High Tea for Three

The one thing I wanted to experience in London was high tea. My sister & I already had our fill of tea over the days spent in London, but we were excited to be fancy for a day, get dressed up, and go to one of the most extravagant hotels in England. Our seating was at 1:00, so we spent the day walking around, exploring the streets of London until it was time to get ready! I was in awe everywhere we went. While I love the architecture in some neighborhoods like Soho or the West Village, it was so nice to see so many streets untouched by modern architecture.

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We journeyed back to our hotel & primped ourselves for high tea at the Ritz London! We hopped in a cab and were greeted by the most amazing cab driver of all time. I never believed I had a strong New Jersey accent, but our cab driver surely thought we did. He asked if we were on that show called the Sopranos, which caused us to burst into a fit of laughter. We finally arrived at the Ritz & headed inside. Our hotel was very modern so we were amazed by the opulence and grandeur of the place. The gold trimming, the ornate fixtures, the marble floors, it was spectacular. We were quickly ushered inside and in true Mrs. Conroy form we were one of the first parties to arrive for our seating, hence why all of our pictures look like no one was there! It was jam packed by the time we departed.

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We were beyond full when we left, having eaten our fill of scones, clotted cream, jam, finger sandwiches, pastries, and tea. Ashley headed back to the room for a nap, so my Mom & I decided to walk around in search of a tea shop. We stopped in a small cathedral along the way. The molding, the columns, the pews, everything was so gorgeous. My mom has yelled at me multiple times when I have said I do not want to get married in my childhood church. I believe it is too modern and lacks beauty, and after seeing how gorgeous these churches were, I am more adamant about it now. There is so much character in older churches, the effort that went into building them, the attention to detail, it makes a huge difference.

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We moseyed around Covent Garden and finally made it to our destination! I picked up a few boxes of tea, some Earl Gray and Chamomille!

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We headed back to the hotel had a beer, showered up and headed out for dinner. I did not take pictures this night because 1. the lighting in the restaurant was horrible, 2. we were not fond of the restaurant (a small tapas place), and 3. I left my good camera in the hotel room. We got back to the hotel after dinner had some drinks, then drifted off to sleep wanting to be well rested for our last day in London!

 

 

 

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A Cloudy Day in London

Our third day in London started off dreary and cloudy, but we were determined to make the most of it. We had some breakfast, then headed off to the London underground, hitting up Trafalgar Square along the way.

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My sister took around 8,000,000 selfies the entire trip.  I am not a selfie pro but have taken the occasional, but as you can see in the below image our Mom clearly had no idea what a selfie was hence the confused “what do I do” face.

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We finally made it to the tube station and were really shocked as to how underground their subway system is. In NYC, you go down a few steps and are there, but in London you are stories underground. Compared to the NYC subway it was immaculate however, not even a speck of garbage, no smells of pee and other questionable things, it was great!

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We took the tube a few stops until we emerged at the Natural History Musuem. While my sister and Mom found it to be fascinating, I found it incredibly boring. What I did find fascinating, was the architecture. I spent more time looking, examining, and photographing that than I did the exhibits. It was remarkable, the detail,the stained glass, the time, the materials used, I was in awe. The dinosaurs, rock formations, leaves, what have you left me quite sleepy and I was ready to head elsewhere.

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Once everyone had their fill, we headed off to the museum I was most eager to see, the Victoria & Albert Museum. There were so many great collections, from fashion labels such as Givenchy, Christian Dior and Alexander McQueen, to rock tees through the decades, to art and artifacts from Ancient Rome, I loved it. We rushed through the museum, much to my dismay. My sister was starving and needed to be fed haha.

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We bolted off to Harrod’s in search of typical touristy souvenirs and some tea/food. I was not impressed, it was like an ornate Saks Fifth Avenue, but of course it was a must see along the way. We stopped in their “Tea Room” for lunch & while the tea was good the rest of the experience was not. We finished our lunch & headed to the souvenir shop to pick up some ornaments for our Christmas tree, gifts for the family & other gadgets. By this point we were exhausted & headed back to the hotel to shower & get ready for dinner!

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We headed to Bocca Di Lupo, a small little Italian spot near the Soho area of London. The food was absolutely perfect. I started off with a radish salad, which was presented in a cute little tower formation. Then moved on to a spaghetti, with basil, olives and fresh tomatoes. This was the only time I was sad over the portion size because it was THAT good. I cannot remember the dessert we tried, but my sister and I like two little kids, started giggling over a dessert entitled “Le palle del nonno” or “Grandpas Balls”. I may almost be 25 but sometimes my brain acts like a 5 year old.

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Once finished, we gathered up our things and strolled through Piccadilly Circus. It was basically the equivalent of Times Square, my mother was not too happy with the area so I hailed down a cab and we headed off to our hotel for some amazing martinis and Moscow mules.

