We have an obsessive relationship with London. Not in a bad way though. More affectionately addicted and infatuated with the old gem. It's the drug we cannot quit and we scratched the itch by visiting four times... in one year! We should consider a permanent couch at this rate.
Our love affair with London started before we knew one another and we had very different experiences. That's the magic though. London pulls you back no matter the past and it cradles you in nuances, memories and a desperate bank balance.
Despite an often surge of buyer's remorse and an overindulgence in.. well, mostly everything, London feels like home. It just fits. It's familiar. It's our home slice.
It's hard to narrow down happiness to 1 specific thing so here's 11. Eat, drink and be merry people!
1. Bubbly and oysters at Selfridges.
Yes, the Mecca. We are not shy to say it does take us between 60 - 90 min to actually get to the oyster bar. Between a fully stocked Acqua di Parma stand and a slight adventurous detour into their beauty compound (be sure to find the Aquis counter) it takes a while. Eventually we reach our destination and plonk ourselves down for a journey, so well deserved.
It's a treat. It's our tradition and we love Damian. Boy, can he shuck!
2. Calling Kensington home and exploring our neighbourhood.
Home was nestled in a quaint mews. We once ventured off to Notting Hill, however our creased pillowcases were still in Kensington.
To us, it's the golden square, conveniently situated just off South Ken Underground Station and a stone's throw away from Wholefoods. Fresh. Food. Nirvana!
We managed to reside a quick gulp away from our resident pub, The Elephant and Castle. Albeit the worst Sunday roast we've ever had, we had the best quiz night, morning lager and overall adult playground there. We made friends with Ian McKellan's doppelgänger. We think that counts for something.
When we are not enjoying a quiz nights and bubbly, we bask in the English summer sun on a pub's patio wishing we could stay, just one more night.
4. Haminados (you can thank us later)
We wandered in by chance. Just two girls, seeking refuge after a long and sweaty BA flight at 07:00 in the morning. This was visit #3 of our UK tour and we stayed in Notting Hill this time around. Super place FYI.
This particular morning is not the the reason for the top 10 feature however. In true culinary chivalry, Haminados came to the rescue 4 days later when we experienced a very, very, very bad hangover (sorry mom). We popped in to Haminados for a lifeline wrapped in some hummus. It was euphoric. It was surreal. We are salivating.
6. A concert
The reason we're alive.
The reason we've explored countries.
The reason we've cried uncontrollably.
Our soul food.
There is something magical in proclaiming the "groupie" status and touching down on British soil to watch our bands. White Lies, Palace, Foals, War on Drugs. It's the high we are always craving.
Our small piece of advise?
Do make a fool of yourself. Stumble, mumble and abase yourself!! Hug them, scream and throw dirty socks in their direction. They deserve all the love. They (band members and their cats) are the reason you feel.
7. Beauty Splurge
* A LOUD AUDIBLE SIGH CAN BE HEARD AROUND THE WORLD AT THIS POINT
Boots, Harvey Nics, John Lewis (thrice in one day), Space NK, Selfridges, Penhaligons, Liberty, back to Penhaligons... it's our very painful yet glowingly rewarding Achilles heel.
If it smells good, it feels good and it has a form of vitamin C and AHA, we've bought it. We found the pre- Christmas period (October - December) having all the bells and whistles and we adore the specials tied into the bow of skin wonder.
We found solitude in the busy corners of Burlington Arcade and experienced a sense of serenity between the corridors of Liberty. Scents, silk pillow cases and serums make our knees weak and leaves us with a puny bank balance.
Jane Fonda didn't apologise for getting busted for smuggling vitamins into the States. No she didn't! And neither will we! (We can neither confirm nor deny it was in fact vitamins)
8. Exploring Bermondsey
It's a little gem nestled on the banks of the Thames and we've found a foodie pot of gold. The Malty Street Market is a gauntlet of food options, craft beer and gin. Down the road is Jose's a Spanish Tapa's joint which we loved. Especially the Patatas Bravas... yip. We're savages.
We do however have buyer's remorse for the LACK of purchasing a certain something. If anyone finds this mirror in a friend's home or at Lassco dealer, please inform us immediately. We'll pay in kidneys, pounds and, argh, dare we say.. serums.
THIS IS THE MIRROR!
SHUT UP SUSAN, WE KNOW WE SHOULD'VE BOUGHT IT.
Found per chance, stumbling down yet another whimsical cobblestone street, we entered Hush. A little haven awaited us and the clock just struck 13:00. Although the food was good it was the deliriously delicious apricot tinted rosé. We went back twice. Just for that.
10. Social Tapas & Wine
Can we please take a moment of silence to mourn the passing of Social Tapas and Wine...
Probably our favourite spot in London with an extensive wine list to match the food euphoria journey. Alas, Jason Atherton has closed the doors and therefor slammed it in our faces. Cold hearted bastard.
11. The Experimental Perfume Club
Yes. Oh yes. The power of your own nose...bottled. Some people get friendship bracelets. We get perfume. It was explorative and as this is our blog, we may boast - we created damn good scents.
We opted for the Bespoke Workshop and between the aromas of amber, aqueous and chypre, we truly created memories. We had a fabulous time with Emmanuelle and her dainty yet super-smelling nose.
And as we are coming to the end of this, we are searching for the first flight out to London. Hope he is ready for us.