As I briefly mentioned in my last blog post Jack and I went on a little staycation last week to London. We originally planned to go to London in November last year for a long weekend but it got cancelled due to covid. So this trip was a very delayed and much needed getaway. We booked the staycation back in April and booked to stay in the Tower Suites by Blue Orchid hotel. I have already put a mini review of the hotel on the blog which you can find here. But I thought I would do a little London staycation diary to talk you through what we did for the week.
As we both aren’t local to London we took advantage of doing all the tourist options and we literally filled the week to the brim with plans. So if you are going to London soon and want some ideas of what to do this might help!
We stayed in London Monday to Friday, and we got a train on Monday morning allowing us to spend the best part of Monday in London too. Once we had checked into the hotel we made our way over to the Natural History Museums. This was one of Jack’s choices and all of the museums we went to you had to book in advanced – but they were free! We spent a few hours there and then head to the National Gallery (after a Pret pitstop) which I loved as I have never been there before.
After the National Gallery we head back to the hotel to freshen up and then we had a booking at the Greenwich Driving Range. Jack is a golf lover so we did this as he was recommended it by a friend. We both really enjoyed it as the views were amazing. If you go, try and book the top level because the views are even better from the top. After the driving range we headed over to the Hard Rock Cafe for some food. This was on our list because we love anything burgers/american food and I have only been to the Hard Rock Cafe in Florida and not London! Turns out we went to the original one too! As it was fairly late by the time was finished they let us go downstairs and have a browse at the memorabilia and it was amazing!
We had dedicated Tuesday to our shopping day so we had all the big names on our list. First we headed to Harrods, and stopped off at the food hall to grab some sweet treats. We also went through all the designer brands which was very good for celeb spotting too! We then went into Zara for myself, and over too Selfridges to have a look for some makeup I wanted from Charlotte Tilbury. After we planned to get some food from a market however couldn’t decide which one, so were recommend Portabello Road. We went up to Nottinghill to find it however there wasn’t a market on that day. We were a bit disappointed however Nottinghill was on my list to see anyway.
Instead we headed over to Camden highstreet to grab some street food. Despite the heat we then went and browsed in Liberties, before heading to Carnaby street and Covent Garden. I wanted to go into Charlotte Tilbury as they didn’t have the concealer I was after in Selfridges and so whilst we were at Covent Garden we visited a Gelato shop and chilled watching a street show. In the evening we ordered pizza to the hotel and ate it in front of our view from our room.
I loved everyday, but Wednesday might have been my favourite. In the morning we enjoyed a walk past Buckingham Palace, through St James Park, down past Horse Guards Parade and then grabbed some food and ate it with a view of the London Eye at Westminster. It was really nice to take the time to walk down and chill as well. We had a bit of extra time so we also went to Oxford Street for Jack to look into Tommy Hilfiger and had a stroll down New Bond Street. We headed back to the hotel to get changed because in the afternoon we went to watch Hairspray at the London Coliseum.
Hairspray is one of my favourite musicals so I treated me and Jack to tickets. Starring Michael Ball and Les Dennis, it was one of the best shows in the theatre I have seen. I have seen it previously but something about going to the theatre post covid made it quite emotional! It was also my first west end show! Afterwards we went to the Ivy in Soho for some food as we both love the Ivy. It never fails and we had a lovely meal before heading back to Tower Bridge which was opposite our hotel) to watch the sunset!
On Thursday we decided to head to Hyde Park to grab some breakfast and have a quick stroll before heading over to the V&A museum. We didn’t spend too long in there because the heat was immense and we also had to make our way to the sky garden. With covid everything is currently pre-bookable so we had booked everything and just had to make sure we got to each place before hand. We had some lunch in Pret before queuing to go up into the Sky Garden. Considering being able to go up is free the views are insane. If you are thinking of doing this or the London Eye this is a better option for the view because it’s higher up and completely free. You can see the building the sky garden is in on the right of me in the photo above!
After the Sky Garden we headed to the hotel as I wanted to quickly get changed, and then we went back to Hyde Park to properly walk through it and through Kensington Gardens too. It was nice to walk through them as I hadn’t been there before, but after we headed to Carnaby for a meal at Pastaio. This is a restaurant that I found from Tik Tok and if you are going anywhere I really recommend looking on Tik Tok for suggestions as we found some great ideas, including this restaurant! The food was insane and really reasonably priced as well! Afterwards we got off a couple of tube stops early back to the hotel and walked across millennium bridge and up past the Shard to our hotel which was a lovely walk.
Friday was our last day but we managed to leave our bags at the hotel after checking out so we could make the most of the day we had. I knew Borough Market wasn’t too far from where we were staying so we went with intentions of getting breakfast. After wondering around we ended up getting a burger for Jack and Mac and Cheese for me. Not a healthy brunch but it was delicious and you are only on holiday there and then right??
I also grabbed a Pimms because again, you are on holiday! Afterwards we went back to Selfridges and Harrods just to spend even more money on sweet treats from the food halls and we headed over to Queens Park to enjoy them in the sunshine. Afterwards we walked back through Buckingham Palace and St James Park before heading back to the hotel to grab our bags before heading back home to Bath.
We had a busy week and walked miles each day but we both really enjoyed it, so much so we have already booked our next trip away for the end of August! Have you been to London before? If so what do you like doing there?
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I love a good staycation in London every now and again!
Danielle | thereluctantblogger.co.uk