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London Calling x 2

For some reason we lucked out with the weather in London it only rained for an hour the entire time we were there! That happened to be the day we woke up bright and early…no really my mother had us wake up at 7am (or 2am NYC time) to eat breakfast and head up to Buckingham Palace. We needed a FRONT row spot to watch the Changing of the Guards.

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We strolled through Saint James Park on our way to the palace. Stopping to take in the sights as we went along. The one thing I noticed about London, everything was SO clean! We stopped to take some pictures along the way sticking out as the ultimate tourists to all the locals.

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Finally after a 30 minute walk or so we arrived at Buckingham Palace, took a million pictures & then waited the three hours until the Changing of the Guards actually began.

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This was the only thing my mother wanted to see in London so my sister and I tried not to complain during the three hour wait. Eventually we caved & went on a search for Starbucks, making it back just in time! Did you know they play Michael Jackson songs? We found this quite humorous.

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Needless to say it was something cool to witness, but it was a one time thing. From here we planned to head to Harrod’s, but it began to rain so we decided to go on a tour of Buckingham Palace instead, no photos allowed 😦 . It was an incredible experience, being able to walk through the halls and see the opulence of the architecture and decor. We managed to get this one picture outside of the palace.

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From here we headed back to our hotel, my sister needed a nap and some gym time, so my mother & I went to tea!

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The tea in London was out of this world, I have hunted down the purveyor of the tea I drank every day and plan on having a case or two shipped to the states. After tea, we headed back to our room to get ready for dinner! The dress that I wore (pictured above) is one of my absolute favorite purchases! It is from ASOS and is on SALEEEEE ❤ & the boots were so comfortable yet stylish (similar). I love planning dinners and had researched & made reservations at some of the best restaurants in London! For our second night, we headed to Berners Tavern. It was incredible, my favorite meal of our London trip. I started off with an heirloom tomato salad which was impeccable.

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I then moved on to a glass of wine and a new season pea, broad bean and goat’s cheese risotto with crispy quail egg, pea shoot and spring onion salad! It was delicious. The quail eggs were perfectly cooked, the risotto was just right & the presentation was simple but appetizing. After, we once again split a dessert! This time we went for a toasted coconut creme brulee, with a pineapple, coconut and malibu sorbet!

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I really recommend that you make a reservation if you are ever there, but make sure you book in advance! You can do so here. Once dinner was over and we had stuffed ourselves, we walked around Piccadilly circus! My mom was not a fan of the area so we headed back to our hotel & stopped for a drink before heading off to bed 🙂 xx

 

 

 

LONDON CALLING

So, my obsession with London may stem from my love of my future husband…Prince Harry. No just kidding, but maybe not. Ever since I was a little girl I have been begging my parents to go to London and FINALLY as an early 25th birthday present my parents agreed (it has secretly been my Moms dream too). It was a magical trip and I even convinced them to sneak in a few days in Paris as well! My dad unfortunately was unable to come on this trip due to my parents new puppy & work 😦 but we sent him a million pictures so I hope he felt as if he was with us!

Our journey started off at my NYC apartment where we packed and weighed our bags and yelled over who stole each others shoes, etc. Finally, we were off to JFK!!! After a traffic filled drive we sailed through check in, security and so on! My sister even got hit on by a TSA agent of course. Eventually we boarded and were off on our red-eye to Heathrow.

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We touched down to sunny skies and perfect weather! My sister did not sleep the whole plane ride but surprisingly fought through her exhaustion and once we checked into our insane hotel (images below)& got settled we were off! For anyone taking a trip to London I definitely recommend staying at the Corinthia Hotel! It was right in the middle of everything but in a secluded area so it was quiet!

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Off we went to see Big Ben, which we found out from a friendly cabbie was not actually called Big Ben (I feel like my childhood was a lie).

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We strolled along, stopping to be typical tourists and take pictures. The architecture is INSANE! We passed Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey, and many other known sites in London!  We stopped in front of Westminster Abbey to take pictures, but were unable to go inside as it was closed to visitors at that time 😦

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What trip to London would be complete without a photo in one of their iconic phone booths? We were warned that they would smell like pee and oh did they. Living in NYC I guess I have gotten used to the smell, but my sister was freaking out the entire time she was taking her picture haha. I also learned a little fact, to show his love for his wife Coco Chanel, her husband put the signature double C on every lamp post in the city!

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After a few hours the jet lag began to sink in. We headed back to our hotel to wash up and get ready for our first dinner in London! We stopped by the hotel lobby for some tea, some WINE for me and some little snacks before our reservation.

