How to Day Trip to Stonehenge from London

How to Visit Stonehenge by Natalie Parker

On our way into London from Bath, Mr. P and I detoured at the last minute to Stonehenge.  It’s pretty close to London but we’d never gotten around to visiting before.  Since it wasn’t raining, we went for it!

We figured this all out on the fly from our hotel in Bath.  You can get yourself there pretty easily without a tour!

This posts assumes you don’t have a car.  If you have a car, you can drive yourself to the visitor’s center and even see Stonehenge itself from the freeway.

The Basics

Stonehenge is just outside Salisbury, which is about 1.5 hours by train from London.

You have to get yourself to Salisbury, then to the visitor’s center, which is outside the town.  From there, there is a free shuttle from the visitor’s center to the stones.

Despite what we read online, mud wasn’t an issue.  The paths around the stones were covered and even though it was damp outside (is it ever not?), we had no trouble walking around.

How to Visit Stonehenge by Natalie Parker

Train to Salisbury

Trains leave London’s Waterloo station fairly regularly and serve Salisbury directly.  You can buy tickets online ahead of time or simply wait until you get to the station.  Waterloo station is also on the tube line and easily accessible from other parts of London.

Play around with the train website to understand times and costs.  Costs vary depending on whether you are traveling during a peak commute time.  It’s not cheap.  A one-way ticket from Salisbury back to London on a weekend (off-peak) cost Mr. P and I £40 each.

To the Visitor’s Center

The visitor’s center is outside of Salisbury.  Annoyingly, there is no public transportation from the train station to the center.  Here are your options:

Take a cab.  This can be more cost effective if you have a group of 4.  We considered this so we could make our visit quick, but we were worried about finding a cab for the way back.  We have heard of groups of 4 negotiating a flat rate with the taxi to drop them off and take them back after the visit.

Uber or Lyft?  We also considered this but did not see any cars available when we arrived in Salisbury.  We were there in January, so this may be an option if you are visiting at a peak time.

Take the Stonehenge Tour Bus.  We ended up going this route and were honestly a bit annoyed that the tour bus has a bit of a monopoly on getting to the visitor’s center.  It leaves from the train station and makes several stops on the way.  If you are interested in seeing other sites including the Salisbury Cathedral, this is a great option.

How to Visit Stonehenge by Natalie Parker

More on the Stonehenge Tour Bus and Buying Your Stonehenge Tickets

Buy bus tickets online or the day of.  We were able to buy our tickets with a credit card from the driver upon boarding.

The Tour Bus sells Stonehenge tickets as well as tickets to other sites.  See their website here for a complete listing of what’s offered.

Should you buy your Stonehenge tickets on the bus or through the official site?  If you’re traveling in the low season like we were, it’s easy and cost effective to just buy your bus ticket and Stonehenge ticket from the bus driver.  If you’re going during a busy time, you should consider buying your ticket early from the official site to make sure they don’t run out.

The bus comes with an audio guide for the ride and great views of the town.  Even though we were trying to keep our visit short and were a bit annoyed about having to stop at sites we weren’t visiting (I was pregnant and tired), the views from the top of the bus were great and I’m glad we got to see the town.

How to Visit Stonehenge by Natalie Parker

When You Get to the Visitor’s Center

Collect your tickets if you didn’t buy from the bus.  We bought our tickets ahead of time along with a guidebook and pickup was really easy.

The visitor’s center is really nice.  Bathrooms are new and plentiful and there’s a cafe serving locally sourced food.  We had lunch there and really enjoyed it.

A free shuttle takes you from the center to the stones.  It leaves every few minutes from right outside the cafe.

Free Wifi.  The visitor’s center has free wifi!

Free downloadable audio guide.  Instead of checking out an audio guide, we used the wifi to download the official Stonehenge free audio app.  Find it here on the Play Store for Android and here on the App Store for iPhones.  Download before you get on the shuttle bus and listen using your own device.

What if you have luggage?

There are no left luggage facilities at the Salisbury train station or at the Stonehenge visitor’s center.  There are no luggage restrictions at Stonehenge as of this writing so theoretically you could take your suitcase.  However, dragging a suitcase around sucks.

