London as a city has always fascinated me. Everyone is just so damn cool with their clothes and their hair and their whatnot! While I’ve been here a number of times before I feel my most recent trip to the capital was the first time I’ve ever really explored it to the extent it deserves.
The flight from Dublin to London is always an easy one. You’re up and down in the blink of an eye. We flew into Luton more out of habit than anything else and as we were taking a night flight we ordered a taxi to take us from the airport to our hotel (Westpoint) in Paddington. It cost around £50.00 for the taxi which I expected. Obviously if you can get the National Express into town you’d save yourself a few bob but because we were travelling late we didn’t want to take any chances with buses etc.
The Westpoint hotel was a grand aul spot to lay the head. Rooms were pokey but clean as a whistle which is all I ask on a quick city break. We had a great view from our window of the surrounding Victorian houses which were absolutely gorgeous and it was right around the corner from Paddington tube station too which was a godsend.
Our first full day in London started with one of my highlights of the trip. I had booked a table at the Ivy in Covent Garden a couple of weeks prior to our visit (keen I know) for brunch and oh lord it did not disappoint. Let me first just mention the freakin’ hollandaise sauce… hands down most delicious hollandaise I’ve ever tasted. I had mine smothered on the vegetarian breakfast which featured avocado, mushrooms, beans and halloumi and was the perfect start to our day of exploration. The interior was a babe also, old school Parisian chic at it’s finest and amazing for people watching.
After brekkie we had a leisurely stroll around the Covent Garden area soaking in the various surroundings and then made our way down toward Picadilly Circus and Downing Street. Somehow in all my years coming to London I had never gotten around to doing all of the touristy bits and I was surprised by how little of London I had actually seen before. I had done the bus tour and all that jazz but walking really is the best way to get in all the sights and soak up the Londonian atmosphere.
We then mosied on over to the British Imperial museum which I have to say was one of the best museums I’ve ever been to. Their Holocaust memorial tribute was one of the most harrowing things I’ve ever experienced and something I will not forget in a hurry. If you only have time to visit one museum in London I would definitely recommend this be your pick of the crop.
After grabbing a quick lunch of burrata in an Italian we stumbled across we made our way over to the London eye. While the queue looked long it wasn’t the worst I’ve ever experienced *cough Empire State*.The views were of course gorgeous especially of Big Ben however the novelty kind of wears off after about 10 minutes. It takes nearly half an hour to do the full revolve and if you add to that the time it takes to actually get on to the wheel it can chew up quite a lot of your day.
After a quick spruce back at the hotel we made our way to NAC on North Audley street, just off Oxford Street. I had heard so much about this place and was so excited to sample the goods. The interior was lovely and we were seated at the best table in the house in my opinion, up in the attic conversion type area looking down on all of the action.
I ordered the brown butter salmon and while yes it was delicious it was also bloomin’ tiny. If you’re going to dine here think of it like tapas (very expensive tapas) and order a few dishes to keep you going. I wish someone shared that nugget of wisdom with me before I went. We still really enjoyed our evening however, it was all very Made In Chelsea and I even spotted YouTuber AmeliaLiana which made my night.
After polishing off a couple of bottles of Malbec down in Chez Chow (the adjoining bar) and there being no sign of the lovable Chow Chow Ted, the dog who patrols the floor (to my despair) we called it a night and scurried off home in the lashings of rain!
Sunday morning began with a trip to Liverpool Street in a (foolish) attempt to head to The Breakfast Club. The queue was about a day long and showed no signs of moving so we ended up going to Bishopsgate Kitchen on Brushfield Street instead. I had been here before and while not as good as I remember (the Sourdough was tough as old boots) it was still an enjoyable experience (the Mushrooms saved it). I love how bright and airy it is here and it’s perfect if you’re looking for a little hair of the dog (them mimosa’s though).
After being fed and watered we had a mooch around Spitalfields market (Camden markets will always be my number one) and then headed over towards Tower Bridge. The view around the bridge was literally insane and I can’t believe I hadn’t done the walk across sooner, definitely a must if you’re here.
We then ambled off to do yet another thing I somehow had never done before either which was visit Buckingham Palace. The walk through the park on the way to the palace was lovely (made lovelier with a sneaky hot chocolate) and we made friends with some ducks on the way too which is always a plus in my books?
Before our viewing at The Shard that afternoon we headed for a quick lunch of French onion soup and a glass of vino at Côte Brasserie located by Riverside House. It was just what the doctor ordered as it was bloody baltic out and it really hit the spot.
I had prebooked tickets for our trip to The Shard which in hindsight probably wasn’t necessary as there were only a handful of others knocking about, but you know yourself better safe than sorry! I actually really enjoyed it (perhaps it was the glass of Champagne that won me over) and I would for sure recommend it over The Eye.
And so came the wind down of our trip *weeps*
London holds a very special place in my heart. The people are so vibey and interesting and the atmosphere always buzzy, there’s never a dull moment. Given the chance I’d move here in a heartbeat.
Until we meet again London!
I’d love to find out your favourite things to do in London. Let me know in the comments so I can add them to my ever growing list for next time 🙂