Wednesday, December 23, 2015

48 Hours in London

In my humble opinion, London is a severely underrated city. It may be because I've been known to apologize to inanimate objects I've run into and experience physical pain when I see someone drinking a cup of tea with the bag in and am thus convinced that I was actually English in a past life. It may also be because London has an incredible selection of food, theater, museums, parks, and everything else you could possibly want. Even though it's impossible to see the city in 48 hours, I've created an agenda with my absolute favorites. Grab your Barbour and Hunter wellies and prepare yourself for a weekend in London.

11:00 am // Stop in for a necessary post-travel sugar refill at Cereal Killer Cafe.

12:30 am // Head over to Notting Hill for a bit of exploration. Hunt for antiques and vintage clothes in Portobello Market or stop in one of the bookstores and hope you meet Hugh Grant.

2:00 pm // Eat your way through Borough Market.
#protip: Get the raclette and some of the wine cheese to take on the road. And go hungry. 

4:00 pm // Snag some stationery in one of Liberty's famous floral prints. Be sure to take a look around their vintage bag section (p.s. I'm accepting vintage Ferragamo clutches if you need to get one off your hands)

5:00 pm // Treat yourself to an absurdly overpriced martini in the very posh Dukes Hotel where James Bond's signature drink was created.
#protip: Be aware that Duke's (and many upscale bars and restaurants) do have dress codes. And for the love of God, don't get the Vesper if you're a lightweight. 

6:30 pm // Take in the sunset over London from the top of the Shard.

7:30 pm // Prepare yourself for the evening with a dinner with the it-crowd at Sketch.

11:00 pm // Head out for an evening on the town. If you're a fan of dance music/electro pop, try Fabric or Ministry of Sound, or you can try Boujis or Tonteria if you're wanting something a bit more swanky.
#protip: Be sure to check into club information before going out, especially age requirements (upscale clubs tend to be 21+) and cover fees. 

3:00 am // If you've done it right, you're probably tipsy at the very least and feel like you could dance for another 3 hours. Your only option is drunchies, so head to Brick Lane Beigel Bake, the Polo Bar for 24 hour full English Breakfast, or Duck and Waffle if you're feeling fancy.
#protip: Duck & Waffle actually fills up, so book ahead of time if possible and don't take your friend who is terrified of heights. 

10:00 am // Get yourself some well-deserved brunch at the Riding House Cafe.

11:00 am // Hit the National Gallery and the Wallace Collection to see nearly everything you learned about in your Art History class freshman year.
#protip: Admission is free but keep in mind that these museums rely on donations- give what you can.

2:30 pm // Pick up some tea, biscuits and preserves from Fortnum & Mason so you can eat them while watching Downton Abbey to give as gifts for your friends.

3:30 pm // Go for a full afternoon tea and don't skimp on the scones- try the Ritz for a splurge or the Wolseley for a more budget-friendly (but still delicious) option.

5:30 pm // Rent some of the city-share bikes and take a ride around Hyde Park to burn off some of the petit fours and cucumber sandwiches.

Honorable Mentions

Activities: The National Portrait Gallery, Cambridge (bus tickets are very cheap), The British Museum, the V&A, Harvey Nichols/Selfridge's, Hampstead Heath, any show on the West End (particularly Les Mis), Houses of Parliament
Food: Dishoom, Harrod's food halls, the Ivy, Chiltern Firehouse


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