How I Spent 3 Days in London

Friday, April 29, 2016

A couple of weekends ago my boyfriend and I went on a wee adventure down to the big smoke. We were off to visit a couple of our buddies from uni who've recently moved there whilst also celebrating the end of five years at university - we were in need of a break. I'd been to London a couple of times before but only on family or school trips so it was a treat to head down there not only as an adult but also with some real life Londoners (if new ones). Previously I'd only ever seen the real touristy sites, you know, your Big Ben, your Madame Tussauds and your London Eye. All I ever really thought of London was that it was big, scary and there was a lot of hustle and bustle. Whenever asked by people 'would you ever consider living in London?' my answer was always a definite no. But after a bit more of a chilled, laid-back kinda weekend its perhaps now less of an absurd suggestion.


So on Friday 15th April, Jonty and I hopped on a train and headed off on the journey from Edinburgh to London. I WAS EXCITED. I LOVE TRAINS. There's something mysterious and old fashioned and exciting about them and I always get that little buzz in my tummy when I'm off on a train journey (once the anxiety about finding my seat and somewhere to stick my luggage has subsided). We were on a Virgin Trains East Coast service which is always my number one choice because plugs. Girl gotta keep her failing iPhone 4S charging at all times. I spent my journey eating croissants and jam (my new favourite breakfast), staring at the English countryside and reading the latest issue of Glamour with my current girl crush Karlie Kloss on the cover. I just find her so blooming interesting. I would have chatted to Jonty on the journey but the silly goose booked the Quiet Coach so whenever we as much whispered I got evil-ed by an old woman in the corner. So it was a silent but content journey for us where every so often we'd text something funny to each other and let a little laugh erupt much to her annoyance.

After a surprisingly quick 4 and a half hour journey we arrived in Kings Cross London, where after escaping the cold foggy weather of Edinburgh we were met with glorious... rain. Ah, holidays. We then linked our 16-25 railcards to my snazzy new Oyster card (this means your get a 1/3 off travel - top tip) and then trotted our way off on the tube and train to Wandsworth where our lovely pals now live.

After a big ol' catch up after a good few months apart, Jonty and I dolled ourselves up and headed back into town for dinner at Polpo in Soho. I'd been reliably recommended to go here by Olivia and I'm so glad we did. Even though it was walk-in only, the place wasn't too busy for a pre-theatre on a Friday at 5:30pm. We sat down and were warmly welcomed by the lovely staff who were incredibly attentive throughout the night. We had the house wine because we iz poor but even that delighted. We then tucked into about 6 small plates; pork and fennel meatballs (which were my favourite by far), garlic focaccia, crab and chilli linguine, Milan style chicken, parmesan and lemon asparagus and potato croquettes. We then finished off with affogato which is my favourite Italian dessert. I would highly recommend Polpo to anyone looking for something small, cosy and tasty in the theatre district with lots of choice and good service! Great spot Olivia!

We then headed off to the big event, Les Miserables. I'd been dying to go to see Les Mis for years and it truly did not disappoint. I still get chills whenever I hear 'One Day More'. After the show we met our friends before heading to a local pub called The Lyric where I found my new favourite pint in the local lager Camden Hells. I'm finally enjoying the delights of a pint. After disappointingly not finding many places open past 12 that weren't clubs we headed on home and collapsed into bed.


Saturday arrived and we headed out for an early lunch to Ben's Canteen in Battersea. I ordered a Breakfast Fizz (because why not) and a fried chicken benedict... without the hollandaise sauce because mayo is the devil. It was so tasty, though the sour dough bread a bit too hard for me, and definitely set me up for the rest of the day.

We then went to Battersea Park and rode around on Boris bikes despite the wind absolutely freezing our fingers off. Who says London is warmer than Scotland?! We then hung up our Boris bikes and wandered into the city of Westminster and then into Chelsea because I wanted to wander around and see pretty houses.

