London!

I have been wanting to give you some recaps from my vacation (we got back two weeks ago) but will be perfectly honest and say I have also been dreading it! It’s so darn overwhelming. BUT, I want to share the goodness of my adventure so I pulled myself together and got to work. I decided to break it down city by city to keep us all from getting too overwhelmed.

I’m kicking it off with London because that’s where we began our journey. Oh, glorious London how I love you. When people ask me my favorite part about London, I almost immediately want to answer “the people.” To begin with, everyone spoke so properly with their beautiful English accents, but the best part was, everyone we encountered was so friendly.

On our first day, we were those tourists walking around the city with our luggage pulling behind us, wandering fairly aimlessly as we searched for our hotel. We knew the vicinity, but just couldn’t find it. Finally, I asked a gentleman if he could help. He wasn’t sure of the exact location of our hotel but he pulled out his smartphone and got searching. He pointed us in the right direction and wished us luck. Considering the lack of sleep and jet-lag at this point, a friendly person who could help us find our hotel (and get some food in my belly) faster, was someone we were lucky to find.

Once we found our hotel room we quickly ordered room service and loaded up on a burger. We needed fuel fast or we weren’t going to make it too long. Before heading back out to explore the unknown, we decided that a nap was a must if we wanted to appreciate anything the rest of the day. We both conked out for a good two hours.

K, I’m done narrating every detail. Let’s move on to the good stuff.

The sights

Our hotel neighborhood in Trafalgar Square. Our hotel is on the far right of this photo. The Hilton Trafalgar. I really enjoyed this place. The location was incredible. We were able to use FF miles for this hotel otherwise it was out of our price range FYI.

london

The London Eye. As touristy as it is, it was worth it. It was fun going up in the little bubbles and getting 360 views of the city.

london

london

Big Ben. I’ve never seen a more beautiful clock. london

Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guards. So, we went there on our second day and found out that in the colder seasons they only do the huge presentation of the changing of the guards every other day. We came back the next day though and saw the whole thing.

It was so cool thinking that at that moment we were there, the royal family could have been hanging out by the fire, sipping on some coffee in fancy cups, and chatting about the weather.

london

london

There were two marching bands involved in the changing of the guards.

london

london

The parks. This one is called St. James’ Park and was right outside of Buckingham Palace. Hyde park is a popular one as well. They are all beautiful.

london

Neat buildings at every turn.           DSCN7042

Fancy shopping at Harrods. Obv I didn’t buy anything there except for lunch there. This store houses every chic brand you can think of.

Check out the well-dressed doorman! Fun fact: Princess Diana’s boyfriend Dodi’s dad used to own Harrods.

london

Westminster Abbey. A major highlight of our trip. This is where the royalty get married, where they have their grand funerals, and where many of them are buried. Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin are also buried here, among many many others. The detail in this church is indescribable. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside.

london london

 

I felt the magic when I walked down the same royal aisle as Prince William and Princess Kate had just years ago.

royal wedding 2

 

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Of course, The FOOD!

London had some of the best food! We found a cute restaurant called Happenstance after both being freezing cold from the rainy London day. We nestled into our spot and I ordered a Butterbean burger and Dana ordered the duck flatbread pizza. We shared a side of mushy peas. When in London!

DSCN7061

Hot chocolate and coffee. Their chocolate is just incredible and makes for the perfect hot chocolate. It’s perfectly sweet, rich, smooth. Oh my gosh I want one. I tried having one back home and they just aren’t the same. Dana thinks it’s because I’m not on vacation that they taste different at home, but I think it’s because of the chocolate! It’s probably a combo actually.

london

My favorite dinner the whole trip: Indian Food. We met up with some friends of Dana’s who live in London and enjoyed and absolutely delicious dinner together. We all split a cauliflower dish which was to die for, naan, and I ordered chicken tikka masala. So insanely good!

london

london

 

Fish n’ Chips. We haaaaad to get fish and chips. We found a whole in the wall little Fish n’ Chips place, split an order of the fried cod, and were both super happy with our meal. The fish was amazing, the fries were just meh. Actually I found that pretty much every where. They served a lot of fries or “chips” in Europe. They weren’t salted and they were thick cut compared to what we see in the U.S. They were all just okay to me but that didn’t stop me from eating them.

london

 

That was a bit of a “in a nutshell” London recap post as you can see, but in order for me to keep this from becoming a novel, that is what is going to have to happen! I adored this city. If you ever get a chance to visit London, please do!

Favorite Food in London, Bruges, and Paris

I really want to begin my vacation recap posts, but am still slightly overwhelmed by the thought of it. So, I am going to ease my way into it by covering one of my most favorite topics…food.

Figure-friendly foods were not on my agenda for this trip. I was looking for macaroons, crepes, baguette, cheese, and hot chocolate, and that is exactly what I found.

Below are photos or some of my food highlights from the trip from London to Bruges to Paris.

London

The hot chocolate. It’s soooo much better in Europe (or maybe it’s just better on vacation?).

hot chocolate

Chicken Tikka Masala. OMG. I’ve had Indian food in the past but was never blown away by it, but this totally changed my mind. I couldn’t get enough of it! It was one of my favorite meals of the entire vacation. I can’t wait to find it at home now!

chicken tikka masala indian food tikka masala, naan

Butterbean burger at Happenstance. This picture does not do the burger justice. Have you ever thought of taking butterbeans and making them into a burger? I certainly have not but it is a brilliant idea. I devoured this burger. butterbean burger

Fish and chips. We had to; we were in London after all. Dana and I split a filet and we both really enjoyed our meal!

IMG_0288

Bruges

French Onion Soup (called onion soup in Europe). You all know I adore this stuff. I also had French onion soup on the plane ride out to London as well as two other times on the trip. Four times total. I love my onion soup!

french onion soup

Paris

This meal was actually from a day trip to Fontainebleau. We traveled out to go see a beautiful palace only to find out it was closed for construction when we got there. Not to mention, it was raining and cold. We found a cute little steakhouse and settled in for a burger and onion rings aka the best onion rings I’ve ever had.

IMG_0355 burger

Back to Paris…

Our favorite bread shop was called Coquelicot because look at it….

coquelicot bread paris

It’s perfection. It’s exactly how I would picture a Parisian bread shop. They make their bread and pastries in-house and everything is always so fresh and the place is always packed. Many days, we would buy a loaf of baguette for lunch along with some cheese and apples. I really looked forward to this lunch.

bread and cheese for lunches in paris

Crepes with nutella and banana. Need I say more?

nutella crepe

Crescents. Nearly every day. So buttery and flaky!

crescent rolls

Macaroons. I channeled my inner Blair Waldorf while eating these.

macaroons

This chocolate mousse. It tasted like the filling of a French silk pie. I was in heaven eating this. Ahhhhh so good.

chocolate mousse

More Indian food. We were actually planning on having Chinese food this night but the restaurant we walked to was closed so we had to find something else. I was once again so impressed with my meal. It was a rice and vegetable dish.

indian food vegetable rice

Check out the ambiance…

indian restaurant paris

In Paris, the boys had a couple of crocque monsiers. Ham and cheese sandwiches with an egg on top.

croque monsieurs

Oh yes, more baguette.

french baguette

And more onion soup. Don’t mind if I do!

french onion soup

My favorites: Indian food in London, the onion soup on our last night in Paris, the chocolate mousse, and the nutella crepe.

Needless to say we ate very well on vacation.

If you were in London or France, what food would be on your “must eat” list?

I’m linking up with Katie for Friday Favorites too! Thanks, Katie!