24 Hours in London: Pretty Doors, Talking Toilets and St Pauls Cathedral
"I only wanted to go to the toilet, but instead I've just walked into an egg and it seems to be talking to me?"
Even though I was bought up in Cornwall, London has always been my second home. My mums side of the family lived in London so that meant my little sister and I spent a large amount of our childhood going up and down the M5 to visit our grandparents, mixed with a lot of day trips to the London Eye and Big Ben.
My home from home. I've always felt a deep connection with London - the freedom and the never ending possibilities win me over every single time. On the day of my graduation, it was a no brainer but to pack my bags and move to the big smoke - something that I had so desperately wanted for a very long time. After a crazy 4 months of living in Chelsea and 12 in Fulham, I decided to move back to Cornwall - my career wasn't going quite the way I had planned and because of that my social life took over, leaving me with a very poorly bank balance and a 247 (maybe a slight exaggeration) hangover.
The move back to Cornwall hit hard, and for a while I was absolutely gutted, but now I wouldn't have it any other way. Having friends that still live in London allows me to visit on the regular. My job often takes me back to the city too, something that I count as a nice little perk! I'm lucky enough to enjoy the best of both worlds.
So here I am, introducing the '24 Hours in London' series! Over the next month, I will be heading to London 3 times (and probably another 5 before the new year!) - twice for work, and once for a birthday weekend away with Mumma T. I spend far too much time in the City for it not to be a part of my blog - often my Cornish friends come to me for advice when they visit the City so I thought it would make sense to start writing about the best places to visit from someone who knows London like the back of their hand, but then also understands how difficult it is to go from somewhere so small and easy to somewhere so fast paced (complete polar opposites)!
This October, I attended my first international PR event hosted by Visit Britain (I will write about this further in a separate post) at The Savoy Hotel at The Strand. I decided to make the most of the trip and head up to London for the weekend so I had a few days to catch up with friends before the event kicking off on the Monday.
A sunny Saturday left me wondering down the streets of Notting Hill (central line), battling my way through the people eyeing up vintage jewellery and antiques on the market stalls. "I wonder who lives in that house?" The weird obsession with photographing doors continues, and Notting Hill is one of the most perfect places to find those coloured Balamory houses, and quirky streets.
My ex-housemate (and best friend) Michael and I hadn't made any firm plans, so we spent most of the day wandering up and down the streets taking pictures and eventually ended up at Holland Park, one of Londons finest green areas (central line). I'd always wanted to visit the Kyoto Park, a traditional Japanese inspired garden that could be found in the depths of Holland Park. Drinking wine down the Kings Road and shopping in Westfields continuously took over my weekends, so unfortunately I never actually made it to the gardens until now - one whole year later.
At three years old I experienced a very tragic ordeal. I was chased down a slide at Newquay Zoo by a peacock -to be honest, I've never fully recovered so you can imagine my absolute horror when I soon realised that Kyoto Park was actually full of peacocks.
So as well as these terrifying, yet beautiful creatures, Kyoto Park is also covered in impressive, photogenic waterfalls and colourful koi carp ponds - somewhere that I would most certainly recommend If you're trying to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
My time was taken up in South West London when I lived there, so now I often try to head into the city and make the most of the differences that London has to Cornwall. One of my favourite places in London is St Pauls Cathedral (central line) - I think it's absolutely incredible - not just on the outside, but in the inside too. Unfortunately, this time around, I wasn't able to go inside as time wasn't on my side (£18 on the door), but I have been before and there's so much to explore - plus the view from the top over London is so worth the 528 steps!
The best place to view St Pauls is the viewing platform that you can find by Madisons Rooftop Bar (fab place for wine!!) on the top floor of the St Pauls Shopping Centre. If you're looking for a lunch spot in this area then I suggest to try out Coppa Club that's just over the road from the cathedral entrance (also try out the Coppa Club Tower Bridge if you fancy brunch in an igloo)!
Here's a tip from me...don't even bother attempting the central line at rush hour. After revisiting some of my favourite parts of London, I made my way back to Fulham where I was staying with a friend (shout out to my girl, Ella). The evenings are my favourite in London, with endless dinner and drink options - I still have a list as long as my arm on my phone of restaurants that I've researched and have promised myself that I will eventually try.
One of my favourite restaurants in London is Sketch, a converted 18th century building located on Conduit Street in Mayfair. Home to the most Instagrammable bathrooms, Sketch is easily one of the most quirkiest and playful restaurants in central London. A destination for art, music and fabulous food, Sketch offers a number of casual and michilen star dining options all under one roof.
The pink tulip seats and the rose gold plated bar found in The Gallery makes me feel like I've just been plucked out of Oxford Street and thrown down some kind of Alice and Wonderland rabbit hole. The interior design (image source GQ) gets me every single time. For a little bit of secrecy, head towards the back of The Gallery and through the doors below the egg toilets (image below) - here you'll find a hidden bar serving cocktails throughout the evening - the perfect place if you want to escape.
As mentioned before, I'll be heading back to London in just under two weeks time with Mumma T - so expect my Instagram to be full of more pretty doors and pictures of me running though the city.
My home away from home.
Where are your favourite London hang out spots? I'm always looking for new places to visit when I head back to the city, so please let me know in the comments below!