24 October 2015

A Day in the Life: London

I love spending time in London; so much so that i go through phases of wanting live there or work there, but realistically i'm not sure that will ever work out for me. However, i'm more than happy to spend as much time there as i can in my spare time. Recently, i took a trip into central London to spend some time with a  close friend who has just moved there for university. Unfortunately she wasn't free until the afternoon, due to lectures, so i thought i'd make a day of it and travel down earlier in the morning.

I caught the 9:30 train from my local station, that takes about an hour to get into Kings Cross. Over the past five years i have spent my fair share of time travelling by train, especially while i was at university. I was always heading into London, or travelling back to Cambridge from Southampton, and i don't know what it is but i really enjoy train travel. It's an hour of my time where i don't have to think about work, or anything else for that matter if i don't want to. This time i really enjoyed catching up on the Metro newspaper; it's a great way of seeing what's on in and around London, and there was a great article on the Bake Off which i was addicted to this season. It's usually a pretty peaceful journey, especially at that time in the morning and when it's sunny, the ride from my hometown into London is beautiful. Field after field, quaint country villages and the closer you get into London you can see the shining, alluring skyline looming ahead. As soon as i spot the familiar shapes of the Gherkin and the Shard, a now recognisable figure in the ever-growing capital's horizon.

I honestly love spending time in London, i've travelled all over the city and enjoy finding new places but there's nothing like wandering down Oxford Street, in the morning, popping in and out of shops. I like going fairly early as it's just that little bit quieter and there's a bit more space to move. Oxford Street has pretty much everything you need, and it's sister Regent Street, following down to Carnaby Street is there for all your slightly more niche needs. I love the hustle and bustle, watching people dart from one side of the street to the other, ladened down with bags, clutching briefcases, teetering in higher than high heels. Obviously i made a stop in the mothership, John lewis Oxford St, to have a wander round and see the difference between the flagship and my own branch. It's quite a cool feeling knowing that you work for such a prestigious company, with a flagship one of the most famous shopping streets in the world. Well, they had their Christmas decorations up already, which i was very excited about, as the festive season is just around the corner. I also made a stop at Liberty, as it's not a trip to London without perusing the seasonal blooms at the Wild at Heart florists, opening onto Great Marlborough Street.

I also can't help but visit Fortnum and Mason while in the capital, there is just something so classic and nostalgic about it. I can remember my parents taking me there as a child, and begin in awe of the beautifully displayed chocolates and shelf after shelf of elegantly boxed teas. So after walking down Regent Street and enjoying the sights, and sounds, i popped inside to have a look at their seasonal goods. I couldn't help but snap this amazing Halloween display, people were flocking to it and it had everything from skull shaped vodka to skull chocolates, toffee apples and trick or treat sweets.

I stopped off for a delicious hot chocolate, and a sit down, in a Costa just off Piccadilly Circus just to have some chill time and do some people watching. I wasn't supposed to be meeting my friend for another hour, or so, but luckily she called me and said she was finished early so i took a stroll through Piccadilly Circus, through Leicester Square and up to Covent Garden where i met her. Covent Garden is another of my favourite spots in London, as there is always something going on. If you've never been to London before and you're not sure where to start, go to Covent Garden. It has everything, from quaint, niche shops to little streets of your more conventional stores plus rows and rows of lovely places to eat. It was a lovely evening, so we sat down and decided what we wanted to do. We were too early for our reservation but decided to head to the restaurant early to see if we could get a table, as we were both hungry.

Sure enough, they fit us in so we were sat in the corner to have a good natter. It was called Joe Allen and, honestly, when Lizzie took me there it looked like the strangest, roughest part of Covent Garden, down a back alley and it's underground. However, despite all those appearances it was actually a really cool place. I had chicken with shoestring fries and green beans, and it was really delicious. It was also very well priced for London, and especially for Covent Garden. It had an industrial feel to the inside, with exposed beams and pipes on the ceiling, but the table settings were very elegant and everyone was friendly. The food was quick, and we enjoyed some delicious mocktails too.

All in all, i had a lovely day in London and i really wish i did it more often.


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