Wednesday, August 03, 2011

your day in London

Tell me about your best day in London. Real or imagined, I don't care. Inspire me to do something other watch ducks Hyde Park, eat at Captain Corelli's, dip my toes in Diana's fountain. 

*yes, we've done this before. No I don't care. It never gets old.   
*1, London by Cosas Minimas  2, Picadilly Circus, by Arracida


  1. On a Saturday I would go to the Towpath on Regent's Canal for breakfast and along to Broadway Market for a wander around and a Banh Mi for lunch. Then down to Columbia Road (obviously the flower market is on a Sunday but on a Saturday it is quiet and perfect for a calm walk popping in and out of shops) and Redchurch St for Labour & Wait maybe stopping off at Leila's for an iced coffee and cake on the way. Eventually after more walking, maybe a beer in the sun, dinner - either Vietnamese at Song Que on Kingsland Road or St John Bread & Wine depending on mood and money.

    Have a great weekend.

  2. A day of many stand out London days:
    Left early from work, met up with by best bud, went to the Victoria and Albert Exhibition at Buckingham Palace which made us both 'motional (at the end bit when he dies), went for a massage which we both giggled through, had dinner and Prosecco at 'Canteen' on the Southbank and then a wonderful performance at Royal Festival Hall. Other great times..Primrose Hill picnics, Museum of London, Hampstead Heath public swimming ponds, London Zoo, Brick Lane shopping ....... x

  3. There are so many great things to do in London.
    I'll tell you of my most perfect London day - our wedding. Hanging out with 40 friends and family enjoying London. Champagne and canapies at the bar in St Pancras station, married at Camden Town Hall, a fleet of black cabs down to the London Eye for a quick spin with more champagne and cupcakes, stroll along the river to Sommerset House for a delicious private dining experience then finish off with cocktails at the Zetter hotel bar until the early hours.
    We loved it and so did our friends and family who still regularly talk about it 3 years on.

  4. In September we are going to London for a couple of days for N's birthday and we're going to take Talia to this:

    N and I went a few years ago and it was lovely, but we really can't wait to go with a small person who calls them butterbies.

  5. On a Sunday I would go first to Petticoat Lane market for a push and shove around looking at gtrinkets and buying a couple of Bengali shirts. Then I would wander on towards Smithfield market and try not to spend too much money on weird and wonderful crafts but I would definitely have something to eat there. After that I would walk up Brick Lane and say hello to the pearly kings, have a coffee somewhere before I try to make it to Columbia Road flower market before it closes to get bargain flowers and herb plants. After that it's any old caff along the way for a pie and tea and reading the Sunday papers.

    Or: I would just wander along the South Bank watching the buskers and getting a handful of second hand books.

  6. how on earth to narrow it down? Assuming you've already got all the east london/columbia road/broadway market rec's you need, I'm going to mix it up geographically (also a little bit less hipster but still very cool)

    wonderful things in south london (where I live):

    brockwell park (fab new water play area for kids and community garden)
    Brixton market (wild caper has the best bread and beetroot deliciousness)
    Herne Hill for villagey-ness
    Tooting lido for 30s multi-colored changing rooms then drink in the eve at the Tramshed
    Crazy bikes in Battersea park for hire
    Petersham nurseries (a trek, but worth it)
    Cafes in East Dulwich
    Horniman museum and gardens
    Crystal Palace dinosaurs are definitely worth the trip

    and that's just scratching the surface.

  7. My other favourite thing would be to just spend a day in Stoke Newington. A walk in Clissold Park where kids can play in a huge paddling pool, a £1.50 feta cheese gozleme from Gozde Turkish bakery on the High St, a beer at the Rose & Crown or the Jolly Butcher, then Turkish barbecue for dinner. It was where we lived for 2.5 years, I miss it.

  8. Last year I took my ma to primrose hill. We sat and drank gin and tonic, ate olives and nice bread and fancy cheese and grapes and all things lovely and spent hours just looking over London and soaking the sun. Bliss. In the evening we wandered round the market and vintage shops at Brick Lane and Camden. Fun times. Hx

  9. Last year I took my ma to primrose hill. We sat and drank gin and tonic, ate olives and nice bread and fancy cheese and grapes and all things lovely and spent hours just looking over London and soaking the sun. Bliss. In the evening we wandered round the market and vintage shops at Brick Lane and Camden. Fun times. Hx

  10. Well I would have to say that my best day in London would have to be one of the days I was there for my honeymoon. Yes I chose to go to London for my honeymoon!
    We were at a park and I bought a handful of peanuts from an old man. he was so funny! and he was making a killing on nut sales! and I fed the squirrel. it really made my trip!!!
    we also went to see a westham game. one of the scariest things that we did in London.

