To A Tea: Primrose Bakery

Continuing on with
in my new little journey
to find great places for tea in London
comes something a little different
that the fancy Fortnum & Mason afternoon tea
I posted about previously.

After reading about how delicious their kitschy retro bakery was,
I was set & determined to head out to Primrose Hill
to try out Primrose Bakery.

I begged asked my friend, Meg, to join me
for a little afternoon out,
and, like nice friends often do, she obliged.

Located in the posh residential neighborhood of Primrose Hill,
this bakery is a bright cheerful spot 
to find yourself chatting away an afternoon.

The staff is sweet,
the baked goods offer plenty of variety,
and somehow, you end up getting cozy 
with those around while you're there.


I won't lie when I say 
it's constantly luring in a crowd of yummy mummies
and their Bugaboo-saddled offspring,

{Fortunately, most of them are so fatigued from French Nursery School,
the atmosphere remains quite serene.}

I recommend the lemon cake.
It's moist and really tart...
if that's your thing.

{It is definitely mine!}

Their cupcakes are also notable...
as they are what landed Primrose Bakery on the map
and are the most commonly requested item 
on the {cute, hand-drawn chalkboard} menu.

As the bakery is fairly cozy, 
you'll find there is limited seating, 
so going with a large group could be difficult.

Save this spot for a quiet afternoon with a friend or two.

{Their cute offspring coming is an optional, but recommended, addition.}

Prices are more than reasonable,
as you will find yourself well-off the tourist track.

My pot of tea and {cough} two sweets were under £10.

To be honest,
this original location of this bakery
 is tucked away from the typical tourist loop.

It's not necessarily difficult to get to...
but I'd have a map handy (or google maps)
when heading there,
as it's about a 10 minute walk from the tube station and bus stop.

The purist in me enjoyed the short trek to the starting place
 of the Primrose Bakery dynasty,
but for those seeking an option 
slightly more conducive to a tourist-schedule, 
you might consider their newly opened location in Covent Garden.


So overall, who would I recommend the Primrose Bakery for?

Probably for those of us who are local to London
looking for a fun place to meet up with a friend...
or for anyone who has more than a couple of days in the city.

Otherwise, you might feel too rushed to enjoy
 the experience of getting there
and settling in with tea and a good conversation
 for the afternoon.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Moving Right Along.

It's me again,
crawling out from behind the
slew of pre-written travel posts.

I have so much to talk about,
but find myself tapping on my keyboard
with a loss at where to start...

So I'll just ramble a bit
and see where we end up.

{I can hear you ask yourself how that changes this post from any other. Touche.}


This past weekend,
we had a service for our baby girl.

It was one month, to the day, after their birthday.

I know, that's quite a bit later than normal
to have a service...
but, honestly, our heads weren't with it 
to plan anything before then
and we wanted to wait 
for our parents to be there with us.

We were so lucky to find ourselves
surrounded by such sweet friends
and being reminded that, in light of our loss,
God is still so merciful.

A few days later,
we both are doing pretty good.

We are starting to get back into work...
the flat is getting cleaner....
and, hey, I actually took a bath tonight.

It feels like life is starting to move on!

But in the midst of daily routines
and the renewal of better personal hygiene,
 I still find myself really, really sad at times.

I'm not sure how to explain
how I can miss someone 
that I never really knew...
but I do.

And I probably will for a long time to come.

As someone who lives confidently and happily,
I'm not really sure what to do with that prospect.

The good news is,
even though those moments will be here...
moments like this will be much more frequent.

And I'm so glad that they are.

Getting to have a baby is such an incredible gift...
and getting to share it with Tyler makes it all the better.

We feel a loss,
but, in spite of it all,
know that we are incredibly blessed.


Again, I feel like I can't tell you enough:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

*all images via Instagram. Username: aspiringkennedy 

Pack Your Bags: Iceland's Glacial Lagoon

I can't believe it's been six months 
since our trip to Iceland.

That trip was one of the most surreal experiences..

Going into it, 
I really didn't know what to expect.

{Which maybe is the best way to experience things sometimes.}

I had some sort of expectation
that involved Vikings, IKEA & 
a day trip to the Blue Lagoon in my head.

I may also thought I would get to see penguins...
which I soon learned is ridiculous.

