Experiencing London in 12 Hours.

Last Thursday I was lucky enough to spend twelve glorious hours exploring one of my absolute favourite cities. In my nineteen years on this earth, I've travelled to some pretty spectacular places around the world - Paris, Barcelona and Stockholm to name a few, but London will always have a very special place in my heart when it comes to city breaks. Every time I visit I am blown away by the beautiful architecture, eclectic mix of people and cultures and of course the ease at which I manage to spend money! Because it's true, living or even just holidaying in London is a very expensive venture, but one that is worth, in my opinion, every penny. 

In today's post I want to take you guys along with me on the crazy adventures we packed into twelve hours in London. Pre warning: it's a long one, so get cosy, grab a latte and let's get cracking!

Since we only live about an hour and a half's drive from the city centre we ended up choosing to drive as opposed to take the train. This was easier for a few reasons including the fact that our theatre trip wouldn't finish until half ten at the earliest and the idea of running for the last train didn't exactly appeal. So we ended up not arriving and subsequently parking (Top Tip: book your parking spot in advance. I'm not kidding.) until about midday. This meant that we milled around for about forty five minutes, mooching in and out of a few shops before heading down to our restaurant for lunch. 


Lunch At Quaglino's

If you're looking for somewhere truly special to eat in London, look no further than Quaglino's Italian restaurant in St James. It's the perfect combination of glamorous dining, stunning interiors and a menu filled with delectable options. You only have to take a glance at the photos below and I'm sure you'll fall in love as much as I did. Thankfully, because we went for lunch as opposed to dinner, it was fairly quiet - being a weekday - so I managed to get a few shots of the actual restaurant and bar area. The whole place has a very cool and modern vibe with low lighting and incredibly attentive staff. Yes, the food is quite pricy but if you're interested in a really special experience then I honestly would rate this with the best of them. 

One other thing I would say about this restaurant is the menu really catered well for pescatarians like myself. All too often I find restaurants rely heavily on meat dishes which obviously limits my choices however here, half of the main section of the menu is dedicated to vegetarian and fish dishes. 

Of course I had to take some photos of the food (bloggers have no shame when it comes to public photography!) because it was just too good of an opportunity to pass up! So firstly, we were, of course treated to some warm bread and butter which I'm sure you guys can relate to - is literally my idea of heaven. 

Now moving on to the starter. Both my mum and I had the fried aubergine on a bed of lentils with coconut moose and peanuts. I'm sure it was described much more eloquently on the menu but in straight up talk, that's what it was! I was a little hesitant about this, not sure whether or not I'd actually enjoy it, as it's not the sort of thing I would usually choose. However, I can honestly say that the photos do not do the taste justice. It was beautiful! Really light, perfectly cooked with just the right hint of spice. Even the coconut moose, which in writing sounds - frankly - a but weird, was really lovely! If you ever take a trip to Quaglino's I cannot recommend this enough!

After a few minutes of wine drinking and chatter, it was time for the main course. Both my parents chose to have the sea bass on a bed of tomato infused potatoes. I actually ended up trying a bit of my mum's and can confirm that it was, in fact, delicious. You could definitely tell that everything was prepared fresh, using really great ingredients which is something I really look out for if I'm going to be paying a bit extra for a meal.

Sophie and I opted for the spinach and goats cheese ravioli with fresh garden peas and asparagus. Again, the photos really don't do the food justice because this was truly so light and wonderful and the flavour was second to none.

And lastly: desert. I chose the chocolate fondant, knowing full well that my complexion would pay the price later, and I was definitely right. Thanks skin. But this fondant was just... Oh my gosh, it was so good! The whole middle section just melted away into a pool of chocolaty goodness which coupled with the ice cream was quiet frankly, heavenly. 

As I've already emphasised countless times, I cannot recommend this restaurant enough, and if you're ever in London I wouldn't hesitate in booking a table. Trust me, you won't regret it. 


