London, UK


One year in London...

Everyone's first question once they've found out I've lived in London for about a year is "How do you like it?". The answer changes daily, but that's to be expected with an adjustment as big as moving to a new country and trying to settle in as an adult. There are some excellent things that we've found, so here's a list of those.

Canal boats near Victoria Park

To do in London

Go to all the parks: Hampstead, Regent's, Hyde, Richmond, Victoria, etc. And then go to all the museums. There are some very cosy neighborhoods, but I'm still on the lookout for them.

  • Hampstead Heath is our favorite park, a place to hide away from city life. It's a good spot to run, and if you like swimming, the Hampstead Ponds are an excellent spot to check out
  • Regent's Park - Gorgeous park with a lovely lake full of geese and ducks, and the roses in Queen Mary's Garden are lovely when they are in bloom! A walk across a road from Primrose Hill, this is a great chaining of parks to enjoy.
  • Hyde Park - Great place to stroll, especially around the Serpentine lake.
  • Richmond Park - A lovely Overground ride away. In the spring, there are loads of young new deer, both red and fallow, to see.
  • Kew Gardens - Nearby Richmond Park is the beautiful botanic gardens of Kew.
  • Borough Market - Delicious food, open every day except Sunday. There's a stall right at one end of the market near Stoney Street which served excellent duck confit sandwiches. I've had some amazing macarons, little Chinese lantern fruits (which translate to "princess" in Chinese), and good chocolate there too.
  • Tate Modern - Gorgeous modern art
  • Columbia Road Flower Market - Sunday market for beautiful flowers. It is a crowded nightmare to navigate, but the plants are wonderful to see and there are nice cafes and shops along the way.
  • Portobello Road Market - For antique shopping and some pretty neighborhood buildings
  • Natural History Museum - Large, wonderful animals. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit is especially excellent to see.
  • V&A - Check out the cast courts for some really interesting stuff!
  • The British Museum - Has a gorgeous structural shell ceiling and lots of art from all over.

To eat in London

Working on this list, but for the time being:

  • La Creperie de Hampstead - The real one, which is not attached to a restaurant and mainly takes cash (although sometimes payments now). You can tell it's the original because it now says "l'originale"
  • Odette's - Consistently amazing French food. If you get there before 6:45pm on a Wednesday or Thursday night, there's a lovely set menu as well.
  • BAO - Local chain with excellent buns and really good Chinese food.
  • Lin Lin Crepes - For great jian bing in Chinatown, which reminds me of the delicious ones I had in Shanghai years ago.
  • Lyle's - Excellent modern British food. Been twice and would take any chance to go again!
  • KILN - Incredible Thai food for great prices
  • Workshop Coffee - Yummy espresso drinks, good for sourcing beans for homemade coffee
  • Ozone Coffee Roasters - Wonderful and consistently delicious beans, with a great restaurant space
  • Dim Sum Duck - Truly spectacular dim sum, some of the best I've had, but the wait is definitely at least an hour always. So be prepared.