London: An Island Girl’s Off-beat Guide

Well hello there…guess what!

It’s my birthday!!!

So here are some highlights from my recent trip as a gift from me to you.

Fun fact: I was actually born on a Monday 🙂

JDM_3970I’ve been to England before, but this time it was ALOT different. I must thank my friend Jeremy, who is a London transplant, and was kind enough to show me around. If you’re lucky like me, staying with friends/family will save you lots of coin. If not, you can always check out Airbnb or the Booking.com app for really good rates.

My vacay was over a 2 week period with plenty of downtime, so I reckon you can do everything in this post in about a week.

Alrighty… let  me skip the long talk and get right to it… andddddd of course you know this is budget friendly.

Essentials:

I purchased the following at Gatwick Airport

Sim CardIMG_1040

I ditched my home sim card for a local one from a company Called Three

A sim with about 5GB of data and 300 texts and minutes would cost you about ÂŁ25.00. This lasts about 30 days. I got mine on October 13th, 2018 and I can hold on to this phone number until it expires in 2020. This card can be used throughout the UK.

Oyster Card

This travelcard is a MUST. You can top up anytime with little hassle. Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t top up online since I bought the visitor card. The regular oyster card allows you to top up at the train station,

as well as online, so keep that in mind. IMG_9275.jpg

It gives you access to all London Transport Networks

London Underground (Tube)

Buses

Docklands Light Rail

Overground Trains

Citymapper

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This app was really helpful. You can find it online. Otherwise Google Maps works fine, but I found City Mapper catered to my anxiety a little better. You can find it in your app or play store.

Getting around:

Getting around in Central London was really easy because of the rail/bus system.

I also used Uber, which didn’t turn out too expensive.

MUSEUMS

Victoria and Albert

I had the pleasure of viewing the Frida Kahlo exhibition thanks to my friend Jeremy.

Did I mention it was sold out?

 

National History Museum

 

National Maritime Museum

The Design Museum

 

PARKS

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Green Park
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Saint James’ Park
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Greenwich Park

 

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Kensington Gardens

 

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Hyde Park
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The Mall

 

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Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

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Kyoto Gardens @ Holland Park

Nomadic Garden – Shorditch

EATS

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Pizza @ Homeslice – Bank

 

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Korean food @ Assa – Soho

 

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Jerk chicken and rice and beans @ Rhythm Kitchen – Westfield Stratford Mall

 

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Must have Nando’s 🙂

 

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Biegel Bake – Shorditch

 

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Chipotle

 

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Must have Fish and Chips

 

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Sushi @ Wasabi – EVERYWHERE!

 

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Mac n cheese @ The Mac Factory – Camden Market
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Pork belly sandwich @ Roast – Borough Market
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Matcha Ice-Cream @ Tombo’s – Soho

 

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Bubble Tea @ Chatime – Soho

 

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Must try a Canolo

 

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Gelato @ Gelupo – Soho

 

 

SHOPPING

Westfield Stratford Mall is one of the largest malls in England. I’m not big on shopping, but I definitely scored here.

If you know anything about me, you’d know I’m into fitness. I was in heaven when we went to the Nike Factory store in Hackney.

There’s also loads of shopping you can do at the various department stores, shops and markets across London.

 

Also, check out the Icon Outlet Mall @ the O2

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And for my fellow Apple lovers…there’s an Apple store on Regent Street.

 

OTHER ATTRACTIONS

  • Sky Garden
  • St Paul’s Cathedral
  • Tower Bridge
  • London Eye
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Emirates Air Line
  • Hillsong London
  • Oxford Street
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Trafalgar Square

 

NOTABLE MENTIONS

  • If you’re ever near Canning town, you have to eat at Meydan Sofrasi for lovely Turkish Food. My friend recommends the Mixed Kebab, which is a full meal that includes a variety of meat, rice,  salad, sauces, grilled chilli pepper. It is absolutely mouth watering.
  • Third Space Gym – This gym is lushhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I was mind blown…and our Yoga instructor David is exceptional.
  • Cineworld @ the O2 if you fancy a good movie theatre.
  • Please ask for VAT refund forms when you shop as you can get cash back at the VAT refund desk at Gatwick Airport. You must also show proof of purchases at the desk.

There are lots more places I wish to visit in other parts of England, so you know I’ll be back. Let’s plan a trip nah?

That’s all folks! If I forgot anything, I’ll be sure to update this post.

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as it anguished me to complete it.

Thanks for your continued love and support and I hope to do more of these in the future. Feel free to shoot me any questions  in the comments, or if you just wanna say hello.

Until next time.

 

Love, light and longevity,

Dee

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