I <3 London

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My personal London tips:

1. Borough Market

London’s oldest market is a paradise for a culinarist. They have the freshest cheese, meat, fruits & veggies, olive oil, juices, ice cream, granola, almost anything you can possibly ask for. After having a veggie burger, we picked couple cakes from what felt like an endless selection, and ended up having lemon cheesecake and carrot cake and enjoyed them by the river. Arguably London’s best coffee is sold there too and I can agree the Monmouth long black was delicious indeed.

2. Notting Hill

Portobello Road and the little side alleys make a perfect place to get lost on a Saturday (or any other day). The scale of colours in the buildings make me inconceivably happy and wish that I could live in one myself. I also did one of my best bargains ever from a little leather shop PappuDoc on Portobello. I bought a case for my laptop, something I had been hunting already for years, and this was a perfect piece.

Anne took me to her favourite comfort food restaurant, Liza’s. To be honest, I was not too excited about having Swedish food as I was travelling to Stockholm the next day, but I understood the hype on my first bite. If I lived in London, I would make my way to Liza’s for the meatballs every week as well, so good were they.

3. Flower Market

I was not surprised when Anne told me that she likes to walk every Sunday here to pick up fresh flowers for the upcoming week. Fresh flowers and coffee on a Sunday morning, what else could you ask for?

4. Camden Market

It’s no secret that I love food markets and Camden Market was no exception. We grabbed lunch here and enjoyed it by the canal, a perfect ending to our little hike to Primrose Hill.

5. Afternoon Tea

This is a must do while in London. We went to The Cadogan. The prestige location in the heart of Knightsbridge and with its atmosphere of stepping centuries back in time and receiving treatment like we were royals was an experience itself. The tea and sweet & savoury bites were a cherry on top of the experience.

6. Angel & Le Merqury restaurant

The lovely area made me feel most cozy, filled with life and boutique shops, cafés and pubs. We went to my girls’ favourite restaurant Le Merqury and I can see why; the food was super delicious and very affordable and the atmosphere very romantic & cozy.

London calling

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Best scones ever with jam and cream at afternoon tea at The Cadogan

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Exploring the streets of hipsterish Shoreditch

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Picking dessert at Borough market

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…And another one in Dark Sugars chocolate shop on Brick Lane

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Monmouth coffee rumoured to be the best in London

London is the only place besides NYC so far that I have immediately felt like home. Likewise with New York, I never fancied too much of visiting London, that was, until I traveled there. 3-day weekend trip with mom turned out to be way too short time to discover it nearly enough. I immediately fell in love with the energetic vibes of the different areas, vividness and history you can sense all over. I love to stay longer periods in cities like these that I feel connected to such deeply, to experience behind the touristy stuff.
I was so happy to reunite with this city and stay at my Londoners Henni’s and Anne’s place. They also pulled me an very unexpected yet happy surprise. Besides seeing these dear friends, also Amanda from Scotland had decided to fly over. London has been everything I remembered and more. This is my iPhone picture diary so far.

 

Home Sweet Home

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In my favorite, Sushibar + Wine at Uudenmaankatu

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The Exhibionists at Museokatu, such a fresh and delicious brunch in a French café

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I’m aware of my perfect timing to come back but I have to say that I truly see my city through new eyes after being away for so long. Also, after spending last summer in the heat of New York (though it was the best one so far), it is very refreshing to be home this time. Though I was unlucky to return and discover the weather to be unusually cool, I’ve felt extremely happy being home ever since. The weather eventually got warmer and I’ve got reminder after another how the Finnish Summer is such a unique time and place to experience.

The week was filled with reunions. Elina and I were also lucky to get all of our closest friends together at my place as soon as she landed couple days after myself. My week highlights involved brunches, lunches and dinners with the best people, some party nights, being at the sea and surrounding islands of Helsinki and spending time with a best friend who packed her apartment and moved to NYC. One of the things I’ve missed the most has been wondering the aisles of grocery stores, being able to buy anything I wish and prepare the meal by myself, in my own kitchen. Such a luxury.

I am already up in the sky again, on my way to one of my favourite city and people. Can’t help myself, I’ve missed Europe so badly and I am so happy to explore London more, last time was way too short!