Let’s start this blog post at Sunday, a café in the quiet neighborhood of Barnsbury. While the neighborhood itself is not particularly known for its good eats, everyone knows about Sunday. Seriously, on a weekday afternoon, every seat was occupied. The menu is full of brunch classics, so I got the chicken and waffles, topped with a carrot and corn slaw. The chicken was some of the best I’ve ever had, crispy on the outside and tender inside. I also got an iced tea, which was a mix of earl grey, berry rooibos, and lemonade. It was a cool and refreshing farewell to summer.
The café itself could not cuter. While very minimalistic, the combination of string lights, mismatched chairs, and a tan macramé (the knotted tapestry thing!!) create the perfect ambiance.
Also, let’s talk about this banana bread! If you remember from a few posts ago, I hate bananas. They’re my least favorite fruit. Banana bread I usually can stomach, but it’s obviously not my favorite. However, Sunday’s was soft, a little spicy, and even better with butter smeared all over it. I would actually order it again.
Then I went to Hatchards, a London bookstore that has been open for two-hundred and twenty years. It is one of the most extensive bookstores I’ve ever been inside. There are five levels. If you were to think of any book, Hatchards would probably have five different editions of it.
Can you guess what book was sold out?
Yep. I had to go to a second bookstore down the street to flip through What Happened? and take this picture.
I’ve been trying to avoid London’s tourist traps mainly because I saw them all the first few days I was here. However, some I just keep running into by accident. I’m getting good at getting from point A to point B in here, but I haven’t quite pieced all the points together. So it’s a lot of “oh, here I am in Piccadilly Circus AGAIN.”
Another place I keep running into? Trafalgar Square.
One place that is not a tourist trap is Flotsam & Jetsam, a coffee shop located way out of the way in Wandsworth Common. London’s coffee shops are quite different from Chicago’s as almost all of them serve full breakfast and lunch menus. Most of Chicago’s just serve pastries. The tiled counter is meant to mimic fish scales, which I think is so pretty!
Of course, I got a flat white, which is becoming my go-to coffee drink here.
Seriously, what coffee shop in Chicago would serve a freaking eggs benedict. Better yet, an eggs benedict topped with espresso brown butter hollandaise. I don’t think I’ve had better poached eggs in my life. I gobbled this right up.
Afterwards, I wandered around Wandsworth Common for a little bit. I love it when London feels like London, but I also love when it doesn’t feel like London.
For my splurge of the week, I spent my late night at Dandelyan, a consistent contender for the title of the best bar in the world. The beautifully designed cocktail booklet was definitely a highlight.
I had the Rocks Off Manhattan, a combination of scotch, cherry grenadine, and pine nut vermouth and garnished with a gourmet adult-version of a cherry Fruit Roll-Up. It was quite good and very strong, but also probably the most expensive cocktail I will ever purchase. It was a fun one-time experience.
I opted for a Guinness at Doggett’s Coat and Bridge as my second beverage of the evening. My bank account sighed in relief.
Both Dandelyan and Doggett’s are located right on the river, so I was greeted with a beautiful view after. I snapped this picture while drunk; you can call me a true pro!
I guess I am on an informal quest to try every coffee shop in London, because I also stopped into Coffee Works Project.
See what I mean! What is with London coffeeshops tempting me with full meals! Quiche and pasta salad topped with freshly crumbled feta? If you say so.
And an iced americano and a salted caramel brownie…. They really got me. It was all delicious, though, so I’m not upset.
I also headed back to the Tate Modern, my favorite place to waste a few hours daydreaming. This piece by Rene Magritte really caught my eye. What do you think it is? What is the symbolism? What is the social commentary? 1,000 word response in the comments section! Go!!
This is a sculpture made out of radios!
I somehow still had more time before I had to get to class (yes, just in case you forgot, I am a study abroad STUDENT. don’t worry, I forget all the time, too) so I went to the Tate Britain, which has pieces from the 1500s all the way to now. I actually think I am learning more history from these museums than my actual history class, but that’s not a bad thing!
Ta-ta for now,