Hustle and bustle. Culture. Big parks and even bigger coffees.
This place had my heart as soon as I saw buckets of flowers spilling over the pavement, vintage shops as far as the eye could see and street art in every nook and cranny. My boyfriend and I spent 3 nights in London, basing ourselves in a little apartment hidden away between Shoreditch and Bethnal Green. We spent the days exploring side streets, drinking coffee in barbers shops, catching (and re catching) the underground to places unknown and seeing stage shows in London’s West End. Plenty of food was eaten, old buildings admired and as always, hundreds of photos were snapped.
We could’ve easily spent weeks here. But if you were like us and are limited on time, then I’ve made a little photo diary + list of places to stay, food to eat + coffees to drink and some of our favourite sights to see for when you visit the land of the big red bus.
We stayed in Shoreditch in a little apartment through airbnb. It was in the perfect spot (close to public transport, pubs, incredible little coffee haunts) and a great place to base ourselves and get immersed in the culture of Shoreditch. Rosie, our airbnb host, was really friendly and informative and made getting around London a breeze.
Wining and dining:
There are so many options when it comes to amazing food- only being in London for three nights meant we tried to squeeze in as many good meals as possible. Some of our favourite food haunts included-
Boho Mexica– delicious blueberry mojitos, mexican food to die for and great vibes. Located in Spitalfields
Voodoo Rays– in Boxpark (shipping containers turned into pop up shops) this pizza haven sells deliciousness by the slice that is best enjoyed street side- hello people watching. Located in Shoreditch.
Canela– Authentic Portugese fare, baguettes filled with sorrento ham and the sweetest homeade lemonade. Located in Covent Garden.
Paxton Chocolates– boutique and delicately handcrafted chocolates in a variety of flavours. Expensive but worth every cent. Located in Shoreditch.
Shiba- Tucked away on Brick Lane, Shiba has some of the best Indian food I have ever eaten. Winner dishes include the onion bargees and Rogan Josh. Located in Shoreditch.
Coffee and brunch:
If you like to get caffinated on a regular basis then you are going to LOVE London. We walked past so may amazing coffee shops and cafes, I wish I could have stopped at them all. Some of our favourites included:
Craft Coffee– salted caramel brownies, strong coffee and granola with yoghurt and berry compote. Located in Shoreditch.
Bellboi– an interior full of marble and eccentric wallpaper, making it the perfect place for coffee and people watching. Located in Shoreditch.
Leilas– my favourite cafe. Simple menu, beautful produce all in a quite and cosy setting. The fried eggs with sorrento ham were out of this world and the coffee was equally as good. A must visit!
Sharps Barber and Shop– and coffee and barber shop all in one. The ultimate hipster coffee haunt filled with timber, ply and good vibes. Oh and they do a mean mens haircut (boyfriend approved!). Located on Windmill Street, London.
London has so many places to explore- we really struggled to fit it all in in only 3 short nights and missed out on a lot. We used the Underground to get us everywhere as it was so easy to use and saved us a lot of time walking, but man did we still walk. Some of our must-do’s included:
- Going on the London eye (go early or book in advance).
- Stopping for photos with Big Ben, Westminster Abby, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus and the Palace of Westminster.
- Catching the underground, and realising that if you don’t push to get onto the train you will be left behind.
- Spending hours in the National gallery.
- Exploring Covent Garden and the Market Hall (we managed to see the ‘Heart Beat’ balloon display by Charles Petillon. It was magic).
- Watching buskers. There is so much talent on the streets and some are really worth stopping for.
- Buckingham Palace- bring your zoom lens to get a token photo of the Queens Guards.
- Spending hours in London’s West End- vibrant, fun and some sweet eateries. We also saw the Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre- I could not recommend this show enough.
- Walking the streets of Mayfair and Knightsbridge- and falling in love with every house and garden.
- Long walks through Hyde Park, eating icecream and enjoying the greenery.
- Visiting the Tower of London and walking across the Tower Bridge
- Shopping, eating and drinking at Brick Lane.
- Pose for a photo in a red telephone box
If you are into your shopping then you will fall in love with London. You will be spoilt for choice, from massive department stores, boutique clothing labels, vintage finds and retro wares. We didn’t have much time for shopping, but when we had the chance I loved looking through the vintage shops and little stores selling handmade wares in Shoreditch.
London is also known for it’s fabulous markets. Some recommended to us by our Airbnb host included Borough Market, Brick Lane Market, Portabello road, Broadway market, Columbia road flower market and Old Spitafields Market. Make sure you check online before you go as they are only open certain days.
I can’t wait to get back to London to I can explore some more hidden gems.
Have you visited London before or do you call this beautiful place home? I would love to know your food/coffee recommendations! xx