London Travel Guide

Before I start talking about London, I want to mention that there's a lot more to the UK than just London, don't be afraid to branch out. For example, I traveled to the extremely unknown and exotic city of Cambridge which is a very doable (and highly recommended) half-day trip.

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Let's start this London journey off with my favorite breakfast joint!

Regency Cafe

My flat was right next to this popular breakfast spot and I went often. Come for a traditional British breakfast at a seriously great price. Tip: This place is cash only.

Mala Sichuan

A street over from Regency Cafe is Mala Sichuan. When my aunt came to visit from Shanghai I took her to eat here and she agreed that this restaurant would be considered great even in China. I highly recommend the dry wok sliced pork intestines, double cooked pork, and stir fried morning glory with fermented bean curd. Usually I don't trust Chinese restaurants when they're too clean but this place was seriously good!

 Dry Wok Sliced Pork Intestines

Dry Wok Sliced Pork Intestines

 Black Pudding, Bacon, Fried Eggs, Latte

Black Pudding, Bacon, Fried Eggs, Latte

Tate Britain

This museum was next door to my office and I frequently visited during lunch. I like it because it's not as crowded as other museums and has a good variety of art from different time periods.

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 The area outside the Tate Britain where I used to eat lunch alone with other people hated by their coworkers.

The area outside the Tate Britain where I used to eat lunch alone with other people hated by their coworkers.

Big Ben/Palaces of Westminster

 Looks like a very aesthetic fire hazard.

Looks like a very aesthetic fire hazard.

 Big Ben isn't even that big...not the first time a man has exaggerated about his size.

Big Ben isn't even that big...not the first time a man has exaggerated about his size.

Trafalgar Square/The National Gallery

Trafalgar Square is a great place to sit and people watch (listen and you'll hear a million different languages!) Almost every weekend I was in London, there was some event in Trafalgar Square. It was the main hub for the Eid Festival and Pride. Behind Trafalgar Square you'll find The National Gallery, which has an extremely impressive collection of art. The audio guides are cheap and well worth investment.

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 Eid Festival, Sumer 2017

Eid Festival, Sumer 2017

Foyles Bookstore

Walk a little ways up from Trafalgar Square/The National Gallery and you'll see Foyles Bookstore on Charing Cross Rd. This bookstore has many floors and an impressive collection of books in different languages. (I found Harry Potter in Arabic here!) They usually have a good amount of signed books for sale and on the top floor there's a large cafe where you can sit and read for a bit. 

 
 I came here often to read and drink free water but didn't really ever buy anything. The Brits did colonize half the world though so let's call it even.

I came here often to read and drink free water but didn't really ever buy anything. The Brits did colonize half the world though so let's call it even.

 

Dishoom

My favorite restaurant is just a little ways from Foyles.  Dishoom is a delicious tribute to Bombay. There's several locations but my favorite was the location near Covent Garden. The long lines are made much more bearable with the warm Chai (and occasional cinnamon whiskey) that they distribute to those waiting in line. The decor is gorgeous and the service is impeccable. For the quality of food, the price is right. I recommend the House Black Daal, Garlic Naan, Dishoom Calamari, and Rose and Cardamom Lassi. 

 
 You may not know looking at this picture, but my flatmate and I got into a colossal fight right after this and ate most of the meal in silence. (Food was still dank though!)

You may not know looking at this picture, but my flatmate and I got into a colossal fight right after this and ate most of the meal in silence. (Food was still dank though!)

 

Chinatown 

From Dishoom you can head to London's Chinatown. My favorite finds here were boba from Biju and fried rice and small tapas from Viet Food. 

 I've been to Chinatowns in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC, and London. They're all the same. The aromatic smell of fried rice and piss, the dangling dead carcasses of roast ducks hanging in the window, and the sound of an old man hacking a fresh loogie behind your ear.

I've been to Chinatowns in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC, and London. They're all the same. The aromatic smell of fried rice and piss, the dangling dead carcasses of roast ducks hanging in the window, and the sound of an old man hacking a fresh loogie behind your ear.

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Café de Paris

Near London's Chinatown is Café de Paris, a nightclub with a great cabaret show featuring comedy, burlesque, and very overpriced drinks. 

 
 I say I came for the comedy but really it was for the titties.

I say I came for the comedy but really it was for the titties.

 

Phat Phuc Noodle Bar

This is an interesting eatery (with an interesting name) featuring an outdoor seating area and kitchen. It's not a formal restaurant, which adds to the charm. I recommend a piping hot bowl of Pho Bo with an ice cold Tsingtao beer.

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Harrods

You'll find beautiful decor throughout this luxury department store, escalators that move at the speed of the Nile, and high-end finds from the most luxurious brands that aren't sold anywhere other than Harrods. Despite impressive food, perfume, cosmetics, and clothing departments, the "Toy Kingdom" wowed me the most--it's complete with a toy concierge perfect for any spoiled brat! Also check out the spy room section for interesting technology finds and Harrods' impressive selection of collectables for sale, including a collection of signatures from every American president. 

Tower of London/Tower Bridge

I loved the contrast between old and new here! After exploring a bit, be sure to take a walk along the Thames.

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Victoria & Albert Museum

A truly unique museum focused on textiles and design. I loved the Balenciaga exhibit. 

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Buckingham Palace

Regent's Park

One of my favorite things about London was the big beautiful parks. For a minute, you forget you're in such a big city.

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Oxford Street

Arguably the best outdoor shopping area in London, Oxford Street carried both higher and lower end stores. Check out the giant Primarks on both ends of this street but be sure not to miss the three floor Lush store! 

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 I hate when Lush workers come up to me and ask me if they can help me with anything. I've been a lushie for years...let ME know if I can help YOU with anything.

I hate when Lush workers come up to me and ask me if they can help me with anything. I've been a lushie for years...let ME know if I can help YOU with anything.

British Museum/Churchill War Rooms

These were my favorite two places to spend time in London. 

 
 Pictured: British Museum  Look at all these people in this photo. Notice the intense focus on each of their faces. They're all so desperately trying to pretend not everything in this museum was stolen. Woman in the center is about to give up the charade.

Pictured: British Museum

Look at all these people in this photo. Notice the intense focus on each of their faces. They're all so desperately trying to pretend not everything in this museum was stolen. Woman in the center is about to give up the charade.