Three months to live in London seems like plenty of time. But one day, you can use your fingers to count how many days you have left to do, see, and eat the last of what’s on your list! Unfortunately, the time you feel desperate to do it all is coupled with finals season. A semester of doing barely anything academically catches up to you brutally in the form of two projects, three finals, and an essay (Oops). Other than putting in a couple of hours to studying each day, I’ve done a lot of exciting things during my last week.
Christmas meets the fair. The event is basically a huge, colorful event with rides, delicious food, and lots of people. Pro tip, go on a weekday! Christmas music blasts as you walk through stands of beautiful waffles, fudge, warm drinks, and holiday souvenirs. My friends and I split some crepes and halloumi fries during our time at Winter Wonderland.
About a forty-minute tube ride away is a world dramatically different than London. Richmond Park is a vast expanse of green, trees, and peacefulness. I only saw a handful of other people at the park this day. I had heard that deer sighting was common here, but I didn’t expect to see so many so suddenly. Within five minutes I had been up close and personal to dozens of deer families. Crazy to think such raw nature is so close to the concrete jungle of London! In a warmer season, I would have been keen on packing a picnic and staying longer. However, my group consisted of mostly Californians on this brisk December day, so the trip ended a bit short.
The iconic egg bathrooms and exorbitant menu prices, Sketch is the trendiest and most expensive venue for high tea in London. Still want to experience the food and take photos with the extravagant décor without spending lavishly? Make a reservation and go for breakfast! I ordered the tempura poached eggs with bacon. Delicious, aesthetically pleasing, and under eleven pounds, Sketch is really worth the hype. The decorations for Christmas were next level adorable complete with winter fragrances. And the egg bathrooms! They were all wrapped up like Christmas presents and worth the trip alone.
I’m awful at ice skating but a sucker for doing all things Christmassy! For only 10 pounds with a student discount gets you an hour in the rink, rented skates, and a complimentary drink at the end! (Shout out to that student discount!) I stayed by the wall most of the time, but still had a great time attempting to skate with my friends. The rink was decorated and a huge lit up tree was plopped right in the middle for those perfect Instagram photos. A kind woman saw me struggling and gave me her “penguin helper”. It’s a small penguin that balances you, typically reserved for young children learning how to skate. Or in my case, 20-year-olds that have limited experience and a fear of falling and breaking a bone. After our hour on the ice and free apple cider, we had some late-night tapas a few streets down in Mayfair.
It’s been the best semester of my life here in London. Crazy to think this time next week I’ll be back home in sunny California applying for jobs and starting my winter classes. Thank you for following along on my journey, and I hope I inspired one of you to choose London as your future study abroad home!