Photography: Craig Mackay

London Travel Diary

Location Marker London

I’ve had so much fun going back through all the images from our trip to London (if you missed Amsterdam you can see those photos here). It was my second time going back and Craig’s first visit (see his photo diary here) so we did a mix of touristy things and going off the beaten path. Being there right before Christmas was very festive and we were very lucky with the weather having only one day of some drizzle. I’ve shared where we stayed, where we ate and a few highlights from what we saw. Hope you enjoy!

Where We Stayed

We were lucky enough to stay in Parsons Green at a friend’s apartment. When traveling we typically prefer to stay in apartments vs. hotels because it’s so convenient and there’s something nice about being able to wake up and make your own coffee and breakfast in the morning. It was such a convenient neighborhood to stay and there were tons of great shops and restaurants. There was a tube station right down the street so we used that as our main mode of transportation. The tube is really easy to figure out and incredibly convenient so I highly recommend using it if your traveling throughout London.

Where We Ate

We had SO MUCH good food while we were in London. It was kind of crazy how many great restaurants we went to in only a couple of days. It was quite busy during our trip at some of the more well known London spots so we ended up eating a lot in Parsons Green and the restaurants there did not disappoint. Here’s our favorites:

Koji – We ate here twice it was so good. Japanese at it’s finest.
Hallys – Avocado Toast, Green Juice, Pastries
Meridionale – Southern Italian, Pizza, Salads, Good Wine List
Poppies Fish & Chips – Fish & Chips. YUM.
Cote Brasserie – French Cuisine, Amazing Steak Frites.
Primavera – Italian, Pizza, Pasta.

Where We Went

We spaced out our time by visiting different neighborhoods each day. Our first day we went to the Tower Bridge and Tower of London, and then walked up to Spitalfield’s Market. Spitalfield’s has a mix of trendy high street stores, designer fashion and vintage markets. We happened to go on the day all the vintage and antique vendors are set up which was really fun. I bought a big cozy fisherman sweater from this adorable older woman that I totally wanted to be best friends with. We also ate lunch next to a guy with an enormous parrot on his shoulder. There were some definite characters in the area.

Notting Hill & Portobello Road

The next day we headed to Notting Hill and explored Portobello Road Market. Notting Hill was so quaint and charming. All the pastel townhouses and pretty doors, I could’ve walked around there for hours. We made sure to go to Portobello Market on the day most of the antique and vintage vendors were set up. I was in heaven. My favorite stalls were the fresh flowers and festive Christmas wreaths. We bought churros and donuts at a little bakery along Portobello Road and they were SO good. I’m hungry just thinking about them.

Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Carnaby

We saved our last day for all the typical London touristy things. That was probably a little bit of a mistake because it was a Sunday and it was absolute insanity. We went to Buckingham Palace first and there was an event going on so the streets were packed with people hoping to get a glimpse of the Queen. From there we walked to Big Ben and the London Eye. We also walked around Carnaby and took a quick stroll through Liberty London, it was packed full of shoppers because it was pre-holiday but it’s definitely very cool to check out.

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16 Comments

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  1. diana pearl says:

    I studied abroad in London and it is my absolute favorite place on earth. You captured it beautifully! I love all these shots — Notting Hill is one of my favorite neighborhoods, too! Thanks for sharing!

    x Diana // http://www.dianapearl.com

    • Jessica says:

      SUCH a great place to study abroad. It is such a wonderful city. I loved Notting Hill too. I want to go back and explore more of coastal England. xx

  2. Jenn Lake says:

    Love how you captured this amazing city! ??

  3. Stefanie says:

    Perfect timing for this post! I am planning my first trip to London in March! I will definitely be using your recommendations as a guide for my planning. Thanks!

  4. Julie says:

    Hi Jess, London is where I have lived for the past 14 years (I’m a French girl from Paris) and I LOVE that city: it’s vibrant, there is always something going on and so much creativity all around. I feel so happy in that city and still not feeling bored of it. Would definitely recommend it for a visit to anyone, there is such a great mix of things to do! Glad to hear you guys had a great time. Renting an apartment a little bit further away from the touristy spots is great way to have a real feel of what life in London is like for Londoners. Will check your food recommendation, it’s always fun to try out new places. Hugs from Londontown, Julie x

    http://www.jafinthebox.wordpress.com

    • Jessica says:

      Oh my gosh Julie, Paris and London, my two favorite cities (though Amsterdam is a VERY close 3rd). I so agree on renting an apartment, we love doing it, it’s a more intimate way to enjoy a city I think. I highly recommend KOJI in Parsons Green. It’s pricey but SO, SO worth it. We couldn’t get enough. xx Jess

  5. Diana says:

    Absolutely wonderful!!

    || D I A N A ||
    http://www.TheNeonFactor.com

  6. Mallory says:

    Oh, after seeing these pics, I want to go back. London is such a fabulous city!!

  7. Victoria says:

    Beautiful photos, Jessica! Ugh I’ve been wanting to visit London so badly! I finally may be going later this year so I’ll keep note of your recommendations!

  8. signe says:

    These photos are fabulous! London is my home away from home and I miss it! I’m living vicariously through your snaps!
    : signe :
    : the daily savant :

    • Jessica says:

      London is one of my absolute favorite cities. I feel like we didn’t even scratch the surface of all the amazing places to visit on our trip. Guess that means we have to go back!

  9. Love this! Gorgeous shots – love the little blurb about where and what you ate. Also – this blog format is awesome. I really appreciate the bits of text with subtitles and broken up by pictures. Looks great!

    http://www.stephanieterrone.com

    • Jessica says:

      That is so, so nice of you to say Stephanie. I’m so glad you like the new format, I really appreciate your feedback. xx

  10. Kristine says:

    Loved seeing all of these beautiful photos; we just got back from there last month! Next time you go you MUST try Dishoom, Barrafina, Dean Street Tavern, The Gun and Kerbsher and Malt. I’ve heard great things about Poppie’s though and I’m glad you got over to East London. Also, I didn’t post about it on my last blog but if you’ve an interest in exploring the coast, definitely rent a little car and head East to Dover. One of my favorite restaurants on the globe (The Sportsman) is on the way in an adorable borough of Seasalter! http://thesportsmanseasalter.co.uk/