A Winter Walk through the City

 

This past Friday I found myself with an early morning appointment in The City, and another meeting at 11:30am. This left me with a few hours to explore and enjoy the Square Mile on the last major working day before Christmas week.

beasofbloomsbury

I kicked things off at Bea’s of Bloomsbury, a great little coffee shop at One New Change, which is a modern shopping mall located next to St. Paul’s Cathedral. The cathedral, by the way, was absolutely glowing in the early morning winter sun.

st_pauls

After coffee it was off to Bank where I wandered around The Royal Exchange and admired all the luxury shop windows dressed up for the season. The interior of the Royal Exchange is absolutely stunning, but unfortunately no photos are allowed. (I found this out the hard way from a very polite security guard)

royal_exchange

hermes

No trip to The City is complete without a wander through Leadenhall Market. There’s been a market here since the 15th century, but the current covered structure has been in place since the 1880s. After my brief trip to Leadenhall I continued to wander aimlessly for another half hour or so, reminding myself of how lucky I am to not only live in London, but have the luxury of taking a random stroll through its streets on a Friday morning.

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the counting house

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I’ve been working my butt off for the last few months, but next week I’m going to take things easy and enjoy the festivities here in town. This will be my first Christmas in London for four years and I’m really looking forward to it.

xoxo

Girl in London

 

A Very London Christmas: London-Themed Christmas Decorations

 

It’s hard to believe, but Christmas is just a few weeks away. And for the first time in a few years I’ll be spending the holiday in London with my other half. That means I finally have an excuse to decorate our flat and get a Christmas tree!

For those of you who are new to London, you can in fact get a REAL tree without dragging it through the Tube with you. There are a few places that deliver both live and cut trees to addresses in London, and I’ve taken the liberty of pinning them to the board below. I’ve also included lots of London-themed Christmas decorations to give your tree some local flair. Enjoy!

Follow Girl in London’s board Christmas in London on Pinterest.

Announcing: Girl in London Guides

 

Girl in London Guides

It is with great excitement that I am announcing the launch of Girl in London Guides!

After years of blogging I’ve had countless people tell me that I should write a book about moving to London and living in London. Well, I’ve finally taken all that advice to heart and have started writing a set of guides to help my fellow Anglophiles move to, live, and thrive in the UK capital.

The first guide that I have available is … (drumroll please) …

Applications for UK Work Visas and Indefinite Leave to Remain: Getting it Right the First Time

This is for all of you out there who are currently going through the [excruciating] process of filling out your visa or ILR application. I’ve done it three times myself and each time it took days of research to get everything right.

The guide translates the UKBA’s ambiguous instructions into plain English, and provides lots of examples so you can fill out your application(s) with confidence.

The guide is £9.99, but since this is my first ever e-book, I’ve got a discount code for you all!

Use the promo code girlinlondon and you’ll get 50% off!

girl in london guides

Happy reading!

xoxo
Girl in London

Inside the New Yurt Cafe at Limehouse

 

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It’s not everyday that a yurt suddenly appears down the street from your flat, but that’s precisely what happened earlier this week here in my neighbourhood of Limehouse.

My boyfriend alerted me Wednesday morning that free coffee vouchers were being given away at the front of Limehouse station. When I did some investigating, not only did I learned that there was a new coffee shop (inside a yurt) coming to the neighbourhood, but this was in fact all a part of a much greater development project by St. Katharine’s Precinct.

The whole idea behind the project (I think) is to bridge the awkward stretch of no-man’s land between Limehouse and Wapping/St. Katharine’s Dock. The Yurt Cafe, which is housed inside a genuine yurt, just opened a few days ago and I have to say I was pretty impressed.

Yurt_Cafe_Menu

Limehouse doesn’t have a great cafe scene. In fact, it doesn’t really have a lot going on — the area around Limehouse Basin is almost entirely comprised of residential units. So the fact that a little cafe has just opened up within a block of the basin is a pretty big deal to us locals.

The Yurt Cafe looks small on the outside, but the inside is pretty roomy. The cafe features that ‘upcycled’ look that’s so en vogue these days. There’s a little fireplace in there, as well as plenty of seating across a large open space. In addition to a range of coffees and teas, the cafe serves breakfast and lunch foods. When we visited yesterday we opted for two lattes, one lemon polenta cake, and one vegetable quiche. It took a little time for the food to come out, but everything was delicious.

Yurt_Cafe_Fireplace

Going forward I’ll definitely be popping over a few times a week to grab a quick takeaway lunch here. If you’re ever in the neighbourhood, I definitely recommend stopping by — even if it’s just to check out the yurt!

Top 5 Places to Celebrate Thanksgiving in London

 
Thanksgiving in London

Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/notahipster/

When I was a kid the 3.5 weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving couldn’t seem further apart. Now that I’m an adult, the whole month of November seems to fly by.

Time is relative, after all.

Anyways, I suppose it is that time of the year when those of us who indulge in the Thanksgiving tradition need to start thinking about what we’re going to do for the holiday. Over here in London, there are actually quite a few places to chow down on turkey, stuffing, and all the fixin’s.

