One of my Christmas gifts from Alex was a book about the best places to eat pizza around the world, since he knows all about my slight obsession with za. While we were in London I decided that we needed to try at least one of the places listed in the London section, and we were not disappointed in our choice to try Pizza Pilgrim. We walked from Bond Street into the Soho neighborhood, where we found the small pizza shop on the corner of Dean Street and Carlisle Street. When you walk in you are greeted with the heavenly smell of pizza and taken through the small store front, down a spiral staircase leading to the seating area in the basement. Surrounded by the Soho hipsters in their leather and velvet black ensembles, this was the only time in London that I felt we really stood out. We ordered the garlic, rosemary and parmesan flatbread for a starter, which was large enough to be my own personal pizza. It is a bit heavy on the garlic, so I would not recommend this if you do not like a lot of garlic and olive oil. We ordered their special guest pizza, which had pistachio cream, crispy mortadella and smoked mozzarella. I loved ever bite of our za and we basically licked the pan clean. Since the guest pizza is not a regular on the menu, my handy dandy pizza book recommends the Nduja pizza. The Nduja pizza is a margarita pizza with a spicy caribbean pork sausage and is on the top of my list the next time we visit. I have linked my not so edgy outfit below, and be sure to check out my new guide to life, Where to Eat Pizza! xoxo
Alex found the Mondrian London at Sea Containers while researching hotels on Oyster and decided we had to book our rooms there because it was so chic (which he pronounces as “chick”) and it was walking distance to many other places on our list. The whole hotel was absolutely inspiring with beautiful artwork around every corner. The Mondrian was designed by Design Research Studio under the creative direction of Tom Dixon, who strived to capture 1920s cruise ship glamour with modern twists and sophisticated design throughout the hotel. I booked a river view deluxe room and had the perfect view of the River Thames, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge. I had to leave my luggage in the hall when we arrived so I could perfectly capture the design of the room before I made a total mess of it. I really enjoyed the waterfall shower complete with my favorite Malin+Goetz shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion after our evening train ride from Manchester. We treated ourselves to a morning of room service, served in my less messy room, and devoured our hot green tea, orange juice, avocado toast with scrambled eggs and tomatoes, blueberry ricotta pancakes and “English” bacon (y’all their bacon is NOT what I am use to in America, it is basically just ham). Since we were already staying at the Mondrian, we decide to check out their Rampus Room, which is their rooftop bar over looking the River Thames with an urban Southbank neighborhood feel, and their world renowned Dandelyan bar (more about that below).
On our last night in London we decide to finally try out the Dandelyan on the first floor of the hotel since it was awarded third out of the World’s 50 Best Bars in 2016. I loved the atmosphere and the incredible view of the River Thames on the north side of the hotel. I had the Love & Money with Kettle One Vodka, parsley root wine, lemon, grape and carrot powder. Alex had the Fairchild’s Mule with Hendrick’s Gin, lime, pink clove, green cardamom, ginger, and Perrier-Jouet Champaign. The interior of the Dandelyan was designed by Tom Dixon, like the rest of the hotel, complete with a dreamy green marble bar, pink leather and plenty of gold details. The atmosphere is perfect for an evening drink and the open room makes it the perfect place to meet up with friends. If you are ever in London, the Dandelyan and Mondrian London are top on my list of places you have to visit! Below I have linked a few of the things I always pack when I travel to keep my skin looking and feeling its best! xoxo
This past week I kicked off 2017 with a trip to London! We landed at Heathrow around noon on New Years Eve, and after a short nap and some fish and chips, we were ready to celebrate NYE on the Thames River. We ended our boat ride just in front of the London Eye to watch the most incredible fire works show and ring in 2017. We spent the rest of our trip mastering the tube, walking a million miles, crossing all the main tourist spots off our list and eat everything in sight. I will be posting more in depth this week about some of my favorite spots we visited in London, especially restaurants. In the meantime, here are some of the places we enjoyed visiting on our trip.
