OMG, I can’t believe it either….it’s been a year since I was in London and I’m only just now writing up our itinerary and sharing everything we did! In all honesty, I had every intention of writing this a year ago and then wedding planning came at me hard #weddingproblems As the year progressed, I kept thinking about this post and the trip just kept getting farther away. So now here we are 1 year later and I think it’s very fitting to write about my trip now.
Let me start out with…we were there for Robert’s work. He had to attend a conference and I tagged along. We extended our stay and took a few days to go to Paris after Robert was done for the week (different post for a different day). The best part about going to London at this time of year is that it is decorated for Christmas already and it isn’t peak tourist season so it’s significantly less crowded! Also, brace yourself, this is a long post!
HOTEL: We stayed at the H10 Waterloo Hotel. It was a super cute hotel; the rooms were a tad small, but the hotel had a rooftop bar and GREAT VIEWS!
EAT: Since we landed at such an awkward time (about 1pm), we only ate one meal the first day. We went to Wagamama, which is apparently a chain restaurant. The food was pretty good, I’d never had ramen before.
LONDON EYE: Before dinner, we went and got ticket for the London Eye. As a group, we choose to do the Champagne Experience (the price was only a little bit more than a regular ticket. This was so much fun and would probably be even better during the day! I would put this as a MUST DO!!
BREAKFAST: Our hotel package included breakfast for everyday we stayed. Since Robert had to be in a conference for the first few days, I made friends with one of the wives (Nicole) who had also tagged along on the trip. We had breakfast together and then I tagged along with her for a couple of days. The breakfast selection at the hotel was large and had everything you could think of!
COVENT GARDEN: After breakfast we walked to Covent Garden. It’s like this super cute outdoor mall/open air market type of place. There are tons of high end brands (i.e. Gucci, Burberry, Louis Vuitton) as well as some London staple shops. I got this really cool thing from a street vendor; it was a my last name spelled with old stamps. Everything here was so beautiful and decorated for Christmas! The whole Covent Garden experience is really cool and is great for just walking around and window shopping! There are also plenty of places to eat in the area.
LIBERTY: Nicole really wanted to find this place called Liberty. Once we were done with Covent Garden, we went in search of Liberty, we got lost a few times, but stumbled upon a bunch of cool alleys (all the alleys are decorated for Christmas. We actually accidentally stumbled into Liberty without knowing! Liberty is like a higher end department store with 5 levels, they also have an area designated for fabrics and such that are specifically Liberty.
LUNCH: Knowing that the men would be in their conference meetings until late, we went and got a late lunch at The Wolseley. The Wolseley is a well known cafe/restaurant in London. We had the chicken soup with dumplings and then shared a desert. I would recommend making a reservation and going for tea here. I wish that Robert and I had done a high tea one of the days we were in London.
ROOFTOP BAR: Before dinner we all went up to the rooftop bar for some pre-dinner drinks. Because of where the hotel is located, the views are amazing here!
DINNER: We had dinner as a group with Robert’s company at La Barca (Italian restaurant). The food here was good and we all left pretty full! It was also within walking distance of our hotel which is a huge plus!
BREAKFAST: We had breakfast at the hotel again and then set out for the day. Then we went shopping on Upper Street (Camden Passage). There are a lot of little back alley’s with shops everywhere! There are tons of cute places to get tea or coffee or just look around.
LA FAROLA: We stopped in at this little cafe for a mid afternoon coffee. The decor inside was very quaint and it was perfect for a quick bite to eat (we didn’t get any food, but they had a light food menu).
SIGHTSEEING: While we sipped on some coffee, Nicole and I searched for something else to do for the rest of the day. We decided to go find the famous Graffiti Tunnel. It is a little hard to find, but once we found it, we were really glad we did! It is called the Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel (here’s an article about the tunnel). I would highly recommend going during the day, as I’m not 100% sure how safe it is at night.
DINNER: We met up with the guys for dinner later and went to Roka (it’s a sushi restaurant). I wasn’t sure how I would feel about sushi in London (I’m super picky when it comes to seafood and sushi), but it was suprisingly very delicious and if you sit at the bar, you can see them making everything right in front of you!
DRINKS: After dinner, we walked down the street and got drinks at The Charlotte Street Hotel. The hotel is beautiful, I don’t know about the rooms, but the bar is amazing as is the lobby!
DAY 4-5: We went to Paris. I will post about this at a later date, so stay tuned!
We woke up in Paris and got ready to head back to London. Knowing we only had one more full day in London, we took the earliest train back. Once we arrived in London, we checked into our new hotel, Hilton London Tower Bridge which was on the other side of London. They allowed us to check in early and were very pleasant to work with.
SIGHTSEEING: We did a TON of walking around. Our hotel was right near the water, so we walked along and found the London Bridge. While there, we decided to do the tour which was so cool because you get to walk across the bridge and there is a portion that is glass to look down below.
After completing the tour, we decided to walk around a bit more and walked past the Tower of London, but did not go in or take the tour. We thought that we would be able to walk to Buckingham Palace from there, but it started raining on us and was A LOT farther than we anticipated (we took a cab the rest of the way there).
BUCKINGHAM PALACE: Ok, the palace is awesome from the outside, we stood and watched the guards for a while and then decided to walk towards Big Ben (unfortunately it was under construction, so we didn’t get a great picture) but it was right before the sun set for the day so the pictures we did get were AMAZING! and we even got a peek at Westminster Abbey.
DINNER: For dinner, we met up with one of Robert’s coworkers and her boyfriend that were still in London for the conference. We went to The Anchor which was walking distance from our hotel. I got the fish and chips which were pretty good. It definitely had a pub feel to it and people were there to have a good time!
We packed up our belongings and got a few souvenirs to bring back home and headed to the airport for our long flight home.
All in all, London was an AMAZING experience and somewhere I would highly recommend going. Robert and I know for sure that we will be back in the future. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!