Personal Style And Travel Blog

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

24 Hours In London

24 hours in an enormous city like London might not seem like enough time, but it’s surprising how much you can actually do and see if you put your mind to it. But out of all the activities, attractions, restaurants and landmarks, how can you possibly decide on a very few that are manageable within 24 hours? As a first-time tourist, this could be a tricky decision to make; however as a self-proclaimed Londoner, the task couldn’t be easier…

Having lived in London for over 12 years now, I have seen and done pretty much everything there is to see and do. By now, I have my favourite spots, which I love to revisit, restaurants I like to dine in and shopping spots, which I love to hate (yes, you Oxford Street). So in today’s post I am taking on Accor Hotels challenge and trying my best to fill you in on how I would spend 24 hours in my favourite city – London.

Getting up really early is not something I like to do often, but when I do, it would only be for a to-die-for breakfast with a friend or two. A killer breakfast is not an issue in a city like London. Pretty much every café is able to provide you with what’s needed; however one of my recently-discovered-turned-into-favorite place is the Chiswick Fire Station. Not far from where I live, incredibly delicious food and a décor that is every blogger’s dream. Pink velvet sofas, giant cacti and a cozy fireplace… So perfect for an early breakfast, brunch, lunch or even dinner. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend this little spot to you.

What’s more convenient is that Chiswick Fire Station is only two train stops away from the iconic Kew Gardens. A place, where I like to swing by right after to either shoot for the blog, get some inspiration or just simply escape the hustle and bustle of a busy London life. It is hard to believe that acres of magnificent forest complimented by tiny cafes are located just 20 minutes away from the heart of the capital. As a tourist or a local, this place is an attraction that  I think you must visit. I know for sure it isn't on everyone's list as it is not as well know as some of the other attractions, so be different and discover something a little more unusual this time.

After I've completed my garden stroll, the clock is slowly reaching past midday. It is lunch time for me, and I head back to the city,  South Bank to be more specific. The home of that famous "Big Ben" view and a London Eye, South Bank is buzzing with tourists by this time of the day. Yes, it can be overwhelming, but the postcard-like view is definitely worth it. On top of this, many attraction are located here too, such as London Aquarium and London Dungeons.

If you are lucky to come to London on a sunny day, you have definitely hit the jackpot. Around this time of the year South Bank is also full of Christmas stalls, pop-up shops and carousels. You can even grab yourself some bread and feed very persistent seagulls, or in my case, get some hot chocolate and relax on a near-by bench, listening to street artists (some are better than others, of course :D ). 

But as much as I love the South Bank, I didn't come here to stay for long... I bet not many know that from Westminster bridge you can walk down all the way to Trafalgar Square, through Leicester Square and Piccadilly, eventually leading you to Regent Street and Bond Street. And that would be my destination, one of many London's shopping districts. From high street on Regent Street to designer on Bond Street, you will be able to find here everything your heart desires. 

Shopping in London during Christmas though, is a whole other story. Okay, there will be some downfalls to this, like ridiculous overcrowding, but the city instantly makes up for that with incredible street decorations and window shops. Thousands of lights in all shapes and colour illuminate London by the time the sun goes down, which is usually around 3-4pm during this time of the year. There is nothing more romantic than this sight, even if you don't have a loved one beside you, you just fall in love with the city instead. 

Having visited many shopping capitals - New York, Paris, Milan and even Dubai, I have never seen a more beautiful Cartier store than the one we have here in London... 

By  the end of the day, around 6pm, after all the walking around and all the shopping, my feet are throbbing and I am in an urgent need of a good meal and a glass of wine or two! Since I was already browsing in Burberry (browsing being the key word, as this is most definitely not my regular shopping destination), it only felt natural to have dinner at their iconic Thomas's Cafe. And yes, they have a cafe inside a store, and it is absolutely amazing. 

Ordering my favourite pumpkin soup and that well deserved glass of wine, I reminisce about the day that has just flown by. Another day in my favourite city, another day that is similar, yet so different to all the others. Similar because it's all the same places I love and visit regularly, and different because experiencing old places with different people, different emotions and even different weather conditions can make you feel like you're a first-time tourist...

All of the images are my own


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