Stansted Mountfitchet | Essex

   

       

I’ve been sick all weekend with a terrible cold. It was horrible! It comes like any cold does: hits you mildly on Friday and then by the height of the weekend it’s knocked you cold. Then you are recovered enough to be back at work on Monday. Yippee!

I missed a great day in London, where I was suppose to be watching the Oxford and Cambridge boat race with friends on the river. It was a sunny, beautiful day as well which made me feel even worse. Oh well. Maybe next year.

So on the Sunday, even when I was feeling horrendous, I packed up my tissue box and concealer, popped a few pills, drank some vitamin c, and headed with Ben to the early town of Stansted Mountfitchet. 

This town has a lot of local history, but is incredibly small. We were there for no more than 3 hours and we saw absolutely everything. They have a small high street full of cute pubs and old timber framed houses, and they even have an adorable old windmill! 

There is even Mountfitchet Castle which is a reconstruction of the old Norman fort that once was on the site. We paid around £10 each to get in, and there was a ton of things to do and see. It is set up as a semi accurate representation with plaques of the history. It was a bit cheesy to me as an adult, but it would be a great day out with the family. In fact there were several families there when we visited!

City of London | London

            

Not to boast, but I would say I have one of the best commutes for a London worker. I start early, as I live outside of the city about halfway to Cambridge. So around 7:30 I head out of my lovely little flat I share with my fiancé, and walk four minutes down the road to our local train station. At this point, there is not much to share. My train station is bog standard, the walk to it fast and mostly through a parking lot. My trains are clean and fast, and I always get a window seat facing forwards at a table (I am a creature of habit after all). 

At 8:20am I arrive into Liverpool Street station among crowds of commuters, and it is here that the best part of my commute begins: 

I walk from Liverpool Street Station to Southwark.

It’s a 25 minute walk at a good pace. This sounds long when you say it out loud, but trust me, it goes by quickly. I walk through the middle of the City of London, past the Bank of England, the Royal Exchange, with the tall towers like the Gerkin, Cheese-Grater, and Walkie Talkie in the background. I pass over Bank and Mansion House, the home of the Lord Mayor. I wander through old cobbled roads near tucked away pubs and wind up on Southwark Bridge to walk over the Thames. To my left is the City, the Shard, and Tower Bridge. To my right is St Paul’s, Millenium Bridge, the Globe Theatre, and the Tate Modern.

When England is basked in sunshine, this is where you need to linger. London always makes me smile.

Just thought I’d share! What are your favourite walks through the city?  X

Copenhagen | Denmark

   

       

Part 2! 

Here is my summary of the trip in 5 tips:

1) Stay in an AirBnB location that is not in the inner city. Reason for that? All of the main attractions are located next to each other for the most part, so Ben and I had no reason to head over to Norrebro or Vesterbro. We explored Christianshavn mostly because we were staying there!  And it was great to have that as an option.

2) Get active! Ben and I loved our run around the Kastellet and our walking tour. There are bikes, kayaks, boats, and walking trails all over the city. Get involved!

3) Nationalmuseet was well worth the visit. It’s free, well laid out, and filled with history.

4) We didn’t get a chance to go up the tower at Christiansborg Palace, so we paid 25kr and went up the Rundetarn instead. It was well worth the small amount of cash for the view at the top!

5) Nyhavn is gorgeous and one of the best places to sit along the harbour in the sunshine. Grab beers from the local shop along with some nibbles and have a mini picnic. It will save you a fortune rather than going for the pricey restaurants along the sides and you get the same view!

Just my opinion of course! See Copenhagen Part 1 here. X

Copenhagen | Denmark

   

       

This past holiday weekend, Ben and I decided to get away from our English lives and visit a new city. After much debate, we narrowed in on the Scandinavian city of Copenhagen! I jumped at the bit as it has been on my bucket list for ages… And away we went!

We flew in early Friday morning with the intention to stay for 4 whole days. This is more than enough time to see everything you want in the city- I’d say you could even do it in 3! But we were happy to take our time with the sites. We stayed in an AirBnB apartment in Christianshavn which was a short walk to all of the main attractions. It allowed us to really relax and eat in, which saved us a lot of money in the long run!

