London Sky Garden

The Sky Garden/Sky Pod Bar in London is probably one of my favorite “sky high” bars that I’ve been to yet. It’s a little oasis in the middle of the City of London and a nice little break from the crowds and transport and business going on below.

Located in the Walkie Talkie Building (20 Fenchurch St), the Sky Garden is literally that…a public garden in the sky. It’s free to enter, so long as you book a time, and can be visited just to enjoy the gardens, or to enjoy drinks, or even to have dinner at one of the restaurants. I’ve always been only for drinks. Of course, you pay the price of having drinks in the sky, but they are delicious – and beautiful! They also have fantastic cheese and meat platters, so don’t be afraid to arrive with an appetite.

I visited for the first time with my friend Lucy back in the summer and took Sara, Hope, and Sean when Sara was in town last week. They were completely different experiences! In the summer, of course, it was still relatively light outside and you could see everything. This time, it was dark – the city was lit up and beautiful, but it made it hard for us to get pictures. I also have yet to go before the balcony closes in the evening (in my opinion it closes a bit too early, but I understand the concern!) so I feel like I haven’t gotten the full experience.

I highly recommend the Sky Garden for anyone visiting London! Now that it’s been open for a bit, it’s even possible to make a reservation the same day for some last minute plans. My goal is to go back in the daytime next time so I can actually go outside…hopefully when it is warmer as well! I promise better pictures then, but until then, here is a look at my most recent trip….

  [Aren’t the drinks just beautiful?]

    [Glaring eyes is the price you pay for trying to get the whole group in a picture]

      [A blurry (but still beautiful) through-the-window shot of Tower Bridge]

girls vs globe linkup button

Advertisements

When Friends Visit

I have a love-hate relationship with having friends come visit London. I love pretty much everything about it: reuniting my friends, showing them my favorite places in London, traveling, etc. But it really stresses me out. I think it’s all part of the wanting everyone to be having a good time always thing. Working from home, I can be around my friends, but can’t really go and do anything with them, so I kind of have to send them off on their own during the day and then meet up with them in the evening.

We also have a very, very small flat. This means that air mattress is a way to go, and I must say…it isn’t a comfy air mattress.

However, despite all of this, I am always inviting friends to come stay. We’ve developed a bit of a routine for when friends/family visit that guarantees they see more than just the touristy stuff. As I mentioned, I ship my friends off into London during the day with decent directions on how to get places and my personal recommendations. Then, when everyone is free, we go for the following:

  • Fish & Chips – We used to pick up fish and chips from Moxie’s in Clapham South and bring it home to our friends. Now that we’ve moved, our go to is Kerbisher & Malt on Abbeville Road. Craft beers + delicious fish (& scampi!) + an overload of chips = heaven on earth.IMG_0001.JPG

 

  • Our Local Pub – Sunday roast, Wednesday burger night, any day drinks – it’s the perfect opportunity to show our friends a *real* London pub.  

 

  • A Swanky Bar – There are so many that I want to try! Rooftops, sky high bars, pop ups. I usually drag my friends to something I’ve never even been to, but sometimes I go for a repeat.  

 

  • Cook at Home – Save money. Eat in pajamas. Show off our new cooking skills. Drink wine. Play Cards Against Humanity. Everyone wins on the nights when we just can’t be bothered to do anything.IMG_5193

 

  • Afternoon Tea – If we have a free weekend day, this is probably my favorite thing to do with visiting friends. It’s extremely British and so good for a girls day out!IMG_4001.JPG

 

  • Ticketed Event – There is ALWAYS something going on in London. From Cocktail Week (Marisa’s visit) to pop up experiences to musicals and plays, there are endless things to do that provide a great London experience without all of the tourist queues.IMG_0020

 

  • Weekend Away – I try to travel with every friend who visits. After all, they’re coming all the way across the ocean, so it’s worth seeing more than just London! This started when Sara visited last year after I first moved here and we went to Nice. Then, Marisa visited and we hit Marseille. We choose a cheap and relatively quick place so we can make the most of it and just go!IMG_1568

This list has changed a bit, but after Sara’s (second) visit this past week, I think this is the best of the combinations. It’s nice to have a little routine that we can tailor to each friend who visits. Next I need to figure out the perfect three day itinerary for sending my friends off to explore London on their own.

Who wants to be my next visitor?

Shakespeare & Stuff

Last night was one of the nicest summer nights I have had in London – Greek food, Shakespeare, and good weather!
Sean and I went to see Much Ado About Nothing with his parents at the Globe Theatre. I walked there from work because I have recently discovered my love for walking around London. Honestly, I don’t know why I tried to avoid walking previously because I’ve come to realize that there is so much of London I don’t get to see. Incredible architecture, quirky shops and restaurants, stunning views. I am trying to take advantage of the rest of the summer and walk everywhere I can in order to discover these hidden gems before its cold and rainy and dreadful outside. 

 [A little snippet of my walk across Blackfriars Bridge. Not the prettiest part of London, but a welcome change nonetheless]

Anyway, before the play we went for dinner at The Real Greek. It’s got nothing on Santorini, but I absolutely love Greek food and I hadn’t had it in so long (since Greektown, Chitown). Sean and I shared a few (delicious) small plates including watermelon & feta salad (yummy) and halloumi & vegetable skewers (yummier). 

The play itself was incredible. I thought I would be cold by the end of the evening due to the whole outdoors thing, but thanks to the Globe blocking the wind, the air inside was the perfect still temperature. We were in the front row to the side and, while my view of one area on the stage was blocked, it was still a great spot to be. Being behind the props, we could see a lot of the comedic stuff going on (characters hiding, sly glances, etc.). Also, we rented cushions to relieve our bums from the stress of the wooden seats, so I was comfy the whole time! 

 [So many people crammed into such a small space – a great atmosphere to be a part of] 
 [That pole. THE pole. Is there a person behind it? Is this mid play? Who knows.]

I had read the play before, but it had been awhile and it was so refreshing to experience the comedy firsthand. I was laughing so much and, when I got tired (it was the end of a long work day,) the humor picked me back up again. That was my first time seeing a show at the Globe – I’ve only been to the Sam Wanamaker theatre for Duchess of Malfi – and I would love to go back. I’m thinking the Christmas shows will be freezing but wonderful! 

 [Oh yeah and London isn’t so bad at sunset]