Restaurants, Review, Travel

The best afternoon tea in London: The Lanesborough

Over the course of the five years I lived in England, I went to many afternoon teas. Some were basic, serving just tea and scones, and some were truly an experience. One of those was at The Lanesborough in London.

Their website describes their afternoon tea as:

Served daily in either the majestic surroundings of Céleste or the elegant Withdrawing Room, afternoon tea at The Lanesborough is an occasion to be treasured.

Enjoy freshly baked scones, velvety clotted cream, home-made fruit preserves and intricately prepared pastries – all hand-crafted by our masterful pastry chefs.

After reading that, who wouldn’t want to have a posh and proper Continue reading “The best afternoon tea in London: The Lanesborough”

Review, Sightseeing, Travel

Where to go in London when you're traveling with kids

Just like any major city, London has numerous options to keep you entertained no matter what your age. In this post, I’m going to skip some of the obvious touristy places (Tower of London, Hamleys toy store, Westminster Abbey, and the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace) and list other interesting things to see and do that both you and your kids will enjoy on your trip to London!

London Eye Foggy

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Review, Sightseeing, Transportation, Travel

Let's visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter!

Harry Potter London Tour Double-Decker Bus with Harry Potter Design

For fans of the books and films, there’s no better and unique place to visit than Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. I’ve been to this studio tour twice, once when it first opened in 2012 and once again in 2016, and both visits were absolutely magical! There’s so much to see for both kids and adults, even if you’re not a fan of the series.

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Accommodation, Culture, Review, Sightseeing, Transportation, Travel

Solo holiday in London: Food & museums in Covent Garden and Kensington

London Covent Garden Balloons
Clusters of clouds at Covent Garden

Sometimes when I feel like traveling but don’t have enough money or time, I like to go to TripAdvisor, pick a city I want to visit, and look at the hotel rankings for that city. Maybe it’s my researcher side, but I like to see what hotels have available rooms for a timeframe I wish I could visit, like near my birthday or for a long weekend, and then research online to see if I can find the best prices. It’s kind of like when people use pretend money to invest in stocks, sometimes you win or lose money, but it’s all pretend.

However, there are times where I’d find a great deal on a nice hotel, but the flight to that city might be too expensive, negating any savings I might have had with the hotel deal. But on the rare occasion when the hotel is within driving distance, I might throw caution to the wind and say “why not?” – and I’d book the hotel for a much needed escape!

This is exactly what happened when I was feeling mentally drained from my PhD. I had just submitted my PhD thesis and was now in the middle of studying for my viva, which decides whether or not I earn my PhD. To take my mind off my stress, I went to TripAdvisor and looked at the top hotels in London just to see if there might be any good deals. Well, lo and behold, that day I found one!!

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Save Money, Sightseeing, Transportation, Travel

An inexpensive (yet comfortable) way to travel around the UK, specifically South Kent & London

When I’m feeling stressed from working on my PhD, I like to take a break by walking around Canterbury’s City Centre and browse the shops, get a snack, or read in a lovely park. Sometimes, though, that’s not enough and I need a proper mini-holiday away, or at least get away from Canterbury and any reminders of my studies! Since I don’t drive in the UK, I have to rely on public transportation. However, since we’re in the UK, forget about any misgivings you may have about traveling by bus. In the UK, the buses are very clean, on time, AND they’re mostly double-decker! The British might be used to these factors, but to me, it made traveling a little more fun.

Paris in Boston Canterbury Stour River
Stour River in Canterbury

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Review, Sightseeing, Travel

First-timers' guide to attending the Olympics

I can’t believe it’s already been 4 years since the London Olympics! It was really fortuitous that my PhD plans coincided with London hosting the Olympics in 2012, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to experience the Olympics in person. Funny enough, I recently found an essay I wrote almost 20 years ago about what I want to accomplish in 20 years, and I wrote that I hoped to attend the Olympics on day!

Since the 2016 Olympics are starting this Friday in Rio, I thought it would be fun to provide some tips for those looking to attend their first Olympics – and maybe see an event for free!

London Covent Garden Olympics Signs
Colorful Olympic banners in Covent Garden

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Transportation, Travel

Traveling ON your birthday

Many of us travel to celebrate special occasions, especially birthdays, but what if you had to travel ON your birthday? As in, spend most of the day on a bus, train, and plane? Sometimes the need to save money and book flights with optimal departure and arrival times results in spending a significant time traveling on one’s birthday. This is exactly what I had to recently consider when I was booking my trip back to the US from the UK. So what was it like spending my birthday basically alone, taking on various modes of transportation, and traveling over 3,000 miles? Join me as I relive this not-so-bad day!

Heathrow London to Boston Map
Just over 3,000 miles to get home! (image source: Google Maps)

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Review, Transportation, Travel

Pros and Cons of a last minute, overnight bus trip from London to Paris

Thinking of traveling from London to Paris on a budget? Definitely consider taking an overnight bus. While some may be hesitant to travel this way, there are some Pros and Cons to consider.

Paris Eiffel Tower in spring with flowers

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