The end of 2019 was a complete whirlwind for me… in the best way possible. For Thanksgiving, two of my girlfriends and I went on a little Eurotrip to London, Paris, and Dublin. Some of the highlights of our trip included seeing Hamilton (finally!), Dinner at Sketch, spending a day in Paris, seeing the breathtaking mountains of Glendalough/Wicklow, and making my own pub crawl bingo.
My friends and I spent three lovely days in London; we wanted to balance the tourist attractions with cafés and restaurants I’ve saved to my phone from Instagram five years ago. Tower Bridge, Notting Hill, and the London Eye were some of my top favorite picture spots.
Favorite restaurant in London? Dishoom, hands down! The Art Deco vibe is great, but the food is even better. And if you visit London in the winter, I highly recommend booking a Coppa Club igloo at the Tower Bridge location; I had to plan the timing of the reservation very carefully, but it was so worth it! Some other notable mentions are Sketch and Dalloway Terrace. My friends and I had an odd experience at Sketch with four to five different waiters. In our experience, it was definitely nice to go once, but I don’t know if I’ll ever return (and if I do, it’ll be for just tea). We also tried the EL&N Cafe Belgravia location for afternoon tea, but I wasn’t too impressed with it either. Cher Lloyd was across the room from us filming an interview for something, so that was cool, I guess. Dalloway Terrace was probably my favorite Instagram café; the Chocolat Chaud cocktail is a must-have in the winter months, and the decor on the patio is stunning.
If you’re visiting London around Christmastime, it is one of the best places to see decorations (sorry, NYC). Take the Underground to Picadilly Circus, then walk around to Carnaby Street and take in all of the lights… wander far enough, and you’ll run right into Sketch. 😉 Hyde Park puts on an epic Winter Wonderland, and there are Christmas markets everywhere. My only regret was not leaving space in my suitcase for gifts from the markets. Tip: Purchase a reloadable visitor’s Oyster card at the airport. We used the Underground all three days with little to no issues.
2019 was the year that I fell in love with
The Eurostar arrives at Gare du Nord in Paris, which is actually close to where I stayed in March, so I was already familiar with the train station and the area. Pink Mamma is right by the Pigalle stop on le
Paris is my favorite city in the world, so the day trip was definitely worth it to me. It also feels pretty nice to have accomplished visiting three cities in just under a week.
I have another confession: I didn’t expect to love Dublin as much as I did. I don’t know why my expectations were low, but I loved the food, the architecture, how walkable the city is, and the people. Now I NEED to go back!
Although our time in Dublin was limited, I highly recommend taking the Paddywagon Glendalough/Wicklow half-day tour. The views were gorgeous, and our tour guide was great. We even got to visit Guinness Lake on our way back to the city. My friends and I stayed at the Temple Bar Hotel which was in a great location for our interests; everything was walkable, and it was easy to navigate taking the Aircoach to and from the airport. It’s probably the busiest and most touristy area of Dublin, but I have no complaints. I designed an epic pub crawl for my friends and
A few other activities I recommend booking in advance are the St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Book of Kells, and Jameson Distillery visits. The tickets are a bit cheaper online, and you avoid waiting in lines. The Book of Kells is not available to the public at the moment, but there is an exhibition about the Book of Kells and how it was made as you enter the old library at Trinity College. As far as food goes, I was really impressed with 37 Dawson Street. There were a few restaurants we didn’t get the chance to go to, but I’ll just have to go back to try them.
I fully didn’t expect to be able to return to Europe in 2019, but I am so grateful I was able to make it happen. I can’t wait to see what kind of adventures 2020 will bring!