One Night in London

Or read on the new Maps&Rubies.com

You have two days in London and you want to make the most of it, what ever are you to do? Broken down over forty-eight hours these are my fav things to do, a mix of culture and experience.

Westminster Abbey has some of the worst tourist lines and is by far the coolest of all the main London attractions. The history, the weddings, the architecture everything about the Abbey screams visit me.

From here you’re a five min. walk to Big Ben. Take your obligatory tourist shots.

Hop onto the tube and ride out to Queensway. From here it’s a quick walk into Kensington Gardens where you can have high tea (only 20 pounds and the cheapest/best by far) at the Orangery. You feel like royalty overlooking the Palace.

Let your meal digest with a walk through the park to the marble arch which leads to Oxford Street, the most famous shopping street in London. Start at Primark and work your way through Topshop, Monsoon, Urban Outfitters, and many many more. Stop and get a Ben’s Cookie if you have room!

Gordon’s wine bar is right out of Embankment tube in a small and endearing alley way. The bar itself is an old school basement, very Sherlock Holmes. Then after some wine or champagne Opal, a nightclub, is right next to you!

Possibly grab a few hours of sleep.

If it’s a Saturday or Sunday go to Portobello Road. Yes, Camden is the market everyone went on about in the 90s but now it’s mostly junk (although with more time the horse market is worth seeing for atmosphere). Portobello Road has a number of antiques and jewelry stands and while not inexpensive you can pick up some interesting souvenirs here. My friend recently bought a camera from the early 1900s, I’ve gotten art deco rings and compasses, there’s also plenty of Banksy art and prints. If you’re visiting on a weekday, marketing is better at Covent Garden’s Apple Market. The market itself is hit or miss but if the pickings are slim it’s a quick walk to either the Tower of London or Seven Dials shopping area. If you settle on Covent Garden you can also find your way to SNOG, the best frozen yogurt I’ve ever had.

Everyone who visits me wants to go out to Abbey Road and take a few pics, which can be fun but is time-consuming and in the end it’s just a picture opportunity. You can take the tube out to St. John’s Wood and walk to it, there is heavy traffic there so be careful. I always recommend the better option – head over to the British Library, this is frequently overlooked and besides their illuminated manuscripts and other historical items they have the original song lyrics and notes to many a Beatles tune.

Now you’re only a twenty min. walk from the British Museum. Must-sees here include the Rosetta Stone, Crystal Skull, Portland Vase, Elgin Marbles, and a very nice Moai. Free entry.

More shopping can be had at Harrods. The food hall is fun to taste things in but don’t show up too hungry as a hot fudge sundae can run you 20 quid. A blanket maybe 100,000. Amazing to see, I will decorate my mansion just like this.

Perfect night to see a show on the West End. Tickets can usually be purchased online or in the morning for sale tickets, standing can be around 5-10 pounds. Much cheaper than Broadway and the stars are brilliant!

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