When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.
London you beautiful heartbeat of the British isles, the place with so much electricity in the air I’m surprised anyone gets any sleep. Yet here I am on a drizzly Monday morning (no surprise with the rain) drinking a cup of coffee next to the Tate Modern thinking could this city get any better.
Previously I have diminished the capital of my country with that of people who live there never seeing the rest of the country. A land lush with calm green countryside and accents that change every 20 miles. (Seriously it’s quite easy working out almost the town give or take a 10 mile radius where someone grew up by this).
Anyway back to my story.
So in celebration of myself turning a year older the missus and I packed our bags for the city although I am not from far away I needed a staycation. We decided to stay at the Hilton Bankside a lovely hotel with pool, gym, amazing bar and restaurant. The icing on the cake is it’s proximity to nearly everything in central London. It’s strange to stay somewhere where everything is walking distance and only a 5-10 minute walk to south bank and the Thames.
From King’s cross station take the victoria line to green park and change onto the Victoria line to Southwark and it’s a 6 minute walk from there.
Places of interest near by include The Shard, Millennium bridge, St. Paul’s cathedral, Tower of London and the Sky Garden to name just a few. I would highly recommend avoiding the tubes on a sunny day and walk along the banks of the Thames either side.
N.b. The Sky Garden is free to enter but it is recommended to buy tickets 3 weeks in advance to avoid disappointment on your trip.
So a quick recap of the things I did in 24 hours in London.
Arrive noon -grab a bite to eat at the numerous Pret a manager (falafel wraps are my go too, just thinking about one I might have to jump off at the next train station to hunt one out).
Adventure around the bank of the Thames popping into the OXO building art galleries.
Stop off for a drink at Doggetts pub near the Black Friars bridge.
Head to the Sky Garden if you have tickets or try The Shard’s bar on the 35th floor as again free to enter and I believe no reservation is required. (This saves paying £25 to go up to the viewing gallery on the 50 something floor).
Meander west towards Oxford street as you’ll be north of the river to do a spot of shopping.
As dust is approaching try and book a theatre ticket (maybe I should have mentioned this early but oh well) to any west end shows or the opera or ballet the choice is yours. Around Leicester Square there are many theatre ticket shops that are selling discounted ticket to fill up the seats. So grab yourself a bargain.
We then headed back to have another drink in The Distillery Bar located at the Hilton and moved on from there to the wonderful OXBO also part of the hotel. It had a nice atmosphere and I had the Calf’s liver (other options are available but I fancied something iron rich, as you know the UK in February lacks much needed Vitamin D etc).
Sleep off the meal.
We decided to miss the hotel breakfast and venture across the street to Leon and had the bacon and egg roll with coffee. (This is where the story began). After this we headed for some more culture in the Tate.
Heading back before check we snuck in a quick swim in the oasis of basement swimming pools (not to be missed).
Check was nice and easy and the staff from friendly and polite will hopefully back again to the little gem in London.