We may all be feeling a little miserable with coming into the Autumn Winter season, but I’ve actually been feeling quite optimistic by giving myself lots of things to look forward to during these upcoming cold months. One of them is weekends away – a Saturday and Sunday spent somewhere else in England with good friends and a fun itinerary. Due to a manic Summer season, I didn’t get to go on holiday properly this year, so instead I’m making up for it by planning mini UK breaks with friends. As I’m from up North (Manchester), I try to travel to the South of England for getaways so it’s a bit of a change for me. With returning from Brighton yesterday, I now officially have two favourite trip places – London and Brighton.
My first love has always been London. I think it’s due to working in the fashion and beauty industry, and having a creative background that draws me to the city. But that aside, it’s such a great city to have a weekend break with the girls. Some people get a little freaked out by London and how crazy busy and ‘dirty’ it can seem by being so built up, so I wanted to draw together a few of the reasons why I can’t rave about it enough for a weekend trip away for girls:
1. Shoppers Paradise
As well as being home to the busiest street for shopping – Oxford Street – London is uber-cool for shopping at quirky, unique stores that you struggle to find elsewhere in the UK. It’s the only place I can visit to shop at ‘& Other Stories’, which sells cute clothing and accessories. Camden Market is also the best place to trawl for vintage, handmade, and independent labels, and not forgetting Carnaby Street for a collection of the coolest brands gathered together in a row of standalone boutique shops. Oh and I can’t forget the pop-up shop style Box Park in Shoreditch, which is a collection of unique brands all in tiny box units (I’ve mentioned more about this in this previous post about staying in Shoreditch)
2. Beautiful Hotels
If fund allows, why not go all out and live it up for a totally princess inspired girls weekend? For special occasions, it’s so nice to go all out and stay in a stunning hotel. One of my ultimate favourite hotels I aim to book and spend a lavish weekend in is the Rosewood London, a grand Edwardian hotel located just a few steps away from Covent Garden. It’s a five star Grade II listed building which provides a stylish stay- I always think it would be incredible to round up a couple of my friends who are dying to spend a weekend enjoying the finer things and live it up in a deluxe suite. I adore everything about Covent Garden; it’s an ideal central location to be based at for the weekend. This hotel in particular with it’s spa facilities, fitness suites and many fine dining restaurants, is on my wish list for a lavish weekend. Check it out and you will know exactly what I mean.
3. Quirky Eateries
I love nothing more than visiting a number of eateries in London which specialise in brunch, healthy eating or cafes that differ a little from the mainstream, which make eating out a cool ‘activity to indulge in. Some of my favourites include sipping smoothies from Joe and The Juice, themed afternoon tea at Scoff and Banter in Covent Garden, the arty toilets (and good food!) in Sketch, the west end themed Circus restaurant, and the delicious cocktails at Beach Blanket Babylon. But that’s just to name a few…
4. Daytime Parks
Hyde Park and Greenwich Park are beautiful for going for strolls, runs or picnics, and even for just admiring panoramic views. If you go to London over the Christmas period, then the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is something to definitely look out for. A truly magical experience.
5. Endless Attractions
No matter what interests your gal pals have, there is an attraction or trip to suit everyone. From the original tourist attractions such as The London Eye and Buckingham Palace, there’s a few more attractions which I personally find are brilliant for a girls weekend. Why not admire the views from the top of The Shard? Enjoy pop up food stalls at Street Feast? Check out a film at the Roof Top Film Club in Dalston? Brave the chilly outside waters at Hampstead Heath Swimming Pools? Choice, choices, choices…
The next city I would recommend for a girls weekend away is no other than embracing the beach life of Brighton …
I’ve just returned back from a weekend in Brighton with two of my gal pals, and what a fantastic 48 hours I had! We used Air B&B to sleep three of us in a sea front apartment, and indulged in the activities below which helped made it one of the loveliest getaways…
1. Go shopping at The Lanes
I have never visited an outdoor shopping street area like it! The Lanes is made up of little boutiques, big name brands and independent cafes and salons all nestled together in narrow lanes. Lined with outside eating areas, decorated with pretty window displays and filled with bustling shoppers, I found this the most splendid place to go for a daytime shop.
2. Eat breakfast or brunch at The Breakfast Club
One of my favourite places I have visited for breakfast in a long while. The menu includes everything from poached eggs and avocado on toasted rye, to american pancakes topped with a veggie breakfast. The selection of smoothies, juices and shakes are to die for, and the sandwich menu was pretty impressive too. Worth visiting, but make sure you get there early to avoid queuing (and by this, I mean 10am or before)
3.Sip cocktails at The Plotting Parlour
Styled as a secret bar ‘speak-easy’ type, The Plotting Parlour is a small and intimate little bar with the most amazing cocktails. You can even get Espresso Martinis with Hazelnut or Pistachio added to them. My kind of cocktails!
4. Take a walk across the pier
A very typical tourist plan, but you can’t visit Brighton and not take a nice girly stroll down the Brighton Pier, wrapping up warm, chatting away and grabbing a bag of chips from one of the sea front chip shops.
The below snaps are a handful taken from my recent weekend…
The above is just a little round-up of all the positive things I can highlight briefly about London and Brighton as ideas for a girly weekend away. If you would like anymore ideas or recommendation in-depth, feel free to comment or drop me a line.
Do let me know what you love about London or Brighton if you have visited too!