The Wolseley is my favourite restaurant in all of London, so much so, that I have tried Dinner, Lunch, Afternoon tea but never what it is renowned for.... breakfast! So just for anyone reading this blog, I went along for breakfast and was still as impressed.
It is a beautiful building, service doesn't get better, and the food is delicious. I would recommend this place for any meal, so don't feel restricted to breakfast.
I do love a themed restaurant, but wasn't sure if I pushed it a bit too far by booking this one for my boyfriend's birthday. I told a few friends beforehand, half thought it was a great idea and the other half looked concerned at my judgement. I started to think they might be right when I saw the look on my boyfriend's face as I told him, however within 10 minutes of arriving, he was slamming his fists on the table shouting 'wench' at our waitress for more Ale!
I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but without a doubt it exceeded my expectations. It was a fun filled evening with a lot of entertainment. You are able to rent costumes on the door should you so wish to..... I hadn't realised how tasty medieval food was either!
I like this rooftop bar as it's so central to Piccadilly and a great place to people watch. Sadly, when I went, there was scaffolding on the building opposite but the cocktails definitely made up for it! They are pricey, but a great number of classics are available.
I went for a traditional daiquiri which was great.
London has a great number of free museums, but we always end of going to the same ones. If you are interested in the history of our money and banking, then this is a good place to visit. It's a popular one for children as well.
This museum really helps you understand the history of the UK financial system and the importance of it in our financial stability. It is only open weekdays unfortunately.
I think the concept of a farm in central London in great, and I know there are a few around. On one of my usual Thames walks this weekends, I came across this little farm - a farm next to the Thames was even more of a novel idea.
The farm is quite small but has a number of animals. Unless you're really into the urban farms, I wouldn't make a special trip, however I would plan it into a day if I was in the area. What was great, was a room on the farm you could rent for parties - so a great place for children's birthday etc.
Entry is free but donations are suggested at £3, this inner city farm is a charity and can only survive from donations so please make them!
Whilst it arrived late, this year we have actually had a summer. With the great weather - it's a good opportunity to attend an outdoor cinema.
I went to Dulwich Park Friday evening, for a showing at 9pm of the 80's film 'Labrynth'. You can take your own food or drink, so most people came with picnics and the food and drink available to buy isn't too expensive. The cinema takes place in many different locations, with different films, take a look at what's on on the website:
Another place that you visit as a tourist, but don't as a Londoner. St Paul's Cathedral has such a place in history, being rebuilt after the Great Fire of London with the architect Sir Christopher Wren.
With your ticket, you can go up into the dome, with incredible views over London. Beware, I had not discovered my fear of heights until I made my way up the 3rd set up stairs in the dome. This is not for the faint hearted, not only for the 528 steps up but also for the final section of metal steps inside the dome that can make you a bit unsteady on your feet!
If you don't feel you can make the highest 'Golden Gallery', do take the 257 steps up to the whispering gallery, not only is it magical but you get a great view of inside the Cathedral.
The Sanderson Hotel have been really clever to theme their afternoon tea with the Mad Hatter's tea party. What could be a more popular theme for your afternoon tea?!
It really does bring to life the magic of Alice in Wonderland, and the Sanderson continually update their menu with the season or latest ideas. The garden where you can have your Tea is stunning. The food looks delicious, and with labels of 'Eat me' or 'Drink me', I obviously had to follow instruction!
There are quite a few Jack the Ripper Tours available, and so you need to be careful what you book for - however it is well worth doing.
I was keen to find a historical one, as opposed to anything with theatrical tricks/dress etc. For about 1 hour 45 minutes, you're taken around some of the key locations and your guide informs you of the tragic and gruesome events that took place.
I've left the link of the tour I went on which I would recommend:
It was gorgeous weather this weekend, and I decided it would be good to explore another new area of London. I ended up starting a walk from London Bridge, into St Katharine Docks and then followed the Thames to Wapping.
This place is amazing - with beautiful old pubs on the Water, old warehouses and cobbled streets that had a feel of Oliver Twist as I walked down them.
A pub I'd recommend is named Captain Kidd, and if you walk around further, make sure you visit the Wapping Project. This is the old Hydraulic Power Station, which has been converted into a restaurant and arts centre. The cocktails are delicious (though pricey) and they hold a number of talks, events and exhibitions throughout the year.
