Really though, where did this summer go? How has Labor Day weekend already come and gone? It feels like I was heading off to my cousin’s wedding in the UK not too long ago, but it’s already been a couple months.
During my quick trip to Europe, I had one full day to spend in London. I’m a planner, so the day was all mapped out (literally though, I love to create my own Google maps when I visit new places). I wanted to visit some London bookstores, do a bit of shopping, go to the park, and visit a museum. We never did make it to the museum because of timing, but I did manage to check off the rest of the list.
On that day, I woke up to beautiful, sunny weather. After a bit of breakfast, my mom and I took the train into town. London’s indie bookstore game is strong, and you know how I love books, so I try to visit as many bookstores as I can when I’m there. This time, I went to the London Review Bookshop, which was lovely. I remember that the main bookstore had a really eye-catching window display and there’s also a café attached on the side.
Afterwards, we walked along Charing Cross Road and popped into Waterstones. I browsed around for a bit and picked up a few books. When I went to the checkout, the cashier told me that they were having a sale on certain paperbacks (buy 2, get the 3rd for free). I hadn’t realized, so she recommended The Underground Railroad for my third book, which I’d wanted to read anyway. Even though it technically wasn’t part of the sale, she gave me the deal anyway. What a gem!
From there we headed to Foyles, which might be my favorite bookstore out of the ones that I’ve visited in London so far. I went for the first time in December, but it was only a brief visit, so I knew I had to go back. It’s absolutely massive and I think they have 4 or 5 floors filled with books, books, and more books. It reminds me of the Strand, which is my favorite bookstore here in NYC.
By then, my mom was tired from all the walking around, so she headed home. While I waited for my brother and cousin to meet me, I walked over to Oxford Street to do some shopping. My brother wanted to shoot some footage in Oxford Circle for a video project he was working on, which turned out pretty well.
After that, the plan was to take the tube to Hyde Park and rent a paddleboat. Silly us though, we accidentally went to Green Park, which does not have paddleboats. The afternoon rolled into early evening and we wouldn’t have made it to Hyde Park in time, so we took a raincheck and strolled around Green Park instead. I didn’t remember this, but Green Park is right next to Buckingham Palace. We walked over to the palace to pay our respects to the Queen and take a few photos.
We were pretty hungry by then, so we walked to the West End and found a Korean barbecue spot. The restaurant was a bit of a random choice, but the food ended up being delicious, so I would definitely go back there. Don’t you just love when you stumble onto a great spot like that?
Our final stop for the night was Chinatown so that my brother could capture some night footage. I didn’t even know there was a Chinatown in London, so it was cool to visit a new neighborhood.
This wasn’t my first or second trip to London, but I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of what London has to offer. I’ve been to London mostly to visit family, but I’ve been thinking that I need to plan a dedicated trip to London to spend a few days exploring the city. London, hopefully we’ll see each other again soon!