I love London! I was so happy to be able to spend a couple of days there last fall. I could go on and on and on about this city, and I will... There is so much to do in a city like London it can be hard to choose where to spend your time, maybe this will help.
We always stay at the Andaz London Liverpool Street, it’s a points thing. It’s a beautiful hotel, the service is excellent and the rooms are well appointed (they just renovated). It’s also right next to Liverpool Street station and within easy walking distance of Spitalfields Market, Petty Coat Lane, St. Paul's Cathedral and the Shoreditch neighborhood.
We had to eat at St. Johns Bread and Wine, and it was great! The atmosphere is low key and the food is fantastic. If you haven't heard of St. Johns its considered to be one of the best restaurants in London, they serve traditional but elevated British food. If you don’t like meat you might want to go somewhere else.
My other favorite place to eat in London is Borough market, there is fresh produce but also a ton of food trucks and some really great shops.
I’m up for high tea any where they serve it. This trip we went to the Thames Foyer at the Savoy and it was magical, right up to and including the little girl who spontaneously danced for the entire room while accompanied by the pianist. The Savoy tea room is classically British and fancy without feeling uncomfortable.
I’ve also been for tea at the Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason before. It’s a bit more Alice and Wonderland than the Savoy, but every bit as wonderful.
Monmouth Coffee is in Borough Market, which is convenient because I get to kill two birds with one stone. This is the cutest little shop, they make a great drip brew coffee and have an awesome neighborhood vibe.
Honestly, I’m pretty happy in any pub in London, from the neighborhood local to the big corporate owned ones. There is always the historic route, there are many options and everyone seems to have their favorite, my husband loves the St. George Inn.
As far as cocktail bars go, this is more of a wish list as I haven't made it to any yet. The next time I’m in the city I’m definitely going to Sketch London and The American Bar at the Savoy, which was named the best bar in the world. .
I try not to make any major purchases while I’m in the UK because the VAT is so high (20%), but my favorite place to shop is without a doubt Fortnum and Mason. Where else can you buy fancy groceries from someone wearing a jacket with tails? They are famous for their hampers, and I love to pick out some fancy picnic fair and take it over to the bird pond at St James Park. Old Spitalfields Market is a great eclectic mix if you’re looking for interesting stuff. Liberty London is totally worth a visit, it’s a beautiful old department store and its the home of Liberty fabric if you feel the need to go stand and drool in front of it… no just me?
There is so much more to see and do in London, this is barely even the tip of the iceberg. I'm already counting the days until I can go back.