Keep it Classy and Traditional with the Benjamin Franklin House

Thanksgiving in London

Image Source: http://www.benjaminfranklinhouse.org

The Benjamin Franklin House is hosting a traditional Thanksgiving feast- complete with turkey, stuffing, veggies, and pumpkin pie – on the evening of 26 November at the beautiful Clothworker’s Hall in central London. It’s a little pricey at £80/Adult and £45/child, but all proceeds go to supporting the Benjamin Franklin House here in London town. For more info, click here.

Have a Hipster Thanksgiving at the Breakfast Club

If traditional isn’t your thing, then you might want to take a look at what the Breakfast Club is offering this Thanksgiving. The faux American diner is cooking up a Turkey Day menu on 26 November at all its outlets across the city. Some sample dishes include spicy pumpkin soup and baked kale mac n cheese. At £28, it’s one of the cheaper deals in town. For more info, click here.

Enjoy a Traditional Thanksgiving for Less at Bodean’s

Bodean’s sets the standard for American BBQ in London, so it’s only fitting that they serve up a traditional Thanksgiving meal every year. Each of its branches are offering turkey, ham, and all the trimming for a very reasonable £23.95/person. Find the branch closest to you and book ahead – seats fill up quickly!

Tuck into Lobster at a Louisiana Style Thanksgiving with the Big Easy

If you’re in the mood for pit smoked turkey with a heaping side of Lobster, then you’ll want to head on over to the Big Easy on 26 November. Their £30/person Turkey Day menu (+£10 for Lobster) also includes homemade pumpkin pie. Mmmmmm. Click here for more info.

Have a Posh Turkey Day at Christopher’s Grill

This celebrated American establishment in Covent Garden is offering up a delectable Turkey Day menu for £55/person. The menu includes lots of fancy stuff, like goat cheese soufflé, roast corn and chorizo chowder, and pear and almond cobbler. Far from traditional, but it might appeal to the sophisticated side of your palate. Click here for more info.

Can I be honest with all of you for a moment?

I don’t really have the time to list ALL the restaurants offering a Thanksgiving menu – I tried to highlight a wide range of options above, but there are a lot I missed. Here’s a list of other places to chow down on Turkey on 26 November.

Honourable Mentions

The Narrow (see menu here)

Beas of Bloomsbury (takeaway only – see menu here)

Villandry

The Diner

Porky’s

Balthazar London

Tips on Surviving London for Students on a Budget

 
Kensington

London

My undergraduate days may be long behind me (perhaps longer than I’d like to admit!), but I feel for you students out there. Studying in London, whether you’re coming from abroad or another part of the UK, is super super super exciting.

There’s just one problem: London is also happens to be super super super expensive.

It’s a tough enough place to afford as a working professional, so I can only imagine how daunting it is as a student.

But there’s no need to fear future scholars, Girl in London is here to help.

Here is a pretty comprehensive collection of cash-saving tips for living (and enjoying!) London that I’ve picked up over the last five years:

Continue reading

The Ultimate Foodie Experience is Coming to London

 

The200Club-FacebookCoverImageBFontB

Attention all foodies! There is a one-of-a-kind culinary event coming to London.

Barclays Bespoke Offers and gastronomic geniuses Bompas & Parr have come together to create the 200 Club, an exclusive (and unprecedented) 24-hour gourmet dining experience with the longest tasting menu in the world consisting of 200 separate courses served over 24 hours, and with 10 colour-themed meals.

The Details

Diners of the 200 Club will be treated to dishes prepared by eight top chefs. Each meal will consist of 20 bite-sized courses tied to a colour theme. Here are a few examples:

Yellow Breakfast: A morning repast that zings with citrus, caffeine and craft. This culinary explosion will hybridize flavours of the East and West in a high-energy, high-end display of homely food love.

White Elevenses: A British tradition bejewelled in surreal sparkle. Expect custards, shortbread, quiches, clouds of confection sugar and a dreamy sweet vision of the classic treats.

Green Lunch: This meal will be a rustic yet refined version of the garden snacking of yore. Look forward to leafy eating including the freshest greens, meats and cheeses, plus a procession of fluorescent jellies.

Blue Afternoon Snack: A powerhouse of flavour for the lazy hours of the day. Taste an otherworldly array of vibrant and dusty turquoises in the form of naturally tinted roots and skilfully prepared fish.

Bespoke Offers_200 Courses (9)

I think it’s safe to say that the 200 Club is going to be the foodie event of the year!

The Venue

The Factory in Bermondsey, London

When

8AM, 3 September to 8AM, 4 September

Tickets

The 200 Club is offering two types of tickets to this event, but they’re going quickly so you’ll have to act fast!

  1. Ultimate dining experience for two

Treat yourself and a friend to the ultimate dining experience and take part in the entire 24-hour event!

  1. 10 meals sampling experience

From just £49 you can take part in this unprecedented event and enjoy one 20-course meal along with a carafe of wine or two beers.

(This post has been sponsored by Bespoke Offers, but all opinions are my own)