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Kitty's Perfect Weekend in London

Hey all! My name is Katelyn Lee, and I am a junior at Wofford College majoring in Biology on the Pre-Dental track. This past fall I had the opportunity of hanging out in London for a few months, and it quickly became my favorite place in the world. London is way more than Buckingham Palace and fish and chips. So, I want to share my “perfect weekend in London” with all of you so that you can experience London in all of its glory. Truth be told, you need almost a full 3 days to really experience all of London. There is more to the city than people realize, and every borough has a completely different feel, so to have a well-rounded trip that doesn't only focus on Big Ben and the London Eye, give yourself plenty of time.

This weekend plan is one that my friends and I followed a time or two (or three), and it goes like this:

Friday morning, Notting Hill. There is nowhere better to brunch than in Notting Hill, specifically at Egg Break, a cute little breakfast/brunch spot disguised among all of the pastel-painted houses. Once your mimosas are finished, spend some time wandering around the borough (the whole place is a photo-op), and there are plenty of boutiques, thrift stores, and coffee shops to pop in and out of. I recommend going to Notting Hill on a weekday rather than a weekend due to Portobello Road market being absolute chaos on the weekend.

Naturally, the rest of the afternoon needs to be spent knocking out all the typical London sights if you’ve never been to the city before. From Notting Hill take the tube to Westminster, and then you are in walking distance from Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. If you have been to London before, my friends and I loved taking the tube to Kensington and spending the day shopping (some of the best shopping in London), house-hunting, and maybe stopping at a pub for a drink or two. For dinner, Dishoom.

London is known for having incredible Indian food, and Dishoom is where it’s at. There are multiple locations, but reservations are almost impossible, so book in advance and shoot for an earlier reservation to have the best luck. (Some must orders at Dishoom: Chicken Ruby, Okra Fries, Garlic Naan). If you’re in the mood for a drink after dinner, head to Gordon’s Wine Bar, the oldest wine bar in London that’s in an underground cave. Some of my favorite abroad memories are from spending hours here with my friends with some really good and reasonably priced wine and charcuterie.

Saturday, you’ve gotta get a traditional English breakfast. You can get one anywhere, but my favorite breakfast spots throughout the city are Popina (Mayfair), 31 Below (Marylebone), or Vertige (Islington). Once all the breakfast beans are gone, my favorite thing to spend a few hours doing was just walking around with absolutely no plan. I really love the Marylebone and Mayfair areas in West London, both are gorgeous and have so many cute shops and restaurants.

My favorite park in the whole city is Regent’s Park in Marylebone, and it just so happens to be Emma Watson’s favorite too, I had a few friends spot her reading on benches or walking around. One thing that you absolutely have to do while in London is High Tea. There’s just something about tiny desserts and a tea sandwich assortment, and the best ones are found at Sketch, The Wolseley, or the Dorchester. An afternoon tea in London is an absolute experience, and it’s one of my favorite ones. It takes a few hours, and it can get pretty fancy, but it is such a good time if that’s your type of thing. After high tea, it’s time to head to East London for dinner and one of the most fun going out scenes in the city. Dinner is hands down at Manteca, the best small-plate Italian restaurant in the city.

I had some of the best pasta and espresso martinis of my life at this place. After dinner, get ready to go out in Shoreditch. We were big live music people, so some of our favorite bars were Old Street Records and Blues Kitchen. On the weekend the tube runs late, so that’s also a huge plus.

Sunday, there’s nothing more English than a Sunday roast. This is the most awaited Sunday activity, and you will find that every single pub in London is booked all day long. For the best Sunday Roast, go to the Fox and the Pheasant in Chelsea. It’s one of the oldest pubs in Chelsea, but the inside is gorgeous, the food is amazing, and the pints are cheap.

After a Sunday Roast, you’ve gotta walk it off, and the best places for this are the Columbia Road Flower Market or Brick Lane Vintage Market, both in East London. If you’re still in town for the sunset, my favorite place to end a weekend was at the top of Primrose Hill. Lots of Londoners flock there with blankets and wine for the sunset and the finest view of London.

That’s it for my perfect weekend, but I’ll drop a few other restaurants and some of my favorite pubs below. London got voted the best city in the world last year, so you should visit (I’m unbiased) ☺

Other restaurants/pubs: Bombay Bustle, Sexy Fish, The GONG, Harwood Arms, Punjab, The Oystermen, Chiltern Firehouse

- Kitty


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