Featured, Travel


October 5, 2016


When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” my favorite quote by Sir Samuel Johnson.

London. The city I love, the city I know best (besides my home town).

Many of you might not know but I used to work in London for a short while and lived there off and on for about two years. Five years since have passed. Five years have passed and London is partly still the same, waiting to be explored again. On November 2011 I climbed Primrose Hill, settled near an old man with his pudgy cute dog, got out my camera and photographed London’s skyline. I sat there for about an hour. I wanted to take as much of London as I could that by the time I would take my flight back home I would not miss it. Got home and wanted to return. Didn’t work.

I missed take-out sushi lunches in Hyde Park, walking aimlessly through Soho and Notting Hill, dinners with friends, movie nights, commuter trains, Costa coffees and drinks in pubs. I missed the tube’s sound and smell. I missed the smell of London. I missed the crammed streets, the people, the Thames, reading Evening Standard and Metro while commuting for an hour back home. I missed the drag of it.

I returned wanting to see new places, never before explored. I had a list made at home but that quickly became obsolete the minute we ran into more and more things to see at every corner. Those things missed were the cat station, as I call it, the one that made the rounds of internet two weeks back on the Northern Line at Clapham Common, The Shard and its up high restaurants (Hutong was on the list), proper exploration of Notting Hill once again and actually stepping inside Charlotte Tilbury’s flagship store in Covent Garden.

What we didn’t miss though were the views and desserts at Sky Garden (I made sure of that because I booked a table at Dawson’s Brasserie online one week before) that I’m sure beats London Eye, Hampstead Heath and Hampstead, two British manors, Oxford Street, Soho, Covent Garden, lots of pubs, sushi, St. James’s Park, City of London, Leicester Square, China Town, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, even more pubs, The Geffrye Museum and so much more. In 8 days.

We chose to stay through Air Bnb and stayed in two places. The first was in Stoke Newington and the other East Ham. We really wanted to immerse ourselves in London. The first stay was with a real born Londoner, a lovely lady and her daughter. I asked her all about London. It was a delight. She even picked us up from the Stansted express station. East Ham was something else. Crammed and not much to see but very close to the District and Hammersmith lines and a few stations away from Canary Wharf.

The weather was absolutely wonderful. Sunny all day with the occasional rainy cloud. I always said London weather is a myth. It does not pour rain 24/7. Actually it’s more cloudy than rainy.

A thing I must confess: when it comes to traveling, I never know how and what to pack. I always pack way more than needs to be packed. I would come back with double the size of my luggage because I cannot not shop once I’m there. This time I chose smartly: something street but cool, wearable and interchangeable. And those items were: only one pair of jeans, my Zara plimsolls (I wanted super comfort), my faux-leather jacket and 5 tops. That’s it. So in my carry on I had only the tops, cosmetics, pajamas and underwear and leaving PLENTY of room for what I shopped. More on that later in my next posts.

I’ll leave you now with our many photos (long scroll down) because London has to be experienced and then written about. Bits of commentaries coming your way also. Happy scroll 🙂

p.s. It was a delight and release to have Cata do ALL the photography duties. I used to do them myself when I was single and bitch about carrying a heavy camera after a long day of sigh seeing.


Am petrecut mult timp in Londra. In afara de Timisoara, Londra e ca a doua casa. In 2010 am lucrat acolo, iar pana in 2011 m-am tot reintors. Am avut norocul sa lucrez si sa am colegi super faini care m-au dus peste tot, in toate restaurantele si puburile posh in care poti manca delicios.

Si iata-ne reintorsi anul acesta. Am asteptat mult timp. Niciodata nu ma reintorc intr-un oras, dar in Londra ma voi reintoarce mereu. Ne-am inteles sa vedem locatii noi, sa nu mergem pe rutele batute de orice turist ce viziteaza Londra pentru prima data (we hate that). Cata cunoastea mult mai putin Londra ca mine, asa ca mai mult a mers pe mana mea (haha, not!). Westminster si Palatul Parlamentului sunt ok , London Eye la fel, dar multe alte locatii mai frumoase si cu mai multa poveste te pot astepta daca arunci un ochi mai incolo.

Ceea ce v-as recomanda sunt multe, le voi enumera doar pe cele la care merita sa mergeti:

