Amanda's top 10 things to do in London...

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Today I'd like to introduce you to Amanda who blogs over on Thisluxlife.

Amanda has kindly offered to take over my blog for the day to tell you all about her top 10 things to do in little ole' London. I have to say I'm in agreement with all the eating options, yum! And there's a few things on her list that I'm yet to experience like London's Ice Bar - which has now been added to my ever-growing London bucket list...

Amanda of Thisluxlife

Hi - I'm Amanda from Thisluxlife - here to fill you in on my top 10 things to do in London...

Now I've visited London many, many times - probably at least eight long weekends; and in my lifetime probably at least 20 times!

During those visits I've seen all of the long running shows and eaten at lots of top, long established restaurants. When I visit London these days I try not to do the touristy things as I have done most of them in the past. There is a few I would like to do again as the memories have faded it’s that long ago so I am compiling a list for my next visit. The thing is with London however many times you go you can never see it all! Like any good city there is always something new and exciting to make you want to go back. For now here is my list of favourite things to do and experience in our great city...

1. Enjoy a great breakfast

There are some very famous places to eat breakfast in London and one of the top haunts that is written about time and time again is The Wolseley. Seeped in history as you slip through the famous doors you do feel like you are being transported back in time. A wonderful location for people watching and eavesdropping into wonderful conversations too! I had a sausage sandwich and it was glorious! As was my liquor coffee!

2. Indulge in afternoon tea

There are some amazing afternoon tea venues in London that are incredibly famous none more so than The Ritz. You can get pretty much every type of high tea experience in the city dependent on what you want. There is even a gentleman’s afternoon tea at one of the hotels (Sanctum Soho) for the men. My favourite has to be the Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley Hotel. This is a fashion based afternoon tea with everything from the China to the food themed by fashion. Your waitress comes with a little torch and shows you fashions of the season and your afternoon treats are based upon those! You also get replenishments as you eat so it is almost the never ending afternoon tea!

Top 10 things to do in London - Indulge in afternoon tea
image via Berkeley London

3. Catch a show in The West End

I love the magic of the theatre and I think it is a ‘must-do’ when in London. There are so many magical shows and they’ll take you on a wonderful journey and by the end you will be on your feet. My top recommendations include ‘We Will Rock You’ ‘Legally Blonde’ and ‘Mamma Mia’ for the ultimate feel good factor.

4. Explore Hyde Park and Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park is a beautiful picnic venue in the summer sunshine but in winter it transforms into a stunning wonderland complete with a carousel and ice rink. So put on those gloves and scarf and check it out. There are some wonderful food stalls and rides and it’s just really fab for a fun outdoor winter’s day.

Top 10 things to do in London - Explore Hyde Park & Winter Wonderland

5. Visit Harrods

I just adore Harrods. The reasons are pretty obvious! Halls and halls of treasures. If you are female you will automatically be in shopping heaven. Men will love the food court with plenty of gastro food. There's also lots of lovely areas where you can sit and enjoy a champers and have a bite to eat. My friend saw Simon Cowell and baby Eric in the food hall near the cakes - so fab for celeb spotting too!

6. Eat at a Michelin or famous restaurant

There’s nowhere more famous in terms of restaurants than The Ivy and we loved it here. Non pretentious (considering it is the Ivy!) the food is homely and uber tasty. The cottage pie is famous here and a must try. It gets a big thumb’s up from me as does the burger.

Top 10 things to do in London - Eat at a Michelin or famous restaurant
image via Hg2 LONDON

7. Grab a cocktail at the ice bar

Brrrrrrrrrrr cold definitely cold. Do this on a day where it is warm outside - sadly we did it when we had been walking in the rain! You are given a special coat to wear and you drink cocktails in an ice glass! Other than going to the Ice Hotel in Norway where else can you experience an ice bar! This is one of those once in a lifetime experiences that you probably won’t do again but you definitely need to tick it off!

Top 10 things to do in London - Grab a cocktail at the Ice Bar
image via Figgy Lane

8. Sight see from an open top bus

I haven’t done this for a while but it is always good to remind you of all the wonderful sites London has to offer. It’s also an effective and affordable way to see lots in a short space of time.

Top 10 things to do in London - Sight see from an open top bus

9. Visit some of the up and coming areas like Shoreditch and Notting Hill

There are so many areas in London that are up and coming and trendy with really cool places to visit. The markets in London are immense and Borough market is on my list of places to try next having heard great things from friends. I also recommend Camden market for amazing vintage clothes and quirky food stalls. If you are a film lover go and see where the book shop was in the film Notting hill and the little coloured houses, and whilst you are there see Portobello market and have some Nutella pancakes (a real joy!).

Top 10 things to do in London - Sight see in Notting Hill
image via New York Habitat

10. Stay in a luxury hotel

My final thing to do in London is stay somewhere plush! You really need a good night’s sleep on a city break as there is so much to see and do and lots of walking so stay somewhere lovely and know you will be really comfortable. Have champagne on ice when you arrive (maybe we've just got lucky but this does seem to be the norm at the 5* hotels.), try out the snuggly robes, soft bedroom slippers and massive showers and baths for luxury bathing - BLISS. The only problem is you won’t want to go home!

Top 10 things to do in London - Stay in a luxury hotel

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  1. Such a sweet post (thanks Amanda), I also adore Harrods - as a teenager I had my ears pierced there, and fainted!

  2. Very interesting top 10! I had definitely been recommended some of those before, but other ones I'm now so intrigued by and will add to my list for when I move back to the UK and visit London! :)

  3. All great things to do in London! I worked in a bar at Winter Wonderland last year.. it was fun.. until it wasn't anymore haha

  4. A great list of ideas Amanda! I am going to London soon so this was perfect for inspiration!