  11. Being driven round the poshest parts of London by my Dad when I was about 13, just staring out of the window dreaming of future riches and purchases. My first London memory.

    And spending the afternoon in Brown's Bride trying on wedding dresses a year before my wedding with all my favourite ladies.

    Maybe not the most interesting or original, but good memories xx

  12. I was going to recommend an east end Saturday wander but Gemma thoroughly covered everything I would've suggested and more.

    Instead, if you're blessed with some sunshine, I would head up to Hampstead Heath for a rambling stroll around the wilder parts of London. Maybe go for a paddle in one of the ponds or sit and try to spot some of the formerly domestic exotic birds that have escaped their cages and now live wild in the park. After that it's either over to Ginger & White for coffee and cake or down to Highgate Cemetery for some spooky afternoon grave spotting. Loverly!

  13. My favorite days in London usually started with coffee in Paddington station, then wandering through bookstores in Tottenham Court Road. Then maybe reading in Hyde Park by the Italian Fountains and a new plays in the west end at night. Hmmm, wish I was there now.

  14. ooh all your comments makes me want to visit London again and experience all it has to offer. Except this time I won't do it during the worst winter in the last 50 years when I've just come off a nine hour flight from Vancouver and I have no way to get up to Glasgow and my re-unite with my family. On the plus side I eventually got out on the midnight sleeper train and taking the sleeper has always been one of the things I wanted to do.

    When I passed through one of the stations on way north I spotted a heart that someone had drawn in the snow - very sweet.

  15. Hello!

    My perfect day is the best bits of lots of days that I had when I lived there.

    Breakfast at a little funny diner on Portobello rd. I don't think it had a name, but any greasy spoon will do!

    Tate Modern.

    Scones at a houseboat cafe along Regents Canal.

    Hampstead Heath.

    Lunch at Taqueria - London's authentic Mexican taco café in Westbourne Grove

    Spitalfields Markets. Shop shop shop

    Afternoon glass of wine/cup of tea somewhere on the streets north of Spitalfields (around Brick Lane).

    Vintage shop trawl. Same streets as above.

    Dinner - a little Jerk Chicken restaurant in Soho called Mr Jerk

    A show at the West End

    Cocktails at Trailer Happiness on Portobello Rd

    Ahhhh London! Enjoy!

  16. LOADING (and I mean Loading) up on all things delicious and taking one of those hideous (but lets face it - they have a great view) City Bus tours. Only worth it of you get to sit on the open deck - don't bother with the guide audio - just the food.

  17. I live in Cape Town, South Africa, so apologies if my suggestions are all terribly touristy!
    In June I spent two weeks in London visiting two of my sisters who live there - some of my best experiences:
    1. Brunch at the Breakfast Club in Angel - their cinnamon-apple french toast (with extra bacon) was deeeelightful.
    2. Highgate Cemetery - I know, say whaaat? But it's so peaceful and beautiful and quiet. Lovely for a walk.
    3. Mad Hatter's afternoon tea at the Sanderson Hotel - this is fantastic. A really imaginative and delicious Alice in Wonderland-inspired tea.
    4. Getting the ferry to Greenwich - even if you don't go visit the meridian it's lovely to wander around and maybe picnic in the gardens.
    5. Borough Market - touristy? Probably. But I had the best brownie of my life there (with white chocolate chips and raspberries).
    A lot of my best memories of my holiday seem to involve food :D

  18. Something new and different, perhaps outside of London? Take the train to Richmond and wander the shops. However, with twins in tow, it might be easier said then done. Hmm... get lost in the hedge maze at Hampton Court Palace. Have a picnic outside of the Church of the Holy Trinity and listen to the boys choir practice, in Stratford-upon-Avon... take a moment to feed the ducks in the river there as well. Want something rather strange? Visit the Hunterian Museum for a whole collection of medical oddities... it's crazy and fascinating at the same time! While you are at it, check out this blog I found a bit ago: It has some great ideas for "off the beaten path" events in London.
    - Enjoy!

  19. Home made Italian ice cream at Marine Ices, Chalk Farm. And ditto everyone else.

  20. Walk along the Thames, browse that book market under some bridge. Lean over the railing and talk to a man making a giant mermaid sculpture in the sand.

    Have it be a Sunday, where you start walking both too early and too late, so by the time you get around to everything, it's all either yet to open or completely closed. Sit outside the Tate Modern and get a foot rub from your husband. Walk through Covent Garden, empty except for a unicycling street performer.

    Graze on street food all day. Eat a giant kebob at 9pm followed up by a rabid Tube search, smelling the tunnels at each stop for that Belgian waffle place you've been wanting to try. Arrive just as they are closing. Last customers of the day, stand on the empty, dark street corner stuffing your faces with strawberry syrup-covered waffle and laughing into the stoic, English silence all around you.

