england

Every time my family and I land in beautiful, clean Heathrow Airport, we breathe a deep sigh of relief. The accents. The people. The architecture. The greenery. Prince William. Need I say more?

This was probably our tenth or twelfth time visiting London – something that I am soo grateful for – and the allure of it never seems to fade. Just the train ride from the airport to Paddington Station was refreshing.

We historically have stayed at the Mandarin Oriental when in London – we had tried other hotels, but kept going back to what we called our “second home.” this trip, we ended up at the Four Seasons Park Lane, newly renovated and reopened, and it so far exceeded our expectations. It crossed my mind more than once to move right in and never leave the hotel.

Now we were only in London for two nights…so the not leaving the hotel thing wasn’t much of an option. We had to fully take advantage of our time in one of my favorite cities in the world.

We started our time in London at the steakhouse Gaucho, a trendy restaurant known for its Argentine steaks. The food was delicious, with a very high-end, hip, “cool” atmosphere. And for this crocheting, cooking, crafting, happiest-when-color-coding-my-sock-drawer granny in an (almost) twenty-one year-old body, I was not really in my element.

The next morning was much more my style. We had a great breakfast at a cafe near our hotel – we needed to eat up before our long day of antiquing ahead of us! My mom and I had grand visions for our trip to Portobello Road in the famed Notting Hill area. Have any of you seen the movie? I love Hugh Grant!

This was now our third time visiting Portobello Road and it was no less enjoyable. The stalls, the colors, the food, the smells, the goodies. Everything. I was in heaven.

There was even a store full of sewing machines. It was love.

We got some delicious chocolate-filled crepes, which had a little too much chocolate in them, even for such extreme chocolate lovers as my mom and I!

We made our way to our two favorite stores in London, conveniently located in Notting Hill: Cath Kidston and Shabby Chic. Ladies, if you are ever in London, promise me that you will visit Cath Kidston! And if you are ever in Santa Monica, New York City, or London, you would LOVE Shabby Chic.

Here are a few pictures of Cath Kidston. I was snapping pictures left and right, absolutely in love with everything there!

Here are a few pictures from Shabby Chic. It is my favorite decorating style!

More than anything, I just loved walking around the cute little streets of Notting Hill, stopping by cafes for treats as we went about our shopping excursion.

It was amazing girl time. And I feel so lucky to have had this experience.

After meeting up with the boys later in the day, we spent the rest of our time in London shopping as a family and ended our time in London with a yummy sushi dinner at Nobu.

It was the perfect way to end the perfect trip.

Thank you SO much for following along!

London, England

Where to Stay

There are so many amazing hotels in London – it’s hard to go wrong! After this vacation, the Four Seasons Park Lane definitely moved to first place in my rankings. It is an incredible hotel – absolutely immaculate, designed to every last detail, and stunningly decorated. The service is incredible, with some of the nicest concierges we had ever met. Everyone, from the doormen to the waiters, have smiles on their faces. And while we only ate one meal at hotel, our breakfast on the day we were leaving was incredible.

Where to Eat

Again, it’s hard to go wrong in London! We love trying out new cafes in London, but our go-to staples are definitely Knightsbridge Cafe for breakfast (try their hot chocolate – you won’t regret it!) and Nobu for dinner. And the dessert counter at Harrod’s is a must!

What to Do

There are enough things to do and see in London to fill an entire blog post! Hopefully I’ll be able to pull something together soon. ๐Ÿ™‚


38 Responses to england

  1. You lucky, lucky duck Star! I always thought you were ‘an old soul’. You love all the same things as me. I’m familiar with Cath Kidston and the Shabby Chic style of Rachel Ashwell. My favourite design style as well. How lucky for you to go to Portobello Road so many times. My husband and I love “Notting Hill”. One of our favourite movies.

    I’m so enjoying your trip and can’t wait for the next instalment. (By the way, I’d been meaning to ask, have you been to Australia and do you intend on coming some day soon? We’d love to have you! LOL)

    Anne xx

    • Star says:

      Aw how neat! I knew we were meant to be blog friends!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      And no, I haven’t been to Australia! But I would absolutely LOVE to! You are sooo sweet! When we plan our trip to Australia I will definitely include you! Thank you so much Anne!

