A weekend in London

I only visited London for the first time 7 years ago, but since then I have been quite often. While I was living in Birmingham I also regularly travelled to London for work. In the past year I’ve been twice and it that gave me the idea to bring my London favourites together and share them with you. That should allow you to spend a nice weekend in London! I imagine I’ll keep updating this blog post after future visits to London – so if you have any recommendations, please add them in a comment below!

Hotels

I have a few friends who live in London, so I’m very fortunate as this means I don’t often need a hotel. However, sometimes I was travelling for work, or sometimes I went to visit London with other friends or family, so in those cases I did need a place to stay. What I would recommend:

  • Premier Inn Hub (Brick Lane / Kings cross): I’ve stayed in two different ones – the one on Brick Lane and one near the Kings Cross. The one on Brick Lane was for work, and I had one of the bigger rooms. More recently my partner and I stayed in the Kings Cross one, in a standard room. I was a bit afraid that it would be a tiny shoe box, but actually it was a very clever and functional space. The Hubs remind me a bit of the Citizen M concept, but more budget-friendly. The breakfast was great and well priced! No kettle in the room but you can just get free tea or coffee from the bar upstairs.
  • H10 Waterloo : I stayed here for work and that was a very nice experience. Welcome drink offered, well equipped room, multilingual staff – it all felt quite luxurious. Breakfast was a bit underwhelming though.
  • Travelodge (Kings Cross) – my friends and I wanted a place close to both St. Pancras and Euston, but also a place with rooms for three people. Travelodge has nice family rooms here at Kings Cross that aren’t very expensive. I was afraid there would be a lot of noise from traffic or people, but our room was on -1 facing the street and we had no noise complaints whatsoever.
  • Park Plaza London Riverbank: another one I stayed at for work, and potentially the most fancy hotel I ever stayed at. Hotels in London can get so expensive sometimes that the really nice ones end up not being that much more expensive than the standard ones. I was a bit disappointed by tnot having a view over the Thames from my room. We did get the view however from their super stylish breakfast area.

Bookshops

  • Waterstones: my forever favourite, no matter where I am. There are many Waterstones’ branches in London of course, but I really like the one on Tottenham Court Road. There is a nice coffee shop on -1 and the staff is super helpful.
  • Daunt books (Marylebone): it had been on my list to visit and did not disappoint. Always happy to support an independent business, especially when supporting means buying (even more) books! Beautiful rooms, stacked full of books – what’s not to love?
Daunt Books Marylebone
Daunt Books Marylebone

Food

  • The Lord Nelson Pub (Southwark): for burgers, and the interior.
  • The Spoke (Holloway Road): A local for one of my friends. They accommodated our group of 12 despite not taking reservations, and the breakfast was lovely!
  • Drake and Morgan (Kings Cross): Such a hip place! I had buttermilk chicken & waffle – that’s when the magic happens!
  • Midlreds (Soho): we have the cookbook at home so were eager to try it out. Service was FAST, but they have to, looking at the queue at the front by the time we left. We got our food really quickly, maybe slightly too quickly to my liking. The food was good, glad we tried it but I think my expectations were sky-high due to the wonderful cook book and it didn’t quite meet those unfortunately.
  • Ekachai (Kings Cross): Make sure you book a table, especially on a Friday night. Very friendly service, especially as there was a miscommunication about my meal. I did get the curry I wanted after all and it was splendid.
  • Melt Room (Soho): grand cheezy toasties. I heard it closed down though, but wanted to mention it here, as it was such a nice little find – and here’s to me hoping they find a way to reopen it!
  • Dishoom Kings Cross: We went on a Wednesday evening at 6pm and there was a massive queue! So glad my friend booked us a table last minute. I had the vegetarian curry with tofu. I’m usually not a fan of tofu but this was glorious – recommended!

Harry Potter

Yes, this is a separate category.

  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter: get yourself over to Euston station and take the 20min train to Watford Junction, and from there hop on the HP-themed bus to the studios. I’ve been twice: the first time during the opening year, and then 2-3 years back when they had just added the part with the train (if you know what I’m talking about). If you’re a fan, just go. GO!
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Step one: pray. Step two: try to get tickets. Step three: pray some more. Step four: rejoice because you managed to get tickets! Now wait for a year. Step five: actually make it to the play. If you’re on the top bit your knees might not be as happy as the rest of your body to be there. Step six: dementors!!!

Drinks

Topolski

Markets

  • Borough market: London’s oldest food market, open Monday-Saturday. Did I mention FOOOOOOOOD?!
  • Brick Lane Market: as Borough Market is closed on Sundays, make sure you venture here to get overwhelmed by all the scents and flavours and glorious foods.

Museums

  • Tate Modern: somehow I end up here quite often, but loved the time I visited the Damien Hirst exposition with my stepsister! Make sure to pop into the gift shop, and check out the view from the restaurant at the top!
  • Artrooms Fair London: takes place in January, and we visited the 2017 edition as one of my partner’s Portuguese friends was exhibiting at the fair taking place at the Melia WhiteHouse Hotel. Every artists has a hotel room that they can use in their very own way to exhibit they creation – really cool! We admired Mariana Sampaio‘s work and discovered that of Brian Huber.

That’s it for now! As I mentioned above, if you have any favourites you would like to share, please let me know so I can check them out next time.

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