We left our luggage at the Cat Tavern near the train station.  We read about this online and decided to go for it.

The Cat Tavern is a pub that will store luggage for £4 per piece (cash only) per day.  They will not store luggage overnight.  It’s a bit unconventional but it worked.  Keep the handwritten receipt to claim your luggage!  We stored two suitcases and carried a backpack with our electronics to Stonehenge.

Here’s a map.  Exit the station and turn left.  The tavern is just down the road on the right side of the street.

Other Sites in Salisbury

There are other noteworthy sites in the area that are worth a wander if you have a day.  I don’t necessarily think an overnight is necessary, but if we had more time, we probably would have poked around town and visited the cathedral.  Salisbury wasn’t bombed during World War II (the Luftwaffe used the cathedral as a way point), so a lot of the buildings in the town are really old and interesting to look at!


Pregnant and Traveling: London at 7 months (How’d it go?)

Pregnancy Travel by Natalie Parker (1)

I wrote earlier about booking a business trip to London for when I was 7 months pregnant.  Check out that post for everything I considered when booking.

How’d it go?

It was fabulous.  My pregnancy was not an issue during the trip and I’m so glad we went.  I cannot stress how happy I am that I made plans that I could cancel because it opened the door for me to go if I felt fine.  I felt great!

No comfort issues at all during the flights.  At that point in the pregnancy, sleeping sitting up was honestly more comfortable than lying down (I was still getting used to having to sleep on my side at night at that point).  I had no issues sleeping beyond what I’d normally feel on a flight.

Glad I didn’t upgrade to business class.  We could have done this with points.  Instead, we kept seats in premium economy.  Lie-flat business class seats would have been a waste: I cannot comfortably sleep on my side in business class even while not pregnant.  Business class lie-flat seats don’t have enough padding.

I took several copies of my doctor’s note and medical record.  I carried a note in my carry-on.  Mr. P carried a copy in his backpack and I put one in the suitcase just in case.   My doctor also printed a complete copy of my medical record for me to carry in case I had an emergency.

I didn’t get asked to prove I was fit to travel.  But I’m glad I had medical clearance with me just in case.  The flight attendants kept offering me alcohol on the flight, so maybe it wasn’t that noticeable?

Glad we went with hotels instead of AirBNB for comfort reasons.  We use both AirBNB and hotels when we travel.  I find that hotel beds are more reliable comfort-wise than beds in European apartments, so I’m glad we went with hotels here.  I was also able to have several extra pillows sent up since I didn’t pack my pregnancy pillow with me.  It helped me sleep better and made sitting up in bed more comfortable.

We didn’t do many evening activities outside of dinner.  I think this was a combination of the fact that I would get tired more easily plus that we both have west coast jobs.  We were often in our hotel room answering emails or taking calls after dinner.

We stuck close to London for weekend activities.  Honestly, I was feeling so great that if we’d found a cheapo fare to Paris or Marrakesh for the weekend, we would have done it.  But, the weather was so cold in the rest of Europe during our trip that it didn’t make sense to travel someplace cooler when we didn’t pack for it.  It even snowed on us in London!  We went to Bath and Stonehenge the first weekend and stayed in London the second weekend.

Pregnancy Travel by Natalie Parker

We did some fun kid shopping.  We visited the toy department at Selfridges and picked up a stuffed bear for the baby.  We both had bears growing up so it was a big deal picking him out!

Again, travel insurance is great and made this entire trip possible.  Read more about travel insurance for pregnancy here.

A pregnancy disclaimer:  I’m writing to share my experiences.  Your experiences, resources, and situation may be different.  My choices might not be the best choices for you.  I thank you in advance for trusting that all health decisions were discussed with my doctor and husband. 

London: The Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race

Oxford Cambridge Boat Race, Putney, London

One of the more random things I got to do during my month-long work stint in London last year was watch the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race.  Or simply, The Boat Race.

It’s an annual race on the Thames between eights from Oxford and Cambridge and people take it seriously.  The rivalry between both schools is akin to an Alabama/Auburn or a Michigan/Ohio State, if you will.  Since I love spectacles and sporting events, I was there!

