Though I've heard mixed reviews about London, for me it was nothing short of a very drizzly heaven. After months of feeling like I have no personality (my poor French reduces me to a shy but sweet, whimpering version of myself), it was such a blessing to socialize in my native language.

Escaping from France aside, there was so much to love about London, and I spent three days pocketing little moments of joy across the city. Here are a few of those moments.

Generously sized coffee

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Starting the day with more than a thimble of burnt French espresso was wonderful. (And truly, it's always burnt in La Belle France. I have no idea why it has a good reputation.)

Lunch at Borough Market

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Spit roast pork sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies and sangria all in one sitting? Yes, please. The Borough Market was the perfect place to both lunch and people-watch, as well as enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.

Also I had forgotten that free samples exist (Julia assured me a French vendor would NEVER give out free samples), and I won't lie- I'm definitely on the Anglophone side of this argument.

Catching some rays on the Thames

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I loved soaking up the unchariteristically strong March sun with London locals on the Thames, who seemed just as happy to be outside.

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Welcoming in spring at Hyde Park

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After visiting a slew of tourist sites, we sprawled out in Hyde Park to recover. We also spotted some crocuses blooming, which are normally the first flower of spring- a good sign after this cold, cloudy, endless winter! Crocuses will always remind me of my childhood in Michigan.

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Stumbling upon the Camden Lock's Global Kitchen

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I planned out many market visits, including Bourough Market, Camden Lock Market and Covent Garden Market- but we came across the Global Kitchen on account of pure dumb luck.

It was essentially a group of street food vendors selling food from every corner of the earth: Jamaican, Lebanese, Mexican and Spanish included. I did a little dance when I realized I would be having Chinese dumplings for breakfast!

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Encountering Street Art

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While I never made it over to Shoreditch, the veritable capital of London street art, I did stumble upon lots of great pieces around town.

Antique Shopping on Portobello Road

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Is antique shopping a strange hobby for a girl with no actual residence? Fair enough. But delving through treasures on the colorful Portobello road was still a lot of fun, and I had to talk myself out of many great finds such as a 19th century brass compass.

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Break Dancing in Trafalgar Square

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While walking to the National Portrait Gallery, we spotted some very talented street dancers. It was a welcomed break amidst our packed and at times boring museum hopping.

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Enjoying some much needed time at the pub

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I'm never one to turn down a half-pint of something bubbly, so London's inexpensive beer and ciders flowing from the tap really cheered my soul. (Have I mentioned how shamefully overpriced beer is in Paris?) I really enjoy escaping for a few hours to the pub.

What's your favorite thing to do in London?

Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Uganda. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Colorado. She's been to forty countries but somehow still gets lost in her home town. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour magazine.
Ashley Fleckenstein
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