Born & raised here, it is only natural that my first post would be about London.
The more I travel, the more I realize that London is truly one of the best cities in the world. You can move to London for a year and not cover half of the amazing things the city has to offer. I lived there for 15 years and I still discover new and exciting things to do every time I am home.
Sight seeing, shopping, museums, dining, plays, sports, nightlife…theres so much to do! Luckily you can cram a lot in one day thanks to the incredible public transportation. London is a huge city but most things are a hop, skip and a jump away if you use the London Underground system.
My perfect day in London? As a local, this does’t involve a visit to Buckingham Palace or going on a pub crawl, but it does involve another beautiful palace and a spot of tea.
My perfect day: Whenever in London, I will usually start off my day with a vanilla latte from Caffe Nero, just a simple chain coffee shop but puts Starbucks to shame. I would then jump on the tube and get off at High Street Kensington.
Kensington High Street is one of my favorite places to shop in London. It is less touristy than Oxford Street and Knightsbridge for example. Kensington is considered to be one of the trendiest, upper class areas in London and was once Princess Diana’s stomping ground. Along the road is all of your classic high street stores and a couple of my personal favorites, Topshop & Zara.
Once you reach the end the street you will arrive at the stunning Kensington Palace. This was Princess Diana’s humble abode and where she raised her two princes Will & Harry. Attached to the palace are beautiful gardens with a big pond. My favorite thing to do is to rent a bike which costs 1 pound (around $1.50) and cycle around the gardens. Kensington Palace gardens eventually turns into the infamous Hyde Park, so you can cycle for miles and miles and drop off or pick up bikes at any bike station throughout the park.
So now you’ve worked up an appetite right? In the summer, it is very popular to picnic around the pond in the gardens, you can pick up food to go from somewhere on the high street, Marks & Spencer would be my first choice. If you’re craving something a little more formal, The Orangery, located on the grounds of the palace, is the perfect place to have a traditional afternoon tea, a must for your first trip to the UK. Their scones and pastries are delicious and the view of the gardens is unbeatable.
So you’ve seen the palace, you’ve gotten in some exercise, and you’re well fed. Naturally, the next step would be to go shopping! On the other side of Hyde Park is Knightsbridge, home to the most famous and BEST department store in the world, Harrods. The outside of Harrods looks like another palace, it is unlike any other department store in the world. Harrods not only carries the most luxurious of luxury brands, but also specialty pieces that you can’t find anywhere else in the world.
What a lot of people don’t know, is that Harrods isn’t just known for its fancy shopping, but also possesses the most luxurious food court in the world. Even if you are still stuffed from your picnic or afternoon tea, I HIGHLY recommend tasting something or taking a snack to go from the food hall. It takes many hours to see the whole of Harrods, my advice would be to get completely lost and wonder around the whole store.
If you’re not planning a crazy night out in London, I highly recommend going to the West End to go to the theatre. If you’re going for a classic, “Les Miserables” is a strong choice. If you would like to see something more modern, “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory” blew my mind, the on stage effects were amazing and suitable for any age. My personal favorite? “Wicked” wins every time!
So there you have it, my perfect day in London! Stay tuned for my next London post which will be a guide on wining and dining and my favorite places to grub.
Until next time, Cheerio!