Tuesday, 31 December 2013

London, Great Britain

I finally made it up to compile my favourite spots and to share them with you in London, city where I was born! This was really an affair of my heart which is why I put a lot of time into it and because it was truly hard to make a proper choice. Hopefully you love the city as much as I do besides visiting the Big Ben, Tower Bridge and Oxford Street. Let me tell you that I primarily chose spots that are still reachable for tourists so you don't have to spend time driving to suburbs.

For more pictures click here.

  • Astor Hostels: 3 hostels located in London, I only had a glimpse at the Hyde Park one. And I was really surprised how clean and warm the welcome was.
  • The Arran House Hotel: A small family run hotel, owned by the same family for more than 30 years, brings back the same guests each time as it is known for the warmth and hospitality.
  • 69TheGrove: In central London, this Bed and Breakfast in a Victorian House offers everything one needs to be happy in busy city as London. 
  • easyHotel: Those hotels are popular with young fellows because the value for money is right. Of course one cannot expect any luxury, therefore you only pay some pounds.
  • Apex Hotel: Choose one of the three location ins London's centre and relax in luxurious and spacious rooms! From the 4-star hotel you can expect only the best.
  • Hotel 41: Inhale the history of the Hotel 41 that is around the corner from Buckingham Palace. The ancient ballroom is now a five-star hotel with exquisite service. 
  • Equity Point London: The hostel near Hyde Park impresses with its simple colourful design and is a meeting point for young travelers with low budget. 
  • The Slug and Lettuce, Leicester Square: Only steps away from busy Leicester Square, this restaurant/bar offers of some easy but good dishes while exploring the city. 
  • Jack's Cafe: A stone's throw away from Queen's Park, Jack's serves a variety of world's foods and breakfast all day long. An easy-going place in the heart of London. 
  • The Dove: Dining in a typical English Pub belongs to London as the leaning tower to Pisa. What could be better than having this experience next to the Thames with good basic food? 
  • Polpo: Twice in London (Soho and Covent Garden), I hardly can remember when I last was at such a good Italian Restaurant. The menu might be smaller - that I prefer - but the quality counts and can be evaluated above all expectations. 
  • Cay Tre: Normaly I am no big fan of Vietnamese Cuisine, but this restaurant in London's North East took my attention and gets my fully appreciation. 
  • The 10 Cases: A bistrot is not a revolution. But as long it promises good food and a warm atmosphere, it is worth to be mentioned here. The attention to detail and a friendly service make every night there to a remarkable one. 
  • Assas, Covent Garden: I am careful when it comes to Korean food but the Assas in the middle of the city just convinced me with its extremely low prices for tasty food.
Bars & Nightlife
  • Old Thameside Inn: After a long walk at Southwark in winter you are longing for some strong drink: here I got what I wanted and chose this inn to meet friends when in London
  • Cherryjam: Next to Paddington Station, you can here celebrate with your friends an unforgettable night. Good DJs, good drinks and some choice of snacks invite you to spend some hours dancing!
  • Fluid: Instead of promoting the famous Fabric, I concentrate on Fluid, only some steps away. The Japanese Club has retro furniture and recommendable cocktails. 
  • Lucky Voice: People who love Karaoke will find themselves in a paradise because this bar is about it. With my friends I had so much fun in the Soho place!
  • Guanabara: Where on hearth shall we find a good cocktail with fresh food? I found the answer some time ago: In Guanabara, a Brazilian bar, some steps away from Covent Garden. 
  • Tiger Tiger: Ok, you might meet a lot of tourists that want to party in the city centre as this bar is located next to Piccadilly Circus. But their happy hour offers just unbeatble drinks and the dancing afterwards is fine as well.
  • Starbucks, Shad Thames: Normally I don't promote any chains here, but this Starbucks is my favourite in the entire world. Hidden behind a simple grey door, with many places to seat and with few tourists. 
  • Mrs Kibble's Olde Sweete Shoppe: As a Fan of sweets, I couldn't resist to stop by. In this nostalgic store you feel like 6 again, buying your first own candy. 
  • Albion: Located in the East of London, the Albion is a caff with an in-house bakery and cake counter with British food and products. Lovely!
  • Flat White: Located in vibrant heart of Soho, it is rumoured that on of the best espressi in London is served here. And I agree. Their sweet treats convinced me, too. 
  • The Kensington HotelEnjoy your afternoon tea in the gracious surroundings of The Kensington Hotel - One of the finest luxury London hotels. 
  • Lanka: Delicious cakes. A shop and tea room filled with warm ambiance. What do I want more? Sometimes I pass by to have some take-away and enjoy then lunch in nearby Primrose Hill.
  • The Stables: Personally I am no fan of the Camden Market, but when I went there once I discovered the Stables (especially the end of the mile). Ancient horse stables are now filled with antiquities that I like to rummage in. 
  • Liberty: Of course Harrods is THE department store (and I love it!) in London, though Liberty doesn't need to hide at all. Only the facade is worth a visit.  
  • The East India Company: As India and Britain have a heavy heritage, the store offers food gifts, gourmet foods and luxuries made mostly in Britain but influenced from tastes, cultures and traditions around the world.
  • The Star: Between Shaftesbury Ave and Covent Garden, I found my shopping paradise. The streets are arranged as a star and the buildings are built of brick stones.
  • Primerose Hill: Since I am afraid of dogs, this spot must be really special to me as the park is dog park. But nowhere else the view onto London is so magical!
  • The Borough: Once the district was dark and dangerous. But nowadays the renovated streets and buildings radiates a cosy atmosphere. Start your discovering tour with the Borough Market on Friday or Saturday. 
  • Greenwich MarketDiscover original artworks and handcrafted toys, fashions and handmade jewellery, delicious fresh produce and mouth-watering food-to-go.
  • Chocolate Ecstasy Tour: London is huge and a guided tour is therefore never false. But instead of boring guides, I recommend the Chocolate Tour through different districts and stops at chocolate stores. 
  • The Scoop: Open to everyone, the Scoop is an outdoor sunken amphitheatre with seating for 800. It regularly hosts a variety of free events, especially in summer.  
  • Olympic Park: In 2012 the Olympic Games took place in London and the East district where today the Park is situated got a breath of fresh air. Besides the sports places, I can recommend the gastronomic offers around: Crate BreweryViolet or Cooper and Wolf
Special recommendation
  • Avoid Oxford Street unless you prefer shopping in a anxious atmosphere. Although worldwide known stores are situated in a row, I am seldom successful because I can't bear the stress around. 
  • Hot Tub Cinema: When I first heard about this event, I couldn't believe it until I checked out their homepage. Pick up friends and join this cinema sitting in a hot tub!
  • Portobello Road looks magnificent in the Notting Hill movie, but please don't go the on Saturday when there is market. Tourists push each other through the street, you cannot have a simple glimpse at anything and the beauty of the street is not reflected at all. Take your time another day and forage through the antiquities.
More information
Personal data
  • Visiting Dates: At least once a year
  • Accommodation: Private; easyHotel South Kensington; Hotel Columbus
  • Personal highlight: Sitting on Primrose Hill eating a good sandwich!

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