Last week, four of my friends and I ventured across the Atlantic Ocean to be reunited where we first met four years ago: London. This trip has been years in the making, ever since we said our goodbyes after studying abroad together for three months in the spectacular city of London. Although we were missing one of our best friends, the five of us were able to coordinate our very hectic schedules and plan this reunion to walk the streets we once walked when we were students living abroad, exploring the city together.
We decided to stay in a gorgeous little Airbnb in Covent Garden, our absolute favorite area of London. The location couldn’t have been better. Shortly after arriving to the city, we decided to go for a walk, lattes in hand, to the places we lived and studied. It was incredible to see how we all remembered exactly how to walk there, no maps needed. Our feet guided the way.
When we arrived to the flat where we lived we took some pictures and reminisced about our “house mom” Charlotte. Sadly, Charlotte recently passed away after fighting a long battle with cancer. She was like a mother to us and she will never be forgotten in our memories. In all of our picture-taking and reminiscing, one of the current students opened the door thinking we were her friends that she had been waiting for. Naturally we attacked her with questions. What is the house like now? Who is in charge? What trips are they planning for you? And then we each offered her advice on how to spend her time abroad. The poor girl was probably so overwhelmed, but it was nice to peak inside the house. It had the same smell I remembered.
Later that evening we walked around until we found a pub nearby where we used to hang out. We all got appetizers and drinks and went around the table, catching each other up on our lives. This was one of my favorite memories from this trip. The five of us sitting around an old table in a cozy pub, laughing and seeing how far we’ve all come.
The next morning we woke up and did one of our favorite things: tea and scones at Patisserie Valerie. If you have never done breakfast in London, this is the thing to do. You get your own teapot and warm, flaky, scones served with jam and clotted cream. It may not sound like much, but trust me, it is so filling and very scrumptious! We then went on an excursion to Tower Bridge. We wanted to check things off the list that we didn’t do while we were living in London, and surprisingly none of us had ever walked across this bridge. It was crowded, but beautiful.
Afterwards, we headed to Old Spitalfields Market. We browsed the shops, ordered some delicious food and ate it on the street, just like we used to do when we lived there. There are so many spectacular markets in London to check out, it could almost fill an entire week. Some of my favorites are Camden Market in Camden and Portobello Market in Notting Hill.
On our way home we stopped by Somerset House and headed over to the Covent Garden Market to take a look at the “Heart Beat” installation. 100,000 white backlit balloons were suspended from the ceiling with flickering lights that are meant to represent a heartbeat. You can read more about the installation here. It was absolutely breathtaking.
That evening we ate a delicious dinner at an Italian restaurant in Covent Garden called Rosso Pomo Doro. Rosso Pomo Doro is well known for their pizza and, although I didn’t order it, it looked fantastic. Then we headed back to our flat, got in our pajamas and laughed the night away.
On our third day we ate breakfast in the flat and spent some time walking around Covent Garden, popping in and out of their adorable little shops.
That afternoon we ventured out to a very fancy restaurant with a view called Sushi Samba. My friend, Eva, had found the place and I am so glad she did. We rode up in a glass elevator which provided spectacular views of the city. Once we were at the top we were stunned by a view of the Gherkin–a famous landmark in London. Our table was situated in a room with hundreds of hanging lights and glass walls in every direction.
Sushi Samba had impeccable food. We each ordered a different type of sushi along with some scrumptious appetizers. This was a memorable experience and I encourage anyone visiting London to check this place out!
And this is where I will leave you. Eva is going to be covering the second half of our trip in London. Look out for that post coming on Monday.
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