You only have one day in London, but you want to discover all the trendy things to do? I’m talking about original twists on typical staples like tea and neighborhood hangouts that only a local would know.
There have been so many that I only spent a day in London and ended up doing only the basic tourist things. WELL NOT THIS TIME!
This time I did some extensive research thanks to a fantastic article from Vogue, the power of Instagram, and no shame in my dating app game! Words cannot describe how happy I am with the results rather than the typical “best things to do in London” blogs and reviews that deservedly recommend Harry Potter tours. No shadow for the fans, he is always on the list.
Check out the results below! All of them are personally highly recommended! It was the best day trip to London I have ever done!
(By the way, there’s a lot of food involved, so you might want to pick a few. But just throw there that I have them all in one day).
1. Enjoy a 5-course meal during your visit to London
You heard me right. During your visit to London, you can enjoy a five-course meal. Say that again? It’s called Bustronome, and as the name suggests, it’s a bus that serves gourmet food!
Serving a gourmet meal on a bus may seem dubious. After all, we probably all had our share of meals by train and plane. But this experience is like no other!
You board the bustronome double-decker bus and head to a glass enclosed mobile dining room! Each table is equipped with thoughtful and innovative settings that prevent everything from moving or tilting while the bus is moving!
Then your waiter will start serving your delicious dishes while the bus takes you to all the base sites in central London!
You can’t get on and off like regular tourist buses. But you will not want it with the pleasure that you have fun making plonk and dining in the city!
Make sure to book in advance and don’t be after!
2. Learn how to use the London Underground
Believe me, I know how intimidating and confusing using public transportation in another country can seem. But I assure you, it is more than easy to understand in London! The simple fact that everything is in English should not give you an excuse to try it! (Say this as someone who understood how to use the rail in Japan where nothing is in English).
But all you need is an Oyster tourist map and Google Maps on your phone! You can have the Oyster card sent to you before your trip, or simply pick it up at the train station. Add only about 20 pounds because that’s all you probably need for a day in London.
Then simply use Google Maps on your phone (for more information on getting a local SIM card, click here) to enter where you are going. Tap the train icon at the top to get directions via public transport. Then easily follow what it says for which station and which line to take!
I highly recommend you learn how to use the London Underground, as it is much faster and affordable than Uber. But, if you have luggage, or if you don’t feel like sorting it out … Uber is available.
3. Go to the trendiest High Tea with the most epic bathrooms in London
When I asked on my Instagram for the best tips for my one day in London, almost everyone said to go sign. And they all said something about the toilets there! Unsurprisingly, Sketch London’s high tea also topped Vogue’s list!
In fact, Sketch is so popular that I couldn’t even be rushed a week in advance! But I was determined to see him, so I opted for lunch at his sister restaurant The Gallery instead.
The gallery contrasts sharply with Sketch’s all pink and mod interior. With walls lined with dark green and blue, and enough floral motifs and accessories to make you feel like you’re in a jungle! For those looking for a more hearty meal than tea, you will definitely want to reserve a table for lunch in the gallery.
Okay. So I know you are all looking forward to this epic bathroom. If you’re not, you have to be. Never in my life and in more than 100 countries where I have been, Have I seen egg-shaped toilet bags. I’ve never seen a bathroom anywhere, within walking distance of this piece of bathroom art.
4. Drink an (alcoholic) tea on the water with a view of London
Another of Vogue’s tea recommendations was the new luxury tea at Lyaness. It is located in the Sea Containers Hotel and decorated to look like a luxury dinner from the 80s.
The twist is that in addition to tea, Lyaness serves a mixology or an addition of champagne to the menu! The added alcohol seems to make it the perfect place to socialize after work, especially with “the suits” who work in the area. Definitely make a reservation because the place was packed by 3pm!
While enjoying your classic English high tea and sipping bubbles, you also have a beautiful view! Lyaness overlooks the River Thames and offers stunning views of the city.
5. Dinner and drinks in London’s trendy Brixton district
Escape the tourist areas of London and take the subway to Brixton! This is one of the last trendy neighborhoods that reminds me of Windward in Miami. You will find an eclectic mix of people in Brixton, with immigrants and local youth looking for affordable real estate.
That said, If you’re looking for an affordable (albeit small) place to stay during your day in London, this area is a great option! I stayed in one of the most affordable places on AIrbnb and I would recommend it if you are looking: Check out this apartment in Brixton. (Use my Airbnb code for a discount and so I get a credit! Click here and then search for “charming Studio 10 minutes from London”).
It was once considered peril, but with the addition of street art, markets and a younger population, it is increasingly labeled fashionable!
There are a ton of bars and restaurants, but my favorite is Pop! Brixton. this is a really cool complex made of shipping containers, and each is a different restaurant, bar or store! The place is always popping, and was packed when I went there on a Wednesday!
During the day I would recommend Brixton Village, a small market with nice cafes and shops. Most only take money, so get ready!
BY THE WAY! I mentioned dating apps in the intro…that’s because the way I discovered Pop! Brixton was in correspondence with a local man who lived there! I got so much valuable local information this way in different countries!