24.2.17

Love in London

I was lucky enough recently to have Ronan come up and visit me in London over the Valentines weekend. So we had an amazing long weekend visiting places in London we'd always wanted to explore, here's the breakdown...

Friday


On Friday Ronans flight landed at around 11, so by the time he got to Notting Hill it was my lunch break - well it should have been but I had to spend an hour at the printers getting credit sheets printed for LFW so he got dragged along to that to... But then we went to Farm Girl for a light lunch, Ro had the Cauliflower soup and I had the Avocado toast with pomegranate seeds - mmm. You seriously have to check Farm Girl out its such a beautiful little cafe nestled in the heart of Notting Hill with great, healthy food and a lovely vibe about it. After Ronan had checked our bags in and I finished work we went for a stroll along the Embankment at nightfall, completely in awe at all the sky-scrapers and Tower Bridge lit up and sparkling in the dusk. Then we headed to Coppa Club to sit in their amazing Igloos which were all lined up along the river with the most amazing views. The Igloos were decorated like mini ski chalets, strung with fairy lights with furs draped over the chairs and felt very cosy and homely. We each had a couple of cocktails - I had an amazing passionfruit and champagne cocktail which was to die for  and spent the night catching up properly in person and making the most of being together again - soppy!

Opening his Birthday presents

Saturday


We attempted to get up early to explore but I was so exhausted from my internship that I had a bit of a lay in, so much of a late rise in fact that we were too late for brunch so we had lunch instead! We then hit up Soho Grind for some artisan coffee, and explored the winding back streets of Soho. I love the grungy charm and one off boutiques Soho has to offer, even in the daylight you can sense an undertone of debauchery that comes out after hours. 
From there we took a trip to the completely contrasting Westminster and wandered along by Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament and ended up at Tate Britain. We were all primed and ready to check out the Hockney exhibit but at £19 each we decided to settle for strolling around the free exhibits, I adored the modern art whereas Ronan preferred the classic pieces. But the real winner for me was the grand staircase, jaw dropping. 
After Tate we hopped on the tube to Covent Garden for a stroll around the market and got some cute pictures on the floral bench installations for Valentines day before heading to Boulevard for an amazing French meal, I had the Moules marinières - which was divine and Ro had the boeuf bourguignon which was equally good! I also had a French 75 cocktail for the first time and it was so so good; champagne, lemon juice and sugar. 
We ended the day perfectly by going to The Langham, my favorouite hotel in London, for cocktails and they were something else. I had the 'Mind Your Step' which was displayed amazingly and contained Zacapa 23, aged pisco, soursop and orange blossom (yeah I don't really know what any of that was either but it tasted AMAZING). Honestly you have to try the Langham for cocktails, the surroundings are the most beautiful marble pillars and gilt ceilings and the cocktails are to die for.



Sunday

Okay soooooo... this was possibly one of the best breakfasts I've ever had. We went to 'My Old Dutch' in Kensington, a traditional Dutch pancake house, where I had a fresh banana milkshake and 'Butterscotch Magnifique' pancake stack and let me tell you it was INSANE, I couldn't finish it but what I did eat left me feeling extremely satisfied. Ronans full english pancake was also pretty amazing all in all I would seriously recommend this for an indulgent weekend breakfast.
Next up we had a stroll around West Kensington, where Ro got me the most beautiful red rose - you cant beat a single red rose. Then we hopped on the underground to Knightsbridge for a wander around Harrods, where I fell in love with a Gucci bag - one day!! 
For lunch we were both still pretty full so settled down in L'aduree for tea and shared a patisserie, I had the most delicious cinnamon iced tea which I've never seen anywhere else before.
We spent the rest of our evening at the V&A looking at their fashion through the ages exhibit, which was really interesting.
Finally we rounded Sunday off with an early Valentines dinner at Boccuncino, we had to do it two days early as I would be working until at least 11pm on Tuesday the 14th because thats how intense the lead up to LFW is! Boccuncino was the most beautiful Italian restaurant, Ronan chose very well, its fairly traditional with modern twists which is reflected in both the venue and the menu but Boccuncino is most renowned for their extensive wine list - almost certainly why Ro chose it... I had scallops to start with and then the quattro stagioni pizza - mainly because I was too overwhelmed to choose one flavour!
 


Monday

Monday meant back to work for me, so I spent the morning sorting through LFW invites at Julien MacDonald while Ronan explored. 
At lunch Ronan came and joined me in Notting Hill and we had suuuuch a good lunch at Granger and Co. I swear Notting Hill is an absolute goldmine for little eatery gems. I had fried chicken sandwich, red eye mayo, cabbage tamari slaw with pickled cucumber and I seriously thought about licking the plate clean because everything was delectable. 
Ronan then came and joined me at Julien MacDonald to help out, and was lucky enough to be asked to go and pick up some dresses from Pixie Lotts apartment! 
Luckily we finished at 8 on Monday so we had time to eat before the birthday surprise I planned for Ro, we ate ate the Electric Diner where I had Confit Duck hash with a fried egg - the perfect carby comfort food that you need after a long day at work!
But up next was 100% the highlight of the whole trip, The Electric Cinema. If you visit one place from this whole list, that should be it - the setting couldn't be more beautiful. Electric is an Edwardian cinema with almost all of the original fittings, from the exterior stone work to the gilt ceilings inside  its all decorated with dark woods, gold furnishings and red velvet upholstery - does it get much more luxurious?! I booked on the day of ticket releases and so was able to secure us the best seat in the house, a red velvet bed at the front complete with cashmere blankets to make sure your cosy during the viewing. Even the refreshments were luxurious I had champagne and a vintage pick n' mix and Ro had a craft beer so we were both very happy and cosy. The film we saw was 'Fifty Shades Darker' which I was pretty underwhelmed by but the ambience of Electric more than made up for it!


Tuesday

The final day - sob. Another full on day of working, but once again I was able to meet Ro for lunch and have him help out a bit in the Studio where we was getting on well with everyone - even Julien who loved his accent! We went to Honest Burger and made use of their student deal of two burgers, fries and a drink for £15! Amazing for central London and they tasted divine, I had the blue cheese burger and homemade mint lemonade and it all tasted amazing. After lunch Ronan went to check out of the hotel while I finished at work. I finished at around 10.30 which gave him a good amount of time to explore, before we met in a cute little bar in Notting Hill to say our final goodbyes. The neon sign on the wall seemed like a very poignant symbol to represent the end of the trip.

I've already started planning Ronans' next visit and I cant wait to explore more of East London together as its such a contrast to the South.

Thanks for Reading,


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