Although I've been to many great cities, London is still my favourite city in the world. I lived there from 2011 till 2014 and those were some of the best years of my life (so far!) Since I still have some good friends living there I try to go back once in a while. I kind of spontaneously booked this trip a couple of weeks ago since I had never actually been in London in the middle of summer. I stayed with a friend and didn't have any real plans apart from wandering around, catching up with my friends and eating good food. I arrived Thursday morning and left Saturday late afternoon, so almost 3 full days. In this post I wanted to share with you new discoveries and old favourites to give you some inspiration for your next trip to London (check my London map for more)
This is a relatively new franchise in London, and it’s probably my favourite new discovery. Sourced Market is a kind of deli/market where you can find speciality products such as delicious chocolates, wines, beers, vegan cheese, almond butter, baked sweets, charcuterie and bread. There are also a lot of to-go drinks like fresh juices and coffee, and food like sandwiches, wraps and salads. My very favourite thing about Sourced Market is their iced latte, because they have Bonsoy, which is a delicious kind of soy milk I discovered in Australia. 10/10!
Try this: Soy iced latte & the salted caramel slice
SELFRIDGES ROOFTOP GARDENS
One of the best places for a drink on a sunny day is the Selfridges rooftop. The restaurant theme is different each year, but the view remains unbeatable. The garden theme this year is very charming and makes it the perfect place to start off a girls night out while catching the last rays of sunshine. The truffle fries are a must-order and on extra hot days, you should definitely get an alcoholic icicle!
Try this: Truffle fries & bellini pop
SAVAGE SALADS & GOLDEN SQUARE
This is still one of my favourite market food stalls ever. Savage Salads whips up the tastiest salad combinations which hit the spot every single time. Have it with halloumi and/or thyme chicken. Walk over to Golden Square where you can join Londoners on their lunch break and feel a little bit like a Londoner too.
Try this: Halloumi salad
WHOLE FOODS MARKET
Whole Foods (Piccadilly or High Street Ken) is heaven for any foodie. Wander around, fill up your shopping basket and make sure not to miss the snack section near the tills. Whatever you’re looking for is here: organic, gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free but also cheeses, meat & fish, fresh bread, pizza… If you’re in need of a snack or a quick lunch, Whole Foods is a perfect spot.
Try this: As much as you can possibly manage.
SERPENTINE PAVILION & HYDE PARK
Walking in the London parks was and is one of my favourite things to do in the city. You can take a girl out of nature but you can’t take the nature out of a girl ;) or something like that! Hyde Park has the most things ‘to do’ in terms of restaurants, galleries, cafés and sports, and the new fibreglass structure by Bjarke Ingels at the Serpentine Pavillion has been recently added to this list. It houses a little café so while you’re admiring the shapes and forms of this architectural structure you can have a tea or coffee, and the continue your walk through the park. It's there until October so don't miss out!
Whenever you’re unsure about where you’d like to have dinner, Soho is a good place to head to. Here you can literally find all the cuisines you can imagine. Opposite Barrafina (best tapas in London), you’ll find Chotto Matte, a South-American Asian fusion restaurant. It has a much younger vibe than other great Asian restaurants like Roka and Zuma. I’d recommend ordering some snacks to share, along with some cocktails. A good spot to go to before a night out (don't forget to check out the partyparty-bathrooms).
Try this: Yellowtail truffle tostadita
This is a classic pub in Marylebone where I used to go for drinks when I lived in the area two years ago. I’d only tried the food here once and I wasn’t all too impressed, but I think they’ve had a bit of a menu restyle since. My friend and I went here for breakfast after a morning walk in Regents Park. The avocado toast was on point, with nicely toasted bread and lots of fresh avocado on top (I like it more when it’s unsmashed, so plus points for that). It’s also cheaper than most places in the area, so if you’re on a bit of a budget this is perfect. Take a seat outside on a nice day, there’s sun almost all day here!
Try this: Avocado toast
JOE & THE JUICE
They’ve opened a couple more Joe & The Juices since I’ve left London, and it feels like they’re everywhere now. There’s a really nice one now in Marylebone, which is much more relaxed than the other ones. A good spot to sit down if you want to get some work done and/or meet with a friend.
Try this: Pick Me Up & avocado sandwich
This Greek restaurant on Primrose Hill had been on my list for absolutely forever, so I’m glad I finally got to try it. This might be one of the most genuine places I’ve been to in London. The whole place is run by Greeks, which means that there's a great atmosphere and makes the guests feel like they’re on holiday somewhere in Greece. The food is no-fuss, simple and tasty. A perfect place to go with a big group of friends!
Try this: aubergine dip, tzatziki & vegetarian moussaka
DRINKS AT CHILTERN FIREHOUSE
When I just moved to Marylebone in 2013, this place hadn’t even opened yet. This was probably THE celebrity hotspot of the past couple of years, but it seems to have quieted down a little. Although Chiltern Firehouse is a hotel first and foremost, most Londoners come here for the restaurant or bar(s). The bar is impressively decorated and really cosy, you could pretty much spend hours here if you’re in for a relaxed Friday night.
FARMACY NOTTING HILL: BRUNCH
This place is the newest kid on the brunch block on Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill. Opening up near brunch heroes 202 and Granger & Co. is a brave move, but Farmacy differentiates itself through its mostly plant-based menu. Although the menu is relatively short, there are many vegan options to choose from. There’s nothing hipster or hippie about the restaurant; it’s fresh, bright and the food is beautifully presented. The staff is friendly and unpretentious, and the buckwheat pancakes are absolutely delicious. Farmacy is still relatively unknown now so check it out before everyone else does ;)
Try this: Buckwheat pancakes & avocado toast
A short but sweet couple of days in London! I hope some of these tips will come to good use on your next trip. There's so much more of course, but at least I can recommend you these, and these places!
What's your favourite spot in London?