Oxford Cambridge Boat Race, Putney, London

I actually got wind of it from my coworker, a Cambridge alumnus himself, when he was asking me about the finer points of college football rivalries.  He said the only thing Britain has like that on the non-pro level is the Boat Race and it was happening that. very. weekend.

Oxford Cambridge Boat Race, Putney, London

I took the bus to Putney Bridge and met a coworker and friends to check it out.  People crowd into pubs, houses, yards, and all along the bank of the Thames.  Much beer, bubbly, and Pimms is had by all.

Oxford Cambridge Boat Race, Putney, London

As seriously as the rivalry is, the socializing is as well.  Walking around, one can’t help but think, “can this be any more British?”

Oxford Cambridge Boat Race, Putney, London

Seriously, a bicycle cart with champagne.  I can get behind this.

Oxford Cambridge Boat Race, Putney, London

I was in luck last year and got to see a major milestone.  Although the men’s race has been run over a hundred years, the women’s rowing teams have been competing for around ninety.  Last year, 2015, was the first year that the women’s race took place on the same day and at the same place as the men’s.  I got to watch the ladies put their boats in and cheer with the rest of the crowd.  You go girls!

Oxford Cambridge Boat Race, Putney, London

If you go this weekend

The 2016 race is this Sunday, March 27.  Women start at 3:10pm and men at 4:10pm.  Get there at least an hour early to get a drink and take in the scene.

Head to Putney Bridge.  The race starts at Putney Bridge and ends in Mortlake.  Putney is easily accessible by bus or tube.  Use the Putney Bridge tube stop and cross over the Thames, or East Putney and walk down Putney High Street to the river.

Blink and it’ll be over.  Here’s the thing, it’s a boat race.  Everyone will cheer when they get ready to go and the boats will be by in a matter of seconds.  On the one hand, it’s not hugely exciting all told.  On the other hand, it doesn’t take up your entire day — I visited the Tate Britain earlier in the day.

Who should you support?  If you’re a person who expects to win, like a Yankees fan, go with Oxford.  If you’re someone who supports teams that tend to let you down and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (like myself), go with Cambridge.

Oxford Cambridge Boat Race, Putney, London

I inadvertently supported Cambridge by sporting my new scarf that happened to be the Cambridge color.  It all worked out in the end!

London: Tate Britain Musuem

Tate Britain Museum, LondonTate Britain Museum, London

When I was in high school, a few of my English teachers had posters of Tate artworks in their classrooms.  I remember the poster of Ophelia in my Shakespeare class and “The Tate Gallery, London” printed underneath it.  Every time I saw it, I told myself someday I’d go to London and see her in person.

I’d been to London three times before this year and never made it to the Tate Britain.  I was determined not to miss it during my April trip!

It can be tough to fit in a visit because it’s not near any huge tourist attractions.  Plus, every time I go to London I’m working and my leisure time is limited.  The Tate closes at 6pm daily, which makes an after work stop impossible.

Tate Britain Museum, London

Some Pointers for Your Visit

This post is about the Tate Britain, not to be confused with the Tate Modern.  I feel like the Tate Mordern is getting all the love these days.  The Tate Britain houses British artworks from dating from 1500 to the present.

Admission is Free.  Donations are appreciated.  I dropped in a donation when I picked up a museum map.

There is a free coat room.  I love the UK for its abundance of coat rooms.  I got caught in a rainstorm on the way to the museum and was happy to shed my coat and umbrella.

What I Thought

I spent just under two hours there.  Everyone has their own museum philosophy and I think it’s a-okay to see the artworks you want to see and move on.  It’s actually quite fun to hunt for the must-see paintings and be totally shocked when you see them in person.

So happy I got to see Ophelia and The Lady of Shalott (another that I’d seen in posters umpteen times).  Ophelia was smaller in person than I thought she would be but she was just stunning.  There’s so much depth to the painting that can’t be seen with a print.

Tate Britain Museum, LondonTate Britain Museum, London

I’m glad I finally made it to the museum!  Have you been?


