In celebration of our one year anniversary of moving across the pond this week (wow time flies!), I’ve compiled a few of Dan and I’s favorite London places and outings that we discovered this past year while exploring our new city.
The “Chicken Shop” Walk
I have to thank my Aunt Jean in West Hampstead for introducing me to the simple menu of delicious fare at Chicken Shop; juicy rotisserie chicken, tangy coleslaw, chips, grilled corn on the cob with garlic butter, and the most amazing avocado and butter lettuce salad with honey mustard dressing. Just writing about it is inspiring me to sprint over there for lunch at this very moment! If I sprint there, do I earn a slice of their killer deep dish apple pie as well?
One of the four Chicken Shop locations is in Kentish Town just down the way from Hampstead Heath which makes for an awesome outing of exploring the Heath and working up an appetite before heading down to Chicken Shop. While your at the Heath be sure to stop by the English Heritage Kenwood House to admire the many paintings on display including a work by Vermeer and a Rembrandt self portrait.
Breakfast at Duck and Waffle
Dine on amazing fare available 24 hours a day (!) and enjoy the fantastic views of the Thames and London’s iconic buildings below from Duck and Waffle’s 40th floor’s floor-to-ceiling windows at the UK’s highest restaurant. I’ve been lucky enough to be seated on different sides of the restaurant each time I’ve gone so I get to admire London from a new perspective each meal.
River cruise to Greenwich
On a gorgeous day, hop on one of the many Thames river cruise boats and admire London from the water as you sail past the London Eye, under the Tower Bridge and head east towards Greenwich to the home of the Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory and the National Maritime Museum. While you’re there also check out the Cutty Sark, a world famous 19th century tea clipper ship turned museum that has been restored and raised over three metres allowing visitors to walk through and under the ship. The Cutty Sark is the last surviving tea clipper and was the fastest and greatest ship in her heyday. They even pump in the smell of tea leaves for a realistic touch!
One of the finest small art museums in the world and one of my favorites in London. The Courtauld is best known for its outstanding collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings boasting works by Michelangelo, Dürer, Leonardo da Vinci, Canaletto, van Gogh and Picasso. It’s the perfect size museum to spend an easy hour or two fully admiring all of the artwork without getting that eyes-glazed-over look that sometimes happens when spending all day at a museum.
Gilray’s Steakhouse & Bar
One of my favorite places to take visitors. Situated on the banks of the Thames river at the Marriot Hotel, Gilray’s bar serves up some incredible craft cocktails with equally incredible views of Big Ben, Parliament, and the London Eye. The bar has over a 100 gins to pick from for your quintessentially British gin and tonic.
Riding top deck on our local #6 bus down Oxford Street at Christmas time
Come mid-November we are treated to an endless winter wonderland of lights and shop windows dressed up in their holiday finery as we cruise slowly down Oxford Street and the best view for it all is from the top deck of one of London’s double decker buses. Nothing makes me feel like it is officially the holidays now until Oxford Street lights up for the season.
Borough Market, Dinerama, and Box Park
If you’re a foodie, don’t miss wandering the different stalls and street food vendors at these unique outdoor food markets for all kinds of delicious tasting nibbles and sips. Borough Market is the oldest market in London and dishes up all flavors of food reflecting the city’s multicultural makeup. Come hungry!
What about you? What are your favorite spots or experiences where you live?