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From Instagram | Travel Diary: Christmastime in London 2021

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Life Lately: Christmastime in London 2021

THIS PAST WEEK, we were back in London, thinking it might be the last time in a long time again that we would be able to be out and about before another national lockdown. We were also there to celebrate the holidays and two anniversaries. When we were last here, it was May, and things were only tentatively opening up again. All the pubs and restaurants were outdoor seating only, which mean it was difficult to find a table without booking the good places in advance through an app. The weather was unseasonably rainy and cold and we wondered if it had been a good decision to come. We still had a wonderful time, of course, because we were together, but this time, it was completely different, as everything was open again. We ate Italian food in Marylebone and accidentally discovered a wine club housed in bare-brick vaults and lit by candlelight. It smelled damp as only cavernous vault-y places do and had its own dog, a Shih Tzu named Galahad. I told P that the only way this place could have been more pretentious was if it had been in a burned-out tenement. He laughed. There were shy couples on first dates and groups of co-workers having after-work drinks and it felt normal and nice to return to the way our lives had been before life as we knew it changed, perhaps forever. We visited famous Christmas trees (one decorated by Moët & Chandon) and skating rinks and found cosy corners in quiet pubs in Mayfair. Although we’d been expecting rain, the weather ended up being bright and sunny (even if a bit chilly) and we were able to bicycle through Hyde Park, past The Serpentine with its white swans and afternoon people in their puffy coats and woolly hats. It was good to take time away from work after the near-reclusive state that has been our lives for so long. Here are a few favourite photos of our time there...

Life Lately: Christmastime in London 2021
Life Lately: Christmastime in London 2021
Life Lately: Christmastime in London 2021
From Instagram | Travel Diary: Christmastime in London 2021
From Instagram | Travel Diary: Christmastime in London 2021
Life Lately: Christmastime in London 2021
Roseline Lohr | Life Lately: Christmastime in London 2021

Wednesday, Dec. 7, 4:11pm

A glass of prosecco in a quiet corner by the fire in a pub on Bayswater to begin our anniversary celebrations

Life Lately: Christmastime in London 2021
Life Lately: Christmastime in London 2021
Life Lately: Christmastime in London 2021

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Roseline Lohr | Life Lately - Christmastime in London 2021 6
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From Instagram | Travel Diary: Christmastime in London 2021
Life Lately: Christmastime in London 2021
From Instagram | Travel Diary: Christmastime in London 2021

Italian in Marylebone

To celebrate the first of our two anniversaries, we booked a 9:00pm dinner reservation at an Italian restaurant in Marylebone that we'd been meaning to try the last time we were in London, back in May. It was all chit-chat and candlelight and has such a lovely Italian vibe that for a moment I'd thought we were in Italy. So much so, in fact, that when the server suggested aperol spritzes as apéritifs, I enthusiastically said yes, why not? They do not, of course, make great before dinner drinks, as they are huge and take long to drink, making it impossible for us to order the wine we had been planning with our main course. By the time we finished our starters (a mixed salad with roast beetroot, Gorgonzola and walnuts and a plate of calamari fritti, mayo al limone), I still had most of my large orange drink. We ended up ordering two mains to share, and finished with a Cannolo Siciliano and a couple of espressos. The waiter also insisted on complimentary limoncello shots. It was a really wonderful night.

From Instagram | Travel Diary: Christmastime in London 2021
Life Lately: Christmastime in London 2021
Life Lately: Christmastime in London 2021

Dim Sum in Soho

...well, not exactly. We ended up at the same restaurant that we went to in May in search of delicious dim sum, only to find out that it is more of a breakfast/brunch type of thing. We were there well after five, so dinner off the menu it was. The fried rice, egg rolls, dumplings and hot 'n sour soup were still really good.

Life Lately: Christmastime in London 2021
Life Lately: Christmastime in London 2021
Life Lately: Christmastime in London 2021
From Instagram | Travel Diary: Christmastime in London 2021
From Instagram | Travel Diary: Christmastime in London 2021
From Instagram | Travel Diary: Christmastime in London 2021
From Instagram | Travel Diary: Christmastime in London 2021
Life Lately: Christmastime in London 2021
Roseline Lohr | Life Lately - Christmastime in London 2021 6

Croissants at Laurents

Laurents Delicatessen in Paddington was just a few minutes from our hotel, so we thought it might be a good place to stop on the way out for the day. The coffee was okay, but the croissants were buttery and flakey and utterly delicious. They also had canelés, which we will have to try next time.

From Instagram | Travel Diary: Christmastime in London 2021
From Instagram | Travel Diary: Christmastime in London 2021
From Instagram | Travel Diary: Christmastime in London 2021

Skip: Daylesford Organic

I had been meaning to visit the original Daylesford Organic in the Cotswolds for a long time, ever since first coming across the farm shop on Instagram and long before it become an empire, so I was really excited to happen across the Notting Hill location quite by accident. It turned out to be, unfortunately, overhyped and underwhelming, everything appearing much better on social media than in real life. We ordered flat whites and a croissant, neither of which were very good, with the coffee being lukewarm and watery and croissant dry and not at all flakey and buttery like the one from Laurents. Perhaps the organic farm in the Cotswolds is much better, so if we're ever in the area, we may still stop by for a visit, but on the whole, this location was a bit of a disappointment.

From Instagram | Travel Diary: Christmastime in London 2021

Daylesford Notting Hill

Above, another glimpse inside the Daylesford Notting Hill café and delicatessen. At least the organic vegetable displays looked pretty. While we're on the topic of things to skip, definitely give Eggslut Portobello a miss. This location is the first British outpost of the LA import and it was filled with Deliveroo drivers awaiting orders. Our breakfast sandwich order took a very long time and ended up being very overrated and overpriced.

From Instagram | Travel Diary: Christmastime in London 2021
Life Lately: Christmastime in London 2021
From Instagram | Travel Diary: Christmastime in London 2021

Old Spitalfields Market

If you're looking for a place with a huge selection of really great food, you should visit the Old Spitalfields Market in Spitalfields. The original East London market, it is filled with small producers, local creatives, independent retailers (and a few well-known brands), all under one historic Victorian roof. There are 39 food stalls and 55 shop stalls, including antiques and art, and all the food we've tried there has been delicious. Above: a jian bing from Pleasant Lady

Life Lately: Christmastime in London 2021



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