London’s Calling! ♥

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Blimey!

In exactly three weeks today, my boyfriend and I will be flying out from Sydney to London via Dubai!

And in the interest of having a jolly good time (ahem, excuse my flagrant abuse of the English dialect!), I thought that I would turn to YOU for your genius-like insight and “Corrine? I’ve been to Topshop. It’s a NIGHTMARE!”-related anecdotes! After all, there’s only so much Google-ing and researching one can do before they confusedly give up and attempt to microwave the leftover portions of last night’s curry, instead. (Hypothetically speaking, of course! *insert nervous collar tug here*)

So! Have you ever ventured to London? What did you see? What did you do? What did you see and do that you wish you hadn’t seen or done?! Having only spent a day and a half in London before, I can say that there’s PLENTY of things that I wish I’d had the time to see or do!

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Is the trip to Freddie Mercury’s old house worth it? Did you stumble across a restaurant which knocked your culinary socks off? And then there’s the Eurostar! If I attempt to leave my fears of general-map-reading-uselessness behind in London and complete a day trip to Belgium, will I somehow wind up in Helsinki?! Any pearls of wisdom are greatly appreciated!(In return, you can completely ask me for information about Sydney whenever you need to!)

xoxo

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24 responses to “London’s Calling! ♥

  1. I was in London for exactly 5 days in 2008. My experience there was not normal (I was staying at a friend of a friend’s house near Wimbledon stadium).

    I wish that I had spent more time exploring and going to places instead of shopping (which my friend wanted to do). I wish I had gone to the London Tower (I know!), visited a pub, explored Covent Garden more thoroughly and spent enough time there to get to go to the Portobello market n_n.

    What I did do and can’t forget to this day was to walk from the London Eye all the way to the Tower Bridge. I was a LOOONG walk but so worth it! My favourite pics from London are the ones I took there. Also going to Trafalgar Square by accident, being told to leave a double decker bus, getting lost in Oxford Street, watching the Change of Guard outside Buckingham Palace and see how Londoners sleep in parks on sunny days (that is strange behaviour, it never happens here in Mexico). Man, I want to go to London again!

    Don’t forget to visit the British museum!

  2. It’s so long since I went to London, any advice I’d have would be way out of date! And I pretty much did nothing because I went with a friend who just wanted to party and shop. The V&A museum was awesome though.

  3. Julie – Thank-you so much for your advice! I did the walk to near the London Tower Bridge but I never actually saw The London Eye up close, and I didn’t get time to visit Buckingham Palace or the Portabello Markets. I didn’t do one of those open-air double decker bus tour things either (it was FREEZING when I was there last – like minus degree temperatures – and I just ran out of time), but I would love to one time around! Thanks for reminding me that it’s not all about the shopping, too – I would much rather experience what it’s like to sit in a London park having a picnic than wandering around aimlessly from shop to shop!

    Kathryn – I’m grateful for your input regardless, so thank-you! Stupid question: what’s the VA museum? And hey, partying sounds good to me! ;D

  4. Hi!

    I lived in London for six months three years ago and I’m returning in two weeks from today (sadly only for four days!).

    I worked in a church, right next to the Tower of London, called All Hallows by the Tower. It’s a lovely little place, definitely worth looking at if you’re into that kind of thing! They have a lovely little museum down in the crypt and the staff are some of my favourite people on earth!

    I’d definitely recommend Covent Garden as well… walking across Millenium Bridge by night to see St Paul’s rise up over the rooftops… Yeah.

    Well. I wrote a tad about things to do in London on my blog if you want to have a look at that (it’s in the featured section to the right 😉 sorry for shamless self-promotion!)).

    Have so much fun! London is my home of choice and if uni wasn’t keeping me here, I’d have long moved back!

  5. The VA is the Victoria and Albert museum. My dad loved it when he was there, he also liked the Imperial War museum but that’s just because he likes war history :P. I did enjoy several picnics in different London parks n_n.

