After 14 years, it was finally time for a London Citytrip again. And this time with my two favourite people, my husband and my son.
Where to stay in Shoreditch?
After a two-hour Eurostar ride, we arrived at Victoria Station on a Friday evening at 7 pm. We took a taxi and arrived at the ACEhotel in Shoreditch fifteen minutes later.
Shoreditch is the trendy area at the edge of London where there a lot to explore. We only saw the hotel bar that first evening so we could get started early the next morning. The breakfast was fantastic! Everything from pancakes, eggs benedict to granola… and with a beautiful coffee served the way you like it.
How to spend a weekend in London?
But there’s a lot to do in London, and so little time! So away we went, on our way to Harrods, one of the London highlights for shoppers, in a pink cab!
Harrods department store (87-135 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge ) is a shopping paradise: from the gigantic first floor department with handbags for me, to the floor with everything Apple and related for Victor, to the luxury department where you can buy literally anything. Be sure to take the Egyptian elevator as it is breath-taking.
High Tea in London
Onwards to South Kensington for a High Tea in Kensington Gardens (London W2 2UH), more specifically in The Orangery. This place came recommended by @missfoodwise, the best blogger on English food and drink.
Don’t forget to wander around the garden that was specifically created in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales. And you just have to visit the gift shop if you want to drink from a royal tea cup at home too!
Shopping in London
We went to Supreme (2-3 Peter Street, London W1F 0AA) in the late afternoon, this is a super exclusive shop with street wear for my son. But nearby were a number of cool shops/bars/coffee shops like Wah Nails Salon (4 Peter Street), Absurd Bird (have some chicken, 25 Peter Street), Randall & Aubin (16 Brewer Street), Cutter & Squidge (coffee, 20 Brewer Street) and Bill’s (Lexington Street).
After that onwards to Oxford Street for Kate Spade, Coach, Top Shop etc.
Via Carnaby to Dehesa (25 Ganton Street, London W1F 9BP) for an aperitif and a snack.
We finished our day in Shoreditch so we could get lost wandering around Brick Lane at Backyard Market (rudimentary food hall, 146 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL)), Vintage Market, Dark Sugars (chocolate, 141 Brick Lane) and Beigel Bake (24/24 h bagels, 159 Brick Lane).
Sunday morning, Mother’s Day (in Belgium. In the UK it's celebrated on another date) , breakfast in the Ace Hotel as it was just too good! The staff had noticed that there was a greeting card and some scratch cards for Mother’s Day, and they surprised me with a personalised marshmallow.
First, we walked to the Columbia Flower Market. A lovely area to saunter around on a Sunday morning. Shops worth a mention are Pot Luck (pottery, 84 Columbia Road, London E2 7QB), Jacey Withers (jeweller’s, 110A Columbia Road), Garden Shop (garden bits and bobs, 120 Columbia Road) and Nelly Duff (prints & artwork, 156 Columbia Road).
London Highlights with CityCruises
At around 11 am we went to Parliament Square, but it was already really busy there, as our taxi driver predicted. So quickly past Churchill and the Big Ben and to the London Eye (Lambeth, London SE1 7PB) and then onto a boat.
City Cruises give you the option as to how long you want to spend on the water. During this cruise you will see the old and the new London along the banks of the Thames.
Winchester Wharves, Pickfords Wharf, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, etc. During the first stop at the Tower Bridge you can enjoy a cup of coffee at PAUL . However, as it was already afternoon we went on to Five Guys on Villiers Street. I always fancy myself back in New York whenever I visit a Five Guys.
This area has lots of shops to seduce the tourists strolling by, such as Kingdom of Sweets (72-74 Oxford Street, London W1D 1BR) and Blues & Royals (fruit shakes, Embankment Place, Westminster) at the Embankment station. And then it was time for us to find the Eurostar and head back to Brussels.
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