As an expat in London, one of the top questions I get from friends and family (and their friends and family many times removed) is what to see and do when coming to London. And, let’s be fair – I don’t blame them! Recommendations from people you trust are a huge advantage when traveling. With my family coming to London for 7 days, there was no better time to put my curated list of restaurants, hotels and attractions to the test. Check out my curated 7-day itinerary and let your travel planning begin!
Opium is one of those “blink and you could miss it” places. Located amid the hustle and bustle of Chinatown, I actually did miss it on my first few passes. However, once you climb up a few flights of stairs, all the find and seek is well worth it. Here’s why.
One of the joys of living in London is how many world-class cocktail bars and lounges are on your doorstep. Inspired by a dear friend, I’ve been imbibing at quite a few of them.
On a grey Sunday, a few friends and I stopped into The Artesian at The Langham Hotel in Marylebone. Ranked as one of the top bars in London, we were excited to try the famous cocktails for ourselves.
Fair warning – this is not an inexpensive experience. Drinks on the menu are priced at £17 for alcoholic and £9 for non-alcoholic beverages. But, simple nibbles, including crisps (chips) and nuts are served with. Plus, the venue itself is stunning, making the visit an experience in itself, versus stopping somewhere for an average drink.
Not much of a day drinker, I opted for an Irish Coffee. It was presented beautifully, with an edible swirl stick.
My friends opted for a mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and each one was beautifully presented and delicious.
The Artesian at The Langham Hotel is located at 1C Portland Place in Marylebone. The Artesian does not take reservations and tables are seated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Food is also available to go with your drinks.
I’ll definitely be back!
Thanks to some savvy cocktail-loving friends, I recently found myself at Calloh Callay in Shoreditch. As you enter Calloh Callay, it’s not all that different from your average lively lounge bar. However, things get more interesting – and cozy – upon sneaking through a hidden door disguised as a wardrobe.
‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin. Though my passion for pumpkin flavored coffee, baked goods and savory recipes is not limited to the fall, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of these special limited time items. Case and point – pumpkin beer! Recently, I met my dear friend Betsy, who was back in town visiting after (envious) jaunts in London and Hawaii, for a drink at the Pour House on Boylston Street in Boston’s Back Bay. Definitely more of a beer place (in my mind, anyway), so I had my sights set on a very pumpkin-y flavored beer. I went for the UFO Pumpkin on tap and much to my delight, the waitress asked if I would like a pumpkin spiced rim to go with. Ummm…yeah!? The rim was a lot of fun and really added to the pumpkin beer experience. Sure, a little messy, but 100 percent worth it.
The great thing about pumpkin beer with a spiced rim is that you can easily replicate it at home. After a quick google search, I stumbled upon a super quick pumpkin spice and brown sugar rim recipe from a cute blog called Small Kitchen College.
Join me in raising your glass to all things pumpkin!
The Pour House is located at 907 Boylston Street in Boston’s Back Bay.