London Highlight #2: Harrod’s & Liberty

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We ended our second day in London with a quick stop inside Harrods. Since London is so huge with lots to do, I tried my best to research and plan ahead of time (despite my natural inclination to just “roll with it”). Every person that I spoke to, blog post, website and forum that I read mentioned Harrods, and instead of focusing on the major credit card damage that you could do inside, everyone said that I had to check out the food court. If you’re like me, the words “food court” make you think of Jamba Juice and Panda Express — think again! Harrods blew away all expectations. Once you step inside, just follow your nose and you’ll likely find yourself lost inside the maze of tea and desserts… you’ll see a full date bar, cheeses & pies, breads, Japanese cuisine, oysters…even just regular produce.

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(check out all those dates!)

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(for the cheese lovers)

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(no photos allowed! sorry i’m not sorry!)

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Regrettably, I did not have the best appetite. We treated ourselves to a full, proper afternoon tea at the Kensington Palace a few hours prior (more on that later!) and while my brain said “try EVERYTHING!”, my wallet and stomach said “maybe next time”. Don’t those pies look delicious though?! Don’t even get me started on the oyster bar.

Liberty London on Regent Street was another fond memory from the trip and a must-do. We stopped in for a cup of tea (obviously), but I could have spent hours wandering inside… i

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Liberty is another department store in the “look, don’t touch” category but it is situated in a super old building that is true to its original 1875 architecture. It’s known for its playful and luxurious use of floral and graphic prints and of course, its rich history. If you’re Gwyneth Paltrow, this is where you would shop for your unique gifts and oddities like the kitty tower pictured above (priced at over 100 pounds)! In many ways, Liberty is a typical designer department store, but it also has a stationary shop, home goods, even fabrics sold off the bolt. Picture me in window-shopping heaven!

London Highlight #1: Borough Market

It’s hard to pinpoint a favorite memory from my trip to London, but visiting Borough Market is definitely up there on the list.

If you enjoy local fruits and veggies, freshly baked goods, gourmet cheeses and charcuterie and unique jams and spreads, you must carve out a few hours to spend at Borough Market. It’s located on the Southbank and is easily accessible from the tube (London Bridge Station)…just make sure you come with an appetite because you’ll want to try everything! Upon arrival, Lauren and I swept through the market to see what we were up against. Unlike the food court at Harrods, the vendors were all mostly friendly and willing to provide samples. We tried all kinds of cheeses, charcuterie, and olives before choosing our meal. Lauren is a vegetarian and was satisfied by all the cheese and bread samples (umm, fresh baked sourdough? Yes please!), but she patiently watched me slurp down some oysters. We also enjoyed some fresh squeezed OJ, a yummy parmesan and olive bread stick, some leek and potato & tomato basil soup, and a small focaccia. Mmmm! Our only regret was not having enough room for dessert.

More photos after the jump!

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London On Foot

A few months ago, I was offered a chance to go to Frankfurt, Germany to check out a new trade show. Five or six years ago, I would have dropped everything at the opportunity to travel so it was really weird to feel resistance and anxiety about leaving home this time. When vacation days are few and precious, money isn’t exactly flowing, and life at home is really comfortable, it’s much harder to leave (yikes, I am getting old and boring aren’t I?!) However, a free trip to Europe doesn’t come around often so before I knew it, I was planning a trip!

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Mini Photoshoot

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*BRAG ABOUT YOUR CUTE PUPPY BLOG POST ALERT*

We’re so lucky to be friends with talented people like Jocelyn. When she’s behind a camera lens, she can make anything and everything look awesome and dreamy…

A few weekends ago, Jackie, Charley and I tagged along on one of Jocelyn and Ivy’s photo adventures. They are working on perfecting their night photography (and Jocelyn’s focusing on B&W) so we were going to meet at the Griffith Observatory because it was a beautiful full moon. Apparently all the couples in town had the same idea so we turned to plan B: the First Street Bridge in Downtown LA. J and I never leave our Westside bubble, not to mention after 9pm, but Ivy and Joce are slowly getting us out of our grandma habits…I’m so glad we went! All the photos in this post were taken by Jocelyn and if you like what you see here, you should definitely go check out the rest of her work here.

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The photo on the left is one of my favorites — ASPCA ad anyone? Can’t you just hear Sarah McLaughlin singing in the background?

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Speaking of ads…if anyone from Ruffwear is reading this, Charley would love to be one of your models. She is sporting her Webmaster harness here and always receives so many compliments! We think she looks like she’s about to jump off a plane!

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The most awkward/awesome family photo and Charley’s soft schnoz. My, I love that pup.

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Thanks for the impromptu photoshoot, Joce!