My travel guide to London: top places you must visit if you’ve never been to the city! I share my hotel, best restaurants, and attractions if you have a weekend or 48 hours in the city.
This is my second post in collaboration with Virgin Atlantic, check out my blog post on the flight from San Francisco to London Heathrow.
Where to stay:
1. Mondrian Hotel – South Bank, London
I stayed in the South Bank district of Central London, located next to the River Thames. This area is full of top attractions such as the London Eye, Jubilee Garden, Oxo Tower, Shakespeare Globe, all within walking distance. The London Eye is one of the world’s most famous Ferris wheels standing at 433-feet high! In the distance you can see Big Ben, an iconic clock tower and London’s most famous landmark. As a first timer in London, this was a beautiful area to explore.
The Mondrian is a sophisticated boutique hotel situated right on the banks of the Thames River. The building captures the essence of a 1920s cruise ship, with copper accents throughout the lobby, tranquility in the rooms, and fresh fare at the Sea Container Restaurant.Check out the SouthBankLondon Twitter for more ideas!
Where to shop:
2. Marylebone High Street
For a girl’s shopping day, we decided to check out the Marylebone High Street shopping scene. It is located in the heart of Central London, full of shops and eateries.
We passed by Regent Street, the world’s first shopping street! This area rivals Champs-Elysees and Fifth Avenue.
Where to Eat:
3. Prêt-à-Portea for Afternoon Tea
Emily and I were invited to try The Berkeley Hotel’s legendary Afternoon Tea at Prêt-à-Portea. I was delighted by the high fashion inspired menu with Stella McCartney’s stripe dress and Balmain’s bright orange flame inspired treats to name a few. Every six months, the menu rotates to following the changing seasons in fashion.
The Prêt-à-Portea – £45
The Champagne Prêt-à-Portea – £52
Delicious rosé and a selection of savory chicken, smoked salmon, and vegetarian friendly sandwiches! I personally loved the cream cheese, cucumber, mint and strawberry sandwich. It was light and sweet!
4. Sea Container for dinner
Brings the best of American and British cuisine together! We were all drooling over the truffle mac n’ cheese (heavenly!), the shaved mushrooms appetizer (light and savory), and dry-aged bone in rib eye!
5. Dandelyan for drinks
The drinks are created by award-winning bar impresario Ryan Chetiyawardana. He takes his inspiration from the botanical wilds of the British countryside. I personally would recommend the Peach in a Pinecone. See the full menu here.
Swings and sunshine on the Perrier Jouet Hamptons Summer Terrace!
6. Oxo Tower Restaurant for dinner
A stunning restaurant on the banks of the Thames river that plays live jazz during the evenings and weekends.
7. Cereal Killer Cafe for dessert
If you’re looking for the most Instagrammable drink, check out Cereal Killer Cafe! Cynthia and Kelly were basically in heaven!
8. Berners Tavern for brunch
The walls are decorated with framed paintings and a beautiful chandelier. In addition to the decor, the menu is curated by Michelin Starred Chef Jason Atherton.
Where to go:
9. Kensington Palace
A charming tour of the British Royal Family’s palace in Kensington Gardens. Inside, you can see the Fashion Rules Exhibit featuring Queen Victoria and Princess Diana’s unique styles.
10. The View from the Shard for an incredible city view.
Sip on champagne in the tallest building in the UK!
11. Virgin Atlantic Heathrow Clubhouse
On my way home to San Francisco, I stopped by the Virgin Atlantic Heathrow Clubhouse to enjoy a little downtime before my long flight home. I’m happy that I got to have another Dandelyan cocktail (seriously, they’re soo yummy). Stay tuned for more photos on the clubhouse!
Thank you for reading! Leave me any questions and I’ll try my best to get back to you!
Photography by: Asideofsweet and CynEats
This post was made in collaboration with Virgin Atlantic.