Friday, 13 April 2018

Travel: 48 Hours In Shoreditch, London

I grew up 20 miles north of London, and lived bang in the centre of town for nine(!) years. London may be cold, grey and wet but it's still home and still a city that I have a lot of love for. I was super excited to spend an all too short period of time there last week - 48 hours sandwiched between a trip down to Bath for a spring wedding.

Landing in Heathrow at 6am and jumping on the Piccadilly Line was a slight shock to the system after over a year in Dubai. Once the feeling had returned to my hands and feet (and the heating in our hotel room cranked up to a blissful 25 degrees), so did my love for the city where most of my formative memories were made, where every street sparks an anecdote, a forgotten memory which quickly resurfaces (to be shared or suppressed at one's own risk) or a slight sinking feeling when a once-loved watering hole has since been converted to a chain restaurant.

Stay:


The Hoxton Hotel: my first ever hotel stay in London didn't disappoint. The Hoxton in Shoreditch is a gem of a city hotel, I loved the reception area which is home to The Hoxton Grill, open fires, cosy sofas and people far cooler than me tapping away on MacBooks. Staff were super friendly and we were able to check into our room at 8am which felt like such a gift after an overnight flight. The rooms aren't huge but are comfortable and filled with cute details (and some...interesting second-hand books), the free bottled water and vegan-friendly toiletries were a really nice touch. Top marks for the avocado on toast the following morning, too.


airbnb: our second London home was a beautiful apartment in Shoreditch. I loved the location, the decor and the way that everything had been thought of (extra long charging cables which reached the sofa, mood lighting and hair conditioner for the girl who packed two mini shampoos). Staying here felt like house-sitting for a very cool pal and, having lived in a teeny tiny studio during my time in London, having so much space (the photos aren't taken with a fish-eye lens) in central London felt amazing.

Eat:


Ozone: I thought I had London's breakfast options down but Ozone was a new discovery for me. Surprisingly buzzing at 9am on a Thursday morning, we sat at the counter overlooking the open kitchen. A caffeine boost (oat-milk cappuccino) was very much required after taking the dreaded 1.30am flight. I had the vegan banana bread with nut butter and jam, my dining companion had something involving real bacon and we shared a side of avocado. Yum.


Ottolenghi Spitalfields: resisting the siren calls of Pret and Itsu, Ottolenghi's late lunch menu was the perfect pick sat at the window in a beam of sunshine with the realisation that Londoners are so effortlessly stylish (said the girl wearing a cardigan under a jumper...yep). This plate of three salads was so tasty and just enough to fuel an afternoon's shopping without spoiling my appetite for a dinner reservation at Bird of Smithfield. No photos of dinner but highly recommend for delicious food, unobtrusive service and the pink peppercorn gin cocktail.

Shop:


Not my shopping list... We hit up Montezuma's for (very) dark chocolate, Amathus for rare gins, The Ordinary's Spitalfields store for skincare, Nude Expresso for yet more coffee and Spitalfields market for all things you didn't know you wanted.

Until next time, London.

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3 comments

  1. Sounds like you packed a lot in!

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  2. Looks like it was a great trip! London definitely has so much to offer!

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  3. Ahh looks great. How fun to be like a tourist in a city you know so well :)

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