London days out:
Ah London, we all know about London with its famous attractions from the Tower of London to Buckingham palace but there is a London that not many people get to experience. Behind the never ending hustle and bustle of the city there lies secrets waiting to be discovered and memories waiting to be made.
Whilst I do think the most famous landmarks of this great city should never be ignored, I strongly believe that in order to have the best London experience possible you have to think outside the postcard.
A must see for everyone having a fun day out in London is the 7 dials. With the 7 streets all linking up to the same area in a clock like way, this place became a favourite rendezvous place for thieves and criminals all over London in the Victorian times. Luckily, the only crime around here is the criminally good food that can be found from the variety of pubs, cafes and patisseries lining all 7 of the streets. If you visit during Christmas, which I HIGHLY recommend, you will be in awe of its beauty with the soft glow of the fairy lights at dusk strung up through the Christmas garlands, maybe grab a delicious, one of a kind hot chocolate and let it warm you up as you move along to your next destination.
The Globe Theatre, with its amazing history, attracts tourists and literature lovers from all over the world and rightly so. The theatre revolutionised the way of the world back in Elizabethan England and continues to make an impression even today. Whether you want to experience the ‘peasant’ life and take the standing seats or treat yourself like the gentry and nobility of the time and sit in the circles, you will have an amazing time! When I went, I saw Romeo and Juliet, the good ol’ classic, and it was a play like I have never seen before- it was incredible! With an emo Romeo, a ballroom scene playing YMCA with Lord Capulet dressed up as donald duck and Juliet with skeleton makeup (slightly different from what the Elizabethans were seeing) It was a play that I’ll never forget. Even better, right next to the theatre itself is its’ very own tea room – The Swan – with absolutely Magnificent afternoon teas, lunches and snacks in a Tudor era setting, it really rounds the whole experience off but even if you do not want to see the globe then I would still strongly recommend going and trying some of that incredible food, never had a better afternoon tea in my life and trust me I have had many!
Go and see a play. That’s it, that is my best advice. There are always a large variety of plays available to watch on the west end from the classics to new and exciting ones, something for absolutely everyone and anyone. Although it may look expensive to go and see a play, there are some great tips that you can use to get a great deal. Kids theatre week happens during the whole month of August and allows any child under the age of 16 to go for free so long as they are accompanied by a full paying adult plus it allows the adult to purchase up to two additional children’s tickets for half price! Don’t have kids but still want a bargain? Not a problem, simply go to one of the ticket kiosk you will see around and just ask if they have any good deals for that day, more often than not you can grab a ticket for a great price, even around £10! Why do I suggest the theatre so much? Well aside from my general love of musicals, the atmosphere at the theatre is unique, you can’t find it anywhere else. The stunning art Deco architecture and the ornate interior makes for a stunning sight when you walk in for the first time and you may find yourself getting distracted by the sheer beauty of the ceilings, railings and chandeliers all over the place but don’t worry as soon as that music starts you will be wrapped up in a whole new world.
I would never suggest that you skip some of the most popular places in London such as Leicester square or Oxford street but do not stick to them, go and explore. London hides so much beauty and so many quaint cafes and wonderful little shops behind the big bright lights of the super streets but be sure to broaden your horizons a bit to find them, to show you what London is truly all about. Sneak down side streets, go for a wander and don’t worry about getting lost as every London Cab driver knows every single detail about the city, you will always be able to get back. Be free and escape the map a little.
When looking at the modern architecture of the city it is often easy to forget how old the city is and what secrets must be kept in the shadows of the ancient buildings, that is why I encourage you to take advantage of the many museums available whether it’s the natural history museum or the portrait gallery, a trip to one of these will force your eyes open and you will see things you hadn’t even realised where there! The dark secrets and the funny tales of past are all waiting to be discovered by you.
Oh to be in Covent Garden right now *sigh*. This area of London is quite famous for its fancy food and high end stores with practically every designer brand owning a storefront there but don’t let that intimidate you. Inside is a huge undercover market selling homemade nick knacks, gifts and souvenirs with something for everyone’s taste. The food you can get there is amazing with everyone pouring their love into their homemade recipes. Like the seven dials, this place really transforms into a whole new magical world at Christmas time, with its enormous Christmas tree towering above; garland decorated swing seats, hanging fairy lights, huge reindeer ornaments and a Santa’s grotto! Truly one of my favourite places to go in London.
Food In London:
It wouldn’t be a trip to London without taking a tour of the many, many places to eat and with so many choices comes pressure to pick the right one, well let me help you with that as an experienced London diner.
This little Bakery is a lovely place to stop off for a cup of coffee and a cake before continuing on your journey through London, it’s wonderful breakfast is simply a definite must have for those wanting to start their day on the right foot! piping hot coffee and a delicious flaky Croissant brightens my morning at merely the thought!
Hello Instagram goodbye hunger! This Instagram worthy patisserie in South Kensington is exquisite – trust me when i say it’s eclairs are a work of art. Although not the cheapest place to eat, it is definitely worth forking out for a special treat! The colourful array of delicacies lined up in the window display of this quaint patisserie draws your attention from the usual colour palette of the London streets promising you a memorable bite to eat.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese:
In a city so rich with history, nowhere you go is without its stories but nowhere, at the same time is quite like this quintessential pub. A short diversion off of the street fleet will lead you to an English staple, a good pub selling good pub food however this pub is not just your average spoons, it was the favourite of Charles Dickens and Samuel Johnson! Since the mid 19th century, this pub has sprawled over 4 layers with the lower level, reached by the narrow stairs being thought to predate the 17th century upper stories! With a roaring coal fire, a hot pie and a pint, you will begin to experience the true love between an English person and their pubs.
Camden food market:
It Wouldn’t be a trip to London without a visit to the iconic Camden food market, weaving in and out of the labyrinth of stalls all selling some exquisite food with a small snack here and a small snack there. Forget researching the best restaurants to have a pricey meal and go here, The sheer diversity in the cuisine available here is amazing with meals and sweet treats from all around the world with some even selling unique twists to some of our nation’s most beloved dishes. This place is definitely a place to go, immerse yourself in the food and flavours. Top tip: Do not eat before you get here as you will regret it.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! Forget what people say, there is no such thing as ‘it’s too cold for ice cream’ or the favourite ‘you can’t have ice cream in winter’ because trust me, you can. Amorino, which is a chain ice cream parlour with a couple shops dotted in the side streets of London, serves you ice cream in a way that you have never seen before with the skilled staff sculpting your ice cream into the shape of a flow with a homemade macaroon perched in the middle as a bud! There are so many different flavours to choose from, from the classics to more interesting flavours such as apple crumble or banoffee pie, no matter which flavour you choose, you can’t go wrong!
No matter what you are looking for, you will find it in London and this one of a kind city is not a place you should miss. And remember, by all means see all the popular tourist places but just don’t forget about the hidden gems just waiting for you to find them on your adventure of a lifetime.
Where would you want to go in London? leave a comment down below and let me know.