Bridgette recently wrote a guest post for the first time on this blog, sharing some of her favorite experiences from our Europe trip last year, which she planned entirely on her own as a worldschooling project. It gave a great overview of what the trip was like, and some of her learnings along the way. I’m going to add to that in these subsequent posts, just so I can incorporate some of my own favorite experiences and reflections from this trip as well!
I want to start off by singing some praises for Bridgette, because she really did a phenomenal job as a first time travel planner. She pretty much got tossed in the deep end for this project, because I really wanted her to figure everything out on her own. Over and over again, I emphasized that I would remain completely open minded to the outcome of the trip, and that my only expectation is that we would have a roof over our head each night. If everything else goes wrong, it will be fine, because she would learn from her mistakes and also tap into her problem solving skills! During the planning, she tried to tap into my brain for advice, or for some validation on her decisions, but I refrained from helping her too much so that she could learn from her mistakes.
London was our first and last stop for this trip. On our first stop, we stayed for 3 days and our friends Betty and Karen, who lives in the outskirts of London, met up with us for 2 of those 3 days. It was wonderful to spend time with them, and even though it wasn’t our first time in London, we still appreciated having local friends to take us around!
Our 3 days there were pretty packed with activities. On the first 2 days with Betty and Karen, we toured the Palace of Westminster, had a lovely Roast Dinner at Covent Garden, strolled around the Christmas Market by the water, toured Shakespeare Globe, and enjoyed high tea with a view at OXO Tower Restaurant.
On the third day, Bridge and I ventured around on our own. She found the most charming cafe call Aubaine, where we had a luxurious brunch underneath a ceiling of wisteria!
After brunch, we walked aimlessly for miles admiring the fall foliage around us, and then suddenly found ourselves outside Kensington Palace.
After walking off our brunch, it was nearly time for our reservation at an extra special place for afternoon tea– sketch! Bridgette booked this place based on the recommendation of two very trustworthy friends when it comes to memorable dining experiences. We also saw a ton of pictures on IG beforehand and fell in love with the cute interior even before we ever stepped foot inside.
The minute we walked through the doors of sketch, we knew we were in for a special experience. We were instructed to hopscotch our way to the Maitre d’, and then taken to the chicest, pinkest room we had ever been in.
Being the girly girls that we are, we were giddy with excitement at the cuteness of the place! We each ordered an afternoon tea set, and with every item that came out, we simply could not contain our ooohhhing and ahhhing!
Not only did every item looked like a work of art, but they also tasted absolutely delectable. And here’s the icing on the cake….YOU CAN ASK FOR SECONDS, OR THIRDS, OR FOURTHS!!! It is essentially an “all you can eat afternoon tea”, except for the caviar and alcohol, so we got to indulge in extras of our favorite items!
One of the coolest and most memorable aspect of sketch was, believe it or not, their bathrooms! Each toilet was in an outerspace-like individual freestanding pod, with colorful lights and enticing music which made the bathroom experience truly one of a kind! We had never seen so many people take pictures and selfies inside a bathroom, lol!
We ended our special day with a show that I had been wanting to watch for a very long time– Hamilton! It was performed at the Victoria Palace Theater in London, which is beautiful, charming theater that dates back to the 1800s. We got great seats in the middle of the theater and that evening, we were swept away for 3 hours in one of the most spectacular performances we had ever seen. The show completely exceeded my expectations, and immediately after the show, I told Bridge I wanted to watch it again!
The next morning, we packed up and before heading to the airport for our flight to Edinburgh, we stopped by Borough Market to scope out our lunch options. It was rainy, and we had our heavy suitcases and backpacks with us, but that didn’t stop us from going from booth to booth to find some delicious food!
We also stopped by the Tower Bridge so I could recreate a photo of Bridge there to compare it against one that we took when she was just 4 years old.