Valentine’s Day in London

Happy early Valentine’s Day, internet friends! In honor of the much better Galentine’s Day holiday (if you didn’t watch Parks & Rec, you can learn more about the holy day here), I decided to take myself around London on a festive little date. As Tom Haverford says, treat yourself. Lucky for me, the city is adorned with its best red and pink glitz and is almost as charming as when it’s decked out for Christmas.

To start the day, I made a pilgrimage to a famously pink palace in Belgravia that was looking even more whimsical than usual (and a bit like Cupid threw up on it – in the best way possible)….

Right around the corner from Victoria Station in swanky Belgravia, Peggy Porschen is a cake and tea shop known for its insta-famous cotton candy facade. Wrapped in flowers and balloons, the shop looked St. Valentine-approved.

The selection of sweets was just as mouth-watering as the decorations.

Since Galentine’s Day only comes once a year, I settled on a strawberry champagne cupcake for breakfast. Leslie Knope would approve.

Pink Sunglasses

Sidenote: the roses on top are not edible. I may have given them a try, since I have no restraint with food. The rest of the cupcake, however, was entirely edible and entirely delicious. After literally licking my fingers clean, I strolled around Belgravia to discover any other decorated shops. They weren’t as over the top and candy pink as Peggy Porschen, but Neill Strain Florist and Jo Malone also impressed.

Leave it to a florist to nail extravagant romance.

Belgravia is pretty residential and full of quintessential London row houses that I can’t afford.  Sadly, I did not bump into any future first husband potentials while stalking the mansions. Before I could get too depressed by all the fabulous, over-priced real estate, I headed to Mayfair to scout out more of the V-Day spirit.

While there were plenty of chic storefronts that ALMOST made me want a boyfriend, Fenwick on Bond Street was the showstopper.

How fantastic are those balloons? Can I have them for my next birthday party? They also reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Up, which honestly tells one of the best cinematic love stories in its first 10 minutes.  It was the perfect fanciful stunner to cap off Galentine’s Day.

While it’s no Galentine’s Day, tomorrow I’ll likely be spending Valentine’s Day again with my two great loves: food and London. Hope yours is filled with lots of love!

Shop my Valentine’s Day favorites:

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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 Winter Essentials

Headed to London during the wintertime? I’m sharing a new video packed with my winter essentials and all the things that help me cope through the dark, cold days here in the Big Smoke.  Some things are a little bit frivolous, while others are must-haves, but they all get me through the London winter.

I link all the products in the video description box if you’re interested in a specific item. Also, feel free to leave me any questions in the comments! Happy to help you with your visit or move to the greatest city in the world.

PRODUCTS I MENTION:
Charlotte Tilbury Primer  // Lip Balm  // YSL Touche Eclat  // Nivea Creme  // Bliss Hand Cream
Kai Hand Cream  // Uniqlo Heattech Line  // Leopard Coat  // Pink Beanie (on sale for $4!!!)
Wool Socks  // Texting Gloves  // Boots  // Yogi Tea Throat Comfort // Emergen-C

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!

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: 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: