In this post we are talking about our hotel, dining options and places to have some fun in London. We didn’t waste any time during our short visit back and we are already excited about another visit! Continue reading “London: Sleep, Eat, Play”
Cheerio London! It took us only a year to get back and this time we were able to see some neighborhoods and sites we didn’t get to explore last time. We did revisit a couple favorite spots – Borough Market + Big Ben! (Standard Tourist Photo Op) The Borough Market wasn’t in full swing last year since we went between Christmas & New Years. This time we got the real taste of it- Friday lunch hour mayhem. And boy did we have fun! Speaking of boys, there were a lot of them on their lunch hour grabbing a bit to eat with their mates. Continue reading “London….We’re Back!!”
Other than seeing the attractions of London, we had to make sure we ate well. There are so many restaurants and pubs that are highly recommended on the internet. Even though the internet is a great place to search, personal recommendations from family and friends are even better. Thank you to a wonderful coworker, who gave us her favorite places to eat in London. Needless to say, T.W.O. ate very well and we are happy to share these spots with our friends and family!
Tucked amongst the chic boutiques and intimate cafés of Shepherd Market, The Market Tavern is a city pub where every drink is poured with a generous serving of quirky personality. The Pub is know for the best Sunday roast in Mayfair. It’s tucked away on a windy street, but don’t let that deter you from walking in. T.W.O. ordered the Sea Bream and the Rib Eye steak. Both were fabulous….the Sea Bream being our favorite of the two.
Located in the middle of Belgravia on a distinguished nd desirable street, The Thomas Cubitt is a cozy restaurant with beautiful food and great atmosphere. Since they are know for their Fish & Chips, we ordered one of those and the Beef Braised Guinness Pie. There are two dining rooms, Ground Floor and the First Floor. For a casual dining experience the Ground Floor is great (that’s where we sat) where the First Floor is more intimate. T.W.O. perfect for a London night night!
“A traditional pub of unique character, revered for its eclectic range of real ales and its quality pub food which are served, as they should be, with a generous measure of famous British hospitality.” After a day of walking around London, we popped into this pub to grab a beer. Its near the financial district, so expect to see professionals grabbing a beer with their colleagues. Perfect place for T.W.O. (Might meet a young lad!) We loved standing at the bar sipping a beer chatting away with locals! Everyone was so friendly! Vier?!?!
Conveniently located near our hotel and the S. Kensington Underground, it was the perfect place to grab a flat white and a croissant.
Located in the Borough providing high quality food all sourced as close to home as possible. We stumbled upon this place while walking through the Borough Market. It was a quant little restaurant that was calling our name. They were serving mulled outside, but we decided on a local beer. Its a perfect place to stop and take a load off your feet between the Tower of London and the Market tour.
We discovered Casa Brindisa through Gwyneth Paltrow. She wrote it up as one of her favorite restaurants in London. Being a GOOP supported and have been to Spain just a year and half ago, we decided to try it. The padron peppers were delicious and everything else from there was just alright. Let’s just say they were heavy on their oil. It was kind of a disappointment – but at least we had a fun, young waiter keeping us entertained!
TRADITIONAL.ENGLISH.PUB – CHECK! Located in S. Kensignton, this pub was the perfect stop to warm up after a long day being a tourist.
T.W.O. stayed at the Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington. It is a boutique hotel that is in the perfect location and cutest neighborhood. The staff was very nice and helpful during our stay. The deluxe rooms are the perfect size for two people who have big suitcases and did i mention the bathroom floors are heated? Oh and they stock the fridge with waters, orange juice and milk every day at no extra cost. There is also a tea bar that you can enjoy in-suite. We loved staying in this hotel and would suggest it to friends and family. One amenity that will take us back to this hotel is the breakfast at the Apero. It was absolutely divine. Tucked beneath the Victorian cellar arches of The Ampersand Hotel, Apero brings a shot of fresh Mediterranean style to the heart of South Kensington. The Coconut Porridge with Caramelized Bananas was the perfect start to our morning. How English of us, right? We also tried the Goat Cheese & Herb Egg White Omelet. Top 5 best omelets ever eaten! The baked goods are delicious – chocolate brioche slice in particular! And the coffee….perfectly made latte! Cheers to Apero and another trip back!
Here are some places we didn’t get a chance to try, but are on our list for our next trip!
Polpo is a bàcaro. This is a Venetian word to describe a humble restaurant serving simple food and good, young local wines.
Bumpkin is your local Great British Brasserie, a home from home serving delicious British dishes, made with locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients. Bumpkin is your perfect neighbourhood retreat and we look forward to serving you the best in British food soon.
Can’t wait to go back and be less of a tourist and more of a local!
Another beautiful day was spent in London, England. Hope you don’t get too exhausted from our tour around the city on Day #2…the key is knowing your Underground route prior to leaving! Mind the Gap!!!