After lunch we had a few hours to spare, so naturally began weaving our way through central London. If you don't know London or are from outside of the UK the massive square, surrounded by brightly coloured billboard is Piccadilly Circus AKA London's version of Times Square. It's so crazy busy and full to the brim of tourists it never fails to put a smile on my face. I did actually try to get some OOTD photos here however they all ended up either out of focus or with some random workman in the background so unfortunately I don't have any of those to share with you. 

Oxford Street - The most famous shopping street in London. I may or may not have *accidentally* bought more Ivy Park...

The Haymarket Hotel

As late afternoon came around we began thinking about what to do for dinner. It was pretty unanimous that we didn't want a heavy dinner (I was still recovering from the fondant!) so instead opted to popping over to our absolute favourite hotel in London: The Haymarket. Whenever we stay in London overnight, it's either here or at it's sister The Charlotte Street Hotel. Both venues are the perfect mix of modern and luxury and if you're looking for some serious glam and immaculate decor then look no further. Again I would say it leans towards the pricy side of the market, but we all deserve a treat sometimes, am I right?! 

So before heading to the theatre, we wondered in for some tea and snacks, which later turned into cocktails and wine.

Warm chocolate cookies and honey biscuits.

Cod goujons and tartar sauce. 

Pitta chips and an assortment of dips including hummus and guacamole. 

Triple baked chips.


I won't go into too much detail apart from to say that as always, the service was amazing and the food was even more gorgeous. If I'd still had any appetite I would have loved to have indulged in their afternoon tea as I saw many people doing, because the cakes looked like a gift from the heavens itself!

Cocktail wise I went for a watermelon Sangria which was the most aesthetically pleasing thing ever, complete with chunks of frozen watermelon acting as ice cubes. I'm going to be honest and say this looked better than it tasted, (one of the sugar syrups they used wasn't that nice in my opinion) but in terms of beautiful presentation and care to detail, then it's a clear winner!

'Romeo & Juliet' at The Garrick Theatre

After our sort-of dinner we headed back out again to go to the theatre. This was something I've been waiting so long to do - ever since I tweeted about potentially booking tickets back in April in fact - and being a massive Shakespeare nerd I was more than thrilled to be attending. The play starred Lily James ('Downton Abbey' and 'War And Peace') and Richard Madden ('Games Of Thrones') in the titles roles and was supported by many other famous faces including Meera Syal and Derek Jacobi. I can honestly say that the cast absolutely killed it; it was truly a display of fantastic acting and immersive storytelling. With 'Romeo and Juliet' I think there is a chance that it can end up being cheesy or overrated but this production was honestly incredible. I think tickets have most likely sold out now, which is a shame, but if not, I would definitely recommend! 

After the show was over we headed back to the car to begin our drive home. Needless to say we ended up getting stuck in traffic at midnight on the motorway (literally, how) and didn't get home until half one in the morning. Which would have been fine except I had to get up for work five hours later and complete an eight and a half hour shift. It's safe to say I was absolutely shattered!

However I wouldn't change a thing because my day was truly perfect. Ever time I visit London I fall more and more in love with my beautiful capital city, and just seeing all of the Union Jack flags pinned up made me so proud to be British and part of this tiny island we call home. If you're even contemplating visiting London - either as a day trip for my fellow UK readers or as a holiday - I cannot stress enough how perfect this city is. 



  1. LILY THIS PHOTOS ARE EVERYTHING, seriously you've got some serious photography skills!! - your day looked amazing, especally Quaglinos WOW, that looks like somewhere I would absolutely love, can't beat a little luxury in your life, no?! I've only ever been to London a handful of times because of the distance (so bloody far, so bloody annoying!) desperately want to go back though! xxx

    1. Ahhh thank you!! Yeah, it was honestly so so perfect I want to go back haha! I don't live that far away so I'm pretty lucky, but I'd still love to be even closer! xxx


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