Due to my job and the industry I associate myself with, I often find myself heading down to London for a mixture of both work and play. I love ‘the big smoke’ as some people call it; everything about the cities busy vibe, the cosmopolitan set-up, and the variety of different people just make it such an interesting place to visit. I’ve been finding more and more regularly that a lot of you have been reaching out to me on Twitter to ask for London recommendations, and also a lot of my friends in ‘real life’ (in other words, off social media, I do have them …) often enquire too. So today’s post is just a mini guide round-up based on a few little recommendations I have…
Possibly one of the coolest and quirkiest places in London, although more so for the slightly hip, dressed down crowd, who love finding unique buys, bargains, and independent labels. Camden is popular for it’s large outdoor markets, and not only just for fashion and accessories, but for amazing street food too! Many times I head here and arm myself up with a range of clothing items and jewellery bits from the little unique stands (check out the super cute phone case I picked up for £4 from the market), and then stop for a bit of chicken and noddles from an authentic food stall! Look out for the huge ‘Camden Lock’ sign, and you know your in the right place for the market. There’s also a lot of eating places and coffee shops along the waterfront, which is ideal on a nice day. The last time I visited Camden I was on a bit of a budget, and stopped by a bar/eatery called The Ice Wharf. It’s similar to a Lloyds Bar type place except it is huge inside and has views of the lock, and they actually cater really affordable breakfasts.
My very favourite place in London has to be Shoreditch. It’s a mixture of cool, classy, vintage and modern, all rolled into one to create this eclectic town. It has the most fabulous street art, the funkiest ‘Box Park’ (take a look at my other post here which touches on this super fun pop-up shop area) and is home to some of the cities most unusual cocktails. I have actually just returned from a weekend in London and went out in Shoreditch, as I usually do, so I can recommend bars such as The Hoxton Pony, The Shoreditch and The Hoxton for the nicest cocktails and the most exciting drinks menu. The music is usually a mix of house, laid back dance and all-time classics too, making it a good choice if you have a rather large group. Apologies for the very grainy quality of the image below, which was take from my recent outing into Shoreditch on a Saturday evening. Note the Espresso Martini’s – obviously…
Good old Covent Garden – one of the nicest places for me personally to visit on a Sunday for a spot of brunch with the girls. There is an abundance of cute coffee shops, healthy eating cafes and juice bars, mixed with independent shopping boutiques and overall some pretty scenic streets to stroll down. It’s also the place to visit for outdoor entertainment in the street (organised shows and that type of attraction…) theaters and small scale museums. Places in particular I would recommend a little visit to on a Sunday daytime would be Punch & Judy, Roadhouse and Sticks n’ Sushi, although there really is something for everyone’s palette.
If you haven’t been to the Tate Modern on a recent trip to London, then it is something you should pop on your next ‘to see’ list. Even if your not completely blown away with modern and contemporary art, there is just something about this places that is inspirational, with it’s collections of art dating back to 1900. Depending on which month you go, they put on exhibitions which incorporate all sorts of cool and interesting topics, and some which are interactive and encourage workshop involvement. This actually leads me on to discuss a fantastic boutique hotel close by to the Tate Modern called the citizenM London Bankside Hotel, which is on my to-do list to book in for the night. It is incredibly arty and stylish, with funky designed accessories in the bedrooms and public areas, encouraging some design inspiration and a touch of class.
Rooms all come with XL beds, wall-to-wall windows, free wifi and iconic furniture, and I love the description on the citizenM website which describes this hotel as: “designed around smart, good looking, successful people like yourself.” Because that’s what we want, right? It also comes with an extensive food and drink menu at the citizenM canteenM, creative inspiring work spaces at societyM meeting rooms, and a collection of free movies for when you just wish to unwind. I have to stay here!
It may possibly be an option for me when it comes to booking a chic little weekend in London for my 30th! Rooms start at £109, which for London is very reasonable in my opinion. Look at some of these lovely pics so you know exactly what I mean…
Most people associate Oxford Street shopping with the huge Topshop and the overly busy Primark, but there is actually a lot more to it than just that! One of my greatest loves is that there must be around five H&M stores just dotted along, which for me is brilliant as it’s my favourite High Street store. There’s also little stalls selling hot chestnuts or donuts literally every few meters, and one end of Oxford Street leads right into Carnaby Street and the Liberty’s end of London, which is another ideal shopping area. I also can’t get enough of the Selfridges on Oxford Street, it literally had every beauty, food, fashion and home brand possible! On my last visit, my friend told me about the Vintage Salt Restaurant and Bar on the rooftop which has it’s own lift going straight up to the top floor. I never knew it existed before! It’s a little pricey, but has rooftop views of the city and is all under cover, with an amazing array of fancy drinks and cocktails, and some pretty good deserts too!
Do you know any hidden gems in London you’d like to share? If so, do feel free to leave a comment and let me know!