Hello, London!

I did it! I got on a plane all by myself and flew to another place that is not in New York. I even used money that isn’t dollars! Good thing I know how to speak English. There was a snafu at the airport that culminated in having to unexpectedly take a taxi to my destination, but it all turned out just fine. My driver was a former schoolteacher who gave it all up for a new career as a cabbie, and he was very excited to talk to someone from New York about the whole thing. His entire knowledge of NYC seemed to come from watching Taxi Driver and Saturday Night Fever, so he was a bit disappointed that I don’t have a classic New York accent, but I tried to represent my city well! (He was also slightly obsessed with Florida and Disney World, two things I know virtually nothing about, but I listened and smiled and tried to be impressed when told about his daughter’s wedding at Cinderella’s Castle…)

Yesterday was really just spent recovering from my overnight flight and relaxing, and I actually woke up this morning at 7:00 AM London time with no alarm clock, so hopefully I’ve avoided getting bad jet lag. I’ve opted to not really make plans and instead leave that up to my host, and that’s keeping me from being swallowed up by all of the travel-related anxieties I’ve written about having. So today we’re heading to the Tate and the Design Museum, both of which I’m sure I’ll enjoy immensely.

Look at me! Traveling!

p.s. I’ve been told that I have to decide what to do on Saturday. So…here’s your chance: If I can only do ONE thing on Saturday in London, what should it be? (Keep in mind that I have zero interest in the royal family, etc.)

100 comments
  1. AlexandraOct 4, 20126:36 am

    spend it exploring borough market OR hang out around spitalfields market. one for food – the other for fashion/food/people watching.

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  2. Jo in NZOct 4, 20126:40 am

    You made it, Anna! Hurrah! And now I am homesick for London. I’ll leave tips to those who have actually lived there in the last decade (ie not me) and wish you a lovely Thursday at the Tate and in Shad Thames x

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  3. mijkOct 4, 20126:49 am

    I think one should see liberty when in London: http://tinyurl.com/cecpk7b

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  4. anne b.Oct 4, 20126:51 am

    borough market is fabulous!
    also: lunch or dinner at Moro – one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten.

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  5. Jodie ChapmanOct 4, 20126:54 am

    Without a doubt, Borough Market for all the delicious food stalls. Monmouth Coffee is right there which is the best coffee in London. Prepare to queue. (The market is also on on Thursdays and isn’t too far a walk from Tate Modern…not far for a New Yorker anyway)

    Alternatively, Brick Lane is great for a wander, especially on a sunny Sunday after visiting Columbia Rd flower market.

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    annabelvita /

    Definitely combine borough market with the tate modern! Here is my guide to a foodie weekend in London http://annabelvita.com/2012/04/19/a-foodie-weekend-in-london/ Whatever you do, definitely go to a pub!

    I also love the V&A, the Natural History Museum and the John Soames Museum.

  6. JenOct 4, 20126:55 am

    Welcome to London! Walk along the Southbank: you can pop into the Tate Modern (make sure you go to the bar at the top for the view), catch something at the BFI if you feel like a film or the National Theatre if you feel like a play, see crazy street performers, BMXers and skaters, go to the Hayward Gallery or whatever else is on in the Southbank centre, go to the Real Food market right behind it (there must be vegan stuff there). If you’re feeling touristy, you could go up the London Eye, or if you’re feeling spendy walk across the bridge and go to Covent Garden (Orla Kiely shop?). I’ve lived in London for years and I still enjoy this walk along the river (even if you don’t go into the galleries or anywhere), you get a sense of how much is going on here. The Tate is free except for the big exhibits, so you don’t need to spend all day there to feel like it’s worth it.

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    EmmaT /

    This completely sums up what I would have said. Southbank all the way!

  7. LucyOct 4, 20126:57 am

    You should go to the Sir John Soane museum. Free, and fascinating. It’s basically the wildly renovated and decorated home of a very eccentric architect.

