This summer, spunky Los Angeles local Taylor Block interned for me. Taylor attends the Savannah College of Art and Design where she studies Fashion Marketing and Management. It's there that I met her while guest speaking at her college. She approached me after the lecture and the rest was history. She spent the summer working for me helping with everything from social media to working parties alongside me. When the summer was up, Taylor left for London where she's currently attending the London College of Fashion. We've kept in touch and I felt it necessary she share some of the unique experiences she's had. She's only been there a month and she already sounds like a local, sans accent. For those traveling across the pond, you can forget Lonely Planet, Taylor has the perfect guide to enjoying the city. And so, I gave her a guest spot on my blog to give some insider tricks to you.
Hello Lulu lovers! I felt so honored when Lulu offered me the opportunity to share some of my London experiences with you all! As amazing as London is, I'm definitely not eating as well as I did while working for Lulu. As you can imagine, she made the most amazing meals for me while I interned for her. Believe me, I never went hungry! Her kitchen is a snacker's dream and I'm pretty sure I put on some poundage while working for her--no regrets though! As Lulu explained, I'm currently studying at the London College of Fashion. The city is absolutely amazing. For those who have never been, I recommend booking your ticket immediately. You can stay on my couch! The energy here in infectious. Even the weather can't bring me down! I've had some amazing experiences here, everything from attending an exclusive London Fashion Week after party to dining in pitch black. Here are some of the highlights for me:
Shopping: If you're looking for great London fashion, be sure to check out Oxford Circus. You honestly can't go wrong. You'll see everything from the iconic Top Shop to the gorgeous department store, Selfridges. You're bound to hit big crowds no matter what time of day but believe me it's worth it. In London, the department stores are much more glamorous than in the US. Their food courts are unreal. In the US they usually contain Hot Dog on a Stick and Panda Express. In London you'll find adorable tea rooms and champagne and oyster bars. Very posh!
Vintage shopping: If you're more interested in vintage shopping definitely check out Brick Lane, Camden, and Covent Garden have some really unique finds. And the rumors are true, fashion is light years ahead here.
Best chain restaurant: Though I hate to admit it, one of my favorite places to eat in London is in fact a chain. It's called Patisserie Valerie and it's an amazing French inspired patisserie. The decor is adorable, service is good, food is great, and prices are reasonable. All and all, a home run in my book. I'd highly recommend, the poached eggs on toast, hot chocolate, or almond croissant.
Best unique restaurant: If you're looking for a truly unique dining experience, Dans le Noir is a no brainer. At this unique restaurant, diners enjoy their meals in complete and utter darkness. The concept is to enjoy a completely sensory experience. When you enter the restaurant, you deposit all phones and purses into a locker. You're then taken into the dining hall by your waiter who is blind. You also don't know what you're eating. You are able to choose between four different menus (meat, seafood, vegetarian, and surprise). Aside from that, you don't have a clue what you're eating. You take a leap of faith and enjoy! After dinner they then show you a picture of exactly what you ate. I later found out I ate pidgeon, Guinea fowl, and lamb. What made this such an amazing experience aside from not being able to see my food or my date, was that I probably wouldn't have eaten half of the things on my plate had I known what they were. But without knowing, I was able to really enjoy it. And everything was delicious. Dinner is a little steep but was truly worth every penny. If I win the lottery, I'll definitely be going back!
Tea in London: As they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. So, when in London, do as the British do. And the British love their tea. So naturally I had to go for afternoon tea at the Georgian Restaurant in Harrods. The room is absolutely spectacular. Very, very classy. Their variety of tea is impressive and each sandwich and scone is better than the last. The best part: you get unlimited refills on all the little treats! When they first told my party and I this when we sat down, our mouths dropped open. We thought for sure we'd eat our weight in scones and chocolates. We could barely even finish two trays! The scones with heavy cream are surprisingly filling. Regardless it was a delectable experience and so much fun to get dressed up for such a classy tradition. And after tea we were able to get lost in Harrods (believe me it's not hard, the place is truly a maze). It really is better than any department store I've ever experienced. Aside from having the usual departments it had multiple restaurants, a pet store, pet spa, nail salon, spa for humans, hair salon, and so much more. When I saw the pet spa I couldn't help but think Mister Pickles and Teddy would have an amazing time there. They even have a pet gym equipped with mini treadmills and little TVs for your dog to watch on while exercising. You can pretty much do anything imaginable at Harrods except spend the night.
The Georgian Restaurant in Harrods
Best Sneekys: For those of you who enjoy sneekys as much as Lulu, I would have to recommend the London Cocktail Club or Dukes. One of London Cocktail Club's signature drinks is the Bacon & Egg coupe, which is bourbon fat washed with smoked bacon, shaken with lemon, sugar and egg white. Yes, the prices are a little expensive but you're paying for the experience and theatrics. I can't help but feel if something is being lit on fire, I'm getting my money's worth. Dukes is famous for being James Bond author Ian Felming's favorite place for a drink. He's said to have created the legendary line "shaken not stirred" while drinking martinis in the hotel's bar. You can still enjoy a martini at Dukes today, or learn to make a perfect martini cocktail (shaken, not stirred of course) at a martini masterclass.