A Local’s Guide to a Weekend in London
Creating lasting memories in a city like London isn’t the most difficult thing to do. This vibrant city that never sleeps can offer anything you can wish for. It can be overwhelming when just spending a couple of days in the city, but a weekend guide including highlights, must-tries, and off-the-beaten-path activities can come in handy to maximize your experience.
Full English Breakfast
Starting the day well with a full English breakfast at least once is a must. The meal consists of bacon, eggs, British sausage, baked beans, fried tomato, fried mushrooms, black pudding, and toasted bread. It is available on every corner of the street, every hotel, and every pub that serves breakfast. For a nice variety of food and a beautiful view over the River Thames, visit Browns Butlers Wharf.
London’s iconic landmarks are relatively close to each other, so you can see the city highlights in one day. From Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and the London Eye, to the Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Tower of London, you can create some memorable shots of those beautiful iconic buildings along the famous River Thames.
If you’re trying to save energy for the rest of the trip, book a personal guide from SmallCarBigCity to be driven around in a classic Mini Cooper and see the landmarks for a unique perspective with entertaining fun facts about the city along the way.
Relax and unwind while sipping from your “cuppa tea” during a quintessential (Champagne) afternoon tea. One of my favorite places to enjoy this delicacy is at the Conrad London St. James. Enjoy expertly paired teas with finger sandwiches, seasonal sweet treats, savory items, and scones. (Don’t forget to join in on the clotted cream or jam first debate!)
With an enormous variety of shows and musicals, a visit to the West End should be high on your list. Shows take place seven days a week, and it is worth a visit for those wishing to get a taste of cultural London. The evening shows start at 7.30 PM, so most restaurants around will offer a pre-theatre menu to enjoy a fast, decent meal.
More interested in historical culture? Visit Shakespeare Globe and admire the reconstruction of Shakespeare’s historic 16th-century playhouse. Enjoy live demonstrations at various times throughout the day, including Elizabethan clothing dressings, stage fighting, and printing play scripts using a replica 17th-century press.
A Taste of the British Countryside
To escape the hustle and bustle of the city, visit the glorious green just outside of London. By taking the train from Paddington, you’ll be in the middle of the countryside in less than 50 minutes.
For the full experience, make sure to book a Vintage Day Out, where you will be taken around the countryside in a vintage Rolls Royce before stepping onto a classic boat to watch the afternoon drift by. A true British lunch is served on board while your captain talks you through the beautiful sights.
Finish the day with one of Britain’s favorite drinks: A gin and tonic. With over 315 distilleries in Britain, a London Dry Gin is a must-try. Make sure to visit the City of London Gin Distillery to attend a workshop to create your gin by selecting your botanicals, nurturing your gin throughout the distillation process, taking tastings, and deciding when to make the cut. You will not leave the distillery without your very own bottle of gin.
When in London on a Sunday, pop into any pub for a classic Sunday roast. This is a filling meal consisting of roasted meat and potatoes with accompaniments such as Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, bread and mint sauce, vegetables, and gravy. Should you find yourself around South East London, make sure to visit a local restaurant called The Yellow House for a very tasty Sunday roast.
Alternatively, for a nice pub atmosphere and amazing views over the River Thames, The Mayflower Pub in Rotherhithe is highly recommended, just make sure to book in advance.
Cheers to the weekend with a pint of lukewarm ale, another British classic you shouldn’t miss!