Travel Diaries: London (Part Two) / by Didier Young

If you guys all remember, I had a little trip to London a while back and I even wrote a blog post about it. However, my week-long stay in the British capital was far too extensive to cover it all in one article and I promised a part deux to my London post which is now finally live. Two months later. Sorry guys. In part one, I talked about my love for the British culture and its rich architecture and part two will focus on some of the keys places that made my trip absolutely magical.

Shoreditch

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My favourite borough is Shoreditch and I figured that it deserved its own paragraph. The hipster neighbourhood is comparable to New York's Meat Packing district and contains an eclectic array of shops ranging from thrift to high street brands. While roaming through the streets of Shoreditch, I ended up stumbling upon a pop up sale of one of my favourite British brands, ate a doughnut infused with beet water and had a lovely lunch at the local Dishoom. Shoreditch is also home to London's ACE hotel and its attached café, Bulldog Edition, which are both highly photographable. The area is well known for its clubbing scene but my favourite part was definitely the abundance of street food and cute design stores.

Cafés and Eateries

While British food isn't typically my cup of tea ( I would much rather have a cup of tea actually), London is a huge multicultural hub where you are sure to find something to please everyone. Of course, you can go to a pub and grab a Shepherd's pie or a plate of fish and chips but London has much more to offer than just the British staples. The aforementioned Dishoom is well known for its indian food and one may grab a lovely dish of duck and waffle at the appropriately named Duck & Waffle. London is home to a few Ottolenghi, well known throughout the world for its eponymous book, and if you love asian food, you might want to stop by BAO in Soho. Other notable mentions are Lyle's, Chicama, NOPI and Corner Room for its breathtaking room filled with lanterns. Don't worry, I did not forget about the Instagrammable spots! High up on the list, you'll find Peggy Porschen with its cute pink building and ever changing floral archway (be ready to spend a fair amount of money as this place is far from being affordable), Farm Girl's iconic rose latte and the beautiful storefront of the Monocle café. While the interiors are often stunning, not every café/ restaurant is optimally designed for photography. One of the only café that I've found with enough suitable lighting for photography was the one attached to the Dover Street Market and the Nordic Bakery can be the perfect setting for a moody coffee shot (the pastries are also delectable). Of course, a trip to the British capital wouldn't be complete without a small detour to Fortnum & Mason where you'll find my favourite tea. Ever.

 

Shopping

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If there is one thing that London doesn't lack of (other than rain), it is definitely shopping. The city is a mecca for shopaholics like yours truly. Of course, you are expected to visit the legendary Harrods and Selfridges but if you're in the beautiful borough of Knightsbridge, make sure to head over to Harvey Nichols. Regent Street is home to a vertiginous amount of retailers and you'll also find the flagship store of Burberry, the first COS store, the amazing Liberty and if you enjoy a good stroll, you will find yourself at Piccadilly Circus. Dover Street Market is close by and be ready to be absolutely blown away by the store. Other major shopping areas in the city include Covent Garden, Bond Street and Savile Row. Two of my favourite british brands (Folk and Margaret Howell) also have stores in the city, so make sure to go visit them!

Culture and tourism

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Of course, no matter which city you choose to visit in the world, you have to go to at least ONE of their touristic attractions and London is choke full of them. The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and  Westminster Abbey are all beautiful pieces of Architecture but my favourite was definitely Saint Paul's Cathedral. Unfortunately, no photography is allowed inside the Cathedral (although I did sneak in a quick iPhone photo shhh) but the space is a marvel of craftsmanship. One of the major benefits of visiting the city is the abundance of free museums and I spent quite a numerous amount of hours simply strolling through the rooms of the British Museum, The Tate Modern and the Natural History Museum.

Much more could be said about London and I know that there's so much of the city that I didn't get to explore over the seven days of bliss that I spent there. That simply means that I'll have to book another flight to the land of Shakespeare sooner than later. If you've been to the city or if you live there, feel free to share your favourite parts of London in the comments below. I'd love to discover the city through your eyes as well!

-Didier