Last week for my 21st birthday my mum, my sister and I took a trip to the bustling city of London for a couple of days. Having visited the city a couple of times, we’d already scratched off most of the main tourist attractions. So, this weekend we were eager to uncover some alternate places we hadn’t visited before. After a weekend of exploring and devouring lots of yummy food, I thought I’d share what we got up during our 48 hours in London.
Our first stop when we arrived was Tower Bridge. With stunning riverside views this, of course, is amazing for pictures. Given the temperamental weather, we eagerly snapped pictures whenever the sun came out. We wandered around a little longer, working up an appetite, before heading back to freshen up before dinner.
To no surprise, we were spoiled for choice in terms of where to eat. We decided on ‘Japes’, an Italian in Soho, renowned for their deep-dish pizzas. I’d say you really have to love cheese if visiting here. My sister spent most of the meal winding the stringy hot cheese around her fork whenever cutting herself another piece of pizza. Then, my Parmagiana was essentially a dish of warm mozzarella layered with thin slices of aubergine. I can’t complain though – it was oozing with flavour.
Full up on cheese, we went for another little walk, including a pit stop at Foyles where it took everything within me to not buy anything.
Day Two – AM
With 20,000 steps under our belts after Day One, we woke up hungry. For breakfast, we indulged in the hotel’s all-you-can-eat breakfast.
After chowing down two of everything they had to offer, our day began at the Sky Garden. If planning on visiting later in the day, you’ll need to pre-book a few weeks in advance, but it has the luxury of being free. Having arrived bright and early we missed the queues and shot up 35 floors to the green goodness that is 20 Fenchurch Street. Despite the ominous grey clouds, the views of London were still incredible. We explored the garden, overloaded our phones with pictures of the capital’s panorama and enjoyed a brief break on the upstairs sofas.
Afterwards, we visited St Paul’s Cathedral, once again making the most of the blue skies for pictures while we could. We then headed off to scout out Neal’s Yard. This is a mall alley in London’s Covent Garden between Shorts Gardens and Monmouth Street which opens into a courtyard bursting with colour. There were a few cafes, shops and I adored the Balamory-Esque multi-coloured buildings adorned with hanging plants. Not far from here was the Forbidden Planet Megastore which we went into initially out of curiosity. However, downstairs was aN entire bookstore. They had some exclusive signed hardback copies of recently released books and of course, I couldn’t resist getting my hands on a signed copy of Samantha Shannon’s fantasy novel The Priory of the Orange Tree. It was well worth the arm workout from lugging it around London for the rest of the day.
Later on, we wound up back in Soho and had worked up an appetite. My sister and I treated ourselves to gelato from Amorino. At £4.90 for a regular tub or cone, it was a little pricey. However, once you pay you can have as many sorbet or gelato flavours as you please (within reason!). I opted for hazelnut chocolate, caramel and blueberry cheesecake which were all incredible. Although, trying to enjoy it while gusts of wind blew my hair left right and centre was a challenge.
Afterwards, we ambled around Leicester Square before heading towards Piccadilly Circus, home to Europe’s biggest bookstore; Waterstones. We then continued down Regents Street for a spot of shopping. Tormenting ourselves, we went into Michael Kors where I was on the verge of splurging and buying myself a handbag. I’m still tempted to go online and buy myself one though, call it a 21st gift to myself?
That evening we went for dinner at ‘Cirilo Bar and Grill’ a small modern restaurant within walking distance of our hotel serving Filipino and Chinese stir-fry and noodle dishes. I opted for the Sizzling Gambas which were amazing.
Saturday was windy. I’m talking can’t-even-walk-in-a-straight-line windy. Weather aside, it wouldn’t be a whistlestop tour of London without visiting Buckingham Palace. Having now watched The Crown, I was spewing out facts about the Royals like a tour guide. We then walked to Westminster and practically let the wind push us along the bank.
Our final stop before heading home was London’s alternative neighbourhood, Camden Market. This is an eclectic area brimming with bustling markets and vintage stalls. Down at Camden’s Lock Market, there’s everything from Halloumi Fries, nourishing Poké bowls to edible pots of cookie dough and liquid nitro ice cream. I opted for a ‘Lean Mean Vegan Machine’ from Maize Blaze, a Colombian street food stall. With potatoes, fried plantain, guacamole and more, my final taste of London’s multi-cultural scene didn’t disappoint.
That wraps up our short but sweet 48 hours in London! I already can’t wait to visit the capital again. What are your favourite spots in London? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading,
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