Part 2 of my trip to England May/June 2019
A few years ago, my mom traveled to Holland to visit family and stopped in London for two days. She immediately phoned me when she got there and said: “you have to go to London one day, it’s perfect for you”. I had always heard how this city had a magical spell on everyone but I didn’t really believe I would fall in love as much as I did when I was there a few weeks ago.
Missed Part 1 of my trip to England? Click here to read about my time in Bury and Manchester.
A Bit Of History
Did you know that in 2015, London was ranked as the most visited city in the world with over 65 million visits? London is the capital of and largest city in England and the United Kingdom, with the largest municipal population in the European Union. It’s known as one of the most important global cities. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; the site comprising the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret’s Church; and the historic settlement in Greenwich where the Royal Observatory, Greenwich defines the Prime Meridian, 0° longitude, and Greenwich Mean Time.
First things first. I have to start off with this so I can give you guys a heads up in terms of accommodation. The location where we stayed worked well for us. It was a fairly short walk from the Tube to the apartment and if you’re already hitting 20,000 steps on average a day, it was no problem for us to walk. It was right around the corner from Tower Bridge so it was easy to find and navigate from.
That’s basically the only good thing I have to say about our accommodation. Yep, it feels like a Santorini experience all over again. London Bridge City Apartments, there is honestly nothing good to say. In the very fine print which they don’t advertise to you when you book, is that you first have to go collect the keys of the apartment in Camden which is about 30 minutes away. We then took a taxi to the apartment but the address they gave us was incorrect so we spent another half an hour just trying to find the place.
Then we walked into the apartment. Boy, oh boy. In their “fine print” again they state that “pictures shown are selected from several apartments. The apartments are of a similar standard but may differ to the ones shown”. Needless to say, the apartment looked nothing like the standard of photos on the website. We asked to be moved to one of their other apartments that resembled some of the photos but they weren’t bothered by how unhappy we were at all.
We took photos of the apartment and compared them to what is advertised on booking.com and emailed them for help as to what we should do but they said that we need to take it up with the accommodation. So not much help from them at all. Disappointing to say the least from booking.com.
So my recommendation is that you book with a trusty hotel instead. I know it can be quite pricey but worth it in the end. I would rather pay extra for a bit of comfort than being grossed out every time I step into the bathroom. Moving on…
What We Got Up To
If you are following me on Instagram, you would’ve seen from my stories that we were quite busy. We had the best time every day. I giggled nonstop with my girls. We obviously scoured Instagram before so we could choose some hotspots before we got there. Can you believe that we actually ran out of time to do all the things we wanted to do?
The girls and I took the train in from Manchester, the day after watching the amazing Spice Girls concert and it was perfect weather. My friend commented that when the weather is warm in London, it’s like its New Years Eve as everyone is in such a festive mood.
Day One Of Our Adventures
I plan on doing a blog post featuring some things I recommend you do and where to go but I wanted to share some more here on what we got up to on our days there.
We started off with the culinary experience of cooking your own food at a rooftop terrace called Parrillan at Coal Drops Yard. The tapas were so much fun to cook over the table grills. Plus we had a few jugs of sangria which is always a good time. We then headed to Jin Bo Law which is such a cool rooftop bar. Sipping on some Espresso Martini’s while overlooking the London skyline is definitely worth it! Later that evening we found ourselves at The Toy Room dancing the night away.
The Next Few Days
Our first full day in London comprised of walking across the Tower Bridge and then making our way to Belgravia. Gosh, it is such a beautiful area. I could happily live there in one of those beautiful houses any day. We visited the Instagram famous Peggy Porchsen for breakfast, not knowing that the Belgravia branch only serves cakes. Oops. After our cupcake for breakfast, we walked to Hyde Park for a picnic under the trees. Utter bliss!
Later That Afternoon
After our lovely picnic in Hyde Park, we made our way to see St Paul’s Cathedral. Wow. It is just so beautiful. The architecture is just amazing. I would have loved to have attended a service there.
One of the best views of St Paul’s and the skyline is at the rooftop terrace called Madison. There is a popular restaurant there but it’s super pricey ad the service was shocking. So I’d rather recommend sitting outside enjoying the view and the music while sipping on a pornstar martini (which has become our fav cocktail).
What Else Did We Get Up To?
I’ll go into more details of some of the other places we visited soon but part of our time in London included watching the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Naturally, we didn’t watch any news while we were there and didn’t realize that the day we went was the same day that President Trump was visiting the Queen haha. Chaotic to say the least.
Its a quick stroll through some beautiful gardens to get to Westminster Abbey. It is so beautiful. We didn’t go inside as it was a hefty fee of £23.00 and I’m blessed to say I have been in quite a few beautiful churches in my life so we decided to just admire it from the outside.
And Some More Activites
Like I said, every day was a busy one. Plus we had some late nights. We popped over to Covent Garden for an afternoon. Highly recommend popping into the SushiSamba there as the setting is so fabulous. While you’re at Covent Garden, there’s a bar called Punch and Judy which overlooks the square and we spent quite a bit of time there.
Some fun restaurants and cafes I can recommend are the Duck & Waffle (and when you go you have to have the actual duck and waffle dish); plus there is a SushiSamba there as well which has a great vibe; High Tea at The Shard (warning, it’s very expensive); spend some time strolling around the Natural History Museum; take a ride on the London Eye (ps: you can buy a ticket where you can go on the London Eye and have 24 hours on their Hop On Hop Off bus).
Lastly, I highly recommend popping into EL&N Cafe. There are a few in London, all equally decorated in their cute pink hues. Sip on a Spanish Latte and enjoy some smashed avo on toast. Sticking to the pink theme, a visit to Tonight Josephine is definitely in order. Once again, I recommend a Pornstar Martini with your girls.
Will London Be Seeing Me Again?
If I had my own way, I would be back there right now. I’ll definitely go to visit there again soon. There is still so much I want to do. I also want to spend a few days in Bath. Plus I would absolutely love to watch a game of tennis at Wimbledon. Best I start saving again!
PS: did you see my post on why I recommend flying with Virgin Atlantic?