One thing about me is that I like to turn my three-day weekends into week-long holidays, and that’s exactly what I did for Labor Day this year; I decided to go to London and Paris with my friend Christin and I am *finally* sharing the itinerary with you all. It was Christin’s first trip to Europe, so there’s a mix of touristy things to do and places I wanted to visit as someone who has been to both cities before. Here are my trip highlights and a downloadable 5-Day London and Paris itinerary!
Brasserie of Light/Selfridges: Selfridges is one of the major department stores in London, and I could get lost wandering around there all day. Even if you’re window shopping, the displays are all so enticing and draw you in no matter the department. Right outside of the store is one of the most beautiful restaurants I have ever seen irl, Brasserie of Light. I made reservations in advance and thoroughly enjoyed the Chicken Milanese and truffled mashed potato. The decor inside the restaurant is stunning, but the women’s loo is a showstopper.
Afternoon tea at Anya Cafe: Anya Hindmarch is an iconic British accessories designer known for her playful designs. If you’re hoping to get your hands on some of her pieces (especially bespoke pieces), I highly recommend checking out the boutique and heading across to Anya Cafe to get a treat or sit down for some afternoon tea. The sweets look just like Anya’s designs and the service (and pricing) was great; I would definitely return in the future, even if it’s to grab some pastries and a coffee to go.
Amazonico London: Amazonico was one of the most hyped-up restaurants on social media when I started planning this trip, and thankfully it did not disappoint. We went on a busy evening and were sat in the lounge area (super close to the couple sitting next to us), but the food and drinks were both worth the squeeze. The decor is gorgeous but can feel like a little much with the DJ and amount of people in the restaurant. The Picanton Caipira was marinated to perfection and the Caipirinha boat was the cherry on top of the evening.
Gymkhana: I’ve been having fun trying different Indian restaurants in London, and while I haven’t had a bad experience yet, Gymkhana is now at the top of my list. I had such a great experience from the moment I checked in at the host stand that I’m going back in a couple of days on my next trip, lol. I highly recommend trying one of their cocktails and getting a few dishes to share with your party. For dessert, try their tiramisu!
Rasa Sayang: There are so many different cuisines in London that I wanted to branch out and try something different. Christin brought Rasa Sayang to my attention, so we headed over to the Malaysian restaurant for some noodles. It was good, and I highly recommend walking around Chinatown after dinner.
We got a room with a balcony at the Hotel Splendid Etoile because I fell in love with the hotel on my first trip to Paris back in March 2019.
Café Kitsune: I’ve been here before, but I’d like to point out that if you’re craving an American-style latte (especially an iced latte), Café Kitsune is the place to go prior to checking out the Palais Royal or the Louvre.
Café de Flore: This iconic café is another spot that is hyped on social media, and while a lot of online reviews claim it’s overhyped, I really enjoyed my croissant, creme brulee, and café au lait. My only regret was not having enough room in my carry-on to bring back a saucer/cup set for my kitchen!
CityPharma: If you are a skincare fanatic like I am, you need to stop by CityPharma. There’s a location within walking distance of Café de Flore and shopping there felt like Christmas. The prices are about half of what you would pay in the US for popular French brands such as La Roche Posay, Caudalie, Vichy, and Nuxe. I’ll do a follow-up post on what I bought because it was the best skincare haul I’ve ever done.
Monsieur Bleu: I initially booked MonBleu for its views of the Eiffel Tower and thankfully the restaurant was so much more than that. It’s the perfect spot on a cool, late summer evening to enjoy drinks and spicy beef. Bonus points for olives being served before the meal (my favorite). The servers were also really helpful!
Nighttime Photos: Nearly all of my Paris photos this time around were nighttime photos near the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, and I absolutely love how they turned out. There are quite a few restaurants near the Louvre to book for dinner, like Loulou, which makes it easy to just walk over and take photos after dinner. There are way fewer people and you can get some cool shots with the flash on. As for the Eiffel Tower, here are some of the spots that I saved:
223 Rue de l’Université
Rue de Monttessuy
We were pressed for time in Paris, so we didn’t get a chance to go bar hopping or to some of the other snack spots/neighborhoods I wanted to check out. That just means I’ll have to go back 😉