I will forever look back at my 20th birthday with fond memories. The reason for that is not because I was so excited about the number, oh no, turning 20 made me feel old! I will always love that birthday, however, because of the most wonderful surprise ever. An all planned out 3 day shopping trip to London, did I mention I have the best husband ever?
The 25th of July (my birthday) was on a Monday last year. The previous Friday afternoon at lunch in our favorite restaurant, it was announced that I have the evening to pack my suitcase for our flight the following morning, and boy was I excited. I literally couldn’t sleep that night out of excitement, and fear that we’ll miss the flight- my brain does not trust alarms. But we made it and so we landed in Heathrow airport before I fully realized that this wasn’t a dream and I am actually in England.
You know the kind of love all girls have for Paris, the kind that makes their eyes pop out animated hearts and let out dreamy sighs? Well that’s the kind of love I have for London. Don’t ask me why, because I do not know, but now you understand why this trip was a real dream come true.
So, leaving the airport we took a train to London and made our way to the hotel via the underground. If you are looking for convenient travel, London is the place to be! All the methods of transport are so conveniently linked that it would be pretty hard to get lost.
We stayed at the Park Grand London Lancaster Gate in Paddington Court, London. It wasn’t the cheapest or the most expensive hotel we’ve stayed in but boy was it worth it! From the first time walking up the steps to the last goodbye it was a most luxe and pleasant experience. The staff were very friendly and helpful which made our stay there that much more enjoyable, not to mention the big bowl of chocolates by the front entrance.
After settling in we headed into town to the one and only Oxford Street. Is it possible to be in love with a street? Because I think I am. Having a mixture of both luxury and high street shops it was bustling with people and action. The warm weather and sunshine drew out both locals and tourists alike, with the red cabs and tall buses dotting the streets. Standing there taking it all in felt like a sugar rush.
We explored some of the shops but mostly just strolled around, making our way to the London’s eye. Now that was a spectacle. They really don’t lie when they say you get a panoramic view. Everything from the Buckingham Palace to St Paul’s Cathedral is but a glance away. And that was how we wrapped up Day 1.
The next morning, following a full English breakfast and lots of ooh-ing and aah-ing over the underground stations and the iconic phone booths on the streets, we had an intense shopping session. A guy’s worst nightmare and a girl’s best dream!
However, one shop that we both enjoyed was Lush, or more accurately- the biggest Lush store in the world! Three floors full of the amazingly scented bath-bombs, bubble bars and cruelty free everything, including a spa, the place was simply magical. Like I often say: the bigger the Lush the better the mood, and that was the biggest there is.
Next on the agenda was the Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster along with The House of Commons before an amazing dinner at Bronte.
The final day, the birthday, was one of the most memorable days ever, spent in the very big, very beautiful Hyde Park. It is the perfect place to be on a sunny day. There is something for everyone to enjoy between the gardens, water sports and feeding parrots. And yes, we fed wild parrots.
On that note we ended our trip. It was, without a doubt, one of my favorites and I will definitely be back soon.
What’s your favorite thing about London and which of its landmarks would you like to visit?