Thursday, 31 July 2014

London Trip - and a bit of Cambridge too....

It is holiday time! Where have you been or have plans to go to? About a month ago I was lucky enough to visit for few days one of my fave city in the world... London :) I thought that it could be interesting to leave you some impressions of my trip and here we are.

I tried to count how many times I have been already in London and I think this was my seventh time there! Yep , a lot! but I always find something new to see :) This time was even more special because it was the first British trip for my boyfriend we had to do all typical touristic things :)

fly with me!

As we live in Munich, we have no low cost airline here flying to London :( too bad! EasyJet and British Airways are almost the only option ....and they have almost the same price - counting the luggage fees. So we chose to fly with British Airways to Heatrow.
At Heathrow we bought two Oyster cards- a rechargeable smartcard for London transportation- and cought the underground to the centre - everything is pretty easy.

walking walking walking

As I said before this was the first time in London for my boyfriend, so we tried to visit as much as possible on foot. The weather was great and we could walk a lot!
We had a lovely walk on the Thames Path and had a great view on the Tower Bridge and London Bridge.
Moving forward we could not miss to have some photos on Westminster, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street and Trafalgar Square - I still think that the Hahn Statue made by a German artist is just too bad for this lovely square. What do you think?

If you have the chance to spend a sunny day in London- and I saw at least once 'Notting Hill' - I strongly advise you to have a look on the Portobello Market. I just love the area with all these multi coloured houses and a great open air market where you can find real bargains. When we visited the antiques section, I found a first edition illustrated book of Lewis Carroll's 'Through the looking-glass and what Alice found here'- yes, I am a super fan of Alice in Wonderland and illustrated books - but I had to leave it because it was out of my budget...a pity!!!

Walking down Portobello Road I could not believe my eyes when I saw this restaurant:

I could not believe that in the middle of Portobello Market, I could find a restaurant from my not-famous-at all Italian Region : Friuli Venezia Giulia :D We had not time to stop at Bottega Friıulana, but for sure I will be back! Friulian cuisine is quite different from the typical Italian one and our wines are just awesome - so if you pass by, have a look at the menu!!

In a walking section it is impossible not to talk about London parks!!! There are so many that are worth I visit :) During our trip, we stopped by Regent's Park and Hyde Park - where we had a nice encounter:

Isn't it lovely? :D Well, is it just me or squirrels in London are much skinnier than the one in Central Park in New York? ;)
One evening we had a lovely walk on South Bank - it was so lovely ! Seeing the city by night, wow! It is a great path, full of architectonic marvels, lights, artists, cafes and I advise it to you all :)

A bit of culture?

There so many museums, galleries and exhibits that I love in London but as my boyfriend has a 'two museum' each holiday limit so I had to choose what he could like best.I could not miss to go back to the British Museum; years back I went to London with my father who spent three entire days in this kidding! hahhaha I may not that archaeology fan but I love The Parthenon part and all the ancient Greece statue - a real wonder!!!

The second museum that I chose was entirely for my boyfriend. Guess what? Even grown-up boys love dinosaurs! The Natural History Museum was really interesting; it was my first time there and we had much fun!
Did I mention that both these museums were free of charge? Very good I know ;)

food food food

We eat mostly out during the evening -our hosts brought us to many different restaurants. It is interesting to notice that everything looks so nice but it is not unique. Most of the restaurants are part of franchising chains, so you can find the same restaurants everywhere! They are not bad though, for example I quite like Honest Burgers
Than of course, pubs! We had few meals there and I re-discover my love for cider!hahaha! I know, I live in Germany and I should like beer but it is not for me. I consider cider a good compromise :D.

Well and if you want a good pizza and you are near Covent Garden, I can suggest you Homeslice Pizza-  it is very 'buona'!!! You have to believe me because I am Italian, right? ;)

We also cooked home often and on Saturday we visited Borough Market - a real food mecca!!!The quality of food sold is very high and you can find almost anything there. And of course, while you visit this food market you cannot resist to eat something on the spot - we had like the best fish sandwich with spicy sauce ever! Delicious!

During our visit it was Eurovision-time, it was great to spot this Conchita Wurst's cake - although I voted for Italy, sorry Austria!

My only food-souvenir that I brought back in Germany is this Maltesers malty chocolate drink........I love it!

and than came Cambridge

Considered that my hosts knew that I visited London many times, they thought it could have been nice to show me something new: Cambridge! We rent a car on Sunday and in about two hours we were in the worldwide university town.
To have a better view on all Cambridge beautiful buildings we took a punting (boat) tour. Let's be honest, nobody ever been afraid in these tour except...well me. The river is relatively narrow and there are so many boats that there are often collisions - trust me! Nothing dangerous .....It is quite funny to think about it now ;) By the way our tour guide was very nice and explained all about Cambridge's old colleges.

I was also very happy to shop in a great book store where I could find a lovely 'Alice in Wonderland' illustrated book and like - the best ever shopping bag for Jane Austen's fans....all in my shopping photo.


I really had not so much time to shop - with my boyfriend it is almost impossible. So almost all you can see here . I have bought all  in Boots and Topshop. I try always to buy products that are not available here in Germany....and I think I succeeded!hahaah
I had just a quick stop at Spitalfield Market - which I adore...I want to go back there ;)

Alternative London Tour

In this last section. I want to talk about the Alternative London Walking Tour. It is a great opportunity to discover the incredible London street art and incredible surroundings. Starting on Spitalfields Market, the tour guide brings you to discover all hidden artwork and gives great insight on the art scene. As street art changes rapidly, you will probably not see the artworks pictured above anymore! So I decided to show my favourite pieces:

I wish I could remember the artist's names - sorry for that!!!! This tour is a pay-what-you-like basis, so it means that at the end you can give as much you think is fair. Our guide was Ben Slow - a name impossible to forget, right? - who himself is a great artist!! 

London and cats

well , I hope you could appreciate this not-so-fancy post about my last British trip. There are thousand of things we did or visit that I have not mentioned but I do not want to bore you to death so that's it!
Just the last thing I want to show is this lovely cat who was living next of my boyfriend's sister. It was soooo lovely! It uses to visit us on the window :) I have never thought of seeing cats in London and now I can say - this is the perfect city! 

Baci belle!!!

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  1. Ma davvero a Cambridge le barche fanno tipo autoscontro?XD E nessuno mai ha cappottato? Mi viene da ridere al pensiero di seriose very british people che si scontrano con le barche!:D Sono una dei pochi asini a non essere mai andata a Londra, non è una delle città che mi attiri di più (per esempio scegliendo andrei prima ad Instanbul che sono anni che ci vorrei andare) ma penso che sia comunque una città da vedere. Per non parlare di tutti quei marchi che potrei trovare!XD

    1. hhaha siii!niente di drammatico!ma fanno "remare" non solo le guide ma anche i turisti stessi (che cosi pagano meno) e quindi ti immaginerai la situazione!la nostra guida ci ha raccontato che vede "tuffi" almeno 3 volte al gg!:D io sono stata da sempre un anglofila convinta....anche se a dire il vero amo Dublino ancora piu`che Londra....Istanbul e`stupenda ma e`molto piu`difficile da visitare (almeno secondo me!). poi ricordiamoci che in Turchia ci sono marchi che non vendono neanche in UK ;) hahahaha

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