-- 48 HOURS IN THE CITY AND ONE MINI ADVENTURE --
A vibrant city in constant change. To explore new things and places is the best thing we know. We always carry a big notebook in our bags filled with ideas and things to do. Places to eat, places to go and places to be. To pick our favorite gems in London is no easy task because there are so many of them and there is always a new possible fave spot lurking around the corner. Below you will find a great amount of our current London cherries anyhow.
Psst. Print the map and the mini guide to follow the exploration while reading
Breakfast is the best meal of the day, especially when you're in no rush. Start the day at
26 Grains, a porridge cafe in cosy Neil`s Yard, a place where you can hide from the central London buzz. A favorite is the hazelnut and butter porridge which contains almond milk, oats, butter, hazelnuts, cinnamon, coconut palm sugar and apple. Pop in around the corner at Monmouth, buy a coffee and a croissant to take away. The Mounmouth coffee shop on Mounmouth street is the first one and started in 1978 with roasting and retailing coffee. If you like cheese as much as we do then you also need to have a quick stop at Neil`s Yards Diary, this is a little piece of heaven.
The museums in London are many so pick the ones that seems most interesting to you. Somerset house in the heart of London does always have something interesting to show, especially in the west wing which also mostly is for free. Exhibitions we have seen here are for example the Return of Rudeboy. Exploring the style and importance of the 21st century Rudeboy created by photographer and film maker Dean Chalkley and creative director Harris Elliot. We've also seen a Series of portraits by photographer Mr Elbank in which all of the subjects sport a beard. We also really liked the Rock and Roll Retrograde with photos by Chris Stein and just recently The London Design festival 2015 who showed some interesting things from the design world.
Take a walk to the other side of the Thames; down south, and have lunch at Maltby street market. To visit at least one food market is a must when visiting London, most of them are on the weekends so look it up before you go. Today we choose the Mexican kitchen, local beer and a little rest in the sun and watching people. Close by, still in Bermondsey is the gallery White Cube, a super nice place. When we were visiting, they showed art by Marc Quinn - very beautiful sculptures.
Head back to the central parts of London again since now it is time for afternoon tea at
Mr Fogg`s. When you walk through the door at Mr Fogg`s it is like stepping in to another world. This places is filled with all these quirky things from around the world on the walls and it feels like you're in the residence of the eccentric British adventurer Mr Fogg`s. Order tipsy tea and chitchat in a sofa.
Bubbledogs is the place for dinner tonight. They serve two simple things together and it is an absolute hit. Hot dogs, champagne and possibly some sweet potato chips, Yummy! The evening keeps going but we are now heading up north to our favorite brewery bar. Camden Town Brewery is a chill place where you can have a pint or two in their brew bar. They also have a popcorn machine, super duper!
If you're not tired yet, The Southamptons Arms is well worth a visit. This ale and cider house support micro brewers, this pub and its people are always in a good mood. If you are rather up for a well made cocktail, pop down in the re-made public toilet. The Ladies and Gentlemen is a small place with excellent drinks and cosy atmosphere.
Brunch time! The Bourne and Hollingswoth Buildings is a place where you can hang out for hours, eat good food and sip on a brunch cocktail. The egg royal is very yummy and the whole place is a very pretty spot. After brunch, head down to the canal and walk towards east london and some shopping. Have a mini break at the Towpath cafe right by the river and if the weather is sunny, order their home made ice cream to enjoy outside while strolling along.
Have a little stop at Columbia road, on Sundays this road is completely transformed to a street market with flowers everywhere but we like to visit the street a normal week day as well and pop our head in cute shops like Captured by. Closer to Old street you will find shops such as Material and Goodhood, don't forget their basement interior shop which is amazing.
In London there is a lot of great street art, especially in east London. Camille Walala is recognized for her kinda 80's print style and we love it - it definitely put a smile on your face. If you want to learn more about street art in London you can always join a street art walking tour, visit alternativelnd.com for more info, we really recommend it. As a Swede their are these special moments when you crave for a good cinnamon bun, happily for us Fabrique Bakery make awesome ones.
Calvert ave is filled with pretty little shops. You will for example find stores like O`dell`s, Wonderound and Oliver Spencer. Have a little eye opened for the lovely books from Hoxton mini press who tells stories in different themes about East London.
Lunch o clock! Rochelle Canteen is a hidden gem just behind Arnold Circus. You press the button at the door to Rochelles school and then voila, you are suddenly in this cosy little yard. The menu is a day to day one, the kitchen take care of all their food and you can really feel the sustainability thinking at this place. The quenelles with kale is oh so good. If you wish to have wine to your food, bring it with you for a fiver.
Let`s keep shopping. Stores that are worth a visit is for example Labour and Wait, Monolouge for interior things and Boxpark with a lot of mini pop up shops. If you are looking for vintage clothing then Brick Lane is the street for you. The prettiest porcelain is to be find at Jimbobart shop and working studio and the most amazing umbrellas at London Undercover. YMC, you must create does beautiful clothing and also Med winds and Albam.
Enjoy an after shopping drink on the roof terrace at The Culpeper and then end the evening with dinner at Corner Room in the Town Hall Hotel and maybe a little drink just next door at Peg + Patriot. Corner Room is situated together with a michelin star restaurant and the amazing menu is enjoyed at great value.
Start the last day of this little guide in Islington with brunch at Sunday. The food is kick as, we could eat the whole menu because everything looks super good. There is a lot of great shops around the Islington area as well. We like the Twentytwentyone and Folklore interior shop, Freddie Grubb bike builders who have done an interesting bicycle collab with the watch brand Instrmt and with leather details from Longside Leather. Present & Correct for office stuff and notebooks. Close by you will also find Exmouth market filled with nice spots and also Camden Passage with a bit of treasure hunting a la old things but you will also find the cute shop Smug and the vintage shop the Fat Faced Cat here. Have a quick espresso break at The Coffeworks Project and don't forget to try their marshmallow thing, it is amazing!
But now, let`s go for a little mini city break!
Richmond park is situated around an hour from London city centre. The park is an excellent little escape if yo feel that London is a bit intense. Have an autumn stroll in the large park and look for deers, they walk around in the park a bit here and there and they are not particular afraid of humans. Bring some snack a la mini pic nic style or have a tea break at Peterham Nurseries, a tranquil oasis.
After a few hours in Richmand park, take the Overground back to East London and have a little nibble at Hatch, which always have nice collabs with different food companies. Our fave is the mini pancakes from Planet Pancake. Continue to the Howling Hops brewery and tank bar and they will give you a freshly made pint, numer 3 is our favorite. Dinner tonight is at Rok smokehouse, a Nordic barbeque kind of place. A must-try is the scallop as a starter, so good! The duck is brilliant as well. End the night with drinks at Lounge Bohemia, a place where the coctails are made with love.
Our best tips of what to bring home from London:
Umbrellas from London Undercover
Plates from Jimbobart
Cute illustration from e.g. Lucie Sherdan and Crispin Finn
Books from Hoxton Minipress
Mini travel guides from Herb Lester. Our fave guides is Londons Larder, Untaimed London and A London Pub for Every Occasion.
Meringues in different colors by Meringue Girls
Waving Queen of England toy