London during the holidays has been on my wish list for years! Between the Christmas lights, stores, and the energy, the liveliness of a big city gets my heart racing and blood flowing. London was no exception!! Friends gave me their London “must-see” list. Heather Christopher Travel also helped us with a plan, reservations, tours, transportation, and a guide. It was my first time using a travel agent, and I highly recommend her!
Departure: We flew a direct night flight from Charlotte to London Heathrow Airport. Customs were easy and electronic. We were off the plane with bags in hand within 20 minutes! Heather Christopher Travel arranged for transportation from the airport to the hotel.
Stayed: Ham Yard Hotel – If you like smaller boutique hotels, stay here! You may recognize the Crosby Street hotel in NYC, its sister hotel and one of my favorites!! The designer, Kit Kemp, made each room unique and designed the hotel with a spa and a one-lane bowling alley! Looking for more of a quintessential London hotel? Try Claridge’s, The Connaught, The Savoy, or The Edition.
Eats: We walked to the cutest coffee shop, Fabrique Bakery, in Covent Garden for espresso and pastries. Then, we went to 26 grains in Nealyad for lunch! It's a tiny restaurant, but they had the most amazing farm-to-table food. Don’t forget the sweets, so check out Seven Dials for the coolest food hall and scene! Check out Chiltern Firehouse for dinner, a must and a night-cap cocktail at Dukes.
Fun fact: the James Bond Martini was invented here!
Do: Heather Christopher Travel arranged a walking tour for us and a walking tour guide named Richard. He’s lived in London for 40 years and knew the city like the back of his hand. He gave us a lay of the land, and we walked around various areas while taking notes!
The shopping in London is UNREAL! A mix of tiny local shops along with major brands. I was on sensory overload with the Christmas decorations, food, and energy while also jotting down jewelry ideas, trends, textures, and color combos from the store windows.
After the tour, we went to Assouline Bookstore. If you are a coffee table book lover like me, this place will blow your mind! There is also a cocktail bar inside the bookstore, so it’s a great place to have a glass of wine, rest, and get lost in books.
Pro Tip: DO NOT SLEEP on the first day. You will be tired but PUSH THROUGH! Get some coffee and KEEP GOING!!
Eats: We woke up early for breakfast at Bistrotheque, an amazing place in a converted warehouse. We ate lunch at The Ivy and grabbed afternoon tea at Sketch – check out the bathrooms. I know it sounds crazy, but they are so cool! We ended the night with dinner at Dishoom or check out Gynkana. London has the best Indian food!
Do: Bryan had a “traditional English shave” at the famous Trumpers on Cursor Street, and we went to the Churchill War Rooms. We then saw Big Ben and Buckingham palace. I wish we had more time for all of these!
Eats: We went to Borough Market once it opened (aka foodie paradise). It gets really crowded, but it is so awesome. They have several samples and booths that are authentic to London.
Do: If you are into fashion & Design, check out the V&A museum! We spent the afternoon exploring. We walked around Sheppards Court, which is a cute and quaint area. I love the boutiques, coffee shops, and streets. I also loved Motcomb Street, Elizabeth Street, and Knightsbridge (Hello, Harrods). The Italian Restaurant, Misto, is in this area and it’s supposed to have the best Italian!
Eats: Before departing for London Heathrow airport, we ate breakfast at Farmacy in Notting Hill. We enjoyed a walk through the the outdoor markets, found the most beautiful hand-painted cookies for the kids at Biscuiteers and talked to the locals!
Overall, it was such a fun trip! I could have stayed here for a year and still not cover all places I wanted! I can’t wait to return, and I’d love to hear where you go on this list! XOXO
These were also a few more places I wish we had the time for: