London is an expensive city, sometimes prohibitively so, but this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. Here are a few pointers for those visiting London on a budget.
A couple of months ago I wrote about my favorite spots in London, and every time I read up on what’s going on in the capital that has everything, I realize there are many more places to add to my list. So, here are some hidden gems to keep in mind for those of you currently searching for London hotels.
Moving to three different cities in three years means I’ve experienced three challenging (some more than others) quests for the perfect apartment. And while it might have helped to be the kind of traveler who goes with everything set up and ready for arrival, I prefer to figure things out along the way. When I first moved to Paris (a tough city for finding a decent apartment on a budget) I went with a single bag and an overly-optimistic 4-night booking at a youth hostel. Daunting as it was, had I not done this, I would’ve never found the best apartment gig I could have asked for… And, if I were to do it all over again, here are a few things I would have liked to know before arriving in each place:
I only left two days ago and I already miss it. This past year I called London my home, and while the weather and taxes might have gotten the better of me sometimes, there was still plenty to love about the amazing capital. I was sad to leave, but I’m also looking forward to a new career direction in another (equally) cool capital: Madrid. So, in honor of the city I have only just left, but already miss, here’s a roundup of some of my favorite places/frequented spots during my time in London (bear in mind, I’m neither an East Londoner nor a Westerner – I’m straight out of the heart of Bloomsbury :)
As clearly illustrated by the New York Film Academy, only 8% of directors of general feature releases are women. And so, in response to this evident disparity, the Birds Eye View Film Festival was created, which began as just an hour-long event filled with shorts by emerging female filmmakers. Twelve years later, the festival continues to champion some of the brightest female filmmakers of our time.
With a Friday off work, and an urge to explore, a friend and I decided to spend the day in Oxford. We got on a bus from Victoria station, and headed north-west, into the green English countryside. It felt good to leave the grey chaos of London behind, and slow down from our usual walking pace. We wandered through one of the most visited cities in England, though trying to appear as local as possible.
Last night’s dinner was delicious: A fresh fattoush salad, crunchy mini falafels, chargrilled red peppers with toasted almonds, fresh baby spinach swirled into creamy yogurt and spiced with cumin, minty labneh sauce… The list could go on. I indulged in a full Persian Mezze banquet, beautifully served and prepared by the master chef of The Hampstead Kitchen, all while sitting in the middle of London’s newest design store, West Elm.
With an upcoming trip to Italy being the sole thing on my mind lately, my web browser history and Pinterest page seem to be pure evidence of this. And then I stumbled upon the work of Gina Soden. Her latest body of work, titled Decandenza, is stunning. Soden chooses to portray beauty, instead of the gloom often associated with decay. Capturing the color, light, and tranquility of these neglected spaces, Decadenza is all about beautiful abandonment…
Since this blog knows few boundaries when it comes to subject matter, it was only a matter of time before a beauty-related post appeared (I am a human-being with skin, after all). I always like reading about what other people use, recommend, prescribe… This is how we find the products that work for us (or don’t, which is probably more important). So I figured I would do the same, and share what I have been using recently for my problematic face – it’s stubborn, trust me. Of course, it wouldn’t be like me to just brag on about a single product which is the holy grail of all skincare. Instead, I use globalization to my advantage, and source my pomades from around the world, resulting in a pretty diverse mix.