It was August and it had been one year since the first ever Travelettes meet-up in Croatia. Perfect timing for another Travelettes re-union! To spice things up a little, we wanted to explore a city together – easy to reach, cool and big enough to get lost for a day or two. Paris, Berlin or London were our options of choice – the discussions were endless; but eventually we went with London. Three of us were already in the country, the other two had lived here before – actually a no-brainer. Flight, bus and train tickets were booked quickly, and travelette-in-chief Katja and I put our planning hats on. How do you organise the perfect girlfriend getaway for half the Travelettes team in London?

It’s actually very easy – here are our 4 easy-to-follow steps.

London Girlfriend Getaway 2

Step 1) Book a flat with AirBnb

Or two. Since Katja was traveling with her baby, we decided to rent two entire apartments in East London via AirBnB – one for her and Atlas, one for the other four of us. That way we had full privacy, enough space to hangout and work a little, and the comfort of a home away from home. Both our flats had a little garden, so we could have breakfasts and dinners outside (thanks for not raining, London sky!), and roll around in the grass when the sun was at its strongest. We stocked the fridge with prosecco and readymade G&T from the supermarket around the corner, and jumped onto the tube (get an Oyster card!) to explore more of East London.

London Girlfriend Getaway AirBnB 2

Step 2) Shop till you drop

If you ask me, the best thing about London is its abundance of shopping and vintage shopping – not if you ask my credit card, but does that anyways. On our first afternoon, before the other travelettes had arrived, Katja and I ventured up to Stoke Newington and I fell in love with everything filling the racks of the little Collectif Clothing shop on Stoke Newington Church Street. (Then I found out there is an even bigger Collectif shop in Spitalfield Market, and now I realised there is an online shop – DANGER ZONE). When we found the large Beyond Retro vintage shop on Stoke Newington Road, I could barely keep my countenance – lucky for my bank account, that Atlas started to get tired of shopping and we made our way back to meet the other girls.

United, we explored further – Beyond Retro and other small vintage shops in Soho, the stalls and vintage boutiques of Camden Market, the shops and pop-up markets around Spitalfield Market. If you and your girls love shopping, London is paradise!

London Girlfriend Getaway Shopping

Step 3) Cook dinner together

The major advantage of having an AirBnB flat was being able to stay in for dinner and cook together. When you haven’t seen each other for that long, what’s nicer than cracking open a bottle of prosecco, chop and assemble foods together, and chat as loud, as intimately and as long as you want.

We decided to make mini-pizzas and salad (for roughly twice the number of people we were), ate everything in the garden and enjoyed the mild London evening air. Of course we talked Travelettes and made big plans for the future, but we also talked boys and became the most mature versions of our teenage selves. Grrrl power!

Step 4) Afternoon cocktails at the Sipsmith Sipping Garden

As hitting the clubs with Atlas in tow was not an option, we had to rearrange our party times a little bit, and treated ourselves to afternoon cocktails at the Sipsmith Sipping Garden. The pop-up bar is part of the Le Meridien Piccadilly hotel – admittedly quite a long way from our apartments in East London, but oh-so worth it! If you are into gin (how could you not be, you’re women in England after all?!?) this is a playground of tastes for you. The cocktail menu takes some iconic classics, like Bellinis or Espresso Martinis and mixes them up with only the finest Sipsmith gin. You can stuff your face with delicious fingerfood, but definitely keep some space for the desserts – especially the Gin & Tonic ice-cream! The Sipping Garden is open until the end of September, therefore one of those few outdoor terraces in central London, where you can still enjoy summer before it ends!

London Girlfriend Getaway Sipsmith Garden Terrace

When five girls meet up for the first time in a long time, chances are that the weekend trip will be unforgettable either way. If the city of your choice is London and you follow our advice, we’re positive you’ll have an even more amazing girlfriend getaway waiting for you. We certainly can’t wait for next summer. Where should we head next?

A big thank you to AirBnB and Sipsmith Sipping Garden for supporting our Travelettes meet-up!

This is a post by Kathi Kamleitner.

Kathi Kamleitner was a regular contributor at Travelettes from 2013 to 2019. Originally from Vienna, Austria, she packed her backpack to travel the world and lived in Denmark, Iceland and Berlin, before settling in Glasgow, Scotland. Kathi is always preparing her next trip – documenting her every step with her camera, pen and phone.

In 2016, Kathi founded Scotland travel blog to share her love for her new home, hiking in the Scottish Highlands, island hopping and vegan food. Follow her adventures on Instagram @watchmesee!