London Views Bucket List

London is a city which is sometimes best appreciated from a vantage point, and luckily there are lots of places you can do that.  I have always maintained that my favourite view of London is from the top of Primrose Hill. Not only is it a gorgeous location in itself but it offers an amazing panoramic view of all of London.

Image taken from pinterest

Sometimes a view helps to put things into perspective, after just a short walk up a hill problems seem smaller and insignificant and you can look down on things from a different perspective.

Yesterday I saw the view from the top of the Shard, it is definitely an experience I really enjoyed it, and obviously so much better if you go on a clear day.

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However, it is £25 for what is essentially going in a lift! I do think that whilst other vantage points in London might not be as high as the Shard, they can be just as good. So I have put together a list of my favourite views of London which I hope you will enjoy.

This is the view from the top of Greenwich Park on a very sunny day! Greenwich is a beautiful place to spend a Saturday, they have a great market and it feels almost as if you are out of London for the day and can see the Cutty Sark, wander round the old streets and have a picnic in the park before climbing the hill for this view of Canary Warf and beyond.

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Another great view (that you can also see for free!) is from the cafe in the National Portrait Gallery. It is a great view of central London as you can see Nelsons Column, Big Ben and down Whitehall. I like the way you can see flags flying too!

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 I was lucky enough to experience this view whilst doing the Maggie’s London Night Hike (now called the Maggie’s Culture Crawl). As part of the hike we got to go to the top of City Hall and I was able to see this night time view of London which was pretty special.

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What are your favourite London views?

Dream Day in Notting Hill

When I explore a new area of London I love to try and cram as much into that one visit as possible, so here is my idea for the perfect day to make the most of a day spent in Notting Hill and the surrounding areas. Some of these places I have been to and love, and others are on my bucket list of places to visit.

I would start of my day at Westbourne Park Tube Station early on a Saturday morning. From there I would take a short walk to the lovely bookshop on All Saints Road called Book and Kitchen, browse their shelves and choose a classic from my to-read list. Then I’d head over for brunch at Rum Kitchen and read my book with some reggae playing in the background.

Next up would be a wander around Portobello market to pick up some essentials:-

I’d buy some Indian mangoes from one of the fruit stalls, THE most delicious mangoes you will ever try and then source some gorgeous flowers from the excellent value flower stalls on the market.

Flowers

From there, I would head down Bleheim Crescent, past Lydon’s Stitch and Beads on the corner to buy some beautiful, colourful ribbon

 

Ribbon

And then to The Spice Shop choose from the most wonderful selection of exotic spices.  I would then pop round the corner to the icing cafe at Biscuiteers. A wonderful biscuit boutique with ever changing, unique biscuit window displays.  They run classes so you can personalise your own biscuits or if you aren’t feeling quite so creative you can buy exquisitely decorated biscuits instead.

Then I would wander up Kensington Park Road, stop off at Paul Smith Westbourne House and have a drink at Trailer Happiness (I would probably have the wonderfully named Floyd’s Pelican Fizz, a delicious sounding combination of pomegranate and prosecco) and then, after a busy day whizzing around, I would take a well earned break having an excellent value pedicure at Sophie Gass, a “concept fashion, flowers and nail boutique” just near Holland Park tube station.

What would you do with your day in Notting Hill?

Restaurant Bucket List

Some of my current favourite restaurants in London are Polpo – great food but annoyingly you can’t book and have to wait in the tiny bar, Burger and Lobster is just delicious – but obviously only go if you like one of the two named meals and Bocca Di Lupo is just straight up amazing food – make sure you book well in advance.

There are just so many amazing restaurants in London, which I love going to but with  the amount of new restaurants popping up it can sometimes be difficult to get round to visiting the more established, classic places. So this list is mainly of well established, not-so-new eateries that I want to visit.

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The first place on my bucket list of restaurants I want to go to is the Wolseley for breakfast. It is my most favourite meal of the day and to have it at the Wolseley in the most glamourous of surroundings would be the most perfect way to start the day.  I would definitely order the eggs benedict, with a freshly squeezed orange juice and one of their famously decadent “Mozart” drinks – hazelnut liqueur, a shot of espresso, hot chocolate, cream and almond flakes!

Reading Bucket List

There are so many books which are on my reading list but this summer there are a few I particularly want to make sure I finish (and start!)

After taking some inspiration from the Lulu Lovess blog  I have just started reading The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I have recently finished the Great Gatsby and I loved the way it transports you totally and utterly to a different era and country and for a moment everything is dripping with glamour but also tragic at the same time.

The Beautiful and Damned

I bought this copy from a lovely bookshop/cafe on All Saints Road in just by Westbourne Park called Book and Kitchen. You can browse their selection of new and second hand books before having a freshly squeezed orange juice and relaxing in a cozy armchair in their downstairs cafe.  I do have a kindle and they are so useful for travelling but nothing beats reading and old fashioned, physical book.  I found out only recently that Oxfam sell second hand books online. They are cheap, beautiful and for charity so a winner all round!

Also on my reading list for this year…

Reading List

As you can see, they are mostly “classics” and I sometimes find it difficult to read current things when there are so many other great classics out there. I recently joined a modern book club, hosted by Nomad Books in Fulham which is a great way to read things that I wouldn’t necessarily to read myself but are still great books. It is also lovely to meet up once a month and chat to others about a book you have read and get their opinion on it.

What books are on your reading list this summer?

Art Exhibition Bucket List

Art Galleries List

One thing I absolutely love is going to galleries and museums. I find them relaxing and therapeutic, you turn your phone off and become completely absorbed in something, often learn a new subject and meet some really interesting people.

In London there is always so many new and exciting exhibitions it can be exhausting to keep up with them all. I have narrowed my list down to what I think are the must see exhibitions this summer and ones I am already excited about visiting.

Yesterday I went to the Treasures of the Royal Courts exhibition at the V&A which I loved. It is essentially a collection of gifts which were exchanged between the Tudor and Stuart Courts, starting off with Henry VIII and going on to Charles II and the Russian Tsars to maintain their friendships during this period.  It was also peppered with general artifacts and portraits belonging to various Monarchs.  I mainly viewed it as just a fascinating collection of objects from the period and loved looking at the portraits of Henry VIII as well as a portrait of a young and beautiful Queen Elizabeth I which was painted to show to potential suitors when she considered getting married. Its only on until 14th July so take the opportunity to go soon if you can.

Whilst you are there, make sure you have a cup of tea and a raspberry and white chocolate muffin in the decadent and ornate cafe.

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Top tip: take your ipod to block out the sound of annoying school groups playing youtube videos on their phone!

Other things on the bucket list this summer are The Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy which is just a wonderful collection of hundreds of different artists work. It is so varied there s always something for everyone. I have been going for the past three years and am really excited to go again soon. I also have a bit of a tradition of always leaving the RA after the exhibition, crossing the road and heading into Fortnum and Mason to browse all of the gorgeous tea and chocolates there and the beautifully old fashioned beauty hall.

Also on the list is the Vermeer and Music Exhibition at the National Gallery. I definitely want to go on either a Thursday, Friday or Saturday when they have live performances to incorporate music of the era into exhibition to “enrich your experience of the serene ambiance created by the paintings”!

My Favourite Vermeer Painting

What exhibitions would you recommend this summer?

Welcome

I love London.

I love lists.

List

I love blogs.

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So I have decided to combine all three things in this blog to document all the things I want to do in London, and then make recommendations or advice when I do these things so other readers can decide if it is something they would like to do too.  I hope you can join me on this journey!

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