How To Spend A Day In London

I’m willing to bet that most of us have a pretty long bucket list when it comes to visiting London. The city is huge, vibrant and full of exciting things to experience. Given that I probably won’t be travelling abroad this year (cue the smallest violin in the world), I figured that I would make the most of my time on home soil and explore some places nearer to me. I think we are so set on seeking the sun overseas that we often overlook what is right on our doorstep, and the UK has some amazing locations which are well worth the trip. I’ve been lucky enough to get to London three times so far this year, and when I travelled to the Eco Tools Spring/Summer launch had a full day in the big smoke solo before the event got underway. After much research, I decided to steer clear of the bigger tourist attractions and head to some of the city’s ‘hidden gems’. If you’re planning a little jaunt to London, these are a few things worth adding to your itinerary.

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Peggy Porschen

First stop was quite possibly the cutest little cafe I have ever set foot in. I was introduced to the adorable Peggy Porschen through VV Nightingale’s equally adorable Instagram account. Situated in the stunning Belgravia area of London, this is a girly girl’s dream come true. Pastel pink exteriors with seasonal flower displays adorning the windows, outside seating for when the weather plays ball and of course, the most delicious selection of cupcakes. Kate Spade were onto a winner when they said ‘Eat Cake For Breakfast’. I went for the Strawberry and Champagne option with a side serving of cappuccino to give me life after the long drive, and a seat in the sunshine. Each bite was mouth-wateringly good, and the perfect accompaniment to a spot of people watching. Inside, the parlour boasts the same feminine style of decor, with shelves stacked full of goodies for sale. Bakery books, pretty little cake stands, an array of different teas and even bottles of pink champagne. If I wasn’t driving, and it wasn’t 10.30 in the morning, I would have happily washed my cupcake down with some bubbles!

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Notting Hill And Chelsea

From there, you are a short tube ride away from Notting Hill and Chelsea. I recommend taking a stroll around the streets to walk off that cake, whilst taking in the sights. It is without doubt one of my favourite areas of London, with it’s relaxed atmosphere and picturesque streets. There’s everything from the infamous Portobello Market, quaint little book shops (obviously, because ‘I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy’…you know the rest), the Biscuiteers base and an Instagram-worthy street every corner you turn. If colourful houses are your thing, head on over to Bywater Street or Saint Lukes Mews for those all important shots. There’s always a real hustle and bustle around these areas; I plan on returning to spend a full day rifling through the vintage treasures and snapping the street art before the year is out.

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Kensington Roof Garden

Hop on the tube to Kensington, and hard as it may be to by-pass the high street (oh hello Space NK, Reiss, MAC, Guru Make Up Emporium and Oliver Bonas) you need to head straight for the Roof Gardens. This hidden gem is a real blink and you’ll miss it fixture – you have to enter via a lift in a pretty standard, for Kensington, building. You need ID to enter, so make sure you are carrying your passport or drivers licence as it would be a shame to be turned away. Up on the top of the building is a magical open space which transports you worlds away from the rushed London life. There are flamingos strutting their stuff around the ‘English Woodland’ section of the gardens, against a backdrop of trickling brooks, beautiful blooms and Mulberry trees. Wander through a set of romantic stone arches and enter the Tudor gardens, complete with greenery that would have thrived in Tudor England enclosed within classic red brick walls. My favourite part had to be the Spanish gardens, where you may as well be sunning yourself in the Mediterranean. A mixture of bright pops of colour, a series of pink terraces and a choice of comfy sofas, basket chairs or sun drenched benches to sip your cocktails in comfort from. Although I didn’t eat there, I did pass through the Babylon restaurant, which boasts amazing views of the London skyline and seasonal British menus.

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Liberty London

Given that I managed to avoid the temptation to shop, I thought it would be the perfect way to end the day to have a little mooch. There are so many places to choose from – Harrods, Oxford Street, Mayfair for window shopping at Tiffany’s (a girl can dream) – but the store I made a bee line for isn’t exactly little known. Of course, it had to be Liberty. Six floors of lavish fashion, beauty, homewares and accessories in such a stunning building. The iconic, outdoor flower display alone is worth the visit and is well publicised on Instagram. Walking into the beauty halls is like walking into my own personal heaven. Aesop, Bella Freud, Diptyque, Hourglass…a beauty addicts dream. You can get up close and personal with a pair of Valentino Rock Studs or an Anya Hindmarch Smiley Cross Body Bag, and as much high fashion as your heart desires in the middle floors, and fantasise about creating your Pinterest-perfect home on the upper levels. Even if you aren’t planning to get spendy, a couple of hours in Liberty will have lusting after the luxury lifestyle that comes alive within its walls.

