Posts tagged London
Natural History Museum

I love natural history museums. They are shrines to intellectual curiosity and the beauty of our natural universe, housed in giant buildings where nerds like me who are afraid of weather can view all sorts of wonders without venturing into the great and terrifying outdoors. Natural history museums are my favorite type of museum, and London’s got a great one. There are all the usual and very cool suspects—dinosaurs and gemstones and stuffed birds and taxidermied mammals (though, these could probably use a bit of updating) and old anatomical prints and exhibits on bugs and bacteria. There is also an entrance that is an escalator ride through space.

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Barber & Parlour

For whatever reason, there seems to be an uncommonly large number of barber shops that also serve coffee in London. Barber & Parlour takes that a giant leap further—it is a barber shop, a nail/eyebrow/henna parlour, a kitchen/coffee shop, a beauty and home goods store, and a cinema all in one big warehouse space. Were it not for all the other people around and the fact that this place has operating hours, this would be an agoraphobe’s paradise—you could probably spend your entire life in here quite comfortably if you were so inclined. Of course, that would make you kind of insane, but to each their own.

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Conservatory Archives

To call Conservatory Archives a plant shop seems, somehow, not quite enough. It is, strictly speaking, a shop that sells plants, sure. But it somehow feels like something more—maybe because its owners purportedly have plans of expanding to vintage furniture and coffee (there’s already an old leather armchair sitting in the corner). Having seen the space primarily in photographs on Instagram, I was surprised by how small the space is—just two little rooms, jammed floor to ceiling with greenery. With my giant winter coat on, I was afraid I would knock things over as I walked around. Maybe that’s on purpose. In the middle of East London, it still feels a little bit wild. 

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Martello Hall

Hackney’s Martello Hall was probably my favorite restaurant/bar that we visited in London. It’s a gorgeous little-bit-of-everything with a working space, kitchen, and small courtyard on the ground floor and a cozy cocktail room above. The main eating hall and work-space works on a hot-desk system—customers can pay £10 a day or £25 a month for unlimited coffee and wi-fi on weekdays from 9-5. 

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Kew Gardens

The first thing you notice about Kew Gardens is that it is huge. I mean, truly gigantic. I went here very naively, expecting a single greenhouse, and I found at least three huge greenhouses, a palace, two restaurants, some art galleries, teepees (?), and a treetop walkway. And that’s all in addition to the sprawling garden grounds. Apparently this place employs something like 750 people, which is a shit-ton. It also apparently has its own police force, and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We were here for a few hours, and we barely scratched the surface in terms of what Kew Gardens has to offer. 

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