Click here for a map of all the locations I visited.

Click here to see a photo index for all my posts on London

I traveled solo to London for the month of April on a business trip and kept myself entertained on the weekends exploring new places.

London: Paper + Design Shopping in Marylebone

Marylebone, London by Natalie ParkerMarylebone, London by Natalie ParkerMarylebone, London by Natalie Parker

On my second weekend in London, I took a walk around Marylebone!  Here are the highlights so you can plan a visit yourself!  Make sure to visit the map to see all my stops with links to the store websites.

Start your walk at the intersection of Marylebone Road and Marylebone High Street.  Walk down Marylebone High Street toward Oxford Street — that way you end up at Selfridges plus a lot of central tube and bus lines.

I started at the top of Marylebone High Street and stopped at any cute shops on the main road.  There’s a map on the left side of the street near the start that shows all the shops along the street so you don’t miss any.

Marylebone, London by Natalie Parker

How do you pronounce that?

Marylebone.  There isn’t exact agreement on how to pronounce it.  I’ve heard “Mary-la-bone” and “Mar-lee-bone.”  When in doubt with British place names, subtract syllables and run the rest together.  I say Marley-bone (no one laughed at me).

Highlights from My Walk

I popped into Oliver Bonas to make sure I didn’t miss anything after I stopped at their other location on my Shoreditch Walk.  One can never be too careful.

Caroline Gardner made me consider stuffing throw pillows in my suitcase.  I settled for some cards and a cute gift instead.

Daunt Books.  Enough said.

Marylebone, London by Natalie ParkerMarylebone, London by Natalie Parker

I could not get enough of the neon at Designers Guild.  Give me one of everything please!  Such lovely home goods as well.

Lots of neato Scandinavian style at Skandium.  Cute gifts too!

Cath Kidston: pattern exploding everywhere!  I picked up a polka dot neon pouch to hold travel stuff and some gifts for my niece and nephew.  They sell the prints they use in their products by the yard!

Marylebone, London by Natalie Parker

Afterward, I had a snack at Roti Chai and then hit Selfridges.

A perfect ending to the day would be this: picking out cards at Selfridges, sampling chocolate, then heading to the manicure stand.  Alas, I was in a hurry to get to a pub and catch the Manchester Derby and couldn’t stay.  I’m totally getting my nails done there next time.

What are your favorite shops in Marylebone?

If you go

Click here for a map of all the locations I visited.

Click here to see a photo index for all my posts on London

I traveled solo to London for the month of April on a business trip and kept myself entertained on the weekends exploring new places.

Good Eats in London

London Eats by Natalie Parker

Here’s a roundup of places I’ve liked from my last few trips to London.  When I’m in London, I’m always working, but I try hard to fit in good food!

Roti Chai

This is a trendy Indian place located just up the street from Selfridge’s.  I popped in here for a quick afternoon snack since I accidentally skipped lunch.  I ate upstairs in the “Street Kitchen,” which serves food all day.  There is also a restaurant downstairs that serves dinner.

London Eats by Natalie Parker

My favorite thing I ordered was the bhel puri — puffed rice mixed with tamarind and spices.  The samosas were huge, but not quite as good as the bhel puri.  I wish I could have ordered more dishes but I was by myself!


Leon is a healthy fast food chain with around 20 of locations throughout London.  There was one on my commute home in the Victoria Train Station so I decided to give it a try.  I got a chicken superfood salad that included grilled chicken, quinoa, and peas.  It was pretty good for a quick weeknight dinner.  My only issue with it were the huge chunks of parsley stems mixed in.

London Eats by Natalie Parker

Leon serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and it’s a great option to get quick and healthy fresh food when you’re on the go.  I really recommend this if you’re looking for a quick bite on a long day of sightseeing.

Chotto Matte

Chotto Matte is a restaurant in Soho that serves Nikkei cuisine, or Japanese-Peruvian fusion.  I have to admit I was very skeptical, especially since I don’t care for sushi or nigiri.   I was totally blown away — the food was that good.

