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.

 

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