DUCK & WAFFLE

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If you wanted to end your London visit with a bang, like we did, this is the spot to go.

What kind of post about food would this be, if I didn’t mention the internet famous, Duck & Waffle? And now that I’ve been, I can absolutely understand why. Despite being open 24 hours, reservations are highly recommended & strict. Reservations can be made no earlier than 2 months in advance. Depending on which meal times you’ll be dining, and how busy the restaurant is, your length of your reservation will be limited to 1 hour to 1.5 hours. Since went there for a late meal at 10pm, we were actually able to stay for 2 hours. 

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Upon arriving to your reservation, your bags will be check by security, before you get escorted to the elevator & sent up 40 stories, to an amazing view of London.

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With the menu meant to be shared, we decided to order several items to give us a wide taste of what they had to offer. We tried the bacon wrapped dates, the roasted brussels sprouts, smoked eel, and the Jerusalem artichoke ravioli.  

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As an American whose used to large personal entrees, between the two of us, the 4 small looking dishes were deceivingly filling. Every single dish was so different, yet delightful in both their mixes of texture & flavor. The outer savory layer of the bacon wrapped dates, were accentuated by the soft inner date. Then as someone whose only had eel in sushi, the smoked eel was a great contrast to what I knew, as it wasn't as savory. Instead it seemed pleasantly subtle with the creme fraiche & would just melt in your mouth. Lastly, the crispy shallots were a great textural contrast to the soft roasted brussels sprouts, like the ____ were the cauliflower ravioli. 

I just don't have any negative things to say about the food. As for the service, we noticed a well suited man with an ear piece constantly roaming the dining room. All in all, we felt well attended for, but we never felt like their service was disruptive to our meal or our conversation.  With that said, I'd put Duck & Waffle in that category of mine, where I think everyone, if given the opportunity, should try at least once. Enjoy! - Love, Jen

Peter Pilotto Sample Sale

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Yesterday, whilst heading to South Kensington, to visit the V&A Museum. Lindsay & I stumbled upon a Sample Sale. Lindsay saw it first & I'm glad she did. She asked me who Peter Pilotto was & immediately remembered how much I loved his work from the Peter Pilotto x Target collaboration, back in 2014. So of course, we went in!

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I had never been to a sample sale before, but trust you me, my love of fashion has not faded after all these years. Those who know me, know I still sometimes live stream fashion week in the comfort of my own bed. 

The idea of a sample sale though, is it's the designer selling off pieces that they've made during production. They're good enough to wear, but aren't the finalized production pieces, so you get them for a fraction of the price.

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All in all, it was fun girl-time shopping experience & I had a good time talking to Sophie, one of the Peter Pilotto interns. In the end, I decided to pick up this beautiful slit pencil skirt I found. The print & color gave me hints of Asian inspiration, and it reminded me of something you could wear to a high class holiday party. I love the blocking of the print down the center, and the low but playful slit at the bottom. 

It ended up being a perfect the pick-up for the next day, when we went to Wicked! I just paired it with a neutral wool blend sweater from Zara. Anyhow, it was a fun find & will most definitely be a memorable staple piece. Just though I'd share! Thanks for reading! Love, Jen

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Exploring London

Going overseas without a data plan, is like learning to be human all over again. You're forced to put your phone down, (because let's face it, your phone is pretty boring without wifi),  and really take in your surroundings. That is, until you find free wifi to upload your Snaps.

London was my first stop, on my mini-trek across Western Europe.  During my flight, I sat next to a guy, also making his first trip to London. Unfortunately I didn't catch his name, but he was a mechanic at the BMW of Seattle, that had recently been temporarily laid off. He had been to Prague the year before & decided to take this opportunity to backpack Europe, at least until he ran out of money. I admired his courage. 

 
 

On the other hand, he probably thought my in-flight beauty routine & pre-landing make-up routine was pretty bizarre. 

After 9+ hours, I arrived at the London Gatwick airport. Immediately, it was like I was in London's unofficial race-walking competition. I've never seen people bustle so fast towards baggage claim & the trains (jacket not recommended). After grabbing myself some British pounds, the process to buy my Thameslink ticket & vistor Oyster pass, was extremely efficient. Very much, Go! Go! Go!  

After a 45 minute train ride & 15  minute walk later, I dropped off my bags at the hotel. With my camera & tripod, I headed out to explore the city.

American media has always forced-fed me an idea of what being in London would be like, but it's quite different seeing it for yourself. It's like being fed ____ Over the next few days, these are my thoughts.

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You can't just walk up to the gaurds at buckingham palace

Friends & Sherlock totally lied to me. The guards themselves were pretty far behind the gates, and in case you're wondering, yes I saw them move. One of them was doing a very interesting march, whilst the other sneezed, twice. If you're going to go here, I recommend going early. By noon, hordes of people from tour buses arrive with their sea of self-sticks, making pictures a lot harder after that. 

public transportation here makes Seattle look like a bunch of stubbornly demented turtles

#Truth. With a city & underground tube map in hand, the public transport was extremely easy & cheap to navigate. By the end of my 3rd day, I had barely used 15 pounds (or about $19.50 USD). A single one-way bus ride in Seattle, could cost me $2.50-$3.50. Even then, you were probably still a 30 minute walk from your actual destination. Not much incentive. In London though, as long as you knew your destination, you were set. There were tube maps at every corner, along with a breakdown of the stops east or westbound. Not to mention, if you missed a carriage, not to worry! Another one was sure to arrive within 3 minutes or less. In Seattle, if you missed a bus, you could wait up to 30 minutes. With the cost & efficiency, it's no wonder so many people used it. Plus with all the stairs, I also saw a surprising lack of obese people. America take note.

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Top by Rails (here) // Pants from Old Navy (similar here) // BAg by Tory Burch (here) // Boots by Alexander Wang (here)

For the rest of my time in London, I found myself straying away from my touristy crowds & walking up and down the Thames. Of course, I still did some night photography, with London's biggest attractions, but I also found a miniature carnival with froyo & street music. 

London has definitely stolen my heart. It's hard to say, since I've only been to a few countries outside the states, but I could really see myself living here one day. 4 days flew by & I already can't wait to come back. It's just so beautiful, I don't think I could ever get bored of photographing this city. It'll just have to wait until next time. Now, onto Brussels! - JEN

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