Best of London by Naty
I dedicate this post to my girl Lida, who is in London town for about a week. Enjoy! This list comes from a compilation of places from assorted sources, some were recommendations from Dia, Omar's little sister who lives in London, some are places I wanted to visit. Most foodie places are from Anthony Bourdain's - The Layover London, and they are top notch. They are in order from my favorite to least, but if they made it on this list, it means they were good!
I'm biased, I love farmers market, so I say if can only visit one place in London, head to Borough Market. It is the most fresh, best looking food, and so cheap. Besides selling fresh products there are stands scattered around that sell prepared food for lunch, we tried the Italian pasta place (in the area called Middle Road - 'La Tua Pasta'), the oyster ('Shellseker Game & Fish', also at Middle Road) and the sandwich place (Middle Road - 'Brindisa'), but I don't think there is any wrong choice, like that awesome looking place with grill cheese sandwich just look at the pictures! Don't miss the mushroom pate sample, either. Why is this my number one place? Because if tickets to London where $200 like they used to be a few years ago, I would go every weekend just to have lunch at Boroughs Market, that's how good it is! Be aware they close at 3pm
Lots of pie everywhere, but for proper English pie go to Newman's arm, Anthony Bourdain's recommendation. There is 2 streets name really similar and they are just around the corner from each other, to add to the confusion. The GPS in our phone got us really close, but we couldn't find it I our own the first time around. Ask the locals, they are really nice, and they'll direct you, if you can't find it. Newman's Arm is a little pup run by family and friends, and they treat them as such, that's why they are closed on the weekend. Their pies are big and meaty. They also have a vegetarian option and for dessert, have the sticky Toffee Pudding with the ice cream, recommendation of our waitress, and after trying 2 of their desserts, she knows what she is talking about!
Just stumbled upon this place. If you are into teas, you need to come here. They have tons of good English tea, classic or with a twist. Really, the store smells delicious, and they have every flavor imaginable. If you prefer your fix spiked, head downstairs for the best whiskey, gawk at the bottles on display that looks like liquid gold, and are priced as such. Not all their selection of whiskey and tea is unattainable, but this store is on the expensive side.
Best view in town. When I was in London about 10 years ago, The London Eye (the Millennium Wheel) was the tallest structure in London. I'm don't suffer vertigo, and love to go to the tallest structure, for new perspectives on the cities. At the Wheel you see a good portion of London, you see down and up the Tiber, but you are not much higher than the city skyline. The Shard is more than twice as tall than the the Wheel, and the tallest building in Western Europe. The shard's 'View' truly offers you a new perspective of London. The price to London Eye - online right now shows 18.85 pounds, vs 24.95 pounds for The Shard. London Eye is definitely the cheaper option, but you will see less of the city. No matter which way you go, you want to buy the tickets in advance, since they increased the prices significantly when you buy it on the spot. Skip the coffee place downstairs, next to the hotel. It is overpriced and not good, shockingly as their pastries on display look good as a picture. Click on the first picture for anecdote
Camden Lock - Visit London's Website picture
Best place for souvenirs, and street food. It is a street market, which has a sort of bohemian feel to it. You can find few things that you know nobody will have, and that everybody will envy. Their t-shirt shops are amazing, you will have trouble deciding what you will buy, and at affordable prices, you will want to take one of each. It's mostly cash only, but some stores will allow you to pay with credit card. Don't go there on time constrain, as the place is a maze, and you will surely get lost in the many, many stores they have. They also have delicious street food, so you don't shop on an empty belly. They are open until 6pm. Beware, when you get out of the tube, take a left, and walk down the street. At first you will see actual stores, which are cool, but can be a bit pricey. At first you will encounter all the t-shirt vendors on your right a smaller cluster of stores. You can keep walking down that street, and enter the maze either by the lock on a street going up, or just before underneath the bridge, by the food market. Once there, they have anything you little heart may desired, and it would be impossible to rate any particular store, just wonder and have fun. On the food section, I would avoid the ones with a permanent stand, and head to the back for the temporary stands, they switch around, but we had a churro from some Brazilian girls, they were the yummiest thing I ate there. Omar really loved the polish food at one of the stands, and we both agreed that the paella was not the best.
Another place in Anthony Bourdain's list. The owner was a very funny guy, which made the atmosphere really great. It feels like you are stepping into a Italian cafe. We sat a the bar, each had a cup of coffee to taste and a pastry of our choice. We got to try each ones, and they where all really good. Have the Aperol Spritz for an Italian drink.