London | 2015

Last year I went to London with my best friend for a few days and had a wonderful time (I made a post about it called Warwick Avenue Dreams which can be found here). This year, both being poor students and unable to justify to our bank balances going abroad nor being able to get the time off work we decided to revisit London and make it an annual trip.

I had bought tickets earlier in the year to see years & years as a birthday present to myself and so we worked our weekend around this gig. We decided to revisit a couple of our favourite places we found last year like The Quince Tree cafe within Clifton Gardens and to also explore some new places like Primrose Hill. It was again a fantastic mini break away from our responsibilities and a much needed few days away to relax despite running around all over the capital!

After having possibly the weirdest train ride up to London- lesson learnt, never talk to an old man on the train kids, no matter how nice and lonely they seem- I was relieved to see the curved roof of London Paddington station come into view. I met my friend and after getting an obligatory starbucks and catching up for England we headed off to our hotel and decided where to go out for dinner. We settled on Mildred's, a vegetarian restaurant in Soho because my best friend has recently become vegan and I'm vegetarian and lactose intolerant. 

The food at Mildred's was great but the cocktails were the real winners. Waiting at the bar for our table we were able to sample the drinks menu and eye up the bar staff before even setting eyes on the food which we saw fly out of the pass. I would highly recommend the sweet potato fries and broccoli tender stem side dishes but to not order the chocolate peanut butter brownie for dessert would be a crime. Honestly, vegan puddings are way better than regular puddings and you can't even tell the difference.

The next day feeling super eager to not waste any time we headed over to Little Venice where we stayed last year to revisit The Quince Tree for breakfast. Despite being slightly overcast Clifton Gardens was still as beautiful as I remembered and the bright flowers made up for the weather. After lusting over all the plants I wished I could buy for my imaginary garden, we went for breakfast. I opted for almond milk porridge with banana and maple syrup whilst my friend had avocado, tomato and mushroom on rye bread toast. Good coffee, good company and good food; the Quince Tree makes me miss it before I've even left. 

Last year we tried to go across to Primrose Hill and Camden as my friend had never been but we never made it there. So after being suitably stuffed and then a short walk along the canals and the cream coloured townhouses that I aspire to live in, we hopped back on the tube. Passing a busker singing Hozier and seeing endless cute coffee and bookshops, the sun finally peeked it's head over the clouds as we rounded the corner to Primrose Hill. With one of the best views of the London skyline I have seen it's clear why so many people like this area. After passing a group doing some sort of yoga/meditation class, another group of activists trying to get marijuana legalized and some teenagers setting up a birthday party by tying bunting to a tree we then wandered into Camden town. 

My friend had heard about Cookies and Scream, a vegan ice cream place in the market by the lock so we thought that would be a good enough place for lunch. The cookie ice cream sandwiches were super tasty and I swore that the ice cream couldn't be vegan because it was just that good. 

In hindsight, heading back to the hotel to get ready for years & years whilst stopping off in Co-Op to buy pre drinks was a bit of a mistake. Purely because we hadn't eaten much all day and only bought a couple of bottles of coke to balance out a huge bottle of rum. Cue us watching Harry Potter on tv (good ol' ITV) and taking shots of rum whilst eating chili heatwave doritos. Who said adulthood wouldn't be wonderful? To cut a long story short and to save the embarrassment of myself and my friend, we made it to the gig to watch the opener Tkay Maidza and then had to turn around and go back to the hotel before years & years even made it on stage. Lesson learnt but we did manage to get a band tee from the merch stand at some point in the evening so that's something I guess! 

Waking up the next morning was slightly painful and so the plans for the day had to be very chill. We ventured into South Kensington with the intent to revive ourselves with acai bowls from the Good Life Eatery but it seems everyone else had the same idea and the queue was out of the door. Instead, we walked down the high street to the duke of york square and had a delicious lunch at Patridges opposite the saatchi gallery. 

It always saddens me to leave London and to leave my best friend but the much needed few days away were extremely memorable and left me excited for our adventure next year.