NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT ENGLAND, THE QUEEN, OR THE TERRIBLE IDEA TO BREXIT, THIS CITY IS A DREAM...
The first time I came to London was years ago when I was a young, wild college student on my summer vacation. I was backpacking with one of my life-long friends. We showed up during Ramadan without a plan or a place to stay. So, naturally, we pooled our money at the only available 5-star with hotel up near Buckingham Palace. We arrived at our pristine white miniature palace. Our butler, Winston, I think his name was, escorted us to our room which comprised of marble flooring, a gold toilet, and mints on our pillows. We smelt like stale cigarettes in our baggy flannels & jeans... As we roamed the streets sipping cider with our new English friends, eating crepes, and Indian food on back alley streets, London...over-delivered. Unfortunately we had to sleep at the airport and leave as fast as we could because the British Pound was just too expensive for our college taste. Anyway, this trip as a 25-year-old with slightly more in my checking account than my 19-year-old self was a much different experience.
Unfortunately, I didn't venture out much beyond the classic fish and chips since I was cooped up writing, reading, Christmas shopping.
PAUL'S PATISSERIE :: this is a chain through the city but it is a wonderful french patisserie to pop into if you need a good coffee and something to nibble on.
soho :: not to be confused with new york.
kensington :: put something nice on will you.
shoreditch :: artsy fartsy
notting hill :: quiet, antiques, cafes.
knightsbridge :: for the princesses.
camden town :: the return of the clash
brixton :: the new up and coming
THE TUBE (UNDERGROUND) :: GET YOUR OYSTER CARD BECAUSE THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO GET ABOUT LONDON, FROM THE AIRPORT OR FROM HOOD TO HOOD. THE TUBE CLOSES EARLY 5AM-MIDNIGHT.
TAXI :: LOOK FOR THE OLD FASHIONED BLACK CARS WITH SUICIDE DOORS, YET VERY EXPENSIVE.
LONDON GATWICK located outside the city, give yourself extra time to get there.
The Travel Bookshop: 13-15 Blenheim Crescent
music and video exchange :: old record shop, stock up on your beatles albums, they're not getting any younger.
THE VANDERBILT RADDISON :: Spendier, I enjoyed the vanderbilt in south kensington, easy access to the tube and walking distance to harrods.
IMPERIAL COLLEGE :: budget.
SAVOY HOTEL :: if you’re on a budget.
the japanese gardens near notting hill