I am sorry that it has taken me a little longer to get my London post up, but we have been going nonstop the past few days and today is the first time that I have had a moment to reflect on our most recent adventures!
London was incredible… in comparison to Paris, it was noticeably more crowded but at the same time, nice to be able to speak English and understand everyone around us. We decided to take the train from Paris to London and it only took about two hours! When we arrived, it was early afternoon so we went straight to the hotel to drop our bags, have afternoon tea (such a great tradition that us Americans should pick up) and then head out to explore our new city for the next two days.
We stayed at the Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington. It was so beautiful and meticulously thought out down to every last detail including the red, white and grey tea room that felt like it belonged in Alice and Wonderland.
I had never stayed in South Kensington before and I was very impressed. What I liked most about the neighborhood was that it seemed very authentic and not touristy at all. We could walk the streets and feel like we were locals!
The best part of our trip I would have to say was when we stopped off at The Goring Hotel for a glass of champagne. My mom had heard about this hotel from our friend Lucy who lives in London and she recommended that we stop by during our visit. Little did we know that this hotel would be one of the most beautiful and charming places we would see during the trip. We learned that this is actually where Kate Middleton stayed before she married Prince William! They just completely redid the hotel a couple of years ago and Princess Kate was there to finish off the renovations by painting the main of a unicorn on the wall before entering the main dining room. If you ever find yourself in London, I highly recommend staying at this hotel, or at least stopping by for a glass of champagne in their beautiful garden.
Our first full day was jam packed. We started with a visit to Kensington Palace where we were able to explore the gardens, view the King and Queen’s apartments and also walk through a multi room display of Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth’s most famous gowns. Later, we decided to check out the British Museum where we saw statues, images and artifacts from Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. I was most intrigued by the displays on ancient burial traditions in Egypt. At the museum, they had the actual coffin and mummy of Cleopatra along with several other royals of the time. I loved how much time and effort that went into these burial traditions and that death was not seen as a sad occasion, but instead as a celebration of the person moving on into the afterlife.
That night we met up with two different people that we have met throughout the years at our home in Playa del Carmen, Mexico! We had a delicious Italian dinner of homemade crab ravioli at Cecconi's, which I would definitely check out if you are an Italian cuisine lover like myself. Later that evening, I went to a cool pub in South Kensington with my other friend, Ross who lives in London and just started his own company! It was so great to catch up with him and share with each other projects that we are working on.
For day two in London, I wanted to do some very touristy things, and it was perfect! I did some research on the Red Bus Tour and the London Duck Tour but ultimately decided that it would be the best use of our time to map out the places we wanted to see and take on the city on foot. We visited Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abby and the Tower of London.
We of course also did a little shopping and really enjoyed walking around Harrods (especially the tea and chocolate room,) Liberty and also Selfridges. I absolutely love that all of the department stores have champagne rooms where you can stop off mid shopping for a glass or two with friends and some delicious desserts!
I hope that everyone is having a great week so far! I am working on my post for Provence now and I can't wait to share with you the fun that we had when my dad joined the trip.