Sunday vibes in the new neighbourhood

Happy Sunday lovelies!

The last few weeks were ultimately consumed with surfing SpareRoom.co.uk and FlatShare.co.uk in an effort to find the perfect new flat. Well after searching endlessly, I have found my new humble abode in the bustling yet relaxing neighborhood of West Hampstead in North London. So why not get familiar with your new high street with a little brunchy?

We made our way to the Alice House, a vintage chic casual dining spot with a table in the sunshine calling our names!

Alice House | Photo by McKenna
Alice House | Photo by McKenna

Our table of three opted for delicious mimosas, bloody marys and refreshing grapefruit-infused still water. My meal of choice consisted of wheat pancakes, weaving in smoked salmon, goat’s cheese and arugula. Heaven on a plate!

Alice House | Photo by McKenna
Alice House | Photo by McKenna
Alice House's Bloody Mary | Photo by McKenna
Alice House’s Bloody Mary | Photo by McKenna

Aside from delicious breakfast spots just a short walk away, this quaint neighbourhood is the ideal location for my second flat since moving to London. Less than a 10-minute journey on the Jubilee line and I’m in Central London, which brings lots of exploring and touristy bits to cross off the list! Here’s a snapshot of my recent adventures!

Beautiful day in Hyde Park | Photo by McKenna
Beautiful day in Hyde Park | Photo by McKenna
St. Jame's Park | Photo by McKenna
St. Jame’s Park | Photo by McKenna
Saint Albans Cathedral in Hertfordshire
Saint Albans Cathedral in Hertfordshire
Saint Paul's Cathedral | Photo by McKenna
Saint Paul’s Cathedral | Photo by McKenna

Now kick back, relax and have an amazing Sunday Funday!

Sunday well spent brings a week of content

xxx

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 8.54.30 PM

Advertisements

London foodie finds: The Orangery

Who doesn’t love afternoon tea? The elegant ambiance, sense of tradition and fab food and drink pairing is what makes the whole experience nothing short of perfect.

The Orangery in Kensington Palace Gardens is my go-to afternoon tea spot when I have friends and family in town. The simple chic tearoom situated in pristine royal gardens offers adorable sandwiches, delicious cakes and tea presented on gorgeous mint and gold floral china. And if you’re feeling up for it, top it all off with a bottle of bubbles! Bubbles are always a good thing.

The Orangery makes you feel like you’re in the scene of a movie … with scones and clotted cream! I grew up having a cup of English breakfast tea every morning (thanks to my English father!) so I’m no stranger to the teapot. But even if you’re trying tea for the first time, an afternoon at The Orangery will start you off on the right foot!

The Orangery
Afternoon tea at The Orangery | Photo by McKenna
The Orangery
The Orangery | Kensington Palace Gardens

Whether your prefer to go for an herbal infusion or a cup of oolong … you’ll experience a unique English afternoon tea you’re sure to remember. When in England … drink tea, am I right?

But… my afternoon tea search hasn’t ended in the royal borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Share your go-to spots  — I’m always up for trying something new!

xx

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 8.54.30 PM

My good friend, Carroll

Here’s my snapshot for the day. It’s an important one.

It marks the second time I ventured outside after my two-week-long tonsillectomy recovery and thank goodness I did. It’s a gorgeous day! Yay!

This is Carroll Creek in little, quaint Frederick, MD (my hometown and recently ranked in Livability‘s Top 10 Downtowns of 2014!), which is about 50 miles northwest of DC. You’ll find antique shops, cute boutiques, delectable restaurants with patios and the arts!

Carroll Creek in Frederick, MD on a beautiful April afternoon. | Photo by McKenna
Carroll Creek in Frederick, MD on a beautiful April afternoon. | Photo by McKenna

Come visit and take in this view yourself! 🙂

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 8.54.30 PM

Serenity on the lake

The sun didn’t come out today and I didn’t even mind. There’s just something about being on the lake  – it’s calm, serene, picturesque.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a total beach babe, but hanging your feet over the end of a dock perched above still-water is beyond relaxing. Which is why my Saturday was a pleasant one – an afternoon with family, good drinks and the swans 🙂

fawnlake
A relaxing view from the dock of my cousin’s lakehouse in Fredericksburg, VA.
swans
Sentimental Saturday – Flashback to a refreshing afternoon on the lake last fall. Love the neighborhood swans who tend to always glide around the dock.

