Cheerio! I know it’s been a while since I shared anything on the blog, and that’s because I’ve been so busy this summer. So first and foremost I want to say thank you for your patience and welcome back to lovelyingrey! Between work, travel and lots of family time, I’ve just been trying to enjoy the downtime I’ve had. But I’m back now and I’m so excited to take you across the pond for my first blog post this fall!
If you’ve kept up with my Instagram at all this summer, you know that I went on an awesome trip with my go-to travel partner, my cousin. We started off in London and it was so wonderful to be back. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit/pass through London a few times before, but this was extra special because it was my cousin’s first time there. Her enthusiasm and excitement was so contagious that it made me feel like I was there for the first time all over again.
After a day of delayed flights and layovers (hello, Switzerland!), we finally made it to London, but were too exhausted to do much, so we decided to walk along Oxford St. to stretch our legs and window shop. After popping into Selfridges, one out of what felt like 17 H&M’s on the street and many other shops, we took the tube right back towards our hotel for a quick dinner. With a day of traveling, little sleep and full stomachs, we fell into bed around 8.
First up? A full English breakfast, beans and all. Once we were officially stuffed, we headed out for something I’d never done in London before – a tour of Parliament! Only offered on Saturdays and a few odd days when Parliament is out of session, this was such a cool tour. I highly recommend you try to book this for yourself if you’re in London on a Saturday – and a month or so in advance because tickets sell out fast. After our tour we decided on a quick snack and then we were off to the London Eye. It was an uncharacteristically sunny day, so we wanted to take full advantage of the great view we’d get. Though the line was sooo long, it was definitely worth it to get to see London from a bird’s eye view.
Since the sun didn’t set until around 9:30pm (!!!) while we were there, we were a little thrown off that the first two items on our agenda had taken up so much of normal operating hours for most places. Unfortunately, that meant that we didn’t have time to stop at Westminster Abbey, but a few places were open late for summer hours, including the Churchill War Rooms. One of my all-time favorite museums, I was so excited to go again. The entire museum is located underground within the Cabinet War Rooms where Churchill ran Britain’s command center during WWII. Visitors learn about his life from childhood to death, and get a special inside look at what life was like during WWII when the bomb shelter was fully occupied and operational. After an hour or two spent there, we wandered around St. James’ Park before eventually making our way over to Covent Garden to a delicious dinner at Rossopomodoro.
Another day, another English breakfast. Up early once again, we spent the morning at the Tower of London. We stopped at all the spots – the Crown Jewels, where Anne Boleyn was beheaded, the Bloody Tower, the ravens’ cages and the White Tower, which now holds the armory collection. Once we’d seen just about everything the Tower of London could possibly offer, we decided to walk to lunch since it was such a beautiful day again. A few tube rides later, we ended up at Buckingham Palace.
Since the Queen and the Royal Family had just left for their summer holiday at Balmoral, we got to do something I’d never dreamed I’d get to do – we toured Buckingham Palace!! Obviously, we couldn’t tour the entire palace, but we got to see the staterooms, the ballroom, dining room, drawing rooms, sitting rooms, the music room and more. It was an absolutely incredible experience that I could not recommend more. This tour is only available in late summer when the Royal Family is out of residence, so be sure to book it if you’re here during that time.
After the tour had concluded, we were able to walk through the grounds a bit, which was so wonderful. Even though we were completely encircled by London, it was still so quiet and peaceful because of all the trees and wildlife around us. When the thrill of touring Buckingham Palace started to settle just a little, we decided to head back to Covent Garden to wander around and grab some dinner again. It’s such a cute little area of London and we were not disappointed by our find this night, opting for Rosa’s, the coziest little Thai restaurant. If you ever find yourself over in Covent Garden around dinner time, this is a must! Full and falling asleep on our very tired feet, we trekked back to our hotel to once again get up early the next day. But this time – we headed to Paris.
The only true bummer about our time in London was that we didn’t get to see Big Ben properly, as it’s under construction (and will be) until 2021. But that just gives us an excuse to come back then for the unveiling, right?! I’ll be sure to fill you lovelies in on our next stop in Paris (motorcycle tour included), but I may be writing a few other things before then. What all would you guys like to hear about? Blazers? Transitional pieces? Sweaters? All of the above? Let me know in the comments or over on my latest IG post!