With only a day’s worth of time in London, I knew I wanted to do two things – afternoon tea and shopping. There’s no one better to do this with than my bestie, a fellow shopaholic. This was a “treat yourself” kind of day and we definitely shopped till our feet were sore.
Afternoon Tea at The Ritz London
You know a place is fancy when there’s a dress code (no jeans allowed boys and girls) for afternoon tea! You dine in a pink and gold themed venue accented with colorful flowers and dazzling chandeliers. I found the food to be quite disappointing for the price (£47.5/person). The sandwiches were nothing extraordinary and the scones tasted mushy and undercooked. I personally love tea but their selection was very limited. I did like having unlimited sandwiches and baked goods, but that is common across London. I personally liked my experience at Fortnum and Mason more. I found their food and tea selection to be a better choice. Overall, I had a fun time dressing up for the occasion (dress by Chi Chi London) but be prepared to pay for the experience and not the food.
TIP: Remember to make a reservation online. I haven’t had afternoon tea at Claridge’s yet but I hear that’s a popular choice as well.
Shopping at Bond Street
Bond Street is a shopaholic’s dream but only if you’re in the mood for luxury goods. I was on a mission to add a new bag to my collection and this was just the spot to do it. You can find Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Saint Laurent, Gucci, and more (but I listed my faves). I ended up with a Saint Laurent bag (this to be exact). I love shopping when I get a VAT refund! 😉
Shopping at Harrods
It was a shop ’til you drop kind of day so the next stop was Harrods, the luxury department store. According to Wikipedia, the store has “330 departments covering one million square feet of retail space” and I believe it! Someone can easily get lost in this department store. It’s a great place to go shopping if you want a variety of items from different brands.
My favorite part about Harrods was definitely Ladurée – I mean how cute is this boutique! I am a huge fan of these macarons and have been since 2014 with my first visit in NYC. If a city I’m visiting has a Ladurée, I will be there! My favorite flavor by far is Strawberry Candy Marshmallow– make sure to give it a try!
Dinner at The Ivy Tower Bridge
After seeing this restaurant on Instagram, I added this to my itinerary. It sounded so picturesque – dinner with a view of Tower Bridge. I made a reservation online but upon arrival waited 30 additional minutes to get a seat by the window. After all, the view is the reason why I chose this restaurant! I was seated in a downstairs corner by the window with a direct view of Tower Bridge. The idea of dinner with a view sounds magical but in reality, I barely looked out the window. My friend ordered Truffle Arancini (fried Arborio balls with truffle and parmesan) as an appetizer and that was really good! I ordered the crab linguine and as expected from a fancy restaurant, the portions were small but the food was good. The experience here didn’t meet my expectations and I’ll leave this one off my list for next time.