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Have you been to the big city before? What are your favourite places to visit? I’d love to discover some more places out of the tourist spotlight next time I go to London, so leave any recommendations in the comments!

Kara

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40 Comments

  1. May 12, 2017 / 12:15 PM

    Not sure if I can call myself a Londoner now or not but having lived here a few years this is my list of fave places:

    -Regents Park
    -Primrose Hill (pubs are good for celeb spotting… Harry Styles, Nick Grimshaw…. Kelly Osbourne. Check check check)
    -Hampstead Heath – incredible views and gorgeous homes to lust after. Also if you’re into outdoor swimming in the ponds…
    -Highgate Cemetery
    -Franks roof top bar Peckham – views again. Full of Hipster Dads and fashionable people….
    -Anything on at the Wellcome Collection. It is MY FAVOURITE place for an exhibition in London! Plus their restaurant upstairs is gorgeous and afternoon tea is a MUST
    -The conservatory at the Barbican
    – Shakespeare’s Globe- you can get £5 standing tickets, take a beer in and swoon over Romeo and Juliet as it’s on this summer WOOOP
    – The Sky Garden- rivals the Shard views of London- plus its FREE (you just have to book a ticket online)
    – Sticks’n Sushi in Greenwich = my FAVE restaurant
    – Greenwich park – the views are awesome and it’s got a really seasidey marrytime feel to it

    Next time you’re here I’ll be tour guide 😀

    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 8:52 PM

      I am so up for this. Every single place sounds brilliant Katie! It is actually on my bucket list to see Romeo and Juliette at the Globe so…we should plan something. I really want to do the V&A as well. Let’s do this please!

      Kara

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    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 8:53 PM

      Ah I’m so glad you’ve found it useful! Do send me a link if you post about your trip, I’d love to know what you think of my suggestions.

      Kara

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  2. May 13, 2017 / 10:01 AM

    This sounds like the perfect London day! I recently walked past Peggy Porschen and immediately decided I need to go back and sample those picturesque cupcakes soon… Everything there is so pretty, isn’t it?

    The Kensington Roof Gardens are on my list too – they almost look like they’re some sort of tropical paradise and not in London at all. I can’t wait for a properly sunny day to pay it a visit. 🙂 x

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 8:54 PM

      It doesn’t even feel like England when you’re in the gardens, honestly. I could have spent the full day at any of the places I talked about; theres just so much to see and do in London.

      Kara

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  3. May 13, 2017 / 9:21 PM

    While I’ve been living in London for the past two years I’m actually yet to visit any of these places properly! While I often go exploring, I tend to find myself drifting towards areas that I already know rather than going to new places. I absolutely adore walking from Waterloo bridge all the way to the Shard before heading up for a drink (sometimes two if I’m feeling rich), it’s a great walk as you can see the Golden Hinde, The Globe, Tate Modern before taking in the whole of London from the Shard.
    Alicia x
    http://www.aestheticobsessed.co.uk

    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 8:57 PM

      Ah well that sounds absolutely perfect. It’s a good drive down to London for me (always worth the travel), but I do wish I lived a little closer. I’ve never been up the Shard but it’s definitely on my to-do list.

      Kara

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    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 9:00 PM

      Thank you so much! I really enjoyed getting out and about with my camera – didn’t actually take these with the intention of writing a post but when I was flicking through them I wanted to share them somewhere! Peggy Porschen is just a little slice of heaven, honestly. If you are in London it’s a must-see.

      Kara

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  4. May 14, 2017 / 9:41 PM

    There’s so many places in London to check out and this post is great for me planning my next visit! I usualy head there a few times a year! Hopefully you can make a few more breaks on home soil 🙂
    http://www.samspeaks.co.uk

    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 9:01 PM

      Thank you lovely, I’m thinking of possibly York next. Do let me know if you visit any of these places; I’m sure you’ll love them.

      Kara

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  5. May 14, 2017 / 10:48 PM

    What an incredible guide, gorgeous!! Loved this post and all the places and locations you named and showed! They are stunning! I need a proper trip across to be able to hop around and enjoy all these in a true blogger style 😀
    Peggy Porschen is so on my list!!! <3 <3 <3
    xox Nadia
    http://www.mielandmint.com

    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 9:05 PM

      Oh, it was a blogger-perfect day! I have so many places I want to see in London, it’s such an exciting city! You have to visit Peggy Porschen Nadia – you’d adore it!

      Kara

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  6. Georgie
    May 15, 2017 / 9:31 AM

    So many fab picks Kara! I love heading to London so so much! I always love discovering new spots everytime I go! I really want to go to the rooftop gardens -they look amazing!

    Georgie xo

    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 9:06 PM

      They were incredible Georgie, like you were actually on holiday! And flamingoes…need I say more!

