London, United Kingdom is a great and well known travel destination. There is Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the famous London Bridge, left sided driving and double decker buses to intrigue any traveler to visit. London also has an underrated thriving food scene. If you are someone such as myself, you might have been to and through London on many different traveling adventures. London Heathrow airport is the second busiest airport in the world when it comes to international travel and serves as a major layover hub. Frequent travelers have probably done and have seen the expected tourist traps and are not interested in the same. Whether you’re just passing through London for a stopover or its your final destination, sometimes it can seem overwhelming trying to decipher what to see and eat in this major cosmopolitan city. Whether your time in this large metropolis is limited or not, it helps determining and coordinating where you want to go ahead of schedule. I decided to assist anyone interested in spending 24 hours in London by providing a day-guide below. Cheerio!
Crosstown doughnuts– Definitely start your day off early with some much needed vittles. This donut shop has many locations located throughout London and for good reasons. Crosstown is well known for its freshness and creative flavors. This shop prides itself in sourcing its ingredients locally so everything is super fresh. They feature vegan and non-vegan original flavor varieties as well. The doughnuts are so amazing that they usually sell out within a few hours. During one of my visits to London I learned my lesson the hard way as I traveled to three (I was determined) different locations late in the day only to discover that all of the locations were completely void of any doughnuts. That being said, start your day off right so you don’t miss out on this fried dough bliss.
Oxford St.- After stuffing your face with fried deliciousness burn those calories off with some retail exercise. Oxford St. is London’s most famous shopping street. This point of interest features miles of high and low end retail shops, along with pubs and restaurants. You could easily spend your entire day on this one street. Oxford Street is a great place to scoop up some souvenirs or just window shop if you’re not looking to spend all those pounds. It is easily accessible via the Tube system which is also a bonus. This area can get busy and filled with tourists so plan your day accordingly and start early before it gets too crowded to appreciate.
Collin’s Room– You can’t go to London and not experience a traditional English tea. The Collin’s Room tea at The Berkeley Hotel features an afternoon Prêt-à-Portea, a delectable homage to the world of fashion. I had the pleasure of enjoying an afternoon tea here with my mother during her birthday trip and its positively worth the visit. For anyone who loves food and fashion, such as myself, I recommend this afternoon tea extravaganza. This special tea features amazing sweet and savory treats inspired by the freshest designs from Fashion Week. I truly appreciated the vegetarian options and the expansive worldly tea menu. The décor and atmosphere make it an unforgettable experience. I would definitely make reservations for this enticing memorable experience. (More information here)
Chalk Farm, London– This area is a diverse community located on the northern end of Camden Town’s famous, expansive market. The wide array of stalls in the Stables Market sell vintage fashion, crafts, and antiques. Chalk farm road features cool vintage boutiques and cafes without the pretentious hipster feel. You can’t visit this area of London without checking out Amy Winehouse’s statue and a show at the famous Roundhouse Theater. The Roundhouse Theater is a famous performing arts center that features up and coming live music performances, circus acts and alternative theater. When my mother and I visited London for her birthday celebration we had the opportunity to see one of my favorite artist Janelle Monae perform. I appreciated the Roundhouse theater because of its smaller, circular venue. I was able to see Ms. Monae up close and the acoustics were amazing.
The Mayfair Chippy– After the show enjoy a delicious night cap at The Mayfair Chippy. This quintessential restaurant features some of the best beer battered fish I’ve ever had in my life. It has great ambience and amazing food. The mushy peas will change anyone’s negative option about the green vegetable because they are so well seasoned and a great accompaniment to the fish and chips. I especially love the curry dipping sauce that came with my fish basket. This place is absolutely worth a visit, but make sure to place reservations at one of their two locations. Also be sure get here before closing time at 9:45pm, as everyone is trying to get a seat at the table. (See my Yelp review here).
*Bonus- If you have more than 24 hours to spend in London I highly suggest booking a day trip to Stonehenge. Stonehenge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and not far too from the city of London. My mother and I also had a chance to spend the day there on her birthday during our trip, which made it even more remarkable. The best way to travel there would be the train in my opinion. It’s a very scenic trip that allows you to view the plush and green hillsides of England. Just make sure that you buy the correct train ticket to the city of Salisbury from the London Waterloo station. Once you arrive in Salisbury take some time to visit this adorable quaint little town. You can also book a Stonehenge Bus tour which provides you a guided tour of the city of Salisbury on your way to Stonehenge and picks you up right outside the train station. Stonehenge itself has wonderful grounds, a visitor center and shop for you to enjoy your full day visit.