Despite having moved to Ipswich nearly three years ago (HOW. HAS. TIME. MOVED. SO. FAST) , a think a little part of me will always still feel like a Londoner.
It’s the place I was born and the place where I truly discovered myself. The place where I started my career and the place that kickstarted a life I could only dream of.
And, I’ve gotta be honest here, I’d go a little stir crazy up in Suffolk if it wasn’t for my weekly trips to the capital for meetings, shopping (oh the shopping <3), Uber and my baby girl, brunch.
So I’ve teamed up with Matalan to a) snap some cute new outfit shots (and yes, I’ve worn those dungarees about 7 days out of the past 10 – no regrets) and b) share my fave little places to visit in London.
COLUMBIA ROAD FLOWER MARKET
It took until Christmas 2016 for me to finally cross this London hot-spot off my must-see list but it was even greater than all my blogger cliche dreams could ever have hoped. It’s located on Columbia Road (ground-breaking I know), which is about a 10 minute walk from Shoreditch. It’s open every Sunday from 8am til about 3pm and they have every type of flower your heart could ever desire – plus way bigger bunches at a way lower price than your standard Tesco bouquet.
Picture the market from Eastenders. It’s exactly like that, but with more flowers and less Phil Mitchell. Plus there’s plenty of cute coffee shops and homeware boutiques on the same road.
THE HOXTON HOTEL
I’m absolutely buzzing because The Hoxton Hotel is opening in Williamsburg and Paris this year and it’s by far my fave hotel chain (if you can call three hotels a chain). Not only is it a pretty affordable and cool place for an overnight stay (you get free breakfast bags hung on your door), but it’s a great spot for coffee, cake and catching up on emails.
There’s a branch in Holborn but also one in Shoreditch – which is my go-to place if ever I need to stay in London. You’ll love the giant circle mirrors in the bedroom, perfect for an outfit selfie.
Clerkenwell Grind is the newest location to join the Grind gang (there’s one in Shoreditch, one at London Bridge and one in Soh,o amongst various others) and it’s by far my fave. It’s the decor that really sells it to me because it was made for Instagram. There’s baby pink velvet seats and marble tables and navy blue walls and gold details and hello can I move in?
Plus whenever I’ve been on a weekday morning it’s always been pretty empty which makes getting a seat super easy. For breakfast they do everything from avo on toast (plus eggs and prosciutto – hello), to pancakes and French toast. Divine.
Now I realise there’s Lush spas located in quite a few of their branches (including Edinburgh, Leeds and Bath), but there’s two in London – Oxford Street and Chelsea, and I’m forever on the cusp of booking another treatment. They’re by far the best massages I’ve ever had.
Whilst a little pricey, the spas are hidden away in the branches and you feel like you’ve been transported away to a distant location, and the massages are more like grand experiences than a classic Groupon deal. I can highly recommend the Synaesthesia, but have been recommended The Good Hour for more of a deep tissue massage.
Eggbreak is a new breakfast find for me and I’m desperate to get back there. Nestled in between cotton-candy coloured Notting Hill houses (hello, pretty Instagram snap), Eggbreak is an all day egg-restaurant. And, whilst there’s classics like avo on toast and scrambled eggs, there’s also things like pancakes, waffles and a fried chicken sandwich that’s screaming out to me.
You can’t book, so it’s well worth a wander in if you’re in the area.
I really, really wanted to include a burger place on this list and it’s taken me ages to narrow it down. MEATliquor is super delicious (the chilli cheese fries, the buffalo wings, the bacon cheeseburger are all so hideously perfect), but I’m also a v big fan of some of the other classics like Shake Shack and Honest Burger.
Shake Shack is great if you want something quick that’s a little sexier than McDonald’s (their concretes, which are frozen custard ice creams, are divine), whilst the rosemary fries at Honest Burger are A+++, plus they offer a full gluten-free menu.
For these snaps I’m styling up one of Matalan’s key-pieces for SS17, the £14 blue stripe shirt. I teamed mine with the dungarees because I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and I’m not sure I’ll ever look back tbh. I tried to look hip and happening with a classic pair of white trainers and a black biker jacket.
To find out how other bloggers styled up their striped shirt and for more top tips about other UK cities, check out the #DisoverMatalan hashtag over on Insta.
This post is sponsored by Matalan, but all outfit and London love very much my own.