Leaving London

So, it’s been a while.

Tower Bridge Tower BridgeIt’s been a while since I blogged. In fact, it’s been a while since I took photos of a beautiful city. And it’s not for the lack of travel either.

Since November, I’ve been on-the-go. I’ve taken more flights and packed more bags in the last three months than ever before. Some willingly, some out of necessity. I’ve never been the one to shy away from moving countries, but I’ve always been in control of the decision i.e. when I want to leave and where I want to go next. Continue reading

Brick Lane

I’ve been a proud East Londoner for just over a year now. There’s nowhere else in London I would rather live than this eclectic melting pot. Co-inhabited by British Bangladeshis, latte-sipping hipster, code-punching techies, serial entrepreneurs, and everyone in London who has a beard, it’s a great place to call home.

Boutique shops and brunch spots aside, E1 has a rich and diverse culture. Walking the streets is one thing, learning about them is another. So last weekend, I did an Alternative London walking tour to learn a bit more about the history of the area. And also to get schooled in the awesome street art that Brick Lane and the neighbouring streets boast of.

Brick Lane Brick Lane Brick LaneWe walked all around Liverpool Street, Spitalfields and Shoreditch on the tour, but the next day I strolled back to Brick Lane with my camera. This single street exemplifies the diversity of E1.

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Caravan King’s X

Birthdays and brunches are two of my favourite things that begin with the letter ‘b’. So for The Burgundy Book‘s birthday (another favour ‘b’ letter thing), we – Cat, Bjorn (and yet another fav ‘b’) and I – took her to brunch at Caravan King’s Cross.

The original Caravan is a much smaller space in Exmouth Market, but this industrial looking massive restaurant is located in Granary Square, a short walk from King’s X station. Perfect meeting spot if your friends are traveling in from different parts of London!

Prepare to wait for about an hour to get a spot here for weekend brunch. And you know what I am going to say next: it’s totally worth the wait! Also if you are with your best friends, the 40-minute wait flies back as you sip on some coffees, gossip at a hundred miles per hour, and unwrap birthday presents.

Caravan Kings Cross Caravan Kings Cross Caravan Kings Cross

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Kopapa

Turkish eggs at Kopapa appear on one too many Best Brunch in London lists. So I was thrilled when Melissa scored a prime time reservation at the Covent Garden restaurant and asked me to join her.

The restaurant is located off Monmouth Street at the famous Seven Dials, a spot which continues to challenge my navigation skills to this day. But as soon as I made it there, I got trigger happy with my camera!

Kopapa Seven Dials Covent Garden Continue reading

Foxcroft & Ginger

We all have that one place in our neighbourhood that we walk past all the time and think to ourselves, “I should check it out one day.”

For me, it is was Foxcroft & Ginger. So when my flatmates mentioned that they were heading over there for Saturday brunch, I jumped on the bandwagon.

Foxcroft & GingerIt’s industrial decor, low-hanging lamps and free-flowing daylight make it a desirable spot for freelancers and loungers in the area. But all that is secondary to the stellar brunch menu.

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2014’s favourite travel instagrams

Bloggin’ ain’t easy. Especially if you have a full-time job, an active social life, aaalll of London to explore, and only 24 hours in the day.

That’s where Instagram saves the day. It’s quick to snap a photo and share it with your followers, no matter where in the world you are. (Did I mention it’s my favourite app?)

Last year, I recapped my favourite instagram travel posts on the blog and it was a hit with you guys. Here are my favourites from 2014:

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Summer in London

Nothing beats a good Canadian summer. And my first English summer hammered the point home. The only way I made it through this summer without going back home was thanks to the constant influx of familiar faces that came to visit me in London. A visit from my parents followed by girlfriends coming to see me from Canada, Australia and parts of Europe made this summer in London quite a memorable one. And of course, London being so awesome helped a little bit. St. Paul's London viewAfter showing all the guests around my favourite bits of London, I have become a semi-pro tour guide. That got me thinking, why not share my favourite spots with everyone? Continue reading

Sunny Sundays at Hyde Park

London has had a glorious spring this year. I know that’s not what my friends in Canada want to hear, and to be quite honest, I wish the weather was a bit crappier so that I wouldn’t feel tempted to go outside all the time. I am writing my masters dissertation these days (and hence, blogging less) and the sunshine pouring through my window is not helping the pace of my project.

I was quite proud of myself for waking up early today and having a two-hour speed writing session that I decided to indulge in some sun-bathing at Hyde Park with my friends. Cheesy crackers, grapes and good company is all I needed to make this gorgeous spring day even more perfect.

Hyde Park Hyde Park Hyde Park
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Potterheads

I am a total Potterhead. For the uninitiated, that means – and I am quoting the trusted Urban Dictionary here – I am an “amazingly cool person obsessed with Harry Potter.”

After all, I am a part of the generation that grew up with Harry, Ron, Hermione and the gang. I was allowed to skip school for two days every time a new book came out. And I limited myself to reading one chapter a day of the Deathly Hallows because after that, it would be all over. This whole one-chapter-a-day resistance only worked for three chapters and then ensued the familiar n0-food-no-sleep reading marathon.

All Potterheads are familiar with that mellow feeling of emptiness as they read the words, “All was well”. It also meant, all was over.

Harry Potter
But, thankfully there were the movies to keep us excited for a few more years. We lined up for midnight screenings and then went back to see the films after the crowds had dwindled down. And then once again after the second Deathly Hallows film, it meant that all was over.

Again, thankfully it wasn’t. There is the fantastic Warner Brother Studio Tour near London that keeps the sets and spirit of Harry Potter alive.  Continue reading