Good Coffee In London

March 16, 2015 • Food and DrinkLondonTravel

i am feeling a little overwhelmed by all the work i have left to do before my maternity leave (two more weeks, eeeek!) so this morning i decided to not only treat myself to a very rare cup of real coffee, but to share some of my favorite coffee destinations in london with you, too. how i miss the days of unlimited caffeination, exploring and tasting my way through ALL OF THE COFFEE BARS. i can’t wait to get back to that after these past nine months.

before i say anything else about london’s coffee landscape, first download this LONDON COFFEE GUIDE APP. scroll through the dozens and dozens of coffee bars and roasteries, and realize that your next trip to this city you will be on a constant caffeine high. there really is no way to do it wrong in london – all of the places i’ve been serve excellent brews and concoctions, so it’s really up to you to decide what kind of vibe you’re feeling. the app is super handy, because it’ll let you search for places nearby. forget about making a list of to-do’s, just go to the nearest place whenever you’re feeling low on energy.

that said, here are some of the places i loved discovering last time i was in london // CARAVAN has a wonderful terrace and also serves cocktails and food, so if your company is getting a bit tired of your caffeine obsession, this place will avoid y’all getting into a fight over your 16th cup of joe. // MONOCLE CAFE is monocle cafe, you know? if you’re as big a fan of that magazine as i am, you’ll adore anything and everything these guys set out to do, including this cozy coffee bar. it helps that the place looks awesome, the coffee is really, really good and there are tons of monocles lying around to read. // THE GUARDIAN COFFEE brings out the journalism geek in me, and it’s conveniently located in BOXPARK, the pop-up mall in cool ‘hood shoreditch.

also, if you’re really serious about experiencing the best of london’s coffee culture, you better book your tickets to the next edition of the LONDON COFFEE FESTIVAL, like stat.

photos by stephanie duval and matthias rabaey for CONNECTIONS.

Shopping In London #1

January 8, 2015 • LondonTravel

Margaret Howell boutique in London Margaret Howell boutique in London Folklore design shop in London Folklore design shop in London Folklore design shop in London Folklore design shop in London Folklore design shop in London Labour and Wait general store in London Labour and Wait general store in London Labour and Wait general store in London Labour and Wait general store in London Labour and Wait general store in London

with the birth of our little one coming up, i just can’t help wondering where we’ll be traveling in 2015. i know things will get a little more complicated as we’ll no longer be just the two of us, but my most important new year’s resolution is to not change who i am just because i’m becoming a parent. after all, i want my kid to grow up loving travel as much as i do… anyhow, i’m not sure london will be in our planning for this year, but looking back on last year’s trip for CONNECTIONS is fun, too. i want to share many more places that we visited, but i’ll start with some of my favorite shops (there’s a part two in the making!)

i discovered MARGARET HOWELL by reading an interview with her in one of my favorite magazines, INVENTORY. it’s an old issue – not sure if you can still find it – but the interview always stuck with me. i love howell’s take on style, that it should be timeless and that quality should always be front and center. CEREAL also included her boutique in their travel guide, so i knew i had to swing by and take a peek. though the fashion is not entirely up my alley, the shop is gorgeous – such a calming and tasteful place.

FOLKLORE is by far my favorite store in all of london. for me, it represents the perfect balance between cozy and modern, with homeware and furniture from both british brands and international suppliers. i lingered over the textiles a bit longer than is perhaps socially acceptable, and i admit i’ve been perusing their webshop quite often since i visited them in london. i love the styling of their products!

and i don’t really have to tell you about LABOUR AND WAIT anymore, do i? for those who haven’t seen the shop pop up on one of the dozens of blogs or magazines that have published pictures of it – labour and wait is your quintessential general store. it is filled to the brim with british goodness, from falcon enamelware to rain coats. i wanted to buy one of everything. (i didn’t.) you seriously can’t leave the city without dropping by here – and it’s located conveniently close to the ACE HOTEL in shoreditch.

photos by stephanie duval for CONNECTIONS.


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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


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