Diane, A Broad
May 3, 2013

One Day in London

Sometimes, you have to escape the city… even when that city happens to be Paris. Lucky for me, London is just a two-hour train ride away.

One Day in London by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

One Day in London by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

Here’s the thing about May in France: there are a ton of bank holidays, some of which land in the middle of the week, like May Day (French Labor Day) did this year. Lots of people faire le pont (“make a bridge”) between the holiday and an adjacent weekend, thereby making it a very long weekend, but one can’t be doing that every time. So, sometimes one has a one-day vacation with which to do as much as one can, and one may as well visit one’s neighboring country.

One Day in London by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

One Day in London by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

There are two basic ways to spend such a trip: either running around trying to see as much as possible in a short time, or just chilling out and wandering around, seeing what you happen to see. We took the latter route.

One Day in London by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

One Day in London by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

The only things I actually planned were where we would eat dinner and lunch, and we actually ended up skipping out on our dinner reservation due to a stressful moment involving the most unpleasant border control officer I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet and a missed train. No matter, we found a chic little wine bar just steps from our AirBnB apartment in Soho with, as it turned out, exactly the kind of food I enjoy most. A few more steps to a local pub for a late-night beer topped off my first evening in the motherland.

One Day in London by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

One Day in London by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

The next day was spent making our meandering way toward lunch, stopping to take pictures and make detours through gardens and parks when we happened upon them, finding the river and looking up to find our way toward St. Paul’s. I enjoyed the luxury of asking for directions in my native language.

One Day in London by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

One Day in London by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

After a huge lunch in a posh restaurant where we were surrounded by suits, which involved copious amounts of beef and wine, all we wanted to do was lounge around enjoying the fair weather. So we crossed a bridge, passed by the Globe, and found a lawn in front of the Tate Modern where we could people-watch and accent-listen and sketch and generally be happy until it was time to cross another bridge and head back to St. Pancras for our return train.

One Day in London by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

One Day in London by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

One Day in London by Diane, A Broad (dianeabroad.com)

So, on my first trip to London I didn’t see Big Ben or Westminster Abbey or Buckingham Palace. And you know, I’m happier having seen the city in this light.

Music to travel by: If Tha Mood [Esthero (feat. Shakari Nyte) // Wicked Lil' Grrrls]

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20 Responses to “One Day in London”

  1. Beautiful photos Diane and I’m so happy to hear that you had a lovely time. I’m so with you on that just-strolling-around-and-seeing-where-it-takes-you-theory, even though it can be hard not to make plans sometimes ;)

  2. Ohlala Maman says:

    Oh! So glad to have found your blog, and I see you’ve been in my home town as well. Beautiful photos.

  3. Beautiful photos and luck on your side with the weather :)

  4. Charlotte says:

    I love London, we went on Saturday and just walked around.. I really do think it’s the best way to take in a city – you can miss so many of the little things if you go with an elaborate plan xx

    http://www.charlotteswebblog.co.uk

  5. Mary Fox says:

    I think you saw exactly what you should see on your first trip anywhere – real life. The historic monuments will be there the next time, but I think it’s more important to get a sense of the vibe that fills the city. My first trip to London was last weekend and I can’t wait to return!

  6. Oh wow, you take the most gorgeous pictures of London! I’ve never been, although I’m tentatively planning to go there in a couple years. Hope I’ll get to experience this city someday :)

  7. Sabrina says:

    Hi! I’ve been a reader of your beautiful blog for some time but this is my first time leaving a comment. Your photos are gorgeous and speak against the grey and dreary weather London is so well known for. I was an exchange student in London and if you were to revisit again, Borough market should definitely be on your list!

  8. [...] Soup is the little wine bar I mentioned on my last post about London. We passed by it on the street and I did a double-take: I was sure I’d read about this place [...]

  9. Lauren Lou says:

    Absolutely stunning pictures, Diane! You’re so lucky the weather turned it on for you! It’s probably best you soaked it in and left the touristy places for when it’s a bit greyer. I second the Borough markets suggestion below. It’s a mad, wonderful place. xx

  10. I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog today Diane, heading over to put it in my Bloglovin’ feed right now! I love these pictures of London – I miss my city so much! These have given me a lovely little reminder/ preview of when I am finally moving home this Summer, so thank you for brightening my Sunday! Also off to check out your Los Angeles section now, because that is where I’m currently living!

    • I’m glad you stopped by too, Rachel! Sorry I don’t have much in the LA category yet — I started this blog when I moved to Paris and only went back for the holidays last year. I’ll be moving back later this summer though, so you’ll get your Cali fix while you’re back in London!

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