London, oh my goodness! You are beyond adorable, and actually so cool.
Now, before I start on my adventures, you must know I spent four days total here, on two separate, two day excursions in the city, and I only barely scathed the surface of things to see & do.
With this, I would still say this is one of my all time favourite cities and I cannot wait to return.
London, I have a serious crush on you
Getting Into The City
First, if you’re flying into Glasgow, take the train and then the tube to get into town to your hotel or Airbnb. It is SO much more affordable than a cab or an uber and it’s honestly so easy to figure out. You hop a shuttle from baggage claim directly to the train station where you can buy your ticket from a machine, or teller. When you arrive to Victoria train station, you walk across the square, buy a ticket for the tube & hop on.
Full disclosure I did personally have a little trouble once I made it to the tube, my ticket stub didn’t work and I had to search for security to let me through, and then discovered I was in the wrong place and got trapped in the platform… But seriously only for a minute. It was totally fine, just ask passerby’s questions if you have any trouble. There’s no way everyone gets a glitchy ticket, statistically it’s improbable. Promise xx
Stay Somewhere Central
Okay onto the city! I actually met my younger sister for my first London trip. We stayed in a micro studio Airbnb in Paddington. It was super central and while certainly not as polished as our images had let on, it worked. Since it was a touch of a letdown, and the listing is no longer available on Airbnb I won’t share it with you here.
When I returned to London at the tail end of my trip with my (by that time) fiancé, we stayed in Notting Hill in an uber chic boutique hotel called The Laslett which I would highly recommend.
Either of these areas are quite central to a number of things, however, you’ll note I like a quieter scene, so these spots were ideal for sites and restaurants on my radar. If you like what I share, these could be great spots for you too.
Do As The Royals Do (Or at least see where they do)
Know that either of the neighbourhoods mentioned above, in addition to Kensington, are great spots to stay if you’re wanting to do Royal things like visit Kensington Palace & its Gardens (as well as Hyde Park) it’s also a relatively quick uber ride to get to Buckingham Palace.
With that I have to tell you that when I was in London with my sister, it was the week prior to the royal wedding! The city was far more excited than I had anticipated. I’d go so far as to say it felt electric with the buzz of the coming celebrations. We stumbled upon countless vendors selling Meg & Harry memorabilia, from china teacups and keychains to flags and masks of the celebrity royals… While we actually left to Italy the morning of the wedding, we did see shop windows post up signs of congratulations to the bride and groom the night before, and plenty of pubs advertising the screening of the live event. So with all of that, it felt an extra special time to be in the city of the Queen!
Travel suggestion, if at all possible, time your trip around a royal event 😉
Mosey Portobello Market
And be smarter than myself! Make sure to arrange your trip so that you’re in London on a Saturday. We missed the actual market for this reason, but loved walking the strip, taking in the rainbow buildings and popping into antique and thrift shops.
As an aside, if you’re a Notting Hill fan, do a little google before you wander. While nothing is as in the movie anymore, I still found it fun to find the buildings and places that were used in the film. Also, be sure to leave room in your luggage to bring back treasures you’re sure to find here!
When I came back to London with Gabriel, we took a Circular Cruise to catch a few major sites in a short amount of time. You’ll ride the river (with a drink in hand, should you choose) and catch major landmarks like Big Ben (if he’s all fixed up by your visit, he was under construction both times when I was there) The London Eye, Tower Bridge & so many more.
If you only have a day or two, I would highly recommend this touristy option. While it may be a little cheesy, it was actually pretty cute & our tour guide was both informative and funny!
Pinky Up At High Tea
When in Rome, do as the romans do, which in our case, meant we took it upon ourselves to book into high tea! My sister and I enjoyed both a regular & (for myself) a vegan high tea at Egerton House Hotel.
