Looking at my passport stamps I haven’t visited London in 3 years. 3 years?! I was quite shocked really, considering it’s one of my favourite cities and only 1.15 hour flight from Stuttgart, Germany.
After a long awaited wait this Easter I traveled solo to London for 2 reasons; a pointe shoe fitting with Freed of London and an educational food excursion. (haha)
In this post, LONDON IN 48 HOURS, I share exactly what I experience and more importantly (for my foodie fans) 'what I ate' on my little 2 day getaway.
- Day 1 -
Pre- flight (light) Breakfast
Tsampa energy bar and a soy cappuccino
Landing in the UK!
After arriving in the UK at 8.15am I went straight to London's High Street in Oxford where I landed in the department store, Selfridges. Here I meet Livia! From Livia's Kitchen, creator of the incredibly moorish dairy, gluten and refined sugar treats. Today happened to be the day Livia's ‘Nugglets’ launched into Selfridges Foodhall, so a quick photo was a must!
At this point I was quite hungry so I enjoyed a bag of the Cookie Dough Nugglets while I walked to my next destination.
Only a stone throw away is the famous ‘Deliciously Ella Weighouse Deli’, and probably what I was looking forward to most before my trip.
Lunch at Deliciously Ella sure didn’t disappoint and I decided to create my own bowl rather than the suggested. Below I devoured the cumin maple sweet potatoes, red cabbage slaw, roasted sprouted broccoli, cornbread and small dollops of garlic aioli and coconut labneh.
My meal was absolutely incredible and the type of food I enjoy most; pure, simple, wholefood ingredients prepared, seasoned and cooked perfectly creating very flavourful, enjoyable mouthfuls.
From there (also just off Oxford street) I went to Crosstown's Doughnuts newly opened entirely vegan store! I chose the peanut butter & jam doughnut that was the perfect sweet treat post lunch.
The difference between Crosstown's normal and vegan doughnuts is of course no dairy is used in their vegan varieties, but they use chia seeds to substitute eggs. I’m sure us egg-free bakers have used chia eggs, but I’ve never seen it used in vegan' junk' food.
I really enjoyed the little chia seeds dotted throughout and found it added to the texture. I also heard (from a Crosstown staff member) even the non-vegan folk are going crazy for the vegan varieties.
Freed Pointe Shoes
With my tummy now full with amazing food I caught the tube to Covent Garden to try pointe shoes at Freed of London. The freed ladies were absolutely brilliant and tailed a shoe uniquely to my foot. As you know I was wearing Energetiks pointes shoes, that I still adore! However with dancing in Europe I run into difficulties with continuous posting issues (that were definitely out of Energetiks control) and in a time of desperation I began to wear Wearmoi that I must admit enjoy wearing too!
Anyway pointe shoe update aside, you're probably asking “Why do you need Freeds?” Freeds are the number 1 supplier of pointe shoes (for companies) in Europe and I simply wanted to know my size/ make for potential future reference.
I checked into my Airbnb later that afternoon in the ideal location of Soho. It was a small, but larger than thought space with a single bed, desk, cooktop, fridge and personal shower and toilet. The use of space was very clever and I especially loved how the toilet and shower were one continual room and not to mention built underneath the staircase! I totally felt like Harry for Harry Potter!
When looking for my accommodation I wasn’t too fussed about the visuals, but wanted a flat that had good reviews and mostly importantly clean. I really loved the inventive quirkiness of this flat and my stay here truly made me feel like a Londoner.
Wholefoods/ Planet Organic
As I mentioned before, my Airbnb was in an ideal central location and just outside my door was bus number 70 which took me comfortably to Wholefoods, Kensington High Street.
Wholefoods is a health conscious foodies dream and where I spent a considerable amount of time and money. I purchased some old favourites as well as some new products that I look forward to trying. (See below for the haul).
After Wholefoods I also went to Planet Organic, where they have a selection similar to Wholefoods, but also smaller independent brands.
I’ve eaten at Wagamama the past 4 times I’ve visited the UK, but this time had more interest because of their new vegan menu. I decided to go for their vegan ramen because I was in need of something warming as it was quite wet out. The ramen was very flavourful, but also very oily and for someone who uses high quality olive/ coconut oil it was quite mouthful. I also had a fresh pressed juice that was a refreshing contrast to the ramen. All in all it was a tasty dinner, but next time I will consider another option.
- Day 2 -
Breakfast was enjoyed over two parts as I was still quite full from dinner the previous night. Part 1 was ‘Mindful Bites Crunchy Bites filled with Almond & Maca Butter’. I really appreciated the clean ingredients in this bar, but unfortunately lacked in flavour and sweetness. Part 2 was a soy latte from Starbucks and a banana.
If you’ve never heard of Aveda products they’re a company that uses organic, natural ingredients as well as being cruelty free! I’ve visited one of their salons in France and loved the experience and decided to go to their Mecca of stores in Covent Garden for a special pampering. I booked my appointment before my travels via their UK website and had an absolute wonderful morning including head massage with essential oils, hair treatment, wash, cut and blow dry all while sipping on an endless supply of their famous house teas.
I had a wonderful morning and look forward to my next visit!!
After my relaxing morning it was time for lunch and I headed to Mildred’s about a 15min walk from the Aveda salon. Mildred’s is a vegan/ vegetarian restaurant with a menu ranging from British classics to fusion. I opted for their Mushroom & Ale Pie with minty mushy peas & chips on recommendation from my brother, Emerson. The meal was very hearty, and a must to experience, especially when made by the British who are famous for their pub style meals.
I had ticked off everything on my foodie list and now it was time to shop and of course I went to the Oxford/ Regent Street area. I was on the hunt for something special and unique to London. I explored Liberty House, Carnaby Street and many high street stores but nothing really caught my eye until I went into Ted Baker. Here I found a dress from his new and apparently “best yet” collection Colour by Numbers. The very French, Twiggy style dress caught my eye for being bright, fun and a good addition to my darker wardrobe. I can see myself styling the dress down with Adidas runners or glammed up with accessories and neutral or black heels. Love it!
After my big shopping filled afternoon it was time for dinner and again I opted for ‘Deliciously Ella’s Weighhouse Deli’ as I was craving something fresher in comparison to lunch.
This time I chose a bowl from their menu - Maple Sweet Potatoes with Kale & Almonds; cumin roasted maple sweet potatoes, herby pesto wild rice, kale with almonds, garlic aioli & golden raisins. I also paired this with a Golden Roots Juice.
For dessert I happily enjoyed a Fudgy Brownie that sure was fudgy and the perfect way to finish another epic meal.
To end my last night in London I walked around bustling Oxford street some more before catching the tube back to the flat and packing my bags for my return journey home the following day.
My brief adventure to London was absolutely incredible and a very memorable experience. Yes I would say it’s not your typical London itinerary, but a very personalised one that I loved every moment off.
For now I feel quite content about my recent travels, but I must admit I'm already planning my next visit.
Breakfast at Farmacy, exploring Convents Garden's hidden treasures and a West End musical or 2 sounds good to me!
Love Alex, Ballerina Bites. Xx
29th - 31st March 2018