First Year Anniversary, a Year Later (Part 1, London)
This is basically an entire year late, but as we’re in the midst of our 2nd anniversary trip we find it appropriate to recap on our amazing trip last year.
There are so many places in Europe that we haven’t been to, which makes planning trips in Europe inevitably heartbreaking. So we end up cramming as much as possible into the short amount of time off we take. Sometimes it’s totally not worth it (Madrid + Barcelona in 4 days..), but in this case it made for one amazing trip
We started out in London, and instantly fell in love with the city. I know it’s strange that we’d end up somewhere so similar to NYC, but there’s a historical weight that the city of London brings. That history, beautiful buildings, and great food culture really made this a great city.
We bookended the trip with a few days in London, and when we first arrived we stayed in Brixton. Not the most popular choice, but it really gave us a feel for what the city could be like with less American tourists. What we found was a Bushwick-like vibe but with far more immigrant culture. We found the dining to be amazing.. We had our first meal of London at Federation Coffee in Brixton Village which was incredible — light fare, affordable, and great coffee. If you find yourself in that part of town, also check out Station 26 and Honest Burgers, both of which also looked like great options.
We head out to the heart of the city and immediately hop in line for Dishoom in Covent Garden, a highly recommended Indian eatery. The line was something like 45 minutes long in a cold windy street, but the food was worth it! Not your typical curries at all, cooked in a way that got even Stacey to try some lamb!
We ended our first night in London at Arthur Hooper’s, a beautifully sophisticated dining experience in the Borough Market. Some of this food gave us serious inspiration for our first popup dinner we hosted spring 2018. Incredibly delicate flavors, we could tell there was thought put into all these dishes. We couldn’t get enough of the vegetable dishes, all seasonal and wonderfully made.
Day 2 we link up with Stacey’s friend, Kat, who takes us around on a tourist tour. We start our day at Pimlico Fresh, a stylish brunch spot known for toasts of all sorts.
We hit up the big names: Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, the whole drill. We have some uppers at The Department of Social Affairs, and have some warm brews at Ten Bells, a classic looking pub with English beers and a great vibe. We have our first Sunday Roast (an English tradition that’s exactly how it sounds) at Marksman Public House, where we’re joined by Peter and Catherine and enjoy an evening of traditional English roast and libations..
One thing to note here: we had Sunday roast in Shorditch and went directly home to Brixton by bus. 20-30 minutes and we were across town lickity split. Definitely recommend the tube while you’re in London, but the bus is also equally efficient which makes it a great option.
Day 3 we head up to Oxford. This is something George and I were especially excited about. Oxford has some incredible history, dating far beyond the conception of America, and was home to some of the greatest minds of Christian literature in recent history: JR Tolkien and CS Lewis. It was quite amazing to be walking the same streets these two men walked almost a century ago.
I’d say the 2 highlights were simply the architecture (including Bodleian Library, the library that Harry Potter’s first film had several scenes in) and being able to sit in the same bar where CS Lewis purportedly converted JR Tolkien at The Eagle and Child.
We hop back on the train to meet up with Peter and Catherine to eat at Flat Iron Steak, where they serve high quality steak for an amazing price!
We end the night at Sketch cocktail lounge, a strange but beautiful lounge. It’s hard to describe but we recommend going. Make sure to dress appropriately!
Our last day, we have our final meal at Brixton market once again, eating at this friendly Spanish bar before heading off to Paris.
Overall we recommend just walking around the city of London. Much like New York, the best part is just taking in the sights and sounds, and reveling in classiness of the city.