The Perfect London Weekend

London blogger Reena Rai enjoying a Hojicha latte at Kova Patisserie in Soho

Last weekend was glorious. After spending the previous weekend missing the shows and recuperating at home, I was itching to get out and make the most of living in London. The FOMO was real! In a city like London, there are new restaurant openings, events, exhibitions and parties every single night and it can feel like you’re missing out. I don’t regret prioritising my needs and self-care but I always feel a little guilty for hibernating for a weekend. I’m so fortunate to live in a brilliant, culturally-rich city I really ought to make the most of it. The challenge is to do this while having enough downtime to remain sane! 
This weekend, I found the middle ground between enjoying the city and prioritising my health. I had a lowkey weekend of exploring the city as well as making sure I had enough time to rest; it was the perfect balance of doing things and doing nothing. Admittedly, one of the reasons I wanted to have a more active weekend was a rather large delivery from the team at LOTD, there’s nothing like a mini wardrobe update to get you out of the house! I wanted to share my weekend and wardrobe with you in a post that feels like a throwback to blogging in back in 2011 – less editorial shoots and more candid snaps.    
On Friday, I headed to the Barbican for the newly opened Basquiat retrospective, Boom for Real. It’s the largest exhibition celebrating the famed artist’s life and work in the UK – which seems insane considering Basquiat’s influence across the arts. The vast exhibition spanned two floors and was brilliantly curated, covering Basquiat’s early work as part of SAMO to his friendship with Andy Warhol and personal journals. It was brilliantly curated, giving a real in-depth look into Basquiat’s work as well as his life and creative process. 

Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition at The Barbican

After the exhibition, I headed to one of my favourite low-key bars in London, The Gilbert Scott at the St Pancras Renaissance hotel. The grand, ornate bar was restored to its gothic glory after years of neglect. From the grand pillars, gilt detailing and huge windows, it’s a beautiful space. The best part is it’s often quiet, so no queues or shouting at your companion to be heard. It’s a place for intimate conversations and whispered secrets, washed down with expertly mixed cocktails and a side of triple cooked chips or truffle mac ‘n’ cheese. 

Fashion blogger Reena Rai on the Spice Girls staircase at St Pancras Renaissance hotel

Army jacket – vintage

Jumper dress – LOTD

Boots – ASOS

Bag – Saint Laurent

I eased into Saturday with a lie in, Ashtanga yoga and breakfast in bed. Is there any better way to spend your morning?! After this, I hopped over to Soho to explore one of my favourite areas of the city. Soho is ever-changing thanks to the omnipresent threat of gentrification in London. It’s a little different every time I head over there, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.

Matcha millecrepes at Kova Patisserie in Soho

One of my favourite new entrants to the Soho scene is Kova Patisserie, a Japanese patisserie just off Wardour Street. They have an excellent selection of Japanese tea, from hoji cha to genmai cha, but the real reason I visit so often is the incredible Mille crepes. French for “thousand crepe cake”, Kova’s version has multiple layers of crepes with a light custard cream – matcha, chocolate, vanilla or coconut flavour – in between each layer. They are utterly irresistible and the perfect pick-me-up or treat. 

Fashion Blogger Reena Rai wearing Zara and Mango in Soho

Jumper dress – Zara

Sequin skirt – Zara (similar)

Silver boots – LOTD

Houndstooth coat – Mango (similar)

Sunday is usually a day for editing and writing for me. I also managed to squeeze in a nap and pour over the Basquiat book I picked up at the Barbican on Friday night. Blissful. 

Jean-Michel Basquiat book


Reena Rai

Reena Rai is a 30-something London-based fashion, travel and lifestyle blogger. She has been blogging for 10 years (!), previously at before launching her self-titled blog.


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