London Eats by Natalie Parker

In addition to my finickiness about sushi, we had a vegetarian with us.  The menu is vast and we had no problem finding something for everyone to share.  My favorite was the pollo del miso, pictured above (split by the omnivores at the table).

Little Social

Little Social is designed as an upscale diner serving British food with a French influence.  Got that?  It’s well done and delicious.  My coworker took Mr. P and I out and it was the perfect combination of a beautiful restaurant with fantastic food that wasn’t too pretentious.  Mr. P and I split the cottage pie for two and it was to die for!

As seems to be the trend with some restaurants in London, when we booked we were told there was a time limit and we had to finish our dinner by a certain time (I think two hours?).  Due to service that was a tad slow, we ended up leaving about 15 minutes after the deadline but no one said anything.

Muriel’s Kitchen

I popped into Muriel’s Kitchen in South Kensington for tea while I was waiting for my AirBNB host to let me into my flat.  Muriel’s has three locations in London — the one I sat at in South Ken is right outside the tube station.  The staff were super nice and helped me wheel my 50-pound suitcase into a side room so it wouldn’t get in the way.

London Eats by Natalie Parker

I ordered a cup of tea and a scone — the waiter looked at me a bit weird because I wasn’t ordering more.  Then I noticed everyone around me was digging into huge desserts!  Muriel’s also serves lunch and other savory foods — it all looked fresh and delicious.  My scone was huge and it and the tea were excellent!

If you’re looking for a place to try proper tea and scones without having to commit to an afternoon tea or high tea, put this on your list.

The Kati Roll Co.

With locations in Soho in London and New York City, this place is excellent for quick, delicious Indian food.  Mr. P and I stopped here for dinner last December.  They serve various kati rolls, both vegetarian and non.  I thought they would be small but one was quite enough for a light dinner.  I had the chicken tikka roll and it was fantastic!

Morada Brindisa Asador

London has a love affair with Spanish tapas.  I loved this place because it was Spanish food but actually not tapas!  My coworker and I split some cava and dinner.  What we didn’t realize:  even though it is not a tapas restaurant, the dishes are still served family style.  We ordered a tad too much food!

London Eats by Natalie Parker

I’m still having dreams about the jamón ibérico (hand carved right in front of us) and the roast pork.  The pork was absurdly expensive (but makes sense when one realizes it’s to be shared) but totally worth it — it was charcoal-fired and crispy on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside.  I’m taking Mr. P here next time we’re in town.

Dosa World

Dosa World is just off Brick Lane in East London and specializes in, yep, Dosas.  Tourists tend to associate Brick Lane with Indian food.  Actually, the restaurants tend to be Bangladeshi and while you can get a Bangladeshi curry, the curries tend to be a bit fruitier and sweeter.

Dosas are southern Indian, so a bit outside of the majority in the area.  Mr. P and I ordered two dosas plus a lamb dish to split and it was fantastic.  The restaurant was pretty empty, but they sure did a robust take out business (kind of feels like a Chinese food place in the US that does more take out than dine in).

My coworkers tell me that if I want “proper Indian food” I have to venture outside central London to Wembley.  I still haven’t had time to do that, so I’m glad we were at least able to get southern Indian at Dosa World!

If You Go

Roti Chai | Leon | Chotto Matte | Little Social | Muriel’s Kitchen | The Kati Roll Co.Morada Brindisa Asador | Dosa World

Click here for a map of all the locations I visited in London

Click here to see a photo index for all my posts on London

London: Visiting Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace, London by Natalie ParkerKensington Palace, London by Natalie ParkerKensington Palace, London by Natalie Parker

On one of my days off during my long work trip to London, I decided to check out Kensington Palace.

Kensington Palace is for You if

You’re a royal watcher (like me).  If you are at all interested in monarchy generally or the British royal family, you’ll love this.

You are interested at all in Queen Victoria or Princess Diana.  Queen Victoria lived in Kensington Palace before she became queen and had her first privy council meeting in one of the rooms available to visit.  Princess Diana also lived in Kensington Palace.

