Borrowing Britain

Pretty Little London + Wisteria Galore

Ciao bella!

The past two weeks have been an absolute whirlwind. I packed up everything I own in a 10×10 cube, hauled two giant suitcases through the mouse-ear clad families at MCO and moved across the pond to become a temporary tourist myself. Well, nomad sounds a little more culturally sound. I expected to feel a bit out of sorts upon my arrival in Will & Kate’s territory, though strangely enough it just felt like home.

pretty white house with purple wisteria

purple wisteria in london

To give you a little background, I spent 3 months studying in Italy back in 2015. Nine countries, 100 plates of pasta and a gillion cappuccinos later, I had this deep feeling this wouldn’t be my last stint abroad. Call it God, fate, or just good fortune but I have the opportunity to spend the second half of 2017 exploring all the places I missed the first time around. And revisiting some oldies of course! You’ll be seeing a lot of my friend, Alexis who has a blog of her own. And if you don’t follow her yet, go go go! An unofficial model, she will give you major travel goals. (Stay tuned for a post on her July wedding at a stoic UK Estate complete with climbing ivy)!

cappuccinos in granger & co brunch

wisteria covered shop in london

So let’s get to it shall we? I’ve spent my first couple weekends getting better acquainted with bustling London + the charming towns surrounding it. If you know me, you know I place food on a pedestal. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that my first order of business was visiting Granger & Co for weekend brunch! An Aussie treasure nestled characteristically in Notting Hill, this little cafe is fresh, intimate and absolutely thriving with locals and visitors alike. I’ve never not seen a line out the door, but in a way the 2 hour wait is part of its charm. And if you’re in it for the long haul, go for the full aussie. This breakfast converted me into a mushroom connoisseur!

granger and co brunch

irish setter dog london

We spent the rest of the day popping into the narrow alleyways and mews of Chelsea in a never-ending search for wisteria. Only out for 2 weeks of the year, we weren’t about to throw away our shot. (Hamilton reference 1 of 1776). We stumbled upon absolute gold with this classic white townhouse boasting a poppy pink door. Wisteria extended from the facade to the gate to create this lavender canopy of cascading blooms. Simply breathtaking!

pastel pink door with purple wisteria

wisteria notting hill london

My favorite thing to do in London is just wander. Of course you should see all the big attractions like Westminster Abbey, Portobello Road, Big Ben (and maybe even the Parent Trap house). But it’s the small shops and local finds that give this city its character. Just strolling without agenda, we came upon a delightful frame shop with open-faced frames stacked so high there was barely room for exploration. Luckily, I found a 19th c frame sporting a sleek ornamentation pattern across its borders. The shopkeeper explained this pattern was named after Marie Antoinette’s interior designer! I could have stayed there all day to hear stories about each of these frames.

antique frames notting hill

19th century frames notting hill antique shop

After strolling through Regent Street, we decided to meet up with a friend in China Town for some late night grub. China Town neighbors West End, so if you plan to go, just be prepared to battle hundreds of musical-goers for a spot at a table. A quick turnaround seems to be the ultimate goal here, so the dining experience is more about refilling than relaxing. Absolutely delicious though! Afterwards, we walked into a nearby pub for a few rounds of Guinness – when in London, right?

china town west end london

red old fashioned car london

Though my feet might argue with you, it was a pretty perfect day! The following afternoon was much lazier, with a visit to Windsor for some afternoon tea with Ben (Alexis’ fiance) and his family. It was a beautiful day marked with good conversation, good people and really good tea.

And with that I bid you adieu for now!





  1. Reply

    December 22, 2017

    May I simply say what a comfort to discover somebody who actually knows what they are
    talking about on the web. You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    More and more people ought to check this out and understand this side of your story.
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  2. Reply


    March 25, 2018

    Hello Haley,

    May I ask you what is the frames shop, or where is it located ? Thank you 🙂

    • Reply


      March 27, 2018

      Absolutely! It’s called Lacy Gallery located in Notting Hill – right near Granger & Co so I’d suggest doubling up on visits 🙂

  3. Reply


    April 24, 2018

    Could you also tell me the location of the pink door with wisteria? Thank you!

    • Reply


      April 24, 2018

      Oh gosh, I really just stumbled upon it! But I know it’s in Notting Hill 🙂

  4. Reply


    April 25, 2018

    That’s alright! Thanks anyway! 😉