A rather ‘tame’ trip for me and my other half was our summer trip to London! My partner’s first time in the capital unfortunately was not as wild as we wanted, as I have been recovering from surgery, but we still went all out to enjoy our five day break. We managed to get trains and an airbnb for a very reasonable price so decided we should still go and enjoy some nice food and culture, even if my girlfriend did have to walk at my snails pace (sorry honey!) So I thought why not share our favourite memories from this trip.
Bob Bob Ricard
The day we travelled to London was my partner’s 22nd birthday, so after the 2 hour journey from Leeds, dumping our bags at our hotel and having a wonder round Soho and Oxford Street, it was time for Drew’s birthday dinner. We browsed instagram prior to our departure from Leeds and booked lots of restaurants and bars in advance (which I would recommend doing). We booked Bob Bob Ricard and I must say it was beautiful, even if it was a bit posh for’t like of us! We went all out and had 2 glasses of champers each, starters, mains and shared a desert and including the service charge, we (I) spent £167. It was worth every penny. I had roasted salmon which was the best I have ever tasted, and Drew’s lamb was unbelievable. Would recommend!
The next day we checked out the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street, which is the biggest botanical garden in the UK; also providing the best panoramic views of London. The gardens are free to access but do require booking in advance. It was hard to get a ticket; we literally had to be on the website as soon as they became available (3 weeks before you want to visit) and they are gone in no time! The queuing system was very well organised and very secure. Inside, there was airport like security! It was a beautiful place to walk around and a great place for photo ops! Unfortunately the queues to get a drink were massive so we had a wonder and after a few pics, we got the lift back down to the bottom. Overall, I would recommend but don’t expect to get refreshments without waiting a while.
Easily the best bar we visited was drag and LGBT bar Blame Gloria. We booked a bottomless drinks package prior to visiting which was a great idea. The manager and staff were exceptional, and never left us without at least one full drink. The vibe was chilled but fun at the same time and the drinks were delicious. I loved the fact that there was so much choice on the drinks packages, not just Prosecco and beer like many other places. We had pornstar martinis, espresso martinis, mojitos, Prosecco and gin, which were all high quality and made to order. There were also waiters bringing us drinks and cocktails to try! We paid £70 for a 1.5 hour slot of unlimited drinks for two, but as the bar wasn’t too busy, the manager let us stay as long as we wanted, which was a lovely gesture. The drinks package was definitely worth doing! Overall, I would 100% recommend and we will be back!
We also had one too many in G-A-Y Soho, which was and always is a hilarious night out. Gay bars and clubs in general are such a safe space to enjoy drinks, cheesy music and a post-op two step. We can’t ever go to a G-A-Y and not leave with about 10 new mates, and obviously I met someone who lives less than a mile from where I grew up – he said ‘I’d recognise that Leeds accent anywhere’ – mortified. We also went to see a friend of mine who works in Soho’s first lesbian bar SheBar, which we absolutely loved. The vibes were immaculate; good music, meeting some amazing people and enough gin and honey tequila to make us forget our way back home. Loved the nightlife!
2:22 A Ghost Story
Anyone who knows me know I have an unhealthy obsession with the Queen of Myspace, Lily Allen. So when I saw that she was having her theatre debut I bought tickets before even knowing what the play was about. I’d probably never go and see a ghost story in the theatre but I obvs had to support my girl (who has no idea I exist). When I tell you it was one of the best plays I’ve seen I mean it! The story had me on the edge of my seat so many times and Lily was unreal in her first appearance in theatre. The ending had my gob wide open. If you get chance to see 2:22 A Ghost Story then I would say it is well worth it!
Camden is one of my favourite parts of London. We visited the market and Camden Town Brewery before heading back to Soho. We ate bao buns, drank beers and shopped up cycled clothing! The market seemed to have grown massively since the last time I visited a few years ago and we loved the jewellery stalls, art and incense shops. We visited a clothing stall in Buck Street Market called ‘Imogen Fawkes Upcycles’ which is a sustainable clothing stall, with outfits which are great for festivals/raves/summer parties. Imogen was lovely and helped us choose the right items for a day at Leeds Festival.
We stopped to pay respect at the Amy Winehouse memorial, as we pass ten years since she was taken from us. Her spirit is so alive in the town where she lived. Camden is home to some of my favourite sneaker shops such as Offspring and Size? so I obviously had to indulge. We enjoyed a slow (sorry) walk to Camden Town Brewery where we tried beers and lagers, which had a great atmosphere – even if we would rather have a cocktail. We stopped for coffee before heading back to Oxford Circus.
Carnaby Street and Sophie Tea
Carnaby Street has one of the best vibes in London, IMO. With cool streetwear shops, art galleries and sweet spots to eat and drink, Carnaby Street should always be on your London to do list! Sophie Tea’s new art gallery was a highlight of Carnaby Street. Although we were gutted we missed the grand opening, the art on show in the shop/gallery was amazing. Sophie Tea’s talent and vision comes to life here, with her message of body positivity shining through in every piece of art she creates. It really hits different to see her paintings in the flesh!
The Best Pasta in London
I had heard about Circolo Popolare from a few friends so decided to book it 500 years in advance to get a table while we were in London. I must say, as soon as we walked in my jaw dropped. The most beautiful interior I had ever seen – no exaggeration. We were greeted and brought to our table but all I could look at was the 20,000 bottles of spirits which sit in the arches of the building. We used our phones to look at the menu – which was the only thing I’d change about the experience (I know it’s probably for covid reasons, but I really didn’t want to look at my phone when in such a beautiful place.) We ordered with a waitress and had some bread while taking in the amazing atmosphere. We had mozzarella and a pastry dish to start, and the main course absolutely blew me away. I had veal and cheese pasta which was the most tender, beautiful piece of meat I have eaten in a long time. We were literally speechless at the food and the whole experience – easily the best pasta dish I have ever tasted. The drinks were delicious and I found the prices to be reasonable for the amount of food we had and the London location! Circolo Popolare is a MUST, if you know you’re going to London, you have to book to go here if you can get in!
So there is a little taste of our trip to London. Despite not being on top form, we still had a great time, ate some unreal food and met some lovely people. We will definitely be back to experience London in it’s full glory (when I can walk more than 200 steps without having to sit down for half an hour). Next time we want to go to a lesbian event and maybe a gig/festival. We will definitely explore more nightlife when my ability to dance improves (not that I have much hope of that) and I would also love to go to some sneaker/streetwear events. I was gutted that the vagina museum in Camden Market was closed every day that we were there, and hope to visit that next time too! Overall, we had a fab time and hope anyone reading enjoys some of the amazing places we have been.
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