Big Ben + House of Parliament + The London Eye
“The name Big Ben is often used to describe the tower, the clock and the bell but the name was first given to the Great Bell.The Elizabeth Tower, which stands at the north end of the Houses of Parliament, was completed in 1859 and the Great Clock started on 31 May, with the Great Bell’s strikes heard for the first time on 11 July and the quarter bells first chimed on 7 September.”
“The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Commonly known as the Houses of Parliament after its tenants, the Palace lies on the Middlesex bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster.”
“The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. The 32 air-conditioned capsules can each hold up to 25 people. The wheel rotates at 26 cm (10 in) per second (about 0.9 km/h or 0.6 mph) so that one revolution takes about 30 minutes. It does not usually stop to take on passengers; the rotation rate is slow enough to allow passengers to walk on and off the moving capsules at ground level.”
KATE, KATE!!! We were a couple years late, but we made it to the Church that Kate Middleton became a Duchess and married her Prince Charming! The line was really long to get in and the tickets were about 18 pounds, so we opted to just walk around the grounds and visit the gift shop. Loved this Church and maybe next time we visit, we will be walking down that aisle…oh hey Harry!!!! haha!
This is an absolute MUST see and one of our favorite tourist sites we visited. It was interesting seeing the perspective of the British and how they made out during the way. We experienced the secret history underground that was lead by Churchill. Well worth the money and the best part….hardly any lines!!!
“Covent Garden is a district in London on the eastern fringes of the West End, between St. Martin’s Lane and Drury Lane. It is associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site, and the Royal Opera House, which is also known as “Covent Garden”. ” It was the perfect place to stop for lunch and walk around on our way to Notting Hill. Mind the Gap!
Some favorite memories from the Underground…. “MIND THE GAP” + “This is the Piccadilly line to Cockfosters.”
Confirmed…it’s like what you see in the movie, but BETTER! We had so much fun walking down the street and can’t wait to go back and visit some boutiques and cafes! Bumpkin maybe??
From Notting Hill we walked through the Kensington Palace Gates down the street that was home to many international embassies. We wouldn’t mind living on this block – oh hey Kate, can i borrow some sugar? We were able to walk the grounds of the Palace and feel like we were residence. No Kate or George sightings, but that didn’t ruin our visit. The garden behind the Palace reminded me of Central Park. It was a beautiful setting! We left the Palace and walked down Queen’s Gate back to South Kensington. Loved that street – it was more residential and didn’t have the hustle and bustle the city centre had – nice break!
T.W.O. traveled to Europe this past Holiday Season for 11 days. On the itinerary… London, England and Amsterdam, Netherlands. It was the perfect time to go since all the Christmas decorations were on display in both cities and we timed our visit perfectly with great weather. It was cold, yes, but we couldn’t complain since we had many sunny days and hardly any rain. In these next posts you will find out why we loved London and Amsterdam so much. Thank you to all our family and friends who gave us recommendations and help make this trip a huge success!
LAX -> LHR
Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain’s sovereigns since 1837 and today is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch. It was one place we wanted to see from the outside since it’s so iconic with hopes to maybe see the Queen (or Kate!). haha! We also planned our visit based on The Changing of the Guards. It doesn’t happen every day – so before you go check the site. The ceremony starts at 11:15am and we learned that you have to get there early for front row seats. Unfortunately, we didn’t so we saw a lot of selfie sticks instead of the ceremony. We got some small glimpse of the March and made some friends with two nice Belgians guys and after 30 minutes we decided to beat the crowd and leave. Got our pictures and headed towards the London Bridge.
St. James Place
St James’s Place is a street in the St James’s district of London near Green Park. It was first developed around 1694, the historian John Strype describing it in 1720 as a “good Street … which receiveth a fresh Air out of the Park; the Houses are well-built, and inhabited by Gentry …” Henry Benjamin Wheatley wrote in 1870 that it was “one of the oddest built streets in London.
We took a cab from Victoria Station since the District and Circle lines were closed for maintenance and we didn’t want to have to deal with the crowds getting on the Underground. It was a fun experience! We traveled along the Thames River and were dropped off on the London Bridge. The London Bridge was the perfect place for photo ops of the Tower of London. Highly suggest going here and then walking over to the Bourough Market.
Borough Market is London’s most renowned food market; a source of exceptional British and international produce. It was the perfect place for T.W.O. to walk around – YES our cup of tea! We love strolling through these international markets exploring the produce, baked goods and the creations each vendor displays. What better place for a food bloggers paradise! Make sure to check the times of the market on the website !
Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It the home of the Crown Jewels – – which was the first place we stopped. Since we were there later in the day, the line for the Jewels was pretty long. We suggest getting there before 10am to avoid lines. Make sure to get a Beefeater tour of the Tower – great way to learn the history behind this historical landmark. Also – get tickets online HERE to save time.