  6. I have never been to London (or England at all), but based on what I’ve seen in friends, good things to do are: dye your hair purple, go as a girl scout and tell people you are Canadian (I bet you could try Australian too :P). Not sure how helpful this is, but I’m visiting London fairly soon, so I hope you share your findings!

    Good luck with your research!

  7. Have a good time in London! I’ve never been there but I’ve always wanted to go! I don’t know if you’re familiar with Lush Cosmetics (its one of my favorite brands)…but I think they’re based in or around London and have a pretty huge store there =)

    Have fun!

  8. London’s probably on my top 5 travel wish list. 🙂 Have an awesome time!!

  9. Hey! 🙂

    I live in england and I asure you not many people say jolly or spiffing, thats old news my friend! 😛 Ive only been to london once but its awesome, Make sure you go to the 2 mueseums , shopping! the london eye because even if you dont like heights there are people performing underneath :)I wouldnt go to the castle and have a good time 🙂

  10. Oooh! London! It’s the best, I lived there for 2 years and my heart still breaks when I have to leave.

    Last time we were there we walked from Leicester Square to Covent Garden taking in Charing Cross Road, Carnarby street and Soho on the way. Once we got to Covent Garden we went through the vintage markets and the Transport Museum. Our feet throbbed but it was an awesome way to kill a day.

  11. … what?! Freddie’s old house?! Tell me more!

  12. definitely go to portobello road market, and brick lane markets as well. allow a whole day for each and really explore the whole place – brick lane is actually lots and lots of different lanes! plan to have lunch at brick lane because there are lots of great international food stalls.

    The V&A museum is really great, as is the tea room there!

    visit carnaby street and liberty’s department store nearby. wander around harrods for awhile. take advantage of all the places to get cheap lunches (eat., pret a manger, tescos, all the supermarkets really) and take your lunch to the park! any park will do!

    spend a day wandering along the thames. see a show or two or eight, in our case! If you like royal stuff, the Royal Mews is really interesting – you can see the queen’s horsies and all the different carriages and stuff.

    as for eating… pubs do great roast dinners on sundays, and good food every other day of the week. Pizza Express sounds like it will be like domino’s but it’s actually like a restaurant inside and the pizzas are good. There’s some burger chain owned by kiwis that I can’t remember the name of but you’d probably like it! they serve L&P! The tea room at the V&A has a great variety of food but go for the giant meringues! all the big department stores have amazing food halls that are worth exploring. There’s also a tea shop at camden lock markets (make sure you go there! right down to the lock, not just the markets along the road!). can’t remember the name of the tea shop but there is a part of the market that is outside, next to the canal and serves lots of food. the tea shop is sort of above that (there’s a mezzanine). it’s all white and shabby chic-like, and they have great cakes and macaroons and about 50 varieties of tea!

  13. I’ve never been to London so I can’t really offer you any sage advice other than say that I’m totlaly jealous and would love to explore London too… I’d just be keen on the shopping!

  14. food market close to brick lane, i think it’s on sundays. absolutely mouth-watering, and cheap too!

  15. Oh what fun you’re going to have! Things I did in my three week trip:

    1) High tea at the Ritz.

    2) Wandering through all the parks like Hyde Park and Green Park – the ones you read about and are slightly astounded that they actually exist (OK I was, but I’m strange)

    3) Get a cheap Ryanair flight to somewhere strange that you’ve never heard of. Yup for one pound I ended up in this strange little city called Gdansk which is in Poland. Fun times.

    4) Madonna of the Rocks. I almost cried. Having studied the painting for what seemed like forever, actually seeing it was astounding.

    5) Sitting in Trafalgar Square, and watching.

    6) Oxford Circus. Oh my this place is insane. But fun.

    7) The Mac shop on Oxford Street – you get free wifi and get to play on pretty macbooks. Even if you’re obviously not going to actually buy anything.

    8) Topshop. Although on my first day it was well overwhelming, over the three weeks I went back a few times and finally understood the fuss.

    9) Selfridges. I died and went to heaven. And I tried on Louboutins which I couldn’t walk in but they sure looked pretty.

