City guides were created from the love we have for traveling and for the need to have the vital information of the place we are interested in going and not what a touristic office reccomends us to do and see. How many times have you called a friend already been to the place you want to travel or lived there and asked him which area is best to stay to, which restaurant to go to, where to shop or which places are worthwhile of going... MMmmm I know, I know many times, I do too!!! So our first city guide will be for London, from a girl that I call THE LONDON GIRL, you will see by yourselves how detailed her guide is.. When she send me all these info and her amazing photos, wow... I felt like booking us tickets right away, coz I wanted to print her information and explore the city with my sis..
"The most difficult thing anyone can ask me to do is PICK some of the places one can visit when they go to London. London is really endless & amazing, combines a lot of characters in one city only & you can always discover something a person who's lived there will not know! The weather plays a significant role in anything you'll decide to do but London is a city you WALK. For my best dates in the city I never remember the bar or the restaurant, all I remember is they involved walking, even in the rain!"
Here is my info and tips about London:
1. WHAT IS THE BEST SEASON TO VISIT LONDON ?
Well best season depends on the weather really as I said. You deffo need to avoid December to February coz that's when it's utterly cold!
May & June can be amazing as well as end of August beginning of September, during late summer, when you also get to attend the popular Notting Hill Carnival (it's okay to go once in a lifetime but that's it!).
2. WHAT SHOULD I PUT IN MY SUITCASE ?
Even if you go during the summer season, you MUST get a raincoat & an umbrella with you. A cotton jumper is always really useful as well as some nice stylish scarves and a rock leather jacket - which you can actually wear all day.
3. WHAT WILL AMAZE ME IF I VISIT LONDON ?
Enjoy a long walk starting from the Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament towards Mayfair, passing from Covent Garden. It's really long but it's amazing.
Also, London's got some amazing hidden cocktail bars like The Experimental in Chinatown, for which you need to ask for directions.
Plus why else would you go to London if not for one of the classic theatrical plays! Book far in advance.
4. WHAT SIGHT I MUST DEFINITELY SEE?
If you like museums, don't miss the British Museum, the Madame Tussaud's and then of course the Buckingham Palace, the Shard & St Paul's Cathedral.
I'd say London Eye as well, but 40 mins is kind of a waste of time up there.
St James Park with its amazing palace view and Camden Town (most popular open-air market) are must too!
Natural History museum in South Kensington is really interesting, as some exhibitions hosted in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
5. WHAT THING NOT TO DO BECAUSE I GONNA LOOSE TIME?
London Eye. There you go!
Well Sherlock Holms' museum doesn't worth it either.
6. WHAT SHOPS I MUST VISIT OR SHOPPING STREET?
Selfridge's of course and Harvey Nichols where you can combine shopping with a glass of champagne! Remember that London's got the biggest shopping mall in Europe and that would we Westifield's (East)!
Harrod's I'd say is something like a museum, depending on how much you can spend, it's always a must visit.
Then if you like vintage stores and markets DEFFO visit the Spitafields Market (East London) and "Beyond vintage" shop in Great Malboro street.
7. WHERE IS BEST TO STAY? ANY RECOMMENDED HOTELS
Park Lane's got some very good hotels and it's central (Marble Arch station, Central Line).
Also Bayswater & Notting Hill are nice areas to stay, as is Earl's Court (less pricy but still good hotels).
Wanna spoil yourself? Then go right in the heart of Mayfair in Claridges hotel. Some of their suites are fully designed and decorated by Diane von Furstenberg herself. Plus their bar serves great cocktails.
8. WHERE SHOULD I DINE?
As a food lover, I gotta shorten my list to my most favourite ones then.
Busaba Ethai if you like thai cuisine - my fav is the one in Bird street in Mayfair and the one in Soho, Wardour street.
Remeber: life's too short not to have tasted a dish at St John's, East London at 26 St John street, where it's all about the philosophy of food.
