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Five Things to Do in London

"Leanne Sharland" (2019-11-08)

We all know it, London can be overwhelming, yet it's so easy to follow a clich?� pattern while visiting. It's almost like with Mona Lisa - you've seen the reproduction on so many postcards that when you're standing in front of the original you think to yourself 'what's the big deal?'. This small 'to do' list will give you some ideas, not necessarily from the top landmark file, but it will allow you to feel like a Londoner and make your trip memorable.
1. Have English breakfast. Once you checked into one of many London hotels, ask for this ultimate iconic meal. And trust me on this one - a cheap London hotel will give you a breakfast to remember, as it's all about the homemade feel of a simple - and greasy - warm combination of sausage, beans, eggs, toast, fried tomatoes and mushrooms... Vegetarians need not worry - veggie options are as delicious (if not more)! It's so essential after a heavy night out that a small caf?� chain The Breakfast Club prides itself on endless queues on Sunday mornings. I strongly recommend Poached Egg with Avocado and Fresh Chilli - it will keep you filled for the whole day!
2. Go to a market. There are so many of them to choose from as there are hotels in London. The best way of picking a couple to visit is to follow a theme. Portobello Market is famous for antiques so if you're a collector you'll be in your own private heaven down there. Borough Market is the one for the foodies - pretty empty during the week, bursting on weekends, it'll let you taste flavours from all over the world. Camden Market is the edgy one, with shops catering for all possible subcultures' clothing needs, tattooists and body piercers' salons, musicians wandering around and loud music coming from everywhere. Spitalfields is more sophisticated, surrounded by fashion boutiques, the market specialises in up and coming fashion designers and fine arts.
3. See a West End Musical. There are some unmissable shows running and they really are a true Londoner's treat, with families coming down from outside of the city with tickets pre-booked for months just to see them from good seats. I have to recommend 'The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert' with the most glamourous costumes and the most camp music, however classics such as 'Chicago', 'Wicked' or 'Les Mis?�rables' are the timeless classics. With many last minute deals on tickets it's definitely an experience not to be missed. However from my own experience - the good tickets are worth the price...
4. Visit a museum or a gallery. I know, it wasn't meant to be all about the obvious landmarks, however even Londoners need to get their cultural fix every now and again. Saatchi Gallery is the place for contemporary art in an amazing ambience, while Tate Modern on South Bank is the iconic destination for modern artist's exhibitions. Royal Academy Of Arts in piccadilly circus station always hosts spellbinding exhibitions, such as Anish Kapoor's a couple of years ago. Good old South Kensington is the 'museum valley' for London with Victoria & Albert, Natural History and Science Museums, great for family entertainment.
5. Have afternoon tea. Go on, treat yourself. An aromatic cup of tea with a clotted cream scone, a piece of delicious cake and a delightful sandwich is the royal treatment you deserve after running around the city for days. Just make sure to pre-book your visit and follow the dress code - the best places for tea are the five star London hotels such as Claridge's, Kensington Park Hotel or Connaught.
And the best thing about this little guide is that while doing all this and discovering London as a Londoner. The postcard landmarks will be constantly popping up from around the corners! There's nothing better that suddenly finding yourself in front of a stunning building, such as St Paul's Cathedral or Big Ben while on your way to or from breakfast, just strolling down the street holding a paper cup full of hot beverage. Moments like this are what makes London truly magical.