If I could live anywhere for a year, it would 110% be London. The second I got home, I was ready to grab Jered and go back. It’s kind of like NYC but more space, less crowds, friendlier people…and dare I say, prettier. Seriously, every cafe is beautifully decorated, and the food is even prettier.
This was the second time I had been to London and this time, the beauty really struck me—The London Eye at dusk, Tower Bridge in all it’s splendor, and flowers lining every pub & cafe entrance. I found it to be a fairly clean city and was shocked to see how clean the Tube is. I’ve never felt so connected to any place…can’t ya tell? lol. Now where is my “I Love London” t-shirt?
On to the most important part- food. When I hear people share their experience of London, the one thing they complain about is the blandness of the food. I can kind of see what they mean, but my English neighbor back in Salt Lake (& bestie) had convinced me otherwise. She cooks the best roast dinner with the dreamiest Yorkshire puddings, and I constantly crave it. This gave me hope. Before we left, I read every blog post on London, stalked the food scene on IG, asked my English friends, and of course, consulted Trip Advisor. Happy to report back, I LOVED the food. There’s lots of delicious locals spots and pretty cafes, which is why I’m excited to share this post! Trust me, you won’t be stuck eating fish & chips for every meal, although not a bad idea. I still dream about caramel brownies from Feya Cafe, pizza at Coppa Club, cupcakes from Peggy Porschen, afternoon tea at Dalloway Terrace, and fish pie from Ffiona’s. Okay, that last dish sounded gross, but it was actually the best thing I ate on the entire trip.
Duck & Waffle: Obviously go for the waffles. You can’t go wrong with breakfast or dinner here…get your reservation well in advance.
Ffiona’s: I can’t say enough how much I loved Ffionas. My only regret was not coming back for brunch. This is one of the oldest, family run restaurants in London serving traditional & modern British food. Ffiona will be right at the door to greet you, and will come to your table to chat with you over a glass of wine. It’s an intimate experience and perfect for a date night.
Farm Girl: Tbh, the food is just okay, but the restaurant is beautiful. So maybe just go for coffee. There’s 3 locations throughout London.
Timmy Green: Lovely Australian cafe perfect for a healthy breakfast or lunch. They have everything from pancakes to green juice. Similar to Farm Girl, but food is better.
Chiltern Firehouse: They are all about ingredients here. This beautiful restaurant is located in a hotel that once was a firehouse. Go for any meal and you’ll be happy.
Dishoom: If you love Indian food, you MUST go here. With over 5,500 reviews on Trip Advisor, there’s a reason people adore this place. Their naan rolls are everything. If Dishoom is too crowded, try Brigadiers or Darjeeling Express —suggested by Infatuation: London.
The Ivy Tower Bridge: Okay GORGEOUS. I can’t wait to take J here, because he will fall in love with the decor. I was shocked at the prices here considering how posh this place felt. They serve an all-day menu ranging from breakfast through dinner as well as and afternoon tea.
Granger & Co.: A celeb Aussie chef started this restaurant. It’s great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea, coffee…pretty much everything. I love the banana pancakes.
Coppa Club: Our experience here was amazing. It was winter when we were in London, so they had heated igloos with a view of Tower Bridge. In the summer the igloos trade out for “surfer shacks”. Make reservations a few months in advance if you want to experience the igloos/shacks. Even if they’re booked, they have great food. I had a delicious blackberry mojito and pizza.
Kalifornia Kitchen: This place is an Instagram dream…all pink everything. It’s also vegan with a delicious guac burger, pretty cakes, and lattes.
Bourne & Hollingsworth Garden Room: A rooftop summery restaurant with stunning views of London. We went for breakfast, but they also serve light bites for lunch, weekend brunch, and dinner.
The Table: Farm-to-table food with an all day brunch. There’s everything from burgers to strawberry French toast. I had a British friend recommend this to me, and it was delicious.
Polo Bar: A 24-hr cafe that sources responsible ingredients. We came here at midnight just to try their pancake challenge and I’m happy to say we *almost* finished it.
