Wednesday 14 September 2016

36 Hours in: LONDON

Road trips. The stuff of American movies and car adverts alike. Last Sunday saw me taking the longest car journey I've had to date: Durham to London. Estimated to take around 4 and a half hours after set off at 9am, it was a surprise when travelling lasted a lot longer (think 7 and a half and you've guessed it!). Upon reaching our destination, we hopped onto the tube at Osterley and began our Super-Mini-City-Break in the big smoke.

6pm: We headed from Osterley all the way to Wood Green which is 24 stops on the Piccadilly Line, for dinner at Gokyuzu, which serve up Turkish cuisine. Last year I visited Turkey, specifically Gumbet in Bodrum twice which you can read about here, because not only is the weather lovely, so are the people, and I always find that's what makes such a significant difference to a trip. We then headed off for a walk around London's West End: Leicester Square, China Town, Carnaby Street, Piccadilly and Oxford Street (I know how to pack a lot into a little time - when your trip is condensed, you've got to hit all the good stops as soon as you can). London is unlike many places which I have been which become so silent on an evening. London positively buzzes and there is a constant stream and hum of activity around every corner.
China Town by night

Fluro: Liberty London's window display appeasing the customers
Oxford Street
Finsbury Park was the last stop of the evening and by that time a rest and a lot of tea was in order. I don't know about you but when I travel, I really realise how much I love my tea (anyone who knows me will be aware that I am particularly fond of Earl Grey).
10:15am: The home of hipsters, 'green' lollipops and chill vibes. We started our day bright and early in Camden Town. I like Camden because it is rather different from the other parts of the city. You won't find lots of stressy people in a rush, rather tourists are taking their time to look at all of the creative stuff that's around them and there is a lot, some locals were trying to independently sell their house taped rap music and others were sitting in vegan cafes with friends. We joined the latter, having brunch in Camden's Canal Café, which boasts a grand view of Camden's canal (funnily enough!).

Ladies who brunch: Vegan pancakes at Camden Canal Café
It's all well and good seeing the city by night, but the shops spring to life during the day, so Oxford and Carnaby Street were both on the itinerary on day two also.
12pm-onwards: Oxford Street and New Bond Street have a lot to offer and that's where we spent the afternoon shopping. Victoria's Secret (because their underwear is great) and Harrods were the main points on the hit list, as well as a whizz around Selfridges. I used to live in central London a long time ago until we moved up North; it's a place that's hard to grow tired of because there's always a new restaurant or bar you can try out, a new store opening somewhere, some fashion launch event or a theatre show you can see. This year (so far), this is the third time I've visited London, and I may even be going again for different projects. It's always a place I look forward to being because I know you cannot get bored there.

In VS, Bond Street. (How the staircase in my house will be.)
Harrods: The Shop of Wonders. Located in Knightsbridge, it's a place of great decadence and wealth. It's also unlike any other store because you can order almost anything and they will find a way to locate, source and ship said good to either the store or to you from anywhere in the world.
Because Harrods know how to make a cake. #GBBO #Showstopper
Before heading back to Kings Cross, we stopped at Starbucks in Mayfair and watched the world go by for a little while.
Sipping it up in Mayfair: Is it even Autumn if you don't get an annual Pumpkin Spiced Latte?

Walking by the high end shops on the way back to catch the train. I love how lit up they are on an evening. It's glam and fabulous and it is quintessentially what the West End is all about.
I'm looking forward to going to other cities around the UK this year, especially as Autumn / Winter draw nearer as they will be illuminated with Christmas splendour and markets; it's so bizarre to think we're a quarter of a year away from Christmas again! 102 days exactly today! Wow. Time flies. Have you visited or are you planning on visiting any cities? Let me know in the comments or share the travel inspo on any of my social media channels. Bilgi x

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