Despite or maybe because of yesterday’s Brexit news, I’d like to take this opportunity to present to you the great city that is London! I’ve been there countless times, but the old charm of days gone by against modern life and the influences of globalization still fascinate me.
Top sights: I’m sure quite a lot of our readers have already been to the British capital and know that there is so much to see: Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, the Tower Bridge, Big Ben are all no-brainers, you have to visit them at least once in your life. But there are far less popular and touristy sides of London that are worth a closer look! I personally love Spitalfields Market in East London, where market traders sell food, hand-made clothes and jewelry in little huts. As far as markets go, Covent Garden is always worth a visit, even if it’s quite overrun. So make sure to go there in the morning! Taking a stroll in Hyde Park is also one of my favorite things to do when I’m in town, because London can get quite stressful and it’s nice to relax in this famous park. Another beautiful park is Waterlow, in Highgate. The city is so divers and every district has its own highlights.
Cuisine: Since London is so multi-cultural, you can literally get any food you like. Indians are one of London’s largest ethnic minorities and I’ve always enjoyed authentic Indian cuisine while in London. But, if you’re like me, nothing will give you greater pleasure than a traditional English breakfast, or “full English“ as they say. You can get it at every pub, which is pretty convenient, because they serve other traditional food there, too. So if you’re in the mood for Fish and Chips or Shepherd’s Pie, pubs are the place to go. One of my favourites is the Red Lion & Sun in Highgate.
Highbury & Islington is a great place for „clean eating“ with lots of vegan restaurants. If you make your way up Holloway Road, the area isn’t quite as posh, but you’ll find so many international shops and restaurants. It’s the complete opposite to areas like Kensington and Mayfair, but reflects just how many different cultures and people make this city great. So if you want to try authentic ethiopian food, that’s where you should go.
Culture: Just walking through London, you can’t help but take in all the different cultures and ethnicities. I always felt that London was home to so many different people from all over the world, a real melting-pot. China Town is worth a visit, especially in the evenings. The whole area feels really lively and colourful. There are lots of clubs and bars in that area, too, if you’re in the mood for partying. Speaking of which, a couple of great and truly unique bars I can recommend are „Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town“ and „Cahoots“, designed like a 1940s tube station.
If you want to step up your art game, I suggest to visit the famous Tate Gallery of Modern Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Royal Greenwich Observatory is a favourite of mine, too. London has a ton of theaters, among them the famous „Her Majesty’s Theater“. They offer a wide range of plays, operas and musicals and it’s a great way to spend the evening.
Shopping: Covent Garden and Carnaby Street are my go-to places. Carnaby is located in Soho and it’s one of the most popular shopping streets in London. Seven Dials are seven little streets that connect Covent Garden to Soho and it’s a great address for shopping, dining or if you want to go to the theatre.
For the soul: Just walking around town and discovering little cafés, shops, restaurants or parks. London is so dynamic and innovative, there’s always something I haven’t tried or seen yet – even after so many years! (ker)
Photo credits: Kerstin