The charm of London is hard to pinpoint, even after spending a blissful two weeks in the city this summer. Is it the unpredictable weather, which – luckily enough for us – was (mostly) sunny and airy? Is it the endless shopping opportunities, from the tucked-away vintage wonders to the glowing flagship stores? Or is it the beautiful architecture that you are constantly surrounded with? It would have to be a combination of these covetable factors, some of which are exclusively applicable to London. In no other city can you get the perfect combination: it is not only a walking city, but one with charm, character and history, balanced with the chic British edge of shopping and nightlife. Perfection is an understatement. So I spent two wonderful weeks with the family, catching up with old friends, and ultimately exploring this gorgeous city – as well as shopping and eating my heart out. Read on for more of my London adventures!
In the first few days, the quintessential London gloom had descended upon the city. Living in the tropics definitely does not prepare you for colder weather, and despite having lived in New York for as many years as I have, I can't quite handle it anymore. We were definitely taken aback by the rain and change in temperature, but this change was refreshing after a sweltering Bombay summer. Equipped with Steve Madden boots, an Anthropologie blazer, and other essentials tailored for colder seasons, I was well prepared. After a while, we were graced by the sun as we walked around one of our favorite parts of London – North and South Audley street. Whether I was stopping for a scrumptious breakfast treat at Café Richoux, popping into the Marc Jacobs boutique, or heading for drinks with the family at Roka, this area was packed with exciting options.
New Zara crossbody and Vanity Fair's Young Hollywood Issue / Company's lovely summer magazine
While major cities don't often have nature constantly in the midst of all the skyscraper-esque glory, London is one such city. I captured Instagram-worthy shots of streets decorated with gorgeous flowers on a daily basis. Most of our time was spent at the incredibly touristy area of Oxford Street, where Selfridges was beginning to take on the characteristics of a second home. Meanwhile, Marylebone High Street was another favorite, with beautiful dining options; in particular, Chiltern Firehouse was an outstanding favorite. Other restaurants that had us swooning were Coya, and of course, a name synonymous with reasonably-priced and amaaazing food, Wagamama. Other than the food, some exploring was called for. While doing an exclusive photo-shoot with my friend and London-based photographer, Katya, (outfit posts coming soon!) we got to explore Regents Park (photo above, right). Within the large, picturesque space, there is a quaint private area called St. John's Lodge Gardens. It was there that we were lucky enough to shoot one of the outfits, and it was truly a setting I was grateful to have, along with the pleasant weather that day. Additional hotspots included Victoria & Albert museum – which had a lovely bridal exhibition, on the history of wedding-wear – and Oxford University, to which my family and I took a day trip.
Shopping on Bond Street / Catching up with my friend Tarini on Oxford Street
Juicy Couture's Regent Street store / Brandy Melville on Carnaby Street
Shopping in London is overall a breezy task – except for a minor detail: there are too many options. From Kings Road to the aforementioned Oxford Street to the beautiful and renowned Carnaby Street, you could spend days submerged in the shopping areas that this city has to offer. We must have spent at least five straight days completing this task, going through all possible options. Of course, we immediately went for high-street favorites – Topshop on Oxford Circus (enjoying the photo-booth and bubble tea in between), Urban Outfitters, and Forever 21 among others. H&M – with an influx of sales and heavily-reduced prices – was a favorite, as it always seems to become a part of my wardrobe staples. Brandy Melville has become even better in the last few years, due to its beautiful basics, rebellious and free-spirited image, and a wonderfully-designed boutique. Other covetable lines were offered by Hollister, Anthropologie, and Wildfox. All of my summer purchases will surely be featured in upcoming outfit posts, so look out for those!
Breakfast at Chiltern Firehouse / Waffles at Café Richoux
Afternoon at Roka / Selfie time at the Hilton Park Lane Hotel
Look out for more details of my summer holiday with a photo-diary on Spain! Meanwhile, keep up with Moments with Meera on Instagram and Twitter.