October was a freakishly good month. The month started and finished with visitors which means lots of tourist time, laughter, sightseeing, and a full heart. My parents finished up their three week visit at the beginning of October and then my longtime friend Jessica came over from Seattle for the last 10 days of the month. Between these fabulous guests, a full work schedule, and two trips, the month was chaotic in the best possible way. I am so grateful my American entourage is willing to travel 5,000 miles to be with me.
In other news, autumn is in full force in London and the colorful leaves and crisp air make me giddy. Fall is definitely my favorite season. I love chunky sweaters, colorful scarves, boots over leggings, the smell of chimney smoke on a crisp foggy day, and a chilly invigorating run through the colorful trees in one of London’s many parks. Jess and I wandered through Kensington Palace Gardens to soak it all in.
Let’s talk shop. My highlights from October included…
I spent 4 whiskey-fueled days in Scotland’s capital with my family at the beginning of October. I have so much to say about the trip and so many photos to share, but it deserves more attention than I’ve been able to give it recently. Stay tuned.
Champagne afternoon tea…twice!
I had afternoon tea with my parents at a hotel on Hyde Park on their final day in London and again later in the month with Jessica and a coworker visiting from Seattle at a restaurant in Covent Garden. Sugar + Caffeine + Alcohol = ultimate trifecta. If you’re curious about afternoon tea I broke it down here.
Imperial War Museum
I’ve been wanting to visit the recently renovated Imperial War Museum and finally made it there on my one free Saturday in October. I definitely recommend it if you want to learn more about the impact of WWI and WWII on England. The Holocaust exhibit was so educational and emotive. Hours and location here.
Maltby Street Market
Locals rave about this market. It’s small but packs a punch of amazing food vendors. Located between Tower Bridge and Bermondsey neighborhood under the rail road tracks. Seriously. Market details here.
I finally had the opportunity to tour Westminster Abbey with Jess. I’d been avoiding the £18 entry fee but it was truly worth it in my opinion. The audio guide included in the price was useful and I learned a lot about London’s royal history and famous writers who are buried or memorialized in the abbey. You’ll also see the Coronation Chair where the royals sit to get crowned and make it official. Hours and pricing here.
Saw the movie Gone Girl
Creepy but entertaining. Loved the book, loved the movie. Only my second movie in London at a theatre.
Haunted walking tour
After stuffing our faces with scones and cake over afternoon tea, Jess and I decided to walk it off with a London Walks tour. We chose the “Haunted London” tour to get in the Halloween spirit. The company offers dozens of unique walking tours which are an amazing way to see London with a guide for less than £10 a person. Check it out here.
Jess and I ended her trip in style with a European getaway to Budapest, Hungary. A mere 3 hour flight from London, it was such a fabulous city to immerse ourselves in. From the food, our AirBnB rental, the people, the history, the architecture… everything exceeded our expectations. More to come on this trip soon.
What a month! Full force into November. PSA: If anyone has been to Marrakech, Morocco I’d love your ideas in the comments section. I’ll be there next week for a long weekend. Gracias, friends.