This week, my body has finally decided to give into the three weeks of travel and exploration with a nice cold. I’ve been walking to new neighborhoods each day and planning future weekend trips with such excitement, I kind of forgot that bodies need sleep and relaxation every once in a while. Waking up on a Sunday morning with a nasty head cold calls for only one thing – lots and lots of tea. Anyway, enough with the sick talk – on to my wonderful day spent walking around Notting Hill and Kensington.
Luckily for me, just as the homesickness/what-am-I-doing-in-this-far-from-home-for-three-months freak out happened, I was seeing someone from my home town the very next morning. Sharing a nice farm-to-fork breakfast and not having to explain where I’m from made me feel rejuvenated and excited to continue exploring. Daylesford farm shop is a wonderful Slow Food Movement approved spot with the freshest of juices and menu items. I went for a chia bircher (my new found breakfast item love) and a B-Vibrant juice of carrot, ginger, celery and orange. Tasty stuff, I’m telling you.
My hometown friend left for work at Whole Foods – the world’s largest and amazing location – and I continued to explore the lovely Notting Hill. Portobello Road is an amazing antique store filled spot and among the tourist souvenirs are the greatest finds. I found the Portobello Print & Map Shop that had extremely rare maps from all over the world. I was so tempted to buy one of the United Kingdom to frame for my apartment back home, but couldn’t find the perfect one to spend one hundred pounds on. The quaint restaurants and cafes that fill this area are enchanting and exactly the image I had of Notting Hill, thanks to the movies I’ve seen.
If I hadn’t already had a killer cup of juice at Daylesford, this little stand on Portobello Road would have stolen my heart and tastebuds with fresh juice squeezed right in front of you. Among little booths like this was the coolest pub on the corner (pictured above). For a few minutes I was trying to figure out if it was an art installation or something, with it’s plant covered walls – nope, just a wonderful little pub! Definitely putting that on my list for future explorations!
Notting Hill and Kensington are full of the most wonderful rows of homes. If I post enough pictures of this area, will I get to live here some day? Maybe just a little bit of wishful thinking? London and the UK in general have already stolen my heart. I’m planning for the day when I get to move back here and open a nice little bakery…what a life that would be.
Just a two minute walk from the Whole Foods on Kensington High Street is the breathtaking home of the royals – Kensington Palace. It’s beautifully landscaped (duh) and on the sunny afternoon, the grounds were filled with locals and tourists sitting down for picnics. I took the liberty of exploring the grounds for an hour or two and purchased a little souvenir tin of the “palace approved” tea.
I don’t think I’ll ever get over how many neat things there are just a twenty minute walk from my temporary home. It’s really intriguing to hear the locals take on a Royal Family – there are definitely those who enjoy the tradition of it, and some who really dislike their position in society completely decided on their bloodline. Most of all, the tourists are far more interested in their palaces and royal lifestyle than the locals – but you can’t blame us, we don’t see this everyday!
Three weeks in and with a cold brewing, tea is all I can hope for. The fall weather is here and my sweaters are being pulled out of the closet – so time to hunker down for the ‘study’ part of studying abroad. I had a wonderful time exploring this new area, and there are definitely trips planned for the weekends ahead, but the top of my list includes a nice little nap and some Netflix to get me back to a healthy state!