February 12, 2013 · 6:32 pm

Last weekend was positively wonderful.

IMG_2608I got to check a city off my list that I’ve been dying to see for basically my entire life: London!

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So here’s the first installment of my travel series, la bougeotte, recap style.

It was a short trip: we left Saturday morning from Paris Nord (the main train station here) and travelled two and a half hours to King’s Cross.

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We settled in to our wonderful accommodations (we stayed with my friend’s cousin, who was the best host ever), went out for some epic dim sum in celebration of the Chinese New Year, and set off exploring.

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The initial intent was to go see Lord Huron play (for free!) at Rough Trade West, a record shop near Portobello Road, since they’re basically my favorite band right now and I’ve been dying to see them, but we were running a little late and by the time we got to Rough Trade, it was full. Oh well. Another time!

And instead, we decided to brave the crazy dreary weather (even the Londoners told us that this was not typical!) and explore Portobello Road.

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Luckily, the rain kept the crowd pretty manageable for a Saturday afternoon and we had an amazing time thrifting. I bought some vintage postcards from Paris and a pretty epic 60s fashion find that I’m keeping under wraps for now because I’m not sure if I’m gifting them or keeping them!

After a really fun night out, the next morning we decided that we should try to fit in at least one academic excursion and headed over to the National Portrait Gallery. I also met my dear friend from home who is currently studying in London. It was so amazing to see her, even if just for a few hours. Hopefully she makes it over to Paris this semester!

IMG_2659The museum was great. I found the variety in subject matter and portrait style so cool. A couple of favorites:

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The Mick Jagger was a familiar piece to me, but I loved stumbling upon this gorgeous vintage portrait of Helen Mirren. There was also a little Marilyn Monroe exhibition that had some great magazine clippings of her early in her career, but no photos allowed! Same with that portrait of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge that everyone’s talking about.

I also managed to snag a quick photo from the museum’s cafe, which has an amazing view of the Tower and Big Ben.

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The highlight of the afternoon was some traditional High Tea…

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It was so lovely.

After, we did a little bit of wishful browsing at Selfridge’s since we were in the neighborhood, and followed that with an incredible dinner at Trishna, a really nice Indian restaurant. The Indian food scene is fantastic in London, and I was so psyched to experience it.

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Potato Chat (which was absolutely amazing) and Mushroom Pilau.

We went home and promptly passed out back at the apartment, only to wake up at 5:45 the next morning to catch our train and make it home in time for class. I so wish we could have spent more time there. I know I barely scratched the surface of a truly amazing town. Everyone we interacted with was so friendly, and I could not get over the street style. They know how to rock clothes in London, people. Good lord. Paris has sick style in another way; Parisians are generally so flawlessly put together and chic but still manage to be cool. Londoners (or at least from what I saw) own sartorialism by throwing on things that you would never think would work but come together in such a way that is so rocker and cool and badass. Love love love.

All in all I had such a wonderful time, and know that I will have to return. IMG_2633 IMG_2631I love constantly traveling and experiencing new places, but the instant bond I felt with London is pretty rare- similar to how I feel about New York (and Paris, to an extent).

I have other plans in the works, so stay tuned… I’m far from finished with my wandering.

 

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