Earlier this month, I spent half a week in London. I landed at Heathrow at 8:00AM on a Sunday, and had a 10:00AM flight home that Thursday. Which gave me a full 96 hours in London, and let me tell you, I crammed as much as humanly possible in those 96 hours.
My friend Jess is spending the summer traveling Europe (lucky!). Beginning her journey in London, she had asked if I wanted to join the first leg of her trip. I booked my flight immediately. Sadly, the third gal in our trio couldn’t join us — the three of us take annual Girls Trips, rotating the city: Boston, Chicago, Houston, etc.
2017 was LONDON, which became the poshest Girls Trip we’ve taken thus far. Here is what our itinerary looked like, the activities and restaurants I highly recommend for anyone traveling to London.
DAY 01, LAY OF THE LAND
Jess and I both arrived in Heathrow by 8AM with no hiccups in travel, thank god. Once we said our hellos, we headed straight for the Underground, to drop our luggage off at our Airbnb. Back on the tube (which was insanely smooth, reliable, and efficient — DC you should take notes…) we headed into Covent Garden. In awe of the beautiful buildings, quaint streets, and all the red phone booths!
We got sandwiches for lunch, and walked through Jubileee Market. We had a 3 hour walking tour scheduled for 1pm. We booked the Sandeman Tour. It was long, and a tad boring at times, but I’m really glad we went. The tour covered a ton of ground that I’m sure we would’ve missed or skipped all together (Trafalgar Square, National Gallery, St. James’s Palace, Buckingham Palace, The Mall, Victoria Memorial, St. James’s Park, Churchill War Rooms, Houses of Parliament, etc.).
The tour ended at Big Ben. After walking for so long, we were starving. We passed the Sherlock Holmes Pub (which was definitely on our ‘list of pubs to go to’), and decided to grab a pint and fish & chips. It was my first time eating fish and chips. AMAZING!
I had seen jaw dropping photos of Milk Train on Instgram before the trip. I knew we had to go for dessert. The Sherlock Holmes Pub wasn’t terribly far, so we walked over. The queue was 30+ minutes, and yes, totally worth the wait.
Ice cream cloud in-hand, we walked towards the London Eye, since we pre-purchased our tickets. Turns out, it was closed! Oh well, we still had gorgeous views of London on our walk across the Jubilee Bridges.
Afterwards, we headed across the river to meet with a friend of a friend for a BBQ. Apparently, the following day (Monday) was a bank holiday in London, and BBQ and music was in order. Got back to the Airbnb by 1AM.
Step Count: 24,394
DAY 02, PICCADILLY CIRCUS, TEA TIME, A HAIRCUT, AND THE MOUSETRAP
Slept in until 9:00AM and thrilled to report zero jet lag. Our Airbnb serves a daily breakfast, so we took advantage of that, and headed out for the day. We missed the changing of the guards due to a Googlemaps snafu, so we got coffee (Caffe Nero seems to be the Starbucks of London, there is a Caffe Nero on literally every block!) and somehow ended up walking around Sloan Square.
A quick Underground ride later, we were on our way over to Piccadilly Circus. Which is basically London’s Times Square. Then walked through Chinatown, and decided to grab lunch. Made me smile, and think of my brother, when Alex and I took him to see Book of Mormon.
We ate at Leong’s Legend, in Chinatown, located in Piccadilly Circus. Food was SO delicious and reasonably priced.
After some window shopping, we walked to the British Museum. Alex Fact: The British Museum started off as someones personal Cabinet of Curiosities. Cool! Though we didn’t have much more than 40 minutes to walk through, as we had to walk over to The Sanderson Hotel for our afternoon teatime reservation.
OK, so the Sanderson Hotel. The exterior is hideous, they even have a sign apologizing for their outward appearance. But guys. OMFG if you go to London, you must book your teatime here. They have an Alice in Wonderland themed teatime. It was too adorable for words, so here are photos. Ensure you make a reservation, they book up quickly!
A POSH HAIRCUT
After teatime, we were stuffed. We ate our weight in little pastries and sandwiches. Jess wanted to go back to the Airbnb and nap, I wanted to stay out. So we split up in the early evening. I passed a swanky looking salon, and decided it was time for a trim. My ends were rough. I was really happy with the results. Plus, I haven’t had my hair this stick straight in ages, which was a fun change.
I then popped into Caffe Nero (again) to grab (another) latte, connect to wifi, and call my husband. I really missed hearing his voice. We had not spent a single night apart since our wedding night (in fact, I can count the number of times we’ve slept apart since we began dating), so there’s that.
After my husband and I said our goodbyes for the evening, I realized I was only a 3 minute walk from Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap theatre. The theatre had a few 20+ pound tickets left, so I bought one and took myself on a date, feeling pretty good after my haircut! The play was FANTASTIC. Did you know that The Mousetrap is the longest running play in history? 65 years… GO SEE IT. I took the tube back to the Airbnb, and picked up fried chicken, baked beans, and fries for me and Jess to share for a late night snack on the way back. Yum!
Step Count: 18, 436
Part II on Thursday! Cheers xx