Christmas is in full swing here in London (I guess that’s what happens when you live in a country that doesn’t care about Halloween or Thanksgiving), and the Brits have already gone full Buddy the Elf mid sugar high. Usually we Americans tend to be the most obnoxious and excessive when it comes to, well anything, but with Christmas, the UK has us firmly beat. They are OBSESSED here. I really can’t complain, though, because London is an absolute wonderland to experience around Christmastime. Think streets adorned with lights, markets on every corner, and mulled wine in every gloved hand.
On Monday this week, instead of my usual routine of work, tube, dinner, Gogglebox, mindless scrolling, bed (thrilling, I know), I decided to meet up with some friends from my master’s programme and take in the city at its most festive. We pranced around Central London in the thankfully fairly mild weather, took in some of my favourite lights, and finished the evening off like all true Londonders do – with cocktails. How else are we supposed to stay warm in damp and chilly England? I vlogged the evening, so grab a hot chocolate, put on your snuggie, and check out the best of London’s Christmas lights with me!
Sunday morning, after a relatively tame night eating curry and watching Troop Beverly Hills, I was simply starving for some highbrow culture. London is packed with art galleries and museums, so I figured it was time to fully take advantage of the beauty at my fingertips. Roping in my friend, Sasha, we set off to explore some galleries in South London, and best of all – they were both FREE. I vlogged the day, so you can experience the artistic delights (freaky Scooby Doo sculptures, gum murals, and light installations await!) from the comfort of your own home.
Also if you’re ever in London and looking to experience the art scene, the following are my top three favourite free (contemporary art) galleries in the city:
Newport Street Gallery Newport St, Lambeth, London SE11 6AJ
Nearest Tube: Lambeth North (Bakerloo line)
Damien Hirst owns this haven hidden away in Lambeth. He curates the exhibits featuring some of his artist friends or includes work from his own vast personal collection. We saw the Dan Colen exhibition (featured in the vlog), and I highly recommend it. Dan is from the early aughts art bad boy heyday in New York, and reputation aside, his work was so impressive. Media ranged from sculpture (a full nude self portrait was eerily lifelike), to huge installations like the American flag work above, to murals made of gum and trash. The gallery itself was spacious, inviting, free of pretension, not too busy, and Hirst’s taste was everything I wanted from an exhibition. Can’t wait to go back.
Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4RY
Nearest Tube: Sloane Square (Circle and District Lines)
Tucked away in posh Chelsea, the famous Saatchi Gallery is a lovely reprieve from the toffs and tourists in Duke of York Square. Exhibits rotate through, but currently they have an entertaining selfie-focused event on featuring famous self-portraits (some even made to look like Instagrams). Saatchi was the first gallery I’ve visited in London, and I’ve returned several times without disappointment. It can get packed on weekends, so try to go on a week day if you can.
144-152 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3TQ
Nearest Tube: Bermondsey (Jubilee line)
A new addition to my gallery girl favourites is White Cube in Bermondsey. It gained its reputation as one of the first galleries to give shows to contemporary British artist Tracey Emin, and has also shown the likes of Hirst and Marc Quinn. Our visit included an awesome light installation by Cerith Wyn Evans and “Playtime” by Damien Ortega – multiple works on game play and chance. White Cube was a bit more sterile (felt like 2001: A Space Odyssey), but the exhibitions, especially Ortega’s, were thought-provoking and the surrounding Bermondsey area makes a lovely weekend day out. Definitely recommend grabbing a flat white from Fuckoffe (yes, that’s it’s name) across the street.
What’s your favourite place to take in art in London? I’m always wanting to try new places, so let me know any recommendations you have!
This weekend I had an out-of-body, full-on fashion fairytale experience. My friend Jordan invited me to my first London Fashion Week and first ever fashion show. This was definitely a Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman meets Anne Hathaway in Devil Wears Prada (post Stanley Tucci giving her that fierce makeover) experience. Post pink-eye and meh job news, a little spoonful of style was just what the doctor ordered.
As I do with most halfway interesting things in my life, I decided to document it in a vlog to share with you, internet friends, so check out the video below. Also, I doubt anyone, myself included, would believe this happened otherwise! So enjoy my first (and let’s face it, probably only) visit to London Fashion Week! It’s worth it alone for the street style people watching.
I upload videos regularly, so be sure to subscribe and follow my London adventures! Have a great Sunday night!
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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!
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!