I know it’s already high time to write about my exciting trip to London … since it was for Christmas Shopping last year. I haven’t been to London since I was 15, therefore it was like my first time in the English Capital. We decided to go to London because it’s less than an our fly-time for Zurich, so it’s also worth to go only for two days. But honestly, it was a mistake not to go for an extended weekend … or stay as long as possible!
My memoires of London were not that good, I remembered the snobbish, unfriendly guys, the bad weather and the incredible expensive shops (note that I come from Switzerland which normally beats every other place) and inedible food. That was my impression long ago. But as I have changed during the years, also London appears totally different. I can not say what reason for (if it is London that has changed or if it is just me seeing everything from another point of view)… I instantly had a crush on London!
We arrived at the “Harlingford Hotel”, which is situated at Cartwright Gardens closed to St. Pancras. The hotel is simple furnished but clean and the staff is very polite and helpful. And not to forget, the prices are unbeatable for London and this location. We first explored, on the way to the next tube station (subway) the neighborhood around Marchmont Street where we found a bunch of stylish, good restaurants and coffee shops. Heading to city centre, we were ready to start our christmas shopping marathon. And this was an experience like no other. I share here some of my favorites places, restaurants and shops, maybe some inspiration for your next trip.
BEST IN TOWN
SLEEP Harlingford Hotel good place to stay, very affordable for London, perfect located and good to relax after an exhausting shopping day Ace Hotel London Shoreditch stylish, creative hotel in my favorite neighborhood in London,not cheap but worth the money! 40 Winks Boutique Hotel with just 2 rooms - book as early as possible!
EAT & DRINK Albion Cafe (2-4 Boundary Street|Shoreditch) Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, Deli = just lovely! Brick Lane Beigel Bakery (159 Brick Lane|Shoreditch) Best Bagels in town 24/7 and 25p per beigel! Fernandez & Wells (73 Beakstreet & 43 Lexington|Soho) Great sandwiches and snacks Kaffeine (66 Great Titchfield St.|Fitzrovia) nice coffee shop near oxford street St. John Bread & Wine (94-96 Commercial Street|Spitalfields) Tasty Wine, served with sourdough-bread, chutney's and cheese The Eagle Pub (159 Farringdon Road) authentic pub and restaurant The Duke of Cambridge (30 St. Peter's Street|Islington) another nice pub with a great interior and organic, local food The Crown Tavern (43 Clerkenwell Green|Clerkenwell) Cool pub for drinks & snacks, especially in summer sitting outside FORK (85, Marchmont Street) tasty, fresh breakfast, small and chic Mildreds (45 Lexington Street|Soho) vegetarian oasis in the middle of soho
SHOPS (beside the 'normal favorites like COS, &others stories...) Departement Stores Harvey Nicholas (nice collection of new and known brands) The Liberty (beautiful architecture outside and inside) Other Shop (21 Kingly Street) unknown, small labels between big names, kind of Top Shop unbelievable, how big one store can be! Brick Lane (Shoreditch) One second-hand store follows another A.P.C. (Shoreditch) the french store is a visit worth just because of its design Dover Street Market great concept store Whittard Tea, Coffee and nice tableware > lovely souvenirs
SOUVENIR Whittard Tea & Tee Egg Shortbread, butter cookies