The background: My husband (Cody) told me months ago we were going on a surprise trip for my 30th birthday and that I wasn’t going to find out until we left for the airport that week. Side note: I know I shock a lot of people when they find out I’m 30….but I feel like I’ve been 30 for at least 5 years now. Maybe it’s because Cody is older than me or because most of my friends are older than me? Maybe it’s because I already have fine lines and wrinkles…haha who knows! I digress. 🙂
Anyway, Cody told me we were going somewhere that was longer than 2 hours and less than 6 on a flight. I was also told it would be a similar temperature to Boston and it’s a big city. When I went to
Well, with the help of my lovely friend Mary I was able to pack a bag and head to the airport still not knowing where I was going. Oh! Other than the fact that I found out we were going somewhere abroad when Cody was on the phone and spilled those details sitting next to me. 😉 Sorry, Cody.
When we got to the airport he handed me our itinerary and I instantly saw it…LONDON!! My best friend, Misha, is currently living there so I realized they had been scheming behind the scenes. Then I found out we would be spending a day in Paris as well by taking the train. Best birthday gift EVER?! Yes! Best husband ever?! Yes! I’ve been to both cities before, but it was so long ago that this was a completely different experience. And for those wondering, we left our two little ones with Cody’s mom and stepdad…so we were kid-free!
Okay, onto the itinerary!
LONDON – DAY ONE
St Pancras Renaissance (highly recommend – especially if you’re going to take the train to/from Paris as it’s connected to the train station)
Harrods // The ultimate shopping experience and food hall. This place was incredibly beautiful but incredibly overwhelming (for me). Cody told me I could pick out a nice outfit and basically anything else I wanted that I usually wouldn’t buy for myself. The dream, right? Let me just tell you how hard this was for me… I am not an “I need a pair of Jimmy Choos” kind of girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice pair of shoes, but I would NEVER spend more than $350 unless they had a lifetime warranty or something haha. So with the help of my best friend, Misha, I found a nice dress, a top, and a cute bag. Honestly, it was such a fun experience and I LOVE the items I left with, but I was reminded how overwhelming department stores are…where’s the daylight and fresh air?!
Thomas Cubitt Pub this place is a MUST! I want to go back and actually have a full meal here. We stopped to have a beer (which is where I found out I loved London Ale) and I am obsessed with the atmosphere and the street it’s on. Loved this spot!
Sketch – I’ve been dying to go here for a while now as it’s the perfect mesh of good food (from what I’d heard), drinks, and art. My 3 favorite things. We didn’t make reservations or anything as we were just going for a drink before dinner and honestly, it was such an awesome experience…even if we were in the spacepod instead of the pink room (not sure what they actually call that room). Note: you have to go to the “eggloos” (the bathrooms….see photo below). So so cool. Also, don’t try to go with a friend in one of these…it’s not allowed and I found out the hard way. 😉 This is also where I had the pleasure of meeting my best friend’s roommate, Kat!
Berners Tavern – this is where we went for my birthday dinner (amazing selection, Cody!!). The walls were filled with dramatic framed art and images and the food was excellent – probably because the chef, Jason Atherton, is Michelin-starred!
PARIS – DAY TWO & THREE
The next morning we took the train to Paris to spend the rest of the day and part of the next exploring. Staying at the St. Pancras in London was a dream because not only was beautiful and we had an amazing experience, but it was also connected to the train station so it was super convenient.
Prince de Galles (honestly, how am I going to go back to my normal hotel stays…? I could get used to the luxury hotel life 😉 haha!
Cafe La Belle Ferronnière – there are endless cafés in Paris to choose from, but a gentleman at our hotel recommended this one. It the perfect spot to grab a glass of wine or cappuccino & a quick bite before sightseeing!
Ladurée – because we HAD to stop to get a macaron and bring some home to our loved ones! We also sat down to have a glass of champagne and french fries…the diet I would like to begin implementing on a weekly basis. Who’s with me?
Sézane – this was a must for me! I honestly could convert my entire wardrobe to this brand…and after visiting their location in New York, I knew I’d want to stop by their L’Appartement in Paris.
Musée d’Orsay – as a fan of impressionist art, this was a favorite for me.
The Louvre – mostly there for the architecture, and I’m so glad I got to experience this with Cody as we share a love for architecture and art.
Tuileries Garden – the best thing that happened the entire trip happened in our few moments walking around the garden. We were getting our bearings when all of a sudden I see about 20-30 dogs having the time of their lives in the garden. We couldn’t figure out if they were dog walkers meeting up or if this was for a photo shoot because there were photographers and they lined up like they’d done that before. I immediately ran over to them and one of their names was Hermès and he was wearing a scarf…French dogs are insanely chic.
But back to the garden (haha!)….it was so cool to see through Cody’s eyes since he’s a Landscape Architect and then we stopped for a glass of champagne and a crepe mid-garden walk. One of my favorite parts of our trip for sure.
The Eiffel Tower – again, I’ve been here before, but it was so special to experience it with Cody.
London – Day 4 & 5
The Ace Hotel – London Shoreditch // we made it back to London on the train just in time for dinner and drinks with my friend Misha and Kat.
Delamina East – This was one of my favorite restaurants from the trip! I LOVED the interior and the seasonal dishes were amazing. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
Commercial Tavern – great spot to grab a beer! Has a great atmosphere and the interior is beautiful.
Ten Bells pub – Located in the Spitalfields area of London, this pub has been around since the 18th century in one form or another. Jack Ripper was said to have found 2 of his victims here.
Discount Suit Co. – located near the Spitalfields Market, this is a great cocktail bar! If you are wanting to be with the locals, this is the place to be for a cocktail.
Let me pause by saying, the above is the reason why I was worthless the next day in London. We had just a bit too much fun the night before 🙂 That London pub life is no joke and obviously I cannot hang. Hahaha!
Borough market – highly recommend! I would be here all the time if I lived in London. It’s been in existence in one capacity or another for over 1,000 years. That is crazy!
Rake Pub at Borough Market – If I didn’t feel awful on this day, I would’ve very much enjoyed this pub. The outdoor area was super cute and I love the entire vibe of this pub.
Spitalfields Market – We didn’t get to do this antique market, but when I return…this is a must!
Boxpark– we got to meet up with one of Cody’s friends from college and his wife (+ adorable son) here. It’s near The Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, where we were staying, which made it easy to get back. This is the world’s first pop-up mall – a unique shopping & dining destination. The entire structure is created from shipping containers – it was super cool and I’d love to go back when we return.
Barrio – If you are wanting a night of friends, good drinks & dancing…this is such a fun spot. It was SUPER crowded when we were there which gives me anxiety, but it was a good time!
And I believe that wraps it up! It was such an incredible trip and I feel super lucky to have been able to celebrate with my incredibly thoughtful husband, my best friend, and some of her friends! Let me know if you have any specific questions about our trip. xoxo