I love going to London! I’ve been there loads and I’ve developed a few tricks to have a posher time without totally breaking the bank. Here are a few of my favourites! Let’s go on tour in London!
1. Posh Breakfast
This has to be one of my favourite things to do in London. I book at least one or two breakfasts each time I visit! It’s a wonderful way to experience the high end London Hotels in all their splendour, all the while enjoying the least expensive meal they serve! Plus, it fills you nicely up for a day of tourist-ing. My favourites so far are Claridge’s, The Ritz, and The Lanesborough.
2. Take in a Show
Being a theatre fan, this is a must for me. I usually book ahead. This is sometimes essential, depending on what you’re going to see. For example, I had to book my tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child a year in advance! Others you can buy tickets on the door. If you do choose to do this, try and get them earlier in the day. You might get a better seat this way. The cost of a ticket depends on the show you’re going to see and where you sit. I feel that you shouldn’t opt for a seat with a restricted view. They may be cheaper, but you often can’t see a large portion of the stage.
3. Visit Harrods’ Food Hall
These four rooms in the world famous Harrods have to be the most opulent. I love going into them and mentally doing the grocery shopping! Beluga Caviar? Thanks, I’ll take three! A steak of Wagyu Beef? I’ll have two! I do always get one of their desserts. They’re so beautiful looking and so tasty!
4. Pick up a Cupcake in Fortnum’s
Fortnum’s, or more correctly, Fortnum and Mason are the grocers to the Queen and Royal Family. Their cupcakes are beautifully decorated and taste spectacular! I love grabbing one (plus a few more snacks). I then head to Buckingham Palace and sit on the Victoria Memorial and people watch. There’s also beautiful spots in nearby St. James’ Park or Green Park if you’d prefer to enjoy it there.
5. Visit the Palace
For some of the summer/autumn period, the Queen and Royal Family vacate Buckingham Palace to spend time in one of their other residences, such as Balmoral or Sandringham. This is when The State Rooms of the Palace are opened to the public. You can even have tea on the terrace overlooking the Palace’s Gardens! This is a wonderful experience that I highly recommend! It’s usually open for part or all of August and September. Dates can vary, so look them up on The Royal Collection Trust’s website before planning your visit. Book ahead to avoid disappointment.
6. Take a Taxi
The Tube is such an effective way of getting around that we often forget these iconic modes of transport. True Black Cab drivers have what is called “The Knowledge”. They have to go through a stringent process to get their licence which includes essentially learning their way around the whole of London by memory and even learning short cuts/ alternative routes to allow for road closures or traffic. It may not be a Rolls Royce or a Ferrari, but it does feel a bit swankier than trudging up out of the Tube all the time.
7. Hyde Park
Rent yourself a deck chair on the banks of the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park for an hour or two on a sunny day. Bliss! Hyde Park is huge and is great spot for people watching! Feel free to bring along some seeds and feed the geese, ducks, squirrels and various other creatures. Beware though, you could get surrounded by hundreds of them, particularly pigeons, very quickly!
8. Stay in a Fancy Hotel
Hear me out. Have a look at some of the hotels in the Canary Wharf or City of London areas for a fancy hotel room. These rooms are often very expensive from Sundays to Thursdays when these areas are busier. Some hotels do lower their prices on Friday and Saturday nights. Be mindful that the parts of London around these hotels can feel like ghost towns when the city workers are off work over the weekend.
9. Go for a Stroll in Knightsbridge or Chelsea
I love getting the tube to Knightsbridge/Sloane Square and just getting out and walking down the more residential streets. I look at all the beautifully kept houses. You know, the ones with the white walls and the black railings on the front steps and balconies. Plus, there’s usually loads of gorgeous cars there too! All the while imagining what the houses might be like inside and what it’d be like to live in one.
10. Grab Food at Sloane Square
On Saturday mornings there’s a wonderful little food market in Sloane Square in Chelsea. It’s a great place to get an unusual foodie souvenir for someone back home or grab a lunch or snack on the go.
11. Indulge in a Spot of Afternoon Tea
This is a London staple. Most visitors to London indulge in Afternoon Tea at some point. Like the Posh Breakfast, it allows you to experience the high end hotels. Depending on the hotel, you could pay a hefty price and obey a strict enough dress code. If you go for the still fancy, but lesser known five star hotels, you can get a wonderful (and sometimes better) experience. The Ned is a wonderful spot for it, they also have a band and dancers performing like it’s the roaring 20s!
In Marylebone there’s a wonderful little farm shop and café called Daylesford. Pretty much everything they sell/serve comes from the Daylesford Organic Farm in Gloucestershire. The food is second to none and it tastes all the better knowing that is is all produced entirely organically and sustainably. The bonus is that everything isn’t as expensive as you might think!
13. Covent Garden
Grab a coffee/tea and stroll around Covent Garden soaking up the atmosphere. The Royal Opera House has an entrance on Covent Garden and frequently some opera singers perform in the below ground, open air seating areas. If this is your type of thing you can stand at the railings on ground level and watch the performers do their thing or you can sit over a drink/food and enjoy it at closer proximity. There are other types of music performed here too. Be prepared to have a few coins/notes to give to the performers. Doesn’t need to be much, but remember that you are enjoying a stunning performance by someone who does this for a living in an attempt to supplement their income so they can afford to live in London.
14. Visit a Museum
All the public museums in London are free entry! They all do have a donation box and you may with to contribute towards the upkeep of the priceless exhibits they have. There’s load of choice too! Among others, there’s The Natural History Museum, The Science Museum, The British Museum, The V & A, The Tate and The Tate Modern. You’re sure to find something to your taste!