As some of you might already know (especially if you follow me on Instagram) I spent the beginning of this moth on vacation in London. Saying that I enjoyed my stay would be a vast understatement – I absolutely fell in love with this city! So keep on reading for a very personal travel guide to London!
Whenever I visit a city for the first time I obviously check out all the touristic places. However I’ve been to London many times before so this time, I (at least attempted to) explore the city like a local and spent my time doing the things I love most. So below I’ve listed all the places I’ve visited and thins I did and love. Have fun reading!
London and shopping (especially now with the pound so low, and the summer sale on) are just two things that belong together. My favourite areas to stop by when willing to buy are Mayfair, Soho, Covent Garden, Kensington (High Street), Regent Street, and the obvious: Oxford Street. By the way: The reason why I really love shopping abroad is because you always discover new brands, and this time around I discovered so many more again.
Art – Museums & Galleries
I am a big art lover and to pic only a few Galleries and Museums would simply not do the art scene in London any justice. This time, one of the galleries, that really impressed me was the Victoria Miro Gallery. They currently exhibit “All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins & the Chandelier of Grief” by Yayoi Kusama, an let’s just say, that I never knew how much I love pumpkins too. But really you can find great art anywhere in London, even on the street. Just walk down Mayfair for a very posh take on modern art, or check out the Borough and Shoreditch for a slightly more approachable take. And don’t forget: the search is half the fun!
Now, that’s probably the part you have all been waiting for. To sum it up I can happily say that I have never, in my entire life, eaten better than throughout my stay in London. Even if you just quickly grab a Sushi box at one of the many Take-Out places, I promise you, it will be delicious. Here are my top 5 (+ two extra) best and affordable food places in London:
(Just a little disclaimer – Yes, I actually enjoy eating healthy and plant based whole foods most, and you can definitely tell that, by this list. I just like to eat this way because, it is what works best for me. Anyways, thats not the topic now, but if you are interested in recipes and what I eat, just let me know in the comments below.)
- Kingly Court (@Carnaby Street): Every single restaurant you’ll see here is amazing! Their “Detox Kitchen” actually made me fall in love with brown rice milk so much that I sprinted thought Soho just to get another Latté before heading to the airport.
- Neal’s Yard: Also one of my favourite places, especially for breakfast and lunch. If you have a salad in one of the restaurants there, you’ll never want to eat anything else again – trust me!!
- Leon: This is the ONLY fast food – chain I am actually obsessed with!! They completely change the way fast food is produced and offer so many delicious healthy options! I actually went there 3 times while in London, because I love this chain so much. (The last time was at the airport, and although everyone on the plane was staring at me, I highly enjoyed my delicious Inflight-Leons-Fast-Food!)
- Gourmet Burger Kitchen: I think the name says it all… And because they have tones of customisation options, even non burger lovers like me, are gonna love this place!
- Borough Market: If you are as much of a foodie as me then you are absolutely gonna love this place! One part of the market is where you would do your regular grocery shopping, but on the other side you can gorge yourself on a variety of international cuisines. The first time I came here I had an Indian dish, that was so delicious, I had to come back a few days after, just to eat it again.
That’s it my London culinary experience broken down into five places for food. However the culinary experience does not stop at food. So here are 2 extra places worth mentioning:
- Whole Foods: This grocery store is just my dream come true! Whether you’re just grabbing food to have a picknick in Hyde park, actually come in for lunch at their food court, or stock up on all the snacks you’ve ever dreamed of, your expectations will be exceeded! (PS: I did all of the things mentioned above and enjoyed them so much that I just had to mention it!)
- Bars in Soho: This is just such a no brainer! There just is no better way to end a day than with an after work drink, and there is to better place for that than in Soho. Just walk around the area and if you are up for fun (and preferably not claustrophobic) you will definitely find the right place for you.
Random places and things to do
Obviously, my love affair with London does not stop at food, fashion and art. Here are a few other random favourites/things I did in London and really enjoyed, but there is so much more to do!:
- Fitness at TriYoga:I just recently found out, that apparently I’ve bee walking wrongly my entire teenage years. So after a few days of running around the city my hips really started to hurt. Luckily I found this amazing Studio and booked two classed there. They not only made my pain go away, but actually made me fall in love with hot yoga, something I thought of as absolutely impossible.
- Walking through Hyde Park: I don’t know what it is about me and parks, but I just love to look at other people in the park (especially school kids in their cute uniform and people walking their dog). That’s why I try to make time to walk through hyde park every single time I visit the city.
- Walking down the streets in Notting Hill and Kensington: Every time I come to this area I just feel like a local. Don’t get me wrong, I mean like one of these celebrities from the movie Notting Hill, or Made in Chelsea, but still a local, a really posh Londoner. Plus if you come to Notting Hill on a Sunday definitely check out the Portobello Road Market, they have a great variety of all kinds of stuff.
- Go Magazine shopping: As buying loads of books when travelling isn’t the best idea, I always opt for “coffee table magazines”. I don’t mean the usual gossip magazines, no, I am talking about well curated, super pretty to look at, and very much coffee table worthy magazines. AND there is just no better place to buy them than in London! (By the way: Going to a proper magazine store was another thing I did on my last morning in London. However I slightly lost track of time and once I was finally done, ready to head to the airport it started to rain… So just imagine me with a huge tote bag around the shoulder, a coffee cup in on hand and a broken paper bag (dissolved by the rain) in the other, running down Oxford street in drizzling rain… Luckily there are no pictures to prove how crazy I must have looked that morning.)
Anyways, that concludes my London Love Letter, or personal travel guide to London. Thank you so much again Ana (my Montréal friend who now lives in London), for letting me stay with you! You where the best host! I really hope to come back soon! I also hope you enjoyed reading this post and love for you to leave a comment. Have a great week and until next time,
Lot’s of love
PS: Here are all the “cute” litte selfies you’ve been waiting for: