When I get asked “How long have you been living in London?”, I get a bit flustered as I often enough can’t keep up with how long it has been. Days swoop by, days turn into nights, sunrises turn to sunsets and before you know it, it has been five whole years. I still remember the day I got dropped off by my parents at university, moving my whole life from my childhood home into what was my new home for the next 365 days, a small box room in university halls of residence. I put on my brave face as I waved my parents goodbye, sauntered up to my bedroom within my flat and just sobbed my heart out for a good 30 minutes. It was a new venture for me, a scary one, especially for someone that is very timid and family orientated. I made a choice to continue my education and start it in a new, booming city. It had to get used to it as London was my home for the foreseeable future.
From a naive fresher to a true Londoner, who would have thought? It’s been such a world-wind journey getting to this point, but London truly feels like home now. The big smoke definitely knows how to put people through their paces. However, everything I am today is because of the ruthless and creative atmosphere London possesses. It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure but I definitely have come out the other end with a few scars but if it wasn’t for that, I probably would still be in the same.
London has not only become my home, it’s also my happy place. A place where I have discovered more about myself that I ever could have imagined, a place where friendships have begun and ended and where i’ve spend evenings simply watching the sun set over the skyline. It’s also been the reason for my successes – if it wasn’t for London I wouldn’t have the job I do, my own business or this little part of the internet sharing this story with you all!
My love for London has grown incredibly and for so many reasons and contributing factors. As a tribute to my fifth anniversary in London, I wanted to share ten reasons why living has London truly sparked true happiness deep within for the past five years.
1. Brunch is an unmissable weekend activity
I don’t think i’ve ever managed to let a weekend slip by where I haven’t joined my friends on our favourite weekend activity of going out for brunch. We all get have a bit of a lay in after a busy week of work, order a spread of different dishes in some of London’s finest hotels and restaurants, whilst sipping on a glass of bubbly before 12 and nobody even flinches. It’s a win-win!
2. London welcomes everyone
London’s open to all motto is one of my favourite things about living in the capital. You have people from all walks of life living and visiting here and everyone is celebrated in their own special way. Two of the most iconic days in the year is Gay Pride and Notting Hill Carnival, both filled with lots of music, fun and bright colours. Most of all though, they both have great significance for racial and sexuality rights. They are the perfect occasions to see London really come to life, celebrating unity over worthy causes.
3. You can never tire of the views
Whether i’m just bumbling down Regents Street doing some shopping, up on Primrose Hill overlooking the London skyline or up the Shard overlooking London at height, I will always find a pretty sight that will just make me stop and take a moment to appreciate London’s effortless beauty.
4. Coffee is taken very seriously
No, really. Coffee is a huge thing in London and it certainly isn’t a fad. Many independent coffee shops are opening across London, each with their own individual ethos and creative sense of serving coffee. Not forgetting the perfectly sourced coffee beans to match and a delicious array of sweet treats available to enjoy. If you’re a true coffee lover like myself, I suggest checking out Ozone Coffee in Shoreditch, but if you’re looking for something pretty, i’d suggest trying a unicorn latte at Saint Aymes in Connaught Village.
5. Rooftop bars are the new pub
Rooftop bars are an everyday thing in London, especially with so many skyscraper buildings, it makes sense to turn rooftops into bars and give people another reason to fall in love with London. I’ve lost count of the amount of times my friends and I have chosen a rooftop bar over a pub or any other kind of bar. Come summer or winter, London is perfect for an alfresco rooftop drink.
6. It’s a perfectly instagrammable city
As an avid Instagrammer and blogger, i’m always on the look out for beautiful spots to take photos. I rarely struggle to find buildings, walls, food or drinks that aren’t worthy of being papped, because in every corner of London there is something specular and unique just waiting to be discovered. Whether it’s the gorgeous street art in Shoreditch or the pretty colourful buildings of Notting Hill, i’m always in luck.
The best part about London as a foodie is the extensive food culture that dominates the capital. In the five years i’ve lived in London, I have never had a food craving that hasn’t been satisfied. You want a doughnut? Well, I will raise you an option to have a honeycomb cream, triple chocolate, vanilla custard many other flavours. London takes everything to the next level when it comes to food, it takes a lot of will power to say no sometimes!
9. Travel becomes a piece of cake
The real bonus about being a travel blogger in London is the connections. I can easily get to St. Pancras station within 25 minutes to catch a two hour Eurostar to Paris, Brussels or Amsterdam or in 40 minutes i’ll find myself at Heathrow or Gatwick airport ready to catch an international or domestic flight. It always means I can have a good nights sleep before I head out to any of my early morning travels too, which is one of the best perks.
10. The abundance of luxury 5-star hotels
I had to save the best until last but the abundance of 5-star hotels in London is a huge advantage for me, especially within my luxury travel niche, it opens so many doors for me in terms of creative collaborations. It also adds so many luxe bars, restaurants and spas to my radar for when I need that extra touch of luxurious moments in between my travels. I can even play tourist in my own city with a staycation, without having to go far at all.
London, you truly hold a special place in my heart. Thanks for the past five years of fun and frolics, here is to the next five!
Until next time…