The Trinity Pub: Our first stop in London was this cute little pub near where we were staying. I had a classic fish and chips, which was delicious, and Alex had a blu cheese burger, which disappeared rather quickly.
Wasabi Sushi & Bento: We woke up starving on New Years Day and decided to give sushi a chance. This is a popular chain in London with a fresh market setup, offering a variety of Japanese dishes.
Shakespeare Globe Theatre: We did not have time to watch a show, but we enjoyed walking around the grounds on our way to the Tate Modern.
The Tate Modern Museum of Art: We ended up spending most of the day in the museum, enjoying all 8 floors of collections and the viewing level. Admission is free to the museum, but you can purchase tickets to their special exhibits. If you do not want to spend the whole day at the Tate, I recommend checking out the 10th floor viewing level for the most incredible view of London, as well as floors 2, 3, and 4 on the boiler house side. On these floors you can view multiple pieces from artist such as Picasso, Monet, Dali, Pollock, Warhol, and Rothko that you cannot view anywhere else.
Big Ben: We did not have time to tour Big Ben, but we had an incredible view across the Thames near the London Eye, and as we crossed the Westminster Bridge.
Westminster Abbey: The line to tour Westminster Abbey was down the street before noon, I recommend purchasing tickets in advance. Since we did not purchase tickets in advance, we were not able to go inside.
Buckingham Palace: The palace was not open for tours while we were there, but we did stop by to see the changing of the guards. You can check online to see which days they will be changing guards, but it always happens at 11:30 AM and you must walk to the palace in order to get close enough for a good view.
Churchill War Rooms: This was one of my favorite things we did in London. The war rooms are just across the street from St. Jame’s Park and around the corner from Westminster Abbey. The line moved quickly (we only waited about 30 minutes) and we were able to get discounted tickets with out student IDs. We ended up spending about 2 hours in the war rooms, but in-between the viewable parts of the WWII bunker, is a museum all about Winston Churchill. It is a very fascinating museum and I recommend going through and reading everything.
Leicester Arms: We took a walk though Piccadilly Circus and stopped at this side street pub for some lunch. We sat in the upstairs dining room and both enjoyed another delicious fish and chips.
London Eye: We rode the London Eye in the evening and enjoyed seeing the view in lights. We purchased our tickets the morning of online and paid the extra $10 for fast track. Personally the fast track was 100% worth it, we walked up at our designated time and skipped the hour long line.
Churchill Arms: We were on a hunt to watch the Westham v. Manchester United game, and thought The Churchill Arms Pub would be a good place to watch. We later found out that it is not very popular to watch a soccer match at a pub (go figure) we ended up eating dinner at their famous Thai restaurant attached to the pub. I had Pad Thai and ordered it as spicy as it would come and still had to add chili so do not be afraid of anything being too spicy.
Harrods: We spent close to the whole day eating, shopping and exploring the many floors of Harrods. We enjoyed high tea at The Georgian restaurant on the fourth floor. I will be sharing more about our tea in a separate post later on.
Pizza Pilgrims: Alex gave me a book about the best places to eat pizza around the world, and there is where we found Pizza Pilgrims. I will be sharing more about the delicious pizza in a later post.
The London Film Museum: We made an unexpected detour to see the Bond in Motion exhibit at The London Film Museum. My brother loves all James Bond movies, especially the cars in the movies and told us about the exhibit. If you like James Bond, or rare cars, this exhibit is right up your alley.
Abbey Road: It would not be a trip to England without seeing something Beatles related, so we road the tube north a bit to St. John’s Wood Station. While you cannot go inside Abbey Road Studios, there is a gift shop/small museum open to the public and a wall for fans to leave notes.
The Wellington: We stopped here for one last “English” meal. Alex had fish and chips and I had a mushroom and beef pie. While I was missing Tex-Mex in London, I enjoyed all the pub food.
St. Paul’s Cathedral: We did not purchase tickets in advance, so we were not able to go inside of St. Paul’s. However we enjoyed the architecture and sculpture on the exterior of the cathedral. Be sure to check hours before visiting the cathedral and know that you are not allowed to take pictures inside the cathedral.
