Two weekends ago, Nick and I took our Friday off and escaped to England for a few days. The last time I was in London, I also came for a weekend, but was a college student studying in Bath, England for a few months. I was only in London for 48 hours, but to be completely honest, it did nothing for me at the time.

london pub in camden

Then again, I was with a group of other Americans whose mission it was to see all touristy things possible. And without anyone local to show us something that wasn’t a red telephone booth, two-story bus, or something else equally as “iconic”, touristically speaking, the only thing I came away with was that London was a giant fucking city with a big wheel, un-walkable park, and a palace.

nick and primrosehill

Contrary to what it must sound like, even in my teenage years, I loved to explore new places and was interested in the history of the places I visited – after all, I had my nose stuck in books for 4 months straight trying to keep my head above water in my tutorial on 17th century British History at University College Oxford. That London was dripping with centuries of tantalising history was not lost on me. It was London as it existed in its then present-day form that didn’t interest me. It was large and loud and I had no damned clue were I was. Which is kind of ridiculous if you knew how my heart was already beating for New York City. Then again, not only had I always had someone to show me around New York, I had discovered it in pieces, learning each neighbourhood one at a time. Half of my trip to London my junior year of college was just spent trying figure out how the hell to get out of Hyde Park.

rae on primrose hill

Fast forward to two weekends ago: My opinion has completely changed. London has won my heart and part of me is ready to pack my bags, buy a one-way ticket to Heathrow, board a plane and never look back. Nick and I did all the exploring on our own, but chose the neighbourhood – Camden – based on the recommendation of a friend of mine from London (who was unfortunately out of town at Uni) and made our food choices based on Qype recommendations. Which is almost as good. Almost. The trip was probably 80%20% – hit and miss, respectively. Pretty sweet batting average, if you ask me.

brick building

Camden has a similar vibe to Berlin, and although there are some prime touristy spots which would definitely wear on my nerves if I were to be local, it’s also full of independent cafes, restaurants, and shops. And to be perfectly honest, I could imagine that even the touristy stuff would be fun to do as a local now and then. We walked down Chalk Farm Road, snaked our way through Stables Market, climbed up Primrose Hill, and grabbed some pints with Nick’s cousin at The World’s End.

guanabana camden london

With just a few days, we really didn’t get to properly explore much more than Camden and a few of the major destinations. But I was perfectly happy with that, as our goal wasn’t really about adding patches to our “Tourist-Cred” jacket – after all you guys already know my feelings about tourists – whether I am one or next to one. Our goal was just more to wander around and be somewhere other than Berlin for the weekend. (Still, that means there will be another trip to London in the near future, as I didn’t even set foot in Shoreditch, which I have heard that I should.)

guanabana menu camden london

My general impression of London, from what I saw, is that it’s basically like what New York City would be like if it were a European city. (I’m sure college me would find this assertion ironically amusing) But, I mean, it makes sense. We were colonists once, after all.


London felt like a place I could really feel comfortable living, and being able to communicate in English, even as a fluent German speaker, was refreshing. I was also so struck at how polite and kind the majority of Londoners were. My only criticism would be that it is clearly self-evident that London is much more capitalistic and consumer-oriented than Berlin. But despite the fact that there was a Pret, Boots, Costa, Sainsbury’s, and WHSmith on about every second street, London also has this quaint unkempt daintiness about it that I found, dare I say, quintessentially British?


Still, all good things must come to and end. After I returned home, I was slapped in the face with the hard, persisting reality that British politeness is just that – British. In less than 48 hours the smiles were gone and an official had already told me off. Ah, Berlin. how I love and hate you so.

Photography: Rae Tashman

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Stay conscious, Rae



Rae Tilly

Rae the EIC of LFB and YEOJA Magazine. She is also a photographer and social media influencer.


  • Haha, I laughed out loud at the description of London as having nothing but an “unwalkable park” and a big wheel. I love how in Europe you can just jot to another country on the fly since everything is so close.

    Another Beautiful Thing

  • These pictures are awesome <3

  • Stephanie Louise

    Oh, the touristy spots and icons! Seriously, I absolutely loved the first paragraph and laughed when I got to the end — those ferris wheels! I know everyone understand what you mean Rae. It’s so nice you got to visit again and this time like on your own terms.

