If you follow me on instagram or snap chat (@nomanoir) you may know I recently enjoyed a short getaway to London city with himself and what a different experience we had. I say different because, in the past going to London meant party time, no real time dedicated to sight seeing and appreciating the beauty that is in the city.
First off we stayed in a beautiful apartment in Marylebone on York Street which, as we came to find out, is only around the corner from 34 Montagu Square, John Lennon’s home back in 1968, you can imagine the excitement !! As far as location is concerned, we couldn’t have picked a better one, right in central London, close to Oxford Street, Regents Park, the Tube Station on Baker Street, Madame Tussaud’s and a host of other attractions.
We arrived on Friday evening and made our way to the Night Market in Perks Field near Kensington Gardens which was thankfully walking distance from the apartment. It was the easiest way to sample London’s cuisine all in one space. I even tried a pigeon dish, of which one mouthful was enough for me. I found it quite unsavory but judging from other people’s reactions I was on my own with that opinion.
To be honest I probably would have enjoyed the whole fiesta more if I wasn’t as tired. You see, the previous night had been spent in the Iveagh Gardens at the Taste of Dublin, and only managed to squeeze a couple of hours sleep. I was no good to anyone by 11pm on Friday night. Note to self – do not go out the night before you have to travel 😉
The morning of our first full day was spent running errands and by the time we got to sit down for brunch the hunger pangs were no joke. Thankfully we picked a a very good restaurant Bill’s Cafe on Baker Street. This place gets 10/10 on all fronts from me, and I am not just saying that. The staff were very friendly from the minute we stepped in, the atmosphere was great and the food was just glorious. I opted for Bill’s vegetarian breakfast which is not a normal thing for me because I do love my meat but this was to die for. I seriously recommend stopping off at Bill’s Cafe if you find yourself in that part of the world.
Saturday afternoon was dedicated to sight seeing which was of course a first for me in London and I must say I really enjoyed it. We went on the hop on hop off Big Bus Tour which is always a good way to see a city you are not too familiar with. It took us around to all the famous sights including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, The London eye and a boat ride down the Thames – all for one price. I found booking online in advance was much cheaper than buying the ticket on the bus.
That evening we found a lovely little family run Greek restaurant Vasis on Cleveland Street. I do love these family run eateries, there is always a warmth about them, with no airs and graces, just a good home cooked meal.
After dinner we decided to sample a bit of the London night life and headed down to Soho. I’ll tell you I have never felt so old! Every place was extremely busy including the streets, and all I wanted was to find a place for a quiet drink. Luckily we didn’t have too far to go as we came across a trendy bar called Choco Matte on Frifth Street, which is a Japanese Restaurant by day as I find out (to be sampled in the near future). On the way home we stopped by RustiKo an intimate little pace which serves the most delicious cocktails – unfortunately I only managed one before I had to call it a night!
The Big Bus Tour tickets lasts for 24 hours which came in handy on the Sunday for a lift down to Southbank (don’t judge ;-)). We had brunch down in the Riverfront Bar & Grill Restaurant outside on the lovely deck which was a godsend with the high temperatures.
London is an expensive city so free entry into Tate Modern Museum was a lovely surprise. Of course there are some exhibitions that you have to pay for but there is also plenty of brilliant art to appreciate for free.
On the way back to the apartment we crossed over the London Bridge. Given the recent tragedy, the moment pulled at my heart strings and It brought tears to my eyes . I don’t think anyone can pass by the memorial without getting emotional. It is sad how we as a human race are capable of such horrific acts towards one another. To what end??
On the last evening we decided to explore the neighbourhood and hunt down Sir Paul McCartney’s old house on Wimpole Street. The excitement was palpable when we finally located it and the hunger pangs temporarily forgotten. We had earlier come across John Lennon’s old house on Montagu Street a few blocks from our apartment which was equally as exciting. If had been around in the 60’s I would have been an absolute groupie haha.
When we finally sat down for dinner in one of the restaurants on James Street the feet where hurting from all the walking and the tummy grumbling with hunger but it was a warm night, it felt as if we were in Portugal or Spain so we couldn’t complain too much.
All in all it was a fun filled city break, London truly is something during the summer. I’ll be back!!
Till next time