The year I turned 18, I finished school and worked in an old people’s home to save up some money. Once I had saved enough, I packed up all my clothes in an old ice hockey trunk, got on the train in Stockholm, and then boarded the big boat to England!
I was sooo ready & excited to get out and explore the world – when I arrived in London, I immediately felt like I had come home. I had no money, nowhere to live and knew nobody but I was ready for adventure in the big city – and, boy, did I go to the right place!
I LOVED it then and I still do 30 years later!
Having lived in London on and off for 30 years, I have a deep love for this amazing bustling, crazy, exotic melting pot of a city! If you are planning a trip to London this summer, here are some of my favorites:
One of the most amazing stores in the world, in my opinion – it’s more like very large boutique than department store.
Unique architecture mixed with creative and artistic merchandising. I used to work there and I loved it!
The Liberty design collaboration with Target was a sellout success. I bought so many things!
PIXI FLAGSHIP STORE
This whole area around Carnaby Street is fantastic for finding new brands and lots of fun boutiques that you don’t find everywhere in the world.
In fact, just around the corner from Liberty is my Pixi store – literally 20 steps!
Penhaligon’s is a traditional English Perfumer established in 1870 – the stores are always so cute!
Try their Lily of the valley bath oil – its heavenly.
After all this shopping – a nice walk (or bicycle ride) in the park is a good idea.
Another of my favorite pastimes in London is to take long walks in Hyde Park. I like to walk everywhere – I walk from Kings Road to Sloane Square through Hyde Park to Oxford Street, pop into Selfridges for some oysters and champagne and keep walking to my Pixi store just off Carnaby street.
It takes about 2 hours but feels like 5 minutes!
Or another great option is to use one of the bikes that now are all over London. All you need is a credit card – I think it costs 1 pound for first 12 hours!
A London must is the world’s largest Antique Market, started in the 1860’s! It’s my perfect way to spend a Saturday in London any season.
Go early to beat the crowds & start treasure hunting for unusual bargains!
Well I think now it may be time for some traditional London sightseeing sites – here are my top ones:
- Buckingham Palace – When the flag is on top the palace, that means the Queen is home!
- Changing the Guard – My 5 year old son loves this – it’s his favorite memory of London! Must be hot under those fur hats.
- Kensington Palace – Princess Diana lived here.
- Hyde Park – Go for a row on the pond, then have a coffee & cake and lay back in a sun chair watching the world go by.
- Royal Albert Hall – I saw Cirque du Soleil here and it was unbelievably amazing!
- Big Ben – I always check that my watch is accurate against this one.
- Westminster Abbey – Prince William and Catherine got married there a year ago.
- St Paul’s Cathedral – Prince Charles and Diana got married here.
If you are going to London soon for the first time you will be busy! Make sure to spend at least one week there if you can to get a feel for the city.
I think being an English Rose is more about having a subtle sense of grace & classiness than about a certain makeup look, but having a glowing complexion & some colour on the cheeks doesn’t hurt!
Try a tinted moisturizer with light-diffusing pigments (Pixi Illuminating Tint & Conceal $30) and a translucent gel colour for cheeks and lips (Pixi Sheer Cheek Gel $18).
If you’re feeling like being more straightforward about your love for London, take a look at these adorable Union Jack adorned goodies from Pop Beauty.
The bag is surprisingly roomy yet still compact, holding enough makeup for daily necessities or a weekend away, and the palette houses 12 gorgeous nude & bronze eyeshadows fit for a queen.
Tell me, what are your favorite things about London? What other cities do you love?