I’ve been to London seven times now and, like everyone else, have ticked off all the major tourist sights (plus some of my favourite Harry Potter filming locations). However, I keep coming back (mostly because of friends and family in London) but also because each time I visit I uncover another one of the great London gems and something just as new and exciting as the first time I went.
I visited London in May 2019 on a 2 day stopover between Iceland and Morocco. I was staying in Clapham Common with my friend, Siobhan, who I had been travelling around Iceland with. I had done a bit of research on the old Instagram and already had a list of new places I wanted to visit in between seeing friends and family while I was here. Here is what I got up to if you are looking to plan a similar ‘been to London, seen it all, what next’ London trip read on to uncover two days of discovering the best of London’s gems.
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel Stairs
After having breakfast with a friend from Cairns, I set off for a day of hitting the London sights I had yet to enjoy.
My first stop was St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in King’s Cross in search of the famous staircase. I entered the hotel without any knowledge of where the stairs were but just walked around until I found them, pretending to look like I knew exactly where I was supposed to go.
You might recognise these stairs from Spice Girl’s music video Wannabe or from being apart of the world’s most Instagrammable hotel staircases. The exterior of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel also features in the Harry Potter films. The hotel itself was first opened in 1873 and, to no surprise, when you check out this grand stair case, is five star.
The British Library
Head just next door to St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel and you’ll find The British Library. One of the most instagrammable places in London (and Instagrammable libraries in the world? Yeah, I would say so), The British Library is a great place to wander around and admire this incredible bookshelf.
Head towards the River Thames and you will come across Australia House. This is the location of the Australian High Commission in London for over 100 years.
Milk Train Cafe
Walk for about 7 minutes and you’ve probably done enough to earn yourself a very sugary treat. Milk Train is the home of the very Instagrammable fairy floss ice cream cone in Covent Garden. It also tastes just as good as it looks.
Covent Garden Infinity Chamber
While you’re in Covent Garden, might as well have a good look around. This inner London suburb is teaming with London gems, including the Infinity Chamber in Conduit Court.
Street Feast Dinerama in Shoreditch
I finished Day 1 in London at the Street Feast Dinerama in Shoreditch with two of my closest London pals. This place was heaving with people and heaving with London atmosphere.
I started Day 2 tagging along to Siobhan’s work shoot with Visit London. sketch London blew me away, and you can read all about our morning there on sketch London: The Must Do of London.
Two minutes around the corner from sketch London, Maddox Gallery in Mayfair is famous for it’s extraordinary outdoor decorations. I appear to have seen a very tame version (although I was still struck by its beauty) as Maddox Gallery is famous for its array of exterior decorations.
It doesn’t matter which one you go into, they’re all pretty much guaranteed to impress. It sure is relaxing walking through a spot of greenery in the middle of a heaving city.
Peggy Porschen Cakes
Before meeting my third cousin for lunch, I couldn’t resist a quick sweet treat at Peggy Porschen Cakes. The queen of branding, this cake shop has become an Instagrammable icon in London and is a great example of a London attraction that isn’t on the regular London sights list.
Walking through Chelsea
I spent a lot of these two days walking through London rather than catching transport. Walking through London on a sunny (or not so sunny even) day is one of my favourite things to do in London. Plus you get to see cute London gems like this, which I spotted in Chelsea.
I hadn’t been to Notting Hill on my previous trips around London and therefore it was high on my agenda to visit this time. Unfortunately I was running out of time and therefore couldn’t spend as long as I liked but this affluent neighbourhood is well worth spending the afternoon in, even if it’s just day dreaming about owning one of those pastel coloured houses one day.
I finished Day 2 in London having dinner and drinks in Clapham Common with one of my favourite people in this city before flying out to Morocco the next day for the next stage of the adventures. While I was super excited to get to Morocco, I was very upset leaving London and England, which always has a little place in my heart.
Until next time, London. 🙂
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