London is the vibrant centre of everything that is hip & happening set against the charming backdrop of all the famous streets and squares. So get on the train or plane to this sweltering city. Here are eight irresistible tips for your weekend trip.
Lord Kitchener sang it in the sixties:
London is the place for me
London this lovely city
You can go to France or America,
India, Asia or Australia
But you must come back to London city.
I totally agree. It’s always the right moment for a citytrip London. This is a mini-guide with my favourite hotspots and must-sees in the British capital.
1. View from the Shard
Literally the highlight of your trip: visit the tallest building in Western Europe. The View from the Shard provides an overview of the city from the 72nd floor. Tell-scopes give information on over 200 unique places in the city. This architectural masterpiece is the work of architect Renzo Piano. The Shard is totally over the top.
2. Restaurant Yotam Ottolenghi
This is the place for a fantastic breakfast, lunch or dinner. Choose from the ever-changing buffet of delicacies prepared by the cook of the famous cookbooks. The sweets in the window do lure customers in. Around half past eleven the salads are on display, and then the temptation is complete for lovers of healthy and hearty. Find a spot at one of the long tables or opt for takeaway. There are 5 Ottolenghi restaurants in London at different locations, like 63 Ledbury Road.
3. Kew Gardens
The basis for what is now the Kew Gardens was laid in the seventeenth century by the fanatic, almost obsessive gardener Sir Henry Capel. Mid-nineteenth century the Victorian glass palm house was built, still the pride of the park. Thanks to the various greenhouses Kew Gardens is always an attraction, even on rainy days.
4. Afternoon tea at the Berkely Hotel
Afternoon Tea is extraordinary in the famous Caramel Room at the Berkeley Hotel. Especially fashion lovers will enjoy this because the sweets are inspired by the latest fashion trends. Think of ginger cake in the shape of a Burberry coat or Oscar de la Renta-bavarois with shocking pink ’embroidery’ of white chocolate. The price, around 50 pounds, is also very couture-like, but then there is a chance that the Beckham’s or Gwyneth Paltrow is sitting at the adjacent table. Afterwards, you will get a goodie bag with sweets to enjoy at home or in your hotel room. Book in advance, it is always full.
5. Vintage Department Store Blitz
Blitz is the first vintage department store in London and also the largest in the world. Two floors with clothing in various styles, shoes, furniture, accessories, but also beautiful things like old movie posters and LPs. Even the music you hear is vintage. In the coffee corner, they serve excellent espresso. Blitz is located in 55-59 Hanbury St, a side street of the trendy Brick Lane.
6. City trip London: street art tour
East London is home to a wealthy community of creative street artists. No piece of wall escapes the creative minds of graffiti- and other artists. Street Art London organises tours along the most beautiful creations. The exact route is a surprise because work appears and disappears on a daily basis. After two or four hours, you know all about graffiti, street art, stencils, and paste-ups. Looking at Street Art will never be the same. £ 15 for a four hours tour.
7. Foodies Favourite: Borough Market
This foodies favourite market houses in high metal halls on a location that was already designated as a market in the thirteenth century. With more than 100 stalls you will always find something delicious at Borough Market. The focus is on organic and sustainable. Around the market, there are numerous bars and restaurants to satisfy the hunger immediately. At the market, you’ll find street food with a twist, such as English pies with fish or salt beef bagels. www.boroughmarket.org.uk
8. Culture-mecca at the Barbican
The lively cultural centre Barbican offers a daily mix of art, theatre, music, dance, and film. Choose between a BBC radio lunchtime concert, a snack in the restaurant, dining in the Food Hall or a popular exhibition. Equally unique is an architectural tour of the fantastic building in Brutalist style. In the evening there are swinging performances in dance, music or theatre.
Plan your city trip to London
Do you want to visit London (again)? These are my favourite hotels:
- It’s only a 25 meters walk from the beautiful St, Pancras train station and there you’ll find the Great Northern Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel. The historical building is impressive, the rooms have a lovely design, and the food is excellent. St. Pancras is the station where the Eurostar train arrives. And you have good access to trains to various airports of London (Heathrow, Gatwick, and Luton) and destinations in England and Scotland. Additional benefit: from Kings Cross underground station it’s easy to reach all parts of the city. A price indication: 230 pound sterling per double room.
- Cheaper (less than 80 pound sterling per double room per night is no exception) but for sure not less fun is design hotel Qbic London City. Delightfully laid back with a tight, creative décor.
- London on a budget, it is possible. Even if you don’t want to stay in a hostel. One of the top rated budget hotels in London is the Safestay London Kensington Holland Park hotel. Depending on the time of the year and offers you can book a double room with private bathroom for less than 45 pound sterling.
- You want to spend even less? Then look for a hostel. Hip and easily accessible by public transport is Safestay London Elephant & Castle, with, e.g. a bed in a room for four for 15-pound sterling. They also have double rooms with private bathroom.