London has been on our bucket list since the moment we learned to read. J.K Rowling, Kate Morton, and countless other authors wrote their beautiful stories inspired by this cities' architecture and culture. We had the luxury to visit London in 2019, from Sunday 17th February til April Fools, using the city as a checkpoint while we explored the rest of Europe.
This is our travel summary.
P.S. Thank you to our friends for letting us stay with them 💞 The hospitality, laughs and adventures we shared made our entire London stay more heartwarming and beautiful. If we had stayed in a hotel and been typical tourists, we probably would detest the London crowds and weather too.
We left Sydney 6:30 PM Saturday night and flew 22 hours, stopping by Abu Dhabi, and landing in London, Sunday noon. After settling in and catching up, we headed out to the pub for a wholesome Sunday Roast and board games with Nick and Allie.
One thing we noticed immediately was the abundance of pubs; there was one almost every block 😂. Dayumm, Londoners love to get lit. Another thing about the pubs was that people would start randomly playing classical music with their trumpets and horns, and people were allowed to bring their dogs inside the pubs. This was the cutest thing about our first day. Imagine getting drunk with a pup. Unfortunately for us, Sydney has very strict rules about pets.
The next day was full on, with emphasis. With excitement and adrenaline, we headed out for Southwark and the iconic Millennium Bridge (HERE) at 9AM sharp. We were so happy that we were unaffected by the gloomy weather lol.
Then we headed for Borough Markets where we ate everything in sight. Read HERE for food reviews. Afterwards, to work off our food comas, we walked towards the Australia House, Julibee Markets, and Covent gardens (HERE).
We learned that public bathrooms were scarce in London so to solve our bladder's needs, we stopped by 4 different pubs to "get a drink". Since I was not a beer fan, I had about 6 gin and tonics that day - LIT 🤩🔥
In the afternoon, we made our way towards Trafalgar Square (HERE), the Household Calvary Museum, St James Park, the London Eye and Big Ben. For an idea of how much we walked, our total step count for this day was 33,000 LOL If you look on Google Maps, it would seem we walked for the entirety of London city.
The day didn't end here. Next, we caught public transport to the Beigel Shop to get the famous salted beef bagel 🤤 It was very easy to navigate the train system with the help of the citimapper app. We were told locals relied heavily on this app too because London is such a complex city lol. After devouring our bagel, we headed out to Flat Iron for dinner with the whole gang. Full food review HERE.
On Tuesday we had pre-booked the Sherlock Holmes Museum for 10 AM (HERE). We stopped by Pre-A-Manger for a quick breakfast. After visiting 221B Baker street, we went to visit the Queen at Buckingham Palace (HERE).
Afterwards, we went to explore Chinatown where we found boba tea for £8. No, thank you. That's almost $15 AUD for a regular sized, decent-tasting boba drink! To be honest, it was a little hard for us to spend a lot in London because we were always mentally converting the currency 😂. We ended up having Burger and Lobster for lunch, where lobsters were going for £31 a kg (not a bad value)
We made our way through the shopping areas, stopping by Kingdom Sweets and the M&M store. Since we were meeting Nick and Allie for dinner, we ducked into Cakes and Bubbles for sweets and wine (HERE).
For dinner, we went to Neal's Yard where we got the famous Homeslice pizza. These were 20", huge and so delicious. Australian pizzas are tiny in comparison.
On Wednesday, we got a real taste of the train system by travelling up North to Watford for a magical time at the Harry Potter Studio Tour (more HERE).
Funny story: I accidentally purchased tickets for 20 March and didn't realise until much later. On this eventful 20 February, we got lost navigating to the bus and had transport-ticketing issues. When we rocked up to the entrance, the clerk scanned our tickets and we entered with no issues. We only realised we went on the wrong date when I received an email with instructions on how to get there on the 19 March LOL. Ah, that would have been helpful if we went on the right day 🤣 The clerk must have seen the same date and day and missed the month completely because no one (but me) can fuck up like that HAHAHA.
For dinner, we had one of the best meals of our entire lives! Mick managed to get a reservation for 4 at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and holy shit, it was a friggin' delicious and bougee meal. We ordered the truffle pasta on top of our 4 course meal and it was divine! DE-FRIGGIN-VINE. We eat out a lot and our EATS page shows it, especially our fine dining experience yet Restaurant Gordon Ramsay still tops the list! 🤤😍 Go look at what we ate HERE. It was honestly worth the money.
On Thursday 21st Feb, we flew out to Amsterdam, Netherlands. We returned to London almost a month later, from Milan, Italy, on Tuesday 19th March. We didn't do much other than sleep because I had a jam-packed itinerary for the entire month and Mick was exhausted from all the steps. We were doing an average of 26,000 steps a day.
The next day, we headed out to Tower Bridge and Borough Markets again. As you can see, we got chubby from all the food. We had Duck & Waffle Local (HERE) for dinner where I somehow managed to set the table on fire. Thank you for putting up with me, Allie 😋
Edited the above pic to add a more dramatic sky 😉 Also, I don't remember which day but one of the snacks we had in London was Iberico jamon, a type of cured ham. By the end of our holiday, Mick got sick of jamon because he was eating it that much, especially in Barcelona haha
Thursday 21st March 2019 was a very eventful day for us. We woke up at 2:30 AM to travel to Wiltshire where we witnessed the druids welcome the Spring Equinox at sunrise by the Stonehenge. TWO-THIRTY in the friggin' morning! We've never had to wake up so early in our entire lives, holy shit.
It was worth it though because we actually got to touch this prehistoric monument. They say if you touch the rock, you get good luck for the year. I rubbed it for gold 😂 Read more about that day trip HERE. Also, we thought druids were a fantasy thing of online gaming like WoW but nope, they're real. It's a thing.
In the evening, Mick flew back to Sydney and we had the most heart wrenching moment of our relationship. We're not used to doing long distance 🥺
Friday was uneventful. I stayed home to edit and explored New Cross Gate. I also experienced some racism - had the kebab owner completely disregard me because I was an Asian Australian. He said "my people" were responsible for the Christchurch mosque shootings happening 🙃 Wish I could take my £5 back and leave the kebab.
Anyways, I flew out to start my solo tour in Berlin, Germany on Saturday and returned to London on Wednesday 27th March.
On Thursday, I was at Piccadilly Circus station and managed to get lost crossing the streets. Thank you for putting up with me again, Allie 😚. She took me to Brasserie Zedel and it was a bummer I didn't bring my camera because the food was so good. Friday was spent partying with Mitch and Yuka. IYKYK.
On Saturday 30th March, London was blessed with amazing weather so everyone headed south to Brighton Beach (HERE)
Finally, on Sunday I went to Beigel Shop and had one more delicious salted beef. I went to Mitch and Yuka's place for an afternoon lunch of baked potatoes, pad thai and chicken wings. I flew out of the EU to Vietnam on Monday.
Overall, we loved our time in London. We've been told by other Sydneysiders that London felt "boring" in comparison to other European countries due to cost of living, the packed underground tubes, and the lack of fresh seafood and Asian cuisine. We do agree with these aspects but thanks to our dear friends, we had one of the most wholesome time 💜 Love you all!
Thank you for reading!