Hope you had a great Saturday – one for the books!

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 8.54.30 PM

Tearoom snapshots | The list

Quaint cafes, bakeries and tearooms are my jam. Whether I’m trying to be productive and get piles of work accomplished or going to brunch with a friend, I always eventually find myself perched on a comfy armchair ordering a chaippuccino (my new obsession!) –

Over the past few weeks I’ve been Instagramming at these venues A LOT – I mean who can resist snapshotting an adorable latte with a half-eaten chocolate croissant, anyway?

Here are my top picks for cafes for both work and play – in the District and from my Eurotrip 🙂 Who doesn’t love espresso and sweets?

1. Tryst | Coffeehouse – Bar – Lounge | Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C. 

Tryst is my go-to. Whenever I want to grab a coffee, put my headphones in and cross a few tasks off my to-do list, I go to Tryst. They also have an amazing chaippuccino served with animal crackers (pictured below), half-priced wines at 4 p.m. and live music on select nights. What more could you ask for?! 

trystcafe
Chaippuccino with animal crackers on the side – yum.

2. Angelina Tearoom | Paris, France 

Angelina is perfection. A historic tearoom on Rue de Rivoli in Paris. It’s a perfect pitstop between a morning of shopping and an afternoon at the Louvre. You can’t deny it – those desserts are pristine and mouthwatering. Great cappuccinos and little gifts, as well!

angelinacafe
Talk about aesthetically pleasing, gorgeous!

3. Caelum | Barcelona, Spain

Caelum has such a humble, family oriented vibe. You could tell that every cake, croissant and quiche was baked right in the shop. The intimate setting, over beautiful hardwood floors with a small crystal chandelier floating above, was a perfect way to start off a day of sightseeing in Barcelona. Not to mention, beyond delicious!

caelumcafe
It was a cappuccino, quiche and Ray-Ban clubmasters kind of morning.

4. Colorova Patisserie | Paris, France

And we’ve switched back over to French tearooms! My friend Diana and I discovered Colorova on Vogue’s Weekend Guide – and thank goodness we did. This casual, colorful, loungy tearoom ended up being the best bang for our buck with a high quality of presentation and flavor 🙂 For a fixed price we received mint tea, a variety of spreads, poached eggs, cauliflower soup and a fresh fruit salad in an orange blossom dressing. It was all scrumptious. Colorova, I will be back!

colorovacafe
Cappuccino and a variety of spreads at Colorova. And whoops, I leave lipstick stains everywhere.

5. Emily’s Tearoom | Alexandria, Virginia 

Sometimes the most delicious brunch is at home! My amazing cousin Emily whipped up this outstanding morning meal – eggs benedict with homemade hollandaise sauce, hashbrowns and fresh berries. And of course we couldn’t forget my coffee fix! Emily’s Tearoom’s specialities are always made with love 🙂

emilybrunch
Eggs benedict, hash browns, fresh berries and a cup o’ Joe.

Which one do you think sounds like your kind of place? Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of these gems 🙂

Tomorrow’s Saturday, so happy brunch, loves!

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 8.54.30 PM

Oh, we brunch

Since I moved to DC, I have found myself at brunch almost every single Saturday and Sunday – and I’m not hating it one bit.

Honestly, I didn’t think it was possible to beat New York in the brunch competition – but DC has come on strong.  The District is King when it comes to a variety of venues offering bottomless barrels of mimosas and bloody marys alongside delicious breakfast plates.

I love new dining experiences – and my Instagram definitely reflects that. Take a look at two of my brunch shots below.

Masa 14 | Photo by McKenna
Masa 14 | Photo by McKenna
Martin’s | Photo by McKenna

I know it’s Monday, but the weekend will be here before we know it!

And yes, brunch can be used as a verb. We brunch. 

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 8.54.30 PM