London – Europe Light

Spread the love

London is my second favorite city next to my beloved New York City – we refer to it as Europe Light. Why do you ask that London ranks as my second? 1st – You have to get on a plane, that pretty much knocks it out of 1st place 2nd – It’s travel to Europe but if you’re leaving from NY it’s only a 6-hour flight 3rd – when you get off the plane everything is written in English and every sign is polite. For instance, mind the gap -what a sweet way to warn me so I don’t fall out the train! 4th – theater is great and a lot cheaper then NYC 5th – and of course, the food!

We have gone to London pretty consistently over the last couple of years during the Christmas holiday. London does Christmas just a little bit better then New York – the city just seems to sparkle a little bit brighter…I’m sorry NYC!

The old perception that all of the food in London is grey and boiled is a thing of the past. It has become quite the foodie scene and has taken on a new life – inventive, Michelin starred chefs and a nod to every nationality and cuisine. Our trips pretty much revolve around food and theater. The city is very walkable. We prefer to motor by foot, but the public transportation system is excellent. We usually see a show at night, and we build our food options around the locations of the theater. London theater is on par with New York theater. As I mentioned before, the one true difference between NY and London is ticket price – a very good seat in London costs around $70 as opposed to the NY where the ticket prices are around $149. Crazy!

While in London we discovered a little breakfast place where we ate our very first piece of granary bread. It’s called Valerie’s, located in SoHo. It was amazing and I have since searched high and low for a recipe that comes close to the bread we ate. I think, after a lot of bad attempts, I have found the recipe. I have posted it on the blog. Try it and let me know what you think! We have since found our new favorite granary bread at the hotel we have stayed in for the last couple years – One Aldwych.

London is full of parks. The one we love most is St. James Park. As you know we are bird people and this park is full of exotic birds. For instance, we met a pink pelican while we were there….

If we aren’t walking through the parks, you can find us at any of the many museums that we love to visit each time we are in London. Our top three are the Victoria and Albert, the National Portrait Gallery and the Tate Modern. The Churchill War Rooms, which are part of the Imperial War Museum, are a great way to spend a cold afternoon. It’s an underground bunker where British leaders strategized the allied forces’ victory of the 2nd World War. Google it – you should go!

Ok, I am jumping around too much. Let’s talk about the food. We ate in some new restaurants and some old favorites. The Wolseley space was originally a car dealership and show room. The menu ranges from chopped liver to caviar. The atmosphere is like a Viennese Cafe but it’s a comfortable place to eat anytime day or night. We had chopped liver and schnitzels – really delicious!

The next day we were fortunate enough to see Michael Bourne’s rendition of Swan Lake – amazing. After the show we ate at The Palomar, which is in the heart of SoHo. The food is a mixture of many countries – Israel, Spain and North Africa and it’s very inventive. Reservations are difficult but it’s worth the try! Otherwise you can wait online to sit at the bar where you are in front of the kitchen – watching where it all happens. The falafel was perfect, and they serve this bread that is not to be missed. It’s called kubaneh and it comes in a tin. Once you start eating, it’s impossible to stop.

We went to Palomar’s sister restaurant called The Barbary. People line up to get in before they open. It’s that good and that small! The seats surround the kitchen in a u-shape. The food was similar to its sister restaurant but a little more whimsical. It’s a fun eating experience. We love their falafel and they have this dish that’s called Cauliflower Jaffa style – its roasted cauliflower over hummus – yum. The Barbary also has their own version of Naan that was melt in your mouth good.

One of the things that is truly an experience, that is special to London, is to go to afternoon tea. Yes, it’s a big deal in London! People get dressed up, sip tea, drink champagne, and eat finger sandwiches and sweets – an experience that I encourage you to book. We have gone to tea in several different places – mostly hotels like the Claridge’s, The Savoy and the Ritz. This time we had tea in one of London’s oldest hotel, The Goring. The hotel is at the end of Buckingham Palace grounds. It is still privately owned and has the feeling of 1910 London.

I could go on and on, but I think this is the cliff notes of our trip to London. If you are thinking about a place to go to that’s quick and fun and a little Europe Light – London should be your next stop!


Links – One Aldwych Hotel – The Palomar – The Goring – The Barbary – The Wolseley – The Savoy London – The Ritz London – The Claridges

1 Comment

  • Reply
    February 18, 2019 at 11:51 pm

    I love this post! So many tips – thank you.

  • Leave a Comment

    You Might Also Like