Taking Advantage of the City

At this point in the semester, I have certainly seen a lot of London. I would like to take the opportunity this week to highlight some of my favorite places around the city. Luckily, great food is accessible anywhere and at any time in London. If you’re looking to grab something late at night, any Turkish doner kebab stand earns 5 stars from me. One of the best places to eat in London is at the Camden market, which is open daily. The man who sells shredded coconut chicken over rice convinces me to buy my lunch from him every time I’m there. Another great market for food options is the one on Portobello Road in the Notting Hill area. This is the world’s largest antiques market, so there are plenty of stalls to peruse while I eat my homemade pierogies. From there, I would suggest going on a 5 minute walk to the Museum of Brands, where they have a really neat “Time Tunnel” that takes visitors through the history of consumer culture.

One of my favorite places I’ve ventured to in London was a bit farther off the beaten path. My roommate and I wanted to see something new, and it ended up being one of my favorite days from this semester. We started by taking the northbound Victoria line all the way to the end at Walthamstow Central. I appreciated the quietness, more residential feel of the area as we wandered through. We walked about 15 minutes from the tube station to God’s Own Junkyard, which is the largest collection of vintage neons and signs in Europe. This is a really unique and fun (and free!) place to visit… definitely worth the trip. Following this, my roommate and I went for lunch at a cute restaurant called The Kitchen. This is a bold statement to make, but it was quite possibly the best meal I’ve had in London. I was so pleased with how this little London adventure turned out and would recommend it to anyone.

An area that I have found myself returning to is Shoreditch, a more trendy area in London’s East End. Brick Lane is an exceptional place for vintage shopping, which is usually my motivation for going. Cereal Killer Cafe is a very neat and nostalgic place I’ve popped into on one of my days in the area.

The final place I would like to highlight as a favorite of mine in London is Westminster Bridge, but at night. I feel that it is important to return to the more touristy areas of London every once in a while to remind myself that –wow– I am actually in London.  I enjoy the atmosphere a lot more at night, though, when there are fewer people around and everything is lit up across the city. I have found that it never gets old to take a stroll over the River Thames, with Big Ben and the London Eye to keep you company.