THE OFF SEASON: UK PT.1

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetOur holiday started on a hump day.  When the clock struck noon, Mike and I left our respective work places, did a last minute condo sweep, and then uber-ed our way to Pearson International Airport.  With some time to kill, we fuelled up on Toronto airport cocktails + ramen + sushi until boarding.   Then, we were on our way to the UK!

After a long a** flight from Toronto, we landed in Amsterdam to begin our long a** layover in the Schiphol Airport.  Upon arrival, we were greeted by walls of cheese, bouquets of tulips, and shelves of Nutella.  Our layover was almost long enough to go stir crazy but not long enough to leave the confines of airport security.  We figured that when we do the Netherlands, we would do it right and not via 4 hour layover while half asleep.

airport_03From Amsterdam, we flew into Glasgow to meet up with our friends’  Melody + Billy [our ever so gracious hosts] to rest our time zone shocked bodies.  We spent the remainder of the day catching up, relaxing, and taking in some Glasgow nightlife before the 4 of us had to wake at the crack of dawn to board our London bound train for our 3 day adventure.

U K  P A R T  1 |  L O N D O N

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset[we’re not tired…fresh from a 4.5hr train ride]

It was Mike’s 1st time in London and I hadn’t been back for almost 5 years.  It was only slightly less hectic [people wise] than I remembered.  Unfortunately, though I planned the trip out as best I could, I didn’t get to make it to all the places I wanted to see but I enjoyed the places we made it to.  This just means I’ll have to come back!

IMG_2344[Chinatown -en route to our Air Bnb in SOHO]

Since I have a million and 6 photos to share, the copy stops here [well most of it anyway] as I share with you our London adventure captured on my iPhone photo journal style.

IMG_2345D A Y 1  | After dropping our bags off at our flat, with oyster cards in hand, Mike and I took the afternoon to see the sights just to say we saw them [and I guess for me, just to say I saw them twice].

IMG_2342 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset [London Aquarium]

london_24[Westminster Bridge + Big Ben]

london_25[the London Eye]

london_06[had to]

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset  london_14London_41 [Buckingham Palace + Mike trying to find a way in]

london_17[in Green Park]

london_15[Fortnum & Mason window]

london_29london_28london_27london_43[at the Tate Modern]

london_32[St. Paul’s Cathedral aka the steps to where the little old bird woman comes to sell her bags of crumbs….Feed the birds tuppence a bag! -it’s at its most magical when your friend serenades you, a la Mary Poppins, as you walk by the cathedral]

london_31[a view from the Millennium Bridge]

london_21 [Dumpling Legend | our nightly neighbourhood haunt]

london_07 D A Y 2 | Brunch at Berners Tavern; home to the gallery walls of my dreams and to a delicious selection of brunch dishes.  Mike + Billy had a creamy + buttery omelette, Melody had fluffy fluffy pancakes, and I had amazing triangles of hazelnut waffle

london_09london_35

Melody and I spent the rest of the day department store hopping while the guys pub hopped.

london_26[Liberty department store]

london_40[FIFTEEN | the view above our table at dinner]

The first time I was in London, Jaimie Oliver was not as big a household name as he is today.  Leading up to my trip I remember watching a reality show on Food Network about the making of his restaurant, FIFTEEN.  I had a mild obsession with Jamie Oliver back then.  Though I didn’t get to dine at FIFTEEN on my first go, I did walk by it.  On another Jamie Oliver note, one of the 1st meals I remember Mike making me [during his pre chef days] was a recipe out of the Jamie’s Italy cookbook.

…so it was fitting that we spent our last evening dining at FIFTEEN. [celeb sighting: we dined at a table across from 2x Olympic gold medalist swimmer Becky Adlington…or so we were told]

london_22

london_47[Casita | not the greatest shot but had to include it to commemorate one of the most delicious margaritas I’ve had + their cilantro juice concoction tequila chasers]

london_13D A Y 3 | With bags packed and dropped off at the train station, we spent our last day in Shoreditch; an area I felt more at home in surrounded by London hipsters.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetlondon_10[wandering around Brick Lane | ramen finds Mike wherever he goes]

london_19 london_20[lunch + serious Photo Booth session at Pizza East]

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Sadly, I didn’t do any major shopping in London.  I found the shops way too hectic to make sound clothing + accessory decisions.  However, I did leave London with a canister of tea, some cute market finds, and a couple amazing vintage decor pieces [I’m sure I’ll be blogging about these some time soon].

london_50

Farewell London but I’m sure I’ll see you soon!

madelaine

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