And I can assure you there were plenty of those. I fell in love with the millions of perfect looking white houses and Rhona fell in love with the mews houses. The place was to die for and there were a million and one fancy cars brooming about. Even though I could have walked around forever it was far too cold so we disappeared into the nearest cafe to warm up with a hot chocolate.

We then headed off somewhere more our kinda place - Borough Market. I absolutely love markets and find them so exciting. I honestly think I could wander around them for hours and hours. I ogled at the vegetable selections, and marvelled at the cakes and got to sample 1 or 5 different dishes. There's just such a buzz there. The sun finally came out and we all tucked into some little market snacks. I had chicken gyozas which just hit the spot. We then disappeared off in search of some alcoholic relief and came across a little pub called Bunch of Grapes. We sat in their beer garden and had a glass of prosecco to toast the weekend. We then ventured back to the flat to get changed and ready for the evening.

On Saturday night we went to Earls Court for dinner at the detective agency Evans and Peele which is quite the experience that I won't spoil for you! The experience was great and the decor was amazing. It was clear the owners had put in a lot of effort to continue the theme inside the restaurant. The food was good and the cocktails great but I was slightly disappointed the the food portions were quite small - I'm a big eater! I would say definitely go there for the experience and for drinks but for food you may be left a little hungry! So order more than you think! P.s. the sides tend to be bigger than the mains, weird huh? After that we headed home, played some cards and drank some beers then hit the hay after a very busy day.


Sunday was my favourite day by far. We woke up after a little long lie and had a yummy breakfast of croissants and jam (reoccurring theme) and coffee. We then headed off to the first stop of the day which was Columbia Road Flower Market. It was such a beautiful sunny day and the colours and flowers were just amazing - I could have nosed around there for so long but the throngs of people just got a bit much! Rhona bought 3 bunches of beautiful tulips then we went on our way to Shoreditch.

We wandered around the windy lanes in Shoreditch and there were so many interesting things to see at every turn. The place was an Instagram addicts dream. It was just so colourful and quirky and I don't think there's anywhere quite like it. After a wander we headed up to Brick Lane for even more markets. Again Brick Lane was so interesting and I got some yummy Japanese street food for lunch. We also dived into an indoor market and a vintage market where I picked up some grey and purple sunnies which I looooove. After all our market exploring we were pretty exhausted so went in search of some refreshment in the form of BEER. We stumbled upon a place called the Crown and Shuttle which had a cool beer garden but it was chockablock so we settled for a little nook inside.

We sat and chatted away for a couple of hours and as cheesy as it sounds it was there I really relaxed and enjoyed the company of some of my best friends. We then headed home to make home-made pizzas and frozen gin cocktails before again playing cards and celebrity guessing games before falling into bed exhausted at 1am.


Monday was our last day in London so we spent most of the morning packing up. We then said our goodbyes (sad face) and headed off to Kings Cross to drop off our luggage. However it was going to cost us £25 for both our bags for 4 hours which is insaaaaane so we decided to just haul them around instead and save our precious pennies. We went off to Old Street to meet Jonty's friend Jake for a quick working lunch at Bodean's which was very good value before grabbing one last pint of Camden Hells and having a quick snoop at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen restaurant. Before we got our train back to bonny Scotland I was determined to grab some time at Liberty London but we ended up only having a mad dash of fifteen minutes in the shop when I could have walked around there for hours. Liberty you're top of my list next time I'm in London. I did however manage to grab the obligatory blogger shot of the flowers outside though... who do you think I am?!

We then made it back to Kings Cross in plenty of time, grabbed some snacks and a longing look at Platform 9 3/4 before jumping on the train back to Edinburgh.

Phew, what a whirlwind (and a very long post!). It was a great trip seeing our best mates and enjoying some of the sides of London that you never experience as a tourist. Here's to our next visit, if you'll have us R&R!

Where are your favourite places to explore in London that are off the beaten track?

Chat soon!

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  1. Looks like a great trip - love your pictures too <3

    Gisforgingers xx


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