London From Two Perspectives; Part 1; Ally’s London
Hello everyone! It is Ally here, reporting from London. Okay just kidding, I am not in London at the moment. Where am I? Let me give you one little hint; I am in Europe and Asia at the same time. Hmm… Where could I be? Comment below if you know where am I! Anyway let’s get to the point. LONDON! The most multi-cultural city I have ever had the chance to live in. In this mini travel guide I will share my favorite(or should I type favourite) restaurants, pubs, parks, shops, libraries, museums, neighborhoods, accommodation, bakeries, transportation methods with you and we even have a special section solely about tea (I mean c’mon, it is England after all). Hope you will enjoy this mini travel guide and visit London as soon as possible! xx Getting to/around in London!
By plane; Getting to London by plane is going to be a breeze since the city is home to three major airports (Heathrow, Luton and Gatwick) and many other smaller ones. I personally think that Heathrow has the easiest access to the city. All you have to do to get to the city is to either take a cab or use the tube. Heres a map showing the airports’ locations.
Airlines; I have flown to London from both Europe and North America many times. I also used many different airlines such as Delta, Virgin Atlantic, Turkish Airlines and my favorite of them all British Airways. This part is totally up to you and which carrier you usually use but I highly recommend British Airways.
Getting around in London
By far the best way to get to point a to point b is to *drumroll* WALK! Yes, you thought I was going to say Tube, huh? Tube is great yes, but if you have the time and the energy, WALK! It is healthier and you will have luxury of getting lost. Wait… what…why luxury? You will feel like a local, explore new places and stay away from the cacophony for a little while. If you don’t feel like walking, worry not. Just make sure to download or print out the tube map, bus map and overground map. I would highly recommend the Citymapper app if you use a smartphone! And always, ALWAYS check Transport for London(TfL) website to see if there are any delays etc. Also if you happen to not like the super crowded areas like me, stay away from the Tube during the Rush Hour. (07:30 – 08:30 am and 17:00 – 18:00 pm) Okay since we have covered the basics, let’s get to the fun part!
Food! London is home to many Michelin starred restaurants and if you are a foodie you are going to have a field day discovering the thousand spices of London. Here are some of my personal favorite spots;
- Byron – Proper Hamburgers (They make well… proper hamburgers!)
- Nando’s (ugh a British classic, make sure to pay a visit if you like Chicken.)
- Hummingbird Bakery (American style bakery. They have amazing red velvet cakes!)
- Busaba Eathai (I cannot recommend this place enough. Make sure to try their wonderful lemonade!)
- Le Pain Quotidien (Try the one in St.Pancras International while people watching.)
- Balthazar London (I went to Balthazar during Thanksgiving -yes, in London- they have amazing food. But you already know that!)
- Ladurée (Okay there is nothing British about macarons but still MACARONS!)
- Burger & Lobster (Mmmmm Lobster)
- Chin Chin Labs (Amazing ice cream)
- Planet Hollywood
Activities There is so much to do, so little time. You will never get bored in London. The city has a way of filling up your agenda in seconds. Heres my favorite activities;
- Parks Oh the great outdoors! Just because you are in one of the world’s biggest cities doesn’t mean you can’t have a little peace and quite while listening to the birds chirping, squirrels running around and maybe do a little exercising. Hyde Park being the most famous one there are lots of parks in London. Mayfair’s Green Park and Whitehall’s St. James’ Park are my favorites.
If you are bibliophile like me you’ll want to know about the libraries to spend a couple hours reading local authors. My favorite is the Maughan Library which is a part of King’s College London. (My old school) Also make sure that you pay a visit to the famous British Library.(96 Euston Rd, London NW1 2DB, UK). The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and the largest library in the world by number of items catalogued.
London has a vibrant club scene, heres my top five;
- Whisky Mist
- China White
- Ministry of Sound
- Boujis (frequented by the royals and celebrities)
I’m not really a touristy tourist but if you are, make sure to visit all the landmarks London has to offer.
In Britain, the drinking of tea is so varied that it is quite hard to generalise. While it is usually served with milk, it is not uncommon to drink it black or with lemon, with sugar being a popular addition to any of the above. Strong tea served with milk (and usually one or two teaspoons of sugar) in a mug is commonly referred to as builder’s tea.
Make sure to try Twinnings, Yorkshire Tea, Harrods Loose Tea Packs and maybe book an afternoon tea at fortnum & mason. Okay, I think that is it for now! I will surely update this post as I discover more awesome places and thing to do. Until then you can wait for Kate’s London post. Where ever you are in the world don’t forget to enjoy your own city first! What do you like to do in London? Comment below. Take care, Ally. xx