Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Cheers, Madame! Link Up

Today I'm linking up with Oh, the places we will go! and Créatrice Mondial  with their 'Cheers, Madame' series they've been running for the last few weeks. 

I have visited both cities; Paris in December during the magical Christmas season and London for the first time in 2004 part of my semester abroad program.  Paris was lovely and amazing and checked all the boxes I was expecting it to on my first visit there, but it's just no London. 

I didn't know in 2004 just what to expect from London, but I certainly didn't expect to fall in love with this city so completely and feel it's pull on me every time I returned to Canada. I don't think London is the type of city that you can feel indifferent about, you either love it or hate it. Here a some of the reasons why I truly love London...

1. Greenspaces

Walking around the city you often and easily come across public parks and squares where I've often enjoyed a sunny afternoon sitting in a deck chair or on the grass enjoying a good book or a picnic.

2. Blue plaques

The history is everywhere you look in London, sometimes you don't even have to look very hard to spot a blue plaque on the side of a building informing you of the famous former resident.  Other times the history is a little more hidden in the surrounding environment or the scars of buildings. 


3. The tube 

Many may disagree with me on the greatness of the tube, but I think it's a fantastic beast that gets me anywhere I want to go within the city.  Toronto does not compare when it comes to the underground system. I feel a sense of freedom and independence when I wiz* around the city with relative ease.

*depending on the day

image via

4. Walkability 

When I'm not on the tube I'm on my feet walking the city. It's the best way to see the world and how else could you happen upon a street fete, a hole in the wall cafe, or a horse* standing on an apartment balcony near Harrods--all of which have happened to me.

*Yes, a real live horse!

5. Pub culture

Finished work? Head to the pub. Looking for Sunday lunch? Head to the pub. Looking to test your trivia knowledge? Head to the pub. A good pub has a warm atmosphere, a bit of history, and a great selection of drink and London has these in spades.

6. Museums

I <3 a museum and I <3 a bargain. Here national museums are free and you can't throw a stone without hitting a museum of some sort. 

7. 'Marketing'

I love visiting the many markets of London and am continually discovering new favourite markets that I want to visit again and again.

8. The Thames

I enjoy being so close to water, being able to hear the waves on a windy day, the smell of the salt water, and seeing passing boats and ships. I spend a lot of time in the east end of London where I often enjoy the history and culture of the docklands and running along the canals. 

9. Food

I know Britons are not known for their gastronomy but really you can find any kind of food in London. All the different food festivals that take place here, you can't want for anything over the course of a year. If I was wealthy I'd spend all my time in restaurants, cafes, delis, food trucks etc. (any spare time I had would probably have to be spent at the gym). 

10. Expats

I've made a great group of friends here and a large part of that is due to fellow expats. This group although very transient are a ready made group of friends who share similar values and who understand your occasional homesickness.

Fun travels!


  1. I love this post Erin. You have pretty much just described all of the reasons I love London! It's a bloody great city :)

  2. Although my comparison put me on the Team Paris, I feel London is hands down the best place to LIVE... for all of the reasons you have said. It is the most fantastic city in the entire world, and I will never live anywhere that will compare. It will be a sad day when I have to leave :-(

  3. Love this post - it's nice to look at the city with a wider lens than the work-home-work shuffle!

  4. You hit on all the reasons I love London too {great minds and all!} I agree with Debbie ~ London is truly the best place to live. Paris has a little piece of my heart to visit but I don't think I would be as enchanted with it if I lived there. I am continually amazed with London and I still pinch myself constantly while "out and about". Loved your post!

  5. This is exactly why I love London :D Terrific post!

  6. Thanks for these kind comments guys. Gina and Debbie, you're right. I've visited Paris and loved the romanticism about the place but I feel I too would be disenchanted with it if I lived there. I could visit Paris again and again, but London is where my heart lives.


Let's discuss!

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