All Things London

Let’s start this post by saying I miss London, badly. If I could define my time here with a few words, it would be chaotic. cold. and cool af.

The last time I traveled internationally was nearly 10 years ago when I visited Australia in 2009. Another international trip was needed and the UK was the first stop. I’d spent months researching museums, landmarks, restaurants and bars…but what I didn’t research was passport laws. So I felt pretty prepared and in control until I learned there are certain passport restrictions that limit access into certain countries. Now, now…I won’t get ahead as this has nothing to do with London. But, my mishap caused a bittersweet extra day stay in London that turned out to be absolutely amazing. I can say, I am thankful for the additional time in London which totaled a full stay of 2.5/3 days.

Therefore, I feel very equipped giving some insight into what I did and places I visited on my trip! Here are my London recos, tips and tricks. For more photos and cool stories, go check out my Instagram Story Highlights on London!

Sights

London was cold, much colder than anticipated. I’ve concluded, I can look at temperatures on an app, but I will still have no clue what that means. I had a jean jacket and that my friends was it…wrong, wrong move. Temperatures were in the 60s (but it was also windy), but low temperatures didn’t stop us from sightseeing and walking miles on miles! Check out some places you should add to your London list below!

Westminster Abbey

Elizabeth Tower/Big Ben (note: under construction until 2021, but still worth wild to go!)

London Eye (note: I didn’t desire to ride on it, but a photo with it in my background was a must!)

Red Telephone Booth (have you really experienced London if you don’t take a signature red telephone booth photo?)

St. James Park

Buckingham Palace

Piccadilly Circus

Chinatown

Soho (There isn’t really photos that can capture the essence of Soho. Just take my advice and go.)

M&M World (I’m not a huge candy connoisseur, but M&M World was an experience. There are only 5 M&M World’s in all of the world…London, New York, Orlando, Las Vegas and Shanghai. Make a stop!)

Leicester Square (When we came here it was mostly at night. There were street performers and lots of attractions and restaurants. Apparently when stars visit London for premieres, this is where they are.)

London Theatre/TKTS (TKTS are discounted same day theatre tickets. I highly recommend going to see Aladdin…it was phenomenal and affordable. We only spent €38. Just plan to carve out 2.5 hours of your day/night to dedicate.)

The Shard (This 95-story skyscraper is just gorgeous. Although we did not make it here because we were limited on time, I suggest you go. I saw countless Instagram’s and posts of this place that exists as a perfect restaurant and bar and hotel with breathtaking views of the city.)

Nibbles & Sips

I heard countless feedback from friends and family that visited London before that the food is nothing too special. While everyone has their own opinion, I learned to not let anyone’s opinion just infiltrate your own. While I couldn’t define one general theme of their cuisine, I was extremely impressed by London’s brunch and apertivo/snacks/nibbles options.

Borough Market (While this technically doubles as a sight, it’s under the nibbles category because all we did was snack here. I can officially say I tried my first raw oyster in London at the Borough Market. All throughout the market, your nose was alert because delicious smells would flood through. I saw everything from Risotto, filled donuts, fresh seafood, cheeses, wines and flowers. It’s cute and this should be on your list.)

Brunch

The Cambridge St. Kitchen (sidenote: they have apertivo/snacks/nibbles in their hidden cocktail bar called Clarendon Cocktail Cellar tucked under the restaurant. Check out their apertivo menu here which is served daily 3-7 p.m. and is only €5, served with nibbles.)

The Table (Trust me…just go there! It’s all the brunch dreams you desire!)

Traditional London Breakfast: eggs, sausage, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans and toast

Other brunch places we didn’t make it to, but they had great reviews:

Dinner/Night Out

Cote Brassiere (French Brassiere & Bistro)

Maison Du Mezze (Lebanese restaurant with a cool vibe and even cooler staff!)

Ruby Blue (Drinks, drinks & drinks)

Traditional London Meal: Fish and Chips

Other dinner/bar places we didn’t make it to, but they had great reviews:

Sleeps

Throughout our trip, we stayed in the Pimlico/Victoria area. This area is an upscale residential area with quiet streets with many hotels. It was conveniently located within walking distance to so many places and close to the train station.

Airbnb: Stylish 2 Bedroom Maisonette in Victoria

This was on Wilton Rd and any place around this will be safe, fun and nice! Highly recommend this area if you’re looking for an affordable, yet close area to the sights! Check out my Instagram TV story video of our Airbnb.

Hotel: Victoria Inn

We found this place same day and booked the room after learning I couldn’t travel to Rome and we needed to stay in London an additional day. This Inn was super cute and in a great area. The rooms were so cute and decorated.

General Tips

  • Biking around the city was fun and heart-stopping, flat out on the verge of danger. After we successfully returned our bikes, we decided that biking was def. more for locals. The streets of London are busy with pedestrians, bikes, buses and cars. There are dedicated bike lanes that are often filled with plenty of buses and cars also eager to get to their destinations. If you are going to bike, I would recommend to do it in area with not much traffic…try parks and more relaxed sights.

  • Tower Bridge and London Bridge are different. We continuously kept referring to the London Bridge and learned we were deeply mistaken. The Tower Bridge is the more famous bridge.