48 Hours in London England

If you haven’t read my latest travel posts, I went to England for a week with my mother in October. I’ve recapped the trip in posts here, here, and here if you would like to read them. The trip began in Cornwall, made a stop in Bath, and then ended in London.

I’ve been to London once before several years ago, but only for about 10 hours. I’ve always wanted to go back to London and see things we didn’t the first time. We decided to buy 48-hour passes for the hop-on-hop-off bus tours–and I’m so happy that we did because we were definitely tired from all our travels. Once we arrived by train to London, from Bath, we walked through Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, and even saw Kensington Palace on our way to our Airbnb.

 

After checking in and dropping off our luggage, we made our way to the Victoria and Albert Museum. It’s so interesting too that the museum was just featured in the most recent episode of Victoria on PBS! Prince Albert wanted this museum to be completely free to the general population and there is so, so much to see! You would probably need a few days to see it all, but we just saw some highlights. We saw beautiful architecture, original works by Shakespeare, art, and so much more in passing. If you’re ever in London, the Victoria and Albert Museum is worth a visit!

After we left the museum, we got back on the bus and made our way to Harrods, which is one of the most distinguished department stores. My mom had been to London a few times before but she had never been to Harrod’s. One of our tour bus drivers stated: “if you have to ask how much something is, then you can’t afford it.” I would say that the statement was fairly accurate, haha! Harrods was very beautiful but it was extremely busy, maybe even a little too busy for us. We were also starting to get very hungry and tried to find something to eat in the food shops. We ended up going to an Italian restaurant in Harrods and ordered over-priced gluten-free pasta. However, the experience was memorable for both of us and we can now say that we’ve been to Harrod’s.

The next morning, we did our full bus tour through London. We also had high tea at Fortnum and Mason, but that will be saved for the last blog post in this England series. The hop-on-hop-off tour was interesting and nice to be able to sit down after days of walking all over. This kind of tour is also a great way to see all of the landmarks, high points, and learn history about London. I loved the bus tour and feel like I have seen so much of London!

Bath England Travel Diary

The last few weeks I’ve been recapping my big trip to England this past October. The previous posts were about Falmouth in Cornwall and can be read here and here. The next portion of the trip was to Bath, England–the land of Jane Austen! This post is a long one, so get comfy!

I am a huge fan of Jane Austen and her work. I’ve grown up with Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Emma, Mansfield Park, etc., and they each have a special place in my heart.

As soon as we got off the train in Bath, it felt like we stepped into a new era. The people and their dress were completely different than those in Falmouth and it felt like a new experience. It also felt a little bit like Harry Potter-land because there were school children running around in their “Hogwarts” uniforms.

“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.”

–Jane Austen

Once we got to our Airbnb, we rested for a bit and dropped off our luggage. Then we began our walk back into town for dinner. I really wanted to plan for our lodging to be close to the train station and most of the places we would be eating.

Cosy Club

Dinner was at Cosy Club–which was a very unique restaurant. The interior was modern, eclectic, yet also had historical components that felt like you were in another time period. We ordered a pot of tea (because, England) a salad, and gluten-free fish and chips (because, why not?). The food was so good and just what we needed after a long day of traveling. Cosy Club was also a great option for finding gluten-free meals.

After dinner, we walked back to our small renovated boathouse, watched Persuasion, and then went to bed. The next morning we slept in a little bit and then got ready for the day.

The Whole Bagel

We had breakfast at The Whole Bagel and ordered coffees and hot bacon sandwiches. If you’ve never had a hot bacon sandwich, you’re missing out. The morning was chilly and drizzly, so we took our time drinking our hot coffee and planning our day. The Whole Bagel had so many sandwiches and bagel options, and each was also served on gluten-free bread. The staff was very knowledgable about Celiac Disease and helped us decide what to order.

After we ate breakfast, we walked around the city and began exploring. The Royal Crescent and the Circus were two landmarks that we wanted to visit. They are both historical rows of terraced houses and are seen/mentioned in many of Jane Austen’s writings.

“Oh! Who can ever be tired of Bath?”

–Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Next, we went to the Jane Austen Centre for tea and a guided tour. The tea service before the tour was very reasonably priced and they had delicious gluten-free scones. The tour was very enlightening about Jane’s life, work, and time in Bath. I learned that Bath was not always a happy place for Jane and in fact, it was a place of a lot of pain and suffering–and her writings depict many of those feelings. But the city was still beautiful, historical, and quiet.

We walked around the city some more and visited places like the Bath Abbey, The Pump Room, and looked around shops.

By then, we started to get very tired and felt the day catching up with us. We stopped by a local Pret A Manger and grabbed some gluten-free soup and drinks. Pret is a great option for fresh, on-the-go food and there are so many options for different dietary needs. After we ate, we went back to our Airbnb boathouse, watched Northanger Abbey, and then went to bed.

Stay tuned for the upcoming travel post all about London!

Falmouth Cornwall: A Special Little Harbor Pt. 2​

A couple of weeks ago I shared with you part 1 of my trip to Falmouth, Cornwall in England. Today I’m sharing part 2 and will tell you all about the things that I did during my visit. If you would like to read the first post–click here.

Our first morning there, we got up early and walked down to the high street. High streets are the primary business or city streets in England. It was so quiet in the morning and no one seemed in a rush to get anywhere. The leisurely pace of life is something I definitely wanted to bring back with me to the states. After walking through the high street, we walked down to the harbor. Being near the water, watching the boats rock, and hearing the dinging of bells were definitely highlights of the morning.

After leaving the harbor, we walked through other areas of the town and observed everyday life. The people in this town were so kind and welcoming–and even suggested things we should see in the town.

