London Highlights

I knew London by reputation to be a city where the food scene had exploded to be one of the most coveted in the world with chefs from all over opting to open restaurants in some of the small boroughs.  Where, with all the Aussies and Kiwis living there, there had to be many great coffee spots.

I heard the wine scene was totally "Euro-cool" with New World sensitivities, being the biggest market for both Australia and France.

And I knew that royalty was a shining light in the city, their social lives up front and centre of every day life, and there would be an immense amount of history and occasion to be seen.

What I had no idea about was how wonderful, warm and friendly all the people are, how it's such an incredibly multicultural city with a diversity I've not encountered before.  And, how marvellous the markets were, embracing local and street food with feirce passion!

Here's some of my highlights...

You may be fortunate enough to catch a parade on a morning run
through Hyde Park
Running or walking in London.....

There are limitless places to run for all levels, depending on where you are staying.  Hyde Park is very central from Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Kensington, Chelsea, Notting Hill, Marble Arch, Picadilly and more.   A 5km will take you one half loop of the park, then you can do the other half the next day, or go the approximately 10km around the entire park.  There's also a great path alongside most of the Thames, and a great way to see sights.  Around Buckingham Palace there are several parks and water canals to run by, and, frankly just running the streets is really fun (just make sure you look right when you cross the roads!)

Kensington Road crossing to Hyde Park

Coffee Junkie Paradise....

Flat White Cafe in Soho
All my Aussie buddies had said I MUST go to Flat White in SoHo for the best coffee and ideed it was just terrific, as was their sister cafe, Milk Bar!  They purchase their coffee from Square Mile who are dedicated to single origin beans and are masters at roasting.  As you listen to the soft purr of the milk foaming into silky richness and smell the creme as it streams into the cups, you know you're in for a real treat to savor...... instantly.  Don't let this one sit for a minute!

If you're at the Borough Markets, go to Monmouth Cafe, if you're happy to wait in line, it will be well worth it!

A swan from Joe and the Juice

You'll also get a pretty nice brew, and killer smoothies at Joe and the Juice, a small chain from Scandinavia, and also at some of the Paul Bakeries. 

Markets Galore........

But the Borough Markets just nearby London Bridge, seems to be voted King of them all.  Amazing street food, local farmers and vendors congregate for a feast of every sense imagineable.


Naturally, the theater is a must when visiting London (for us it was a memorable "Singing in the Rain").  As you escalate up from the tube station, you'll see ads for all that's on offer and you're best to go on the day and get a very discounted ticket at Leicester Square Station.  There are often great seats to be had, even last minute.

But for movie lovers, you can't leave without a flick at the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill. It's the oldest cinema in London and has been gracefully and gloriously renovated into the most comfortable seated cinema I've encountered.  Sip a glass of wine as you await the feature in lounge chairs as comfortable as your living room!


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