Oct 3, 2018

Londinium by Clare Connelly

When I was twenty two, my now-husband and I set off on an adventure to London. The plan was to go for a year, work our way around, travel, enjoy, and then get back to our real life. But London has a strange way of taking hold of you, doesn't it? No sooner had we landed at Heathrow and made our way into the cheap hostel we'd booked in Vauxhall before we knew we weren't going to be in a rush to leave again. 

We stayed four years. Four blissful, growing-up years, where we made lifelong friends, found jobs we loved, ate our way around Europe and got engaged on the banks of the Thames. 

Leaving was a wrench, but the time came for us to step into a new adventure: marriage and babies, and that felt like something we wanted to do here, in Australia. It took a long time before I didn't wake up worrying that we'd made a mistake - I still miss London hugely, and I've come to acceptthat longing is a part of me now. 

Recently, I had occasion to travel back to the UK and it was such fun! It was also utterly surreal to peel back the lid of time and walk streets that are completely familiar to me, but from a different time of my life. Sort of like looking through a foggy window. 

Pictures of my trip below - just a few of the highlights! 

Do you have a special place that you can't wait to get back to? Somewhere you once spent time that will always be a part of you? 

Pret a Manger coffee at South Ken - my old stamping ground

Out the front of our old digs - Sydney Street, Chelsea

Food, glorious food!

South Bank

Fortnums - a favourite then and now

With my beautiful London besties!

The amazing team at Mills & Boon

Getting ready to record a Facebook live with the
fabulous Laurie Johnson 

Covent Garden

So beautiful

Regents Park

Star struck moment - meeting Sharon Kendrick AND
cuddling Amanda Cinelli's gorgeous little bub!

With the beautiful Amanda Cinelli and bubs

Love this so much!

The view from the M&B offices!

With my gorgeous South Australian Romance Association
friends, and fellow M&B writers: Trish Morey and Elizabeth Rolls 


  1. I know how you feel about London, Clare - I'll always want to go back there and have been lucky to have been back quite a bit over the years!
    For me its Positano, in Italy. I fell in love with it and look forward to one day going again. My hubby knows thats where I want my ashes scattered so, one day, I'll be there forever ;-)

  2. Love your pics, Clare! It looks as if you had a wonderful time. :-) I love London with all of my madly beating heart. Mr Douglas and I eloped and were married there, so it holds some very special memories for us. I love going back and walking in all of those old familiar places.

  3. Thanks for sharing you trip Clare I have never been there but it is a place I would love to visit, sadly I haven't done a lot of travelling although I am hooked on cruising these days and am off again on Oct 18th and we will be going back to visit Fiji and meeting up with Nas one of the days we are there woohoo and going to Tonga and Norfolk Island this time :)

    Have Fun


  4. Know exactly how you feel about London, Clare, as I feel the same way. I went for a year and stayed for seven. Still miss it 25 years (!!) later.

    Your trip looks amazing.

  5. London for me too, Clare. My parents divorced when I was young, we stayed with Mum in Australia and Dad went to the UK. London has always felt home to me as much as Sydney does. I loved living and working in London and our daughter was born there. We brought her back to Sydney. We wanted her to stay in one place so she wouldn't be always torn between two countries as both my husband and I will always be I think. That said, I'll be there next week! Love your photos of your trip to M & B, it's so wonderful to go into the office isn't it!