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    Kate /

    I second this suggestion. I found this to be a unique and fascinating experience.

    Simone /

    I third this suggestion.
    And if possible look at the bank of England building as well (he designed that). The bank is splendid minimalism (in a time when that was unknown) the house is over the top maximalism at it’s best.
    Have fun!!!
    P.S. Tom Dixon has a store with a restaurant and workshop somewhere in London (sorry I can’t be more helpful with that, I have the flu).

  8. marieOct 4, 20126:57 am

    Welcome to London! If the weather is nice you could go for a stroll around Broadway Market in East London, have a coffee and enjoy the best people watching spot in the city. Columbia Road and Redchurch street (within walking distance) are also worth a visit for their lovely boutiques and more people watching and coffee!

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  9. SanneOct 4, 20127:02 am

    a day trip to Copenhagen ;)

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    Anna @ D16 /

    Haha, someday!

  10. Grumble GirlOct 4, 20127:03 am

    *skips and claps doing happy dance*

    Have the BEST time!!

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  11. ArielOct 4, 20127:03 am

    Borough Market and a stroll along the Southbank. Or a trip along the river to Greenwich.

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  12. KateOct 4, 20127:09 am

    Hi Anna,

    You should check out Portobello Market in Notting Hill on Saturday (if the weather holds out…fingers crossed for that one) – there’s also the Electric Cinema (oldest working cinema in the UK, don’t ya know)
    Tate Modern is a must, as is the Saatchi Gallery, oh and they have the Turner Prize on at the Tate. V&A is good for designery stuff (and the gift shop is amazing!)

    Have fun,

    Kate

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    Fiona /

    Portobello Market is amazing! It would be dangerous for me if I lived there. I also agree on the Tate Modern and Saatchi Gallery.

    Patricia /

    Second all of your recs except Portobello Road – in my experience (of living 10 minutes walk away) it is terribly overpriced and/or tat and very overcrowded.

  13. HelenaOct 4, 20127:09 am

    Hello!

    Spitalfields market is awesome but it is CLOSED on Saturdays! Be warned! The area around there comes alive on Sundays.

    I’d go to Portobello Road for the market and excellent coffee/cake shops. Borough Market is also a great option if you like lively markets with lots of food and gourmet produce and coffee.

    Enjoy my city!

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    Iva /

    Spitalfield market is not closed on a Saturday!! The flea market is on and almost as busy as on Sundays.

    Go and check out the new free Barbican exhibition in the curve, amazing!

  14. KateOct 4, 20127:18 am

    I second the broadway market, brick lane (the market at the brewery is great) AND the Tate modern. My three favorite London places. Also amazing, if you’re nearby is The Abney Park cemetery. I used to walk there a lot when I spent a summer in London.

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    P /

    I just googled Abney Park cemetary – I want to go there now!

    We were viewing houses in Mile End this weekend and discovered the Tower Hamlets Cemetary – also now a nature reserve and just amazing.

    How have I been here almost 15 years and only now discovered the ex-cemetary park thing?!

  15. SiggaOct 4, 20127:18 am

    Borough Market is nice but get there early as it gets crazy crowded on Saturdays

    Victoria & Albert museum in South Kensington is really nice, so is London Design Museum

    Walk across the bridge from Tate Modern to St Pauls, you can go inside if you want but I love just standing outside and taking it all in (there’s a nice old man’s pub near there, the Cockpit, non-touristy but it might be closed on weekends)

    Lots of lovely galleries around Hoxton/Shoreditch in East London (White Cube, Hoxton Art Gallery, Hoxton Square Gallery and more): http://www.firstthursdays.co.uk/maps

    Columbia Road flower market on Sunday mornings, lovely little shops as well as the flowers

    Hampstead Heath for a nice wander outside in the brisk Autumn air, followed by one of the cafes in the little ‘village’ there

    Liberty is lovely and so is the Carnaby Street Area, the Nordic Bakery is in that part of town too: http://www.nordicbakery.com/

