I may live in London, but I still play a tourist in my own city. I am endlessly visiting new neighbourhoods, wandering around markets, testing out the latest coffee shop (it's a hard life).
Similarly whenever I travel to a new city I always enjoy getting lost in the streets since it makes me feel as if I genuinely live there, even if for just a short space of time.
And while London's landmarks are definitely a must-see for any tourist, I'm a firm believer that you get to see the true heart of a city when you mingle with the locals.
Who finds the hoards of tourists at Piccadilly Circus fun anyway, even if you are one?
So how I would choose to spend 48 hours, your typical 'city break' visiting time, may be a little different to others on the web, you'll most likely feel like a true Londoner when you return home if you wish to complete it (and I highly recommend you do).
|Hillgate Place, Notting Hill|
|Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill|
9:00-9:30 - A morning walk around Regent's Park
9:30-10:30 - Breakfast at Farm Girl Café
One of my favourite spots in London. I'd order up the Oven Baked Eggs with a Rose Latté. Read more about it here.
10:30-11:10 - Explore Notting Hill
Be sure to visit Hillgate Place for those candy-coloured townhouses.
11:10-12:10 - Head to Carnaby Street and Shop in Liberty's
Colourful Carnaby is filled with shops with the famous Liberty department store situated at the end.
12:10-12:30 - Grab a coffee at Soho Grind
A cool and urban little coffee shop in the heart of Soho and a stone's throw from Carnaby Street.
|Liberty's and Carnaby Street|
12:30-1:40 - Shop down Regent's Street and Bond Street, and in Selfridges
Skip Oxford Street altogether, which only has cheap-quality bargain shops and crowds of tourists.
1:40-3:40 - Afternoon tea at Sketch
That pretty pink restaurant with the marbled flooring and sixties interior you see endlessly on your Insta feed. The quirky afternoon tea will not disappoint.
|Monmouth Street, Covent Garden|
|Holborn Grind in High Holborn, Chiltern Firehouse in Marylebone|
3:40-4:20 - Take a look around the National Gallery and Portrait Gallery
4:20-5:20 - Admire St. Paul's, Tower of London and Tower Bridge
I had to include a few monuments and these are some of my favourites.
5:20-5:50 - Eat a light dinner bite at Padella in Southwark
My new favourite restaurant, which you've heard me rave about here. Eat a light pasta dish so you can...
|Piccadilly Circus, Monocle Café in Marylebone|
5:50-6:50 - Explore Borough Market and try new foods
...since this is something not to be missed. This food and drink market offers every cuisine at cheap prices.
6:50-8:50 - Head to the pub
Any pub will do - it's a British tradition!
8:50-11:30 - Enjoy a cocktail at Shoreditch's London Cocktail Club
And then let things take a sophisticated turn as you sip on one of the best cocktails in town.
11:30-sleep for another busy day ahead!
|Bywater Street, Chelsea|
Also one of my favourite spots for breakfast in London; case in point here.
10:30-11:15 - Enjoy a long walk to Chelsea
11:15-11:30 - Take as many photos of Bywater Street as you possibly can
An absolute must-see road in Chelsea if you love all things pastel.
11:30-12:10 - Shop down King's Road
One of the most prestigious roads in London for shopping.
12:10-1:00 - Look around the Saatchi Gallery
If I could have lunch at Polpo everyday I would be one happy woman. Italian tapas in a beautiful rustic environment. Check out my review here.
2:00-2:30 - Check out the beautiful blooms at Wild At Heart
Scroll to the bottom of this post to see for yourself.
|Wild At Heart, Notting Hill|
|Fabrique coffee shop, Notting Hill|
2:30-3:30 - Catch the Tube to Kensington and see the V&A
There's always fantastic exhibitions on at the V&A so grab a ticket to one if you can. If not, admire the lovely art work and architecture for free.
3:30-4:30 - Visit the National History Museum/ Science Museum
4:30-5:00 - See Harrods
I wouldn't necessarily step inside since it really is just filled with tourists and expensive goods only for the elite, but it's definitely worth seeing from the outside.
5:00-7:30 - A long, relaxing dinner at Hoxton Grill, Shoreditch
I'm yet to try here but as I said, I love trying out new places so this is definitely where I would head if I only had 48 hours. This trendy and contemporary restaurant has a fantastic menu and great setting with a lounge area.
7:30-8:30 - Cocktails at The Book Club
It doesn't quite sound like the place to be for a mighty cocktail and late night clubbing but it sure is. Check out the website here.
8:30-12am - Head back West for a jazz night at Ronnie Scott's
The place for jazz in London - and for a fun, chilled evening in general. The world-famous Ronnie Scott's is sure to bring a smile to your face while you sing along with the crowd to classic jazz numbers.
Oh, if only I had more spare free time in London to actually complete this for myself - it would be a total treat!
Be sure to let me know if you complete this little guide or see any of the places I recommend. Also, where/ what would you recommend or do differently in London within 48 hours?
Happy travels wherever 2017 takes you.