Polpo restaurant in Soho, Beak str. is plain and simple but with a cuisine focused in offering taste to its clients.
Roka in Scarlotte st, japanese, award-winning and great for a date (comments by experience).
Greek and amazing? At Mazi in Notting Hill & Ergon in Mayfair (next to Selfridge's)
Quick meal? Don't miss Nando's. Portoguese self service. Take it Lemon and Herb if you can't get hot.
Fish 'n' chips? Covent Garden. You can't leave London without having a taste of their only dish!
Sweet 'n' amazing? Princi, in Wardour street. Italian, gets really busy during lunch times but you GOTTA have a bite!
9. WHAT SHOULD I BRING BACK HOME?
Personally, I'm not coming back without bringing home Ben's Cookies family box! They're everywhere, Covent Garden, Soho & Oxford street. And of course tea by appointment to her lovely Majesty from Fortnum & Manson.
10. HOW CAN I SURVIVE IN THIS CITY WITHOUT DRIVING? (HOW CAN I GET AROUND?)
Taxis from the street are a rip off! AVOID AVOID AVOID!
Either download the Addisson Lee app on your iPhone or check for small little cab offices in the area where you stay.
CAREFUL: Look in the back window of the cab for their lisence sticker.
After all these detailed and interesting info, lets ask her about her favourite place for:
1. A DATE NIGHT
- Long Bar at the Sanderson Hotel
- Kensington roof Garderns
- Aqua at the Shard
- Sushisamba's 48th floor
- 42 Vertigo tower
- the breathtaking Shard
- just something like a pic nic by the Thames or St Catherine's Dock.
2. A DINNER WITH FRIENDS
- Bathazar at Covent Garden or
- Coya for amazing food & endless pisco souring (off Green Park station) or
- Aqua in Oxford street.
3. A WORK MEETING
- Mews of Mayfair - a really interesting alley with nice places to eat & drink. Very convenient since it's in the heart of Mayfair (behind the impressive Victoria's Secret store).
- St Christopher's place is situated behind the H&M store in Oxford Street, also convenient as it's in Mayfair, with Carluccio's & a couple of quite nice pubs.
4. PEOPLE WATCHING
West End of course.
- The Breakfast Club in Shoreditch-cool people brunch in cool places they say.
- The Life Goddess - you'll love the atmosphere, the deco & the service. The guys have done an amazing job there. Check their social (Facebook & Instagram to see I'm right)!
- The Waterway - off Warwick avenue station- for a tasty bruch at pimm's o' clock (avoid weekends).
6. WATCHING THE SUNSET
- Madison Champagne bar (St Paul's station, central line) or anywhere by the Thames.
- The Serpentine Lake in Hyde park - the pics you'll take there will be divine!
7. SHOPPING VINTAGE
East London almost everywhere. Where would you find an amazing Dior jacket in good condition for only 40GBP?! There are some stores in Notting Hill but the prices are really Notting hill for vintage! Brick Lane & Camden have interesting places where you can find vintage things.
8. WORKING OUT
Kensington Gardens in Hyde Park and a ride by Barclays bike.
Sketch -off Regent street- go for the full menu tea, with all the scones and butternut biscuits, it'll keep you full for the day!
10. HAVE A DRINK...
- W the Bar -off Leicester square
- Budha bar (amazing deco & music-close to South Kensington)
- The Duck & Waffle at the Heron Tower (of Liverpool street)
- The Experimental cocktail bar (Top top top)
- Mahiki the club (off Green Park station) Prince Will's fav & you'll see why..!
- Home House in Mayfair for some bubble & sparkle
- Nightjar - if you'd like to combine an amazing cocktail with some jazz music
- & last but not least Beach Blanket Babylon in either Notting Hill or East London. "
Dont you feel like visiting London now?
mmmmm, well we do!!!!
Super super thank you Angela K., count us in at your next trip to London...