London

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In mid-November a group of us decided to spend a weekend in London for a friends birthday. After a week of being sick with a vomiting bug, I made my way to Dublin airport for our 7pm flight with Ryanair to Gatwick to kick off the weekend!  

When we got into Gatwick, the queue’s for train tickets was mental, and all but one of us had contactless on our visa cards so we decided to get an Uber instead. It cost around £80 from the airport to Kilburn, where we had an airb&b.  On the first night we did very little – stayed in the apartment with a few drinks and ordered a Chinese take away, that was quite vile!

Restaurants:

Village East: We came here for brunch on the Saturday and loved this cool little place. I got the eggs royale and although the presentation didn’t look the best it was lovely! As the food was being served, I did ask for a portion of chips with some blue cheese dip, which didn’t arrive until after everyone had finished eating and the plates had been cleared – and also arrived with a large piece of blue cheese instead of dip. The Southwark Smile is a highly recommended cocktail! The decor of the cafe is also really cool and the bathrooms have some hipster decorations!

Pizza East: 6 of us came here for dinner on the Saturday night, and we squeezed into a table that would comfortably fit 3. Everyone got starters (except for me), but I did steal some of Sean’s garlic bread, which was thick and coated in garlic. For the main course I got a pizza with San Daniele, burrata, rocket and tomato – and it was lovely. Unfortunately, as I was still feeling sick, I only got to eat two slices. It is a restaurant I would love to return to on my next trip to London.

Ginger and White: On the Sunday morning, I met a friend in Hampstead Heath and we visited this cute little place. There was no room to sit inside, so we took a seat under the heaters outside. We got a latte and a muffin here, which was super tasty!  It’s down a little side street and is a great place to base yourself for a morning coffee and watch some dressed up dogs walk past!

The Freemasons Arms: After my breakfast in Ginger and White, I took a stroll to meet everyone else for lunch in the Freemasons Arms. It was a proper English Sunday lunch kinda place and we were seated in the sun lounge out the back. The menu was huge, with so much choice and in the end I settled on the roast Chicken. Everyone had ordered before I got there, but the service was super quick and I wasn’t waiting too long for my food! After lunch we decided to check out the vast dessert menu. The baked cheesecake was calling to me, but as I was still not feeling 100%, I settled for ice cream and cookies, which did not disappoint. They also had a great offer for any hot drink and mini dessert which someone at the table got, with a mini apple crumble!

Things to do:

Southbank: Like the last time we were in London, we took a walk along the Southbank. Its something I love doing – you get to people watch and see the beautiful surroundings, with markets, old shops, the riverbank etc. I would recommend anyone visiting London to do this walk, and around Christmas time, it can be made even better with some mulled wine!

Tate Modern: We very briefly visited the Tate Modern on our way to watch the Ireland – All Blacks game. Unfortunately, we only had 35ish minutes to check it out, so we decided to walk up to the top floor (10 floors I think) to get the view of London. The view did not disappoint. On the next trip to London, I plan to spend more time checking out the actual gallery.

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