I learned after the fact that this particular spot also caters to pups! Yes, you read that correctly, they offer high tea for you and your dog. Sadly, we did not run into any pooches during our dining experience, but the food more than made up for it. Vegan scones & clotted cream! I never thought I’d eat these things once I made the vegan switch, but boy did they do justice to these and so many more traditional goodies in their cruelty free form.
On my first night in town, my sister and I ate at a vegetarian restaurant called Mildred’s. We both had burritos, and after living off protein bars and limited vegan airport food for the 24 hours prior, it was all I wanted.
It is small but airy inside and located in Covent Garden, which is also a great shopping district to mosey if you plan to shop over the course of your trip. The infamous Carnaby Square is also quite close and you’ll find plenty of flagship stores in this area.
Eat By Chloe
Oh my goodness, okay, vegan aside, this has to be the coolest fast food chain I’ve stepped foot in. Eat By Chloe has a few locations, however, it should be noted that the London location has some special ‘London Only’ menu items… Like fish & chips which I totally regret not trying. So if you go or if you’ve tried, you must share your thoughts!
It’s also super cute inside, full of bright colors and fun seating spots.
And the food! The food is totally of the cheaty sort, but so worth indulging in. I had a burger and fries, my fiancé had the meatball sub and mac & cheez and we both indulged in some carrot cake cupcakes and treats thereafter.
It was very cool to dabble in a little vegan fast food, it had been ages since I had ventured into a fast food joint and had the pleasure of ordering a burger & fries without thought.
I visited Farmacy on my first night back in London, nearing the end of my Euro adventure and by this time I was MORE than happy to find a destination that fully catered to my needs. Lucky for us, this cute vegan spot was situated just blocks from our hotel, in the adorable Notting Hill neighbourhood.
If possible, you may want to make a reservation for this one as it does get busy, lucky for us we like to eat early (seniors that we are) and so we didn’t find ourselves waiting too long…
For starters it has to be said that it is very cool in here. Think trendy, new school healthy, decked in rustic chic, with pops of gold, plants galore & a marvelous bar.
This is totally a date worthy spot for drinks & appies. They also make some gorgeous cocktails.
We ate the Caesar salad, Mac & Cheese, the Kitchari Dahl and the Farmacy Burger. None disappointed. Though I have to say the ‘truffled’ mac & cheese has been my favorite twist on a vegan mac & cheese (or perhaps any mac & cheese) to date.
Just go! You won’t regret it.
If there is only one spot you choose to dine whilst in London, it has to be Sketch. While this place is not vegan and pending where you dine, you may need to make special asks of your server, this place is worth the trouble.
Our trendy friends recommended this place and it is so strange and cool. Seriously, I can’t even explain the art show, spectacle that is this place. Technically Sketch is the house of four separate restaurants and each has their own theme and menu. The Gallery is most famous (and you’ve probably seen it on instagram) she boasts retro pink decor, and many an influencer has been known to hop here for girly afternoon tea.
We didn’t exactly know our schedule (and this is a reso kind of place) but we got lucky popping by mid afternoon and snagged a spot in The Parlour for a bite and a pot of tea. I had the vegan scones and they were divine!
Do yourself a favour and book into one of their rooms. I’ve shared some unusual photos below to entice you to go. Trust me, it’s not a dining experience you’ll soon forget!
Bluebelles of Portobello
If you do check out Portobello Road, which you should! And I’ll say it again, do your best to time it for a Saturday so you can catch the market…
You must pop into Bluebelles for a bite or at least a tea (with oat milk, it’s simply the best). I felt so at home here, it is truly as cozy as it is cute and they have the most delicious vegan croissants! It is not a spot to be missed.
And that is that, my tiny little list of spots to see & eat while in London.
I hope it’s a helpful starting guide should you find yourself in this darling city!
For a fuller picture of my trip, you can check out my London Vlog here.
And, if you’ve been before, I know there are millions of gems I didn’t hit. I’d love to know your must see, do & eats in this quaint city, so I have a bucket list for next time! Please share with me in the comments xx