Hello to my first travel post. Note: these posts share where I stayed and my favourite things I saw, shopped & ate. I don't feel that I know each city well enough to classify this as a guide - just my own favourites from my stay. Hope it is helpful anyway! Happy travelling. x
We stayed at The Nadler Soho, a new boutique hotel. Located in Soho, a trendy area with many lovely options for food and shopping. The hotel is walking distance to Carnaby Street & Oxford Street shopping. Closest tube stations are Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Circus, both in walking distance. There's also a supermarket down the road.
The room is modern and bright. On the smaller side, but I found that most hotels and AirBnb's in London were small.
It was reasonably priced for a hotel. We would've preferred to find a cheaper AirBnb, but sadly few were available.
There is an overwhelming amount to see in this City. Our mere 3 days were just not enough. I think at least 5 days would be better. We did try to pack in all the big tourist spots, in a morning and afternoon. Here's how:
Morning Walk (Big Ben + Westminister Abbey + Buckingham Palace)
Take the tube to Westminster, you'll pop up right beside the bridge and Big Ben. We didn't go in, but decided to take some snaps here. Then continue down the road toward the crowds of people at Westminster Abbey. You must head inside! I suggest booking online, you'll be waiting in line for a fraction of the time of those who didn't. There's a brilliant audio tour. Be aware that it's very crowded in there, and have patience. Following that, we decided to take a walk through St James Park toward Buckingham Palace. We didn't time it to see the change of the guard, but you definitely could. By this time, you should be ready lunch - so head toward a tube station.
Afternoon Walk (Tower of London + Tower Bridge + River Thames + London Bridge)
Take the tube to Tower Hill, then walk towards Tower of London. Afterward head to Tower Bridge. Take some snaps walking over the bridge, it's so very pretty! Once you've crossed over, walk along River Thames toward London Bridge. There's also a tube station nearby.
Besides those big attractions, take a look at:
Brick Lane Markets + Vintage Markets
Colourful houses in Notting Hill
Great food options were easy to find in London. Our favourites include:
The Breakfast Club for breakfast, of course! Arrive at opening, we came 30 minutes after and there was a line (on a weekday!). I ordered the pancakes with maple syrup bacon. Staff here were incredibly nice as well. The menu has a lot of options and is reasonably priced.
Bone Daddies is a Ramen restaurant. We chose to have a late lunch here. I didn't actually order the ramen, as I just wasn't super hungry that day - but my husband did... He ordered the Tonkotsu Ramen, which had a really nice pork broth that wasn't too heavy. The servings there were generous and prices reasonable. I ordered the Soft Shell Crab Salad. Definitely follow up with your favourite Mochi (Japanese ice cream) flavours.
We did the majority of our Europe shopping in London. There are plenty of shopping areas - Oxford Street & Carnaby Street being my favourite. Prices aren't too different from Australia, but there are some stores that we don't have access to normally. Shops of note:
Topshop is huge in London compared to our little mini version in Sydney. I picked up plenty of things here. One of my all time favourite stores.
Brandy Melville is a one-size fits all store in Europe and US. Lots of basics, slogan tees, printed dresses and cute pants. I always go a little crazy when I'm in here because the prices are so good & their website doesn't ship to Australia.
Size is a sneaker store with a really good selection of Adidas, Nike & Converse especially.
Skinnydip has super adorable accessories. Think glittery rainbow coloured bags, phone cases, jewellery etc!
Monki is a really cool 90s / Japanese clothing store. Really affordable fashion and I pretty much loved everything I found in there.