I was determined to see the last days of my 20’s out in style so where better to do it than London. We decided to go down the foodie route with a bit of sightseeing on the way.
We flew with British Airways because they had a deal on flights. They let you take a handbag plus hand luggage for free so it meant I could fit everything into my little case. I was relaxed as soon as we got on the plane & were offered a complimentary drink…London Baby!
The first two nights were spent staying with friends in Wandsworth, where we had Sunday lunch at the Michelin starred Chez Bruce (read about that here).
On the Monday we arrived at our hotel in Holborn for a three night stay. I chose The Morton Hotel due to the location and because it was relatively small.
The rooms also looked lovely and were fairly recently decorated because it only opened last year. We were not disappointed. Our room was gorgeous (loved the cushions) and the bed was really comfortable.
We didn’t have much of a view because we were at the back of the hotel but I’d rather that than any street noise we would have got at the front. It was a powerful shower and I enjoyed using my bathrobe that they’d supplied to keep warm whilst getting ready in the morning. It was in walking distance of most places we wanted to go and right next to a tube station for anywhere further afield.
We spent much of the first day wandering around Covent Garden, the fancy shopping bit & Soho before a late lunch at Barrafina. This dinky Spanish restaurant is too fantastic to not get a post on it’s own so you’ll find that here.
On my birthday I wanted to do some touristy things so we walked around, taking in sights like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace & Westminster Abbey. Then we got the tube to Notting Hill & caught the end of Portobello Market.
At night we met friends in Soho & had dinner at Burger & Lobster. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Burger & Lobster is a restaurant that sells only those two things. You can choose from half a lobster, a lobster roll or a burger with chips and salad for £20. In addition to this, they have a board with weights and prices of bigger lobsters that you can share. Since it was my birthday we went all out and bought a big lobster between four of us. It cost almost £10 a head more but there was much more meat.
6 pound 12 ounces lobster
As you can see it was a big ol’ lobster so it took us a while to get through. Thankfully they had a refreshing cocktail – ‘winter in the city’ to wash it down with.
The London Eye was the morning plan so we were up and out early-ish. Luckily the weather was favourable and, being midweek, we hardly had to queue. I’d say this is a must for visiting London and make sure you buy a 360° guide to you know what you are looking at.
Back to Fitzrovia for lunch at Bubbledogs, the hotdog and champagne place that kept springing onto my radar. Glasses of champagne start at £6, they all come from small champagne houses and we needed to get the full experience so we couldn’t not. Between the three of us we ordered three hotdogs (the breakie, a mac daddy and a date dog), two tots and one sweet potato fries. If you are going there my top tip would be that you don’t need a side each. We never finished the three but the tots were the favourite from the sides. All of the dogs received positive feedback and were perfect to sort our the hangovers, along with the bubbles for hair of the dog. The hotdogs cost between £6 and £8 so a very affordable meal in that area. The concept is different and they pulled it off.
After much exploring of the city on foot that afternoon, we went back to the hotel for a quick change before being taken to The Shard. Having a London local with us meant that we had insider information that we could have a drink at the bar on the 33rd floor without paying the hefty entry fee. A view over the city at night is something special and the cocktails were delicious.
View from Hutong Bar at The Shard
We ended the night at Pizarro, owned by Josẽ Pizarro who is a renouned chef that you may have seen on Saturday Kitchen. We had the most extraordinary pork presa – I’ve never had this before but it is like a pink fillet steak but with a flavourful pork taste like one that you’d get from Iberico. It was cooked so simply and served with meat juices & it could not have been beaten for our last London dinner.
Checking out the next morning we had glum faces as we did not want the trip to end (although I’m sure my bank did). Our final treat before flying back was lunch on Bermondsey Street at Casse-Croûte. This street is a foodie paradise and also hosts Pizarro, Jose and Zucca among others. You can read about our lunch here.
Our London trip could not have gone better and I’d recommend all of the places we visited. I used several London blogs to help me choose where to go and they never let me down. I left feeling younger than my 30 years!