Chinese New Year starts today. The Year of the Monkey is upon us! Outside of Asia, London hosts the largest Chinese New Year festivities in the world. There’s a lot going on this week in celebration, so if you want to get into the spirit here’s A Lady in London’s guide to Chinese New Year events in London.
Put the word ‘royal’ in front of something in London, and the world goes wild. Royal wedding, royal baby, the list is endless. Usually I’m not one to jump on bandwagons (even if they are the Queen’s), but when I heard about the Royal Mews in London, I was intrigued. As anyone who follows me on Instagram knows, I’m a bit obsessed with London’s lovely mews streets. And when you put a ‘royal’ in front of the word, I’m even more excited.
It’s February, and that means Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching. Love it or loathe it, February 14th gives us an opportunity to express very un-British displays of emotion. Yay! (Sorry, was that too earnest? This American expat is still learning). If you need a little help demonstrating your affection this year, I’ve put together a list of the 8 most romantic places in the UK. These lovely travel destinations are sure to loosen your lips (and if they don’t, alcohol always helps. At least I’ve got that part of British culture sorted!).
Of all the things I’ve had to learn since moving to London, the British word for bathroom has been the trickiest. Saying “loo” makes me feel ridiculous, but saying “toilet” feels crass. After testing out every variation imaginable, I finally embraced my Americanness and stuck with “restroom”. I steel my nerves against ridicule every time—the Brits think the word is preposterous—but it’s worth it. So why am I telling you this? Because today I’m sharing the 9 best loos in London.
When I first moved to London, I fell in love with the big buildings. From the Great Court of the British Museum to the glassy dome of the Gherkin, I was smitten. But over the years my interest in the obvious architectural attractions has given way to an obsession with the secret little ones. I’ve found myself increasingly intrigued by London’s houses, as anyone that has seen my Instagram feed knows. My photos have gotten such a good reception that I’ve realized I’m not alone in loving the city’s undiscovered treasures. As such, today I reveal the prettiest houses in London.
Christmas is just over a week away, and London couldn’t be more festive. All across the city, carols are echoing, Christmas markets are doing a busy trade, and mulled wine is going down like water. But the best part of Christmas in London is the lights. To help you find them, here are A Lady in London’s five best places for Christmas lights in London.
I wasn’t expecting to find an artists’ colony on an island in the middle of the Thames in London. Back home in Northern California this kind of thing wouldn’t have surprised me, but here in the Big Smoke it takes me aback. This is not least because I’d never heard of Eel Pie Island before I stumbled across it while walking along the river in Twickenham.
One of the biggest challenges of winter travel is that a lot of attractions have reduced opening hours or are closed entirely. The number of times I’ve eagerly walked up to a museum or monument only to find a sign that says “closed until March, suckers” (or something like that) is sad. But a few places feel my pain, opening for a select number of days in winter to welcome people who don’t just want to get their fix in peak summer season when all the tourists are around. Strawberry Hill House in London’s Twickenham is one of them.
There’s something mysteriously alluring about Shepherd Market. Tucked away in a tiny pocket of Mayfair, it’s a little village hidden in the heart of central London. But even more intriguing is its ability to be home to some of London’s hottest restaurants, best shops, and coziest pubs while also seeming to hide some of the city’s most clandestine businesses down dark little alleys and secret squares.
It’s been an unseasonably warm start to winter in Britain. The balmiest November weather on record occurred earlier this month in Wales, and if not for the gray skies I might think I was back home in California. But I’ve been living in London long enough to know that winter will come eventually, and I’m actually looking forward to it. Why? Because Christmas is one of the best times of year in London. In anticipation, today I bring you A Lady in London’s guide to the 9 highlights of Christmas in London.