I visit London all the time – be it for a shopping trip, to see a show or just because I’m craving Shake Shack, I end up there quite a lot. However, I recently realised I’ve never properly done the tourist thing – I mean I’ve been on the London Eye, but there’s so much more that I haven’t had the chance to see. I decided it was definitely time for me to go to London and actually see London, so I went on a long weekend trip away with my family.
We arrived on our first day totally starving, so we decided to take a trip down to Soho to have lunch at the Red Dog Saloon. My brother had really wanted to visit this place, and honestly we all left a little disappointed. Although the restaurant had a really cute, Western-style atmosphere, the service was pretty poor and the food was way overpriced. The cocktails were actually super good, although they did take about 15 minutes to arrive – I had a Cherry Mash Sour, which had just the right amount of zestiness and was incredibly refreshing, and my mum had a really delicious Margarita.
Since it was only lunch we decided to just order a couple of starters and sides to share. We got some mozzarella sticks and Texan Chilli Potato Skins, both of which were pretty good, and we also ordered their famous buffalo wings which were way too salty in my opinion – we actually had to leave a couple because we couldn’t finish them. We had also ordered some fries which never arrived, but luckily we were able to get them taken off of our bill. The crazy part about the awful service was that there were only about four other tables there, so it wasn’t like they had a huge rush or anything. I don’t know if the Red Dogs in other locations are any better, but I definitely won’t be going back again.
After a pretty disappointing lunch, we headed over to the British Museum – somewhere I really wanted to visit. I absolutely love history, especially Ancient History, so I was super excited to see all the different artefacts that they had on display.
The museum itself is absolutely huge and really pretty, but it did get pretty crowded in some of the more popular exhibits such as the Rosetta Stone and the Ancient Egyptian Mummies. Although it ended up getting quite busy, I really enjoyed walking around and seeing all the amazing things from the past and from various cultures – it’s an awesome way to have a free day out.
We were pretty exhausted after a morning of travelling and a day at the museum, so we decided to find a nice place for an early dinner before resting up for the next day. We ended up finding a Bill’s about five minutes away from our hotel, and as it was somewhere we’d always wanted to try we thought it was the perfect place.
It had been a super long day so I decided to wind down with a Whiskey Sour that was legitimately one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. It was a combination of bourbon, lemon juice and pink lemonade and I honestly wish I could drink it forever.
To start, we decided to share some flatbread with avocado hummus and some fried halloumi sticks – both starters blew us away with how amazing they were and were the perfect size without being too filling. I ordered a buttermilk chicken burger for my main course and it was just as delicious as the starter, plus it came with sweet potato fries which were awesome. My brother and I shared a dessert of mini cinnamon doughnuts that were so good that we started eating them before I could even get a picture! But trust me when I say they were totally incredible. This meal definitely made up for the lunch we had earlier, and we left feeling super full but super happy.
We had planned for day two to be the super intense sightseeing day, and boy were we right. Luckily we had some pretty great weather, and it only started to get cloudy and a little chilly towards the evening.
We started off at the London Zoo where I got to see so many cute, tiny animals that made me seriously miss my puppies. It was actually a much bigger zoo than I thought it would be, and it never got too crazy busy which I was super happy about. There were so many different exhibits to visit, including an aquarium and a nocturnal animal section, so you can really have a full day out.
Although I mainly took pictures of the smaller animals (meerkats and lemurs are adorable, okay?!), there were loads of bigger animals like giraffes and tigers too – they were a little more difficult to photograph though as they were mainly asleep out of sight or had huge crowds surrounding them. Overall the zoo was definitely a fun day out, although I think there are better zoos, like Whipsnade, which have more room for the animals and are a little more concerned with conservation.
Most sensible people would have ended the day there, but no way, not us. We had a whole lot of sightseeing to fit into a short weekend, so it was onto the next location. Although our next stop was technically not sightseeing, it was something that I had wanted to try forever. I had heard so much about Dum Dum Donutterie and how they sold the cronut, and knew there was one in Harrods, so of course we had to go.
I picked up two different cronuts, the famous Zebra Cronut and a Coconut Cronut, as well as a Crème Brûlée doughnut, and all three were insanely good. Cronuts 100% lived up to my expectations, and I’m already craving them!
After our pastry refuel and a walk around Knightsbridge, we decided to take a trip down to the Natural History Museum, because why not?
I seriously love the Natural History Museum because I think dinosaurs and fossils are so cool and I would totally love to be an archaeologist because that would be awesome. They have so many fun, interactive areas where you can play games about the human body or experience an earthquake – there are so many different areas to explore!
They also have a bunch of animatronic dinosaurs including this T-Rex, which is sorta lame up close but still totally amusing and makes for an awesome picture. There’s so much to see and you could seriously spend hours here, but we just did a whistle-stop tour in about half an hour, because we had other sights to see!
At this point, my feet were pretty sore but we were also sick of the tube (it’s hot and cramped and claustrophobic, you know?), so we decided to walk from Knightsbridge back to our hotel near Borough Market. If you don’t know how far that is it’s probably just over an hour’s walk, which isn’t too bad unless you’ve already spent the entire day walking. But we persevered through because we had much more to see and the pretty sights of London helped to distract from the pain.
Although it had started to get pretty cloudy at that point, it was still fairly warm and nice walking weather so we were okay. It was really fun to see all the major tourist spots like the London Eye, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, as I rarely ever get the chance to see them during my ordinary trips to London.
We stopped at a Strada opposite the Thames for dinner on the way back to our hotel, and it was a much needed break from my then insanely painful feet and calves. After resting, we slowly made our way back to the hotel, before collapsing on our beds and checking how many steps we had walked – 34,655, for those of you who are interested.
After day two, we didn’t really feel up to anything too intense, so we decided to check out Borough Market before having some lunch and heading home.
Borough Market is super cute, and there are so many different food stalls to look at it’s almost overwhelming. Although I didn’t end up buying anything, it was still fun to just walk around and take a look at all the stalls.
Following a short walk along the Thames (as it was a really beautiful day) and a quick lunch, we decided to end our mini-break there and begin our journey home.
I had a super fun time playing tourist around London, and it reminded me of how pretty some of the places in London are. I definitely think a short city break like this is worthwhile, and I would love to do it again in another city!
I really hope you enjoyed this post, let me know in the comments whether you want to go sightseeing in London, or if you already have! See you next time,