I completely take London for granted and don't adventure out and about as much as I would love to. Usually because I'm too busy with work or there's no one free to hang out with. There's always something going on at the weekends and there's a million and one different places to eat. Bars, pubs and clubs are everywhere and secret places are hidden away behind cobbled streets, dark alleys and on roof tops.
Cheapflights recently posted a blog post guide on spending 24 hours in London and it really got me thinking. What would I do if I was to spend 24 hours in London? Where would I go? What would I see?
I'd start the day by catching one of the first trains into London and head straight to Whitechapel to a coffee shop called Foxcroft & Ginger. It's a cute coffee and breakfast shop where you can grab a tea or coffee in a chic china teacup and enjoy a croissant with the morning's newspaper.
Foxcroft & Ginger, 69-79 Mile End Road, Whitechapel, London, E1 4TT
I would then head over to St Paul's and spend an hour or two on the grass outside the cathedral and read a book. There are benches around which is another option but with the current weather being really generous; there's nothing quite like reading a book in the sunshine whilst catching some rays on your pins at the same time. Multi-tasker or what?
I would then head over to The Tate Modern which is only a few minutes away from St Paul's. I love visiting here during the summer as there's always something new going on. I can quite easily get lost in the place and lose track of time too.
Obviously it's time to get another drink and snack at the coffee lounge in the Tate Modern. It has a balcony you can sit out on which overlooks all of the city which is one of the prettiest sights to see when you have good weather or when the sun is setting.
It's now time to head over to Liverpool Street and take a 10 minute walk over to Brick Lane. This place is definitely one of my favourite places to go at the weekends; purely for the fashion, markets and general hipster vibe. It's the best place to pick up rare and one-off pieces, vintage garments, street food and to hunt for all the hot bearded men.
There are chain restaurants everywhere including a Nandos and then of course there's Spitafield's Market. This place is amazing if you want to grab lunch/dinner (maybe even breakfast!) and do a spot of shopping amongst the many market and stall traders. There's a really lovely vibe at Spitafield's. Everyone is bustling, looking around or trying to make sales. It really shows off the iconic East London stereotype. I dare you to count how many bearded men you can find.
After lots of shopping and watching a few entertainment shows; it's now dinner time. This is extremely hard to just choose ONE place out of London's ridiculous amount of restaurants it has to offer.
However, after much deliberation, I would most definitely return to Barossa in Fulham. You may remember I reviewed it about a year ago which you can still catch if you missed it. It's an Australian kitchen and coffee house but don't let the word 'cafe' put you off at all. The food is cooked with such love and fantastic presentation; it's hard to believe you're in a one off chain restaurant only run by one manager. I really recommend the burgers which come with a generous amount of home made chips and a gorgeous, fresh salad which is when I discovered my love for pomegranate seeds. SO good.
Barossa, 277 New Kings Road, Fulham, London, SW6 4RD
We are lucky the sun is still shining at this time due to the summer we are currently having in London. Therefore, it's essential to unwind after dinner to watch the sun setting across the capital. There are prime locations to do so but my number one spot has to go to Primrose Hill. Sadly, I've never actually been but it's on my "to do" list as of now.
The hill is situated a walk away from Camden and is pretty much what it says on the tin. A hill you walk up and you can sit at the top. It's the one place in London where you can see a clear and pretty 360 angle of our amazing city. Wash down with a bottle of wine and some strawberries.
It's now getting late so it may be a good idea to start heading away from dark parks and find other human beings again. I would probably visit Clerkenwell & Social which is another hotspot situated near St Pauls. They are open till quite late and have some of the most amazing cocktails (and pizzas!) available. It's a great little place to go with the girls after work or even on a date.
Clerkenwell & Social, 2-5 St John Square, London, EC1M 4DE
Obviously, I would personally book a hotel way in advance for this so I can truly stay out in London for 24 hours. There's still 5 hours left of the challenge so I would definitely book the Cafe Royal Hotel on Regent Street; which has a spa you can unwind in for however long you like. Whether it's a facial you want or maybe you're in need of a back massage; you're guaranteed to unwind and feel more than relaxed by the time it's time to hit the sack for the night.
Hotel Cafe Royal, 68 Regent Street, London, W1B 3DY
You could either decide to stay the whole night in the hotel or just go to one purely for the spa and then leave ready for the first train home. Or, if you're like me... then go for breakfast and THEN go home!
What would you do if you spent 24 hours in London or any city of your choice? I'd love to know your thoughts below!
Disclaimer: In collaboration with Cheapflights but all words and opinions are my own. First image and Barossa images are my own. The other images are stock images from Pixabay.