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. Update: I could totally see myself living there now.
So here’s my little guide to the London I love. Mainly shopping, eating and drinking.
But let’s start with the basic things. There are three airports in London, Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted. Well, there’s also Luton, but this is actually a new city already, so I don’t really count it in. All of them have Express trains to the city center, where you can then get the tube or bus to wherever you gotta go. Depending on how long you are staying, you might want to get an Oyster card, which costs 5 Pounds first and then you can top it up with cash as you go. I spend around 25 Pounds from Saturday til Monday. The tube system is pretty easy, so just use your Google Maps or so to find the best and quickest ways to get from A to B.
Now on to the things there are to do.
One of my favourite areas in London is Shoreditch. It just has an all around cool and chilled vibe, especially with all its Street Art, Vintage Shops and markets.
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. Or check out this cool girl’s video about her favourite Vintage Stores in London. There’s also a huge Vintage market in a basement, that feels like you are stepping into a dreamland of vintage treasures. You definitely need a lot of time and patience to stroll through all the stalls, but it’s worth it. You might find that one customized and therefore unique jeans jacket that you never knew you needed.
Another place where you can find vintage treasures is Portobello Market. The flea market is on on Sundays. But be prepared: You might walk the street with millions of other tourists looking for the coolest piece – or just admiring the beautiful houses around there.
If you are more into the big fashion brands, such as Topshop, New Look or Urban Outfitters, Oxford Street is the place for you. Around there you can find all the trendy things, especially in the Topshop flagship store that swallows you up for hours.
I’m just gonna give you a list with quick explanations, otherwise this blog post might get a tad bit too long.
- Kick. This place has a sports bar vibe and even a few Fussball tables around. They offer a variety of Sandwiches to choose from (even vegan options) and a few other warm dishes as well.
- Kahaila Café. A little café in Shoreditch that might serve one of the best cakes I’ve had. I’m pretty sure you won’t miss it, since they have their huge, deliciously looking cakes right in their window.
- Opium. It’s 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. So worth it!
- Shoreditch Grind. A place that serves Matcha (first things first, right?) and absolutely delicious brunch! Make sure to not get there starving, because it might take some time to get a table. Good thing they’re serving breakfast all Sunday long, right? (There are also a few other “Grinds” around London).
- Pomona’s. At this place in Notting Hill I’ve tried Brunch as well. It’s a very Yoga-Mummy-kinda-place, both from the clientele and the interior, but the food was very delicious! I had to eat gluten free (or wheat free) for a while that time and they definitely had a few options. And Matcha again.
- Blanchette. Stumbling into this french restaurant in the middle of Shoreditch is like walking from one world into the next. In a good way. A delicious place, where we enjoyed some wine and cheese and loved it!
- Honest Burgers. A London burger chain that offers gluten free bread and (yummy!) vegetarian options – perfect!
- Comptoir Libanese. Another London chain, this time for Libanese food. Stepping into the restaurant is like walking into a very colourful scene from The Arabian Nights – a very beautiful one. So impressive!
#3 What else?
Obviously, London has way more to offer than Eating and Shopping. That’s why here are a few tips what you might want to do while there.
- Once I was there, I visited 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. The gallery still exists, so just check out what’s on while you’re there.
- Tate Modern. It’s a very famous museum that is part of the Tate Gallery. It shows a mix of temporary and permanent exhibitions and is an impressive museum in itself.
- Design Museum. It’s a museum in Kensington that’s free of charge for the permanent exhibitions. It’s actually quite interesting to find out how design is defined and that even tube-maps, weapons or street signs are design in a way.
- 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.
- 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.
- Junkyard Gold Club. It’s an indoor mini golf place with a twist. I’ve been to a few mini golf places and it always feels a bit old-fashioned. Here, it’s all about the party feeling around it with delicious drinks, neon lights and cool music. Defo go there if you’ve got some time! One course has around 9 holes so doesn’t even take too long either.
- A Comedy Show. We went to a show at the Vault Festival by a friend of a friend’s (Tom Haughton) which was extremely funny. The place itself is really cool since it’s an old train station that’s not in use anymore. That’s not on for long anymore, but I’m sure there are plenty of cool Comedy shows around to visit!
- Musicals. London’s very well-known for its musical. I haven’t been to one in ages there, but if you are into that, definitely check the offers out! There are also some places where you can buy cheap tickets the day of the show, in case there are seats left.
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!