Millennium Bridge: Between St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern is the Millennium Bridge stretching across the River Thames. It is defiantly worth walking across, even in the cold rain, because the view down the river is incredible.
Sketch: Since Alex kept me accountable for my fantasy football team at work, I told him that I would treat him to dinner with my winnings. I picked out sketch, because I had to see the gallery room for myself. The atmosphere was wonderful and we enjoyed everything we ordered. I will be sharing more about Sketch in a later post.
Christmas is finally here!!! Since Christmas Day falls on a Sunday this year, that means I will be attending two church services and will need a nice outfit for Christmas Day as well as Christmas Eve. I will be wearing this plaid mid length skirt and turtle neck for Christmas Eve. Last year I saw this plaid mid length skirt at Kate Spade, and fell in love but they were completely sold out in my size. A few weeks ago I was in the Kate Spade outlet at Allen Premium Outlets, and saw this skirt on a mannequin. I shamelessly had the employees take apart the mannequin, because I knew I had the perfect black turtleneck and pumps to pair it with in my closet. I am wearing a 0 in the skirt, and it is still a little large in the waist, so I recommend trying size smaller than you would normally wear. I paired the skirt with a basic black turtleneck from Gap (wearing a small), my favorite black leather pumps from Charles David (wearing a 8) and a long strand of pearls.
On Christmas Day I will be wearing this deep red dress and a black tweed blazer from J.Crew. I purchased this dress for a wedding earlier in December, but because it is short sleeved I add a tweed jacket for Christmas. I love the fit of this classic tweed jacket, it is easy to move in and the length hits my arms and waist perfectly. I also love the detail of the pimping, pockets and gold buttons. If you like matching sets there is also a tweed pencil skirt that matches this jacket. I am wearing a 0 both the dress and jacket, the jacket fits true to size but the dress is a little snug through the hips so I would recommend going a size up. I also paired this look with my favorite black pumps, a gold and black clutch from Elements Dallas, and a short strand of pearls. Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and blessed 2017! xoxo
Images via Alex Phillips.
This year I wanted to give my boyfriend new cologne for Christmas, but purchasing a fragrance for someone else can be very difficult. I started my search with Ralph Lauren, because I have found Ralph Lauren Romance to be my favorite fragrance. After sampling both Ralph Lauren Polo Blue and Ralph Lauren Polo Red, I decided that Ralph Lauren Polo Red was the perfect fragrance to give him. The Polo Red fragrance is a blend of red saffron, grapefruit and deep nodes of redwood, it is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. I just purchased a large bottle of cologne to make sure he liked the scent first, but Ralph Lauren has some great gift sets that I will be purchasing in the future. I ended up going back to purchase the Polo Blue fragrance for my brother, because I thought it suited him better than the Polo Red fragrance. The Polo Blue fragrance is a the perfect blend of bergamot and vetiver, which has a more fresh scent.
My favorite gift wrap collection the past two years has been the Sugar Paper LA collection at Target. I had a few things left over from last years collection, like the black and white ribbon, but the craft and gold foil wrapping paper was my favorite item from this years collection. The craft paper is thicker than most wrapping paper, which makes it easier to work with and will withstand sharp corners. Shop more of my favorite gift wrap and Ralph Lauren fragrances below. Merry Christmas and happy giving! xoxo
Images via Mel.
Sponsored by Ralph Lauren Fragrance.
Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday, and the holiday season is my favorite time of the year. I love the cheerful decorations, the spirit of giving, and the excuse to wear Christmas sweaters and excessive plaid all month long! My favorite holiday sweater is a nutcracker vest I borrowed from my grandmother (Monna). She has had this Michael Simon knit vest from Neiman Marcus for years and I have always admired the detail of the stitching on each nutcracker. I layered the vest with a black v-neck Vince sweater and my favorite faux leather leggings from Hue. To add some texture and warmth to my all black look, I wore my suede over the knee boots from ASOS. Since this vest is no long available for purchase, I have linked some of my Christmas sweaters below. Enjoy the holiday season! xoxo
Images via Mel.