Friday, 23 January 2015

Three Things I Love About London

Like most people, I'm a big fan of my home town. I live here, I work here, I went to university here and a lot of my friends are here, but there's so much more to it than that. Here are just three things that I love about London Town:

1. It's SO BIG

I've lived in London all my life and there's no way I've seen anywhere near all of it. Not only that, but London is a city of change and there are constantly new buildings, restaurants, bars and galleries popping up everywhere. 

Of course, some people don't like big. Some people are overwhelmed by big, which is understandable, but as enormous as London is it also has the magical power to envelop you in the little boroughs and communities within it. 

Insider tip: While the tube is an awesome way of getting from A to B, it can be easy to want to pack in EVERYTHING while you're here and you end up spending half the day travelling. Focus on one area of town (e.g. South Bank, Shoreditch, Islington etc) to make the most of your time.

Zoom Zoom

2. You can travel the world without getting on an aeroplane

It sounds like a such a cliche every time someone mentions 'diversity', but until I moved away from London for a short time I didn't realise how diverse it really was and how very lucky I was to have so many cultures and communities on my door step.

The best part? THE FOOD, obv. Afternoon tea? Okay. Lebanese? About a million. Best Indian food in the country? OF COURSE. Award winning Jewish delis? Round the corner. Cereal cafe? Well, it is 7pm, but okay. Honestly, there is quite literally every kind of cuisine you could possibly want. 

Come hungry. Leave full.

Afternoon tea at The Ampersand
London Brewer's Market, Spitalfields

Some of my favourites places to munch: 

The Dovetail: A little Belgian pub, tucked away in Clerkenwell. A huge selection of beers and amazing traditional food.
Chamisse: Lebanese food on Grays Inn Road, near Kings Cross station. Great value and the food is delicious.
Bodeans BBQ: Bodeans is an American style smoke house with sites all over town. The food is meaty and smokey and delish. One down side: you can't book for groups that have fewer than 8 people so you might need to prepare for a bit of a queue.
Greenwich market: Ugh the street food in this place! Honestly, I want to eat from every stall. It's also right next to The Cutty Sark and, if you like a beer, The Old Brewery is just next door. 

3. You don't have to be rich to make the most of it

Okay, if you're anything like me you're not going to buying a 3 bed in Kensington any time soon. And of course we have Selfridges and Harrods and The Ritz and LOTS of places that require a few pounds to enjoy. However, there is so much available for very little money or none at all.

For a start we have some of the best museums and galleries in the world- and they're free to enter. You could spend days wandering around The British Museum and STILL not see all of it. Oh, and you can't be a tourist in London without visiting The Natural History Museum! I'm still amazed by the building, let alone the life size model of a blue whale

Disobedient Objects at the V&A

Lesser known places to visit: 

Museum of London: The Museum of London is tucked away near Barbican tube station. It's free to get in, and there a lots of cool permanent displays showcasing the history of London (I love the mammoth tusks).
Barbican Centre: Okay this isn't really 'lesser known', but I love the Barbican Centre. They always have great exhibitions on and they also have a conservatory, full of tropical plants. It's a little haven in the centre of a bustling city.
The Crypt Gallery: In the crypt of St Pancras church, just across the road from Kings Cross station, is a secret gallery/exhibition space that I love to go to. I can't lie, it's very hit and miss, but I have seen some wonderful exhibitions there and it has an atmosphere you won't find anywhere else. 

This post is an entry to Accor's #3cities competition. You can read more here!