    Record shopping/browsing in Soho (head for Berwick Street),

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    Jill London /

    I second all of this…welcome to London Anna…we are back here now after 7 glorious years in Garrison N.Y…I’ve enjoyed your blog for years, especially the Newburgh house bits…enjoy your stay here hope the weather stays dry…

  16. AmandaOct 4, 20127:26 am

    I think you should take a ride at those two-floors buses. Or visit the London Eye – seems really awesome.
    I hope you enjoy your trip! (:

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  17. AlexOct 4, 20127:27 am

    My votes are: Street Markets in Brixton or Tower of London — the history of the place will blow your mind. Or the National Portrait Gallery!

    I know, you said one thing. Blergh.

    Have a lovely time.

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    EmmaT /

    Chipping in again….I agree on Brixton Market , and get yourself to Brixton Village if you can – http://brixtonmarket.net/info/brixton-village/

  18. BrigidOct 4, 20127:33 am

    I second Monmouth Coffee, and the markets down in Covent Garden. LOTS to see and do in that area. (And the coffee is worth the wait). You can also head South from there, cross the Strand, and walk along the Embankment. Beautiful parks, and some really old pubs along the way.

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  19. katie fOct 4, 20127:38 am

    agree, borough market on saturday is amazing. monmouth coffee is legendary and if worth waiting in line for (which is a give-in if you go on a saturday). x

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  20. blissOct 4, 20127:51 am

    oh, i flew to london alone in 2008 to hang out with a friend i made online, and it was the BEST TRIP EVER!!! learning the tube and the busses and living on the cheap… sigh.

    i agree with the south bank walk and checking out the tate. so many galleries and cool things there! i love that museums are FREE in london!

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  21. jeannetteOct 4, 20127:54 am

    tate!

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  22. jeannetteOct 4, 20127:59 am

    the tip about the top of the double decker bus is perfect. while the tube is great, perhaps the world’s greatest, you don’t get the lay of the land, and to peer over walls and into peoples’ second story windows and to see the facades of buildings and to rubberneck the skyscrapers quite the way you can on the top of a double decker bus.
    also, read

    http://spitalfieldslife.com/
    …which is pretty much all you need to know about a.) london b.)life and c.) what one person on the internet can do.

    <i:London, thou art the flour of Cities all.

    Gemme of all joy, jasper of jocunditie….

    http://www.bartleby.com/101/19.html

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  23. MeganOct 4, 20128:10 am

    Ok, with one day in London, head up the Northern line. Start in Hampstead., walk around the old houses and then take a long ramble on Hampstead Heath. From there walk down to Primrose Hill and have lunch. Two beautiful places!

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  24. JulesOct 4, 20128:20 am

    One thing in London on a Saturday – Markets!

    I would recommend taking the tube to Camden and going for a wander, think it would be right up your street. And you should also to to the Portobello Road – amazing market there too! Borough Market is also good (food market) but not sure how that would sit with the vegan sensibilities (although I have had amazing falafel there!)

    Have fun!

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  25. KellyOct 4, 20128:26 am

    Tate Modern and Ottolenghi!

    Have a great time, Anna!

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  26. MollyOct 4, 20128:31 am

    I was in London at the end of July. It was amazing!

    The highlight of my trip was probably Churchhill’s War Rooms museum. It was FASCINATING and not very busy (I heard about it on a travel show about London’s best kept secrets, so I don’t think it’s crazy popular).

    I third Monmouth coffee. Do it. So worth it.

    And go up to King’s Cross Station for a quick photo with the Platform 9&3/4 luggage cart, if you’re into Harry Potter. (I also bought a super cute dress at Oliver Bonas in Kings Cross Station).

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  27. LisaOct 4, 20128:32 am

    Haha, I recognise that giddy exhilarating feeling. “Wow, I’m really HERE”.
    So envious of your dayplans, must put the Design museum on my next itinerary!!!

