After several years of not traveling overseas (thanks, coronavirus), we finally booked an absolute dream trip. The trip was to Turkey (Türkiye) — more on that later — but I decided to route us through London, staying a few days to get over jet lag before continuing on to Istanbul.
This is a trick I learned from my sister-in-law: when planning summer trips to Europe, book flights overseas to a major hub as early as possible…even if you don’t know where you’re ultimately headed. Once your plans are firm, use local airlines to book between countries. This method is almost always cheaper (and it’s much easier to use miles, too).
The upside to her method is that I can sometimes sneak in a couple of jet lag-recovery days, too, since I’ve always been horrible at acclimating after crossing too many time zones. In fact, it is currently 5AM as I type this, because we’ve only been home for two days, which means that I’ve been up for…at least an hour?
So what does a couple of days in London look like? Well, I booked us into a really nice hotel (The Savoy, swoon), and we spent the majority of our time there. We caught up on sleep, had massages, swam in the pool, ate a fancy breakfast, worked out in the gym, ordered room service, and slept some more.
Eventually, we made it to The Savoy’s swanky American Bar (sooo great), and wandered outside for some very minimal sightseeing. We walked over to the British Museum (with mixed reviews, as illustrated here), and just explored a little, no plans, no stress.
The Outfits That Really Worked For Our Summer London Trip
Knowing we’ll likely go back at some point, I treated these few days as a sort of dress rehearsal for next time, creating summer outfit formulas for London sightseeing, a night out and the flight over.
Of course, “summer outfit formulas” might be a bit of a misnomer for London. London is infamously cold in the summer (unless there’s a heat wave), and rain is almost always in the forecast. That said, I feel pretty good about using these as a starting point for next time.
London Style: A Cute, Comfy Airplane Outfit
Our flight landed around 6AM in London, so even with customs and baggage and an almost two hour cab ride to the hotel…we arrived at The Savoy well before check-in. We were exhausted, and the opulence of the hotel seemed almost otherworldly after being cooped up on an airplane all night.
Happily, the Frank & Eileen sweatsuit I wore on the plane was easily chic enough to pass for real clothes, and I was totally comfortable killing some time in The Savoy’s Thames Foyer. (If you missed the video about what to wear on the plane, featuring this sweatsuit, check it out here.) The full English breakfast was quite the event, and I’d love to try their afternoon tea sometime.
This sweatsuit is made in the US, and is basically magic. Even after spending a rumpled night on an airplane, it looked shockingly great — never getting baggy or stretching out. The top is one-size, and I’ve found that the sweatpants run a tiiiiny bit small.
After breakfast, our room was ready, and we basically hunkered down for the next 24 hours. The beds were bizarrely comfortable (and we totally appreciated the intense blackout curtains), and the afternoon treats they brought for the kids (chocolates, cupcakes, macaroons) were a really nice touch.
Eventually, we felt human again.
London Style: A Midi Dress For Cocktails At The Savoy
I love a good hotel bar, and The Savoy didn’t disappoint. Not only is the storied American Bar the longest surviving cocktail bar in London (complete with live jazz on the piano and old-Hollywood vibes) but the cocktails are genuinely fantastic, as is the verrrry fancy finger food.
There is a dress code (“smart casual” though, so very doable) and I wore a red linen stunner by Reformation. For travel, Reformation has been my go-to for years. Their designs are timeless, sustainably made and gorgeous. I love that this dress is structured enough for London nightlife, but, thanks to the linen construction, also worked on the Turkish coast.
Mike and I were both really impressed by how welcoming The Savoy’s staff was to our kids. Even in the bar! The boys started off with Cokes (something we only let them drink overseas, as a treat), and then discovered the high-end, creative mocktails (after hearing Mike and I rave about the cocktails). We had a blast.
London Style: The Perfect Sightseeing Outfit
For wandering around, I paired a pretty shirt dress with a lightweight waterproof trench (yup, it rained), comfy sneakers, and a cute crossbody bag. It was perfect.
I had sunglasses in my bag, and I did end up wearing them for an hour or so when the sun came out. You just never know with London weather.
Shop Outfits For Traveling To London