It wasn’t until I moved to the east coast of the US that I heard ‘summer’ used as a verb. Wealthy New Yorkers summered in the Hamptons, Bostonians on Cape Cod. I had always summered right at home in California, and thought them all suckers for having to relocate just to go to the beach. They were smug; I was lucky. But now that I’m in Europe I understand their challenge, and this week I’ve discovered how to summer like a Parisian on a secret little island called the Ile de Re.
Barcelona packs the whole Earth into one city. Mountains, beaches, and urban areas coexist in a grand mix natural beauty, rich history, and flamboyant architecture, making it one of the most unique travel destinations in the world. But with so much to do, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the Catalan capital. Which is why I’m glad I have a survival guide.
Last month I wrote about the 15 best day trips from London. The post was so well received that I thought it would be worth expanding on the topic and the timeframe. As such, today I bring you A Lady in London’s guide to the 16 best weekend trips in the UK. Complete with sheep.
The Maldives are synonymous with paradise. Island atolls with sparkling white sand dot the aquamarine water of the Indian Ocean like so many crowns, many of them filled with the jewels of over-water bungalows and luxurious resorts. But this isn’t just a five-star playground for travelers; it’s also a place where locals call the islands home. One of them is a friend of mine in London, and she’s brought me to her country to show me two sides of the Maldives: local and luxurious.
One of the biggest struggles for Londoners is leaving our own neighborhoods. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine on weeknights and weekends, going to our local pubs or eating at restaurants near where we live. We’ll make a trip to Soho to meet friends, but ask us to venture too far north, south, east, or west and we’ll quickly start complaining about how far away things are. But some out-of-the-way places are worth a special trip, and one of them is Chatsworth Road Market.
Spring is here. Every tree in London is heavy with pink blossoms, and the parks and gardens are brilliant with the colors of a million tulips. March and April saw the city come into full bloom, and now that it’s May there’s another spring floral trend: wisteria.
When I moved to London, I was embarrassed to drink coffee. Tea is a national obsession here, and I was already American enough with my funny accent and foreign customs. Add to that the fact that ordering a “coffee” in London gets you a confused look—they don’t have a go-to style here like we do in the States—and I quickly converted to tea. But over the years coffee has become trendy in London, with independent coffee shops popping up all over and an annual UK Coffee Week developing. The latter kicks off this week with the London Coffee Festival.
You know a place is special when the peacock-shaped garden ornament turns out to be an actual peacock. At first I think I’m seeing things, but on second glance I realize this is not a hallucination. There is actually a peacock sitting in the garden of my hotel in the Cotswolds.
Exciting news: I’m giving away a getaway! After an amazing trip to Kent this month I am excited to offer one lucky reader a chance to experience some of the places I visited. If you love the Garden of England, this is the trip for you.
This is a big year for the UK. The Magna Carta is celebrating its 800th anniversary, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is turning 150, and it’s been 200 years since the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. There are celebrations and commemorations happening across the country, and some of them are taking place surprisingly close to home. The ones at Apsley House and Wellington Arch, for example.
Sunrise is an amazing time to see Berlin. The whole city is asleep and it’s so quiet I can hardly believe I’m in a place known for its perennial construction. When I arrive at the Brandenburg Gate, the huge square in front of it is empty. I’ve never had a major monument all to myself before, and I savor the moment and its solitude.
The problem with London is that it’s hard to leave. The city is so big and has so much to offer that it would be easy to spend a lifetime here without feeling done. But there are a lot of great places outside of London, too, and it’s worth getting away sometimes. As such, today I bring you A Lady in London’s guide to the 15 best day trips from London.