London is one of the world’s most irresistible cities, chock full of unique places to eat, shop and sight-see. Image credit: London & Partners
We’re excited to land in Bloomsbury, London in October 2018! Our new neighborhood has been home to countless creative and historical figures, from Charles Dickens to Emmeline Pankhurst.
Our hotel is located on leafy Russell Square in Bloomsbury. This lovely part of town is full of famous British blue plaques which showcase notable ex-residents of the area and is also home to the British Museum and many of London’s renowned publishing houses. We recommend wandering down Lambs Conduit Street and check out its eclectic bars, restaurants and shops. You’d need a full weekend to explore this part of London, but there’s so much more you can do. From Shoreditch to South Bank here are our favorite hotspots, whimsical finds and must-sees.
Explore the East
Shoreditch is a short walk from London, and the perfect place to explore for a more relaxed vibe. Known as the hipster side of town, you’ll want to check out Brick Lane and Shoreditch for vintage stores like Beyond Retro and infamous curry houses which all have deals on wine to lure you in. There’s an array of quirky cocktail bars such as Happiness Forgets and diverse market stalls dotted around Brick Lane and Spitalfieldsthat are open year-round. Don’t leave without grabbing a local favorite Salt Beef sandwich, we suggest swinging by Monty’s Deli for their delicious Reuben sandwich.
Back in 2012, East London was put on the map by the Olympic Games. A short tube ride from the city center, you’ll find Stratford where the stadiums and arenas still stand tall and proud in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park open to the public to visit and use daily. They’re also still used as venues for sporting events and concerts. Hidden down the road from the park is Hackney Wick, which is the perfect spot to take a break from the park’s hustle-bustle in the canal-side bars and eateries.
Don’t miss Shoreditch, London’s hipster scene with some of the best vintage shops, intimate eateries, and a relaxed vibe for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Image credit: Toa Heftiba
Saunter Around the South
Not to be mistaken with Tower Bridge, London Bridge connects The City of London with the south – but it does have the best view of Tower Bridge, so you won’t miss it! Don’t forget to look up while you’re there; London’s tallest building The Shard, towers above London Bridge station in all its glory.
Travelling along the river you’ll reach London’s South Bank, where you can find the London Aquarium, the London Eye, Waterloo Station and the South Bank Centre. There are also countless pop-up events along the South Bank throughout the year including summer festivals, comedy festivals like Underbelly, Christmas markets and fairgrounds.
The London Eye is the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel and offers one-of-a-kind views of the city. Totally worth the ticket. Image credit: Federico Tasin
Best from the West
From shopping havens and royal palaces to leafy green parks and theatres galore, there’s something for everyone on this side of town. Head a little further west of the well-known West End and you’ll think you’re in a different city as you will find the picturesque Richmond Park. You won’t be dodging traffic here but deer, where they are free to roam the park.
Another area to explore in West London is Notting Hill. Victorian townhouses decorate this part of London among high-end shopping outlets and the world-famous Portobello Market. An annual attraction to the area is Notting Hill Carnival, which takes place on the last weekend in August. Since the 1950’s Notting Hill has had a strong Caribbean connection, led by residents the carnival attracts people globally to one of Europe’s largest street festivals.
Get around London’s neighborhoods in a breeze via the Underground train system, a.k.a. the Tube. It’s one of the most intuitive transit systems so you’ll get the hang of it in no time. Image credit: Abi Ismail
Looking down from the North
Fancy seeing London from a bird’s eye view? Head up to Alexandra Palace – or Ally Pally as locals fondly call it – for an Insta-worthy city panorama. Roam around the hilly park or go inside and admire the historic building which is also an events arena for music gigs, sports and ice-skating.
North London is also a hub for diverse communities which means it’s also an international food court. For a Turkish treat, head to Gökyüzü in Harringay, for a Kosher feast head to La Fiesta in Golders Green or Nissi Mezedakia for bright Greek food in Palmers Green.
Whatever your calling, you’ll find it in London.
Where to stay: Kimpton Fitzroy London
For a bird’s eye view of the city (and a fun urban hike) head up to Alexandra Palace on the south side of the river. Bring your smartphone because you’ll surely want a pano-picture from this angle. Image credit: Paul Hudson