London Weekend Vlog – Covent Garden, Abbey Road and London Christmas

Happy Sunday, internet friends! How were your weekends? Mine was packed with schoolwork, getting festive, brunching, and as usual, eating my way through London. Since my weekends tend to be fairly busy and full of actually seeing different neighborhoods around London instead of just studying on campus, I thought I’d start vlogging more frequently and take you along with me. Twinkling with holiday lights and holly, the city is so beautiful right now with all of the Christmas decorations, so I can’t get enough of it! This vlog is literally from this very weekend (I’m procrastinating and edited it instead of doing my theory reading – oops!), so I hope you enjoy! Let me know if there are any other types of videos you’d like to see or places I should check out here in Londontown. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

London Brunch: Granger & Co, Notting Hill

Today I miraculously managed to wake before noon all in the name of schlepping to West London for brunch. My new school friend Riley and I have bonded over our mutual love of the meal and have made a habit of trying a new place every weekend. What better excuse to explore London’s many neighborhoods than in the name of eggs, hotcakes, coffee, and sometimes (if we’re feeling frisky) a mimosa?

This morning we set our sights on Notting Hill, as we were both eager to find a reprieve from our many student nights out in hip, yet grimy East London.

Walking up from the bowels of the Underground, you’re immediately greeted by Notting Hill’s quirky and very chic charm. It isn’t quite Mayfair loud money vibes, but more of a granola, aging hippies with wealth atmosphere. You don’t get streets this pristine in Shoreditch, yet they still try to maintain the neighborhood’s bohemian character.

Notting Hill Street Facades Quirky Notting Hill Storefronts

I’d love to return soon for a drink at the iconic Beach Blanket Babylon or peruse the famous Portobello Market on a less tourist-heavy weekday.

Beach Blanket Babylon Notting Hill

It’s already freezing here, so I snuggled into this over-sized sweater from Asos. Warm enough so I don’t need to wear a coat yet, it’s my attempt at inserting more color into my almost all-black wardrobe. I attempted one of those blogger-favorite “stylishly stepping off the stairs of a townhome in London” shots, but I’m awkward and stuck to the selfies.

Notting Hill Street Style in Oversized Pink Sweater
Sweater (similar) // Jeans – super inexpensive  // Black booties – very comfortable // Bag

After spending way too much time taking photos of the temptingly photogenic shops and houses, I finally made my way to Westbourne Grove and Granger & Co, our chosen brunch haven for the morning. The queue builds up as early as 10AM, so make sure to go early or be prepared to wait!

Granger & Co, Notting Hill

Since I was running late, I luckily didn’t have to wait too long (sorry, Riley!), and we were quickly seated for feasting. Service was quick but not rushed, but also not overly warm. The menu is quite healthy (it’s founded by health-conscious Aussies), and they’re known for their whipped scrambled eggs and decidedly unhealthy ricotta hotcakes. Riley and I settled in and studiously browsed the menu.

Menu at Granger & Co, Notting Hill

We decided to order the iconic dishes (we’re timeless like that) and had eggs and toast for him and ricotta hotcakes for moi. I’m normally not huge on sweets for breakfast, but oh Lord this was worth it.

Brunch at Granger & Co Notting Hill

Have to shoot from above for that perfect #onthetable shot! Riley loved the toast and artfully whipped eggs. They were almost too pretty eat.

Breakfast at Granger & Co Notting Hill

The hotcakes were fluffy and came with banana, a touch of honeycomb and perfectly portioned syrup. I was a bit nervous they’d be too much like dessert, but the sweetness was spot-on, and oh did I savour every bite. If you make the pilgrimage to Granger, you cannot go wrong with the hotcakes. Feeling guilty, I also had a green juice on the side; it was refreshing and not too liquid salad tasting.

Ricotta Hotcakes at Granger & Co, Notting Hill

While Granger is becoming a tourist-favorite London brunch spot, I still recommend making a trip if you’re in town. Go early to avoid the queue, or visit one of their other locations, as you cannot book ahead. I’d still try the original Notting Hill outpost, as you can easily spend the whole day exploring the surrounding area. You know it’s worth the 40 minute tube ride if I’m satisfied enough to take a smug photo outside afterwards. Hours later, I’m still in a content hotcakes coma.

