Travel Guide to London.
Thing to See
I know I am back in London when I have blisters on my feet. It happens every time I return to the city. I hate the Tube, I do not mind the buses, but I really just love to walk, and London is a very walk able city. One of my favorite walks is along the waterside promenade that skirts the Thames. I like to begin at Borough Market then stroll along the river by the Millennium Bridge, the Tate Modern, the South Bank Centre, and the London Eye from where there great views of Westminster across the water and, depending on where I am staying, continue even farther. The views of the city skyline are stunning from the south side of the river. Once you are done, head into the Tate Modern for some stunning art.
Thing to Do
If you love eating and shopping, as well as seeing the city, then do Context’s London for Foodies tour, which takes you on a walking tour of central London, calling into gourmet shops and specialty food purveyors on the way.
Where to Eat
Whenever I travel, I love to eat at restaurants that present the best renditions of or reinterpret their local or regional specialties. Fergus Henderson’s St John is the place for advocates of ‘nose to tail’ eating, that is, if you are going to slaughter an animal, you should be eating as much of it as possible. Last time we were there, we had chitterlings and dandelion salad with capers, gherkins and caramelized shallots; roast bone marrow and parsley salad with sea salt; snail, sausage, and chickpea stew; and ox heart and lentils. Appropriately located at Borough Market, Roast specializes in classical British cuisine based on seasonal produce. Think dishes like pea and ham soup with smoked ham hock; cold roast Welsh black beef fillet; spit roast Goosnargh chicken with lemon and thyme; and pot roast feather blade of beef with mashed potatoes and creamed horseradish. London’s oldest restaurant, Rules, established in 1798, grow its game on their own farm, Lartington Estate, where they raise a rare and ancient breed of Belted Gallowy Beef purely on grass and hay. If they are on the menu, try the brown Windsor soup with Welsh rarebit and the roast loin of organic Berkshire Pork with sage and pine nut stuffing, buttered leaks and crackling.
I am a big fan of cocktail bars and have been dying to get to sipping spots in London like the jazzy Nightjar, the speakeasy Evans & Peel, and quirky Callooh Callay, but every time my husband and I head to London, we invariably end up heading to the local pubs. There is something about British pubs that make me want to settle in with a pint and never leave and the older the pub the better.
For booking London hotels, I like to use www.londontown.com and I will always look for properties that are small, stylish or have some character, and are well located and that does not have to be slap-bang in the centre but could simply be on a good transport route. I love properties like the Zetter Townhouse, Blakes, and the Halkin Hotel, where you will find David Thompson’s Nahm restaurant.