You’re interested in what’s on the rotating exhibition.  Exhibitions rotate at the palace.  What drew me there was actually a fashion exhibition of the Queen’s, Princess Margaret’s, and Princess Diana’s dresses.  The exhibition on Queen Victoria’s life, Victoria Revealed, was also on when I visited.

Kensington Palace, London by Natalie ParkerKensington Palace, London by Natalie Parker

Tips for Your Visit

Tickets aren’t free.  But I had no problem walking up and buying them on the spot.  Click here for pricing information.  Tickets purchased online in advance are slightly cheaper.

There are real guides, not audio guides.  Real guides are available throughout the exhibits to answer any questions you may have.  They are incredibly knowledgeable and really love their jobs.  I overheard one say that they decided to dump audio guides a few years ago in favor of the more personal touch.  Still . . .

. . . that means things aren’t labeled.  I find that kind of annoying.  In the Queen Victoria rooms, there was one small booklet at the entrance to each room that you could grab and flip through to see what a painting was or whose doll house that was.  One.  Other than that, you had to ask the guide.  I’m glad they’re there, don’t get me wrong, but I wish stuff was labeled.

Don’t expect to run into Will and Kate (Kensington Palace is their London residence). But I swear, I swear, I saw an assistant and a security guard walking Lupo one morning when I was running through Kensington Gardens.  Just sayin’.

If you don’t have time to go in consider taking a walk (or run) through Kensington Gardens.  The outside of the palace is lovely and can be really peaceful in the mornings.  I ran through the gardens three times a week during my month in London and loved it.

If You Go

Click here for a map of all the locations I visited in London

Click here to see a photo index for all my posts on London

Have you visited Kensington Palace?  What did you think?  Did you know the grounds can be rented for weddings?

I traveled solo to London for the month of April on a business trip and kept myself entertained on the weekends exploring new places.  

London Eats: Koshari Street

Koshari Street London by Natalie Parker

The first and only time I had eaten koshari was on our second day in Cairo.

Koshari, also spelled koshary, is a true blue collar Cairene food.  We had to get an American tour guide to take us there because most local guides want to serve multi course lunches to tourists.

It’s a bowl of rice, macaroni noodles, lentils, chickpeas, and some broken spaghetti noodles.  A spicy tomato sauce is poured on top, you mix everything up, then add crispy onions.

I’ve never attempted to make it at home because with just two of us under one roof, it doesn’t make sense to cook all the rice, lentils, etc. for two tiny meals.  Call me back in a few years if I have boys.  Moving on.

So, four years later in London, I was amazed to find Koshari Street!  Koshari Street has a storefront in Soho but also a food cart (I saw them one Saturday in Old Spitalfields Market).

Koshari Street London by Natalie Parker

I hopped over there after work and hoped that their koshari would be as good as I remembered.  It’s always a tough thing trying to replicate travel memories.

At Koshari Street, you choose the size of your cup and what type of sauce (I went with a small, medium spicy).

It was bliss — it did not disappoint in any way.  Every component was perfect.  I kind of wanted to grab a handful of crispy onions for the ride home.  Koshari Street is definitely going to be a stop every time I’m in London.

What if you don’t have any Cairo memories to relive?  You should still go!  Koshari is the perfect food for a long day of sightseeing.  Located right in the middle of the action in Soho, you can get in, get fed, and get out without worrying about being hungry for the rest of the day.  Win!


Click here for a map of all the locations I visited.

Click here to see a photo index for all my posts on London

I traveled solo to London for the month of April on a business trip and kept myself entertained on the weekends exploring new places.  

London: Shoreditch Design & Shopping Walk

Shoreditch Design Walk by Natalie ParkerShoreditch Design Walk by Natalie ParkerShoreditch Design Walk by Natalie ParkerShoreditch Design Walk by Natalie Parker

I spent one of my Saturdays in London wandering around Shoreditch, looking for design stores.

Okay, I confess: I never wander.  I walk with purpose and always know where I’m going.  It’s an affliction.

The Plan

My plan of attack for the day:  start at Old Spitalfields Market to check out the vendors and the area stores, make my way toward the Old Truman Brewery and Backyard Market, have lunch at some point, walk up Shoreditch High Street to Material, then bus down to the Design Museum if I had time.  While not technically wandering, I stopped at any store that looked cool along the way.