{Obviously, I didn't know much about Iceland before arriving.}

While this discovery could have left me downtrodden,
all it took was a day at the famous glacial lagoon
along Iceland's Southern Coast
to fulfill all my iceberg fantasies.

Well, actually...
I still dream of playing with penguins,
but this day was a pretty awesome filler.

Not only is the lagoon stunning,
but you can book a boat tour
through the glaciers
and it... well, it's just stunning.

We were lucky to be there on a beaming day
and the blue of the water and the ice
was slightly unreal...

We felt like we had stumbled upon 
one of the best kept secrets in the world...
along with a really tasty donut & hot chocolate.

It made wearing ginormous life jackets totally worth it.

If you want to visit Jokulsarlon
(which I highly recommend you doing),
I'd pair it up with a day trip along Route 1
to visit Skaftafell National Park
where you can hike to see the famous Svartifoss waterfall
and see the Skaftafellsjokull Glacier along the ring road.

You can book a tour on the lagoon here
and I would make sure to do this in advance
to insure your day out of Reykjavic isn't thwarted
by the heartbreak of sold-out boats upon arrival.

I hope you find yourself floating around
this lagoon sometime in your future...
it's something that is not to be missed!

For other posts on our trip to Iceland, click here.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

To A Tea: The Orangery at Kensington Palace

Obviously, I want to be friends with Kate Middleton.

Excuse me, the Duchess of Cambridge.

We live so close by each other,
we're both tall, &
we both have brown hair.

It just makes sense.

And obviously, she wants to be my friend, too.

Her wedding dress had lace sleeves like mine
{I don't mind that she copied me},
and she jumped on the baby train right after I did,

It's nice to know the feeling is mutual.

So until our paths collide
and we become the best of friends
pushing our prams around Kensington High Street,
browsing the sale racks of Reiss together,
and sipping tea from their royal apartment in Kensington Palace...

I'm happily settling for afternoon tea at
The Orangery
at Kensington Palace.

Pretty much the same thing...
minus the whole 
"hanging out with the Princess" bit.

Either way,
if you come to London
and find yourself having tea at the Orangery,
you won't feel like you've settled in the least.

In fact, you may feel a bit like royalty yourself.


at Kensington Palace

While Kate might be everyone's first choice
for companionship over tea at The Orangery,
I was lucky to share my afternoon
with long-time blogging friend, Ashley,
and her adorable daughter, Claire,
who were in town visiting from Senegal.

It was a lovely afternoon, 
and the chilly weather even behaved enough
to give the place some 
gorgeous sunlight for our little date.

The Orangery is a gorgeous tea room
and the setting is perfectly palatial
with clean walls
and bright floral arrangements.

The afternoon tea is £19
and includes all the trimmings 
expected at afternoon tea.

{Sandwiches, scones & cakes served with a pot of tea.}

Or you can opt for the cream tea for £9...
which will get you a pot of tea + two scones 
served with jam and cream.

Though it's only served on a small plate and is a bit less glorious in presentation,
if that matters to you.

You can also order food off of their seasonal menus
if you'd rather opt for something a bit more substantial.

The setting really is perfect though.

Not too girly that you can't bring a man...
in fact, there were more men present here
than any other "tea room" I've visited.

But it's also perfect for an afternoon of catching up 
and lingering over sweets with friends.

And if you can snag a table outside in the summer,
well... I think you'd really be feeling like a princess.

And yes...
as this picture proves,
I am taller in real life than most people think.

5'10" and 9 months pregnant, folks.


If this place isn't your cup of tea,

you can check some of my other blogs
about places to have tea in London here.

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy


Right as I started on this quest
to find great tea rooms in London,
it seems the requests have been pouring in.

That, my friends, is what we call "perfect timing."

I'm really excited about the tea room
you're getting to see today.

Not only is it fantastic,
but it's also really central
so it's perfect for anyone visiting the city...

It's also a short bus ride directly to/from my flat,
so I now know that I can easily access 
this cute place whenever I so desire.

And that my friends, is what we call "trouble."


This little tea shop + chocolaterie
is the brain child of some very hip people:
the former head of concept (Joel Bernstein)
and former accessories & fashion consultant (Walid al Damirji)
of the hippest store in London
(and my personal favorite), 

It's only natural that the aesthetic would be hip
and that the vibe would be cool.