I have lived in London for a while now, and to be honest, it was an embarrassing number of years until I discovered the gem of St Katharine Docks. This place is so central, but so easy to miss. The first time I stumbled upon it, it was such a nice surprise. Not only is the place beautiful, but it is a nice spot for a drink or some food.
I'm going to say no more, except if you haven't yet been - make sure you find it!
So I might be slightly biased as I live locally, but Dulwich village is my favourite spot for walks on sunny days in London. To me, the place is a unique hidden gem amongst the hustle and bustle of London. It is so quaint and beautiful, from the gated park with a boating lake, to the white fencing, the picture gallery and Dulwich college.
You can't beat a picnic in the park, but if you do want good food, go to the beautiful Beauberry House. This is a classic restaurant in a classic old building, and the food and service is great. You'll also find a great old pub (The Crown and Greyhound) centrally in the village.
Ok, so it is an obvious thing to do, and very touristy, but for some reason when you live in London - you don't do this sort of thing. You can get a Houses of Parliament tour for free by requesting it through your local MP or you can pay for a Saturday guided tour that lasts just over an hour.
I did the latter, and would highly recommend it. The history is incredible to hear about and you see so much; from the Queen's Robing room, to the Central Lobby and of course the Common's Chamber.
This place is suggested to serve the best roast dinner in all of London, and I'm inclined to agree. Everything about the restaurant is traditional, from the seating booths, to the serving plates. Originally a chess club, this classically British restaurant has had many notable visitors in history, from Charles Dickens to Van Gough.
If you have time for a drink beforehand, go to the Knight's Bar which has an art-deco style and is really beautiful.
It's often difficult to persuade some men for afternoon
tea, so I needed to find a solution so I could get my boyfriend to come along.
The Mandeville Hotel afternoon tea was the solution for this.
Swap the fizz for whiskey, the sandwiches for a pork pie and a burger, and replace a dainty cake with a brownie - you should then have a deal with any male you wish to accompany you. Don't worry,
this isn't all they serve, you can have the more traditional afternoon tea
yourself, which is usually themed. Currently you can enjoy a retro afternoon tea.
Nestled in between Covent Garden and Temple, you'll find a particularly crazy
restaurant. In fact, I only found the place because my slightly eccentric dad
requested to go there for his birthday. I have to say, I actually thoroughly
enjoyed myself, hence why I'm including it in my blog.
Entering the restaurant, you find little booths up steps
for tables. The place is decorated with theatre props and has a very unique appearance. The
food is definitely average but the entertainment makes up for it.
Renowned for opera singing evenings, there are also
further themed events such as Motown evenings with talented musicians and
singers. Just be prepared for the 'art' in the toilets, which is quite sexually explicit!
The first Sunday of every month, the community of West Norwood pull together a market named Feast. There are numerous market stalls from local people with food, prints, art and retro goods. There are also different activities that take place each month.
This is a good spot for a relaxing afternoon, more so if you live in the South of London than to come specifically for a trip.
Just to note, if you enjoyed a visit to Highgate Cemetery, you'll find another one of the 'magnificent seven' in West Norwood, where free guided tours take place on 'Feast' days at 2.30pm.
There's nothing more nostalgic than seeing how some of our most loved brands have developed through the ages. This little museum showcases brands, packaging and advertising over the last century. It is fascinating to see how much some of the brands have either changed or stayed so similar.
Hidden away off the busy Portobello Road, you can escape the crowds for a few hours and enter a time warp.
If you like your cocktails, this is certainly the place to go. The cocktail menu is the largest I've seen, and is usefully split into different themes, from biscuits to different decades.
The London Cocktail Club has four venues across London, and they serve quirky snacks too, as well as 'proper' food. The interior is good fun, and a great place for a evening out. They get really crowded so really worth booking a seat if you can.
I myself went for a jammy dodger cocktail! (below):
There has been a huge investment in St. Pancras in the last few years, and the place has transformed. The Renaissance Hotel is a fantastic building to look at - and there are some great attractions inside.
