London Travel Diary: Day One

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
~ Samuel Johnson
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This quote is something that could not be more true. At least for me. Ever since my mum took me on my first trip to London when I was 14 years old, I’ve been obsessed with this city.
I’ve returned a couple of times and so, when my parents gave tickets to see Van Morrison live at the Royal Albert Hall for my birthday I could not have been more excited to return to London. It has only been one and a half years since I’ve been but there’s always so much to do and see in this city. You can never, ever get bored.Still, there was the question of what a girl should do who’s going to London for the sixth (!) time.
For this trip K. joined me. It’s the third time the two of us went to London together. What can I say? We both share the same obsession ;-)
The great thing about having been there for so many times already is that we’ve pretty much seen all the major sights. This left us the luxury of returning to the sights we loved while also having enough time to discover and explore things and places we haven’t been to yet.
In the next couple of posts I’ll tell you what activities K. and I came up with while in London :)
Let’s start right away with Day One
After getting up way too early and boarding the morning flight to London, we arrived relatively early. God bless the one-hour time difference.
The plane flew right above London and we got the most gorgeous areal view of the city with a lot of the most striking sights from up in the air.
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Since we saw this as budget travel we booked a cheap hostel in Paddington. It was centrally located and it was also (-drum rolls-) attached to a pub.
The staff was friendly, the rooms clean, and breakfast was included. This saved us some money as well. Plus, when you check in they also hand you some vouchers, so you get some meals cheaper, or a free tea or coffee etc.
Click here to visit their website.
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We spent most of our first day shopping. I don’t know about you, but here in Austria we don’t have half of all the stores London has to offer so we always make the most out of it and splurge on things we wouldn’t be able to buy in Vienna.
This time we skipped Camden Market and the Portobello Road Market in favour of Oxford street.

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[The Wrapchick near Carnaby Street is apparently still fairly new. We stopped by for a quick bite to eat and were surprised at how well Mexican and Indian food go together. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area!]

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[How cute is this shop? They had different kinds of hand lotion on the door and outside of the shop window so you could use them without even having to enter! (Though you might want to anyway :))]

In the evening we met up with a friend of K. who took us the Madison Restaurant and Bar overlooking St. Paul’s Cathedral. From inside you have a great view of the cathedral, but when you walk around the deck you can see pretty much all of London. It’s a gorgeous place to have a drink, or eat dinner. If you do want to have dinner there I’d recommend calling ahead and booking a table as they seem to be pretty full most nights.Processed with VSCOcam with f3 preset
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For dinner we went to The Wharf, a restaurant on the south bank of the Thames, quite close to the Tate Modern. From there you have a great view and can see St. Paul’s in the distance.
We ordered fish and chips, shared a bottle of wine, and then made our way to a wine bar in the most obscure location. Gordon’s Wine Bar is located in a vaulted cellar is pretty small, quite narrow, dimly lit, and very crowded. Oh, and I loved it.
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Can you see a pattern here? I can. Let me tell you, it was wine. Which we kind of regretted the next morning, but it was still a great evening. Thank you, Ben, for taking us out and showing us all these really cool locations. We’d have never found them otherwise!
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6 thoughts on “London Travel Diary: Day One

  1. Your entries on London are enchanting!!! I am obsessed with London and I’ve only been there once… 13 years ago! But I grew up an anglophile (in addition to England I also love Wales and Scotland in the UK and I love Ireland)! So I am an -phile with all those places too. I’ve been with Italy like you’ve been with London – 11 visits and counting. I can’t stop returning to the most amazing country (and Rome, the eternal city)… BUT I digress… I throw a christmas party for my british book club every year and last year the theme was London…(the year before was Jane Austen) – it was so much fun decorating for it and planning British foods and having a big tea (and wine and ale of course)! This year it’s British/London but with a twist… it’s an ode to British TV. Doctor Who for the 50th and the new Doctor (and saying goodbye to the current one) and The Thick of It (coincidentally has the new Doctor in that show!) and Absolutely Fabulous, Keeping Up Appearances, Vicar of Dibley, etc. I’m probably just going to have a reference to a bunch of different and have a few for Who and Ab Fab…

    Anyway, I love your photographs and your choices for activities in London. You are so lucky to live in Europe and pop over to other amazing cities. I have to fly from Boston!

    Looking forward to more of your travel posts.

    • You’re too kind to me. Thank you so much for all your lovely comments.
      Ooh, I love Italy as well! I’ve been to a couple of places but there’s an ever growing list of cities and areas I’m still dying to go. I keep talking about a roadtrip but this has yet to happen.
      I loved Rome (in a way, how can you not after studying 6 years of Latin in school?) but in the end maybe July wasn’t the right time to visit. I was 17 and had just finished high school and while I loved all the historic sights it was just too hot and too crowded for my taste. I much more preferred the laid back and relaxed atmosphere of Lisbon. However, I’m always willing to go back and be proven wrong by new experiences!

      I know, living in central Europe is one of the main reasons why I’m able to do so many travels. It’s pure luck though :)
      I love Boston, by the way. My aunt lives there and I simply cannot wait to visit again. Playing with the thought of… maybe next summer? Who knows ;)

      Thank you, there are still 2 or 3 posts about London to come. It’s the first time I’m doing this as a travel diary kind of style, I’m so glad you’re enjoying it :)

      • Looking forward to more posts! And your blog in general! That’s wonderful you get to live and travel throughout Europe. I have never been to Italy in the summer, Rome especially is not recommended! Too many crowds, too many Americans, too much heat and too many fumes! I go in beautiful spring or gorgeous autumn! I hope you go again to Rome as an adult, during off season time, and go a bit off the beaten path and I think you may fall in love!

      • Thank you, I hope I can get the last 2 posts up soon but with uni back in full force as well as pre-christmas work insanity it might take a bit longer :(

        I think I’d really enjoy going back during off season but there are so many other areas in Italy I’d love to discover first.

        I loved Boston. From the cities in the US (and Canada) I’ve seen so far it was the only one I could imagine living in for a longer period of time. It certainly has its charme.

      • That’s great you love boston!!! I was born and raised here! Your aunt lives here too! I hope you come when it is a nice not too hot summer and enjoy the sights and parks and little shops and pieces of revolutionary history. And Irish pubs and coffee and seafood and the Italian North End!

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