  • Ahhh Camden!
    I have so many stories from being a drunk 16 year old in the Worlds End, and fuck yes, Hyde Park is a bitch. They really really do need to sign post the exit, because as lovely as it is, it’s a monster.
    I also love the fact that you’ve shown photos of true London, as much as Camden is lovely, it’s also so over photographed and samey.
    Come back and I’ll show you the depths of the East End ;)

  • The Fashion Panda
  • Ladies imagination

    I love London! Amazing photos and awesome blog!
    Visit us:

  • Amazing I am so glad you had a better trip this time, even though I am already in UK I love visiting london and camden, I just feel like you can be who you want xxx

  • This made for a fascinating read, you have a wonderful way of writing! I love the ethereal touch your photos have to them and your opinions of London are very interesting. My view of the city changes each time I visit, I admire certain elements of the place but as I’ve grown older find myself impatient with people’s desire to live there, even if it means financially bankrupting themselves. On a more positive note, the theatre scene there is incredible and I rarely go elsewhere for musicals, at least. I’m so glad you enjoyed your visit and the shoe will be on the other foot this weekend, as I’m heading to Germany! :)


  • Andrea jueong

    Beautiful photos! Love this post! Great inspiration!

  • beautiful photos! I’ve been to a london many times. The first time I went I was there for a few days and travelled all the neighbourhoods. I fell in love! I went back couple of times. then last year I was studying in england, doing my masters, in brighton and london was always a great escape! my sister lived in london for about a year, and she has a love hate relationship with it. But East london is definitely a really cool part of it! i feel sometimes you experience a city depending on where you are in life personally, and you project it on the places you visit — that’s the beauty in travelling!

  • How lucky you were to be able to escape to London! It’s one of my favorite cities and I’m always struck by the politeness of the people there as well.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

    • rae

      London was certainly incredible! And I know, the politeness is just wonderful :)

  • I am new to your blog and let me just say – this first post has me hooked! Your photographs are absolutely stunning and I’m excited to learn more about your adventures.

    • rae

      Hi Kathryn, thank you so much for your sweet comment and I am really glad that you enjoy love from berlin!

  • I’m in love with your blog! I’ve always wanted to visit London, and this post is just making me want to even more. Your images are amazing too!

    Chowing Down by the Bay

    • rae

      Thank you so much, Chelsa. I am really glad that you enjoy it and I also hope that you are able to travel to London one day soon.

  • Lovely photos! What a nice weekend! I love escaping, even if for just a couple of days. It can be a great way to refresh and get ready for the upcoming week.

    • rae

      Thank you, Jeanatte. And I agree, small escapes are very necessary and wonderful – I actually almost prefer taking small mini holidays spaced out throughout the year to refresh than one giant one.

  • alittlefreckle

    First of all, can I just say how amazing your hair colour is!!! Love it!! Great photos :) I’ve never actually been to London, despite being from England..terrible I know!

    Emma xx

    • rae

      Thank you so much, Emma – glad that you liked this post. I find that it is often the case when you live near something that tends to be very popular and special for those who do not live close to said thing, you never really get around to visiting it!

  • Alissa Gromova

    This post is amazing, make me dream about visiting this city! Love your blog and your hair color!

    • rae

      Thanks Alissa. I hope you are able to visit London one day and glad you are enjoying lovefromberlin!

  • Mel

    Incredible photos! Love the post

    • rae

      Thanks, Mel

  • You take such gorgeous photos! Hope you can visit London again! xx

    Colorful Closets

    • rae

      Thanks Jane, and I am looking forward to that as well!

  • dannifred

    i’m dying to go back to london and your hair looks incredible in that photo!


    • rae

      I hope you are able to return soon, and thanks xx

  • Marzena Piotrowska
    • rae

      Thank you, Marzena

  • Amazing photos! It sounds like you had a fab time :) X


    • rae

      thanks :)

  • The thing about London is that EVERYONE can call this melting pot home! No one is too weird, too clever….. or too anything. I love that about this place. I am glad that you find British polite especially in London. Hahaha

    • rae

      I really loved london so much. I do have to say that Berlin is still even more alternative and that it would be something I would miss, but this would be something I would miss regardless of where I would move to. It’s something really unique to Berlin. :)