This time we went to London because I found super cheap train tickets (£30 for a return I think). We didn't have many plans apart from just walking around, eating in some good places and maybe meeting up with friends, feeling like in Love Actually etc.
3.5 hours on a train and we were at King's Cross. It was midnight and the station was full. In Edinburgh it would have been completely empty - that's one of the other reasons I love London - so many people! (does it show I've only visited a handful of times). We went to our airbnb flat and frankly were a little bit disappointed but also happy to have somewhere to crash. We only stayed in airbnb twice before in the same flat in Warsaw, which was absolutely amazing so our expectations were perhaps a little inflated. It was a basement flat between Hackney and Dalston, which looked as though it was a nursery during the week. Hints: a row of tiny chairs, arts and crafts kit in the living room, children's books in the bedroom. It was clean enough but not spotless. A little less than I expected given the price and the description on airbnb website. But oh well, it's London, we were happy to just have a place to crash for the night and also in such a good location.
On Saturday morning we went for breakfast to one of the local cafes (Wilton Way Cafe), which turned out to be one of those hipster places with bare light bulbs, salvaged furniture and a barista who feels too important to serve you coffee. You know the type, you kind of don't feel good enough to deserve to order something but then you really want a coffee and an overpriced toast with avocado. It turned out that Robert, our friend, lives a short walk away from that place so he joined us for breakfast and a very short session of
making fun of talking about people who wear hats indoors and are baristas in coffee shops like that one. (Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against baristas, I worked as one myself for over 6 months, but I would never wear a hat indoors). I'm sure they're pretty harmless but it's become such a trend of 2013 that it's now a little boring.
But I digress.
The coffee was good (and I'm hard to please, so it shows), and my sour dough toast with avocado was amazing. It had chilli flakes on top and at least a whole avocado mashed with olive oil or something else, it was pretty good.
Then we headed off to Dalston and took the overground to Shoreditch and Brick Ln to continue our hipster education. I spotted two pieces of street art by Roa, a Belgian street artist, who also has painted a beautiful mural in Warsaw. We ventured through a couple of vintage shops (overpriced), market stalls with T shirts featuring moons, supernovas and kittens and ended up in Old Spitalfields Market, which was a lot of fun. I loved the Christimas wreaths on the doors and the weather was just glorious for a long walk.We walked around for another hour or so and then took a bus to London Bridge.
Roa Number 2
Took a glimpse of the Shard and headed off to Borough Market, which was packed. Quick burgers for lunch and a trip to Notting Hill to the Portobello Rd Market, and a stroll among the colourful town houses plus some crepes with nutella and bananas. In the evening we were meeting our friends fro drinks in Angel and the night didn't end there shall we say...
I checked the Londonist website for things that were happening that weekend and it turned out that Chris Hadfield (the famous astronaut who was takes awesome pictures of the Earth from the International Space Station and makes videos about things such as "what happens to your tears when you cry in space") was signing his book in Watersone's in Picadilly Circus so we went there to meet him, but the queue was too long for us too wait and we had to catch our train back to Scotland.
It was a very full weekend, perhaps even a little too full? It would have been nice to walk around the neighbourhood we stayed in or even go to the winter wonderland or Oxford Street.
Until next time London. I don't need much more convincing that you're the place to be when a girl is still in her twenties. You're also only 2h away from Paris... ooh tempting.
See how happy you make me?