    10) Edinburgh. I did a few days in Edinburgh over Hogmanay, promptly fell in love with the place, and was disappointed when I got back to London.

    11) Saddler Wells: I went to see Edward Scissorhands as a ballet and it was amazing. If you try and get matinee seats during the week, they don’t end up being that expensive.

    You’re going to have so much fun!

  16. Bah! It’s my DREAM to go to London! Never been so I’m afraid I can’t share any wisdom. Although apparently if you’re going in winter, you shouldn’t leave the house without gloves. There, I contributed. 🙂

    Ah, these photos make me want to travel to London even more. ENJOY!! For the both of us, hehe!

    Romany

    xx

  17. Oh, and check out Harrods food court. My goodness, if you’re anything like me, you’ll never want to leave. (Though if you’re a bit shy about meat smells etc, be wary, there is butchery & sea food.. but it’s worth wading through that mess to get to the awesome, really)

  18. If you go to Oxord St, its easy to head down Wardour St. You should try Princi (Italian) here, also there’s a new branch of Hummingbird cupcakes down here! If you like Thai, you could also go to Busaba Eathai (but google it fist so that you can recognise the sign which isn’t in English!)

    Loads of great stuff in Chinatown, I particularly like Joy King Lau for dim sum, and there’s loads of Sushi places here too.

    If you go to Covent Garden, visit Wahaca (Mexican), I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love it! But beware the queues at dinner time, especially on Fridays.

    If you want to go somewhere a bit different and you are around Trafalgar sq, I love the crypt cafe in St. Martins in the field, for cheap and cheerful grub (but don’t go if you get spooked easily..)

    I don’t really know too much about the touristy stuff, like Buckingham Palace etc., but Madame Tussaud’s is a lot of silly fun. Greenwich, Camden, Portobello and Spitalfields are good if you like to wander about.

    Brick lane is good if you like curry, and head further down to do some vintage shopping. There are also some of the best vintage shops nearer to Spitalfields. The best curries are probably at Lahore Kebab House or Tayyabs, but these are a little off the beaten track so don’t get lost!

    Hope this helps!

  19. Ooh how exciting! 😀

    [I’m excited about you being in the same country as me soon… feel free to feel weirded out by this]

    London is great! Although I don’t go very often so I can’t really give you any pointers, I completely love Camden though.

    I really need to go to London again soon! ♥

  20. Oh, you’re so lucky! I went once and it was amazing. It’s so relaxed for such a busy city. Make sure you go to Harrods at night time, the lights are magnificent.

  21. OMG! I hope you have a great time at the Mother Country. I got a friend who’s living there atm – loving every moment of it!

  22. Thank-you so much for your fantastic recommendations, everyone! *feverishly scrawling all of them into a notebook*

    xoxo

  23. Oh, have an amazing time Corrine!

    The only decent suggestion I have is to go to Knightsbridge and eat lunch at a cafe across the street from Harrods, just down from Space NK (not across the main road but the mall). It is really lovely. The salmon is delicious, and they also have beautiful cakes and pastries and such. And it is not hideously expensive!

  24. ey I live 20 minutes outside central London. It’s a great place! Laura is the cafe you were talking about Patisserie Valerie? If so, that place is really nice. Wagamamas is a chain but does great Japanese food. Other chains that do good but not crazily expensive food are Nandos & Carluccios (there’s one in st christophers place off Oxford St. Shopping – Oxford st is a super long street with topshop and other stores but if you want a shopping centre, Westfield in shepherds bush is great. For department stores – go to harrods (in Knightsbridge) & Selfridges. Other things to do: go on the London Eye, visit museums (Big ones like the british museum if you like history, the natural history & the science museum. There’s plenty of obscure ones too!), watch a musical – Wicked & Chicago are great and I’ve heard Billy Elliot is also brilliant, visit an old traditional English building – Buckingham Palace or Hampton court palace if you’re going further out, See a film in leicester sq and then go for chinese in chinatown and lastly visit covent garden.

    Enjoy your trip! 😀

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