London Brunch at Granger & Co Notting Hill

3 Must-Read Resources for Moving to London

About a month ago (how has it already been a month?) I packed up my life into two checked bags and one carry-on and moved across the Atlantic Ocean to London- no small feat! Since I’m starting to finally feel settled, I thought I’d share what blogs and websites helped make this move relatively painless. Moving to a foreign country is still a whirlwind of sensory overload, isolation, excitement, fear and growth, but with these resources made it as easy as moving abroad by yourself can possibly be.

london-sofitel-st-james

Some of these sites get a bit more technical logistically and others are just engaging insights to life as an expat in London. I wanted to share in case anyone else is tempted to move to, study abroad in or just visit this intoxicating city. Let me know if you have any questions about my move, and start planning your life abroad – so far I really recommend it!

Sunny in London
For Americans looking to move to the UK, Sunny will become your bible. Florida expat Melanie does a great job of comparing the differences between the two countries, from the frivolous like Christmas traditions to the more serious like immigration topics. I’m so glad I read her blog thoroughly, so I knew what to expect before coming to the UK and having major culture shock.

Favorite articles: UK Visas & Immigration Specialist Interview, Moving to London from America – What You’ll Miss, UK vs USA – 5 Things the British Do Better

Sandy Makes Sense
Sandy is  a German blogger living in London, and I’m particularly obsessed with her YouTube channel. She’s bubbly, offers thorough and motivating advice, and she isn’t afraid to offer her opinion (see: her Brexit video). A recruiter, she also shares helpful job search videos, which I’ll definitely be utilizing if I decide to try to work in London after school.

Favorite Videos: How to Find a Job in the UK – Important Tips, The Truth About Living in London, Renting a Flat in England – My HORROR Story + Tips

Runaway Kiwi
Rebecca of Runaway Kiwi (a kiwi is someone from New Zealand, btw) writes spot-on musings for fellow isolated expats. Her writing captures the perfect storm of loneliness and excitement that embodies moving abroad by yourself. Some of her posts are more practical (Where to Find a Good Flat White in London) or just plain hilarious (Have You Done Your London Winter Prep), but my faves are the more thoughtful, just real, pieces on how scary as fuck moving to London can be. Rebecca, you get me!

Other favorite posts: So It’s Your First Week in London & You Feel Like You’re Failing, So You’ve Decided to Move to London…Oh Fuck, When Home is Too Far Away & You Want to Cry

Of course, if you have any questions about my specific move to London and completing a postgraduate degree in the UK, I’d be happy to help if I can. I hope these are helpful and give you the extra bit of confidence to embrace your wanderlust-filled dreams of moving to or just living for a little while in London!

Big Ben & the London Eye at Night

You can check out more of my pics on Instagram. 

moving-to-london-3-must-read-resources

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

London Vlog! Getting lost in Harrods & major food porn

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Since my longtime friend Stacy was visiting London for work this past weekend, we just had to reunite across the pond, so I could show her around my new home. Plenty of full-on touristing, shopping, selfie-taking and eating (duh) took place, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to try vlogging. Vlogging has always intrigued me, as I love following other YouTubers on their travels and even just in the day-to-day. Since I actually had plans other than studying or attending class, I thought it would be an appropriate opportunity to give it a go. Shoutout to Stacy for putting up with all my annoying filming 🙂 Let me know your thoughts and if you’d like to see more vlogs in the future. I found it quite fun, and hey it’s more productive then just posting to Snapchat.

Moving to London! What I WISH I Knew Before I Moved

Hello friends! After moving and finally getting my life in London (somewhat) together, I’m back with another video! My move had a few mishaps (the hour long schlep to Ikea that never should have happened), so I thought I’d share what I wish I’d known before I moved to London. If you’re interested in moving here, studying abroad here or just visiting, learn from my mistakes and check it out!

 

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

 

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to subscribe if you want to keep up with all my videos. I’m off to finish my reading for class tomorrow – it never seems to end, and I’m still figuring out this whole “student” thing again. Why can’t I just YouTube for class? Perchance to dream!