Holy hell!! London was seriously one of the best trips I’ve ever been on, thanks to the girls I went with and our very full schedule. I made vlogs of the first and second part of our week, but here is a compiled list of places to go, what to do, travel advice, and what to pack.
Where to go/ what to do:
1. Portobello Market (**ONLY OPEN ON SATURDAYS**)
Gah!! We planned for this to take just the start of our day but ended up staying at the market for around 5 hours. A cute shopping street in London is flipped into a vintage-goods-heaven once each week, with vendors of all types lining the brick lane streets. Cars are blocked off of the main strip so you are free to roam as you please. We saw hat stands, vintage jackets and shirts, jewelry, and food to die for.
2. CAFE- Aubaine Selfridges
An Instagram dream. Oh, and good food. We enjoyed delicious salads, pastries and lattes. Not really a you need to come here cafe, but if you’re in the area (Oxford Street) it’s worth checking out!
3. TEA/ FOOD- Sketch
OH MY GOD. The three of us never expected sketch to be this good. We went in expecting just a pretty background for pictures and Instagram stories but BOY OH BOY was it so much more than that.
The servers felt more like actors- they all had different roles and were dressed impeccably. We tried about 9 teas, they were SO ACCOMODATING vegan-wise and the whole experience felt like a fairy tale. Although its a little pricier, you need to go here if you’re planning a trip to London. (And I suggest making a reservation more than a week or two in advance!)
4. London Eye
Probably the most touristy thing we did, but it was definitely fun and there were beautiful views of the city. When in London.
5. CLUB- Cirque Le Soir
If you’re over 18 and visiting London, you need to come here. It’s an absurd London club which is circus themed and completely over the top. Shirtless grandmas, fat men, dog masks, stilts, popcorn machines, ball pits- you name it. I’ve never been to a crazier club and (hopefully) won’t go to one that tops this one.
I suggest you try to get a promoter so the line goes quicker and you get a table. We got ours from a friend who studied abroad- if you have contacts there I suggest you ask them if they use a promoter!
5. FOOD- SushiSamba
This is a tapas restaurant on the 38th floor overlooking London. The elevator up felt like the “Great Glass Elevator” from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the restaurant itself was decorated beautifully. The staff was really friendly and there were plenty vegan/ veg options.
6. FOOD- Coppa Club
Speaking of good views, if you reserve an outdoor table here, you’ll be sitting in a plexiglass, ivy- covered pod looking out at the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. The prices are so reasonable and we had a really nice server. Definitely go at night because the lights are stunning and it you’ll feel totally engulfed in the London culture.
7. FOOD- Inamo
This was such a cool Asian restaurant taking full advantage of emerging technology. The table was lit by a projector above displaying beautiful patterns and, when selected, there were projected images of what each dish would look like when served. Kind of confusing to explain, but it’s shown in my first London Vlog!
8. Harrods Toy Room
Forget Shoe Heaven- the toy room is truly the place to be. Magicians, demos, stuffed animals- where was this room my whole life!?
If you want to see what some of these places look like, check out my London Highlights on my Instagram page!
Don’t forget to pack:
Convert at least $150 worth of cash to pounds before you come, just in case. There’s a pretty steep fee when using ATMs here. I mostly used my debit card, but for things like markets and clubs, its best to have enough cash on you.
England have different outlets so make sure you’re prepared with the correct converters! Also, be aware that converters can not handle high voltages so don’t expect your American heated hair products to work here.
3. A brush
Only including this because all three of us forgot one… and had to get… crafty the first night. ‘Nuff said.
4. Reusable water bottle
Cause why not save the world?
1. People will steal things.
Not saying all of London has it out to get you, but Gab’s phone was stolen the first night we went out. It was taken off the bathroom sink when she was washing her hands and the person left the club with it. Ouch! Just be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables in a closed bag you keep on you or at least in your sight. We learned this the hard way but definitely taught us a valuable lesson for the rest of our trip.
2. It’s OK to drink tap water.
Restaurants will ask you if you want still or sparkling and its perfectly OK to ask for neither and request tap instead. We didn’t realize this our first dinner and dropped 12 pounds on water (aprox. $16.80 USD). Water weirdly was a big cultural difference there in terms of taste, accessibility, and price, but just know that tap is a go- this will save you money and the earth bottles. (On that note- what’s up with British Starbucks using plastic water bottles to make iced drinks???)
3. Drinks are expensive
(For those over 18-) Drinks can be really expensive when going out or eating at a restaurant. It’s obviously nice to indulge but if you’re planning on going out and *having a night*, it might be smart to pick something up from a local market and drink a little before you go out. Or don’t drink at all! Just be responsible plz 🙂
3. AirBnbs are the way to go
At least when staying there for over 4 days. We stayed in such a sweet AirBnB in Kings Cross and it was perfect for us. We had space and a kitchen. Although we went out for most meals, it came in handy for tea/ coffee and a pasta night. In my opinion its a lot nicer coming home to somewhere that feels like your place instead of a stuffy, expensive hotel room.
More pictures on my Instagram
We had the best time ever. As long as you go with amazing people and fill your days with sightseeing, exploring, and experiencing, you will have an incredible trip. Comment below if you think I missed anything or have questions about anything I mentioned!!
Happy travels! Xo, Margot
Click here to read my last blog post about travel essentials!