In November my Instagram feed (@katya_jackson) has turned into brown and yellow colors. Autumn in London is magical – there are a lot of parks and all of them have turned into warm orange shades. It’s already the time to get your warm scarf out of the shelves, put a sweater on and go out for a hot chocolate or flat white coffee to take away. The city is actively preparing for Christmas, if you are here, download Free Christmas London Guide which includes 32 places to visit as well as online and offline maps not to get lost. Ice Rinks are already set, Xmas trees are installed and it’s getting more and more christmasy every day. Are you on Periscope?  I’m showing London over there and it’s a fun way to connect with people all around the world. You can find me as @katya_jackson. Let me know what part of London you would love to see live and don’t forget to follow me not to miss a scope.   Want to know which apps I use to edit my photos? Get the free  ‘The Ultimate iPhone Photos Editing Kit’ below:  

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This is one of three ‘Grind’ coffee shops in London. Holborn Grind review was one of my first posts here on the blog, and here is the first Grind in the city – Shoreditch Grind. I have never seen a coffee shop having it’s own building, and it’s amazing! It stands out quite good and I couldn’t pass by without checking it out. Because of black walls it can look a bit dark, but round shape of the building with huge windows makes this space super cozy and light enough. It’s located at very busy roundabout in East London, which brings this place energetic vibes. When I took these photos in early September it was still very warm to sit outside. And Londoners typically prefer to sit outside, because any day without a rain is a good day already 🙂 What I always like  in Grind coffee shops is music! Which is not a big surprise, because one of the founders is an Australian DJ.  Their coffee meets expectations of a coffee gourmand for sure.  I always go for a cappuccino there. Together with a great location this coffee shop is a good place for casual meetings.  In the evenings…

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There is something about vintage shops that attracts me – the sweet memories of childhood full of new discoveries, a connection with the past when things were very different and that tiny feeling of nostalgia. Vintage shops make me reflect about what people valued in a past comparing to insane time of consumerism nowadays. In the middle of Soho I stumbled upon ‘Vintage Magazine Shop‘ which I couldn’t ignore. Interestingly, even though Russia is very different from England, the atmosphere of last century in the shop was as I remembered it back home. The only difference is the language on vintage posters – English. Passing by the shelves with old magazines and postcards I remembered how my old brother and I would find the first chewing gum in the town we lived in – ‘Turbo‘. The most interesting part was to unfold it and check what insert you got. Then there would be a debate who should keep it, and I would always loose…  Then there was a ‘Love is’ mania and perhaps the beginning of scrapbooking in a form of collecting all the inserts in one notebook. When I’m in such places I would always try to imagine how…

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It’s not a surprise that everyone, who is related to creativity sometimes has questions like ‘Why am I doing this?’, ‘How to find a perfect idea?’ or even ‘Who is interested in what I am doing?’. I am the same and I know how it feels. One day you are full of ideas and you work hard till you get it done, another day you have no mood and maybe thinking to give it up. Last time I had such a period in my life I stumbled into new book ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote ‘Eat.Pray.Love’. I put it to my ‘read list’ and forgot about it.  After a few reviews on Facebook I thought it was the time to sit down and read it. I had no expectations at all and was curious why it was so good. Oh. My. God. Now I have what is called a ‘book hangover’ – it’s when after you have read a book you continue thinking about it again and again, trying not to forget important ideas and eventually turning your notes into a blog post. I admire Elizabeth’s ability to deliver simple ideas so easily, so you feel like you are sitting with her…

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I’m trying to have it as a rule that I eat breakfast out on Saturdays. During the week I’m always in a hurry – I only have time to quickly eat porridge with berries and to buy a take away coffee at La Moka. But Saturday morning is finally the time to enjoy the most important meal of the day. We usually go to Jack’s at Junction for ‘Eggs Benedict’ or ‘Eggs Florentine’, but most of the time you have to stand in a queue… I had never queued for a breakfast in my life before I moved to London. Shortly after I got here I realized sometimes it really worth spending 15-20 minutes to enjoy a delicious meal. Queuing in England is like doing sports: there are certain rules, everybody knows what they are supposed to do and you can get ‘punished’ for breaking those unwritten regulations. Lol.  Even though the food is super delicious at Jack’s, last time we went to the coffee shop called Birdhouse. I went there a few times and always found it busy and this made me want to go there even more.  It’s just next to Story Coffee that makes it impossible to leave…

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Last time I lived abroad I fell into the usual trap when you postpone all sightseeing (museums in particular) until the very last moment when it’s time to pack up and leave. In my last 2 weeks in Hungary, I visited more places than in the entire year before. I already see the same thing happening to me here in London. This time it is a bit trickier as I moved here indefinitely but at the same time I know I won’t stay here forever. So the question is whether to plan to see stuff now or relax and enjoy everyday moments. I was in Soho on Saturday when my friend Tanya called me and made it inevitable to go to National Portrait Gallery. Yeay! On my way to our meeting point, I passed this very unique Italian delicatessen Lina Stores, which I immediately decided to share on the blog. It surprised me to discover that it’s been there for about 70 years! And the same family still runs this place. Believe me, it’s pasta heaven – all shapes and types! I always knew Italian cuisine was one of the best in the world with carefully selected jars, sauces and…

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What I always liked in London is local markets, whether it’s fresh vegetables stalls or designer accessorizes. There are several well-known markets in the city – Portobello Road, Borough Market and Spitalfields to name a few. But what attracts me more are small areas, usually just one street called a market. They are not busy with tourists and are a nice place to hang out at the weekends. Actually you can spend all the day starting with breakfast, then shopping and having a haircut and finally staying late for a drink. This time I went to Exmouth market – a pedestrian street in Islington (North London) with restaurants, shops and coffee places among others. Almost every cafe has seats outsides which makes that street very sociable. Some shops were closed on Sunday, but I was lucky to check out one tiny crafts shop – In With The Old. They have lots of hand made lifestyle products: jewelry, stationery and homewear. After spending some time there I dragged myself out in a search of any local coffee shop. Just on the edge of the market I found Briki – an artisan coffee shop with big windows overlooking the two streets. I immediately…

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Ozone Coffee Roasters is known to be one of the most popular artisan coffee shops in London. The possibility to dine there makes this place attractive from early morning until late evening. I was greeted by a very nice girl who let me choose my own seat. This was a good beginning because I generally like such a freedom – to choose the table. It can sound weird, but … Anyway, there are 2 zones in the coffee shop: one is with one long table attached to the window and another one is behind the counter. I guess if you are there for just a coffee or a quick breakfast with max 1 friend, you go to the long table. The industrial interior makes this place chilled out and relaxed. It also felt like I was welcomed there and that I could meet like-minded people. To be honest, the first two times I was on that street I didn’t see Ozone Coffee Roasters – that’s how it perfectly integrates into local architecture. I like it when coffee shops don’t have a flashy signs or exterior. From my experience it’s a sign of a really good place and you feel like part of an…

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