28,000 steps would be taken over the course of the day. We started with breakfast at 26 grains– where I experienced the best porridge I have ever tried. They specialise is wholesome grain food (mainly of the breakfast sort, which I love), so it was the perfect start to the day. The place itself it tiny, but judging my the number of people crammed round the tables and people balancing quinoa on their knees, it’s clearly a popular place.
The rest of the day was spent walking around in the sweltering London heat. It was 29 degrees when we were there, which I would normally love, however the muggy air and busy streets made it a little bit uncomfortable. We walked to Liberty London, spending way more time than I am proud of taking silly snaps outside, before eyeing up all the beautiful goods and outstanding interiors of the shop itself. I’ve wanted to go to Liberty the past few times I’ve been in London, however it always gets pushed to the bottom of the list. Luckily it lived up to my expectations, which made me a very happy girl. A bit of shopping on Carnaby street later (I’m looking at you Monki), and it was time for a bite to eat to tide us over till dinner. It was a girls weekend, so a cheese board only seemed appropriate. We ate it sitting outside with the sun shining on Denmark street. Hilariously a giant team of Pokemon hunters walked past, making people watching even more enjoyable (I don’t know about anyone else, but I really don’t get the hype).
After a short walk home and a quick change (and a nap for Annie), it was time to head out. We went to Escapologist for some cocktails purchased through groupon. I have to admit, they were the strongest Caprhinahs that I have ever tasted and Im surprise I managed to make it out the door still standing after two! We then went to Sketch, which was absolutely everything I wanted it to be. I cannot recommend it enough to people. We sat in a rainforest inspired room, as we were just there for cocktails. I would love to go for afternoon tea and sit in the pink room though, the art work is so cute and hilarious- I reckon I could spend hours taking it all in. I’m sure everyone talks about the toilets when they go to Sketch, but they really are something special. Individual pods, glowing pink, under a sky of colourful lights- it isn’t your everyday toilet is it? It was then time for dinner, Franco Manca (as recommended by Liams sister Jess, and Annie of course), for the one of the cheapest meals I think you can get in London- and it was delicious. We had one more drink on the way home, but by that post all those steps had really caught up with us and it was definitely time for bed.
Sunday morning brought more walking, and another breakfast out of course. We headed to Chelsea and to The Good Life Eatery. I’ve been there before, however opted for something completely different to before- poached egg, avocado and hollandaise sauce with tomato. It was then time to head to the Natural History Museum, armed with bags full of snacks and enough water for the whole day. I’d say I’m more of an art gallery than museum kind of girl, but it really is something else in there and I would definitely recommend to anyone visiting London with some spare time on their hands. Split into four sections, I think we covered most of the areas in around three hours, before retreating to the gardens before I overheated in the crowded museum rooms. We then took a trip to Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge to take in the new destination menswear- which I was very impressed with! It’s interesting seeing a store that I’ve heard so much about through my work and being able to put pictures into reality.
Before we knew it it was time to head home. We were all exhausted from an action packed two days, but filled with optimism and motivation. All three of us agree that spending those two days together, doing fun things and making memories was the best possible thing that could have gone on for us. Even now, over a week on, I’m still filled with the positivity that came from that weekend. So heres to spending more time with friends, no matter how close or far away they live.