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11.15.2019

London City Guide; The Best things to Eat, See and Do in London

London City Guide; The Best things to Eat, See and Do in London

London City Guide; The Best things to Eat, See and Do in London

I wrote a mini London city guide on my Instagram but I couldn't include everything there so I have expanded the guide here on my blog. You will find my personalized selection of the best things to eat, see, and do in London.

London is many things for me. It has been home, a place to transit through on my way to other homes in Niamey, Harare or Rome, sometimes the city was a torment with its dark winters and the exasperating Piccadilly line, but more than anything London has always a place I always return to. 

London is the place where I made my very first list for a traveling friend. Now here is one for you. It includes places I have been going to since I was a child and places I discovered last week. Bookmark it and share it with your traveling friends.
 Where to Shop in London

Liberty of London

Liberty is my dream house. Seriously I wish I could move in with a green velvet sofa and an entire service of Astier de Villatte dishes. Since I don't actually live there it is usually one of my first stops when I get to London. Even if I just buy a chocolate bar it seems special when it is popped into that deep purple bag. 

Selfridges & Co

I loved the uneven PBS show, Mr. Selfridge. What I found most interesting was learning about how fundamentally Harry Selfridge changed the way we shop. Selfridges is still excellent department store shopping. 

Marks & Spencers

I have been buying basics at Mark & Spencers since I was a kid. They really do have the best bras, knickers, and tights. It is also one of my favorite places to have tea and scones, with clotted cream from Devon of course. There are far fancier places with a lot more fanfare but a full-on high tea usually happens in the late afternoon. This is my solution to having my scone and still having an appetite for dinner. They also have that “gin in a tin” just like on Fleabag. 

London City Guide; The Best things to Eat, See and Do in London

London City Guide; The Best things to Eat, See and Do in London

London City Guide; The Best things to Eat, See and Do in London


Where to Eat and Drink in London


The Earls Court neighborhood is kind of strange. There are plenty of pretty mews and elegant garden squares but there is also this vast, empty, undeveloped area right in the middle of central London. It is what was left after the destruction of the Earls Court Exhibition Centre. Now plans for the development of the site are mired in political deadlock. West Brompton Crossing is addressing the void with a pop-up high street filled with independent shops and cafes. 

I had my morning coffee at The Hoarder every morning exchanging Rome for London tips with the owners/baristas. I filled my suitcase from their shelves with Australian mint slice and Welsh espresso and peanut butter bars from Heist Chocolate.

Victoria Station is my London true north. It is where I would get the train to visit family in Kent when I was a student and the first stop after a long overnight flight into Gatwick from Harare. Today the area is bustling. At the new Market Hall Victoria, you can try Taiwanese dumplings, Tiajuana tacos, and British cocktails. Across the street, there is a Shake Shack and a small shopping center. Before you get on the Gatwick Express, get a cup of spicy chai at the Chai Guys and a sea salt banana creme doughnut from Crosstown Doughnut kiosks. 

I loved the spicy smashed cucumber, Cantonese steamed pork buns, and Serge Gainsbourg/Chinese surf soundtrack at Bun House in Chinatown I went two days in a row. 


Last year for my birthday lunch we managed to get a table at  Kyms, for Hong Kong-style cuisine by the Michelin starred chef Andrew Wong. We had Negroni's and Bellini's with an Asian twist, crispy duck with pickled plums and translucent pancakes, and wild mushroom steamed buns. All of it served with great guidance and a smile by our Neapolitan waiter.

At the perennial favorite, Dishoom my order is a salty lemon soda & a lamb raan bun chased with a cup of chai. The cocktail list here is ace. 

To beat the crowds at Borough Market I go first thing and leave by 12:00. Start with a cortado from Flat Top Coffee Company to sip with your Bread Ahead creme doughnut. Shop for fudge at Whirld Sweets and spices at Spice Mountain. Don’t leave without trying a duck confit sandwich.

The Ned is a nice after lunch stroll distance away from Shoreditch. The former bank building is vast. It is a hotel, has eight restaurants (the Sunday brunch looks particularly amazing.) I went to The Nickel Bar and ordered an excellent negroni made with pink pepper gin, Noilly Prat, Campari and Mastiha that is named after the Vatican official responsible for the formal determination of the death of the reigning pope. 


London City Guide; The Best things to Eat, See and Do in London

London City Guide; The Best things to Eat, See and Do in London


What to do in London 


Spend an hour or all day at the Wallace Collection visiting the Canalettos and the racy miniatures in the Boudoir Cabinet. 

Confused by Brexit? Curious about British politics? Go behind the scenes at Parliament

Browse for books at Daunt Books in Marlyborne

Take the Thames Clipper along the River instead of the Tube This is a great way to get to and from Borough Market. 

Go see a West End show. I bought tickets to Hamilton while I waited in Rome to board my plane. There are always affordable tickets for lots of shows at the London Theater kiosk in Leicester Square 

London City Guide; The Best things to Eat, See and Do in London

London City Guide; The Best things to Eat, See and Do in London



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