As I count down the days until I leave London (currently 8 days left, help), I figured it may be a good idea to compile some of my favorite things that I've done so far into a list to share with people who are thinking about visiting or studying in London. I also just want to procrastinate on writing my papers. So here you go! A very brief guide to London through my eyes. A couple of classic touristy things because I really enjoyed them with a few personal favorites tossed in.
1. Walk along the Thames at night to see the London Eye and Tower Bridge lit up! There are less people around the river at night making it less noisy and (in my opinion) more enjoyable.
2. Visit Primrose Hill, the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, Parliament Hill, or climb the Monument for sunsets and great views of the city!
3. Visit the markets! Great food, relatively cheap, and an overall fun time. The only downside is having to pick which food stands you want to go to. Personal favorites: Camden, Sunday Up/Brick Lane, and Borough.
4. If you like running (or want to get into running) and want to be surrounded by great, motivating people, then consider joining a running group! I ran with the London Nike Running Club and London Midnight Runners and I loved both of them! They're free, well organized, and helped keep me in shape after I pig out at the markets. For both of these groups, speed isn't important. They like to have fun while exercising together. So if you're interested, you should look them up!
5. Try halloumi!! I've never heard of this amazing food before coming to London and I was definitely missing out. So if you've never had it, I urge you to give it a try! It looks like chicken but it is actually just a heavenly piece of cheese that you can grill and eat with almost anything! I am definitely going to search for halloumi when I get back to the States. a) Smashed avocado toast with grilled halloumi and honey from Bloomsbury Coffee House b) Halloumi salad from Comptoir
6. Go on a cafe crawl! I've been using cafes as my study/work space (while also satisfying my coffee addiction) and I have really enjoyed visiting the different shops. The food and coffee is usually good and they're fun places to hang out. The Timberyard is great for getting work done. It has wifi, plenty of outlets and seating, and pretty delicious food. Bloomsbury Coffee House is good for work but also has a great breakfast and lunch menu. If you prefer tea, Half Cup and Yumcha have some great loose leaf teas. There are plenty of cafes to visit in London. And if you don't know where to start, just reference this handy map located in Free State Coffee. Below: Breakfast of champions, pistachio salted caramel crodough, and flat white from the Timberyard.
7. Or if you're looking for something a little sweeter, search London for hot chocolate! There are a number of places that have really good and crazy hot chocolate drinks so if you're in London, this may be something worth looking into! Unfortunately I didn't spend as much time searching as I would have liked. So learn from my mistakes! Here are some of the places I've tried. a) Hot chocolate with a homemade marshmallow fluff from Chin Chin Labs. b) Stacked salted caramel hot chocolate from Cereal Killer Cafe. One place I haven't had the chance to visit (yet) is Choccywoccydoodah but I heard from friends that their hot chocolate is amazing.
I think I'll leave it there for now. It's not much but London is huge and time is limited. These are just some personal favorites that I think sum up my time here pretty well. A lot of running, eating, and random sight seeing. There is definitely more to share from my time here, so maybe I'll do a part 2 next week!
More Blogs From This Author
Kevin V Au
<p>I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. I am currently a Junior at the University of Rochester majoring in Psychology and planning to become a Physical Therapist. I love food, obstacle course racing, martial arts, drawing, and getting into philosophical discussions with my friends. I will be studying Health Practice and Policy in London and I'm excited to share my experience abroad!</p>