This Thanksgiving, I had my own holiday celebration in London! It was definitely hard being away from home at one of my favorite holidays - all my friends got together one night while everyone was home from college and that was the first time I had felt homesick in months. But, London definitely made up for it - it was my favorite city in Europe so far (which is a big statement because I am infamously bad at picking favorites). I was lucky enough to be able to stay with one of my friends from Elon, whose family lives in London and she was home for the holiday. My experience was that much better being able to see the city with a local and stay in an actual home. We packed a lot into three days and had so much fun, so it was especially hard for me to pick my highlights!
Our first day in London was packed with sightseeing and good food. We saw the Tower Bridge, walked around the city center, and tried to spend a good amount of time inside shops because it was freezing out.
We did some more sightseeing Thursday afternoon, and then headed to Covent Garden for dinner. It was my favorite area of London. In the garden, we had Flesh & Buns for dinner, a Japanese restaurant where you get steamed buns and pick your "flesh" filling - chicken, fish, steak, etc. I got steak, with sides of corn on the cob, edamame, and broccoli. It was one of my favorite meals I have had while abroad. The steak was amazing and every side was seasoned and roasted to perfection. It was not turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes - it was even better. After dinner, we saw the absolutely massive Christmas tree in the center of Covent Garden. It was so big and beautiful I wondered how they even got it there. In almost every city I have been to since October, they have been celebrating Christmas in their own unique way. It has been so fun to see such a variety of different decorations and feel the holiday spirit so far away from home.
If you know me personally, you probably know I am obsessed with cereal. It is one of my favorite foods and I like to believe it's the best meal at any time of day - breakfast, a snack, dinner, 2am, etc. So when I heard about the Cereal Killer Cafe in London, I had to make a trip. The cafe has bowls of every kind of cereal you can imagine, plus other foods made with cereal, including milkshakes and mozzarella sticks. I got cornflake-crusted chicken tenders, mac and cheese with a cornflake breading, and a bowl of one of the signature Cereal Killer cereals. My friend got bran flake fries which I had some of too. My cereal affinity was accounted for and it was such a cool experience. Dream = fulfilled.
Friday morning, we headed out into the city again and continued our exploring. We went to Buckingham Palace and I regret to say I did not witness a ~royal sighting.~ But, we did witness the changing of the guards, which was really neat. It was not as fancy as Versailles, but still beautiful and a must-see in London.
Later that afternoon, we went to afternoon tea. I feel like you cannot go to England and skip tea, but this tea party was like none I have ever been to before. First, I could not believe how fancy it was just to drink damn tea. But, the tea salon was absolutely beautiful (and decorated for Christmas!) and there was a man playing the piano, which was great. The tea itself was the best I have ever had and I regret not buying some to take home. I had two whole pots of a black strawberry tea to myself. Along with our copious amounts of tea, we each got a platter of finger sandwiches, scones and dessert pastries. We also each got a piece of cake at the end, but I was almost too full to enjoy mine, which was unfortunate because it was delicious. I had so much fun being so fancy and enjoying my tea, however, I could not believe how expensive it was. Luckily, I had a gracious "donor," so I did not pay for most of my meals in London, because I would not have been able to go to tea otherwise. I am including two pictures because this experience was just so wonderful.
Saturday (two days late), we had a full Thanksgiving feast with my friend's family. The food was absolutely amazing and I got my much-needed fill of home-cooked food. We even watched an American football game after! (Not the Patriots, but it was good enough.) My four days in London were so fun and I think if I had to move out of the U.S permanently, I would move there. I will definitely try to go back one day.
This week will be a double post so I can squeeze in my FINAL highlights reel from Amsterdam before I head HOME on Wednesday! Be on the lookout for that! xx
Just living, learning + loving and writing some of it down along the way. Senior + Director of Panhellenic Recruitment at Elon University in North Carolina. Currently interning + curating social for some badass clients at SFW in Greensboro, NC. Yogi, sightseer, shopaholic, foodie, writer.
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