Tuesday, March 10, 2015

London / Tips and Tricks

During our girl's trip to London, we explored a lot, ate a lot and just had the best time. We went to many restaurants and saw as many sites as we could fit into four days. After our few days there, we were able to make a list of our "musts" in London. Heading to this beautiful city soon? Wondering where to explore? Where to eat? What to see? Read on!


Where to Stay
We stayed at the Hilton London Islington and were very pleased with our stay. Spacious, clean, comfortable and an amazing breakfast. Obviously, I do not have any others to recommend but I can say we would recommend this place in a heart beat. It was in a great location, a tube station was about a 5 minute walk away-which we took every single day- and a Chipotle was right across the street. I mean does it get any better??

Where to Eat
We ate a ton on this trip and let me tell you every single calorie was worth it.
  • Red Lion- This is your traditional London pub and it was delicious. It was recommended by a friend and did not disappoint. It is right by Big Ben and Westminster, so it is the perfect place to stop after site-seeing. I highly recommend the Chicken Chorizo pie with mash. Yum. 
  •  Rock Sol- When in London, you have to get fish and chips. After  research, it seemed like this was the place to go, so we tried it and I must say it lived up to the hype. Even if you are not a huge fish and chips person like me, I would still say try this out- when in London!
  • Cos- This is the cutest little french bistro with some delicious food. It is right by the Tower of London and sits on the water providing a beautiful view. We enjoyed a lovely lunch here and would say it is a must!
  • BEN'S COOKIES- Do you see the caps?? I know my friends are laughing right now because they understand just how obsessed I was. These cookies are ah-mazing. There are quite a few locations and I am a firm believer a couple of stops is a must. SO GOOD.
  • The Orangery- This is a beautiful little place in Kensington Gardens. We made reservations for afternoon tea here and it was wonderful. Our tea was at a later time, so it was dark most of the time we were there. It was great but I would highly recommend going when it is still light outside and the sun is flooding into this beautiful, huge-windowed building.
What to See
So many sites to see! Here are a few that you can't miss...
  • Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and House of Parliment. These sites are all next to one another and are all beautiful. My favorite was Westminster, by far... it is gorgeous. Don't let the long line fool you- it moves really fast and has a reasonable admission fee. We used the audio guides to tour and really enjoyed it. Big Ben and Parliment you can admire from the outside and get some fun pictures. 
  • Thames River is very close to Big Ben. We took a little boat cruise that ended at The Tower of London and The Tower Bridge.You can purchase tickets at many different stalls right by the river. The cruise was a great way to see London, enjoy the Thames and get all the way to The Tower of London and Tower Bridge without having to walk since we were on a time crunch. I have also seen many people recommend a walk along the river- so if you have time, you might do that rather than a boat cruise.
  • The Tower of London and The Tower Bridge are right beside one another and both incredible. We were not able to do a tour with The Tower of London and I really wish we had the time to, every review I've read said it is a must. So after you admire the the Tower Bridge, do a Beefeaters tour at the Tower of London. Next time this will be a must for me!
  • Buckingham Palace obviously! We went for the changing of the Guards and it was quite the experience. It was very, very crowded and a little nuts but we all thought worth it. You just need to get there early and be prepared to fight a little for a spot. We got there around 11 and it was already packed. 
  • Hyde Park- This is another we did not get to explore as much as we would have liked. But it is a must and so beautiful. 
  • Harrods is right by Hyde Park and just lovely. It is definitely a tourist spot but so fun to go in and buy yourself a pretty goodie from London. 
  • Kensington Gardens- This is where The Orangery (our tea spot) was located. We got a little lost trying to get into the Gardens and then locked in trying to get out since we were there past closing time- which made for some fun moments. FYI you can't climb over the fence;) But, like I mentioned go during the day, walk around, soak in it's beauty and then enjoy afternoon tea at The Orangery.
  • Trafalgar Square- a lively square and fun area of London!
  • And then check out my post here- 2 other things we did in London and loved...a West end show (Wicked!!) and some Harry Potter fun.
Neighborhoods to Explore
One of the best parts of London is all the gorgeous neighborhoods.
  • Covent Gardens is just beautiful. It is such a fun area filled with shops, restaurants and people. This was one of our favorites!
  • Soho- yes, yes, yes! 
  • Piccadilly Circus/Leicester Square- such a unique and lively area.
  • Oxford Street is the ultimate shopping street. I think it has every store you could think of and it is so pretty!
  • Notting Hill- we did not make it here and I am so sad. Next time! Because I think it would be so wonderful. 
  • South Kensington- very pretty and very chic. 
How to Get Around
The tube! London is huge so the tube is a must and very easy to figure out. You can also take the above ground buses but we always used the tube since we heard it was the fastest. Download the "London Tube" app to make your daily transportation easy-peasy.


And there ya have it! I hope this is helpful to all you future London travelers!

Check out the rest of our trip...

And then our time in Paris!
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9 comments:

  1. This is awesome, lady! Thanks so much for sharing. It's bookmarked for my trip to London....one day!

    That tea looks amazing!!! I love me some scones!

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  2. Ive always wanted to go to London--my husband has been and loved it when he went. I'll keep these in mind if we ever make our way over there!

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  3. I want to go NOW! Thanks so much for this lady! Definitely saving it for whenever we make that trip (which is hopefully soon)!!

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  4. London is a wonderful city! I would love to enjoy a meal of fish-n-chips from Rock Sol. And tea time on a rainy day? Doesn't get any better! Happy Tuesday :)

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