Living in Leeds I don’t often see much of London, and when I do it’s usually the walk from Kings Cross to our London office or a small selection of bars and restaurants that I’m familiar with.
So, after spending a few festive days with my family in Buckinghamshire, I took the opportunity to spend the day being a tourist in London on my way back up to Leeds. With so much to see and do in this wonderful (and somewhat overwhelming) city, the hardest part was actually planning the day and, of course, where to have lunch!
Here’s what we got up to:
I’ve briefly been to Borough Market a couple of times, but never really spent the time exploring it. From King Cross (where Billy and I dropped off our luggage for the day) we jumped on the Northern Line to London Bridge and emerged to find ourselves right outside the market.
The next hour and a half was spent wandering through food stalls and sampling all the cheese, charcuterie, balsamic vinegar and truffle oil in sight – what more could one possibly want from a day out? The only answer to that is a cup of perfectly spiced mulled wine from Borough Wines, absolutely spot on!
A quick pit stop for a hungry boyfriend at Maria’s Market Cafe resulted in a bacon and bubble bap – I only had a bite (well 3 or 4 bites) to sample and it was incredible… highly recommend if you fancy something filling and comforting.
The highlight of the day, as of any day, was lunch and we chose a dim sum restaurant in Soho called Yauatcha. Ever since my trip to Hong Kong a few months ago I’ve been craving decent dim sum and struggling to find anything suitable in Leeds, so thought London might do the job.
After a quick tube ride on the central line from Liverpool Street to Tottenham Court Road and a wander around Soho, we headed to the restaurant and were lead to our table downstairs where we were offered a food menu, drinks menu and the option to speak to a sommelier to discuss our wine choice.
We decided to stick to dim sum rather than order mains as well, and every single dish was outstanding. Incase you’re wondering, we ordered: Scallop shui mai, Char siu bun, Sticky rice in lotus leaf, Venison puff and Spicy pork Szechuan wonton with peanut. I’d love to tell you my favourite as a recommendation, but honestly they were all amazing.
As we were finishing our final dish, a spanner was thrown into the works… we were full but crispy duck was brought out to the table next to us and it looked unreal. As it’s still Christmas, we went for it and it was definitely the right decision! I will forever wonder how duck (or any food) can be so crispy, tender and flavoursome simultaneously.
Great food along with a fantastic bottle of white wine (I believe it was a Verdejo, or just ask for the driest on the menu) and great service (the duck took a while to come out but they took it off the bill) resulted in a thoroughly enjoyable lunch.
I hadn’t been to Harrods since I was a kid so this is something I was desperate to add to our itinerary. A few stops on the Piccadilly Line later, we were in Knightsbridge and looking up the sparkling lights of the world famous department store.
As we didn’t have an awful lot of time we prioritised in the following order: fine jewellery (I actually gasped at a Tiffany ring and spent a good few minutes trying to get my breath back, much to Billy’s horror), shoes (obviously), toys (those Harrods teddy bears are and adult kid’s dream) and the food hall. I also let Billy have a quick look at men’s clothing and technology.
Exhausted from all the walking around and dreaming of being rich, we headed back to Kings Cross to collect our luggage and board our train back to good old Yorkshire where sausage rolls don’t cost £10.
Such a fantastic day has reminded me how great London is and I’ve promised myself to find more excuses to spend time down there exploring the shops, restaurants and landmarks. Any recommendations on where to go next time would be very much appreciated so please get commenting!