  2. Mary says:

    Great pictures Star! Especially, “Feasts were made for laughter!” Love it.
    Mary

  3. Nicole says:

    Gorgeous pic of the rolls of fabric at Cath Kidston. And I love the gingerbread people in their bathing suits. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Those crepes look amazing! My breakfast is looking pretty boring now. So glad you’re having such a terrific trip!

  5. I love your view of yourself :)!! I pinned the wooden star from Shabby Chic. If you are ever at the Mall of America you have to get a crepe from The Magic Pan Crepe Stand outside Tucci Benucch!! They are sooooo good!!

    • Star says:

      Hahaha thank you Tonia! You’re so sweet! I have never been to Mall of American but am dying to explore the US a little bit more! Thank you for the great suggestion!

  6. Lisa says:

    What an amazing time and amazing pics. I love everything the sewing machines, the shabby chic pillow, Cath Kidson Florals, cupcakes and sushi. Thank you so much for following my blog. I love yours as well.

    Lisa x (your newest fan).

  7. looks amazing and love your pics, their roads are also so clean there!

  8. colleen says:

    I adore London, and had the pleasure of living there for 4 months. You post made me nostalgic and I definitely want to go back soon! Oh and with the “hip” restaurant – right there with you, girl!

  9. Glad you enjoyed London – and that the sun shined at least a bit for you! Portabello Road is one of my favourite places to go on the weekends, so fun and eclectic!

    http://ourdreamlives.wordpress.com/

  10. Deila says:

    I loved following your trip — such a slice of life in different parts of the world. The Four Seasons sounds like it was divine after the first part of the trip.

  11. birdie to be says:

    Looks amazing! I love your pics. My friend and I are thinking about going to London in October… but flights seems to be outrageous right now! Do you have any tips for us?

    • Star says:

      Aw thank you SO much! London in October sounds amazing – can I come? haha. We always use air miles when we fly so it makes it much easier, that’s too bad the flights are so expensive already!

  12. Jennifer says:

    What terrific pictures! That first one with the multi colored buildings is awesome and don’t even get me started on Cath Kidston and Shabby Chic!

  13. Oh really the trips over…. I have so enjoyed reading about it. Love the photos – those sewing machines and flowers… so lovely!! Hydrangeas are my favorite. So impressed that you crochet. I want to learn. I also agree with Anne. You need to add Australia to your travel list. Love to have you visit one day xo

  14. why didn’t i stop by these lovely stores during my trip to london!?! the sewing machine store and cath kidston look divine!

  15. Jean says:

    …and I thought I was the only one fascinated by sewing machines! ๐Ÿ™‚ I want to get one that will facilitate quilt-making, as I just love the idea of cozy blankets and making heirloom quilts as gifts!

  16. Jo-Anna says:

    Your trip looks amazing! Those crepes look seriously delish! Fabulous photos!
    Jo-Anna

  17. heather j says:

    Oh my world traveler…where haven’t you been? ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve loved reading about your trip. Is your family in need of another daughter? If so I’m available to travel when needed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Julie Hooper says:

    Hi Star,
    Wow!!!! Your trip sounds amazing!!! I’m thinking of going to grad school in London. For me as well, London has always felt like a home away from home. I agree with some of the others that your photos are incredible. Unfortunately my camera broke just before heading to Fiji, so now Im stuck with crappy iphone photos haha.. Anyways I’m glad to see that everything is going well. We should try to meet up at some point ๐Ÿ™‚
    tanti baci!
    Julie

    PS: You have incredible taste!

  19. Catherine says:

    There are no bigger anglophiles than my family. But I have to say, last time I flew through Heathrow, I did NOT breathe a sigh of relief! We were flying British Airways through Heathrow on our way to & from Moscow, & their new (at the time) Terminal 7 was a nightmare to navigate, especially since our flights arrived late both times & we had to rush (back through security, I might add) to our connecting flight. Our flight home was overbooked, so we ALMOST got to stay a day in London to sightsee a little & get paid by the airline to do it! Unfortunately, we were too responsible & bothered to think about it for a minute, rather than just do it, because the tickets were snatched up right under our noses! Still regretting not being more impulsive that day…

  20. Zabdy says:

    I love all these pictures, especially the cupcakes and dreamcatchers. What an amazing Trip Star ๐Ÿ™‚

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