Coming from two people like this 
-with experience like theirs-
how could you expect anything else?

Well, you shouldn't...
because COCOMAYA delivers.

It's located in central London,
right near Marble Arch
and a few blocks from Oxford Street.

It's basically in the perfect spot
for you to melt in
after several hours of working your way
through the shops of Oxford Street.

The shop's location is tucked back a bit, 
so you'll avoid most tourist traffic.

Tea is served in vintage tea pots
and mismatched tea cups....

...cakes are served up on randomly cute china plates...

and the overall feeling is,
well, just really lovely.

The prices aren't crazy
and the selection of delicious cakes & pastries
will allow everyone to find their heart's desire.

{Mine happened to be a raspberry & vanilla cake. Oh my.}

Don't expect too much privacy, 
as the main seating area is one large shared table...

but it adds to the ambiance of the place.

If you want to opt for the fancy high tea
or cream team,
they do these also.

{In fact, there is even a second room to the shop
that hosts private parties and fancy tea time.}

There are also small cafe tables outside 
that can be huddled over
if the weather allows for it.

All in all,
this place is great.

I loved getting to spend a few hours 
in Cocomaya with a new friend...

....and I'm looking forward to many more
afternoons there in the future.


12 Connaught Street
London W2 2AF

+44 7706 2883

Tube Stop: Marble Arch

*check the website for additional locations*

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Buon Viaggio! Visiting Italy

It's that time of year.

Everyone is starting to plan 
their spring break travels
and begins to dream 
of a summer vacation somewhere fabulous.

I love that we all have this in common.

One of the most common places people want to visit is Italy.


It's incredible.

I get a lot of questions asking me logistics 
about traveling to this amazing place...
and I'm flattered to have you associate me
with such an amazing place.

I'm happy to answer specific questions for your planning,
but general "advice" for an entire country or multi-day itinerary
is a little tough for me to field at the moment.

There's just so much to say
and because it's such a loaded question,
 it takes me about an hour to reply to each email.

In efforts to help make my travel posts a bit easier to find
and to prevent you from waiting weeks for a reply
while planning your own trip to Italy,
I thought I'd put them all here
in a central location.

Look at these sexy blogger husbands (liz's corey, my tyler & megan's stephen in florence.)

So if you aren't sure about my opinion on training somewhere
or if you are looking for a particularly special souvenir,
email me and ask!

For the rest of it,
I've put down most everything I know in these links
in efforts to help you out.

Happy Planning!

Other great places you might be dreaming of are:

*images original to Aspiring Kennedy & Liz Denfeld
**if you saw the original version of this post, sorry. it was written before delivery.

A Group Effort

Many of you have said 
that you can't pretend to understand how we must feel...
but actually, 
I think most of you actually can empathize 
with what we are going through...

It's evident in the way you have taken care of us.

I actually think you can imagine what this feels like
and that's why we have been covered in loved 
through the past few weeks.


From the immediate arrival of family
  to be by our sides
as we said goodbye to our daughter...

Family stroll through to Kensington Palace in an attempt to get some fresh air.

Grandparents out for lunch in Notting Hill
A field trip out of the house for tea at Fortnum & Mason with my mom & Tyler's mom

... dinners & groceries dropped at our door...

... gorgeous flowers & sweet gifts sent 
to brighten our day and remember our girls ...

She likes our shenanigans, don't be fooled.

messages of encouragement sent with perfect timing...

... and the faces of loved ones that come 
and offer hugs of support
 or that stay for a while 
reminding us that life is good
and that we are blessed.

You've rejoiced with us for the arrival of Viola
and you've grieved with us for the loss of our daughter.

Going through this with others
has made it bearable in a way
I hope that I never forget.

Thank you so much
for helping us calibrate 
to our new normal.

Viola's first Saturday morning on Portobello Road

I've read every single email that has come to my inbox.

Some make me cry big tears
and some make me laugh...
I'm so grateful for the friendships 
I've made with so many of you.

The blogging community
is an amazingly cool, smart 
& good-hearted crew.


And yes, the blog posts you've been seeing 
were written in advance
in anticipation of having my hands full post-delivery.

My brain isn't that functional yet. ;)

*images via instagram. Username: aspiringkennedy

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