London: Hidden City Hunt

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Exploring the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Koen and I have been to London many times, so it was exciting to hear that Nicole and Adam booked us a Hidden City Hunt! Another way to explore the city, solving riddles and stopping in pubs! We weren’t sure what to expect – but we had beautiful weather, great company, and a lot of fun!

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London Day 2

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Ready for brunch

We started our second day in Chelsea at The Ivy Chelsea Garden for brunch. Chelsea is one of my favorite neighborhoods and Koen and I both really love the brunch at The Ivy, so I definitely wanted to take Koen’s family here!

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London: Day Five

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Lunch at Ottolenghi in Notting Hill

 

Day Five was our last full day together in London. We started off with breakfast at The Butter Bakery in Notting Hill. The bakery is located across from our apartment, so it was an easy walk across the street for our hand pies and coffee.

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London: Day Four

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Freezing, but happy to have my red velvet whoopie pie!

 

One of the reasons we decided to stay in Notting Hill is because we love the movie Notting Hill. Do you remember the scene in the movie, that in order to show how much time has passed by, you see Hugh Grant walking through a market? Well that market is the Portobello Market and we visited it during Day Four, enjoying a big brunch and sweets.

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Chelsea Flower Market and Rehearsal

Chelsea Flower Market

Chelsea Flower Market

I thought it was such a great idea when Christina told me that she wanted to make the bouquets and boutonnières herself for the wedding. I’ve never thought about buying flowers to arrange myself, so I was interested in visiting the Chelsea Flower Market to see what a wholesale flower market has to offer. The Market opens very early – at 5AM which is usually when professionals such as retailers and event planners stop by and closes at 11AM. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. When I think of a market, I think of the ones that take place during the weekend in Antwerp. At the markets I’m used to, vendors set up tables and kiosks outside in an open area and  sell their product. But the Chelsea Flower Market is basically one street filled with flower shops that specialize in certain type of plants, aka roses, exotic, potted, orchids, etc. You can browse outside the shop or in their freezing interiors (if you visit be sure to bring a sweater!) in order to find the perfect pieces to make your arrangement. We spent over an hour visiting every shop to find Christina’s dream flowers 🙂

After the Chelsea Flower Market we headed over to Brooklyn to Prospect Park for the rehearsal. Christina and Rafael were married in the Japanese Garden of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Such a lovely spot! That evening we celebrated with a rehearsal dinner at Lil Frankie’s for a delicious Italian meal. I don’t have any photos from the rehearsal dinner but maybe I’ll find some later!

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New York Day 7, September 2013

Koen and Christina in front of the best Vietnamese sandwich restaurant in Chinatown!

Koen and Christina in front of the best Vietnamese sandwich restaurant in Chinatown!

On Saturday, we planned our day around visiting the Guggenheim Museum. Because we were trying to save money, we visited the MOMA on Friday, because entrance is free between 4 – 8PM and the Guggenheim on Saturday between 5:45 – 7:45PM, because you are able to pay what you wish. Christina was also off from work, so she took us to her favorite Banh Mi restaurant for lunch, then to a Nike exhibit she worked on in the Meatpacking District, followed by a tour of the Chelsea Market, and then to a Belgian restaurant for biertjes and frietjes.

 

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