It's a city renowned for its terrible weather (yes, it is true, what they say) but not even the endless grey skies could dampen (pun intended) my love for London.
A few weeks ago, and after three of the best years, I left London to move back to Melbourne. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss it (minus the grey skies) every single day.
Essentially an agglomeration of villages, each with its own personality; London is a truly vibrant, cultural melting pot of a city, with an endless stream of things to see and do. As Samuel Johnson put it, "when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life". You may not tire of London, but boy, will it tire you out!
There is so much I love about London, that it would take months to get through my 'must do' list, as any of my friends who have recently visited will attest! So here's a roundup of what I miss most (weirdly, or not so weirdly for me, they're mostly food related, ha). L x
Columbia Road Flower Market is (was...) my happy place on a Sunday, just not between 10.30am and 1.30pm, when the market gets crazy busy! Grab a coffee (see below for my favourite), wander through the stalls, and admire/purchase beautiful blooms to your heart's content. Make sure you explore the little back streets around Columbia Road; the colourful doors are too cute to miss!
Allpress Espresso Bar on Redchurch Street was my daily lifesaver, serving up Antipodean-approved (and often Antipodean-made) coffee. The London Roastery and Cafe in Dalston is great spot for brunch too. Couldn't be happier that my new work, Tecture, is right around the corner from the Allpress Melbourne Roastery and Cafe, so I don't have to give up my daily Allpress!
Dishoom... 3 words: Bacon Naan Roll. Probably one of the things I'll miss the most, as there isn't anything quite like it in Melbourne. The bottomless chai at brunch isn't bad either! Even better, is that there are several locations across London.
Springtime in London is my favourite, those blossoming trees just never get old (except perhaps if you suffer from hayfever). If I've passed a tree in bloom, then I've probably also photographed it.
Gagosian Gallery has locations all over the world and I was lucky enough to work right around the corner from the Britannia Street Gallery. Not only are the exhibitions beautiful (recent showings include Richard Serra and Walter de Maria) but the architecture by Caruso St John is the stuff minimalist dreams are made of.
Granger & Co is the home away from home for many Australians based in London and they've been so kind to have three locations conveniently spread across London in Notting Hill, Clerkenwell, and Kings Cross, with a fourth on the way.
Taberna do Mercado is a Portuguese restaurant located within Spitalfields Market and if you are unfamiliar with Portuguese cuisine, get familiar with it stat! Make sure you order the Cuttlefish & Pigs Trotter dish; it's way more appetising than it sounds.
Gyms... because you have to counteract all that eating somehow! I frequented a bunch of great classes using Classpass... Rumble at 1Rebel, a gym brilliantly designed by Studio-C102; Methodology X with Jen at BLOK, situated in an old tram depot and inspired by minimalist art; Twerk Werkz at Kelechnekoff with Kelechi, who is all sorts of crazy fun; and M3: Fusion with taskmaster Matt at Studio Lagree UK, delivering a burn so bad, but oh so good. And I couldn't forget my one-on-one training with Rich at Body Studio, he always knows just how hard to push you!
Duck & Waffle is 40 floors up, with stunning views (especially on a clear day) over London, and open 24 hours a day. Because there's never a wrong time for confit duck served on a waffle. You'll also get a prime seat to view my favourite building in London...
The Gherkin, designed by Foster and Partners is probably one of the most recognisable skyscrapers in the world. If you follow me on instagram, you won't be surprised to find this on my most missed list; I would take a photo of this beauty almost every time I walked by... which was practically every day!