Ok so here’s a confession, when it comes to London, I am clueless. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I’ve only actually been a handful of times. Over the last few years I’ve had more and more mates and colleagues drift down to the big smoke. But I’ve not really felt that pull. I guess in part it’s because I’ve never really got to know the personality of the city. I don’t feel like I’ve ever explored it properly. And it’s probably because it’s so bloody far away. By the time you’ve paid for a train and a place to stay, it ends up costing a fortune. So when Travelodge got in touch to tell me they wanted to treat me to an overnight stay, how could I resist? And obviously London had to be my first choice!
After I set about arranging a date that all the girls could do, the next big question was which hotel do we stay in? Travelodge have hotels all over London. I’ve used Travelodge quite a lot over the years and one thing I love is that they’re always conveniently situated. And they’re always pretty consistent. A bit like Nandos, I feel like you know what to expect when you get there. They offer a no frills, modern, clean and cheap place to spend the night. So when it came to choosing one in London, I knew we’d get a pretty consistent room no matter where we stayed. Our first thought was to find somewhere really central. But since there was 5 of us (and we could only find one weekend that worked for everyone) that proved a little trickier than we expected. So we decided to stay in the Battersea hotel. It’s a little further out than some of the hotels, but I was excited about being able to explore a different part of the city! We’d all had a pretty early start, so we decided to head straight to Battersea, dump our bags and go for eggs at Ben’s Canteen before heading back into the centre for some shopping.
It’s been ages since me and the girls had all been together. And like most long distance friendships (despite regular phone calls and group messages), we had HOURS of stuff to catch up on. So we were kind of happy to just wander about and catch up with each other. We explored all the main spots, looking around Liberty (mainly buying nice Mother’s Day cards and trying on Karen Walker sunglasses) and checking out Oxford Street. And of course visiting the likes of Cos and And Other Stories (because neither have made it up to Newcastle yet!) None of us were particularly on the hunt for anything, so we just strolled around exploring. Before heading to Carnaby Street for cocktails and Chinese food! Although we hadn’t really planned out the weekend, we’d decided a big night wasn’t really on the cards, and stayed for a few drinks before heading back to the hotel. So it wasn’t too late when we got back to Battersea with bags of shopping and aching feet, and collapsed onto our beds, curling ourselves up in the soft, white sheets.
After a pretty full on day of wandering around, we wanted to take it a bit easier on Sunday and avoid the bustle of the centre. So we decided to explore the other side of the city. A couple of mates who’ve recently moved down told me that I HAD to go to the markets near Brick Lane. And being a self confessed magpie, I couldn’t resist wandering around the stalls and raking through rails of vintage. There’s nothing I love more than searching through stacks of retro clothing or wandering along markets! Having never visited before, when we got to Brick Lane and Spitalfields Market, my eyes (and camera) were everywhere. I could’ve spent days wandering around, looking at stalls and sampling the street food. Luckily being weighed down with bags (I don’t know how to pack light) stopped me from splurging.. I know the first place I’ll be heading on my next visit though!
Big thanks to Travelodge for giving me such a lovely trip away with the girls!