  21. Greasy spoon breakfast.
    Churchill museum.
    Tea at the museum.
    Tate Modern.
    Another nap.
    Indian Food.
    Show at Trafalgar Studios.
    Walk along the river.
    *May not be possible to fit this all into one day
    ** For extra credit, add going to Prime Minister Question Time.

  22. Oh too many wonderful days here.

    Normally lazily spent lying in a park (Kew Gardens/Hampstead Heath/Richmond) on a blanket that's also full of foodie treats from a market (Borough/Portobello) and a husband with the toddler running around.

    Best night out? Soho with my bestie til 5am.

    Dear God I'll miss this town.

    We have that London print in our bedroom, so perfect.

  23. My favorite day was an unexpected one:
    Start at Waterloo Station
    Breakfast on the Terrace at the Cafe at the Young Vic (buy tickets for nighttime?)
    wander under the arches on Brad St & Windmill Walk
    browse at theatrical bookstore
    walk down to War Museum: check out art exhibits and peace garden there
    lunch in the crypt garden at the Garden Museum near Lambeth Palace
    walk along South Bank to Festival of Britain (or similar art show)
    cross London Bridge and meet husband in The City
    attend evensong at St Paul's for glorious choir in epic surroundings

    Pure London Magic.

  24. Nothing really unexpected but my favorite day in London was when I went to visit Westminster Abbey (spent several weeks there in 2001 while my ex-husband was taking a course, was alone all the time and happy to explore the city on my own).

    I was just walking about when I had a feeling I had somehow stranded outside the normal tourist path. I just went on, feeling a little giddy and mischievous to tell you the truth. I remember opening a door in a long, stone, ancient-looking corridor to suddenly face a well lit, state-of-the-art modern gym. Then, I continued and ended up in a small secluded garden, which was full of labeled medicinal plants. From the other side, I could see the boys from the neighboring school (which looked quite exclusive) playing in a yard during recess, in their cute uniform. My little insider adventure lasted for about an hour: I never saw anyone who could tell me off or direct me back to where I was supposed to be.

    P.S. By the way, when LP saw this post and the picture of Piccadilly Circus, he immediately went: "Oh, look mommy, that's London in the old times!" How could he know that?!!!

  25. Mid afternoon carafe of rose and little plates of great italian food at polpo in Soho. Very photograph worthy interior...meander along. The cloth house on berwick st if handloomed silk and linen fabric is your thing.

    Or second the richmond suggestion- petersham nurseries is beautiful (though I warn you that the queue for the coffee/tea place is horrendous and the restaurant overpriced) Instead take a picnic to have in richmond park. Lovely walk by the river...possibility of renting a rowing boat at a not cheap but not extortionate price. Deer in richmond park are really tame. They are my single best London memory as a child.

    If doing Borough market get there really early on Saturday, by 11am it is horridly busy. Brindisa chorizo sandwiches almost worth the crush.

  26. So many things.

    Picnic is St James Park then wander up to look at Buckingham Palace, Downing St, Parliament and Westminster Abbey.

    Exploring maritime Greenwich (and buying lunch in Greenwich Market or as a cheaper option having a picnic in Greenwich Park. Get there by boat from Westminster Pier.

    Imperial War Museum is free and fun and not too far from the South Bank for a wander.

    Views of London from Primrose Hill or Hampstead Heath.

    Get a routemaster bus past all the sights. Can't remember which no still runs, 11 maybe?

  27. That second photo just made me want to watch 'Sherlock' all over again.

  28. I think one of my best days in London would have been last year, in December. Mum and I had booked a weekend in London serviced apartments and we spent most of our time in Covent Garden. We didn't do anything out of the ordinary, we just wandered around the markets, ate chestnuts, drank mulled wine but one of the reasons why I remember this weekend is because of the man who suddenly started singing "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" at the top of his lungs. He wasn't one of the street performers, he was just someone in Covent Garden who decided to sing. And then everyone started joining in with him. It was a lovely, lovely moment.

    Another one of my favourite days in London also happened in Covent Garden and also involves music. This was years and years ago but there were two opera singers there and they were standing on the stairs singing that piece that British Airways used to use in their advertising. I'm not overly keen on opera in general but I do love that piece and whenever I hear it, I always think of Covent Garden.

  29. My favorite day in London was spent walking around and really taking it in. I went into a local Boots and grabbed a sandwich and a soda and went to Trafalgar Square. This is my favorite place in the entire city. I sat on the steps of the National Gallery and ate my lunch while just taking in the city. There is a beautiful view of Whitehall and if you're lucky and it's the right time, you will hear Big Ben's chimes. I was able to walk down to Hyde Park from here and just walk through and enjoy the quieter parts of the city. It is my favorite city in the world


play nice.