I worry that this blog sometimes slides into a pool of nostalgia. This is mainly because my life already has so many highlights that I can always be nostalgic for lovely places we have lived. So to avoid that as we approach a place that holds some of our beautiful past, let me just get it out of the way: London always shocks me with its beauty, and we loved waving at all the places that once enamored us when we were first enamored of each other.
We arrived jet-lagged into the thick of London's summer. It was bright. And it was hot. During our visit, the temps rose unseasonably into the 90s. So nothing felt better than arriving at the London Edition.
The lobby was cool and gently scented with a signature aroma (!) by Le Labo, and whenever I think about this hotel, the dark, musky scent of fig will ribbon past my nose.
And I will picture falling into bed and the complete blackout of the shades drawn that feels like a birthday when you are jet-lagged. I don't want to wax annoying, but you know I love nothing better than a sleek hotel room, and this one was so soothing and the most dream-cloudy start to the trip.
We spent the next few days walking everywhere. We took the tube once and a sticky cab here and there, but mainly we walked through all our old haunts: Regent Street,
Saville Row (where they fit the best suits anywhere but it uncomfortably smells like Abercrombie from its placement at the end of the street),
and darling Shepherd's Market (where we stopped for cheese and lunch a few times).
We trekked across the Thames and along the river, and compared it to our nightly BK walks along the East River.
Inspired by the show we watched the last few years, we stopped at Selfridge's (our one purchase: a new bathing suit for Walker!),
and then Harrod's. I dragged everyone into the food halls to see if we could find gluten-free scones. Alas not, but the smell of the fresh bakery was enough to keep me mesmerized anyway.
A highlight for the time in London was Tea at the Savoy. Bowered in fresh orchids and light piano music, the experience of receiving four mostly-sweet courses was impeccably delivered. I loaded my gluten free scones with as much clotted cream as they could hold and then added another scoop and jam. We were served five types of sandwiches (the best was ham with cabbage), asparagus benedict, pastries upon pastries, and a tea selection nearly 40 options long. I felt so completely comfortable nestled into a plush sofa. Walk didn't bring his camera, but here's what we have from the iPhones.
Another highlight was winding around until we landed in South Kensington, where 7 years ago, Walker lived in this brick building.
Our last morning, we squeezed in a visit to Covent Garden,
the City and the Royal Courts of Justice
up to St. Paul's,
and finally to Spitalfield's, maybe the closest thing London has to Brooklyn.
Here are some of restaurants and spots we loved:
Breakfast and Brunch
The hip Berner's Tavern, adjoined to our hotel, served fluffy orange scrambled eggs that I can only dream of in the U.S. and the freshest of juices.
Timberyard Soho, where startups meet hostel-style breakfast. I had a delicious frittata.
High Tea at the Savoy, mentioned above.
Kitty Fisher's, one of our favorite lunches of the trip, served melty mint burrata with sweet peas, fresh fish, and the silkiest buttermilk rice pudding with white peaches.
Blixen, in Spitalfields, reminded me of something from Chelsea or the Meatpacking in NYC: sceney, gastropub food, and an ebullience of greenery.
Pied E Terre: A contemporary, formal French restaurant that served the best raw scallops I've ever had and boasted a mean cheese tray post-dessert.
The Goring, a white table clothed, Michelin-star sporting spot was elegant and scrumptious. I had a confit egg yolk starter with crispy chicken wings, and other stand-out dishes were the beef wellington and clotted cream mousse.
Last but not least, Nopi, of Ottolenghi fame, stunned my taste buds with mysterious, unbelievable flavors. My favorites were a thai-scented sea bass, truffled polenta chips, and octopus with jerusalem artichoke puree.
London will always remind me of train trips from Scotland to see my suited man on Fridays, and now we have a few more memories to add--summer streets emptied of cars for shopping, baking in the sun we rarely saw years ago, and all the new streets we walked and treats we ate. Our last moments were reminiscent of New York: a long wait for a rental car :). But we were off and on our way to the bewitching Cotswolds. Up next!