TRAVEL GUIDE TO LONDON (WEST & CENTRAL) by Jocelyn L.
Jocelyn L. is an Urban Explorer, Foodie, and Music Lover. She loves architecture, history, music, art, and food. If you are into these, her travel diary will help you decide where to stay, eat, hang out, and play.
I love London. It reminds me so much of Hong Kong, Singapore, and New York - all places where I have lived before. It feels familiar because Hong Kong and Singapore were British colonies, and both cities still have British-influenced architecture, holidays and customs. London and New York are very similar, but I know I am in London because of its quintessential Victorian architecture, red double decker buses, red phone booths, the underground "tube" and the grand Buckingham Palace.
Almost everyone has been to London but where to go? I am most familiar with West London (Notting Hill, Chelsea and South Kensington) and Central London (Marylebone, Mayfair, Soho and Fitzrovia). This is a guide to these areas.
A few facts about London
The human population of London is close to 9 million
London is the capital of the United Kingdom
London was founded by Brutus of Troy (founder and first king of England) in about 1000–1100 B.C
Richmond Park is the biggest park in London
With more than 40% green space/open water, London is one of the greenest cities in the world
London has very diverse architectural styles - Tudors, Roman, Victorian, and more
Cars drive on the left, like in Hong Kong
The main financial districts are the City (South Central London) and Canary Wharf (East London)
Red foxes are regulars in your backyard, if you have one
I think the best time to visit London is in the spring because cherry blossoms are blooming and the city is covered in beautiful flowers.
The tube is always the best way to travel as traffic is horrendous.
The Gatwick Express or ThamesLink National Rail are the best ways to get to Gatwick Airport; taking a car could take up to 2 hours, whereas the train takes 30 minutes.
The best exchange rate is from your bank. For some reason, all the ATMs in UK charge a very high rate compared to ATMs in other parts of Europe.
Where to stay
The Standard Hotel
Ham Yard Hotel
Where to eat
Yauatcha Soho - best dim sum and a big selection of tea
Get high tea at The Connaught, 4 Seasons or The Ritz
Seafood restaurant at Harrods
Yashin Ocean House - really good sushi and fun bottomless champagne brunch
Humble Pizza (vegan)
Kalifornia Kitchen (vegan)
5 Social - modern British fare
The Summerhouse - seafood
Sabor - tapas
Chucs - Italian spot with the best cacio e pepe
Spring - modern European food
Ginza Onodera - Japanese
Padella - best pasta
Kym's - trendy Chinese
Where to play
For an all-nighter:
Soho in general
Bond St and New Bond St
Heartcore for pilates, yoga, and cycling
Lifespace for sound meditation and yoga
Psycle for group cycling and indoor workouts
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