My London Diary – Where to eat, drink, shop

London is one of those cities for me (similar to Berlin) where I couldn’t really see myself living but I also can’t stay away from for too long. This is why I spent another great weekend there as my first trip of 2018.
So here’s my little guide to the London I’ve experienced.
Spoiler: Don’t expect anything touristy, it’s mainly shopping, food and drinks 🙂
Well, I guess that’s not THAT surprising, since UK’s capital is actually pretty famous for those three things: Shopping, Eating and Partying.

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Tower Bridge, London

But let’s start with what we actually did.
I arrived Friday night around 8pm at Heathrow Airport. From there I took the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station, where my friend picked me up.
It only takes you around 15 minutes to get from Heathrow to Paddington Station and a return ticket is 37 Pounds. You can also take the Central Line (which is the black line) to or from Heathrow into town though, which will be cheaper but obviously take you longer. It probably depends on where your hotel/hostel/Airbnb/couch is located. So make sure to check that before you arrive. (Obviously it’s different depending on which airport you fly into. But that’s a given I guess 🙂 )

Anyways, we then decided to stay in and catch up since we haven’t seen each other for 2 years. (The friend I visited was one of the wonderful people I met while traveling by the way.)

Saturday we got up and took the train to Shoreditch, one of my favourite areas around London. It’s probably due to all the Street Art (I’m really into that if you haven’t noticed…), the wonderful Vintage Stores and the all-around cool vibe of that neighbourhood. We spent hours walking around, hunting Vintage treasures and eating lots of deliciousness.

My two favourite Vintage Shops there are Beyond Retro (they also have other stores around London) and Rokit Vintage. But definitely check out these shops as well.

Beyond Retro
Beyond Retro, Shoreditch

When it came to deciding on food, we were full on clueless what to choose because there are just too many options.
After running back and forth for at least 30 minutes, we decided on a bar/café called Kick, which had a sports bar vibe and even a few Fussball tables around. They had a variety of Sandwiches to choose from (even vegan options) and a few other warm dishes as well.

Kick
Kick, Shoreditch

To also fit a bit of culture in, we decided to go to a little gallery called Creative Debuts, where an exhibition called “Girls, uninterrupted” took place, which showed a collection of art pieces inspired by women, feminism and female empowerment. It showed the art of wonderful artist, such has Jess Farran, Lita Poliakova or Sophie Brampton.

Girls uninterrupted exhibition
Girls uninterrupted exhibition

Because I’m such a sweet tooth and calories don’t count when on holidays (right?) we chose to have some cake afterwards. That decision was actually easy to make because if you’ve ever been to Kahaila Café, you know that there’s basically no chance to walk past that window without wanting to try every single one of their cakes. And they might even be more delicious than they look!

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Kahaila Café, Shoreditch

After a few more miles of walking (I’m not complaining, I love walking!) with a quick stop at Covent Garden, we ended up at Opium in Chinatown. Opium is a Dim Sum Cocktail Bar whose entrance is pretty hidden between to Chinese restaurants with chicken hanging in their windows. When you enter the bar, you feel like you’re in some kind of movie – bartenders that look like they’ve never done anything else in their life than making delicious cocktails and dimmed lights, so the whole place gets a mystic atmosphere.
Both the Dim Sum and the cocktails were delicious!

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Dim Sum Platter at Opium, Chinatown

After a quick stop at Sway to dance a little (Sway is a pretty dressy place, so we felt way too underdressed in their with our boots and wool jumpers, but it was fun to dance for a bit), we just made our way back home and straight into bed.

On Sunday we had plans with two more girls that I met traveling. We ended up going back to Shoreditch to find just another great place to hang out there: Shoreditch Grind (there are more around town as well). We had coffee (AND MATCHA ❤ ) and ended up trying their breakfast as well, which they serve all day on Sundays. I had Sweet Potato Cakes with Poached Eggs and Avocado and they were TO DIE FOR. And have I mentioned that the place was serving Matcha? Because they did. And it made my Sunday even better.

Sweet Potato Cakes at Shoreditch Grind
Sweet Potato Cakes at Shoreditch Grind

Unfortunately by the time we were done talking about Tinder Dates, men and work, my time in London was almost over. To kill the last few hours before I had to head back to Heathrow Airport, we decided to check out the Design Museum in Kensington. It’s free of charge if you don’t decide on visiting any of the special exhibitions, so it’s perfect for a little stroll. It was actually quite interesting to find out how design is defined and that even tube-maps, weapons or street signs are design in a way.

Design Museum, Kensington
Design Museum, Kensington

So with that, my time in London came to an end. I gotta say, only staying from late Friday night to Sunday evening is definitely too short for a city with distances like this, but it was worth the visit anyways!

Here are a few more tips to consider when in London:

  • Street Art tour. I’ve done that before and wrote a blogpost about it, definitely check it out if you are interested in Street Art and want to learn a bit more about the artists and their techniques.
  • Blues Kitchen, Shoreditch. They have live music every night and the vibe in there is something I’ve never found in Munich. Plus, they serve food there as well. More infos here.
Blues Kitchen, Shoreditch
Blues Kitchen, Shoreditch
  • Oxford Street. That’s a given, considering that all the shops, such as Topshop, Miss Selfridges or Forever 21 are located just around there. So the perfect Shopping Spot!
  • Primrose Hill. It’s a little park close to cute streets, cafés and shops, where you have a wonderful view over London’s skyline. Perfect for a little picnick or stroll.
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Primrose Hill
  • Camden Market. Camden doesn’t really change, so I decided not to go this time. But you can also find a few Vintage shops around there and lots of stalls full of fun, interesting or crazy goods. And lots of food from around the world!
  • Portobello Road Market. Portobello has great markets full of clothes, accessories and other treasures. You can find the times for their market here.

I feel like I should have so many more tips for you, since I’ve been to London multiple times. But I guess I don’t have the best memory after all. I’ll make sure to collect it from now on, because I’ll definitely be back as soon as possible!

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