Last year my USC colleague C waved me over and suggested that I just meet her “over the pond.” And finally, this spring I decided that it was time for a solo/brief girls getaway. As much as I love O and our new-ish apartment (now in Hells Kitchen), I always look forward to being refreshed every 6 months via some sort of trip.
Although I typically get excited to plan itineraries, I did neither planning nor research about London and thought I’d just wing it. (Little did I know that I’d stumble at the immigration office + directions without a working phone because I couldn’t understand peoples’ accents)
I presumed I’d eat quite a bit of fish and chips and mashed meat. But no, I didn’t have any of that this time (thankfully for the sake of my stomach). Because my brother T would frequently visit London and C is a woman of refined taste, I had a great palette of peasant and bougie–unhealthy and healthy cuisine.
Because tea time is quintessential in London, C brought me to this gorgeous restaurant with Japanese afternoon tea inside the Ned hotel. For £30, we enjoyed this fantastic collection of Japanese inspired onigiri and pastries (with live jazz) So much better than paying £70 on average for tea sandwiches (with the elderly)
The Ned, 27 Poultry, London EC2R 8AJ, United Kingdom
Although I didn’t have much authentic UK food, I managed to snag a scone before leaving back to NYC. This berry scone with strawberry jam completely exceeded my expectations and was a perfect accompaniment. Nothing tastes more like London than crumbles of a scone.
11 Hildreth Street
London SW12 9RQ
After repeatedly hearing from various old + new friends to visit Dishoom (which still rings in my mind) I went there twice (with one failed attempt the day before for sleeping in) The second morning after an hour of sleep and my last full day in London (the dreadful consequence of jetlag), I swung by Dishoom an hour in advance, paranoid that I’d miss it. While spending 2+ hours deliriously sipping on bottomless chai lattes, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the interior and overall calm and cool vibe (thank you bartender for keeping me company + tips on secret brunch menu items). Fantastic beef roll. But will come back for lunch/dinner.
5 Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AB, UK
While I am a big fan of museums, the Tate Modern, British Museum, and the Tower of London were all on my nebulous list and I am so glad I visited them for the sake of seeing pieces of art I’ve read about – come to life.
Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG, UK
The Tower of London’s educational excerpts and stories convinced me that the violence and cruel punishments I’ve repeatedly watched from Game of Thrones are terrifyingly…not the worst. Fortunately, I left with less bloody/gory imagery; The gold crowns and giant punch bowl frazzled my eyeballs. Who knew that gold could make my eyeballs frazzle dazzle? (No pictures allowed and pictures don’t even do justice; you just have to see it in real life.)
St Katharine’s & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB, UK
London SE1 9TG
I left with a good look into culture and art throughout the ages including contemporary art and Duchamp’s Fountain at the Tate Modern. Photos of artwork never really do justice to me. Which is why coming by myself on a constantly low battery phone was great. Cheers to solo trips.