London will always have a special place in my heart. It was my home base for 6 months (far too short!), and I’ll never feel like I’ve seen it all. The truth is, there’s no place in the world like London. You always have some new quirky experiences to try out, trendy restaurants to dine at and a bunch of pretty incredible people to meet. I love that this city is a melting pot. I once went to a house party where literally 8/12 people there were from different countries. How crazy is that?! Coming from humble Alabama, this was a new and beautiful experience for me. And I fully intend to get back one day! This time for good.
In the meantime, I’m sharing my curated London bucket list for those things you MUST DO!
1. Experience the luxury of the Electric Cinema on Portobello Road. They’ve got leather sofas and cozy beds with cashmere blankets and generous wine pours for the ultimate movie going experience.
2. See a show in West End. Matilda, Book of Mormon and American in Paris have my approval.
3. Make a 90’s rom com pilgrimage to the Notting Hill Bookshop
4. Chow down at Borough Market
5. Wander through Covent Garden
6. Build your own bouquet at Harper & Tom’s in Notting Hill
7. Marvel at 18th and 19th c frames in Notting Hill
8. Get your classic pic with Big Ben
9. Read a book and watch all the local pups in Hyde Park
10. Visit the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens
11. Pay your respects to Princess Diana at her rememberence garden in Kensington
12. Stroll along Embassy Row
13. Take part in Secret London (Secret Cinema or an immersive theatre show like The Great Gatsby)
14. Ride on the top of a doubledecker, and be either a Joey or a Chandler
15. Visit the Tower of London and watch the Beefeaters – don’t miss those Crown Jewels either!
16. Go for a run in one of the parks (Holland, Regent, Green, Kensington, Hyde)
17. Take a day trip to Windsor, Oxford, Cambridge or the Cotswolds
18. Visit the quirky Camden Market in Shoreditch and vintage shop till you drop
19. See the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace
20. Shopping on Regent + Oxford Street
21. Visit Picadilly circus (and then say the name in your best British accent)
22. Get overwhelmed in Trafalgar Square
23. Admire all the blooms at Kew Gardens
24. Spend half a day in the Victoria & Albert Museum
25. Then wander next door to the Natural History Museum
26. Watch the street performers and grab dinner in China Town
27. Go on a rainbow house tour of Notting Hill… and then window shop for some antiques on Portobello Road
28. Go for drinks in Soho
29. Ride the London Eye for a bird’s eye view of the city
30. Pretend you’re an aristocrat on the Downton Abbey Tour
31. Set aside half a day for the Warner Brothers Studio Tour – aka HARRY POTTER
32. See a rugby game
33. Partake in a casual game of cricket
34. Window shop at Harrod’s
35. See the majesty of Daunt Books
36. Columbia Road Flower Market
37. Go inside the Ritz (but dress nicely — I was once offered “alternative shoes” by their front desk for my 5 minutes touring the lobby)
38. Deer watch at Richmond Park
39. Have afternoon tea at Sketch
40. End your trip with a classic fish + chips at any corner pub, and order a pint of Guinness to get on my good side
E A T + D R I N K
1. Brunch at Granger & Co
2. Pastry break at Peggy Porschen Cakes
3. Dinner at Dans Le Noir (in complete darkness!)
4. Make reservations 2 months in advance for Duck & Waffle — 40 stories up!
5. Eat like a celebrity at the Ivy Chelsea Garden
6. Sunday Roast at Bumpkin
7. Try the peri peri chicken at Nando’s (warning: the Brits worship this place)
8. Grab a drink at Shoreditch Grind
Well Bob’s your uncle and cheerio! What’s on your bucket list?