Only have three days to explore London in the winter? No problem, I’m here to help make it simple! Between juggling graduate school and work, it can be difficult to find time to travel so it is important to make the most out of every single day you are there. I have listed the restaurants I have dined at, where in London I stayed, how we got around, and what sites to see to make your trip there worthwhile.
Two General Tips for London
Tip 1- The Tube: The Tube is your best friend on this trip. The Tube, which is also called The Undergrown is a subway that gets you everywhere in London, quickly and safety. It is super easy to use as I recommend taking this rather than a taxi. Tickets are around $15 for an all-day pass and can be purchased at any station. When flying into Heathrow Airport and after grabbing your luggage take the tube to the Piccadilly line and then hop off at your closest destination for your hotel otherwise you'll be spending upwards of $50 or $70 depending on where you go.
Tip 2- Get Sleep: I know this is a given, but it's beyond important. I unfortunately did not get any sleep on the airplane as I had screaming children in the seat behind me and a snoring man in front of me. I had left on a Thursday night which when I landed in Heathrow Airport, was morning in London. I essentially was up for 24 hours and let me tell you, it was not pleasant. Because it is a five-hour time difference, do your best to sleep on the seven-hour flight and if you have to, take a quick nap when you check into your hotel because even a few hours will make all the difference.
Where I Stayed
Since I was only there for three days with my boyfriend, John we only had one hotel throughout our stay. We stayed at The Marriott Hotel Park Lane which was absolutely beautiful! Located right in Marble Arch, we were at the perfect location to shop on Oxford Street, see Buckingham Palace and The British Museum. It also had a subway station entrance just two steps away from the hotel. Between the marble interior, lavish indoor pool, and Christmas Décor it truly felt as though you were in an authentic London hotel getting the full experience rather than a cookie cutter inn.
Where To Eat
OMG the food! Every single place we had gone to was absolutely amazing. When traveling anywhere I always look for a place that has a beautiful and fun atmosphere so that my experience can be that much more memorable. Below is a list of some of the restaurants we ate at and links so you are able to see the decor and menus on their website.
1. Sketch – One of the best tea places in London in my opinion. The entire room is decorated in pink offering a selection of teas, champagne and small bites. The room has live music, sketches on the wall from a famous artist named David Shringley and the option to walk across the hall to yet another beautiful room called, The Glade. The Glade is decorated from floor to ceiling in a wooded forest ambiance as it serves tea and small snacks.
2. Aubaine Selfridges – Ok, so there are multiple Aubaine’s around London. Make sure you head to the one in Selfridges (high-end department store on Oxford Street). You make your way to the second floor of the store and you are greeted by a ceiling of beautifully covered flowers with white marble floors. The breakfast ranges from loaded avocado toasts, specialty cappuccinos and lattes to eggs and steak.
3. Dalloway Terrace – Book this restaurant in advanced! I could not get a reservation on Open Table, however I went inside the restaurant and asked if they had a seating for the following morning. Luckily for us, they had a few open and sat us down even though it had said it was fully booked online. This place was rated the most Instagrammable place in London, and for good reasons. The entire place is decorated like a winter wonderland from the ceiling trees and lights to the blankets and white furs they give you once you sit down. We had gone for breakfast as they offered a rainbow acai bowl, eggs and meats on a skillet and oversized pancakes and waffles drizzled in syrup and powdered sugar.
4. Aqua Shard – For dinner, I highly recommend this spot. It is located in The Shard, one of the tallest buildings in London. With 360 degree views of the London Bridge to The London Eye, every single table has a fantastic view that is sure to take your breath away. It is a modern, sexy and upscale dining experience which features everything from steaks, local fresh fish and signature London dishes.
5. Lanes of London – This place was perfect for afternoon tea or to grab a quick bite to eat while on the go. The restaurant was located in our hotel, which garnered a warm and intimate vibe. From local mussels, exotic wine and fresh daily soups this spot was perfect to relax and unwind.
6. Pubs – Everywhere you go in London there are authentic pubs with some of the best kept secrets. On almost every corner you can find a pub decorated in flowers while keeping with the old-world charm and character of London. We had gone to a bar from the 1860’s and had some of the best meat pies, sausage and gravy and fish and chips. Make it a point to at least go to one and experience why they are always so popular!
What To See
You obviously have to see the tourist hot spots around London, but one thing they don’t tell you is that the monuments are very spread out across England. It is important to buy a subway pass as you would be spending your whole day walking from one to the next. Not to mention, it gets dark around 4:00-4:30 PM during winter which puts you that much more on a time crunch when wanting to view them during the day.
1. The London Eye – Grab a fast pass if the line is too long or simply order the tickets online in advance and save money!
2. Big Ben – Big Ben is just across from The London Eye. If you are keen on seeing this monument, wait to travel because it was completely covered in scaffolding as they are currently doing repairs on the clock tower.
3. The Tower Bridge – The bridge is located right by The Shard. Walking along the water will give you the best views and if you’re feeling up to it, take a walk on the bridge itself.
4. The Shard/Borough Market – This market is located under The Shard and offers everything from fresh oyster, cheese tastings, flower shops, bars and shopping.
5. Oxford Street – Some of the best shopping in London. Whether you are looking to shop at Zara, Gucci or authentic London stores, this street is for you. The entire street is decorated in stringed lights from one building to another and dining options are just off to the side streets.
6. Carnaby Street – Nestled inside, you’ll find three levels of dining options as well as shopping. The square offers heated seating to enjoy the views outside as the balconies are garnished with lights and decorations for winter.
Short Video from my time in London... Click Here