Monday, April 30, 2012

Another Week in My Magical London

When it comes to vacations, I will never be a beach person.  I hate the sand, I avoid the sun, and I think that last time I was seen in public in a bathing suit, I was also wearing Smurf water wings.  

When it comes to vacations, give me a city to wander through, shops to peek in, spas to visit, parks to stroll through, and a few sites to see and I will be as happy as ever.

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{Hyde Park gardens in bloom.}

Give me London and I will be all the happier.

I have long called London my magical city. Every time I return from a trip there, I begin planning my next trip back. And having returned yesterday from a week there, I am already looking at the calendar for 2013 and highlighting possible weeks for my next visit. 


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{Big Ben in the rain}

As I strolled through Hyde Park in the rain clutching my pink umbrella, I tried to piece together what it is about London that makes me love it so. At its core, it is a city not unlike the one I live in. A city full of history, monuments, cupcakes, shops, and spas.  

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{Buckingham Palace in the (rare) sunshine

But the major difference between London and DC, the difference that will just always make London better than DC? I don't live in London.

And when I am in London, I can leave behind all of the stress and anxiety of daily life on the other side of the ocean. There is no Blackberry service for me to be distracted with, no stressing about a to-do list, no guilt about working out.  Every time I visit, I feel my familiarity with the city growing. There are the comforting sights of streets and shops and bakeries that I love and I must visit each time. But there are always new places to explore. 

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{A stroll through Hyde Park with the London Eye in the distance.}

All of these things were true about DC before I lived here as well. But then I moved here and what was once magical because mundane and normal. I don't mean that to sound as depressing as it does but I think it is a great example of the grass always being greener where you aren't. And after all of the rain in London last week, the grass was practically neon green by the time I left.

So I will never live in London. I want to keep it magical. 

Last week, London was magical. Dinner and tea with friends. Shopping. Good food. Strolls through the park. And afternoon tea. 

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{Cake and tea at Peggy Porschen}

Last time I was in London, I did a Cupcakery Tour of the city. It was a fun way to explore the city. And I wanted a similar approach to this visit. The pomp and circumstance of afternoon tea has always fascinated me. So last week, I did an Afternoon Tea tour of the city. Five afternoon teas over five days at five fancy places. So over the next five days, I invite you to join me as I recap my afternoon tea tour of London: Tea for One Tour of London (And sometimes two. Thanks, Kelly and Saira for joining me throughout the week!) 

It was a magical week of sweets, crustless sandwiches, and tea and all of the pomp and circumstance of the afternoon tea ritual that I had hoped for. Even for a person who was not really a tea drinker beforehand. 


  1. What a fantastic idea! I can't wait to see all the afternoon teas you tried out! and I can't believe you managed to find a rare day of sunshine, especially with the truly more awful than usual weather we've been having these past few weeks! That picture of you with the flowers is so lovely! Glad you enjoyed your time in London...I am in complete agreement that it is a magical city!

  2. Good thing we went to Peggy P since our stop after that was such a bust! I agree that places where you don't live are magical and where you do live is boring.

  3. I love your Buckingham Palace picture! So cute!!!