You know I love to visit London.. I lived there as an au pair for a little over half a year and I still miss that city daily. So whenever the opportunity comes up for a trip, I'm always up for it.. This time we went for a very brief one night city trip of 36 hours and booked a room in the Ace Hotel, a hotel in the East of London that I've always been quite curious about after reading rave reviews about most of the Ace hotels around the world. It's definitely not a budget hotel, but when traveling for just one night we always like to make the hotel one of the reasons to visit.
I didn't bring my camera with me on this trip, so you'll only be seeing mobile pictures.. I hope you'll like them anyway. At Ace Hotel we got the Standard room: a spacious room with two double beds, a huge sofa next to the window, a spacious bathroom with a bathtub and nice amenities and all sorts of hipster equipment such as a record player, a curated selection of records to play and little bits and pieces to make your stay more comfortable. The hotel staff is very friendly and welcoming, and the coffee place that also serves the lobby makes some pretty good lattes! While we found a spot in the lobby to have a coffee when we arrived, we didn't on the second day when we wanted to relax before heading back to the Eurostar terminal. The place seems to be a co-working space during the day making it quite the task to find a free spot to enjoy a drink in between city discoveries or right before you're leaving. I normally love hanging out in hotel lobbies, so I hope that next time we visit an Ace Hotel we have more luck!
The hotel is conveniently located in the East of London, within a short walking distance of the tube stations Old Street and Liverpool Street Station. There are a variety of great pubs, clubs and restaurants in the proximity of the hotel. We usually like to dine out in the hotel area as there's no hassle with last buses or taxi's to deal with. And the East of London is always a good idea if you're looking for a fun night out!
The very popular The Book Club in Leonard Street is just a ten minutes walk away, they serve a delicious straigh-forward breakfast that people stand in line for during weekends. We went on a weekday, which was much easier and involved no waiting at all. The coffee is great and my stash of pancakes was amazing. Enough said! We also had dinner in The Hoxton Grill in Great Eastern Street which is once again just a short ten minutes walk from the Ace hotel. We slept in The Hoxton before and had drinks in the bar, but didn't try out the food at the time. I ordered a burger and a variety of side dishes and liked all of them - perhaps I would've just wanted a little more broccoli.. But that's me nagging. I absolutely love the lobby of The Hoxton that turns into a restaurant and a bar at night - the atmosphere is vibrant, the drinks are delicious and the music is good. And just a little random side-note that has nothing to do with these places or the hotel: these new Marvellous Mix-Ups bags by Cadbury are just DIVINE! So delicious..
On the first day in town we took our time to visit a couple of photography galeries in the Oxford Circus area and of course also took our time for a little shopping. I always go to Victoria's Secret for loungewear and underwear, take a look at the Tall collection in Topshop and browse some of the other shops we don't have here. For lunch we went to a fairly new place called Ethos in Eastcastle Street, a vegetarian self-service restaurant where you pay for your lunch and dinner by weight. We had a great and very tasty lunch, the staff was very friendly and welcoming and we were well rested and recharged to continue our day. A definite recommendation!
I also finally visited the gorgeous Anthropologie store in Regent Street - I want everything they stock! It's such a beautiful store.. There's also a little Anthropologie corner in Selfridges on Oxford Street, but if you have the time you should definitely head for the main store. So worth it! I bought myself a pretty mug (I couldn't contain myself..) but definitely will buy some decor items next visit.
On our second day we took a stroll through Regent's Park, had lunch in the Monocle Café in Marylebone (also a definite recommendation!), ate some expensive but delicious cake in Greenberry on the Primrose Hill high street and walked along the canals right until Camden Lock. I forgot to take pictures of all of this.. I was definitely too busy enjoying these moments.
If you're also up for a small trip to London, do take the time to check out some nice hotels and be sure to book early in advance for the best Eurostar rates. You can also check out ready-made London city trip formulas, there's a hotel for anyone's budget..
Special thanks to Thomas Cook for sponsoring part of our Eurostar tickets