Being fortunate enough to live in London, it’s rare to not have something fun and new to do. Although living in such a vibrant city has it’s perks, it also comes with a downside… The downside being the hefty price tag of all that is associated with living in one of the world’s finest cities. The cost of living in the Big Smoke is so much higher compared to the rest of the UK. In fact, its actually 33% cheaper in Manchester than in the UK*
I love travelling and have been to a range of great cities across Europe, Asia and the United States. However, there is always something new to explore in London and with great pop-ups and events to attend – there is never a reason to be bored in London! So I’ve decided to put together a list of events, pop-ups and things to do in London. It will also serve as a personal bucket-list, so I’ll be sure to update you with the ones I get a chance to check out myself.
Well it wouldn’t be British without some tea no? One of the top-rated afternoon teas has to be the Sanderson’s Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea. Inspired by Alice in Wonderland as the name suggests, this unique session can only be described as an intricate experience! Every detail has been thoughtfully perfected. From the menus to the finer illustrations throughout the tea set. I’ve been once before and it was truly worth it and would recommend trying it for yourself.
Cost: From £48 (depending on which menu you go for)
Website: Mad Hatters Tea Party
London Coffee Festival
After tea comes my next favourite beverage – COFFEE! This annual festival takes place in Brick Lane at the Old Truman Brewery and is dedicated to artisan coffee and food. Don’t expect your typical coffee chain brands here, you’ll be spoiled for choice with independant coffee shops and brands, giving you a truly unique opportunity to sample some of the best coffee around.
The festival takes place between 7-1oth April, with the first two days mainly for industry folk, you’re best bet is to head down for the weekend days. The festival is not limited to just coffee and food, you’ll also be able to enjoy some live music, fashion, design and art. I’m thinking of heading down next week, so let me know if you’ll be around too!
Dates/Times: 7-10th April 2016
Cost: Advance tickets start @ £14.50
Go see a West End show
Having worked in the Theatreland during sixth form and university, as well as growing up with family who worked there (basically every single member of my family has worked in a West End theatre – EVERYONE! From my Grandparents, Parents, Aunties and Uncles.) So I feel a lot of nostalgia whenever visiting Soho and the West End in general and have been brought up to love and appreciate the arts. I like most shows, from musicals to plays and even dance acts. I recommend musicals to first timers as you can generally find something to suit your taste.
One of my favourite musicals has to be Miss Saigon – I saw it over 4 times whilst it was playing at the Prince Edward Theatre. Another long time favourite has to be Avenue Q, if you like crude humour than this one’s for you – think Sesame Street meets South Park.
I have also been meaning to see Book of Mormon so will update you once that’s happened!
Urban Food Fest
This unique food market is a street food lover’s dream. Located in the trendy Shoreditch, the Urban Food Fest takes place in a car park! Described as a street food party, you can find dishes from all corners of the world.
Urban Food Fest is running up until December so you have plenty of time to check it out, visit the website below for further details.
Dates/Times: Every Saturday from midday to midnight
Cost: Entry is free
Visit the Tate Modern
I often forget that there are great galleries, museums and exhibitions in London. The even better thing is that they are all free! The Tate Modern is located in South Bank and is also really near St. Paul’s Cathedral and The Globe Theatre, in fact, first time tourists should get off at St. Pauls, take a short walk across the river, visit The Globe Theatre then eventually stop off by the Tate Modern.
General entry to the gallery is free but special exhibitions require a ticket to access. There are always some great exhibitions and installations on show and the café space on the upper floor has access to a balcony for a great photo opportunity. So if you’re not that into art, I’d still recommend checking the free exhibitions and checking out the surrounding area.
There’s also a great pub right outside the gallery called The Founder’s Arms, which has amazing outdoor seating that looks out across the river with St. Paul’s in the background. A good summer month pub for sure!
Cost: Entry is free, but tickets for special exhibitions start at £16
Go shopping in Brick Lane
(and have a curry while you’re there…)
I was born and raised in East London and still live in the area now, and one of my favourite city spots is Brick Lane. There’s a lot of history and culture that’s still so present in this little part of the city.
I love the vintage stores and market stalls, there’s also a range of independant retailers. There’s also some great street art throughout the area, I always discover new art when I head down. Not to mention, the range of curry houses. So if you love spicy food, this is the first stop I recommend!
To find out more about Brick Lane and what to do in the area visit: www.visitbricklane.org
Cycle through the Royal Parks
One of the great things about living in a major city is the accessibility and transport options. A few years ago they introduced city hire bikes, now supported by Santander, these bikes are stationed at various locations throughout the city. They just need a payment card to be rented out and are actually free for hires less than 30 mins.
One of my favourite things to do in the warmer months is rent one out and ride through the parks. I recommend hiring one from the park’s entrance nearest to High Street Kensington, then riding through Hyde Park, Green Park and the Royal Gardens. This will take you down towards Marble Arch where you can easily get to the high street stores for some shopping.
So that’s my list for now… Like I said, there’s always something new to discover in the city and I’m sure I will go back to this list in a couple of days and find something else to add!
Have you visited London or live in the city? What are your favourite spots or things to do? Comment below or tweet me at @arcasela