Breakfast Club: A popular London breakfast joint. It’s like a modern all-day breakfast diner, with lunch options too. Pretty sure my body was 95% pancakes when I left London.
Coffee, Afternoon Tea, & Dessert
Dalloway Terrace: THIS PLACE! Ahh. Perfect spot for Afternoon Tea. They decorate the restaurant according to the season with loads of greenery and florals. One of my favorite memories from London.
Sketch: All about experience, while the food is just okay. It’s pretty & pink and has seen its fair share of celebrities (hi Taylor Swift). Highly recommend making a reservation a month or so in advance.
Saint Aymes: Have your camera ready for this spot! Everything here is gorgeous. They have all the sweet treats, including fancy waffles, coffees, milkshakes, & teas. They also have afternoon tea.
Peggy Porschen Cakes: You can’t go to London & not visit the instafamous Peggy Porschen. Red velvet cupcakes are heaven.
EL&N Cafe: Coffee drinks, soups, bowls, plus loads of sweets. This is another one of those places that’s all about experience. There’s a ton of locations…all equally pretty. We went to the one on Market Pl.
Feya Cafe: Besides the decor, my favorite part about Elan is the brownie. Just get it.
Palm Vaults: Blush pink & greenery alongside a vegetarian menu. The only thing that sucks is they’re closed M-W.
Cafe Jumo: Light & airy coffee shop with a Mediterranean atmosphere serving breakfast in Kensington.
Paper & Cup: Classic coffee shop & second-hand book store in Shoreditch.
Fait Maison: Saw this on IG the other day and all I can say is WOW. Next time I’m in London, this will be the first stop. The afternoon tea looks incredible and their breakfast looks yummy too.
Milk Beach: The feel of the beach in the city. They source specialty coffee right from the farm & have an organic wine bar. Highly recommend brunch. Their lattes can’t be beat.
The Coffee Jar: Organic house coffee & loose-leaf teas. If you find yourself hungry or needing caffeine after strolling through Camden Market, head here!
Hackney Coffee Co: If you’re in East London, this is a lovely coffee shop with hanging greenery everywhere.
Things to Do
London Museums: London has loads of free museums worth seeing. Victoria & Albert Museum, National History Museum, The British Museum, The National Gallery, Churchill War Rooms, London Transport Museum. If I had to choose one, I would go to the Victoria & Albert Museum.
The London Eye: You can get tickets to the London Eye, but if you’re in it for the view…listen up! If you’re near Big Ben, head to Westminster bridge and you’ll see the London Eye from across the water. We caught it at dusk, and it was astounding.
Notting Hill: Houses loads of coffee shops, colorful townhomes, the Portobello Road Market, & vintage shops. There’s also a pretty outdoor flower shop called Wild at Heart. Notting Hill rests above Kensington Gardens to make it easy to see both in the same day. Finish the day with dinner at Ffiona’s.
Buckingham Palace: The symbol of the Royal Family. Buckingham palace is another must-see. I would be happy with just one of it’s 775 rooms.
Shopping: Selfridges, Bond St, Harrods + Harrods Food Fall, Soho, Covent Garden, Oxford St., Piccadilly, King’s Road, and so many more places you’ll run into walking around London.
Sky Garden: Go for the view, stay for the food & drink. GORGEOUS.
Where to Stay
Leman Locke Hotel: Situated in Shoreditch (East London), right off the Tube. Although this isn’t in the heart of London, it was a pretty quick trip to anywhere we wanted to go. It’s also close to Spitalfields and Brick Lane. It’s like an apartment and hotel combined. In fact, they call themselves an aparthotel. Each room has a full kitchen, TV, couch, washer/dryer, and dishwasher. There’s a coffee in the lobby with a fun spiral staircase that leads to the restaurant. Three words to describe Leman Locke: bright, airy, and pink!
Moxy Hotel Stratford: Moxy is a great budget friendly hotel located in East London. It has a complimentary breakfast, a fun bar and restaurant, and cozy seating in the lobby. This part of town is family oriented with lots of shopping and the hotel is near Canary Wharf, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park ,and West Ham United Football Club’s stadium.