Maura.jpg

Hi.

I'm Maura! Welcome to my little area of the internet. Hope you stay a while.

Girlfriends Guide to London Part 1

Girlfriends Guide to London Part 1

Girlfriend's Guide to London on MauraKeeley.com

Well this recap is way overdue, but better late than never. I have always wanted to go to London and I finally had my chance in early December when I went to visit one of my best friends, Jenn, with a couple of girlfriends (hi Kate and Lauren!). In planning our trip, the girls and I had a couple of ideas of  "must do" outings but it was so nice to have a London expert guiding us so we could fit in as much as possible in the short amount of time we had. {Insert shameless plug but go check out Jenn's blog - basicbonvivant.com. Her and her husband are living their best ex-pat lives and have great tips for travel around Europe!}

We arrived off the red eye into Gatwick airport and our first stop was our AirBNB in Kensington. After dropping off luggage and freshening up, we ventured off to an activity I had been looking forward to for weeks! We met up with our lovely tour guide and took the short walk over to London's Natural History Museum for some ice skating!

Girlfriends Guide to London by MauraKeeley.com

I knew London would be magical but I had no idea it was going to be such a dream. Skating around the rink, surrounded by historical buildings decked out in their holiday finest, made me like I was hanging out on the set of Love Actually.

Girlfriends Guide to London Part 1 by MauraKeeley.com

After skating, we went back to the flat to get ready for another event I've been looking forward to - this one probably for years! Yes, just a few days after Meghan Markle announced her engagement to Prince Harry (*sigh*) we got to explore Kensington Gardens and see Meghan's new digs, en route to our next stop...

Girlfriends Guide to London Part 1 by MauraKeeley.com
Girlfriends Guide to London Part 1 by MauraKeeley.com

High Tea at The Orangery at Kensington Palace  (!!!)  This was another bucket list item of mine and I am so glad we went there amongst the many, many other options. Besides the fact that Kate, William, Meghan and Harry were mere yards away, The Orangery was the perfect setting for high tea newbies. Nothing screams weekend in London quite like it. While I'm not the biggest fan of tea (though I did enjoy my Earl Grey), they also serve bubbles that are accompanied by delightful finger sandwiches & biscuits aka cookies. I mean c'mon, even the china was perfect. I hear you can buy this set in the Kensington Palace gift shop (they really have thought of everything), but thankfully for my wallet, it had closed as we were the last group to leave the restaurant.  

Girlfriends Guide to London Part 1 by MauraKeeley.com

From there, we headed over to Hyde Park to the most fantastic display of British holiday flair - the Winter Wonderland. It is a holiday themed amusement park right in the center of the city, complete with rides, a Christmas market, & an ice skating rink among many other attractions.  We spent some time at the Bavarian beer hall listening to a live cover band, drank mulled wine, people watched while a whole bunch of Brits in costume had a giant sing-a-long. We joined in of course (when in Rome...)  and we may have taken our life in our hands with this ride below...

Girlfriends Guide to London by MauraKeeley.com

Don't let the flying Santa fool you into thinking this was anything other than terrifying. Lucky for us, we survived though we were definitely wobbly walking around afterward. From the Wonderland, we headed back to Kensington via the tube and crashed into bed. We needed all the beauty sleep we could get before for London Day 2. Stayed tuned...

Girlfriends Guide to London Part II

Girlfriends Guide to London Part II

Trader Joe's Favorites

Trader Joe's Favorites