By Jordan Haywood
Jordan was born and raised on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. After 10 years in Jackson, she and her husband, Adam, moved to the United Kingdom where she works full time in Sales & Marketing for an international business. In her free time Jordan travels Europe with Adam and enjoys sharing her experiences through writing and blogging.
England gets a bad rap for its foggy skies and puddle-riddled streets, but in reality the country is a beautiful green island with some of the most scenic views in the world. London, however, isn’t like the rest of England. But there’s something special about the hustle and bustle that adds to the experience. With the average resident’s home being older than the United States, London has so much history and beauty that you can hardly turn a corner without stumbling upon another building so worth marveling at that you wish you could order your tea right then and there.
While the traditional sites like the London Eye and Big Ben are undeniably worth seeing, London has treats that are particularly delectable for a visiting Southerner. Fancy spending your second day in the city in style and avoiding long queues (the British are famous for their waiting lines)? We’ve provided you with a sampling of options that won’t disappoint.
Ever wonder why Southerners are such polite and happy people? Because they start every day with a well-balanced breakfast, or even better – brunch. Don’t mistake this for the traditional English breakfast served throughout the rest of the country. London has jumped on the brunch bandwagon and boasts several options worth booking in advance. Named for the charming neighborhood it calls home, 34 Mayfair offers the best of sweet, savory and thirst quenching. Feeling full from the côte de boeuf? Take a stroll through the streets of Mayfair viewing stunning architecture that rivals that of Paris. After resisting knocking on each beautiful door you pass (requesting just a tiny peek inside), get some fresh air with a walk through Hyde Park.
If you’re in need of a break from all the history and grandeur, the hip and unique Covent Garden neighborhood is a charming area of town that offers everything from theatre to museums and shopping. London shows are second, debatably, only to those of New York and well worth seeing. Diving deeper into the aforementioned history, a trip to the National Portrait Gallery to see commissions of royals and other celebrated Brits can only be improved upon by the current featured exhibition. Iconic images of Audrey Hepburn and original photos from the Vogue archives have graced these walls and you’ll leave feeling envious of how few worry lines the Queen has in her exquisitely truthful portrait.
Every afternoon in Britain includes a proper cup of tea, and there’s nowhere quite as proper as Fortnum and Mason. Maybe it’s the piano serenade or the tea cup from the daintiest set of china you’ve been trusted to touch, but high tea in England is a rite of passage and should be treated with deserving respect.
If you’re feeling more contemporary, sketch is another fanciful option. The artwork, patterned floors and pink cushion seats are nothing short of whimsical and with bottomless teas and treats, you’ll have to drag yourself away at risk of losing the rest of your day pretending you’ve just fallen down the rabbit hole.
Had enough of the city life? Venture out to Notting Hill for an evening full of shopping the markets like locals and pub hopping. Once you’ve had your fill of fish and chips and rugby on the telly, venture out and experience Notting Hill’s nightlife which is famous for its music scene and diversity. Notting Hill Arts Club hosts themed nights and celebrity DJ’s that’ll make your head spin. Make your way back into the city passing colorfully painted doors and balancing on cobblestone streets. Yes, it is just as charming and quaint as the movie led us to believe.
If after experiencing all that London has to offer, you still don’t feel the magic of this city, then your heart may be even colder than the British summers.