Take Me There: London

First, I want to thank the amazing Erina Pindar of Smart Flyer for helping me with my birthday trip. I literally, LIT-ER-ALLY, could not have done this without her! She truly is amazing at what she does.
FAVORITE NEIGHBORHOOD
It’s a tie! Mayfair for the posh shopping, and Shoreditch for the Brooklyn vibe. What can I say I’m an uptown girl, but loves a gritty downtown world as well. Shoreditch you’ll find local artists, home of Banksy, and the Shoreditch House, sister to the SoHo House. Mayfair you’ll find super pricey shopping. Things you only see in Vogue advertisements right before your eyes!
BEST SPOT FOR COFFEE

Fernandez and Wells. You can find them all over but they have the cutest cafes if you’re wanting something better than starbucks, cafe nero or pret a manger.

LUNCH ON THE FLY
A pub. Find a pub. Particularly one that has a portrait of the Queen. Have a local ale, get the fish and chips, and just live as a local.
DINNER WITH FRIENDS
Chiltern Firehouse. It’s fab, it’s shamefully scene-y and the food is a hybrid of american and British. I’ve seen Sienna Miller, Stella McCartney and Ellie Goulding there, so you never know who you’ll run into.

HIDDEN GEM

Aubaine. Super cute cafe. It’s nestled between Victoria Beckham and Vanessa Bruno’s shops, and my cappuccino was perfection.
OFF-THE-RADAR PLACE TO STAY
The Arts Club. Most people think the Rosewood or the Ritz, but if you get a chance to ever stay at the Arts Club, DO. It’s a members only hotel (thank you, Erina) and with only 16 rooms, you really feel taken care of. Each room is it’s own art gallery with portraits and paintings from artists and information on each piece, and you are right in the middle of everything which makes it such a great central place to stay.
DRINKS WITH A VIEW
The Aqua Shard. You are 31 floors up and the view of the city is absolutely amazing.
FAVORITE WAY TO MANEUVER
Taxi is fine, but if you would like to try it, take the tube. Super easy, color coded railways and your phone GPS accurately gets you on the right trains. Plus, it’s faster than sitting in traffic. Get an Oyster card in the station and use it for your stay. And it’s customary to spot celebs riding the tube as my friends tell me, there’s even websites to mark certain social instances like hereand here while I was in London.
FAVORITE TOURISTY-THING
The Tower of London. Just getting a chance to see the crown jewels was breathtaking. The armor room of past kings and knights was pretty amaze too. Get a guide to take you (thank you again, Erina) so they can tell you ins and outs, royalty secrets and who’s heads were chopped at the guillotine in the very spot you stand. Also, if you’re a fan of the Crown or Victoria you’d particularly enjoy.
Here is a list of a few tips I picked up while we were there:
  • People don’t tip. But a few places added gratuity on the bill. Taxis, bartenders etc don’t expect a tip.
  • Brits aren’t tied to their phones. Unless you want to look super American, put your phones away during meals, tea, coffee, walking, basically anything everyday.
  • This is not the south, West Palm Beach. Leave the Pucci and Lilly Pulitzer at home as most people wear dark clothing.
  • Brits like us because we are so nice. Be nice.