London Brunch: Holborn Grind

This blog may seem brunch-obsessed recently (check out my breathtaking brunch at Sky Garden here – end shameless plug), but I just can’t get enough of the meal. London also can’t stop tempting me with new options, each with their own seductive play on eggs, dotted across the cityscape. While I do have other not-food-related content planned for this week, I wanted to first share this affordable brunch haven in the heart of central London. It’s perfect for those of us who can’t always make it rain at the likes of Sky Garden.

If you’re anywhere in London proper, chances are you’ll wander into a Grind location. Just around the corner from Holborn station and attached to the Hoxton Hotel, you’ll find an insta-worthy outpost of the chain – Holborn Grind.

Pink neon sign? I’m drawn like a moth to the flame.

This Grind location is pretty petite, so either come early to grab a table, or don’t plan on having a ton of space to sprawl out. A sprawling fan, I prefer this Grind for eating (and photographing), not studying or working.

While I usually visit Grind for their iced lattes and banana bread, this visit entailed a sampling of their brunch offerings, namely my nemesis: avocado toast.

But, Erin, how can you resist mother Earth’s two greatest creations, avocado and bread, united in one holy union? With eggs, no less!?

Well, my friends, turn me into a foodie pariah if you must, but I just don’t like avocado. Even guacamole or its photogenic beauty can’t win me over when it comes to this green temptress.

It had been quite some time since I’d given the green little devil another chance, so I figured no better time than the present. Worst case scenario, I’d be consoled with aesthetically pleasing photos of the taste test. I dared avocado toast to give me its best, and it came at me with guns blazing.

I mean…..come on!?!? How amazing does that look? Holborn Grind certainly knows its way around perfectly poached eggs and the dreamiest and creamiest looking avocado toast you’d have the pleasure of meeting. All washed down with their refreshing iced latte, of course.

Spoiler alert: I still don’t like avocados. Epic fail, I know. The toast wasn’t unpleasant and I loved the eggs, but I don’t think I’ll be so generously giving the little green guys another taste test soon.

At least the people watching and neighborhood facades were charming consolation prizes. And I can’t sip too much of the avocado haterade when I know it will help amass so many future Instagram likes. Social media over everything, right?

Speaking of Instagram – you MUST get a snap of this beauty in between sips of Grind’s delectable coffee:

A stylish neon quote adorns each Grind location, and this one is perfectly hot pink. While the Covent Garden location may have my favorite quote (it’s a David Bowie lyric!), Holborn’s sign still emanates a chic glow and is well worth the awkward hovering over cramped tables of British men. I somehow didn’t mind the loitering too much.

Definitely stop into this Grind the next time you’re in the Holborn area and want an affordable breakfast in a fashionable setting. If you’re into avocado toast, give that a go as well, or at least take a photo of it.

Love traveling? Grab $35 in Air BnB credit when you create an account through THIS LINK! It’s free to you, and I’ll receive a credit when you sign up. Thanks and happy traveling!

DISCLAIMER:
This is not a sponsored post and all products were purchased with my money. Affiliate links are occasionally used when linking products. This gives me a small percentage of a purchase total through these links. This does not affect the price you pay for items through these links. All ShopStyle & AirBnB links are affiliate links.

 

London Brunch in the Clouds – Weekend Vlog

While waxing poetically about London brunch spots isn’t new to this piece of the internet, I thought I’d share this week’s breakfast-but-better outing in vlog format instead of my typical written style. It was quite the special occasion taking us to the height of London’s beauty, so I thought a video more befitting its visual splendor. The food was good, but not amazing, so I don’t have too many food porn shots to share with you, just breathtaking ambiance. Plus you get to see me squirm and act extremely awkward on camera – so it’s a win-win!

London Brunch: Daisy Green, Marylebone

After visiting our home kingdoms for the holidays, the London brunch queens were finally reunited this past rainy Sunday. To celebrate the end of our winter hiatus, we made our way to Marylebone to do what we do best – brunch and avoid studying. The London sky soaked us with a steady stream of cold drizzle, and I was feeling a major post-spinning and post-drinking-too-much-in-Shoreditch hangover, even several mornings after the fact. Frankly, I needed a cute brunch spot to brighten my day and fill my stomach ASAP.

Enter a new fave, Daisy Green. Just a few blocks north of Oxford Street, this Aussie cafe beguiles you from the rainy pavement. Who can resist a neon sign heralding a “Secret Garden Brunch?” Not me!

At first Daisy Green appears to be your run of the mill cafe, but sneak downstairs to enter the whimsical dining room to get your brunch fill. I never thought a basement could be so bright and bohemian garden-esque.

The space is small and adorned with charming touches like cotton-candy paper flowers and shiny streamers. They do take bookings, but luckily we were able to grab a table without a reservation.

Like most Australian cafes, the menu is mostly nutritious with dishes like corn and broccoli fritters, the full Aussie breakfast, eggs on charcoal toast, and shakshuka. Being me, I managed to find the one gluttonous dish on the menu, however, and tucked into the “fancy” bacon sandwich. I mean, there’s spinach, so it’s basically a salad, right?

It was delicious, and I regret nothing. My friend Riley had the decidedly more lean scrambled eggs on charcoal toast. I’m still not sure what charcoal toast is, but it looked cool?

