12 hours in London

Amateur Gourmet has recently posted on what he would do with 12 hours in New York and encouraged others to think about “12 hours in …” (for example Clotilde of Chocolate & Zucchini has written a fabulous post on 12 hours in Paris). So, what about 12 hours in London town? Of course everyone has their favourite places, however this would be my ideal 12 hours:

  • 12pm – I would have brunch at Ottolenghi in Notting Hill (pictured). At this time of day I would try and resist the temptations of their amazing cakes and stick with some Ottolenghi home made granola along with a freshly squeezed juice. Don’t worry there is a lot of eating still to come in the day.

  • 1pm – From here I would walk down to Hyde Park and stroll around the Serpentine, maybe stopping a while to doze in one of those quintessentially British striped deck chairs.
  • 3pm – My next stop would be afternoon tea somewhere since afternoon tea is such an English institution. The ultimate destination is probably The Ritz. I could walk all the way through Hyde Park and St James park to get there. However if you don’t want to spend quite that much a personal favourite of mine is The Tea Palace in Notting Hill (and thats not quite so far to walk) .
  • 4pm – From my afternoon tea destination I would catch the tube to London Bridge and head to the Borough Market (assuming it is a Thursday or Friday, watch out on Saturdays the markets close at 4pm). I would browse around the stalls, tasting some cheese and picking up what I think is the best coffee in London from Monmouth.
  • 5pm – From the markets I would stroll along the banks of the Thames until reaching the Tate Modern (open until 6pm on weeknights but later on Fridays and Saturdays) to have a look at what’s happening in the world of contemporary art.
  • 6pm – After all that art and walking I would rest my feet by heading upstairs to the top floor restaurant to enjoy a glass of wine at the bar with spectacular views of London.
  • 8pm – Next I could walk or (more likely) catch one of London’s famous black cabs to Vinoteca. Once there I would perch at the bar with (another) glass of wine while waiting for a table in this cozy wine bar/restaurant. For dinner there are a range of everchanging but delicious options such as fresh fig salad, sea bass or pigeon.
  • 10pm/11pm – Finally I would head out on the town to finish off the night with a bit of dancing. A fun option would be Favela Chic in nearby Shoreditch with its Brazilian themed decor and packed to bursting dance floor. Naturally the drink of choice here is a Caipirinha to give me a final burst of energy after such a busy day.


  1. You’ve picked some of my favorite places! Vinoteca in particular! Love the Adam Roberts piece. Will encorporate all into my round-up. Thanks!

  2. I just got back from London and must say Borough is a must-visit on each trip. My 12 hours will also include Covent Garden Market and Harrods Chocolate Bar

  3. I haven’t been to the Harrods chocolate bar – will have to try it out

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