Friday, 20 January 2017

How I Would Spend 48 Hours in London

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).

Notting hill
Hillgate Place, Notting Hill
Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill
N.B: The following times are without consideration of transportation from each place - whoops!

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.

Soho Grind
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...
Padella, Southwark
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!


Hally's Fulham
Bywater Street, Chelsea
9:00-10:30 - Have an incredible breakfast at Hally's, Fulham
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

Polpo, Chelsea
1:00-2:00 - Lunch at Polpo
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.

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