Spring/Summer Looks Travel

So Long, London

After Amsterdam, we headed off for 4 days in London, and we put those 4 days to work. We stayed at the Z Hotel in Trafalgar Square, so we had an excellent location in Central London. I will say our room was TINY, but since we didn’t check bags and we were really only there to sleep, it worked perfect for us. It was really affordable and they had free happy hour, so we’ll take the W! We bopped between Soho, Covent Garden, and Trafalgar Square, as well as venturing out towards Borough Market, Harrods, and everything in between [like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace].

Where We Ate

Gail’s – This was a quick spot around the corner from our hotel that had really good coffee and pastries.

Dishoom – This was my #1 must-visit restaurant when we were in London and it even surpassed my expectations. We got the kheema samosas, rice, garlic naan, raita, and Chicken Ruby, and it was all delectable. I was thrilled to wash it down with a Kingfisher. The ambiance was fun and energetic [even for lunch during the work week], and I would go back in a heartbeat. See the full reel here.

SushiSAMBA – This was another splurgeworthy lunch wehre the food was absolutely incredible despite service leaving a bit to be desired. But the sushi, wagyu gyoza, and sticky ribs were phenomenal. It’s very aesthetically pleasing inside, as well. See the full reel here.

The White Swan – I wanted a proper fish & chips with a pint, and The White Swan delivered. The fish was cooked perfectly and the pub was cozy and perfect to watch a soccer match.

Locanda Locatelli – This was our anniversary dinner and the food was incredible. The ambiance was very swanky [although we had some obnoxious neighbors, which wasn’t ideal] but overall the fare was absolutely delicious. If you’re looking to splurge a bit on a Michelin starred Italian meal, I would recommend this. See the full reel here.

Plum Valley – We stumbled in here in Chinatown to escape from the rain only to be surprised with an absolutely incredible meal. The dim sum here was incredible. See the full reel here.

Caffe Concerto – We had our last breakfast here at their location in the Jubilee Market and it was touristy but very cute. I got the croque madame and it was delicious. Mike had porridge and it felt like a good send-off from the trip.

Where We Drank

Bar Swift – This was a recommendation from a bartender in Amsterdam and it was a good one. The ambiance was so fun and the drinks were incredible.

Gordon’s Wine Bar – This was a recommendation from an Instagram follower that I had never even heard of! It’s an underground bar under the Victoria Embankment gardens and you can actually drink wine in a cave! The wine list was super impressive and it was a really unique experience.

The Spice of Life – I wanted to see some live music and we happened upon The Spice of Life during a live music set. It was an intimate atmosphere but the energy was still pulsing. The drinks were affordable and it was a really fun place.

Soho Residence – This was a happy accident that was super cute. The interior is very Instagram-worthy and the cocktails were delicious. They have multiple floors that we didn’t get to check out but I really liked this place.

Experimental Cocktail Club – This was a secret bar in Chinatown that was very cute. The drinks were really expensive but it did feel like you were part of a club that not everyone knew about.

Tequila Mockingbird – We loved this place so much we went back twice. It was all the best 90s and 00s music with plenty of room to dance plus BOGO Free Happy Hour! The kiwi G&T was absolutely delicious and we had so much fun dancing here. This was right around the corner from our hotel so it was the perfect place to shut the night down.

What We Saw

Player Kings @ Noël Coward Theatre – This was the highlight of the whole trip for Mike. This theater happened to be near our hotel and when he saw Ian McKellen was acting alongside Toheed Jimoh, it was a no-brainer. We scored amazing seats and got to see some modernized Shakespeare in the heart of London.

Trafalgar Square – This was where we stayed so, of course, we had to go take it in. The London Marathon was happening the weekend we were there so they ended up setting up a bunch of tents here the day after we went, so I was glad we got to see it in all it’s glory on a sunny day.

Big Ben/London Eye – This was a must-do and I’m so happy we got good weather to see it. We ended up walking here from Borough Market which was a trek, but it really was so nice.

Buckingham Palace – We walked over here after Big Ben and it was absolutely gorgeous. We didn’t do a tour or anything but wandering the property was a nice way to spend a bit of time.

Harrods – This was another must-do for me and it lived up to the hype. We ended up eating there and the truffle pasta and prosecco definitely hit. We spent quite a long time in the accessories area, I got a new stud from Maria Tash, and we explored the chocolate shop and the food hall. This is another place that you could easily spend all day at.

Victoria Embankment Gardens – This made for a lovely stroll mid-day. It’s right on the water and the gardens were really gorgeous. All the flowers were in full bloom which presented a lot of photo opportunities. It was also nice to see people having coffee and picnics in the park.

Jubilee Market – This was a really fun find. It was a market but also had some luxury shopping, restaurants, and souvenir shops. We went back here a few times and each time discovered something new. There were street performers outside Saint Paul’s church and we ended up eating at SushiSAMBA here. There was also a Lauderee here.

Borough Market – This place was my jam. We had a blast walking around and seeing all the booths, trying everything from chai lattes to green juices, and seeing what concoctions were being offered.

National Gallery – This museum is free which still blows my mind. We saw so much incredible art from Van Gogh, Monet, Klimt, and so many more. We could’ve spent the entire day there but even a few hours was chock full of gems.

So, as you can see, we managed to do, see, and eat a LOT during our 4 days here. We walked so much and only took an Uber to and from dinner at Locanda Locatelli, from our hotel to Borough Market, back to the hotel from Harrods, and then to the airport, so we covered many, many miles on foot. I like that everything I mentioned above is basically walkable, so it’s really easy to spend your days wandering and stumbling upon so many gems. Mike and I both loved London more than we thought we would and we definitely want to go back since there’s so many areas we didn’t get to see this time.

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