Last week we were in London and noticed many things that we wanted to bring back to the US. The first started with our journey with British Airways, where the service makes certain American carriers (who we won’t name, but chances are you know who they are) seem obsolete. Besides forcing ourselves to not speak in British accents this week, we decided to be more productive and do a roundup of ten trends we picked up in the UK that we’re bringing back to the states…
1. Saying ‘The States’ rather than the U.S. when referring to our home country.
2. “Hot-desking.” Meaning, no one in an office has a designated desk or office, but rather everyone switches every day. It’s something we picked up after interviewing someone rather important at a rather important publication (stay tuned, and read Alexandra Shulman’s interview in the meantime).
3. Wearing hats. And we don’t mean beanies from American Apparel. We mean real, London society hats.
4. Calling closets ‘cupboards’. I mean really, how much more pleasant does that sound? We’re changing our interview question from now on to: “If you could switch cupboards, with one person in the world, whose cupboard would it be?” ‘Closet’ is out.
5. Afternoon tea as the 4pm pick-me-up. So, while you’re getting your depressing cup of Starbucks circa 4pm when your sugar level is at an all time low, the Brits are doing afternoon tea with never-ending finger sandwiches and a plethora of pastries. It’s bloody unfair…
6. Toast supersedes gluten-free. Every time we ordered breakfast on our trip, we were asked if we wanted toast with that (not fries with that, toast with that). There was no gluten-free guilt; we were given trays of toast with a variety of marmalades and jam like it was nobody’s business. What’s so wrong with toast anyhow?
7. Pastel Houses. Notting Hill (and not just the movie) stole our hearts this trip, as we couldn’t get enough of the charming houses in an array of pastel colors. Who will be the first to paint their West Village or Upper East Side townhouse a pastel pink or a mint? Go on, we dare you. We can’t because we don’t have a townhouse…
8. One-item restaurants. You’ve probably noticed if you’ve traveled to London, one-item restaurants like Flat Iron, or Burger & Lobster – where the only items on the menu are the items in the title of the restaurant (i.e flat iron steak, hamburger, and lobster) – are everywhere. We love the idea of dedicating a restaurant to perfecting a classic. Can you guess what ours would be? New potatoes. Duh.
9. “Look Left, Look Right” pavement signs. We’re not saying crossing the street in London is any safer than New York. In fact, crossing the street in London sometimes seems more like a dance with death rather than what it is. We do however appreciate the writing on the pavement under your feet reminding you of which way to look. Does anyone else feel like they need this in Manhattan? Because we’ve definitely been the happy idiots that step out looking right when traffic’s coming from the left (sorry Mom) and a good samaritan saves our life. You know it’s happened to you.
10. Everything is cleaner. Do we even need to elaborate?
*Image: Andy Warhol, Queen Elizabeth II