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We headed to the restaurant which was so conveniently located in our hotel and settled into our table. The restaurant was so beautifully decorated, everything was so grand. If you are ever in London, check out Massimo in the Corinthia Hotel. It was great fresh Italian food & the pasta was homemade which always makes for a better dish. I apologize in advance for the blurry food pictures, the lighting was so bad for photography.

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We started off with some appetizers,  I had the autumn salad & it was delicious. Layered with mixed greens, pumpkin shavings, butternut squash and other seasonal vegetables it hit the spot! Of course to accompany this I had to have a glass of red wine. I think I drank wine every single night I was in Europe but hey why not.

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For my entree, I snacked on mafalde con ragù napoletano e ricotta or in English pasta with a meat ragu & ricotta. It was exquisite! I am such a foodie, I love going to different restaurants and trying different cuisines. It makes me so happy when food is presented beautifully & tastes amazing as well, but at this point I could have cared less because it was cooked to perfection & seasoned just right! The rest of the family agreed.

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We finished our meal with a dessert to share deciding on the pastiera con gelato alla vaniglia or Neopolitan cake with vanilla gelato. After paying the bill the my mother, sister & I headed up to our beds for a jet lag induced sleep.

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24 Things I Have Learned In 24 Years.

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1. It is not about the quantity of friends you have – Really the only thing you need besides family of course, are a few close friends who always will have your back, there’s no need for fake/useless friends…in the past year I have cut a lot of them out of my life and you know what, my life has been 110% more amazing.

2. Get some ZZZ’s – Sleep will keep you young, it will keep you going. Those all nighters are a thing of college past. My current bedtime if not a weekend is usually 10 pm, Grandma status and I could not love it more.

3. Metabolism is not magic – I go through phases. Sometimes I am on a crazy health kick and others I buy all the Cheddar and Sour Cream chips out of the vending machines in my office. You only have one body, eat healthy, workout, meditate, cleanse, cherish it.

4. Be passionate about something – whether it be art, music, working out, fashion, find a passion you can call your own.

5. Take risks, don’t always do what is expected – take an unexpected job, move to a new country, town or city, get a puppy, take unexpected trips, do something wild.

6. Move to a different city – Everyone should live in New York City at some point in their life. It forces you to look closely at who you are, what you want, and why you want it.

7. Be humble – self explanatory.

8. Graduating college is not the end all- I remember graduating and thinking my life is over…but now I am starting to realize it has only just begun.

9. Save money but also spend money – Some days I wake up and think “OMG how am I going to afford college for my kids” and other days I wake up thinking “I really want those shoes”. Just go with the flow. Save a little here spend a little there, it will all work out.

10. Everyone else is winging it too, don’t sweat it. – Seriously though. I do not have a 10 year plan…not even a 1 year plan, everything falls into place.

11. You have to stop explaining and start doing. – You don’t owe people your time or energy so they can validate what you feel. There are few things that you actually have to justify doing, go out, do not care what others will think and just live.

12. Travel as much as you can – Growing up I traveled to the most generic (but amazing places) with my family. After working at my job, I realized how much the world has to offer and I plan on spending my $$ to take me to those places.

13. Develop your own personal style – Do not let others influence you, take risks with your fashion, it is the only way you’ll figure it out. Vintage stores are incredible oasis of style, no one else will have a piece you have and you can make any outfit your own. Fashion is a way to say who you are without speaking in the words of the always wise Rachel Zoe.

14. Learn to cook – Buy recipe books, test recipes out, fail miserably at some, excel at others. Practice makes perfect. Note to everyone – do not try to boil pasta in a microwave *cough brianna cough*

15. Seriously, do not sweat the small stuff (still trying to teach myself this) – I get severe anxiety over the smallest things, whether it be a restaurant reservation, planing a weekend with friends, a missing bikini, the little things stress me out. Be zen, do yoga, relax.

16. The most important things you’ll ever learn will come from someone with a different outlook on life than your own – Listen to others. Every single person has a story. Every single person can teach you something new about something you know nothing about. And every single person can teach you something new about yourself. You just have to be open to it.

17. Make a bucket list – As cliché as it sounds, just write one. Even if it only consists of a few things, you will feel remarkable when you can finally cross something off you have been wanting to accomplish.

18. Fall crazy in love with someone who treats you like dirt – DO IT. It will teach you what you deserve and how you deserve to be treated. You need to get your heart not only broken, but crushed, stomped on, and ripped to pieces. It will suck, but it is necessary, you will find yourself never wanting the “bad boy” again.

19. Your parents really do want the best for you – My 13-17 year old self would laugh at this statement. When they give you advice… listen. When they tell you not to do something… listen. I remember thinking at the time “ugh my parents are soooooo annoying, they never let me do anything” but now I just want to bow down at their feet and say thank you.

