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:

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:
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London Vlog – Harrods, Camden Nights and Hangover Brunch

Happy Wednesday, friends! Welcome back to my almost weekly love letter to London via vlog. This past weekend was packed with attempted Christmas shopping in Knightsbridge, glorious sunsets, hipster nights in East London and #omgfoodporn hangover brunches. Follow me around town and enjoy my still very awkward public vlogging behavior. Thanks for watching and let me know if there are certain areas of London you’d like to see!

Linking Up With:

Wanderful Wednesday hosted by Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World. Click on the button below to check out more great travel content!

Wanderful Wednesday

The Most SHOCKING Things About London

Moving halfway across the world or even just visiting there can often be terrifying. You’re exposed to a new culture, new social rules and an entirely new place, so you can sometimes feel totally out of sorts. I’ve lived in London a few months now, so I thought I’d share a few of the most shocking things I’ve encountered as an American. These also I think are generally helpful tips and observations if you are not from the UK and want to visit, study abroad or live here and want to temper your culture shock. I love London, so I don’t mean to insult anyone. Just want to be sure no one gets hit by a car, offends Londoners or lights their hotel room on fire! Thanks for watching and be sure to subscribe, as I regularly share videos about my move to London and life abroad.

Linking Up With:

Wanderful Wednesday hosted by Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World. Click on the button below to check out more great travel content!

Wanderful Wednesday

 

What to know so you can visit or move to London with limited culture shock

London Brunch: The Henry Root, Chelsea

After a successful first outing of the London Brunch Queens, we decided to extend our reign another weekend and sample further brunch delights throughout our kingdom. Our brunch-loving clique gained another esteemed member, my friend Eleanor, and we decided to make our way south of last week’s Notting Hill adventure to the equally chic and too-expensive-for-me-to-live-in, Chelsea. Of course, I filed away street names for when I can afford my beautiful west London flat.

Beautiful Home in Chelsea, London

We chose our destination, The Henry Root, as you choose most great restaurants, after seeing someone post a very cute photo on instagram.  As we all had a group project meeting for school later in the day,  we definitely wanted to begin the day with a decadent meal in an insta-approved setting.

Brunch in Chelsea at The Henry Root in London

The Tiffany-blue painted entrance remained steadfastly cute in the grey London rain, and the interior was equally lovely and crowned in the same bright blue. I love how more and more restaurants seem to be considering “instagram readiness” in their design, and it honestly does affect my likelihood in trying somewhere new to eat.

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Basic betches, including myself, will love the vintage Breakfast at Tiffany’s artwork.

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We arrived to an entirely empty restaurant, and while it did fill up more as our meal went on, I wouldn’t recommend this spot if you’re looking for a bustling, buzzy brunch vibe. It is perfect for a long, leisurely meal filled with conversation, as you won’t feel rushed or like you have to scream over your neighbors.

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We started with Americanos to power us through the lazy Sunday haze and quickly studied the menu. I LOVE that they serve both brunch and roast, as it’s rare to find a London restaurant that serves both at the same time. Brunch hours can also be a little strange here, as breakfast is usually stopped around noon. The Henry Root, however, appeared to have both brunch and roast all day, so they earned extra Brunch Queen points. While choosing between brunch and roast is my Sophie’s Choice, Riley quickly shamed me out of ordering meat, potatoes and gravy before 11AM, so I settled on trying my first ever shakshuka.

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The shakshuka was yummy and served piping hot (the English sometimes seem to like things lukewarm), but I did long for a bit of roast beef and a Yorkshire pudding. Maybe next time. Eleanor also had shakshuka, and Riley had fluffy scrambled eggs with toast, as he is a toast addict. We all treated ourselves and ordered extra toast with preserves because apparently we’re hobbits who eat multiple breakfasts.

After polishing our plates and ordering roughly seven Americanos a piece, we decided we’d avoided the group project work as long as possible and made our way out of The Henry Root. If you’re in Chelsea and want something more quiet, I highly recommend it for a relaxing brunch or Sunday roast. It was quite far, so I don’t know if I’ll be back super soon, unless I can be tempted with roast and massive amounts of gravy. We wandered around Chelsea for a bit, taking in the posh Christmas decorations and stopping for yet another snack, pastries and more coffee. If you want to see the rest of our Sunday adventures around London, be sure to check out my weekend vlog.

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If you want to check out The Henry Root, you can book here.