London: a place that I use to call “wonderland”

As I already announced in the previous article, I went to London after Rome. The reason is simple: I really missed that city. I have a strong relationship with London, it represents a lot of emotions, memories and friends. It all started during the last year of High School. I went to London with my friends for the first time to celebrate the finals and spent some great time. From that moment I never cut the umbilical cord with London. So, it doesn’t pass a lot of time between a visit to London and the next one.

This time was special, I went with my friend Michela to meet Nadia, a friend really closed to both of us, who was spending a period in London for an internship experience at an Art Gallery. It was an “excuse” to meet her but also to see London again.

What I like most about London, is that kind of gothic environment that is blended in every little thing which London is made of. It could be the ravens, the sound of the underground’s trains, the smell you feel in the underground, the Thames, the rain, those very kind houses in Notting Hill, Camden Town, the British accent or The British Museum, but something keeps me linked to that city and always looking for a way to go there again as much as possible. 

This time was different If compared to the others because it was not made of visits to museums (a part from The Tate) or similar things, but made of fun, shopping and sightseeings. I wanted to live as a Londoner as much as possible, like a person who lives there daily.

First day

We booked a B&B near Hammersmith Station, a very nice borough with a lot of shops and restaurants. It was the first time that I was there. As soon as we arrived we went out and got to Oxford Street and had a walk round there till Piccadilly and in Carnaby Street, so we spent some time doing shopping. While we were walking near Carnaby Street we found ourself near a very nice place where I have been to other times, which is called Cahoots. It’s a very nice pub inside an abandoned underground station, where everything looks frozen in the 50’s. All the staff is dressed and speaks as If they are still living in the 50’s and the menu is like a magazine page in black and white. Cocktails are very nice and food as well. So, we asked for a table and spent some time having a drink there.

Then, we went away to meet our friend so we could spent together a very nice night out.

Second day

The day started with a visit to Borough Market. That place is wonderful, full of people, exceptional food, colours, very vibrant and full of energy. It’s one of that place where you really breathe London air. We ate some coco nut mini pancakes, because it was something that I had never tried before.

As soon as our friend came, we begun queuing to eat at The Breakfast Club. If you want to have breakfast in this place, you really have to be patient and wait for your turn, because there are always  a lot of people queuing and waiting for having breakfast there, but I guarantee that the waiting really worths.

After that, we went at Tate Museum to get to the top of the new tower. If your haven’t been there I really suggest it to you. The new tower opened last year and gives you the possibility to go up on the top of it for free and to enjoy the nice view of London’s skyline. Maybe in winter there is too much wind, but the view is amazing and If you think that it is free, it’s even more amazing, in my opinion, and a nice alternative to the top of The Shard, which is very expensive.

View from the top of the new tower at The Tate Museum

Once you go on top of Tate, what you can do is having a walk from there till Westminster treading the Queen’s Walk. It’s not the best walk you can have when it’s winter, because it’s very cold and windy, so you would need to have a stop at a coffee shop to get something hot to drink, before continuing the walk, but it’s very nice because you have a great view of London from the Thames.

Westminster Bridge

After dinner we went to dance in one of several places in London. What I find very convenient about London in these occasions is that when you go to dance at a pub, the party begins very early like at 8 pm and it ends at 12 pm or 1 am, which is exactly the time when the party starts in Milan. Indeed, in Milan party ends at 5 – 6 am, so it means that you go to sleep very late and If you are tired you wake up at 2 pm and you have lost half of your day.

Third day

It cannot be called a London trip If you do not visit Camden Town. This place is vibrant, and a mixture of cultures. You can find very different shops and places where to eat different types of foods coming from every corner of the globe. You can enjoy Italian or English food, as well as Thai, Indian, Chinese, Japanese or other ones .

One thing that I have always dreamed about to do in Camden is to take a picture with The Mad Hatter. He is a character of Alice in Wonderland novel. I really like the Tim Burton version played by Johnny Depp. In Camden you can find a young Brazilian busker pretending very well to be the Tim Burton version of The Mad Hatter. You just have to leave some tips and you can take a picture with him, sitting in a table full of mugs, teapots, books and pink donuts. Taking a picture with him have always been part of my check list “things to do in London” but every time I go to London I forgot and then I am not able to take it anymore, because he goes in Camden Town only on Sundays.

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Picture with The Mad Hatter (1)
Picture with The Mad Hatter (2)

After eating some very good food (I had a delicious thai rice with chicken) we went at Selfridges to spent some time shopping, before going to the cinema. As I told you before, I wanted to experience a different London, like someone who lives there, so going to the cinema is something that tourists don’t usually do and we decided to go for it. We watched 50 Shades Darker, and the cinema was very very cool, with sofas and a very cozy environment. It looked like being at home, something very different from cinemas where I usually go in Milan.

Fourth day

The last day is obviously dedicated to… shopping! London has many streets to offer for some very good shopping. You have Oxford Street, Regent Street, Carnaby Street, Covent Garden, Camden Town and many others.

Then, we left London, but I’m sure it is not going to be the last time for me, London has a very important role in my life and I feel like I can use the word “London” as a verb, to say “going to London”, so I can say that as soon as I live, I will London !!!

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