20. Slow down.  Really, though.  SLOW. DOWN. – I was 16, getting my permit, and my braces off yesterday, and now I am 24 with a job, an apartment, and responsibility in the blink of an eye. Just enjoy the ride, one day at a time.

21. Home truly is where the heart is. – the ocean breeze, the smell of the salt water, the roar of boat engines, the feeling of sand between my toes. NOTHING will ever compare to home.

22. Your family is your family. They are your people. In the end they will be the ones who have your back no matter how idiotic or stupid something you do may be.

23. Your SAT score, your grades, your freshman seminar biology class didn’t determine your destiny. You did. – I remember crying hysterically because I missed the Boston College SAT score by 50 points, you know what, I went to an amazing college, met amazing friends, graduated and got an amazing job. If i could go back in time I would tell my 17 year old self to shut up and stop worrying, you have the power to go out and do what you want to do and make yourself into anything your heart desires.

24. Make sure you collect a book full of experiences and memories – Go out make memories, fill scrapbooks, fill photo albums, save ticket stubs, save anything you wish. These little mementos, when looked back on, will remind you of the experiences you once had, no matter how small and meaningless they seem at the time. Travel the world, try a new hobby, go to dinner with friends, spend time with family, in the end experiences not things are what truly matter.

Travel Tales: Boston

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Headed up to Boston tomorrow to see some of the loveliest gals I know! It is my first trek to the gorgeous city. Second if you count the time I went to look at my dream school (BC). But that was high school and I couldn’t exactly see what Boston really had to offer. I am a huge Yankee’s fan so I told my friend Lauren I would be coming to visit with my Yankee’s cap in hand… to which she told me she would be mortified and not be seen with me in public. Soooo, I guess I will not be bringing my cap along for the trip. Tonight is going to involve packing and planning the perfect outfits. I asked Carly if the going out style in Boston was more “NYC” (black & trendy) or ” my Jersey” (beachy, boho, and casual not that guido crap you see on tv), to which she said its more “Fairfield and NYC”. What in the world do I pack.  My two personalities are confused, do I pack my gorgeous black leather jacket, or my floral boho kimono jacket I recently purchased. WHAT’S A GIRL TO DO. I did however hop on over to Brandy Melville yesterday where I picked up the teeniest black number, which I am proud to say fits after like 8 months of working out and 10 pounds lost since last summer. I shall pat myself on the back for that one. I do not think I will have time to post until after my trip, but be warned, my next will be full of all the glorious things Boston has to offer including shopping of course. Hey…maybe i’ll come home with a Red Sox fan boyfriend (my father would NOT be happy). xx

London Calling

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On my bucket list is a trip to England. Yes I know, London is nowhere near all that England has to offer, but I just thought it would be a catchy title. I will get to England eventually!!! I just love the culture, the architecture, accents, tea, etc. My one friend studied abroad there in college & I kick myself everyday for not doing it! I was too busy swimming (which looking back now, I wish I had quit after my freshman year, and regret it every second). I missed out on sooooo much college had to offer, like a chance to spend a semester abroad! Well, here are a few English things that I love, musicians, royalty, stores! Enjoy!

Ed Sheeran

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FAVORITE ALBUM OF THE YEAR, or maybe past few years, his voice, and talent is miles above everyone else! I saw him live a few months ago and the live performance of “Give Me Love” was just incredible. See an example of this live performance below, I listen to this on repeat while at work and never get sick of it. I get the chills everytime I listen to him sing, true talent. If anyone knows a person, who knows a person, who knows a person, that could get me to meet him, I would be eternally grateful. I would just like him to serenade me…

ASOS

I did a whole thing on them here, so check it out!!

Topshop

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Love their stuff. Trendy, edgy, current, vintage, great price points…what’s not to love! This British import finally landed in the United States a few years ago, opening in SOHO. I tend to just order from their website, because the store is on one of the busiest streets in NYC…Broadway. I just cannot deal with the loads of tourists and the hour waits to try things on, so I just shop online! Nothing wrong with that 🙂

Kate Middleton

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Her style, her grace, her everything is flawless. I love her looks, her hair, her makeup, she truly is a natural beauty! That wedding dress and every gown choice since then have been exquisite. If I could trade lives with anyone for a day I would 100% without a doubt pick Kate. She is just so glamorous, regal, and poised. True perfection.

Accents

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I just want to have one. I always wonder what American accents sound like to people from different countries, and I myself love a British or Australian accent. I always joke around with my mom that I am going to end up marrying someone from England, because I find the accents so hot. But really, what do American accents sound like to a non-american??? I am curious.

Hope you liked! And seriously, if anyone knows how I can get Ed Sheeran to perform a private concert for me, I would love it!!! xxxx