After we explored the town, we hiked up to Pendennis Castle (a fort constructed by Henry VIII). The views were breathtaking and worth the trek. It did cost to be able to enter the grounds, but I think it would have been a shame to pass up the opportunity.


On our hike back down from the castle, we stopped at a beach cafe and had a hot cup of PG Tips tea. Sitting on the beach, drinking tea with my mom, and looking out to the sea was my favorite part of Falmouth. This special little harbor town left such an impression on my heart and I’ll remember that trip with such fondness.

Falmouth Cornwall: A Special Little Harbor Pt. 1

Happy January and New Year to you! I hope 2019 is treating you well so far!

A couple of months ago, my mother and I took a trip across the pond to England. We had been talking about taking this trip for years and the timing and arrangements just worked out perfectly. I have a few blog posts to recap our trip because we did and saw a lot. I hope you enjoy these posts and learning about the places that we traveled to! Some of these posts will be lengthy and might be split into multiple parts. This is one of those posts! Part 1 will consist of all the culinary aspects of Falmouth, and part 2 will be everything else that we did. 

After arriving in London and spending a day in Southampton with my sweet friend Maggie–we took a train to Falmouth in Cornwall! (PS–Maggie has a super cute Etsy shop that you should check out here) We decided to travel by train this trip, as I was not particularly keen on driving as much as we would be traveling. If you can find decent flights and save your pennies for rail passes–I highly recommend this mode of transportation!

We’re both huge fans of Poldark and seeing areas of Cornwall on the show made us want to travel there. Upon research, Falmouth in Cornwall was a harbor town that had a lot of history, breathtaking views, and amazing food. 

We arrived in Falmouth mid-afternoon and walked from the train station to our Airbnb. We booked our house for two nights, and I’m so glad we did because we were able to get more rest than if we went to a different place each night. Once we checked into our house and dropped off our luggage, we made our way down to the high street and walked to dinner. I did A LOT of food research for this trip and so we knew exactly where we would be eating each day. 

Zizzi Italian Restaurants Falmouth

We were so hungry that I didn’t even remember to take food-pics but, trust me, the food was so good! We shared gluten-free garlic rolls and then had seafood kinds of pastas. If you need to eat gluten-free–there are so many options at Zizzi! We both said that as long as we were in a coastal town, we were definitely going to eat as much coastal food as we could, haha!

 Courtyard Deli & Kitchen

The next morning we went to The Courtyard Deli & Kitchen for a coffee and gluten-free rolls. To me, there is no better way to celebrate traveling than with a cup of coffee. The rolls were served with butter, jam, and marmalade and were the perfect meal for beginning a busy day. The staff was so friendly and the atmosphere was really cozy. The deli was tucked away behind some buildings on the high street, so the deli felt really quiet and relaxing. 

 Oggi Oggy The Pasty Company

Around lunchtime, we were getting cold, tired, and jet-lag had majorly kicked in. Our Airbnb hostess recommended that we go to Oggy Oggy for Cornish Pasties (pronounced past-ies, not paste-ys). We made our way back to the high street and found the emerald green eatery. The staff was, again, so friendly and made us fresh gluten-free pasties. It took about 30 minutes for our food to be ready, but it was warm and gave us a chance to rest while we ate. I had a cheese and potato pasty and my mom had a steak and potato pasty. I definitely recommend you try Oggy Oggy for pasties, even if you can eat glutinous ones, haha!

Rick Stein’s Fish

This is the meal that I was most excited about while we were in Falmouth. We made a reservation to eat gluten-free fish and chips at Rick Stein, and the night we went there was also a special that included a glass of Prosecco. BEST FISH AND CHIPS EVER. The serving sizes were giant, but don’t worry–we managed to eat it all. The fish was fresh and the breading was crispy, crunchy, and best of all, gluten-free. The chips (or fries as we call in the states) were delicious and were also served with sweet green peas. Mashed peas are a staple with fish and chips, but we were unable to eat the mashed version due to it not being gluten-free. For the price that we paid for dinner, we could not believe the incredible quality. The restaurant was also very family-friendly as there were many families with small children the night we were there. 

More on Falmouth will be coming in part 2. I can’t wait to share it because of how much I loved Falmouth and I wish we could have stayed longer.

My Summer Reads

For as long as I can remember, summer has always been associated with reading. When I was a little kid, my siblings and I would all do the summer reading program at our local library–and sometimes we would even try to race each other as to who would finish the quickest. The librarian must have thought that we were some of the most well-read children with how competitive we would be, haha! (What the library didn’t know, though, was that sometimes we read a bunch of kids board books and books that were honestly too easy for us to read–oopsies)

This summer, there are a few books that I really want to read and, like always, I’m going to try my best to have these read by the end of summer.

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Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

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This novel is set in London during 1939–1942. It was inspired by the letters written between the author’s grandparents during World War II. This novel focuses around the stories of three characters and it is written “with dazzling prose, sharp English wit, and compassion…a powerful portrait of war’s effects on those who fight and those left behind” (People, Book of the Week).

Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth Soukup

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 After going through the home-buying process, this book is especially appealing to me! I’m excited to learn more about life, organizing, finances, etc., from a Biblical perspective.

Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good For You and Avoid Those That Aren’t By Henry Cloud and John Townsend

2dadd0e5-7e5f-4ad5-9339-dc9d1b73dc39I heard about this book a couple of years ago and really wanted to read it. Based on the title, I think that this is a really important lesson to learn when it comes to relationships in your personal life, social life, and work life. This book will help to identify those who aren’t relationally trustworthy and also those who are relationally safe.

At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider

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This book seems to be right up my alley. A book about adventure, traveling, and making it meaningful? Yes please!!

What are you reading this summer? Do you have any recommendations for my fall reading list?

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