THE TRAVEL GUIDE: LONDON
London is my absolute favourite place in the world, there is just something about it that feels like home. If you haven't seen my youtube video on London, then make sure to click here and like I mentioned in the video, I've been to London quite a few times, so when it comes to my take on the city, it may be a little different to what you would expect from a travel guide. I have seen all the tourist hot spots and icons of London in previous trips that when I go now, I use my time to find new restaurants, hit the shops and catch up with friends, and basically live like a Londoner. I find London to be so much like Melbourne, not because of the weather or the fashion, but because food wise, there are always new places popping up all the time, and it become hard to keep up with what's new and hot, so I've done my best to locate some new favourites and also show you some old favouites which are still going strong.
London is one place in the world, where I don't actually stay in an airbnb, I do find it easier staying in a hotel, as they are smaller terraces hotels, are in perfect locations nearby main train stations and are so easy when it comes to early check in or leaving your suitcases somewhere when you've just landed, as majority of our flights from Australia do land early morning. We always stay in Paddington and if you have a look on Booking.com or any booking site you will find countless places to stay, just read the ratings and look at the prices, as most of them are very similar so it doesn't matter too much which hotel you select. Why Paddington, you ask? Because it is walking distance to NottingHill, my favourite suburb, on the central tube line which will get you to Oxford Circus in 10 minutes, and is walking distance to Paddington station which is where you will most likely catch the train to from the Airport, so less walking and stairs with your suitcases.
I have three new favourites in London and one old favourite which I can't go past (if I can get a booking) every time I visit. We started off strong this holiday with the Vegan diet and found so many amazing Vegan friendly spots in London. My absolute favourite, which even my boyfriend agreed was incredible, was TYF London. It opened the weekend we arrived in London and I made a booking asap, so we would be able to go for dinner. It's opened by Tiff and Lucy from Made in Chelsea, who switched to Veganism for health and sustainability and have since created cookbooks and a brand from their love for food. Their dad also owns several pubs in London, so you knew it was going to be amazing. We had the padron peppers which are our favourite snack from Spain, the tuna tartare which has the same texture as tuna, but is made of tomatoes, cucumber and wasabi, and then for main had the fish and chips, which I need the recipe for because I've been craving it ever since. The crumbed eggplant and cashew tartare, mimics the best pub fish and chips, without even being fish.
175 New King's Road, Fulham, London SW6 4SW
My other new favourite is Dishoom in Carnaby, the food is authentic Bombay Indian food, and it is so so delicious. Not only is it in a vast restaurant, with skylights, lounge areas, and set out like a home, but of course a very decadent home, it is one of those restaurants, where the staff are just incredible and they 'take you on a journey' when describing the menu. The other thing I love is the staff help with ordering, as it is designed to share, so they'll tell you when you've ordered enough and when you pick the dishes you'd like to order, they recommend other dishes to go with them. They also have a large vegan menu, which is a plus. It was also recommended by the gorgeous Kelsey.
22 Kingly Street, London, W1B 5QP
Another amazing spot in is Farmacy Kitchen, and in gorgeous Notting Hill. I haven't tried the breakfast, apparently it is amazing, but everything is plant based and ethical, and the restaurant focuses on community cooking to create awareness for a healthy lifestyle. It's also in a beautiful building, covered in vines.
74 Westbourne Grove, London, W25S8
My other favourite, which is an old favourite is the Hind's Head Pub in Bray. It is of course by my favourite chef Heston Blumenthal, and last time I was in London I went alone and treated myself to the best pub meal you will ever eat.
The Hind’s Head, High Street, Bray SL6 2AB
As always, Australians do breakfast the best and this is no exception. Farm Girl is a typical Aussie breakfast, from avocado toast, to pancakes, and then vegan, gluten free and dairy free options, the food is delicious and the range of coffees is just as impressive. The great part about the Portobello Road location, is that after breakfast you can go for a walk around Notting Hill and of course head to the Portobello market, for some amazing vintage finds.
59 Portobello Rd, W11 3DB
When it comes to the most instagrammable cafe and the best cakes and coffee, Elan Cafe should be at the top of your list, and rightly so because their cakes are so delicious, especially the black forest. All of the cakes are lined up in the window so you can see which one you're ordering, but be warned because looking at them all makes the decision so much more difficult.
239 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, SW3 2EP
Hello another Australian chain, Daisy Green Collection is one of my favourites and was recommended by the gorgeous Danii to visit the venue in Little Venice. Every venue is different and since I've been home, they've introduced a bottomless brunch, so I think I will be booking another London trip so I can try the brunch.
Unit 6C, Sheldon Square, London W2 6EZ
London is just a place to explore, so catch the train to Bond Street for brunch at Aubaine's in Selfridges, the wander down the shops to Oxford Circus and continue down to Harrods. Just a little further along is Elan Cafe so stop for a cake and coffee. If you're staying in Paddington, then walk to Notting Hill for breakfast at Farm Girl, and stay around there to see beautiful art galleries, florists and the cutest boutiques, stop off at Farmacy for lunch and if you're staying in the area, head to a pub for dinner.
Other amazing spots I have been previously are Kensington Palace, Tower Bridge and of course the London Eye. You can easily book a trip on the London Eye to see London from it's best side, then walk up the bank to Tower Bridge and visit a couple galleries along the way. Cross Tower Bridge and you'll be in Shoreditch which is a very grungy, cool suburb with some great restaurants and vintage stores.
This time, we had a spare day and I decided to head to Bicester Village for something different. Bicester Village is outlet stores, for designer brands, but is nothing like we have in Australia, it is beautiful, all outdoors, and such an amazing day trip for some bargains from Chloe and the likes, and only an hour by train from London.