Last weekend I spent (just) over 24 hours in the big smoke. Three of us headed down from our current homes (Edinburgh, Peterborough and Egham) and planned a fun catch-up, celebratory weekend for my friend’s 21st.
I’ll be honest when I say that I’m not massive on London. I’ve never had much desire to go there (apart from to go to a cool restaurant or certain shops), work there and I’m adamant that I’ll never want to live there. I’ve always found London too busy, too stressful and far too fast-paced to actually enjoy anything during your visit.
All this being said, I think I might have cracked the secret to a fun, not-too-crazy and exceptionally rewarding day or two in London city. Ensuring that you get equal parts food, sitting down, fresh air and quiet time is essential if you ask me because there is truly nothing worse than cramped feet a dry mouth and nowhere to perch for a while.
Here’s what we got up to last weekend in London, the itinerary that did completely exhaust me but had a tonne of those this-is-a-great-moment moments that made London feel a little less hectic and a little more palatable…
If you’re in London for about 24 hours, these are thing things you should do to ensure you have a fab time.
Visit An Art Exhibition
Whether you like to read all the little placards and expand your mind, or just wander around letting yourself be drawn to the most interesting looking pieces, art galleries are top notch in London. Getting their early and avoiding the high points of the day is key to feeling less like a squashed sardine and more free to explore. On my list for my next trip is the Tate Modern and the Saatchi Gallery, but last weekend we headed to the Victoria Miro…
Straight from King’s Cross, we headed to the Do Ho Suh: Passage/s exhibition. You’ve probably seen these colourful passages on Instagram lately, but in person, they definitely have a vibrancy that isn’t translatable in photos. The exhibition is all about enjoying the journey that yourself as an individual is on, instead of focusing on the finishing point. It’s a completely free exhibition, with a few other colourful pieces to check out you should definitely check it out if you’re in London before it closes on the 18th of March.
Explore The London Shopping Scene
Whether it’s Westfield or Oxford Street, a bit of shopping in London is a must. I always seem to need to pop into LUSH Oxford Street and Liberty (because they are simply the best, no reason needed, to be honest). Instead of heading to the same old spots, I prefer to find shops that are unique and offer something different whilst in London.
Last weekend we stumbled into We Built This City on Carnaby Street and were delighted to find a collection of cute and quirky prints and souvenir bits. It’s a shop I’d always heard of, but never actively sought out, so it felt great to accidentally find it on my right!
Indulge in a London Burger Joint
London is definitely the place to grab a burger (and maybe some cheese fries). There are your classic Five Guys, GBK’s and Byron’s, as well as Shake Shack’s, Patty + Bun and Tommi’s Burger joints. I’ve haven’t tried them all (yet), but on Saturday night I did finally cross Shake Shack off my to-try list.
Although it was a bit chilly sitting outside in Covent Garden and we were all a little too tired to fully indulge, the burger was definitely up there with Five Guys + Byron standards (my fave FYI). Their cheese fries are pretty revolutionary too… I think another trip is definitely necessary, perhaps on a milder Spring evening.
Explore A Sunday Market
Sure, getting up early might not be high on your to-do list for a relaxing weekend, but it’s a definite one to squeeze in before your train home. London had such iconic markets, even spending an hour soaking up the vibe of one is pretty amazing.
We spent some of our Sunday exploring Columbia Road, Flower Market which had a tonne of flowers to peruse (duh). Of course, I ended up leaving with several bunches of pretty flowers, some of which have been giving me early on-set hayfever… but it’s all worth it (kinda). My favourite flower market buy has to be a massive bunch of eucalyptus for a fiver, which is proudly sat in front of my study fireplace (interior switcheroo post coming seriously soon).
Find An Instagrammable Sunday Brunch
After out trek to the flower market, we headed to Clerkenwell Grind, which if you didn’t know is a baby pink and navy blue blogger brunch spot of dreams. The food was nice (albeit a little bit pricey with added service charge…) and I’m very happy to have experienced what is sure to be a super-instagrammable spot before the hoards (because there’s a hipster inside of me).
I’m on a constant hunt for new brunch spots and can’t wait to explore London brunch a little more in 2017!
Are you an avid London-goer? If so, I’d love to hear about your latest trip to the big smoke, what you did, where you ate and why you went.
If, however, you, like me, aren’t a dab hand at a weekend in London, I’d love to hear what your ideal itinerary for the day would be. Do you make sure you spot off for a nice brunch? Do you hit the tourist spots or decide to explore on your own?
After a brilliantly exhausting weekend I’m looking forward to a few quieter ones coming up. Int he back of my mind I am planning another little excursion to London for my 21st in April. On the agenda so far is a trip to Sketch (OMG the Instagram dream), seeing some sharks and another trip to the flower market.
Sending loads of energy and London-recovery-vibes your way (if they even exist),