‘Mind the gap’, Gherkins and Walkie-Talkies, red telephone cells and Piccadilly Circus. I saw them all during my three day trip to London! A present from me to my mum, because that fierce lady turned 50 this October and I wanted to celebrate it good. And boy, did we have a good time! We crammed all the sightseeing places and hotspots we could fit into three days and we were exhausted afterwards. But it was all worth it, you’ll see.
Day 1: Bespoke and Flat Whites
Among other things, London is known as a great city to shop. It wasn’t our first priority, but we did have tendencies of curiosity for the big shopping streets, Oxford and Regent Street. Because we arrived in town around midday, we were quite hungry and so we searched for a place to eat. Strolling around Oxford Street, I caught a glimpse of Neal Street. I remembered a little lunch place being situated in that street. We popped our head around the corner and found Timberyard, a tearoom with good coffee and Instagram-worthy bites too. We settled inside, ordered some delicious sandwiches and enjoyed our first good ol’ cup-a-love of the day.
Finishing lunch we headed to Avery Row and Savile Row, a treasure of bespoke tailors for every modern gentleman. Ever seen Kingsman: The Secret Service? The spy movie with an astonishing Colin Firth in typical British tailoring? Well, the shop of that movie is actually Hunstman, one of London’s top-notch tailors situated in Savile Row. Besides them, other high-end tailorshops like Hardy Amies, Richard James and Gieves & Hawkes can be found here. And between me and you, if you’re a fan of British designer Paul Smith, you should check out his Sale Shop on Avery Row.
Our shopping craving didn’t end there. We took the Underground to Covent Garden, a funny contrast of cute markets and designer stores. Watch a few street performers while enjoying macarons from Ladurée. Or enjoy the street music in the heart of Covent Garden. If you’re here around dinnertime, see if you could find an empty seat at Jamie Oliver’s Union Jacks. Or try a pub around the area. We ate at one of the Nicholson pubs. Their menu is the same at every location, but the ambience is different for every pub.
Day 2: Containers in Shoreditch
Wanting to see the less touristy side of London, mommy dearest and I went to Shoreditch, an upcoming neighbourhood north of the City of London. At Old Spitalfields Market, we gawked at the amazing food coming out of the food trucks. Here they make delicacies from Ethiopia, Turkey, Israel, India and so on. And of course we tried some.
Besides your common offers on boutiques, you could find concept container stores at Boxpark. In each container, you’ll find a fashion boutique, interior store of giftshop. Take the stairs up to enjoy some crispy chicken wings, fish & chips or Jamaican snacks at the food boxes.
Through the Business District we got from Shoreditch to Borough market. I’ve been there three years earlier during a schooltrip. It was less crowded than I remember, but the food looks just as good. Every foodie should at least visit this place once.
Of course, we couldn’t not walk along the Thames, have a look at the Big Ben and stroll along Westminster Abbey and Downing Street. And so we did. We also walked towards the Victoria & Albert Museum, where we had a nice Italian meal at Pierino. This place is at South Kensington, which is a great place with a lot of spots to eat for breakfast, lunch and also dinner.
Day 3: Closing at Camden
The last day in London was spend completely at Camden Market. Every foodie, vintage lover, DIY’er and music fanatic would love to be here. Again, a lot of worldly food trucks, but also many stores to shop your vintage showpiece or that 60’s record you were looking for.
Of course, three days for a city like London isn’t enough at all. But we managed to see different sides of the city while enjoying it all too. This might have been a present for my mum, but it felt like a present to me just as much.
Have a good week guys!