      Kara

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  7. May 15, 2017 / 12:47 PM

    i just adore london and i feel soo happy when i’m there. nottinghill is just beautiful and peggy porschen probably is the most instagram worthy place and peggy porschen actually is german which i think is pretty coold being german myself. i love the pantry at 108 for afternoon tea because its so cosy and yummy and also gluten free.
    ❤︎

    http://www.elenaisabelle.com

    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 9:08 PM

      Yeah, I found out that she was German when I was writing this post. I’ll have to look up Pantry at 108; anywhere cosy sounds like a place I would definitely enjoy being!

      Kara

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  8. May 16, 2017 / 1:59 AM

    Last time I’ve been to London I was about 9 or 10 and I actually dreamt of moving there one day- but ended up moving to the US hehe 😉 Hope to visit soon again, this time with my husband. Loved this post and the gorgeous photography!

    Paula
    Thirteen Thoughts

    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 9:10 PM

      Thank you so much Paula, and if you visit we’ll have to meet up for coffee and cakes!

      Kara

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  9. May 16, 2017 / 10:57 AM

    This post is making me want to go to London more than I already do! Although it doesn’t seem to be as bright and sunny as Sydney, Australia usually is, I cannot wait to visit.

    http://www.epanouii.blogspot.com

    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 9:15 PM

      Sydney is somewhere I would LOVE to go; and Australia in general. One day…

      Kara

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    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 9:15 PM

      Thanks so much lovely!

      Kara

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  10. May 17, 2017 / 6:48 PM

    This post is so good Kara! Your recommendations are the best, I love all of these places. I want to go so bad now! Your photos are stunning too, I hope you had an amazing time! x

    http://www.laura-simone.com

    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 9:17 PM

      Thank you Laura! I had the best day – it was blogger-perfect! Have you been to these places? I want to go again so much; the hard thing is I want to go back to everywhere I wrote about but I have so many things I want to see and do in London!

      Kara

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  11. May 17, 2017 / 8:10 PM

    I can’t believe I lived in west London all my life and have never heard of the Kensington Roof garden.
    Thank you for opening my eyes!

    Vanessa x | http://www.springlilies.com

    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 9:18 PM

      You must go! It’s amazing! Literally like being on holiday. Let me know if you visit!

      Kara

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  12. May 18, 2017 / 12:59 PM

    I’ve been loving these pictures Kara, these should be in a london tour book I swear! I’m off to London soon but I’ve only ever been twice and I’m going alone so I’m a littler nervous haha.

    Rosy | Sparkles of Light Blog
    My Instagram | Instagram

    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 9:22 PM

      Oh mu goodness, thank you Rosy! When are you visiting (I know we talked about it on Twitter but can’t remember when you said)? I went alone as well and was a bit nervous, but I have to have a detailed plan when I go anywhere so I literally knew the tubes I had to get, I had the post codes of where I was going ready for google maps…every little detail. Thats a bit full on but it made it really easy going on my own.

      Kara

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  13. May 19, 2017 / 8:28 AM

    These places look beautiful and definitely places to see!

    I’m moving to London…from South Africa at the end of the year. Your post has just made me even more excited!

    I visited London earlier this year, and I discovered that there are SO many places to see that it would be impossible to ever get bored!

    I’m following for more!

    Steph
    http://www.socialspying.com

    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 9:23 PM

      Oh my goodness! That’s so exciting! I totally agree, there’s so many main stream attractions to see, and then there’s the hidden gems too. You’ll love it!

      Kara

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  14. May 22, 2017 / 11:01 AM

    Stunning photos as always Kara!
    Looks like an amazing trip 🙂
    The Roof Garden is going on my “to do” list right now – flamingos <3<3<3
    ♥ Fran – frannymac.com xx

    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 9:24 PM

      Thanks beautiful. I had such a good day; the flamingos were definitely a high light for me!

      Kara

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    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 9:26 PM

      It is the cutest cafe I’ve ever set foot in. Most definitely worth a visit!

      Kara

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  15. May 22, 2017 / 6:57 PM

    I’ve wanted to go to Peggy Porschen for the longest time. I stumbled across it last Aug when taking a wrong turn but I had to catch a train unfortunately so never made it in xx

    Anniewritesbeauty.co.uk

    • Kara
      May 24, 2017 / 9:27 PM

      Ah you have to go Alice – it’s adorable. I so wanted some pink champagne 🙊 Maybe next time!

      Kara

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    • Kara
      May 31, 2017 / 2:00 PM

      Liberty is a pretty awesome place though too! Yea, and the great thing is it’s pretty much all free to do – except the coffee and cake obviously 🙊 Let me know if you take a trip!

      Kara

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