What would your itinerary be if you had guests in London for a long 4 days week-end?
Balancing touristy and authentic Londoner destinations, here is the sum of an exhausting but terribly rewarding “fin de semaine” around our beloved Capital in company of an international crew of friends.
When your London life is divided between bills and work, tube strikes and never-ending bus journeys, forced workouts to balance the last of a long series of Carb Attacks, no short notice announcement is more welcomed than learning of an imminent LDN invasion by your Florence MA’s best friends.
But then, the question strikes: Where To Go? Honestly, I’m done with the Big Ben and Westminster Abbey (not to mention Portobello Road on Saturday morning – activity that I would spontaneously describe as PKMN = Please Kill Me Now, as I have already paid that kind of due).
Or, an even more terrifying query: where to go during a 4 Days Week-End (?) – (and since that everybody in the studio is currently TRYING to learn French, we will define this longer than usual end of the week span that went from Friday to Monday morning as “Le Long Fin de Semaine“, how poetic).
The good news is that I eventually managed.
Friday 18th afternoon.
14:00: time to collect the crew and go for an easy lunch at home.
15:00: quick stop at Hampstead Heath for ice cream and window browsing.
16:00: deviation to Tottenham Court Road for a chilled stroll in Soho. Stop at Aesop, nothing hold us from trying all the samples and leaving smelling like the daughters of a 18th Century Parisian pharmacist.
18:00: at Princi in Wardour Street for an early dinner made of (heavenly good) Italian pizza.
21:00: the day terminates with few (yeah yeah) drinks at Browns in Maddox Street. Their Coconut Daiquiri is the best in town. Perfect.
23:00: returning home under the summer rain. Obviously.
09:00 – 13:30: exploring the mysterious upper floors of Victoria and Albert Museum and enjoying the second last week-end of the “Glamour of the Italian Fashion”. Break in the Madejski Garden getting cooked by the burning London sun of these days.
14:00: international (of food and people) lunch at Duke of York Square Food Market in King’s Road. Moroccan couscous with veggies and salmon, a fresh homemade organic lemonade and a chunky but deserved slice of Red Velvet cake would cheer anybody up right the second. But the Greek stand also looks quite amazing. Not to mention the Sardinian Panini (but here I stand partial as always).
16:00: it’s time for Kensington High Street, supporting but avoiding collision with pro Gaza demonstrators. At Whole Food market for some delicious Guacamole (food treat of the week) and a good mid afternoon Italian espresso.
17:00: purchase of the month at Zara, authentic suede and leather boots found on sale at 70% off.
18:00: back home for some rest before leaving for dinner.
20:00: delicious dinner in Belgravia’s Elizabeth Street, at OlivoCarne, the best Sardinian restaurant in town; and, as our New York guest points out, “the best pasta I have ever had in my life” (just to be clear, Malloreddus are far more than simple pasta: they are the ultimate food orgasm). An international table made of extremely attractive and chic (pardon my French) foodies from Rome, Sardinia, Boston and New York, London and the Netherlands, all drinking red Cannonau wine and relaxing in the elegant and modern space of the restaurant, recommended to you all almost especially for the best service I have ever received in my life.
09:00: exclusive breakfast at the Cambridge and Oxford Club at 71 Pall Mall, St. James. Can’t describe the overwhelming beauty of the Georgian building and the excellent welcome of the staff, and the immense, glorious private member library: in one word, heaven.
12:00: great weather for a walk to the other side of the river across the Hungerford Bridge. Lunch at Le Pain Quotidien, where we order only salads and watermelon/ginger juices to detox a bit from the morning Florentine Eggs and the previous night Sardinian meat dinner.
15:00: home for a scheduled quick nap that transforms into a 3 hours sleep. The black sky outside the window doesn’t exactly invite us to leave the house, so we decide to postpone our East London evening to another time (meaning: my guests next trip to London).
21:30: some Prosecco is definitely needed, so we head to Queen’s Park Alice House before it closes for the day. And it doesn’t matter if we have already had dinner, the smell of Mr. Fish doesn’t let anyone go home empty handed. Therefore, for such an olfactory violence, we feel morally allowed to take away with us veggie burgers and some generous portions of good fries
23:00: still up for the banging music coming from the neighbor’s flat, hoping for the police to come and spare us a diabolic playlist of west-coast gangsta rap and 1990’s Destiny’s Child.
Monday 21st morning.
10:00: trainers and light bag, the make up is left home for one of the longest and relaxed London walks I have ever experienced. We exit at Southwark and we head to Tate Modern, then a quick crossing to St. Paul Cathedral; back on the other side of the Thames and straight to Tower Bridge, ending the tour having a delicious street lunch (and by that I mean cheap fish and chips, that usually is the best one) right in front of the Tower of London.
14:00: the long week-end is over as my pals leave to Liverpool for the Stansted Express.
Ps: friends are always welcomed, but nothing wins over bra and panties OOTD and Jude Law streaming at night on your bed (Dom Hemingway is a must see).