“In London, everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in.” Paddington Bear.
We know that London is among the most visited destinations in the world and there are tons of things to do and see. Probably three days is not enough to visit all the main sights but I've never liked the idea of being dependent on the timeframe to be able to visit a place or postpone my travel because the time won't be enough. On the contrary, I always manage the time I have to make the most of my trip and never postpone it.
Today, I'm highlighting my last trip to London and what I could do in such a short time.
First thing first, who thinks of England thinks of afternoon tea where this ritual is shared between family and friends and is usually composed of light sandwiches, scones (mainly plain) served with lemon cream and jam, sweet pastries, and cakes.
After several days searching for a good place in downtown London, I found many good places and the Drawing Room at the Brown's Hotel in Mayfair London was among them.
This was an extraordinary tea room that combines both tradition and a homey atmosphere.
The selection of the teas is so large that will probably take you a while before you decide what to get. Now for the menu, they offer traditional menu, plant-based and vegetarian menus. The culinary journey starts with some cucumber mint cream cheese spelt bread sandwiches, smoked salmon, capers on brown bread, salt beef horseradish mayonnaise on rye bread, or -if you are a plant-based person- the roast beetroot, pumpkin seed pesto on spelt bread, and the quinoa cracker, cashew nut hummus with green chili were so delicious.
I know that you are already hungry but wait, still, so many things will be served after these sandwiches. The staff will keep an eye on you to make sure to not serve the warm scones before you are ready. These are served with lemon clotted cream and homemade jam.
Then comes the desserts which are just as decadent as the rest of the menu. The sweet tarts, the honey lemon mascarpone mousse, and the maple choux will be the last things to wrap up this unforgettable experience.
The price of this fine afternoon tea is: £55, around $74
A photo shooting session
For the first time I decided to book a photo shooting session with a professional photographer and I did not regret it.
I booked this experience through Airbnb and it was all worth it. Jamie had only five stars on his profile which attracts me the most, and everything was as described. He sent me directions for where we were going to meet, he arrived on time and offered me coffee.
The session will be mainly in Westminister but Jamie did ask me if I had specific places I wanted to shoot at. He made me so comfortable and not only that, Jamie was so knowledgeable about the history of each sight. So it was not only a photo shooting session but I heard a historical story about each place and hidden gem we passed by in a friendly and professional manner.
The prices might change depending on which time of the year you are heading to London. For my trip which took place the second week of November, I paid $66.
Here's a link to his profile on Airbnb if you are interested in such a wonderful experience:
The Green Park is one of London's eight Royal Parks and covers an area of just over 40 acres.
It is called Green Park because King Charles II wanted to be able to walk all the way from Hyde Park to St James's without leaving royal soil, so he acquired land between the two established parks, put a brick wall around it, and called it Upper St James's Park. In 1746, Upper St James's was officially renamed The Green Park.
In November, this place was colorfully spectacular. With the foliage all the way around, it was the perfect day out to enjoy the beauty of nature.
The Green Park is an attractive and tranquil place where you'll enjoy seeing common birds such as blackbirds, starling, and tits.
I'll definitely return to this paradise in the future.
I've read and heard that Oxford Street is the world's biggest high street, offering 1.5 miles of unrivaled shopping, with more than 90 stores from fashion and beauty to tech and homeware.
Around 600,000 people visit Oxford Street every day – a third from overseas – and apparently, it's a spot that the locals try to avoid.
I personally enjoyed being around this place, that's the heart of London where people gather, have coffee, go shopping, hold business meetings, where tours are kicked off from.
Walk a mile From Oxford street to get to this famous department store. Whether you are shopping or not, it's a landmark that shall be visited due to its history which dates back to the 1800s, it's synonymous with luxury and opulence.
With more than 300 departments and 1.1 million square feet of selling space, it's also the largest department store in Europe. I went there first because I always wanted to and second to get my famous chocolate brand Patchi which was sold only here.
You can pass on if you are so limited in time. My chocolate purchase was all worth it and I was not going to leave London without it.
A five hours walking tour
A tour of London is really a tour of history. The city is rich with history and stories but also modern and exciting at the same time.
You can do a five hours tour as you can do a three hours walking tour if that is more convenient for you.
This was a fun tour by London Top Tour. It included 30 of London must-sees in five hours. It covered two major areas the Westminster and the London Bridge area also known as the Southbank.
We started in Green Park & then we headed to Westminster. The sights that were covered were the Buckingham Palace (Changing of the Guard), Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Parliament Square, the Houses of Parliament (Westminster Palace).
We then went to the London Bridge area to visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, The Shard, HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge, London Bridge, and the Tower of London.
The tour was guided by Tim. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of almost every building and point of interest. I was really impressed. He was funny, entertaining, and informative all at the same time. If you're looking for a great walking tour of London, I'd recommend this tour agency.
How to get around in London
The underground transportation is the quickest and cheapest way to get around London. And for that, you need to buy the Oyster Card sold at Heathrow airport or train or any metro station. You can charge it and keep loading it as much you may need.
And before you head out from London you can get reimbursed for the balance on the card again at any train or metro station. Or keep it for your future trips as it doesn't expire.
I found it very helpful and cheap than buying a ticket by cash each time I was in the underground stations and it was mainly the transportation I've used during my trip.
Things to pack for London in November
A trench coat or a winter coat if you get cold as I do;
Super comfortable sneakers as you'll do a lot of walking;
Comfortable rain booties or waterproof shoes;
Two long sleeves t-shirts;
Two dressing shirts;
Four pairs of socks;
One Underwear per day;
Flu, pain Medicines;
Toiletry bag with your needs (moisturizer, fragrance, deodorant, lip balm, etc ) respecting the size allowed by airports for a carry-on bag;
An electric adapter for England.
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