    Even though Spitalfields seems to be closed on Saturdays I’d still go to the nearby Old Truman Brewery market in Brick Lane. I’ve been in London only twice, and apart from the Tate, this market and Spitalfields would be my only “must do”.

    http://www.trumanbrewery.com/cgi-bin/markets.pl

    Also desperately want to visit the Victoria and Albert museum of art and design, hoping to do that next time.

    http://www.vam.ac.uk/

    Going to their webpage to get the link makes me want to jump on a plane NOW, they seem to have newly opened fashion galleries with the exhibition ‘Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950′. And in spring they are having a David Bowie exhibition. I think both of these are signs of a fabulous museum.

    Whatever you end up doing- enjoy!

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  28. SannaOct 4, 20128:39 am

    Enjoy London! Just wanted to say that the photo in this post is super. Reminds me of the time when I first landed to London as a very nervous 19 year old.

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  29. ashley englishOct 4, 20128:40 am

    yay! you’re there! isn’t it just lovely? it’s quite literally the only city i’ve visited, domestic or abroad, that i’d consider leaving my little forest abode and relocating to.

    were i you, i’d totally hit up the portabello road market in saturday. so much fun shopping and people-watching. plus, a new addition is a “new designer and artist” area, featuring 20 stalls of local talent: http://www.visitlondon.com/attractions/detail/470049-portobello-road-market-and-golborne-road-market.

    and i don’t know if you drink, but having a pint of cider in a nice pub is a must, as is lounging on a chair and watching the swans swim in hyde park.

    have a wonderful time! cheerio!

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  30. JuliaOct 4, 20128:48 am

    Welcome to my adopted part of the world! London is such a fantastic city. Have a wonderful time!

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  31. LOUIS WALCHOct 4, 20129:01 am
  32. Jaime (Design Milk)Oct 4, 20129:03 am

    I’d probably go to the London Eye then the Design Museum or Tate Modern. Here are the current exhibitions if you’re interested: http://designmuseum.org/exhibitions

    Glad to hear your travels were pleasant and safe. Enjoy!

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  33. DavidOct 4, 20129:26 am

    There’s a Pre-Raphaelite/Victorian avant-garde exhibit at the Tate Britain right now. Also, the William Morris Gallery (in his childhood home) has recently reopened after a substantial renovation. It’s in Walthamstow, but that’s where I’d be headed if I were in London. Without leaving central London you would definitely appreciate Liberty, which is close to Selfridges and its amazing food hall. I also think the Tower is pretty amazing, even if you don’t care about the current crop of royals.

    http://www.economist.com/node/21563274

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  34. jsOct 4, 20129:32 am

    Watching British tv programs with Brits playing Americans is always hysterical. They constantly switch from “typical” NYC/Jersey/Italian accents, to Boston, to Texan, to Georgian. And yet, they can identify what neighborhood their fellow Brit was born in based on their accent. Hilarious.

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  35. ModFruGalOct 4, 20129:33 am

    Since it’s a Saturday, I too vote for a market, Portobello, Camden, etc… and save the Museums for a weekday with less crowds. V & A and Tate Modern & National Gallery top the list in my opinion.

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  36. JuliaOct 4, 20129:34 am

    Hi, longtime reader coming out of the woodwork.

    There’s an interesting gallery, Calvert 22, devoted to Russian / Eastern European art in London’s East End. They’ve just opened a show on an Russian avant-garde architect: http://www.calvert22.org/e/exhibition-programme/alexander-brodsky/

    The Tate Modern also has an Edvard Munch show that is closing soon. The Tate Modern’s building, a former power station, is also interesting and the walk over the Millennium bridge is fairly pleasant. You’re also just across the Thames from St. Paul’s Cathedral as well, if you’re into that sort of thing.

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  37. shannonOct 4, 20129:35 am

    I have to give a (third? fourth?) vote for the Borough Market – it’s beautiful and lively. If you had a Sunday, I would agree to wandering around the Brick Lane area – I used to live a few blocks from the Truman Brewery, and LOVED Sundays in the neighbourhood!

