When you think of a city that has it all, London certainty fits the description. From the exquisite food and decadent nightlife, to the London high end supercar hires, to its many historical attractions (and not to mention the beautiful accents), London is a thriving hub for millennials.
If you only have the chance to get to London for the weekend – which is truly a crime – this guide will help you navigate an amazing city teeming with activity. Plus, we have Brexit to thank for London’s recently depreciating prices so there’s no better time to make your way out to the UK. Pack your bags and your Union Jacks, because London is calling.
Where To Stay
London House Hotel, Bayswater
Staying in London on a budget can be difficult, but there are a few places where you will get the most bang for your buck. The London House Hotel is situated just a short walk from Hyde Park and Notting Hill, giving it an optimal location. Although the rooms are on the smaller side, the hotel’s recent renovations and short distance from central London make it a great stay that won’t break your bank.
Indicative of its name, this futuristic lodging is a rather stylish option. From its metal floors and paneling to its pod-shaped bathrooms, Stylotel features truly unique amenities. The best part? The hotel offers full studio rooms from a mere 120 pounds (roughly $180) and apartments from only 150 pounds (about $220). It’s also conveniently located near Paddington station, so you won’t have to drag your luggage far from the Tube.
If you’re anything like me, the idea of a cozy B&B makes your heart sing. Lucky enough, London is home to some of the most charming accommodations that provide guests with the authentic British experience. Situated in trendy East London, Forty Winks is the premiere B&B for celebrities and fashion movers. Lined with a variety of vintage decor and exquisite tapestries, the lodgings appear to be something straight out of a British Vogue photoshoot. Need I say more?
Where To Eat
Is it girls’ night out or do you have a hot date? Enjoy a variety of expertly prepared dishes 37 floors up at London’s famous Skygarden, a perfect setting for either occasion. Located in the iconic “Walkie Talkie” building, Fenchurch is situated in a greenhouse-like space complete with wall-to-wall foliage. After your meal, you can sip cocktails at the open bar downstairs and bask in the stunning views of the city. But don’t fret. Despite the restaurant’s swanky setting, the plates are surprisingly reasonably priced.
The Breakfast Club
If you’re fixing for a stellar brunch, then look no further. This world famous restaurant serves up some of the best dishes in Soho, including poached egg medleys and chicken and waffles. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the “All-American” that’s so painfully delicious with every bite you may not manage to finish the whole thing. And if the food wasn’t enough, the ambiance is even more eclectic than the band of misfits in the John Hughes film – the walls are lined with quirky polaroid pictures, notes scrawled on napkins and international postcards pinned by happy customers. The seating is first come first serve, so expect to wait at least 30 minutes for a table at this popular eatery.
Balls and Company
Although its name may garner inquisitive looks (get your mind out of the gutter), Balls and Company prepares dishes that are anything but questionable. Choose your choice of meatball with an accompanying garnish for a small but satisfying meal. You can pair the balls with a selection of hearty sides and try one of the restaurant’s homemade dipping sauces, including original takes on ketchup and garlic mayonnaise. Think revamped tapas in a hip, New Age setting frequented by youthful locals.
Your trip to London is not complete without a visit to one of the city’s many outdoor markets. A smorgasbord of yummy treats, Borough Market is the perfect place for any food junkie. Try favorites like locally baked breads or international tastes including steaming curry and Australia’s iconic Lamington cakes.
What To Do
After flying to a new city, you’ll probably be yearning to hit up the best happy hour in town for a little post-travel de-stresser. You might be overwhelmed by the amount of bars in London, but Adventure Bar is certainly one you won’t want to miss. The perfect mix between lively and low key, Adventure Bar has a tavern-like setting just large enough for some dancing and mingling. The drinks are just as fun; try a mojito or passionfruit cocktail served up in a popcorn tin big enough for two.
Tea at Bella Maria Cafe
Pinky’s up! Tea time is the epitome of all things British. While swanky hotels may offer afternoon tea that costs a small fortune, tea time for two at Bella Maria is a mere 15 pounds. Still, you won’t sacrifice quality or atmosphere for the price; this artfully decorated tea room serves up tea in individually crafted pots (no one is the same!) and all scones, sandwiches and pastries are baked fresh every morning.
For any music lover, Soho is a must on your London bucket list. Visit the iconic studio where the Beatles recorded their first album or the house where Jimi Hendrix lived. As one of the hippest areas of London, Soho is also home to a variety of trendy boutiques, restaurants, bars and jazz clubs. Wander its winding cobblestone streets and you just might spot a famous musician.
While Buckingham Palace is often rated as a top tourist attraction, Kensington Palace is in my opinion a much more worthwhile visit. Not only is it located amidst beautiful gardens and one of London’s poshest neighborhoods, but it is open to paid tours for admiring guests (conversely Buckingham Palace can only be viewed from outside the gates). Plus, you may even spot Prince George wandering around his parents’ lavish estate (well probably not, but we can only hope).
The British museum
One of the best parts about the London cultural scene is that the museums are free. Step inside the British museum to be dazzled by some of the most famous artworks in history – view the original Rosetta Stone inscribed with three different ancient languages or the stunning pieces of the Parthenon from Greece. The museum even houses the chess pieces used in the second Harry Potter film (I know I fangirled at those too).
With a million and one things to do in London, you will never be bored. The people are lovely, the cuisine is stellar and the sites are legendary. You will absolutely fall in love with this city, just like I did. So…can I come along in your suitcase?