This past weekend I went to London, to visit some friends and had so much fun. I forgot how easy the trip from Paris to London is, in just 2 hours you’re in the city center and don’t have to deal with the hassle of airports. The last time I visited London was 6 years ago and I was so excited to discover all the new happenings. Luckily I had a lot of insider local insight from my friends that lived there to do some cool things over the weekend. Surprisingly, I saw none of the major monuments and was A OK with that, instead I went to one of the best yoga classes I’ve ever been to, came up on a super deal for a new film camera at the Portobello Road Antique Market, explored neighborhoods like Notting Hill/Kensington/ Shoreditch/Brick Lane, and got my coffee fix and some of London’s hot spots for speciality coffee. Here is a little recap of my weekend with tips to booking cheap tickets to London, as well as the places I visited.
Eurostar Snap– Is a great option for booking cheap tickets to London from Paris for as low as 25£ each way. Check out my previous post for more details on how to book cheap Eurostar tickets here.
ONCE YOU ARRIVE:
Public Transportation– There is no easier way to put this, but transportation in London is EXPENSIVE. The most affordable option is to “Top up” an Oyster card with the daily price cap at 7£ maximum for zones 1 & 2, if you plan to move around the city a lot. The distances on a map don’t look so far to walk, but in reality London is quite big and spread out.
I arrived into London early Friday am and I hit the ground running…
BREAKFAST at Farm Girl, a holistic/healthy food cafe with some really fun and innovate drink options.
I tried their rose latte and their avocado toast with a fried egg. I rarely order avocado toast when I go out, because it’s something simple you can easily make at home, but theirs was really tasty and the avocados were full of flavor. I was quite surprised how popular this place was. I arrived on a Friday around 9h30 and by 10h00 there was already a long line of people waiting to eat.
After breakfast I EXPLORED Portobello road Market that is full of stands with antiques, food, and clothing.
I wasn’t anticipating buying anything, but I came across a stand that was full of vintage film cameras. I’ve recently gotten into shooting film, and love seeing what treasures I might come across. Not only was there a large amount of choice, all the cameras were in really good condition, and the prices were really good. I bought a Agfa Isola medium format camera (10£), and a vintage leather case for another camera I already have (10£), and even got a free Ilford HP5 film for free. Juliano runs the Cameras London stand and he is there every day of the market, he’s super friendly and knowledgeable and willing to work with you to negotiate a price you’re both happy with!
After the market I EXPLORED more of the area and ended up in Kensington, where you can’t help but going for an aimless stroll admiring all the colorful houses.
From there I went to meet up with my friend who used to live in Paris, and has recently moved to London for Osteopathy school. Since I was lugging all my bags with me my shoulders were quite tired. Lucky for me, my friend Rachel has access to the massage lab where she tested out some of the latest massage techniques she’s been learning on me.
Her school is nearby the Borough Market so we checked that out and chilled a bit before meeting up with friends for dinner.
To finish of the day we had DINNER & DRINKS at Rum Kitchen. Once you walk into this place you’re greeted by great music, and lively ambiance. They have happy hour until 20h, 5£ cocktails for select drinks, and Caribbean themed food menu.
It was a rainy cold morning and a bit hard to get out of bed, but I’m glad I did.
If you’re based in London or passing through I highly recommend one of her classes. The classes are the perfect combo of yoga, hip-hop/r&b music, and meditation/ self-reflection. Check out her class schedule here and a London Portrait on Sanchia here.
Then we explored Brick Lane/ Shoreditch neighborhoods and finished the day with DINNER at Busaba Thai .
Hopped on the early am train back to Paris…
It was a weekend well spent in London. I will definitely going back soon! A big thanks to all my local guides when I was in town Rachel, Sayo ( the founder of Journey Kind– an alternative way to see London in a sustainable way), and Zainab. I look forward to sharing a new project I am working on in London! #staytuned