For years I've been saying that London is my favorite city, even though I had never visited it until a few weeks ago. From what I had read online, seen on TV, and heard from friends, I just knew that this city is perfect. I'm so glad my little dream finally came true, and I got to spend a few days there. This trip was very special also because I was traveling alone for the first time - something I thought I'd never do. I ended up enjoying it quite a bit (well except for the part where I had to carry my huge suitcase up and down the stairs all by myself). Here are some highlights from my three days in London.
WHERE TO STAY
When you're only spending a few days in London it's important to choose a hotel with a convenient location. That's one of the many things I loved about The Hoxton Holborn, which is located down the road from Kings Cross and is a five-minute walk from Oxford Street. It's a boutique hotel with several locations in Europe. The hotel looks very hip and stylish! All the little things - soft music playing in your room when you return at the end of the day, a complimentary breakfast and bottles of water, vintage Penguin paperback books - will make your stay very relaxing.
WHERE TO EAT
The food scene in London is quite diverse, as is the city's population. I had a huge list of restaurants and coffee shops I wanted to visit. Here's the list of my favorite places to eat or have coffee.
11 Pimlico Rd, Belgravia, London
193 Wardour St, Soho, London
59a Portobello Rd London
Patriot Square, Bethnal Green, London
133 Shoreditch High St, London
116 Ebury St, Belgravia, London
8 Sir Simon Milton Square London Victoria
WHAT TO DO
Explore all major sights on the Big Bus London.
This is a great option for those who are, like me, visiting for a short period of time and want to see all the major sights with minimal effort. Big Bus offers 3 different routes in London. The Red one offers live English commentary. The other two have audio commentary in different languages. You can hop on or hop off the bus whenever you want. A one-way river cruise is also included in your ticket.
Have afternoon tea at Brown's Hotel.
Brown's Hotel is London's first hotel. It has a classic feel and was often visited by Agatha Christie and Queen Victoria. The intimate and cozy atmosphere, live piano, great service, and wonderful selection of teas, sandwiches, scones, and pastries will make your afternoon a very special one.
Explore the colorful streets of Notting Hill and Kensington.
One of the best things I did while in London was grab a cup of coffee to go and get lost in those beautiful and vibrant neighborhoods with their lively markets, gorgeous architecture, and interesting histories. With something beautiful to capture on every street corner, these neighborhoods were truly Instagram heaven.
Take pictures of the London mews.
If you don't know what mews are - they are rows or streets of houses or apartments that have been converted from stables or built to look like former stables. (I definitely didn't know they existed before this trip). You probably have seen the pictures of St. Luke’s Mews – the place where some scenes from Love Actually were filmed. I would definitely love to live in one of these houses.
Treat yourself to a couple of eclairs from Maitre Choux.
These are the finest eclairs in London. They look gorgeous too! The menu here offers a range of éclairs, choux and chouquette. All of them are meant to be Instagrammed first and then eaten.
There are so many beautiful doors in London! I wanted to snap a photo of each one. Here's where you can find a few of the most popular doors:
- Union Jack Door - Ledbury Road, 91
- Pink door with eyes - Portland Road, 59
- Pink door + Pink Window - Trevor Square, 14
And that's a wrap. I had such an amazing time in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. There's still so much to explore! I need to plan another visit soon. Have you been to London? If you have, share some of your favorite things to do and see there!