The Hotel has retained the old station 'booking office' which is now a beautiful bar. Drinks are very pricey but it is worth a look inside.
You'll also find the Gilbert Scott restaurant, which is one of my favourite restaurants in all of London. It has such an old charm, the food is amazing (Marcus Wareing), and in my opinion - is good value for how nice it is.
If you're in the building, make sure you sneak a look at the grand staircase just along from the restaurant (picture below). It is spectacular.
It's always nice to have a little bit of luxury, and this restaurant falls under that category. The Landmark Hotel is a beautiful place, and the Winter Garden Restaurant is situated in the middle of this. The Hotel is 8 storeys high, and the restaurant is a glass covered space over the top of the building (though situated on the ground floor).
You can enjoy a variety of meals here - from breakfast, to champagne brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner. The benefit of a late dinner is the view of the stars!
The food is very special, and most of it comes with a special price tag also - but look out for top table deals as these are great value.
Again, potentially a slightly strange recommendation, but I did describe this blog as unusual things to do in London as well.
In the roof of a church in London Bridge, you'll find the oldest operating theatre in Europe. You climb narrow stairs through the church to enter the roof, which houses the operating theatre and old medical equipment or medicines.
It is a completely fascinating place, though some of the medical instruments are likely to give you a few nightmares. They hold a lot of events, including 19th century operation demonstrations.
The thing I love about London, is the variety of things to do and places to go. Speakeasy bars have become quite popular, but this one is quite hidden and really does feel like you're having a drink in your grandma's lounge.
You enter a lower ground floor, into a floral small 'lounge'. Most cocktails are served in teacups and they are delicious. The venue is quite small, so worth doing on a week day night or with not too large a crowd.
In line with the secrecy of a true speakeasy bar, there is not much information on the website, however I'll link you to it in any case:
Nothing beats a good afternoon tea. I have a sweet tooth, so the sugar overload is great for me. I have been to a few, and is something I always do with my mum when she is in London. I always find it's a nice alternative to dinner as you have more opportunity to talk and catch up.
The Berkeley know how to do afternoon tea. They put their own twist on it with a fashionista theme, with cakes and biscuits in theme with the latest fashion trends. They are all a work of art, and they taste delicious. The service is great, and you get as many helpings as you want - including a little take home collection which is always appreciated!
My lovely mum on her birthday!
Cost: £40 a head without champagne
Sir John Soane was an architect, best known for his work with the bank of England, also the architect for Dulwich Picture Gallery.
From his fortunes and his travels, he collected a vast array of things from all over the world. From paintings to antiques and Egyptian works of art. The great thing, is that all he collected is on display in his house, which due to a family feud, he left to the general public to enjoy.
The house is beautiful and the museum objects are fascinating - a really unusual museum.
Highgate Cemetery was opened in 1839 as part of the magnificent seven cemeteries - which were privately built. The cemetery is split into two - the east and west cemetery.
It might sound a bit strange to recommend a cemetery visit, however this is no ordinary cemetery. If you like London history or admire buildings and architecture, this is well worth a look. Yes it does look like the set of a horror film, and has been used for filming a number of these, but it is an exceptional place.
The west cemetery is the most fascinating - an older cemetery which can only be accessed by guided tour. It includes many Gothic tombs and buildings and numerous notable burials. The tombs and buildings are beautiful, but require a lot of care. Your tour fee helps with the significant cost of maintaining the cemetery, and in my opinion, is worth every penny.
Probably one of the most unusual and entertaining dining experiences. Gingerline HQ is named after the 'ginger' overground - the east london overground. The concept is genius, a pop-up restaurant with a surprise theme on any stop of the 'gingerline'. You simply book, not knowing what you're in for, receive a text an hour before dinner letting you know the location. You arrive to a secret theme and are served amazing food.
I went along to this in March 2013, and had one of the best evenings I have ever had in London. The theme of the evening was Children's story books. To enter the restaurant, we had to almost crawl through a tunnel filled with mushrooms, climbing into a total fantasy land. A story book of the menu, with a moon on the wall talking in rhymes. Two fantastic crazy characters, creative scenery and delicious food made for a fantastic fairytale evening.
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Location: Anywhere on the 'gingerline'
Cost: £50 a head