Travel

London

London calling! Back in November I took a weekend trip to London. Traveling to the UK from Dublin is so easy with Ryanair, again I only paid 9.99 euro for my flight! With those prices I couldn’t resist booking a trip, plus it had been 3 years since I was last in London and I was so ready to go back.

I went with my friend Alex, and although we both had been to the city before, we still spent our first morning seeing Big Ben and the London Eye. London is an incredible city, and it looked even more incredible all done up in lights for Christmas. We wanted to see as much of the city as we could so we loaded up our Oyster cards (London’s faresaver public transit card) and hopped on the tube. The London underground is a great way to travel around the city because it’s quick, convenient, and can connect you to almost anywhere you want to go. First on our list was Notting Hill, a neighbourhood known for its beautiful Victorian townhouses. It was a lovely sunny day and we spent much of the afternoon walking up and down the streets, ever so often stopping to pose for a photo with a particularly pretty pastel house. After walking along the colourful Portobello Road, and admiring the charming shops and restaurants on the way, we headed back to the tube. We next explored the chaotic Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street which were full of people Christmas shopping, and we wandered into the many shops including Liberty London and a wonderful little vegetarian cafe.


The next morning we woke up early and made our way to Kings Cross station to catch a train to Cambridge! Just over an hour later we were miles away from the bustle of metropolitan London, and instead found ourselves in the most charming little university town. We spent the day wandering through the many colleges, watching people drift down the canals on the punting boats, checking out the shops, and stopping for a delicious lunch in the cozy Rainbow Vegetarian Cafe. At dusk we boarded the train back to London. Once back in the city we made our way to Sketch, a restaurant with elaborately themed rooms and a large emphasis on art. We entered through the front door, first crossing a hopscotch chalk drawing on the ground, then made our way through a forest of evergreen trees. This was only the beginning. Our table was not yet ready so we were seated in the Glade room to wait. This room was elegant and earthy and felt like something out of Alice in Wonderland. Next we were brought into the Gallery room, where we would be having dinner. Pink as far as the eye can see. Pink booths, pink chairs, pink tables, pink barstools, and pink walls. The walls were covered with original drawings from a British artist, David Shrigley, and even the ceramic tableware included his distinctive drawings and texts. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any crazier we entered the bathroom and found a white room with neon lights on the ceiling, and pod toilets – which played music! Sketch is quirky, over the top, and absolutely wonderful. Definitely check it out if you’re in London! I’ve heard they do a vegan afternoon tea so I will be back.

Our time in London was short, but we covered a lot of the city in the two days we were there. We stayed in an Airbnb which was about 15 minutes on the bus from the city centre. The busses in London are quite different from the ones in Dublin. They’re reliable, punctual, they run often during the day, and some even run throughout the night! We had no problems getting between the apartment and the city, no matter what time it was. Dublin could do with some 24 hour busses!
Overall we had a wonderful weekend. London is a fantastic city and I will always enjoy visiting there. And with the 45 minute flight I’m sure I’ll be back soon!

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