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  38. MonOct 4, 20129:37 am

    Columbia road, borough market and a swim in the ladies pond on hampstead Heath

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  39. AliciaOct 4, 20129:38 am

    I was in London 2 weeks ago and the ONE thing I suggest you do is actually LEAVE London for the day. Take the train south to Brighton, it’s a great little seaside town! My boyfriend and I had breakfast at Farm (farmsussex.com) and spent the day walking around checking out all the wonderful independent shops. It was the highlight of our UK trip!

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  40. AnnaOct 4, 20129:46 am

    Saturdays are best for markets! Definitely do Borough Market as others have suggested. The market itself is beautiful, but the surrounding neighborhood has a great mix of cafes and restaurants. Then you can take a bus straight up to Camden Market, which is the punk epicenter of London. There are lovely bars around the canals where you can get a pint and watch the boats go through the lock. And it’s touristy, yes, but Portobello Road has a great atmosphere on Saturdays.

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  41. planktonfisherOct 4, 20129:54 am

    i really enjoyed kew gardens. or go to the theater a get some cheap tickets! have a nice stay in london!

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    Patricia /

    I love Kew Gardens so very much.

  42. alisOct 4, 201210:04 am

    Saturday: Borough Market (and Monmouth Coffee) early in the morning, then head to Notting Hill to Portobello Market. Everything else you can do any day but these are only open on Saturdays.
    Sunday: Columbia Road flower market early in the morning. It’s incredibly crowded and gorgeous, even if you don’t intend to buy flowers or plants the shops in the area are only open on Sundays too. It’s a nice experience to have. Labour and Wait is also nearby, on Redchurch Street, gathering from what I know of your style I think you might like their stock. You can take a peek here: http://www.labourandwait.co.uk/collections/show-all

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  43. Rachel BOct 4, 201210:09 am

    My first solo trip was to London! I’ve been back many times since but I’ll always remember being 22 and navigating a new city on my own. The British Museum is my favorite. I usually get there super early and hit up Greece and Egypt. The Pompei exhibit that’s on now is really powerful, too.

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    EmmaT /

    Definitely, get yourself to the British Museum, if only for the building itself!

  44. FritzOct 4, 201210:11 am

    I would go to Harrods and buy a Barbour jacket

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  45. sparkOct 4, 201210:14 am

    I actually really liked visiting beautiful libraries. Being in Australia, our libraries can be a little barren in decor so I do tend to salivate over gorgeous photos of beautiful library rooms. I loved the British library and National Art Library at the Vic & Albert Museum, followed by a pub lunch on the river.

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  46. AdamOct 4, 201210:15 am

    Portobello Market or Camden Market on Saturday for sure!!!

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  47. VaninaOct 4, 201210:24 am

    I second the Southbank and Borough Market (the two can be combined!), and Brick Lane is lively and fun (grab a bagel if you’re there – don’t know whether they compare to those in NYC, but they’re yummy!). Another suggestion would be to wander down the King’s Road, and pop into the Saatchi Gallery whilst you’re there, as there’s always brilliant exhibitions on. The King’s Road to me is perfectly representative of the lovelier side of London – pretty and a bit quaint. And rather posh. :)

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  48. QuarrygirlOct 4, 201210:40 am

    Go to Camden! Have breakfast at Inspiral Lounge, peruse the market, and walk the canal.

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  49. Priscilla POct 4, 201210:58 am

    I’m in London now as well! The weather is great, yeah?
    It’s so excellent that the museums here are free :)
    I’m actually reading through the comments to help me decide what to do also…haha :) I will probably hit up Oxford Circus for shopping sometime (Topshop! Primark! Muji! Uniqlo!) since we don’t have some of those shops in Oregon ^^ Hope you have a grand time!

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  50. UljanaOct 4, 201211:25 am

    oh even though that is a tough one … I’d definitely reommend Borough Market! One of my favourite places to go to and it never gets old! It’s a food market at London Bridge. Once you’re done there just do the British thing and stop at the pub for an afternoon pint.

