A few months ago, on May late evening I arrived in Luton airport, took the shuttle and headed for London. My friend was already there, we agreed to meet on Oxford street at the bus stop not far from Marble Arch. No surprise we didn’t find each other at once and of course it was misty and drizzling on the streets. And I thought, yes this is definitely London! Nothing changed since 2014. I am here, it’s foggy and rainy. But last time I had umbrella with me at least. People and cars were passing by, traffic lights reflected on wet pavements, and I still needed to find my friend at one of 5 bus stops with the same name.
This is how London met me for the second time.
Long story short – I did met my friend, her name is Marina by the way, and we spent 2 wonderful days in one of most charming cities of the world.
The next part of this post is about “how to squeeze sightseeing, shopping, parks, flea market, world top bars and restaurants experience into 2 days”. We also had a couple of night clubs on the list but then realized it was more than we could handle.
I would like to share with you our self-invented entertainment plan for two days in London. It should definitely work if you are in London for the first time.
- Have breakfast at Kensington Creperie. Lovely and cozy place 5-minute walk from South Kensington tube. On the menu: sweet and savory crêpes, waffles and homemade ice cream, selection of ciders, wines and smoothies.
- While drinking the last cup of coffee figure out super optimistic sightseeing list of must-see’s.
- The list. Final edition: Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, London Bridge, Tower of London, Tower bridge. The walk takes around three hours unless you might want to enter Westminster Abbey and the Tower.
Here is the precise itinerary of our self-made sightseeing promenade.
- Finish the walk awarding yourself by huge glass of cider in random British pub.
- After historical sightseeing part take a 20 minutes walk towards major business and financial district of London – the City.
- Have lunch in one of the rooftop restaurants. We managed to get a table in Sushisamba featured in ‘World’s best bars with a view’ . It is located on the 38-39th floors at 110 Bishopsgate Tower and offers 360 degree views of the city. Interior and the view greatly impressed me, this place is awesome for romantic evening drink or midday coffee. Food was good looking, though nothing special with respect to taste. They are usually fully booked so you are recommended to make reservations at least one month in advance.
- Take a tube from Liverpool Street towards Covent Garden, a district famous for shopping, theatre, restaurants, bars, historical buildings. The guides recommend visiting Royal Opera House and Covent Garden Market, but it looks we skipped them and decided to check smaller areas such as the St Martin’s Courtyard and Neal’s Yard with independent shops and street cafes.
- At the dawn of the day visit tiny Bar Termini in Soho, especially if you are a lover of traditional cocktail recipes. The idea of this place was inspired by the bar at Termini train station in Rome.
The cocktails menu is a measured list of 10 renewed Italian classics. We opted for house Negroni which is offered in four styles: Classico, Superiore, Rosato and Robusto. And it seems we tried all of them! All negronis are bottle-aged and served in tiny stemmed glasses. Cocktail prices start from £7; for Italian cheeses or prosciutto plate you’ll pay £8. The atmosphere is cozy and warm, I think for now it’s my favorite bar in London
- For more bar choice look through the list of World’s 50 Best Bars 2017 , we learned about Termini from there.
This is it for the first day in London! The second day guide coming shortly, will mostly focus on castle exploring and steakhouse experience. Also going to make a couple of lodging recommendations based on personal practice.