Dear Diary: 24 Hours In London As A Tourist

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The original title for this post just said ’24 hours in London’ and then I was like you guys are going to be like ‘ummm babes, you’re always in London, that’s not ground-breaking’. So huzzah, I changed it.

Y’see, this weekend, I spent an entire sweet baby boo 24 hours in London, with, well, boo.

I don’t think we’ve spent that long in the capital together since I moved out of Leytonstone back in 2014. And even then, we rarely ventured further central than Westfield Stratford, hashtag so hip and east London over here.

So it was nice to detach from work and treat it like a little mini break, to experience the city as a tourist rather than a sweaty worker crying over delayed trains and Wasabi queues.

We decided to drive (YUH HUH, DRIVE INTO CENTRAL LONDON) because there was no trains between Ipswich and London over the weekend, and so, armed with a coconut latte, I picked Chris up from his office at 5pm on Friday and we sailed off down the A12 singing along to the top 40.

We’d booked to stay at Citizen M because we’d loved the one in New York and I was mildly freaked out to find that the rooms are EXACTLY the same. And I tell you now, seeing your old offices rather than Times Square from the window will make your belly and soul feel in a sad ol’ place. Pray for Hannah.

But for real – affordable and basic but the beds are ginormous and there’s free WIFI and a giant flat screen and yeah, I can’t fault CitizenM (AND the one in NYC has a rooftop bar, just sayin’).

We jumped in an Uber (it was only the second time Chris had used one, and legit he still treats it like something from Harry Potter come to life, there’s so much joy and amazement on his face, n’awww) to Holborn and went for dinner at The Ship Tavern.

It’s a rustic little pub with a buzzing bar downstairs and a charming, candlelit dining room upstairs crammed with booths and cosiness.

It’s the sort of place you absolutely need to get your little toosh on a rainy Sunday to dive headfirst into a bottle of red wine and a plate of pie and mash. And, because it’s completely off the beaten-track, it’s not infiltrated with tourists. Hi tourists, love you tourists.

You know what I’m saying though, it felt really chilled out and easy-going, more like a country pub than something slap bang in the middle of London.

To start I went for calamari whilst Chris went for deep-fried Brie (ideally I’d like someone to deliver me a block of that stuff for lunch today – any takers?), whilst we both died and went to sexy food heaven over the Beef Wellington for main. Such dreamy pastry, such perfect medium-rare beef, such handsome truffle mash potato. I die.

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We finished off our Friday night food overload with passion fruit panna cotta and crawled into bed just after 11pm before rolling to our separate sides and falling into the most heavenly of food and wine comas. A welcome change from the I AM SO BUZZING insomnia of recent weeks.

Although, even with black out blinds, I wasn’t able to sleep in past 7.45am. Being a grown-up is hard, y’know?

I’d booked us into Berner’s Tavern for breakfast as I knew Chris would be all about that high ceiling picture-wall life, and we munched our way through £40 worth of eggs, coffee, smoked salmon, bacon and avocado bae feeling like fly bitches.

I was wearing a midi skirt and mint green Reebok trainers and was well aware that a) they *probably* didn’t go together and b) if they did, it was far too edgy for Berner’s, but hey, whatcha gonna do.

It’s a pricey brunch spot for sure, and a little bit pretentious, but also really laid-back and there’s even French toast with Nutella on the menu. So if you want something a little bit special for a birthday or anniversary brunch, he’s your fella.

We finished off our morning with a dash into H&M to buy ALL the homeware (haul video here), and I thought Chris might just pass out from sheer sadness at following me around the store comparing different gold plant pots and pastel coloured blankets.

Boys, eh?

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And then we headed back to the car and drove down to south London to have an ice cream sundae with my dad and step mum before my nephew’s second birthday at a soft play area.

I didn’t even like ice cream sundaes as a kid and now I’m all about that ice cream and whipped cream life. I am so excited to get back into our Friday night ice cream in a cone from the cinema tradition of last summer. Mint choc chip is bae <3

And that, boys and sassy girls, rounds up our 24 hours in London.

We left the party early to jolly on back home as we had dinner plans and got stuck in some monumental traffic on the M25, so that was grand and we nearly fell out over whose fault it was, but hey what’s a road trip without a little bit of silent treatment, eh eh?

I spent Sunday feeling a little bit like I needed a Starbucks truck to breakdown in my street, but alas nope.

Weekends away are my favourite, and the older I get the more I realise you don’t need to gallivant off to distant beaches and cities in foreign lands – you just need to make the most of what’s around you.

There are so many hidden gems in every town, city or village and it’s up to you to make the time, to break away from trips to B&Q and 4-hour Netflix on the sofa sessions, to explore them.

And on that note, I’m going to eat some peanut butter and browse Instagram for UK travel inspo. See ya <3

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(Pyjamas from Mish London)

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