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  51. Kelly AnneOct 4, 201212:23 pm

    I don’t know if your host is taking you, but you should definitely check out the British Library. They have a smallish museum there, and it is fascinating. I highly recommend it as a don’t-miss in London.

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  52. PollyOct 4, 201212:50 pm

    Hi Anna, Well your going to the Tate and Design museum today so that’s them done. I’m guessing that’s the Tate Modern, if not then that’s a must see. Broadway Market is nice, and that’s on a Saturday, quite foodie but with other things as well. Redchurch Street isn’t too far from there (bus & walk) and has some nice shops including Labour and Wait http://www.labourandwait.co.uk/ (nice traditional homewares). SCP http://www.scp.co.uk/ is round the corner on Curtain Road more homewares and furniture. Mar Mar Co. is tiny but not too far away on Cheshire St (http://www.marmarco.com/index.html). Or near Covent Garden there is the Aram Store http://www.aram.co.uk/ on Dury Lane and they have an exhibition of Eley Kishimoto on the top floor at the moment. If you are around there you could walk through Covent Garden to Gaby’s Deli on Charing Cross Road where they do a delicious falafel. My other London tip is to ride the No.11 bus just because it goes from Liverpool St to Victoria, so right across London, past the Bank of England, St Paul’s (actually I can’t think what else) but I quite enjoy looking out the windows of buses! Sorry I’ve waffled on a bit. So glad you’re enjoying yourself so far.

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  53. AoifeOct 4, 201212:57 pm

    Another vote for Borough Market and Liberty and the V&A and just enjoy the fact that all these amazing museums are FREE! Also the British Museum and The Wellcome Collection is always fascinating – http://www.wellcomecollection.org/
    Just enjoy the fact that all

    Skip Spitalfields on a Saturday, you need to go on a Sunday instead if you can, combine with Columbia Road, Brick Lane, Truman Brewery and a wander up through all the galleries to Hoxton Square.

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  54. NinaOct 4, 20121:18 pm

    I always love visiting the Natural History Museum with its impressing architecture. In the evening you should visit the KOKO club in Camden. It´s located in an old theatre and they play nice indie and rock music. There are often concerts, too. Have an amazing time in the best city in the world! :)

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  55. monicaOct 4, 20121:19 pm

    start at st paul’s cathedral…..over millenium bridge……to the tate…..down southbank…….stop in OXO bldg……get coffee/drink in top level restaurant, go to outside free terrace for a great view……..down to london eye….over bridge by house of parliament.

    or start the other way around…….lots of little discoveries on the way!

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  56. SdmikaOct 4, 20121:29 pm

    Orla kiely in covent garden. Harrod’s food courd for the best homemade scones with clotted cream!

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  57. AlisonOct 4, 20121:36 pm

    THE TATAE!!!!! it really is one of the best museums in the world, and I know New York has amazing museums too but I can’t imagine you’d be disappointed. Also I went to a great vegetarian restaurant in London called Food For Thought, http://foodforthought-london.co.uk/ . Have fun and if you have the time and energy please keep us posted.

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  58. SmasherOct 4, 20122:29 pm

    Soane Museum and the Victoria and Albert. You’d love both.

    The V&A is basically overflow the Queen’s attic, open to the public–a lot of it is made up of stuff from the royal collection, or stuff presented to them at one point or another. (Where else do you store the World’s Largest Soup Tureen?) It’s a great representative history of design from ~1850 forward, with some fantastic special exhibits. Think the Cooper-Hewett Museum, with the Met’s costume and clothing exhibits folded in.

    Also (as many folks above already mentioned) the Tate Modern, Tate Britain (You have to see the Turner collection!), the Design Museum, etc. It’s a great walk east along the South Bank from Waterloo Bridge, past the National Theatre, then Borough Market and the Tate Modern, and finally the Design Museum.

