A little bit of a late blog post, but one I wanted to share anyway about our trip to London in late October last year.

When I booked the trip waaaaaaay earlier in February because the flight was super cheap ($400 round-trip from Phoenix to London – thanks for the heads up, Next Vacay and Hopper!), I had grand plans of maximizing what would really only be five FULL days there. We would go to the city proper and see all the sights, do a hedge maze at one of the palaces, and maybe even squeeze in a day trip to Bath.

But then, the rest of a busy year happened and by the time I got to the end of October, I was feeling pretty exhausted and anxious about our trip across the pond. I wanted to make this trip special for my boyfriend (his first international trip!), but thought of rushing from place to place was starting to fill me with dread. Thankfully, he has a much more lax view on travel and was fine with taking it easy. So off we went, with a very loose itinerary (really just a list of places scribbled onto a sheet of lined paper).

The only real stipulation I did make is that for part of the trip I wanted to stay out a little further into a quieter part of London. I ended up picking a place in Dulwich Village, about 45 minutes south of London by bus.

Dulwich Village Favorites

Dulwich Park

This little park and by little I actually mean 71 acres, was a great place to stroll. It was beautiful, even on a dreary day, and I’m betting in sunshine it would be a wonderful place to have a picnic.

A deep red Japanese maple in the park’s Japanese garden.

Horniman Museum and Gardens

We trekked up a good half-hour to Forest Hill to check out the Horniman Museum and Gardens. In addition to cute a museum (complete with tiny aquarium), butterfly tent and animal paddock (you can see sheeps!), up on the hill you have a pretty nice view of the city.

I love a good lil’ jelly.

Luca’s Kitchen and Bakery/Monkatsu

The food was so nice we ate their TWICE… at both places.

Luca’s was excellent for breakfast. English breakfast was tasty, waffles were delicious and the matcha latte was HEAVENLY.

So good on a rainy day. Or… any day.

Monkatsu might have been one of my favorite parts of the entire trip. Is that weird? The restaurant was small – just a perfectly cozy refuge from the drizzle outside – and the staff was so nice. One of the times we went in for dinner super early, it was just us, another couple, and the family of one of the servers (their younger sibling excitedly saying hello to the folks in the kitchen and marveling at all of the to-go orders).

Oh, and it needs to be said that the food is good. Very, very GOOD.

Just look at this ramen and katsu!

Sometimes I’ll wistfully remember places I’ve eaten when I’ve traveled – now I’ve added Monkatsu to the list. Somehow, this ended up being about food again. Whoops.

Anyhow, just wanted to show Dulwich Village a lil’ love since I had such a pleasant time there. Safe travels, all!