A friend of mine visited me from Canada for a weekend and I couldn’t wait to show her around London. It wasn’t her first visit to London so I was glad that I don’t have to show her the main touristic sights anymore because to be completely honest, I’m getting sick and tired of it. Lol. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind seeing all the touristic places when I pass by them but to actually go there to show some visiting friends or families around is already tiring for me.
Knowing my friend who’s a glutton like I am, I of course arranged our itinerary around food which isn’t so hard to do with all the places and events around London that focuses on the same subject. With only 2 full days, it’s impossible to see it all as you can only eat so much before getting sick (unfortunately).
I met my friend N at Waterloo station at around 12nn, we dropped her suitcase at our apartment and headed straight to our first stop in this foodie tour – lunch at Camden Market. The myriad of food stalls to choose from was quite overwhelming but we’ve narrowed it down to what kind of cuisine and type of food my friend was craving for at that moment: Asian + noodles, so we settled on Hanoi Kitchen’s bun noodle pot. I’ve tried it before and loved it but as I have just recently came back from Vietnam, I was highly disappointed with the taste of their noodle pot, it’s definitely not as good as the ones I’ve had in Vietnam. Can’t really blame them because nothing can compete with the original, the ingredients alone in Vietnam tastes much fresher than the ones we get here in London so there’s no comparison on that. After lunch, we went to have some drinks in one of the pubs overlooking the market itself before heading out to our next destination.
We walked along the Regent’s Canal towpath, a lovely walking path in London away from the chaos of the city. It’s one of the things I love about London, there are so many places to seek refuge if you’re getting sick and tired of the busy-ness of the city. If the weather’s good, I highly recommend walking along this path. It passes through Regent’s Park and you’ll also see a part of London Zoo from here. There were quite a lot of people on their boats cruising sleepily along the canal, if only we had a boat ourselves I would’ve done the same thing.
We passed through Little Venice which I believe is one of London’s best-kept secrets. The decorated house boats make the whole ambiance more charming than it already is. Walking through it made me feel like I’m in a countryside and not in the busy city of London, it’s so tranquil and very laidback.
We had to take the main road at some point to reach our next destination – Cafe Laville which is my best discovery in the city as of late. It’s a charming cafe overlooking the Regents Canal. Sitting there having my latte made me feel like I’m in one of the riverside cafes in Amsterdam and not in London. It’s definitely and absolutely a must to see it specially if the weather’s good.
We took the bus to go to Kensington Gardens where we took one of the Santander bikes for a ride around the city to South Bank. N was a bit hesitant as she thought that we’ll be cycling alongside cars and buses but there’s actually a separate cycling path along the route that we’re taking which I have written in this post: London City Tour On A Santander Cycle-For-Hire. We cycled through Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park and passed through Buckingham Palace where my wide-eyed friend blurted out “it’s so pretty!” Apparently, the last time she was here she saw the Buckingham Palace at nighttime. We continued on towards Westminster passing through Big Ben which was covered in scaffolding unfortunately. Cycling through the River Thames, we passed by London Eye and parked our bikes in a Santander docking point just before Waterloo Bridge. From there we crossed the bridge towards South Bank where we met The Greek Mister to have some drinks and dinner. Cycling around London is definitely a great alternative to see the sights of the city from a very different perspective.
We had an early start the next day, I showed N around my beloved Kingston and had our breakfast in one of the cafes by the river. We then went to Notting Hill to walk around this pretty neighborhood and had another coffee in one of the cafes in the area. We went to London Bridge Station next to attend a food festival but we were extremely disappointed as it’s very small and there were not much choice of food so we decided to go to Old Spitalfields Market instead. We wandered around a bit before deciding to have Dan Dan Noodles and Shengjianbao from Dumpling Shack. Both dishes were so very good and we couldn’t have chosen a better food for lunch. It was so good that we were asked by several passersby where we got our lunch from. 🙂 We went to Brick Lane Market next for some drinks and stayed for quite some time just watching people around us.
Ice cream was our next agenda, we walked towards Soft Serve Society in Box Park for a cone of charcoal and matcha icecreams. We were supposed to have coffee in Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium which I know is going to be stupid but because N is a cat and coffee lover, I thought it would be great to visit it for her. It was fully booked when we arrived though and apparently, we had to make a reservation for a 90-min high tea with the cats. I don’t even like cats and if I had known that we’re going to pay GBP25 per person to have tea surrounded by cats I wouldn’t have gone there. If it’s a dog cafe I would’ve paid any amount, no offense to cat lovers out there. :p We felt like we’ve had so much food that day so we decided to walk from Brick Lane to Carnaby Street near Regent Street which of course was beyond the bounds of our physical ability. So we took a bus somewhere along the way to go to Oxford St and walked around the extremely busy central London from there.
Our lunch was too heavy so instead of going for a dumplings dinner in Chinatown which we had planned, we instead went to Covent Garden to have some drinks and a sharing platter of appetizers. We met the very drunk Greek Mister at Waterloo station and headed home together.
I brought N to Riverside Kingston for breakfast on her last morning in London, I thought it was a good place to end her very short London holiday sitting outdoors with the view of the River Thames. It was so good to see her again after such a long time. Our weekend together definitely wasn’t enough but I immensely enjoyed it, I hope she did as well.
On a different note, a lot of people have been asking me what camera I use for photos and videos and you’ll all be surprised that it’s just a camera phone. I am using Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro which is amazing! Camera’s wonderful, the memory’s huge and the battery lasts the whole day even if it’s being used constantly. Here’s a link where you can buy this phone from: Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Single-SIM) 128GB BLA-L09 SIM-Free 4G Smartphone (Titanium Grey). Just to remind you, if you do buy it from this link I’ll get a small commission from it at no extra charge to you. Thank you in advance if you do decide to buy it from my link. 🙂
Here’s a quick video of our food-focused weekend: