When it comes to traveling, i will definitely say i am a planner, where i will always have a rough idea of the things i want to see and do (i carry both a mental list and a written list, for the perfectionist that i am). And revisiting a place i been before such as a vibrant city like London, makes no exception either. Don’t get me wrong, i’m not those freaks who sticks to every single detail of a plan, and depending on my mood and the weather, i sometimes do enjoy those laid back moments where i just go with the flow, realizing the unknown is just as fun.
My trip to London back in December didn’t involve too much planning as my friend that came with me was a laid back traveler so it was perfect for me, considering how many times i have been to London. But i definitely had a mental list of things to do with my friend and i’ve decided to compile a list of top things to do in London, in case you shall ever visit this lovely city. Hope you guys enjoy these tips.
Piccadilly Circus is definitely a place to visit in London. It’s in the center of London, and you really get a feel of the buzz and hype that this metropolitan city has to offer. There are loads of shops if you are into shopping, whether its high end or low end fashion, or restaurants and cafes to visit if you ever fancy a cup of coffee or experience a proper afternoon tea, the British style.
One of the afternoon tea places that i really wanted to try was Fortnum & Mason, which i learned about from the fabulous and lovely British blogger, Milla. Although i didn’t get to try their afternoon tea, the shop itself was enough to impress me. The entire shop was filled with lovely packaging of their food and tea products everywhere, but displayed in moderation. The signature color of their products are in this lovely turquoise color, but i was also very much attracted to these purple tined Earl grey biscuits that i spotted minutes within walking in there, and of course i had to buy them. I ended up buying loads of their teas, such as the green tea flavored Elder flower tea, Earl Grey, and English breakfast. I wanted to try their macarons, being the macaron fan that i am, but i guess i was too overwhelmed by all the things inside Fortnum & Mason that i completely forgot to try some.
Ever since i spotted these alphabet mugs from other bloggers, which are available in Anthropologie, i made an immediately pit stop to their store in London. Lucky, i didn’t even have to buy it that day because my sweetest sister had already bought it for me as part of my Christmas gift, after she heard me talk about it for like ever and ever.
An afternoon tea session is a must if you visit London, a city that is well known to serve the best scones ever. I decided to pay a visit at Sketch, which i’ve not tried before yet heard good reviews of it from other British bloggers. The entrance of Sketch was very mysterious, where you are guided through this dark hall upon entering the lobby.
The interior and ambiance inside was very relaxing and with a lot of wooden and green color incorporated into its design. One of the things that really got me attention was this giant chandelier that hung in the middle of the ceiling, where it had these wooden branches look alike branching out. My friends and i ordered two sets of the afternoon tea and we did not finish it. The thing with afternoon tea is that the food are bite sizes but the fullness slowly creeps up on you. The savory and sweet dishes were both delish but up to this day, i still haven’t tried an afternoon tea place that has blown me away. One thing for sure was that their sea salt caramel and pistachio flavored macarons were yummy!
Another interesting thing about Sketch is their wash room. I know, you would think what? Upon entering the washroom, you will see these individual oval shaped toilet cubicles. The colorful neon ceiling also gave it a very out of space feel to it, and it definitely gave it a whole new meaning and experience for washrooms.
It’s also great fun to experience London by night. The night time of the city with the beautiful lights lit up is a breath taking view for sure. Regent Street is an area that i would recommend visiting, where they always display these beautiful Christmas lights during the festive season. A night out with my girls was definitely on the list, and what better way to celebrate than going to Aqua at the Shard, and enjoying a glass of wine while admiring the night view from the 32nd floor. The Shard also claims to be the tallest building in the EU (according to Wikipedia), which gives you another reason to pop by this place.
For those that are more on the arty side and like some entertainment, make sure to leave a day out to watch a musical. Cheap tickets can be purchased at ticketing booths in London as well, and i often go to the one in Leicester Square, near China Town. I remember watching Phantom of the Opera in London before and it was the best musical ever. Although no other musicals have topped Phantom of the Opera on my list, i decided to give Wicked a chance, and it didn’t disappoint. The music was great, where the costumes and stage settings were gorgeous. Due to the heavy rain fall and strong winds, my friend and i decided last minute to go One Canada Square bar (located at Canary Wharf) to enjoy some wine and cocktail before we called it a night. Since Canary Wharf is a central business district, it was no surprise that the entire bar was filled with men in business suits but since it was the closes bar to our home, it was the perfect spot. I would only recommend going to this bar if you are within this area, otherwise there is nothing special about it. Although we were served by a very friendly Italian waiter so that is a bonus. Good customer service is always appreciated!
Last but no least, it’s also fun to visit museums to learn some history and better understand a place, from a different perspective. So a trip to the British Museum was arranged, and with its free admission fee and the sun shining, we headed out earlier that morning, in an attempt to make the most out of our last day in London.
If you are into markets, you should not miss out on Covent Garden. It’s a market that sells a lot of delicious food, desserts, art, clothes, and other nick nacks. I visit this market whenever i’m in London. One of my fave things to do is eating their Belgian waffles with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, as i sit in the center of the market and enjoy a bit of my people watching moment.
Photo source: all photos by me