First things first. I needed to return to the pub I worked at when I was a young, twenty-year old, think I know everything chica. Yeah, that was a long time ago, back when I was almost finished with college! Because now I am old enough to REALLY know everything. 😉
12:00 p.m. – Walk through Hyde Park to the pub. Check out my Hyde Park blog here.
1:30 p.m. The Scarsdale Tavern
I mean seriously, just look how cute this place is! Ahhhhh, my old stomping grounds for a few months in 199- …. er, awhile ago. In the lovely neighborhood of Kensington.
The food was super scrumptious. I finished everything they set in front of us. We shared the tomato, basil, pine nuts, roquette and buff mozzerella bruschetta. And hell yeah, we added the prosciutto! And then we shared the Scarsdale burger with stilton cheese. I have been dying for a good burger lately, Spain just can’t seem to find really good ground beef for some reason. And when I’m in England, vinegar goes on the chips. That’s fries to you Americans. Everything was so darn good. Plus my Guinness with black currants and then a cider. What a way to start off my weekend in London Town.
The Scarsdale Tavern – 23a Edwardes Square, Kensington +44.020.7937.1811
4:00 The Tate Modern Museum
Not only is this a cool place to view international contemporary and modern art but it’s free admission (except for special exhibitions)! I love free. Amazing art.
And through May, the exhibition – The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography From The Sir Elton John Collection is at the Tate Modern. It’s an amazing private collection of photography, drawn from the classic modernist period of the 1920s–50s. It’s £16.50 and well worth every penny.
Also, check out the restaurant at the top with panoramic views of the London skyline. It’s a nice place to grab a bite and a drink after a few hours of art viewing.
Tate Modern – Bankside, London +44.20.7887.8888
8:30 Chiltern Firehouse
This is the new hot spot. The place to see and to be seen. There are two parts – the hotel side and the restaurant side, both are great. If you get here early enough and the hotel restaurant isn’t busy, that is the place to see the famous peeps. But the other side is just as cool and popular. We had some appetizers at the bar to start out with – fried chicken (YUM), deviled eggs and bacon cornbread. And then for the main course we had the Iberico Pork and the Welsh Lamb. So freakin’ yummy. My mouth is watering now just thinking about it. It gets busy quick so don’t forget to make a reservation.
Chiltern Firehouse -1 Chiltern St., Marylebone +44.20.7073.7676
Time to do some shopping. But not any shopping, I wanted to do some vintage shopping in East London. And off we go.
12:00 Vintage Shopping on Brick Lane
Grabbed a cheesy toast and a latte with an extra shot of espresso from Starbucks at the Bond Street Tube station and headed for the Liverpool Tube stop. Once there we headed north – walk up Commercial Street, turn east onto Fournier St and your second street will be Brick Lane. That is where all the good vintage shops are. First stop was Blitz on Hanbury St. This place puts the other shops to shame. Seriously good stuff here for good prices. Two floors of rails and rails of neatly presented vintage fashion. Good book selection too.
If you want more of an eclectic selection, head back to Brick Lane and just a block up is the Vintage Market. Lots of smaller booths run with a large selection of clothes, jackets, hats, records, books. A bit claustrophobic but an excellent selection to browse through.
Blitz – 55 – 59 Hanbury Street +44.20.7377.8828
The Vintage Market – F Block 85 Brick Lane +44.20.7770.6028
4:00 Big Chill Bar
Vintage shopping sure works up a thirst! Right around the corner from the Vintage Market is the Big Chill Bar. A reggae vibe runs through this lounge bar with its own resident DJ. I had a cider, Donita had a Bloody Mary. Food looked good but we only had drinks.
Big Chill Bar – Dray Walk +44.20.7392.9180
6:00 Tower Bridge
You gotta do at least one touristy thing when in London Town. Right? My choice, Tower Bridge. We walked (!) from vintage shopping on Brick Lane to Tower Bridge. It was about a 25 – 30 minute walk, but super easy.
Tower Bridge is AH-MAH-ZING. I love it. The details, the size, the blue! Construction started in 1886 and took eight years and five major contractors to complete. The bridge is 800 feet in length with two towers each 213 feet high, built on piers. It is a very, very busy bridge with traffic (bus, car, taxi, people) continuously travelling on it.
And I find it very beautiful.
I was craving sushi and luckily enough one of the hippest sushi restaurants in London is just a few doors down from my friend’s apartment. Even though it was so close we still had to use an umbrella because it had been your typical rainy, winter evening in London.
Donita had been at ROKA only a week before and Steven Tyler was there. He even stopped by to say hi to her and her friend. What a nice dude! Alas, Mr. Tyler was not there that evening but we still had a fabulous time. The tasting menus looked scrumptious but we opted for our usual fare – miso soup, edamame, some sushi and a roll. Super yummy. Even had to order another round of toro (tuna belly) for me. I gobbled it up and thought about ordering even one more. I decided for one more cold saki and then sadly … that was the end of my weekend in London.
ROKA – 30 N. Audley St., Mayfair +44.20.7305.5644
What are some of your favorite places, haunts, restaurants in London?? I can’t wait to go back. But I also miss Cornwall, England. Maybe I can talk Felix in going there soon. Cheerio mates!