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A Black Girl's Guide to London

I always wanted to go to London. I was inspired by the fashion, European architecture, and the busy London streets. I was able to make my dreams come true by booking a direct flight from New York City to London, England. My flight was only $470 through Norse Airlines. Of course with it being March, flights to London were pretty cheap due to it being their off season. I also purchased my flight just two weeks before my trip. After watching countless vlogs, I created the perfect itinerary for how I would spend my 48 hours in London. From sight seeing, a traditional British tea, to the eclectic nightlife, my short trip exceeded my expectations.

Day 1: Morning Arrival : Saturday March

UK Baddie Makeup Look

With the UK Baddie Makeup Look trending on every social media platform, I knew while in London, I was going to have to get my makeup done by a UK baddie herself. With a quick Instagram search for the hashtag #londonmakeupartist, I found my girl Aliyah. I had fallen in love with the flawless glowy makeup looks this past year and knew she was the perfect person to give me the look I was going for. I booked just two days before my flight and was able to secure a spot first thing Saturday morning. Getting my makeup done professionally in London allowed me to learn how to perfect the popular makeup trend. Unexpectedly, this appointment led me to some new friends I’d get to hang out with later on during my stay.

Day 1: Afternoon Saturday March

Oxford St.

Once my face was beat, I was ready to head out and explore the city. My first stop was Oxford St, a popular shopping hub on the West End of London. I went in and out of stores like H&M, Zara, and of course TJ Maxx. This area is also filled with a melting pot of great restaurants to try. It did get very crowded in the middle of the day on a Saturday but I did not hesitate to pull out my tripod to capture some great photos.

While on Oxford St. I ate at Enish, an upscale Nigerian restaurant chain serving traditional cuisines. Enish serves traditional favorites like jollof rice, egusi soup, and more. I was excited to have the stewed beef with a side of jollof rice and plantains. Though it was pretty earlier in the afternoon I added a pina colada to complete my meal. The service was great and I truly enjoyed my meal.

Day 1: Late Afternoon Saturday March

After lunch, I called an Uber to take me to my traditional British tea. I pre-booked my traditional tea at The Kensington Hotel at The Town House. After reading several blogs, I found this place to not only be affordable but the perfect chic aesthetic. It was a little bit of a drive getting to the South Kensington neighborhood of London. The Afternoon Tea at The Kensington was an 80 Days Around the World Theme where I got to try different teas from various countries accompanied by desserts and assorted finger sandwiches. I really felt like a bougie princess during this experience. I got to learn where different teas derived from and try some new pastries. I would definitely recommend this experience.

Day 1: Saturday Evening

Later that night I hopped on the Tube which is the London underground transit. This was my favorite way to get around the city. Not only did I get to feel like a tourist, it was a very cheap way to travel. A single ticket can cost £6.70. I got off the stop for Piccadilly Circus. This was listed on several blogs as a very popular tourist spot. The bright and scenic scenery definitely made me feel like I was in a little Times Square. I hopped on a bike taxi and rode around the busy

streets. Now this was not a cheap way costing over £60 to explore but definitely worth the fun time.

Visit Chinatown

Right next to the Piccadilly Circus area I stumbled across Chinatown. Chinatown reminded me of Chinatown in some of America’s major cities, but the food was quite different. I ate at Lido Chinese restaurant where the menu had authentic Chinese delicacies of shark fin dumplings, deep fried squid, and duck fried rice. I always say while traveling overseas it’s good to try something unique that you can’t have at home and I will definitely say the duck fried rice did not disappoint.

Day 2: Sunday Morning March

On day two, I woke up to do some more sightseeing. While staying at the DoubleTree Hilton at the Tower London, I was fairly close to a lot of attractions. I started my walk for brunch and stumbled upon the Solstice London. I had an order of pancakes and was shocked at the small portions. When visiting European countries, I always forget that portion sizes are much smaller than American entrees. Even with the smaller size I was pleased with my meal. I enjoyed the hospitality of the entire staff and would add this restaurant to brunch spots to check out.

The London Eye

For the most amazing views of London, this giant ferris wheel is the perfect way to go. After my quick brunch at Solstice, I called an Uber and headed to the London Eye. I purchased my ticket for the London Eye at arrival and briefly waited in line before hopping on. The London Eye is by far the largest ferris wheel I had ever rode. With a capacity of 28 people per pod and over 440 feet in the area, you can see the entire city and the popular Big Ben.

Day 2 Sunday Evening

Concert/ Nightlife

Later that night I was invited to a concert by my makeup artist. The concert was of Zinoleesky, a well known Afrobeats artist . It was held at the Proud Embankment just minutes away from my hotel. I purchased my ticket for just £40. And yes I had the time of my life. The energy was so fun and I loved how everyone danced the whole night. I was so close and had the best time singing some of my favorite hits. After the concert we headed to get Lebanon food and I got another little tour of the city. It was fun hanging with locals and learning some British slang. I can honestly say this was the perfect way to spend my last night in England.

This was my second international trip and I had such an amazing time. I got to meet new people, try new foods, and explore a new city. This is your sign to book that trip and that it is okay to go alone because you never know what new adventure is in store for you.

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