One thing I’ll start out saying is that many people find Copenhagen expensive. And it is, in one sense. But Ben and I found that if you were savvy with where you went to eat and drink, it was really equivalent to what you would get in any major city. We had a beer right off the main walkway and it came to around £4. We had an amazing sandwich with homemade bread at the coolest little cafe called the Next Door Cafe for only £5. You can go into the Nationalmuseet and up the tower of the Christiansborg Palace for free. And, as I always say, walking is the best way to see a city! We went on this free walking tour and had the best time!

Now, the city is known for being cycle friendly. Everyone is on bikes! It looked like so much fun. Ben and I decided to get in on some of the active energy and on Sunday went for a long run around the Kastellet and paused for a bit at the Little Mermaid Statue (my favourite fairy tale!). It was the best run along the water. We barely felt the miles as we put them on! I highly recommend it. If running is not your thing, grab a bike!

The city is lined with rows and rows of beautiful architecture and colourful buildings. I was in love! And all of the cute boutiques and design shops tempt you to spend all of your money… The objects are beautiful so I cannot say no to that! We walked away with two hanging metal wire candle holders and a carafe. No regrets.

I highly recommend a visit for a long weekend! This beautiful city will not disappoint. X

Farringdon and Clerkenwell | London

 

  

  

  

At the weekend, Ben and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary. 5 years! To celebrate, we headed into the great city for a day out, starting with a walk to the Museum of London.
Neither Ben nor myself had been to the museum before (free, by the way, as many of the great Lindon museums are) so we didn’t know what to expect. 

Inside was a large collection of artefacts from Londons history, from before the Romans arrived over 2000 years ago until current day. They have a life size Victorian walk, clothing, jewellery, signet rings, bones, maps, and my personal favourite, the Olympic Caldron from London 2012. It was a fantastic display.
Overall I’d say it took 3 hours to go through the museum in its entirety, and at the weekend the area surrounding the museum is calm and quiet.
After the Museum, we headed to The Modern Pantry for afternoon tea in which we had prosecco, and bite sized sandwiches and scones and brownies that were so scrumptious I could have had more. 

 The area around is great for a walk and only about 20 minutes on foot from Liverpool Street Station, and so lovely and quiet on weekends that I’d recommend a visit for the tourist fed up with tourists or the Londoner wanting some calm in the heart of the city.

Saffron Walden | Essex

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A return to the adorable town of Saffron Walden on Saturday had me already itching to return. This time, we went on a small day trip with cloudy skies and chilly weather, but it was still worth it. The antique furniture shop Reed & Son is always worth a wander (they currently have the most adorable footstools on sale for a really great price!), the local design shop worth popping your head in, and the market bustling as always on a Saturday.
We came away with a sports book (Ben’s) and new knitting yarn (mine).
Now, Ben and I have a habit on our day trips of doing one of two things: grab a pint and read, or grab a coffee and read. So, armed with our choice of material, we headed for one of the cutest independent cafes I’ve ever seen (called Molly’s Cafe at the back of the Crossed Keys Hotel).
I’m going to breeze over the fact that it was packed with nowhere to sit, so we ended up in the trusted Starbucks.
I always enjoy this gem of a town – definitely worth another visit. x

New York | New York

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So.. two of my colleagues are going to New York City. One for the first time, one for the second. I am so excited for them! But just talking to them both about what to see and do reminds me of when I use to live there many years ago. I lived first in Manhattan in Chelsea, and second in Hoboken on the Jersey side of the Hudson. I worked in Soho, and went out in the Lower East Side, Meatpacking District, and ate dinner in Greenwich village.

I never gave New York much of a chance, at first. I came to New York directly from London, and I missed London so much that it made me miserable. I use to cry on weekends and visit my local deli man for chocolate. I was super depressed in the great city. My only saving grace was my weekend runs down the Hudson River to Battery Park, where I would sit in the sunshine and look at the water thinking – you’re out there somewhere England!

I could go back now.  I remember fondly Highline walks, sushi, dumplings in China Town, old wine bars, the open air that was Central Park, great restaurants, and bars, and even better walks. It is so easy to overlook these things when you are there and dreaming of another city, but I think I did New York a major disservice.

So above are some photos from my time there – riverside drinks and kayaking on hot, sun-filled days! I do miss it – sometimes. x