Hi friends! I know it’s been a few weeks since you’ve heard from me and I apologize for that! Dave and I were on vacation and before our trip I really did want to get a post out to you guys but wasn’t able to.
Anyways, you are in luck because I have a really good post for you today and so many more posts coming to you in the future! You won’t want to miss these upcoming posts so please subscribe to my mailing list!
Today, I am so excited to be sharing with you my London travel guide! And as an added bonus, I have a Paris travel guide coming to you in a few weeks! I can’t wait to share it!
So last week, Dave and I went to London and Paris for vacation. We had never been there before and this was our second trip to Europe. I have heard so much about London and Paris and it was up on my travel priority list for a long time so I thought, why not?
Where We Stayed:
We stayed at Fraser Suites Queens Gate, which is in the South Kensington neighborhood of London. It is a 3-minute walk from the Gloucester Road tube station.
- This hotel is in the residential section of London.
- Each room is like a mini apartment with an eat-in kitchen, small dining table, desk, bed and bathroom. I enjoyed staying here. It was comfortable and quiet.
- Although there is an elevator, there are some stairs you’ll need to climb up and down. When we arrived, the bell boys were extremely helpful in grabbing our luggage and taking it to our room.
- The hotel is a close walking distance from these main attractions: V&A Museum, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Harrods, Kensington Palace and Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park.
What We Did:
Let me just start off by saying this, there is A LOT TO DO IN LONDON. Instead of sharing with you everything we did because we did a lot, I decided it was best to share with you my top 5 must-do activities when in London.
1.) Have Award-Winning Afternoon Tea (where the Royals go) –
There are many places to have afternoon tea in London. You can have it at the most instagramable location known as Sketch, you can have it on a double decker bus, but why not have it at the Goring where Queen Elizabeth herself goes? The Gorring is known for its Award-Winning Tea. But make a reservation in advance! It’s a little pricey but so well worth it. The sandwiches, scones, desserts and tea are delicious and it’s all you can eat! Upgrade for the Bollinger champagne. In my opinion, you can’t go to London and not have the afternoon tea. P.S: If you are wondering which tea the Queen drinks at The Goring, they won’t tell you!
2.) Visit the London Dungeon –
Visit the London Dungeon and you will not be disappointed. It is the most-fun attraction in all of London. It’s a little bit funny and a little bit scary. The attraction takes you through some of London’s most historical events (The Great Fire of London, the Black Plague and Jack the Ripper) just to name a few.
3.) Puttshack –
If you’re looking to have a little fun at night definetly visit Puttshack. It is the best mini-golf you’ll ever play in your life. Puttshack uses patented technology to do automatic point scoring and intuitive gameplay. They have a full-service bar and restaurant and are located next to a tube station for easy traveling.
I recommend visiting Tower Bridge and using your London Pass to go up to the glass walkway where you can walk across from one tower to the next. It was a really cool experience. The glass walkway allows you to see through the floor to what’s beneath you (River Thames and bridge). Look above and you’ll see a mirror to take the perfect selfie. Also, be sure to check out the Engine Rooms which once powered the bridge lifts.
5.) London Eye –
A trip to London wouldn’t be complete without having a ride on the iconic Coca-Cola London Eye. You’ll get some of the best views of London, including a view of the Eiffel Tower.
Where to Eat:
Honestly, there are a lot of restaurant chains in London and I am not a huge fan of that. In my opinion, the best places to eat are in Borough Market, Covent Garden and Portobello Road. The street food is the best and the cheapest way to nom nom your way through London.
For award-winning fish & chips, check out fish!kitchen in Borough Market.
For the best grilled cheese, stop by Kappacasein Dairy!
#1 Food to Try in London:
The food we loved the most in London was the Salt Beef Bagel.
Our Story: Dave and I went to Shoreditch to go bar hopping one night. At Midnight we noticed a bunch of people waiting outside of a bagel shop so we decided to check it out. Everyone was ordering Salt Beef Bagels so we ordered one. It’s basically corned beef on a bagel with mustard and pickles. It was so good we stood in line and ordered another one! You can find these Salt Beef Bagels at Borough Market too, but they’re not all over London like you might think!
Where to Drink:
If you’re looking for a place to drink the best cocktails and enjoy a little entertainment head on over to Evan & Peel’s Detective Agency. You’ll have to figure out how to get in (Hint: Ring the Doorbell). Once inside, you’ll meet a detective asking you which crime you need help solving. Play along and you’ll be on your way to get a drink.
Other Activities Worth Checking Out:
Richard P. is your guide to all the Beatles’ London haunts. You’ll visit Paul McCartney’s current studio MPL, Trident Studios in Soho where “Hey Jude,” was recorded, Carnaby Street where the Beatles got their style, The London Palladium (Ed Sullivan Show – Beatlemania began), Abbey Road crossing and Abbey Road Studios.
After watching the film, Bohemian Rhapsody, I had to take a walk by Freddie Mercury’s home in Kensington, London. It was only a 15-minute walk from our hotel. There wasn’t much to see other with letters and flowers from fans. It was very sweet and surreal knowing at one point he had walked those streets and lived in that home. His home is currently owned by Mary Austin, Freddie’s girlfriend who was left the house in his will. She still lives in the home.
If you are interested in serial killers, the Jack the Ripper museum was an interesting one. The museum is made up of four floors along with the basement. If you want to learn about Jack the Ripper, the women he murdered and who he may have been, go check out this museum. It is located near Tower Bridge.
Top 4 Tips:
- Make dinner reservations in advance. Most of the restaurants in London are chains and Dishoom is one of them. On a Wednesday night Dave and I thought we could walk into Dishoom at 8pm and get a table. We were wrong. An hour and a half wait! When it comes to a good place, always make reservations ahead when in London!
- If your flight lands at Heathrow Airport, instead of taking a taxi, take the tube to your hotel. It’s much cheaper and will take you the same amount of time if you cabbed it.
- EL&N Café – do yourself a favor and don’t go here. First of all, the website looks way better than the actual locations. In reality, the locations are very tiny. I went to the Brompton Road location and I was extremely disappointed in the service and the latte.
- Avoid all Greene King pubs. These pubs are scattered throughout London and they are called different names but all of them have two things in common: 1.) “Greene King” will be found above the pub name and 2.) All the menus are EXACTLY THE SAME. I thought this was sort of a scam. We kept stumbling across them. Instead, try to find a more authentic British pub.
If you’ve made it to the end of this post, Congratulations! I know this post was a long one! But there really is so much to see and do in London. If you’re planning a trip to London, I hope this post helps you and gives you lots of ideas on how to spend your time while in London. If you have any questions for me, let me know in the comments below.
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