After 2 days in Dublin, my husband and I took a short flight over to London to continue on our whirlwind Europe vacation. We spent two glorious days in London and completely fell in love with the city, so today I’m sharing a guide to central London: where to stay, what to see and do and where to eat.
Lets start with where to stay, because that really dictates where you are going to spend your time, right? My recommended place to stay in London is the London Bridge Hotel. The location of the London Bridge Hotel could not have been more perfect, and the hotel itself could not have been more perfect for our quick 2 days in London.
A stone’s throw away from the hotel (as you can see from the above image) is the Shard which is the tallest building in London – they have a viewing area which one can see great views of the city from.
As soon as you walk into the London Bridge Hotel, you will be impressed by the beauty of the boutique hotel. Everything is gorgeously decorated and very welcoming.
The rooms are so clean and pristine. The bathroom was especially clean and well designed, it looked so spacious because of all the white! You know how some hotels have shampoo and soap that are just ok? Well the London Bridge Hotel had the most luxurious soap collection ever, I totally appreciated the attention to detail.
Speaking of attention to detail – there were gorgeous artwork pieces at the end of each corridor (and in the rooms the artwork was so pretty), and there was this totally adorable tea tray – with biscuits in the room!
The location of the hotel could not have been any more ideal. It is half a block to the tube station, and a block away from the Borough Market (more on the market in a second). Back in high school I became good friends with this girl whose family was transferred from London to Chicago for a year. We’ve kept in touch over the years and when her and her husband came trough Chicago a few years ago we went to dinner with them, so when we were planning our trip I was so excited that it worked out that we got to see them.
On Sunday’s, there’s a restaurant tradition where they serve ‘Sunday Roast.’ Restaurants will serve a roast dinner with yorkshier pudding (it’s like a big fluffy biscuit). I thought it was such a cool tradition, we went to The Pig and Butcher and it was super delicious! It was so great to catch up and have dinner with friends in London. After dinner we said goodbye to our friends and took the Tube (London Underground – train) back to our hotel.
The next day we slept in – something we rarely do (I’m telling you, the beds at the hotel were the most comfortable ever) and after we finally woke up, we took the day to really do some exploring of central London. We started with the Borough Market. You guys – I literally want to move to London just to be close to the market. It’s a collection of vendors that sell fresh produce and restaurants selling various dishes that one can order.
We tried all sorts of things – pastries, sandwiches, smoothies, pasta, candies. EVERYTHING was so amazing. And did I mention it was a block away from the hotel? It was such a surprise to walk around the neighborhood of the hotel and come across the market.
After the market we took the Tube to go do some sightseeing. It was surreal coming out of the Tube station and seeing Big Ben! I definitely spun around and felt like a super tourist as I oooed and aaahed.
As we walked along, we came to Westimster Abbey, an incredibly large and ornate church and decided to spring for the tour (it is a little pricey, but definitely worth it when you get inside).
One isn’t allowed to take pictures inside the church, but the beauty and rich history is almost overwhelming. One tours around the church and sees the many side chapels.
After the tour when one is exiting, one gets to walk through this courtyard surrounded by Gothic architecture.
We then walked walked walked and walked some more. We walked and saw the outside of Buckingham Palace:
We walked along the Princess Diana walk, Parliament Square, 10 Downing Street, the Horse Guards Parade, the Queen Victoria Memorial and then took an afternoon break and had high tea! It was such a fun experience, the mini sandwiches, pastries, scones and tea in tea pots! Just everything about afternoon high tea I want in my life every day!!
In case you’re wondering, yes, I had to ask how to eat the macaron too – you eat the macaron and then squeeze the little shot of filling into your mouth – it’s definitely the best macaron experience I’ve ever had. After tea we wandered over to the London Eye where we did take the tour – when in London, right?
There were gorgeous views of London at dusk:
After all the walking we did (we walked over 10 miles!) we went back our hotel and decided to have dinner at the Quarter Bar & Lounge. Both my husband and I were so impressed by the insanely delicious and beautiful cocktails and the food! We shared sliders, roasted vegetable and goat cheese crostini and koftas – omg, sooo good!
Visiting London? Here is a short guide:
- Stay: at the London Bridge Hotel
- Experience: a Sunday roast dinner (The Pig & Butcher had a great menu selection)
- Explore: the Borough Market (arrive hungry and try lots of things!)
- Tour: Westminster Abbey
- Reserve: High tea – or afternoon tea (they serve it at the London Bridge Hotel!)
- For amazing views: ride the London Eye
- Take: the Tube
Thank you to the London Bridge Hotel for hosting us during our London stay. There was no obligation to write this post, I am doing so because we honestly loved everything about the hotel and I wanted to share my experience with the world. As always all thoughts and opinions are mine alone. Thank you for reading and supporting the brands I partner with, which make the SweetPhi blog possible.