I didn’t half time this post well as I’m currently sat in the very place itself! I wasn’t as excited when my alarm went off at 5am, I can assure you. It’s the first time I’ve been back in London since moving out in July so I’m extremely eager to be back to roaming my old streets. I’m here for blogging purposes (pinch me) and will be meeting up with a few friends as well as packing in as much walking as I can to rack up the nostalgia. And of course, I’ll be heading for a spot of brunch as soon as I get my bearings because there’s really nowhere that does brunches better than the cafés of London.
You know how they say, ‘You don’t know what you have until it’s gone’? Well this couldn’t be more true regarding how much I currently miss London. I know I used to complain about it a lot on here – that it was too crowded, too expensive, too anonymous. But now that I’m back in Liverpool, there’s a hole in my heart where London used to be.
In my second year of university I was walking to a lecture when I realised how bored I was of Liverpool. As much as I love the city and call it home, I just felt like it had served its purpose for me. I was ready for something different. But once I got to London, I was pining for Liverpool all the time, telling anyone who would listen that it was the best city on earth. So why is it that I have to leave somewhere to realise how great it is?
Even though London had a lot of cons for me (read: rent) and was always too crowded and anonymous for my liking, there are a few things I’m beginning to miss about the capital I was able to call home for 13 months.
I just wish I could wake up on a Saturday morning, in my old room in Mitcham and it be a cold but sunny, brisk day. I’d hop on the tram to Wimbledon, take the District line to Earls Court and walk through the streets of Chelsea. There’d be leaves on the ground, it would be chilly but the sun would be shining and the roads would be quiet. I’d be making my way to the Bluebird café to have my favourite breakfast in my favourite setting. This was the kind of London I loved. The quiet but beautiful parts.
And now I miss it. And all of the amazing brunches I had. I tried my best to sample as many brunches as possible in as many districts as possible. I made a list of my favourites which you can find here. There are still so many brunches to be had and sampled and it’s the thing I miss doing most at the weekends.
Now that I’m back in Liverpool, most of my weekend mornings are spent in bed suffering from a hangover so brunch is usually always missed.
2. Exploring the city
In the summer, there’s nothing better to do than take the boat along the Thames out to Greenwich. Sitting in Greenwich Market with a glass of Pimms. And in Winter, there’s nothing better than visiting Winter Wonderland, Winterville or the amazing lights on Regent Street. But there’s more to London than Soho and Oxford Street.
When anyone came to visit me during my time in London, I would always take them out of the city centre. We would go to Brixton, Clapham, Camden or Notting Hill. I much prefer the less touristy areas and there’s still so much to see and do in them. I prefer ‘real’ London, not the busy Leicester Square or Southbank. However, walking along Southwark was one of my favourite things to do. As was seeing a show on the West End at the weekend. I’m a walking contradiction, aren’t I?
That was the best thing about being in London. You could never complain of being bored. There was always a new area to discover or visit. It was also quite a drawback, as I always felt guilty if I didn’t spend my weekends out and about in the city. How are you meant to switch off when you live somewhere like London?
There’s something extremely magical about Christmas in London; Winter Wonderland, Regent Street, Harrods, Winterville, the ice rink at Somerset House, Covent Garden… The list is never ending. I’m so happy I got to live in London over the Christmas period and experience as much of it as possible.
From early morning brunches in Chelsea to a Sunday roast in the pub, it was the best. Just like any other time of the year, there’s so much to do in London at Christmas. I had a few family and friends visit during December/January and I think this was the time I saw the most West End shows as they were a lot cheaper in January. The Christmas mood didn’t really stop in London until February.
Plus the good thing about living away from home is that I get to experience the run up to Christmas wherever I’m living and then spend actual Christmas back in Ireland with my family and friends. My favourite thing is going home for Christmas and seeing everyone in my old work (the regulars at the bar) and meeting up with my whole family on Christmas Eve. I weirdly prefer the build up to Christmas over Christmas Day.
4. My job and my team
I miss my job so much. I miss my team even more. I miss the life it used to give me and the opportunities I could take. I miss doing PR and I miss working with those brands. I loved everything about my job. I miss waking up in the mornings, excited to go to work.
I miss being able to grab a Starbucks then head into the office, flick through the magazines for coverage, answer emails, make reports, send out new launches, all of it. I miss the dramas, the excitement, watching what competitors were up to, the events and always having something exciting to look forward to.
Everything about my job was perfect, from my role to my team to the interns to the free Diet Coke I used to make the most of. I would go back to Coty tomorrow if I could. I even miss my desk with my posters of Niall Horan. Can I drop out of final year and go back to Wimbledon now please?
5. My Instagram content
There’s an Instagrammable moment on every street corner of London. From the skyline along Southbank, the View from the Shard or Sky Garden or even the Monument to all the glitzy events I got to attend. My Instagram stories were always on point and I was having a sad reminisce through them a few days ago. I don’t know if I’ll ever see myself fist-pumping Craig David again in my Instagram stories of the future.
I was doing so many different things in London, from movie premieres to award shows to celebrity spotting. The only thing I seem to do in Liverpool is visit the same bars every weekend. It doesn’t make for exciting viewing in comparison to my London life.
Hopefully wherever I go and whatever I do after graduation will make for more exciting content. Who lives their life around Instagram? Us Millennials/Generation Z’ers do.
I know I’ll return to live in London some day. But I also know that it won’t be in the immediate future. It will be once I’ve seen other parts of the world, worked in different cultures and can afford to pay rent in the city. I also think it will be when I’m ready to finally settle down and make it my home.