There are so many hidden treasures in London that I love, all of which cater to a variety of budgets, especially when the food and drink department is involved. Whether you’re after the ultimate afternoon tea room (the oh-so amazing Sketch or even classier Fortnum & Mason) or suddenly decide that you fancy waffles on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower (did anyone say Duck&Waffle?), I can guarantee you will find something in London.
Being the food market lover that I am, I tend to be drawn to foodie hideaways and pop-ups that scream local and deliciousness all over (my guide to best food markets in New York says it all). The beautiful Camden Market, Borough Market and Brick Lane Market, although a favourite pit stop to many, are some of the most publicised markets in every London guide there is which, in return, has made them incredibly touristy and busy. A much less crowded but still trendy and buzzing hot spot is Hackney’s Broadway Market. Let’s get straight to the facts – this charming and vibrant market is a tricky one to resist if you’re after some locally sourced goods, delicious food, sustainable/vintage clothing and artsy books and homeware.
Sam and I have been on a mission to find the best burgers in London. Although we’re yet to sample all of the big smoke’s grilled delicacies (non pun intended), it’s safe to say we’ve been to a fair few places that have significantly won a place in our hearts. Truth is, I’m not a big fan of fast food chains and try to go for more quality, free-range, locally sourced and sustainable options.
Patty and Bun wasn’t somewhere we were new to, but who wants to resist yet another visit to a mouth-watering menu boosting some serious burger choices? Not me, that’s for sure! Hear me out – their organic gourmet patties are quite something.
Bath is one of the most picturesque corners in the UK. Located in the county of Somerset, in the southwest of England, Bath somehow evokes a mix between a metropolitan, urban feel and an idyllic English countryside atmosphere. Being an hour an a half train ride from London and an even shorter drive from Bristol, it’s become a preferred destination for those seeking a natural spa treatment, a short getaway from the hustle and bustle of the big smoke and quite charmingly, Christmas markets lovers.
From the Romans to its world class Palladian and Georgian architecture, honey-coloured Bath stone buildings and winding cobbled streets, it’s no wonder the whole city is a UNESCO Heritage site. Its rather small size also means it can be easily seen in a day or two…and yes, I mean by foot! Who needs public transport when you have 2,000 year old Roman Baths waiting to be explored?
More than half a century since its accidental discovery, the Terracotta Army is still one of the most important archaeological findings in history. And I am not surprised at all. Who would’ve thought that there was a hidden 76m tall underground tomb in a remote area of China? Sounds bonkers, right? Unsurprisingly, visiting the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor has always been on my travel bucket list. I often find myself astonished at this wonder. How is it possible to build an underground city filled with thousands of warriors to serve and protect the self-proclaimed First Emperor of China in his afterlife? The perseverance of humankind never ceases to amaze me.
Naturally, when I learnt that the World Museum in Liverpool was temporarily exhibiting part of of the collection of this archaeological complex, I immediately had to add it to my Liverpool itinerary.
Undoubtedly, Christmas markets are one of the best things to get you feeling festive in the build up to Christmas day. I, for one, have a seriously soft spot for all things jolly and the festive period is my favourite time of the year. When the weather outside is frightful and the fire is so delightful, I am far from a Grinch and more of a Buddy and want to surround myself with all things Christmas.
There’s nothing better than a great Christmas Market to help feed one’s festive appetite and the best part is you don’t need to travel to another country to find a good one (if you live in the UK, that is!). Just an hour and a half train ride from London, Bath is home to the ultimate Christmas Market – considered one of the best in the UK and perhaps even in the world!
Liverpool is best know for being the birthplace of one of the greatest Rock’n’Roll bands of all time – The Beatles. However, there’s much more to this city than the Fab Four and their incredible rise to worldwide fame and recognition. A leader in maritime trade and transport during the Industrial Revolution, this city in the North of England has achieved a UNESCO World Heritage Site status in six of its locations, known as the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City. Home to Aintree Racecourse and the famous Grand National, as well as two of the biggest football teams in the UK (Liverpool FC and Everton FC), no wonder Liverpool was named European Capital of Culture in 2008!
Either by plane to the John Lennon International Airport, or by train to Liverpool Lime Street Station like we did, The Pool is definitely worth visiting. There are so many things to do in Liverpool that it’s hard to know where to start. Luckily our “How to spend a weekend in Liverpool” travel guide is here to help!
Cambridge is one of the most charming and quintessentially British places you can visit. Set on the banks of the River Cam, this picturesque historic city has it all: cobbled labyrinthine streets, honey-coloured buildings and old bridges, quirky shops and boutiques, along with an infinite number of pubs and coffee houses. Not to mention a total of 31 colleges that make up the world-renowned university and its very own gondola-like experience – punting!
Founded in 1209 by a group of scholars from the University of Oxford who settled in Cambridge after a dispute with Oxford’s townspeople, the University of Cambridge is considered one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world and is the second oldest University in the UK after Oxford. After exploring Oxford on a day trip last year, we couldn’t resist checking the other half of the Oxford-Cambridge rivalry – this time, with the help and recommendations of our friends acting as our own private local guides.