London Calling: Our Favourite Haunts

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Dear L,

I may or may not have told you that, of my many paper related vices, I am addicted to quirky travel guides. Before I left for London, I decided to pull all of my London guides out of the bookshelf and make a little bucket list of things to do whilst there. Promptly burying myself under a mountain of publications, I decided that the bucket list may take several trips, not just the two weeks I had. (Cue that Grizzly Bear song)

That said, I got (get) around (Cue that Beach Boys song), and am here to impart with you the creme de la crop of London’s nooks and crannies (as discovered thus far) in a mini, quirky guide books of my own. Let’s call it

Haunted London: 8 Places That Are Scary Cool (But Not Scary Scary Because I’m Not Really Into That)”

  1. Daunt Books is my favourite place to feed my hunger for travel books. Anywhere. Period. And I have bought many of their green and white canvas bags to prove it. The back section of the store, is all travel books *shivers* in order of country, and the front section stocks every cool book you didn’t know you needed. I always say I will only buy one book and I am always lying.

    Daunt Books is located on Marylebone High St, a favourite haunt in itself.

  2. Selfridges Food Hall is tucked in the corner of the famous department store’s ground level. After being spritzed with every eau de something imaginable, grab some cold pressed juice and a few pieces of delicious mezze items to sustain you for your journey down Oxford st.
  3. Time Out London is, okay, not a place. But it is the best way to find a place. Example. I was sitting in The Natural Kitchen (like how I snuck another one in there), scrolling through Time Out’s ‘What’s on in London Today’ section, and LO AND BEHOLD. Tickets. To none other than Jack Whitehall. I snagged one of the last few tickets and was rewarded with a perfect night. Get onboard at timeout.com/london
  4. The V & A Museum‘s exhibitions have never ever disappointed me. A few years ago I attended the Hollywood Costume Exhibition. I cried when I saw Audrey Hepburn’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s dress. This time, I hadn’t planned ahead, and simply visited the free exhibition entitled Disobedient Objects. I had no idea what it was about when I entered, but, confronted with videos of protesting students being rubbed in the face with pepper spray and large, angry banners, I quickly came around. It was a confronting and persuasive collection, and just like every other time I have left the Victoria and Albert Museum, I continued to think about my visit for weeks to come.

    This exhibition has since closed, but you can now see ‘Wedding Dresses 1775 to 2014’ and in March, ‘Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty’

  5. The Temple Walk is not really the name of what I am about to describe. It is actually so cool it doesn’t have a name. Disclaimer: I stole this idea from one of my many guide books, London – City Secrets curated by Robert Kahn. All you have to do: Start at Grey’s Inn and head through the Temple Church towards the Thames. This walk is the closest I have ever come to finding Dickens’ London, and to me, that is pretty darn cool. If you want to be true to the blog and do things the way I did them, get lost about five times on the way.
  6. Climb Primrose Hill. That’s it. Full stop. And that’s an order. 
  7. Dress Circle: The Showbiz Shop is the perfect stop between a matinee musical (yep, I’m 100 years old) and Jamie’s Italian’s polenta chips. The store is predominantly CD’s and Vinyl – exclusively of the music theatre persuasion. I know what you’re thinking. What kind of cool kid is buying The Kind and I: Original Soundtrack on Vinyl?
    Me.
    I’m not so keen on the ‘z’ in ‘showbiz’, but as for the rest of its eccentricity, I kind of love it.
  8. Something super touristy by yourself in winter. That really wasn’t that vague, was it . . . So what I’m really saying is, there are virtues to getting on the London Eye by yourself in February. Firstly, since Coca-Cola took over, there is this hilarious 4D experience before you get on the eye itself. There were a couple in front of me who seemed seriously embarrassed to be doing it together, and I get why. There were  bubbles. Fireworks. Seagulls. Spray from the Thames (slightly unsanitary). But me? By myself. Hand me the popcorn.
    Then there’s the Winter emptiness. I was with five people! There were no queues! Do it.

    S

    All by my selfies

    Are you back in Sydney, prepping for uni? Or still catching rays at Noosa?

    Love B x

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