London is one of my favorite cities. It’s as simple as that. I love the food, the fashion and the people. Every time I visit, I have a great time exploring every beautiful nook and cranny.
But it usually hurts my poor little wallet. (A girl needs to travel… but also still have money for a mortgage and food. Right?)
Thanks to Brexit, though, the pound is at an all-time low, which means it’s more affordable to travel across the pond.
Politics aside, Brexit is seriously helping with the U.K. travel itch I’ve recently developed. (Don’t be gross.)
Luckily, Virgin Atlantic making it oh so simple to see how much you can save in good old London (town). VA’s Brexit Calculator is hooking you up with a pound by pound visualization of what’s possible when you’re visiting.
I played around with it, and thought, hey, why don’t I dream up my ultimate London trip since I would be saving so much dough. Well, I did. And here it is. Cheerio, old chap.
[AM] After arriving at Heathrow, I take the train into Paddington Station, I hop into a black cab for the quick drive over to Notting Hill, where I’m staying while I’m town. The last time I was visiting, I fell in love with the area and decided that if I can’t move to Notting Hill, I would always stay here.
After a quick change of clothes, the next thing on the list is a cuppa. Coffee or tea is fine as long as there is caffeine involved. Though, I’m partial to Yorkshire Gold if we’re going with the tea route. After my recent trip to York, I decided it’s the perfect way to perk up.
Immediately after caffeine, I need breakie. It’s my favorite meal of the day so I make it a good one at Granger & Co. in Notting Hill.
After devouring a proper breakfast, a walk is so needed. (PRO tip: walking or going for a run after a long travel day is a great way to beat jet lag. Never sleep when you land. You’ll never want to get up. TRUST.)
I head up to Portobello Road and poke around the Portobello Road Market. After perusing the antiques for a bit, I make my way to Hyde Park.
Hyde Park is such a magical place. I recommend strolling through the Italian Water Gardens and visiting the Peter Pan statue while you’re in the area. It’s so picturesque that you can easily imagine yourself in a Charles Dickens novel.
It’s a bit of a walk to the other side of London, so after my leisurely stroll, I hop on the tube at Lancaster Gate stop, take it to Oxford Circus stop and change there to go to Charing Cross. (When you’re in town make sure you buy an Oyster Card at a tube station. You can use on most public transport services – and makes getting around so simple. I keep mine and just recharge it when I’m in town.)
From Charing Cross, I stop by Trafalgar Square, make a quick wish in the fountain and then I pop into The National Gallery to say hi to my favorite Monet’s. I’m heading over to the Tate Modern on the other side of the Thames for a tour and as I do, I pass by Westminster Abby, the Parliament buildings, and Big Ben. Fun fact: I’m obsessed with Westminster Abby. The amount of history there is mind-blowing. I never get tired of visiting and hearing the stories behind all of the monarchs buried in the hallowed grounds.
[EARLY PM] After a private tour of the Tate (Brexit is saving me $35, thank you very much), I’m STARVING. I head to OXO Tower Brasserie for a late lunch. Located right on the Thames, the views from the OXO are incredible! It’s a perfect way to get your bearings after a day of traveling and walking.
Since I’m around the corner, I catch an afternoon showing of the Twelfth Night at the Globe. (Plus, my poor little feet need more of a break.) I don’t know about you but the chance to see a show at the Globe is major bucket list stuff. Done and done.
I want to grab a nice pint so I head to The French House in Soho. They have a no tech rule, so put the phones away, people, and talk and play cards. After my pint, I want to head back to the Notting Hill area for dinner (I’m fading fast) so I hop on the tube at Leicester Square take it to Tottenham Court Road then Notting Hill Gate. The final stop is Bayswater.
[LATE PM] Dinner are one and the same tonight – Goode & Wright. Goode & Wright fuses Israeli and Spanish cuisine as well as perfectly summing up the London food scene … which is so much more than fish and chips. (Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE fish and chips – and mushy peas – but the food scene in London is not just “traditional” British cuisine.) (In related news, now I want fish and chips…)
[WAY TOO LATE PM] I wish I was more of a trooper and could last for another pint, but it’s been a long travel day. I have another day of eating and walking (and maybe shopping) ahead of me. Night for now. xo.
[AM] Rise and shine! I have a big day ahead so I grab a quick caffeinated bev and a small bite from Daylesford, a U.K.-based organic restaurant and deli chain. I discovered Daylesford on my last trip to London, and I think about it on a daily basis. I opt for some avocado toast with poached hen’s eggs with sprouts and shoots. Great food and a great cause.
I’m heading towards Soho to stroll the adorable streets and photograph the neighborhood. And maayyybe do some shopping. I hop on the tube at Notting Hill Gate and take it only a couple of stops to Bond Street. (Way too easy.)
Not surprisingly, when I arrive I’m ready for another cuppa. I head straight to The Monocle Cafe, an adorable cafe in the heart of Marylebone. After a cup or two of coffee, I have a mini-photoshoot with the neighborhood and then make my way over to Oxford Street for some early afternoon shopping.
Per usual, I buy way too many things in Soho. I couldn’t help myself.
The rest of the morning is spent walking and photographing this beautiful city. From Soho to Mayfair to Piccadilly, there’s no shortage of gorgeous streets and buildings to capture.
[EARLY PM] After a mini morning shopping spree, one of my favorite afternoon activities is having a proper afternoon tea. There’s nothing like leisurely eating crustless sandwiches, cakes, and scones with clotted cream. MMMMM…
Tea is a fairly common thing in London, so it’s easy to find a good spot. The last time I was in town, I went to Dean Street Townhouse so that’s where I’m going. It’s a chic and casual atmosphere, where the scones are tasty and the clotted cream is extra clotted. 😉
[MID PM] After tea, I make my way over to Convent Garden to hop on the tube to Shoreditch. I stayed in Shoreditch the last time I was in town so I can’t wait to get there. My tube stop is Liverpool Street, which is right across from Old Spitalfields Market so I have to go in, right? Old Spitalfields is like a theme park for shopping. Literally, any and every maker has a stall here. If you’re looking for unique gifts for someone – or for yourself – this is the place for you.
After a little “window” shopping, I head up to Rivington Street for a cocktail. Callooh Callay is a super fun Lewis Carroll themed bar. I head here for a drink before grabbing dinner in the neighborhood.
[PM PM] For dinner, I’m heading to St. John Bread & Wine. I’m a big foodie, and to eat at one of Fergus Henderson’s restaurants, is a major bucket list item that I need to check off. The menu changes daily and I love that kind of food adventure.
So there you have it, my 48 hour dream trip to London!
If you’re thinking about a trip to London or the U.K., definitely play around with the Virgin Atlantic Brexit Calculator so you can get some trip inspo. You won’t regret it!
My London Mini-Guide
Oh yeah, one last thing…
If you don’t know what that says, it’s my acceptance to MOTHEREFFING HOGWARTS. (I’m keeping this forever. Thanks, Virgin Atlantic.)