4 Days in London
We’ve been home for quite some time since London but with moving, summer plans and life, this travel guide felt like it took forever to compile. I was so pumped to get to spend 4 full days in London. This was my 3rd time visiting but a first for Adam.
I made the mistake for this trip of flying into Gatwick after seeing a much lower price per ticket than flying into Heathrow. That being said, we didn’t anticipate the 90-pound cab ride to get us into the heart of the city (which translates to $200 CAD). There is a train option from the airport but with 2 pieces of luggage and sheer exhaustion from the red-eye flight, we just wanted to get into town as soon as possible.
We enjoyed a mix of cab rides, Uber and the tube getting around London. We would have enjoyed the subway more but to be honest, the fare was just under 10 pounds per person and most Uber rides would cost about the same, so we’d often opt for that route instead. And don’t be afraid to explore London by foot. Getting lost in Chelsea, Notting hill or Kensington is often one of my favourite past times to do in the city.
When to Go
This is the second time I’ve visited during the May long weekend in Canada (around May 24). The weather is warm enough for a t-shirt or dress during the day and requires a light jacket or trench by night. This time also happens to coincide with the Chelsea Flower Show. Storefronts, hotels and boutiques are covered in faux flowers that make for the most stunning photos.
I would say the room size was on average for London hotel sizes (small!) but there were enough nooks and crannies in the room to accommodate for our luggage and carry-ons. We skipped breakfast at our hotel, but I heard great things about high tea on premises if you’re interested.
We did love the locale of the property. There were great coffee shops nearby, the Subway was a 7-8-minute walk away and restaurants were nearby or a short Uber ride away. And let’s not kid ourselves – the photo opportunities at this spot are too cute to resist.
British Museum: We spent a rainy morning at the British Museum. From the Rosetta stone to Ancient History, there certainly was something for everyone. As with most museums in London, entrance admission is free (you can donate an amount you see fit). On my list for our next visit? National Gallery and Tate Modern.
Buckingham Palace: Yes, we paid a visit. Yes, it was insanely crowded. But it was a must do for the area, especially since Adam had never seen it.
Notting Hill to Primrose Hill: This is my favourite neighborhood to get lost in. We spent an entire morning just roaming around the streets, admiring the colourful doors, pastel buildings, popping into boutiques and more. I spent hours saving spots I wanted to hunt down but to be honest, the area isn’t as large as it appears and finding ‘the pink door’ isn’t as difficult to find as expected.
Chelsea: This was new for me, but we spent a few hours one afternoon wandering around the Chelsea neighborhood. The stunning townhouses, boutiques, perfectly sculpted gardens and more are totally swoon worthy.
Covent Garden: While this neighborhood errs on the touristy side, there’s still something to be said for the neighborhood and vibe. Anticipate major retailers and small stores alike.
Kensington Gardens: The rose bushes at Kensington Gardens are a must-see if you visit in early spring. I stumbled on this park with my sister on our last visit and we were so enamoured with the landscape and rolling hills.
Hyde Park: One of our favourite afternoons spent in London, was visiting a local Tesco for rose, cheese, crackers and snacks and enjoying them in the park. Be sure to look for the swans in the pond – it makes for a picturesque afternoon.
Oxford Street: If shopping is on your agenda, then Oxford Street is your go-to. With almost every luxury boutique you can think of – including the department stores – it’s luxury at its finest. I recommend grabbing a coffee or a pint on a patio here for the people watching – you never know who you’ll see.
Saint Aymes Café: We stumbled on Saint Aymes Café after a stroll through Hyde Park. I highly recommend their rainbow cake and trying to snag a seat outside. Visiting around 3-4PM on a weekday was the sweet spot for getting a good seat!
Sketch: I had the opportunity to visit Sketch on a previous visit with my sis. They were hosting a special during our visit that was quite pricey, so we passed on the opportunity, but it would still be my first vote. From the velvet pink sofas to tea variety and overall vibe of the restaurant, it’s just too good to pass up
Peggy Porschen Cakes: Beware of the bloggers lol! This pink spot is a mecca for all influencers and bloggers so if you’re hoping for that perfect table outside, be prepared to wait. Truthfully, I don’t find the desserts to be OMG-Amazing, but the atmosphere is adorable and who can say no to a pink building with café chairs out front?
Dandelyan: After walking passed Big Ben and the London Eye, we stumbled onto Dandelyan bar. This was a must-do this visit, and we LOVED it! From the botanic inspired menu and helpful bartenders, this was a big win. The colour scheme (emerald and pink) is also interior goals!
Where to Dine
Aubaine Selfridges: After doing some damage in Selfridges, this lunch spot is a MUST do! Try to snag a seat in the back, tucked around the corner to dine under the faux-wisteria.
Bob Bob Ricard: I came here on a previous visit with sissy hoping to spot the ‘Press for Champagne’ button at the table. We adored the décor and offerings, but we did find the meal to be on the pricey side of things. I’d suggest stopping in for a cocktail or their Sunday special fare.
Cecconi’s: I secretly hate that this spot is a chain of restaurants, but we loved the fare in Miami so much and head so many amazing things about this spot, we just had to. I must admit, the Italian fare was unreal and SO SO worth it! We dined for supper, but I do think a seat outside on the patio for lunch may have been better suited for this spot.
The Champion Pub: We wanted something a little more casual one evening and a friend recommended The Champion. We enjoyed a pint outside while waiting for a table and then sat inside for dinner by the open window and loved it. From the music to the people, it was an awesome time!
Farm Girl Cafe: A must-do brunch spot! I highly recommend the lavender latte’s. This is a great joint to visit while touring the Notting Hill area.
Temper: A BBQ inspired restaurant, this spot was Adam’s pick. I’m not usually a fan of red meat but dang this place had it going on. The popcorn appetizer to the ragu and charcuterie board was out of this world!
Must See Boutiques
Fortnum & Mason: Whether its tea, chocolates, cookies or a good browse, Fortnum & Mason is a must see in London. The department store is decked out with the most adorable gifts and goodies. I haven’t tried but their high tea is also supposed to be top notch!
Wild at Heart: You’ve likely seen this spot-on Instagram, but the floral boutique is worth a walk by and a snap or two when in London.