    I’m a big fan of the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. It’s a fantastic collection and essential viewing for a design geek, though they’ve recently rearranged the exhibits into something a little more “kid-friendly.” But the collection is still there, and the museum shop has a great collection of design books. (The history of the London Tube is really a history of modernist design; it was absolutely integral to their mission, especially from the 1930s forward. They used strong design integration–industrial, graphic, architectural, clothing, interior–to unify and provide identity to what had been a loose confederation of different transport agencies and companies. It’s a great lesson–maybe THE lesson–in how much Design Matters.)

    And, yeah–Camden, though it’s gotten a bit touristy.

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  59. EmmaOct 4, 20122:34 pm

    Take the train/bus to Oxford and have a pint at Tolkien & Lewis’ old hangout!

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  60. NaiaOct 4, 20123:08 pm

    Anna, you should go to Portobello market, a nice place to walk, see authentic english porcelain, Bansky´s paintings on the street…and more.

    have so much!!!! I never get bored of London!!

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  61. RoxOct 4, 20123:26 pm

    woot! congrats on making it to your destination…and what a fabulous adventure you’re about to embark! although I’ve never been to London…I feel like I would probably do the London Eye- I’ve heard it’s a great experience (so long as you’re not wigged out by heights). happy travels! xoxo

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  62. frannieOct 4, 20123:51 pm

    punt the thames!

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  63. kathrynOct 4, 20124:42 pm

    I would highly recommend an architecture tour at the Barbican, they last 90mins and are given by architecture students. The Barbican is an amazing example of brutalist architecture, its both a massive arts venue as well as a residential estate in the City of London. They have an interesting photography exhibit there at the moment as well as an interactive installation where you can control rain!

    http://www.barbican.org.uk/education/series.asp?ID=606
    http://www.barbican.org.uk/artgallery/event-detail.asp?ID=13723

    Just a tip to avoid crowded museums – some of them are open late on Fridays such as the V&A. Borough St market will be packed on Saturdays, an alternative nearby is Maltby St Market…http://www.whatkatiedoes.net/2012/09/ropewalk-se1.html (Monmouth coffee is there too)

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  64. Rosa, CopenhagenOct 4, 20124:48 pm

    So glad to see that you have arrived! I’ll leave for London this tuesday and my saturday will be spent going to Orla Kiely buying an umbrella;-))
    And this time I’ll also hit a market – saturday in Walthamstow with the largest market full of .. fabrics:-))
    Enjoy London – and thanks to all for the good advice – I got some good ideas:-))

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  65. WendyOct 4, 20124:54 pm

    the British Museum and then the London Eye.

    Enjoy your time there and drink lots of Bulmers cider; it is THE BEST THING

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  66. Karen @sugarspicelivinOct 4, 20125:07 pm

    Enjoy every second. Traveling in the best!!! I LOVED the London Eye and just going into a pub and watching a football game- everyone was sooo excited.

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  67. how2homeOct 4, 20126:06 pm

    Have an amazing time in London!

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  68. krystal/villageOct 4, 20126:14 pm

    portobello market could be fun :)

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  69. jbhatOct 4, 20126:19 pm

    On the same trip, I went to London right after being in Paris, and while I enjoyed London, overall…..I was wishing I was in Paris. So I don’t really want to recommend anything. But I hope you have a wonderful time. (Okay, well, I will say that I wish I could have just shopped. I wanted to go to all the places Bridget talked about in BJ’s Diary. But we did historic landmarks instead.)

    jbhat

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  70. chrisOct 4, 20126:36 pm

    Hey Anna! Former Londoner here….

    You can visit Portabello Market, then walk along the canal to Camden; it takes about an hour and a half (or less, depending on how fast you walk). Enroute is Maida Vale, and a cute French cafe overlooking the canal. Perfect rest stop for a light lunch and coffee:)

    Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy it. I’m so very excited for you on your first trip away! <3

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  71. RyanOct 4, 20127:02 pm

    Get a photo outside of the Salford Lads Club!