  1.  Churchill’s War Rooms. Cel mai fascinant muzeu la care am fost pana acum. Localizat langa St. James’s Park, de partea celalalta a palatului Buckingham, cabinetele de razboi au fost lasate la fel ca ultima data cand au fost folosite in 1945. Veti simti atmosfera de razboi si veti afla cum Churchill si staff-ul sau au condus un razboi mondial chiar sub centrul Londrei.
  2. Sky Garden. Un habitaclu inchis si spatios cu gradini va asteapta la etajul 35 al cladirii de pe 20 Fenchurch Street in City of London. Intrarea se face pe gratis doar cu rezervare online si cu aceasta se poate sta doar 1 ora. Timpul este nedeterminat daca rezervati tot online o masa la barul de sus, la braserie sau restaurant. Aveti atunci si prioritate jos la intrare. Noi am facut rezervare la braserie. Cu tot cu pozele de dupa am stat vreo 4 ore. Nu am fost in London Eye, dar cred ca aici ceea ce veti vedea e mult mai spectaculos.
  3. Hampstead si Hampstead Heath. Cel mai posh loc din Londra (pe langa Richmond). Localizat pe dealuri, Hampstead ofera oricarui vizitator cele mai bune localuri, restaurante, precum si un pub vechi cu traditie, The Spanniards Inn, unde pe terasa mare luminata cu beculete, seara am baut un rose, eu si o bere locala, Cata. Din Hampstead toate drumurile duc spre Hampstead Heath, un parc imens unde daca aveti noroc puteti da peste o celebritate la alergat. Noi am dat de Ricky Gervais 🙂
  4. Shopping. Nu exista capitala in Europa care intrece Londra in shopping. Desi multi merg pe Oxford Street (pentru mine e mult prea aglomerat), se gasesc variante pentru toti: mall-ul Westfield ofera tot ceea ce doreste un shopoholic ca mine, Carnaby Street in Soho (for the hipster in you) si strazile de pe langa si in Covent Garden.
  5. Malul Tamisei. Nu am fost pe Tamisa cu vaporul. Mi s-a parut mult mai ok sa merg pe malul ei. V-as recomanda sa luati metroul pana la Canary Wharf si sa va reintoarceti la Tower Bridge pe mal. Veti descoperi multe zone ascunse, zone rezidentiale, docuri si puburi cool.
  6. Regent’s Canal. Luati-va o zi de plimbat. Fara metrou, fara overground, fara bus. Din Regent’s Park dupa gradina zoologica, un canal de apa artificial isi face drumul serpuit prin toata Londra pana se varsa in Tamisa. Eu am luat-o de la Zoo spre Paddington. Pe jos veti vedea diferite zone, veti intra in Little Venice si barcile specifice in care locuiesc oameni. E splendid toamna. Inainte de a porni spre Regent’s Park faceti o vizita in Primrose Hill. Veti vedea centrul Londrei de mai sus, la orizont aparand cladirie inalte din City of London.
  7. Breakfast in Notting Hill. Sambata sau duminica vizitati restaurantele posh de acolo. Fiecare are ceva de oferit, dar multitudinea de oua servite la Tom’s le intrece pe toate. Din pacate vechiul restaurant s-a inchis dar este unul nou in loc, care serveste cam acelasi meniu.
  8. City of London in weekend. Popositi la St. Paul’s inainte pentru o portie de sushi la Yo Sushi, vizitati Tate Modern (merita numai pentru cladire si cofetaria ce ofera o privelista minunata) si apoi reintoarceti-va pe Millenium Bridge spre City of London sambata sau duminica. Atunci City of London este GOL. Va puteti plimba in liniste si admira imensitatea cladirilor. Veti da de o placa unde scrie ca aici apox. 350,000 de oameni lucreaza in timpul saptamanii. Wow!
  9. Mancati in China Town. Plimbati-va pe strazile din Soho, vizitati M&M’s World in Leicester Square (the madness there!) si popositi la pranz sau la sfarsitul zilei in China Town. Mancati ORIUNDE. Daca sunteti fani de mancare asiatica acolo e de voi.
  10. Serile petrecute pe strazi. In Londra nu ai cum sa stai intr-un singur loc. As fi luat pe rand fiecare pub cu traditie de pe Whitehall (va recomand The Clarence si diner room-urile de sus), puburile din Soho unde stai si practic bei berea pe strada la o tigara, si strazile posh de pe langa Covent Garden unde toate teatrele de musicals sunt deschise, pregatite de spectacol si stralucitoare. Vizitati Denmark Street, una dintre cele mai vechi strazi din Londra venind dinspre Central Line si statia Tottenham Court Road (sfarsitul Oxford Street) si continuati spre Foyle’s, cel mai mare magazin de carti care se intinde pe 5 etaje. Apoi luati un break in cel mai misto restaurant Marocan ascuns in Neill’s Yard. Sau mergeti dincolo de Primark-ul de langa statia Tottenham Court Road, la cel mai ascuns pub intr-o zona super aglomerata – Bricklayer’s Arms.

Ar mai fi multe, dar trebuie descoperite de fiecare din voi. Multe poze vin mai jos 🙂

p.s. Daca ma intrebati pe mine, se poate face un trip de o saptamana la Londra pe buget. Ryanair ne-a costat vreo 26/pers. dus-intors. Cazarea si avionul au fost aproximativ 700lei/pers. La fel, odata ajunsi acolo muzeele sunt gratis, cum am spus mai sus Sky Garden e gratis. Tesco si Sainsbury’s ofera acum la 3 lire un meal deal care contine 2 sandwiches sau salata mare, un suc si chips sau fruits la alegere. DAR, o singura viata avem 🙂 Get spoiled!


The only way to take a photo together.


Very busy Oxford Street. Bought only one furry pom-pom from Top Shop and gave all my money to Primark.


The pubs on Whitehall are insane. Insanely beautiful.


Time to go into the Walkie-Talkie.


This is what heaven must be like: drinks and views.


The best rose. I would have gurgled the whole bottle if I could.


The only touch of Autumn in Enfield.


Very posh Forty Hall.


Waiting for my Mr. Darcy. Missing a long skirt.


Blending in with the 9 to 5ers.


Squirels cannot be fooled by bread.


That’s one big bird.


Myddelton House Gardens.


Posh pub in Hampstead.


Sausage roll and picalilly.


Hungarian sweets.


Hampstead Heath.


Kenwood House


My door obsession kicks in every time I come to London.


The Geffrye Museum.


Eastbury Manor.


A little rainbow just for us.


Such a poser.


I had very little luggage (believe, I am petite in size, that luggage compared to a normal person was small). Crowned this trip a success because of that reason alone.


Thanks for making it this far 🙂

Photos by Cata, edited by me.




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