July 6th Friday: Hyde Park/Notting Hill
11:15 Leave flat (late leave due to jetlag)
12:00 Lunch @ Maggie Jones
2:30 Diana Memorial Playground
3:30 Walk North out of Hyde Park and take cab to Portobello Road
4:00 Explore Portobello Road
6:45 Dinner Reservation @ Pizza East
The excitement and anxiety that I have leading up to any trip is quite consuming. I have a fear of flying which makes me super nervous before flights so I manage that anxiety by organizing, packing, repacking, organizing some more, planning my trip, etc. Anyone else get like that? Anyways – the flight went well regardless of me being a nervous wreck. The kids slept like angels, and played so well when they were awake. Click here to read my earlier post on what I pack in my carry on and click here to read what I pack for the kids to make the flight as relaxing and easy as possible.
We managed to get our bags, top up our Oyster Cards, and get on the tube rather quickly and were checking in to our AirBnB in Covent Garden a couple hours after landing. We always stay in this adorable flat directly above The Round House Pub for its insanely central location. After exploring Covent Garden quickly, we stopped into Carluccio’s directly across the street from our flat – which we love to take the kids for easy, affordable Italian. Our flat definitely isn’t for everyone – we love to be right in the middle of the city life. The noise doesn’t actually bother me; I rather like being sung to sleep by the drunken, English pub-goers beneath us.
Originally we had planned to leave the apartment at 9:30 to hit up Harrod’s first but the jetlag hit the kids hard – they were up from around 1:00-6:00AM and it was absolute murder. We were all so tired so we took shifts staying up with them. When they finally went to sleep they slept like the dead and it was near impossible to wake them for the day so we ended up not even leaving our flat until just past 11:00.
First things first, we jumped on the tube and made a beeline for my favorite restaurant ever – Maggie Jones’s – a rustic and cozy spot serving traditional British comfort food. The décor is farm-style with a romantic, candlelit vibe – it feels like a true escape from the busy city. Baskets filled with golden wheat and dried lavender hang from the ceilings, cozy nooks and dark corners are set aglow by the candlesticks in wax-covered wine bottles, and their rustic, wood floors make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. My favorite dish is their Creamy Fish Pie with a side of French Beans. Omgggg it’s so divine! If you don’t eat meat, their Root Vegetable Pot Pie is also SO rich and delicious. We’ve dined twice now where we got lucky and the kids happened to fall asleep as soon as we sat down leaving us to have a lovely lunch at a (rare) leisurely pace where I was able to nibble my food, chit chat and sip on wine.
After we couldn’t eat another bite, we headed over to Hyde Park. The entrance near Kensington Palace is a short walk from Maggie Jones’s so it’s the perfect place to walk off that Fish Pie. We headed north, stopping at the Diana Memorial Playground on the way to let them get the extra energy out. After they wore themselves out we took a taxi to Portobello Road for some shopping and browsing, and to my absolute delight we happened upon one of the most beautiful sites – am adorable little oyster and champagne bar right in the middle of all the busy street vendors. Oysters and champagne are so heavenly to me and these were just perfect on a hot summer day in London. Served with cold champs and mignonette, I devoured a whole plate of them and could have easily had another if Wiley had not dragged me away (while reminding me not to spoil my dinner).
After that we popped into one of my favorite kid’s clothing shop, Cath Kidston. I adore their kid clothes – especially the dresses, pajamas (got these) and backpacks (picked up this one for Vivi for preschool). From there we kept heading up Portobello Road until we arrived at our favorite pizza spot – Pizza East.
We always make sure to stop here when we’re in town and order the almonds and olives for an app, an Aperol spritz or two for me, their butter lettuce and avocado salad, and a couple pizzas (usually the mushroom for us and the mozzarella basil for the kids). SO good.
After dinner, we stopped by St. Luke Mews (famous for it’s pink house featured in the movie Love, Actually) for a little blog photo shoot to end the day. Every time I am in London we recreate this day and it never disappoints!
Outfit details for Day 1:
Vivienne: Liberty Print Dress, Meduse Jelly Sandals