kelly golightly's guide to london; london travel guide; what to see in london; where to stay in london charing cross hotel; london travel pics; london photos; tower bridge london bridge

Last month I hopped across the pond for some fun in London with Fred Baby, Joy and Bonnie. London is huge with so much to see and explore, and is so pretty when the sun is shining, which we were blessed with on our first day. I think this is my fourth or fifth trip to London, and it has only been sunny one other time (when my sister-in-law got married) so we headed out to soak it all up. Here are the colorful highlights from Central London…

tower bridge london london bridge actually tower bridge

Despite having visited London on many different occasions, we had never seen Tower Bridge. How can that be? I don’t know, but we’re also the people who went to Pisa and couldn’t find the Leaning Tower (it was dark?) and left. Anyway, I adored it and that brilliant blue, which I’ve dubbed London Blue.  A walk along the River Thames is one of my favorite London activities.

london town guide nottinghill london

I always like to match my city (I kid…kind of), so bright colors ended up being on point.

Coat: Oasis c/o (sold out but love this blazer in the same color for summer & this one) | Jeans: Citizens of Humanity c/o (old but similar & love) | Bag: Oasis (color no longer available but love this one) | Shirt: Liberty of London | Sunglasses: Zara (not online but love these) | Shoes: GAP

tower bridge london; london blue

Seriously, London Blue, I am all about you!

pink vespa london

Not to fret pink, you have my heart too.

green bridge london river thames

Did you know London was so colorful and vibrant? It only took me five visits to figure it out!

proper high tea london

To help combat the jet lag, not only was a brisk walk along the Thames in order, so was afternoon tea. Or is it high tea? I can never remember.

high tea london

We enjoyed the tea at our hotel, Charing Cross, especially the brightly colored pots.

charing cross

The Charing Cross couldn’t have been in a better location, Westminster, as it was royally central (equidistant from the two neighborhoods I was most excited to explore, Notting Hill and Shoreditch).

london high tea

It overlooks Trafalgar Square and the Strand, and is a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace, with a tube station right next to it. However, we wanted to see as much as possible so used Hailo (like Uber, but you get the traditional London taxis/black cabs). Highly recommend downloading and using it if you’re traveling to London.

charing cross hotel london high tea; where to have high tea on london

It was easy for Fred Baby to get to work in Mayfair and felt completely safe to roam around by myself. We were also very lucky as the hotel had just completed renovations, and Charing Cross kindly hooked us up with a suite, in which we were the first guests to ever spend the night. How rare is that?

And it’s right by the river, which I love because it feels so open, a nice treat in a city as big as London. For such a big hotel, it felt warm, cozy and welcoming. So much so that I even ordered in Chinese takeout one night (jet lag’s a bear).

charing cross hotel suite

Unpacking at Charing Cross…Clearly Italy was top of mind.

Dress: Zara (love this one & this one too) | Sandals: Splendid c/o |  Hat: D&Y (similar & love this one too) c/o | Book: Beautiful Ruins


The view from the Charing Cross tea room.

charing cross hotel suites best hotels westminster

Flats are a must in a walking city.

london blue door

I was so inspired by the color everywhere. When you think of London, you typically think of grey.

london color

Not the case!


Color was everywhere you looked!

barber shop clerkenwell london

The other thing I loved were the signs in London…graphic and fontastic, dontcha think?

london signs london fonts graphics

One evening, we headed over to Clerkenwell, which had been described as the West Village of London.

clerkenwell london

At first I was skeptical, but that could have been due to the fact that the wind picked up, the sun went down, and a bird, um, relieved itself all over my new pink jacket.

paesan clerkenwell london peasan clerkenwell restauarants best places to eat in london best restaurants london

However, things took a turn for the better when we stumbled into Paesan, a cozy neighborhood restaurant that reminded me of a more lowkey but equally chic Pastis or Schiller’s Liquor Bar. Favorite dinner in London. And where I fell in love with stracciatella cheese.

liberty london

I was also excited to visit Liberty of London for the first time. Sadly, we were quite zonked by the time we made it, so another visit is in order. However, I was wearing my Liberty of London shirt (that Helen gave me) so points for that, right?

liberty london neon sign

Neon at Liberty of London.

london tea spots

Joy, Bonnie and I also had afternoon tea at Sketch, a departure from traditional afternoon tea, with interesting design everywhere you looked.

cool places to have tea in london

Even the bathrooms! Yes, these pods are the bathrooms. I felt like I was in Stanley Kubrick’s head.

hopscotch london tea house sketch london

Hopscotch entryway set the tone for tea at Sketch.

sketch london

In addition to tea, Sketch also appeared to be a popular spot for happy hour.

yellow lamp sktech london

Candy-color brights at Sketch.

sketch tea london

I hope you enjoyed these photos from the first part of my London adventure. Stayed tuned for Notting Hill and Shoreditch up next!

{Last photo by Bonnie Tsang; all others by Fred Baby & Kelly Golightly]



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