Shoreditch Design Walk by Natalie ParkerShoreditch Design Walk by Natalie ParkerShoreditch Design Walk by Natalie Parker

The Results

I had a love-at-first-sight moment with Oliver Bonas.  Bright colors, homewares with clean lines, cards, furniture, and more.  I thought about moving in.  I snapped a pictures of these quirky chests and sent them to my mom so we can make one (they don’t ship internationally).  I got out of there with a scarf and a couple of cards.

I almost tried on some clothes because the Old Spitalfields vendors were awesome.  But I was cold and couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I stumbled onto BoxPark and Tusch und Egon, contemplating for a while how I could pack home a beautiful modern fire extinguisher.  The shopkeeper told me they can’t be packed, even in the cargo hold.  Rats.

Double rats: I didn’t realize there were more BoxPark shops upstairs!  I really should learn how to wander.

I found a solar-powered dashboard corgi at Maiden and quickly snapped it up for the corgi-lover in my life.

I stopped to admire all the street art and got to see my very first Bansky!

I had an argument with myself at the Backyard Market about taking off my scarf to try on a necklace (it was cold).  The necklace won!  I bought it and a lovely hammered ring from Boém.

My patience rewarded, I found the street food vendors near Backyard Market and got a fresh juice and halloumi wrap.

Finally, I bused across Tower Bridge and walked to the Design Museum to check out the gift shop.  I’m not sure it was worth the trek since it was so out of the way from the other shops.  However, my opinion was probably influenced by the fact that it was cold and very windy on the walk there.

Not a bad day’s work!

Shoreditch Design Walk by Natalie ParkerShoreditch Design Walk by Natalie ParkerShoreditch Design Walk by Natalie Parker

If You Go

Click here for a map of all the locations I visited (peach pins are stores).

Websites: Oliver Bonas | Old Spitalfields Market | InSpitalfields | Backyard Market | Boém | BoxPark | Tusch und Egon | Maiden | Material | Design Museum

Click here to see a photo index for all my posts on London

I traveled solo to London for the month of April on a business trip and kept myself entertained on the weekends exploring new places.  

London: Afternoon Tea at the Langham

Afternoon Tea at the Langham Hotel by Natalie ParkerAfternoon Tea at the Langham Hotel by Natalie ParkerAfternoon Tea at the Langham Hotel by Natalie ParkerAfternoon Tea at the Langham Hotel by Natalie ParkerAfternoon Tea at the Langham Hotel by Natalie Parker

Continuing my tour of things in London my husband doesn’t appreciate so I’ll do them because he’s not with me on this trip, it was time for afternoon tea.

I love afternoon tea.  Love love love.

My coworker wanted to take more for an ultra-traditional afternoon tea, so we headed to the Palm Court at the Langham.  Reservations are recommended, especially if you are going on a weekend.  We went on a weeknight at the last sitting, so we didn’t have to worry about being rushed.  We had a lovely time!

I’ve come to understand from my coworkers that one is either a sandwich person or a sweets person at tea.  I’m firmly in the latter camp, so I can’t say much about the sandwiches.  The sweets were good and the scones were ahhhh-mazing.

I ordered a glass of champagne with my tea because, champagne.  That was before I knew that Champagne Charlie appears at 7pm and hands out free champagne to everyone (a daily tradition at the Langham).  More champagne!  It was really cute.

My coworker is very into the atmosphere when she has tea.  The grand piano player definitely helped pass muster, but the tearoom itself was a little dated.  I’m not set in my tea preferences yet (as in, I don’t have my tea-legs, ha!), but I liked the art-deco interior of the Wolseley much better.

Service was lovely and the tea itself was delicious.  Afternoon tea is one of my favorite ways to relax, indulge, escape, and watch the world go by.

Palm Court at the Langham, 1c Portland Place, Regent street, London W1B 1JA | Click here for map

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I traveled solo to London for the month of April on a business trip and kept myself entertained on the weekends exploring new places.