“I want to go to New York and Paris and London and I want to feel the anonymity of being in a foreign city and being surrounded by hundreds of people who are going in a hundred different directions.”
It’s safe to say that my bucket list of places to visit is never ending. And they’re all categorized by destination type. So beaches has its own category, deserts has its own, mountains, cities, so on and so forth. And each type of destination offers me something different. Obviously beach destinations are not the same as cities- the entire experience is different.
After reading the above quote I couldn’t help thinking about all of the big cities around the world that I want to see. My first major metropolitan city was Hong Kong last year and this was the first place I truly felt that anonymity. And ever since, I’ve craved that feeling. A sense otherness that is so unique and so hard to grasp, to understand, to explain that the only way to do so is to experience it for yourself. In the moment.
I’ve decided to start a new series on my blog: Travel Bucket List. This is where I will highlight all of the bucket list destinations I hope to travel to, interviews with other travel bloggers on their bucket list destinations, tips from them if they’ve visited one of my bucket list destinations, and everything in between! It’s only fitting that I start this new series with a destination I’ve always dreamed of visiting, a big city filled with culture, good food, history and so many beautiful sites. LONDON!
Traveling to London, now more than ever, is affordable. SAY WHAT!? Yes. Affordable. Especially if you are coming from the East Coast, like me. The British Pound is at an all-time low, you know because of that thing called Brexit. I know there has been a lot of discussion- both good and bad- about Brexit, but for us travelers there is an upside to it all. Virgin Atlantic created the “Brexit Calculator.” This lets you calculate just how much money you’d save on those bucket list London experiences! With lots of research and chatting with friends that have both visited and lived in London, I’ve created the perfect 48-hour itinerary that lets you see the best of the best of London. All whilst saving money!
So you’ve checked into your hotel, dropped your bags, got a good night’s sleep and you are refreshed and ready to explore! But first things first: coffee and breakfast.
Breakfast at Caravan King’s Cross //
Caravan, Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, London, N1C 4AA.
Refinery 29 says its “lattes should come with medals.” Say no more! It really is no surprise as they roast their own beans. The menu is extremely reasonably priced and sounds delicious. You’ll find me ordering Avocado, chili, olive oil and a poached egg on toast or the coconut bread with lemon curd cream cheese and strawberries. Are you drooling yet? Good. Caravan also offers fresh juice and smoothies. What I liked most about the menu? They also have milk substitutions like almond and soy milk!
Photograph Kings Cross
Sorry, I am not going to London without seeing one iconic Harry Potter spot. Head to Kings Cross to snap a photo at platform 9 ¾.
Take the tube over to Notting Hill
Purchase an Oyster Card while at the station. You can use the Tube, buses, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services in London with the Oyster Card! Makes getting around faster and easier.
Notting Hill has got to be one of the most popular spots in London. There is this small village charm that I pick up on just from looking at photos.
While you’re over there also head to Portobello Road, home of the Portobello Market, and Lancaster Road to see some of the most colorful homes in West London.
And pick up some Instagrammy biscuits (read: cookies) from Biscuiteers Baking Company
194 Kensington Park Rd, London W11 2ES, UK
Lunch at The Churchill Arms or Bluebird
The Churchill Arms//
119 Kensington Church St, Kensington, London W8 7LN, UK
350 King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 5UU, UK
Wander around Chelsea and photograph those colorful homes on Bywater Street
Saint James Park + Buckingham Palace
Perhaps the most iconic spot and a must see in London. Catch the changing of the guard. Each ceremony lasts about 45 minutes, beginning at 11am on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from January to March.
Grab a traditional black cab and head over to afternoon tea at sketch
9 Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG, UK
You know, that place with the pink room and the pod bathrooms!? And my handy dandy Brexit Calculator tells me you’ll save an estimated$21 on afternoon tea and black cab ride! Score. Even more the reason to splurge.
Stop in at Neal’s Yard for a pop of color to brighten your afternoon. While you’re over there pop over to the British Museum!
Late dinner at Dishoom
5 Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AB, UK (note: there is more than one location across London)
Dishoom pays homage to the age old Iranian café’s that once were scattered throughout the city. Once hundreds and now the number has dwindled to just 30 or less. Heritage and tradition are echoed throughout the flavors and décor. Simply looking at the photos makes me feel like I’ve stepped back in time.
Breakfast at The Good Life Eatery//
20 Motcomb St, Belgravia, London SW1X, UK
With the line “keep it simple, keep it clean” as their slogan how could you not go? The Good Life Eatery provides freshly made food daily! If you’re exhausted from the day before, don’t worry you can order on Uber Eats! I think I would have to go with the GRANOLA BOWL, homemade GF Granola, Strawberry, Blueberry, Coconut Flakes, Honey, Hemp Seeds Bee Pollen w/ Coconut Yogurt DF w/ Greek Yogurt.
Grab coffee at Monmouth Coffee
27 Monmouth St, London WC2H 9EU, UK
Photograph the grand boulevards of London like…
Get a glimpse of Big Ben from Westminster Bridge
Two birds with one stone! Walk to the entire bridge to get a different perspective of Big Ben!
Take a ride on the London Eye OR helicopter tour
Either or would provide S T U N N I N G views of the city! You can catch me on a doors off heli ride!
Cab over to the Borough Market
Borough Market, Borough High St, London SE1 9AH, UK
Grab lunch at one of the vendors here and then indulge in some chocolates from Rabot 1745! Rabot 1745 puts chocolate in pretty much everything. Their dishes offer culinary inspiration from the Caribbean, West Indies and Britain. It’s sister location, the Boucan in Saint Lucia, is the source of inspiration.
Go to More London, City Hall location, for the best views of Tower Bridge
Late afternoon wandering spent in Shoreditch
You didn’t think I would make an itinerary without including some street art did you!? Start on Braithwaite Street and make your way to Redchurch Street, Whitby Street, Club Row, Chance Street, and Columbia Road. End your street art tour with a much deserved kebab at BOXPARK London. I read they have the best kebabs here! In looking at the vendors this is definitely a foodie paradise. The Virgin Atlantic Brexit calculator tells me you’ll save about $21 on this experience!
Sunset cruise on the Thames
I am all about perspectives! I love seeing places from the water. And what better way to end a crazy 48 hours than relaxing on a river cruise at sunset with a delicious pint in hand? Oh that’s right, there is nothing better! You’ll save $18 on this excursion.
Okay there you have it. My bucket list 48 hour itinerary in London! Virgin Atlantic’s Brexit Calculator includes so many different activities that you could save money on right now when traveling to London! I think it’s safe to say we’ve all always wanted to travel there- what better time than the present!? Happy booking 🙂
One more thing: here is my Google Map with all of the stops listed above (and then some!).
This post is written in partnership with Virgin Atlantic, as always, my opinions are my own.