Comfort Traveling: Maxi skirt + denim jacket (& London faves)

highgate blue maxi 1

Old Navy skirt (old, similar), H&M; scarf and kids jacket (similar), Gap flats (similar), Coach bag (review)

This is belated, but I wanted to share some final photos from London (saved my favorite places for last). I love knit maxi skirts for traveling, as they’re fairly breathable in warm weather, yet comfy to curl up in during chilly flights. I feel maxi skirts can be flattering on shorter women if the waist sits at or above your natural waistline, and the length just skims the top of your feet (basically as long as it can be without the risk of tripping/dragging). Since long skirts are often worn casually with flats, higher waist placement is especially important for creating a lengthening leg line.
borough barista
This old skirt from Old Navy petites is not great quality, but has gotten plenty of wear. Although the length required no hemming, I did have to take in the waist for the skirt to sit higher. Similar-sized ladies who prefer no alterations can try kids’ long skirts – I found one here in three colors (20% off one item w/ BTS2013) made of a similar material composition. The foldover waist is not a bad idea because you can adjust the length. I also wouldn’t mind a side slit, as I’ve tried on several long skirts that are too narrow for walking comfortably. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any additional information on the length and waist measurements for the different sizes of this kids skirt.

highgate blue maxi 2
I wore this outfit on a brisk but sunny day to visit Highgate (Northern suburb of London), and again on the plane ride home. I had one of the best meals of the trip there at the Red Lion & Sun pub. You probably won’t find me guzzling beers at any pubs in Boston, but this one was modern but cozy, served plenty of wine, and had hearty dishes made with fresh, local ingredients.
red lion sun 1 sunday roast
We were there for Sunday roast, which is a traditional British and Irish meal usually consisting of roasted meat with potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, veggies and gravy. Our table got each roast option available (roast beef, leg of lamb, or pork belly) and it was comfort food at its finest. If you’re in the area, you can also stop by High Tea of Highgate for a fill of afternoon tea and scones.
red lion sun sunday roast 2
Backtracking one day to Saturday, walking Portobello road was one of my favorite touristy activities in London. The road stretches through Notting Hill, and becomes a large street market each Saturday for antiques, clothing, books, food, and more (some stalls were receptive to bargaining, some not). There was also a pre-owned designer shoe store at the beginning of the road with an abundance of eye candy (sadly, mostly in size 8s).
portobello market scarf
I recommend going hungry, and going right when it opens to avoid heavy afternoon crowds. I found a few vintage souvenirs for friends, before catching whiff of something delicious.
portobello market tarts

Savory pie stand along Portobello Road

The delicious aromas were coming from Jamon Jamon, a vendor that cooks fresh paella street-side from scratch. They seared the meat and seafood first, then slowly cooked the sofrito, then simmered the rice in broth….all the laborious steps that hinder me from making one of my favorite foods at home (they even share the recipe online!). Given the fresh, local ingredients advertised, I had braced myself for an overpriced morsel of paella. The portions ended up to be huge and around 6 GBP – best deal of the trip, and a very satisfying hot lunch.
portobello market paella
We then wandered over to the West End shopping district to see the pretty Liberty of London store. I also popped into the surrounding shops looking for petite-friendly clothing, without success. Many stores – TopShop, Wallis, Miss Selfridge, and more –  had a “Petites” section with items that fit pretty small, but unfortunately all the garments I saw were lower quality and/or very young-trendy. I thought it was unusual that so many fast fashion stores had petite departments, because I don’t feel it’s hard to find short knit skirts, mesh dresses, or cutout tank tops that run small. It’s more so the trickier structured, tailored pieces like blazers, trousers, or sheath dresses that I really appreciate special sizing for.
liberty london fabrics

Left: Jamon Jam
on chicken paella   Right: Printed fabric selection at Liberty (from Nick’s IG)

I loved the ethnically diverse options when dining out in London. After having the traditional roast for lunch, we decided on Ceviche Peruvian Kitchen for a light dinner. It was on the pricier side for the portions, but made for a very yummy end to the trip.
chorizo and squid

Grilled chorizo and squid skewers, sweet corn cake
ceviche Alianza Lima ceviche – fresh sea bass, prawns & octopus in chilli tiger’s milk w/ sweet potatoes & corn
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