I would definitely return this fanciful hideaway for another round. It’s centrally located, affordable, and has a delicious but not too over-indulgent menu. Plus, you’ll have ample opportunity to photograph its decor and delightfully photogenic facade. It certainly warded off my Sunday scaries. Do you have any London brunch spots I should try? I’m headed to a special one this weekend, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Shop my London rainy day essentials:

Weekend Vibes: If the Sky is Pink and White

Can you tell I’m feeling winter pastels?

Love traveling? Grab $35 in Air BnB credit when you create an account through THIS LINK! It’s free to you, and I’ll receive a credit when you sign up. Thanks and happy traveling!

DISCLAIMER:
This is not a sponsored post and all products were purchased with my money. Affiliate links are occasionally used when linking products. This gives me a small percentage of a purchase total through these links. This does not affect the price you pay for items through these links. All ShopStyle & AirBnB links are affiliate links.

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How to Have London’s Best Afternoon Tea at Sketch

So you’ve seen the notorious pink velvet awash on every fashion blogger’s London posts, or maybe you read this article of London’s most Instagrammed restaurants. No matter how you found it, your heart is set on visiting  the glorious pink halls of Sketch during your next trip to London.

I made my first pilgrimage to this basic betch holy site back in December, and I’m happy to report that it lived up to the social media hype. Yes, it’s really that beautiful and pink, and it really was worth the 50 pound price tag.

In case you decide to make the chic visit to Mayfair during an upcoming London trip, I wanted to share my top tips for having the best afternoon tea at Sketch, so you get your money’s worth and take full advantage of the insta opportunity.

Book Well In Advance
Trust me, you aren’t the only tourist or Londoner to see Sketch on Instagram and want to high tail it to its candy-colored halls. This place is packed, especially on weekends and especially in the pink room (more on that soon), so be sure to book ahead, particularly if you’re in London for a limited amount of time. Reservations open one month in advance for tea on their site, so set a reminder to reserve your table on that date.

Book the Correct Room & Time
While the cotton candy velvet dreamland is Sketch’s most famous room, there are actually several different dining options in the restaurant, and all have very specific themes including The Glade, The Lecture Room and the Parlour. If you’re looking for the quintessential experience, book afternoon tea in The Gallery. Dinner is served there as well, if there are no tea reservations available. Afternoon tea service ends around 5:30PM, so book a late reservation from 3:30PM onward. You’re less likely to be asked to give up your table after two hours (there won’t be any more tea reservations to take your spot), and you’ll have a better chance of taking photos without random strangers crowding your pics.

Get Super Bougie
Oh you fancy huh? London is a fashion-conscious, dressy city to begin with, but you can embrace your inner diva even more during your trip to Sketch. Every patron seemed to don their bougie best (even on a Wednesday afternoon), so have some fun, channel your inner Caroline Stanbury or Princess Kate, and get a bit extra. I guarantee someone will be dressed more outrageously than you. Faux fur coat and Celine sunglasses indoors ? Don’t mind if I do! Don’t worry, they were removed post photo op.

Sunglasses // Faux Fur Coat (mine’s old, so I linked a similar style)

Don’t Miss Your Grand Entrance
Located right near busy Regent Street, the entrance to Sketch can be easy to miss to the untrained eye. Mysterious sculptures don the nondescript entry, and if you’re too caught up in the London people-watching you could easily walk right by. I love the whimsical “Alice in Wonderland” esque arrival, just be sure you don’t miss it!

The intriguing, non-labelled entrance, a bit more festive for Christmas.

Find Out What You Like And Order More
Yes, afternoon tea is expensive (starts at 45 pounds, depending on time of year), but luckily refills are included! The waitress kept offering my friend Riley and I more tea, sandwiches and cake, and we feared a massive bill at the end of our meal. When we found out that ordering more food and tea was included, you better believe I (a little too enthusiastically) asked for more coronation chicken, chai tea and glorified grilled cheese. You also can sub out food you don’t like (I’m not a huge smoked salmon fan) for preferred options, so don’t be afraid to make the request. The staff were very helpful and accommodating, and you should feel that you are getting your money’s worth.

I could drink gallons of their chai tea, especially out of the playful cups and pot.

Lose Any Photo Shame
Don’t pretend you booked this tea without Instagram in mind. You came to get some stylish grams, so you better embrace your inner Mario Testino and take advantage of the opportunity. I sometimes can get a bit camera-shy when I’m in public spaces, but at Sketch everyone is hoping to get those absolutely necessary pink photos to bombard social media, so you have nothing to fear. Plus, every detail is so damn photogenic! Snap away, lose any shame, and you’ll be the envy of Instagram.

Take A Bathroom Break
No, I’m not being a weirdo and reminding you to use the toilet. The bathrooms at Sketch are just a work of art that should be appreciated as much as the dining rooms. Men’s on the left and women’s on the right (it’s not labelled, and you don’t want to wander around the men’s side like I did). There are spaceship like pods, trippy lighting and even a selfie-mirror. Definitely take a tour. And said selfie.

Snoop Around
While you can easily spend hours poring over every piece of pink velvet or rose gold in The Gallery, make sure you enjoy a wander around the entire property. Each room is expertly themed and has its own cavalcade of fantastic details to enjoy. I felt like I could have spent hours more there taking in all of the delights.

 

Let me know if you make the journey to the pink palace – I can’t wait to see your photos! 

DISCLAIMER:
This is not a sponsored post and all products were purchased with my money. Affiliate links are occasionally used when linking products. This gives me a small percentage of of a purchase total through these links. This does not affect the price you pay for items through these links. All ShopStyle links are affiliate links.