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    Anna @ D16 /

    I’m in London, Ryan, not Manchester! That’s on the other end of the country. ;)

    Ryan /

    Haha I know, was hoping you’d have the time and means to make it out there!

  72. ClareOct 4, 20127:41 pm

    I couldn’t do London without Liberty’s Department Store and the V&A museum.

    I have many fond memories of both, particularly of a rather well to do lady being really kind and friendly to a backpacker cheerfully working her way through all the Vivienne Westwood sale racks one Boxing Day.

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  73. giggirlOct 4, 20128:03 pm

    Like so many others have said – markets all the way! I have a particular soft spot for Camden and Portobello Road. Although part of that may be related to watching ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ as a child! If you want some museum time the V&A is highly recommended too.

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  74. KikiOct 4, 20128:56 pm

    Anna you are awesome! Good for you and enjoy your vacation!

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  75. danielaOct 5, 20122:15 am

    Oh my god- if you are still in London on Sunday- go to Brick Lane for the Sunday Up market! You will not regret it!

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  76. PatriciaOct 5, 20125:36 am

    If I could do ONE thing? oh that’s hard…you like walk? either walk Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens through to the big three museum trifecta of V&A (the tiled cafe is also lovely), Natural History Museum and Science Museum… or better still, along the Regents Canal from Canary Wharf to Paddington through east london, Angel, Camden (including London Zoo) and Maida Vale/Little Venice (see here)

    And even though you might think it a touristy place to go the British Museum is one of my favourite places – I *love* the Great Court; amazing light!

    I also like Sir John Soanes’ House (both near Holborn/Aldwych) and the Wallace Collection (between Marylebone High Street and Selfridges) if you’re in the market for cool old houses (either easily walkable/busable from the British Musuem).

    Or if you are east already, then the Geffrye Museum of the home on Kingsland Road which depicts “the quintessential style of English middle-class living rooms. Its collections of furniture, textiles, paintings and decorative arts are displayed in a series of period rooms from 1600 to the present day” plus a sweet herb garden.

    (I would avoid Portobello Road market, Tower of London, Madame Tussauds – overpriced and overcrowded.)

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  77. LotteOct 5, 20126:35 am

    I’d head out of central London. Maybe Hampstead and visit 2 willow road a modernist house designed by architect Ernö Goldfinger.

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  78. emilyOct 5, 20127:34 am
  79. MaureenOct 5, 20128:46 am

    British Museum is pretty amazing. Lindow Man, Rosetta Stone, and SOOO much more under one roof? Yes, please. Probably best during a weekday, though. Happy to hear about your adventures outside of NY. Have fun!

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  80. katrinaOct 5, 20123:19 pm

    i’m so excited for you, anna. like you, i tend to stay put, but i secretly have dreams of travel — dreams i hope to materialize one day (i’ve been watching a ton of house hunters international!). anyway, have fun fun fun!

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  81. JemmaOct 5, 20124:59 pm

    Natural History museum is amazing, as is the glass triangle roof of the British Museum. Apparently no two triangles are the same. It is beautiful. We know how you like triangles!

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  82. NvSOct 5, 20125:19 pm

    Best thing to do in London tomorrow: The Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare’s Globe… magical.

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  83. FionaOct 10, 20121:43 am

    I’m so excited you’ve made it over the pond to our little island :) Have a fab time.

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  84. jen s.Oct 10, 201211:32 pm

    I think it’s been mentioned but the National Portrait Gallery would be the one spot I wouldn’t miss. Over a week’s visit my husband and I went there three times, drawn every time to begin at Room 2 (even tho we don’t care much about royalty, either — it’s hard not to be staggered by the history). Plus it’s kind of ominous up there. Loved it. Have a great trip.

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  85. JoanieOct 12, 201212:38 pm

    Wilton’s Music Hall – free music in a magical setting
    Columbia Road Market on Sunday morning
    Macbeth pub on Hoxton Street for music

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