A few weeks ago, Austin and I had the opportunity to visit London for a few days and experience the British lifestyle. This was my first time to stay in London, and I immediately fell in love with the city’s character and charm. A few years ago, we visited Europe, but unfortunately, the only time in the United Kingdom was during a short layover. During our most recent trip, we got plenty of time to take in the city and culture.
When VisitBritain and Walpole reached out to us, they wanted to showcase everything Britain had to offer. With their help, we’ve built a London itinerary for how to do London in style. And if you’re like us – you’re already planning your trip to the UK.
Getting to London was actually much easier than I expected. We were able to find a direct flight on the British airline, Virgin Atlantic. The experience was awesome. After arriving at our airport, we spent some time in the Virgin Lounge before our flight. The lounge was a great escape from the busyness of the airport. We could relax in a quiet area with comfortable furniture. We also took advantage of the complimentary food and drink services to grab a bite before our overnight flight to Heathrow. If you are flying Virgin Atlantic, you may want to consider upgrading to have lounge access. You won’t regret it!
Because Virgin Atlantic was a partner brand, they put us up in First Class. The experience was incredible. To be honest, we normally fly coach. But after experiencing the luxury of a first class seat, we may seriously have to consider splurging on a seat upgrade for our next big trip. I tried to keep my cool and act like “this was the norm” but we weren’t fooling no-one. It was probably obvious since we were grinning from ear to ear. You guys, the seats transformed into mattresses (!) and they even gave us turn-down service. You bet your bottom dollar we took full advantage of the tea and biscuits before we went to bed. We arrived in London the next morning feeling rested and ready to take on the day.
After our plane landed, we got to meet our next partner brand, Heathrow VIP. When your arrive at Heathrow, you exit the plane directly on the tarmac. Normally, you would then get on a bus to make your way through a busy customs area. But things are different with Heathrow VIP. Very different. First, they pick you up in a BMW and whisk you away to their private suite. Their team takes care of everything. While you’re recovering in your private suite eating a gourmet breakfast, someone is taking care of your immigration papers. After that, they will take you to your London destination in their private car. It is an amazing way to travel! This experience is a great splurge for an anniversary, honeymoon or a special trip. It is the stress-free way to travel.
Where to Stay
We stayed at The Berkeley and it was so incredible, I’m doing a dedicated post on the property and things to do nearby. Look for all the details coming soon!
Where to Eat
There are plenty of places to eat in London, but if you’re looking for some unique experiences and delicious food, these are great options to celebrate a special night or to just have a great time.
You know that pretty pink london restaurant? This is sketch. Also known as one of London’s most unique restaurants. This place was just as I imagined, and yes, very busy! Be sure to go right when they open or try to make a reservation. This sounds odd- but be sure to go to the bathroom while your there. Trust me!
If you’re looking for great food with great views, OXO Tower provides the best of both. The rooftop restaurant boasts stunning views across the Thames and the City of London. The food here is also top-notch. Head Chef Jeremy Bloor designs his menu with a celebration of the best-quality seasonal ingredients. The atmosphere is perfect for a romantic evening or a fun night for drinks in the city.
The Thomas Cubitt
This is one of London’s most picturesque pubs. Serving traditional London cuisine, The Thomas Cubitt is a local favorite. We actually stopped by here after spending some time on Elizabeth Street. The interiors were also very instagram worthy – if you’re into that kind of thing.
What a treat it was to dine at City Social. This Michelin-starred restaurant is the place to be for great food and a gorgeous view of the city. We got the opportunity to chat with British chef, Jason Atherton, to hear about his inspiration behind the menu. Reservations are a must if you chose to dine here. Highly recommend!
Holborn Dining Room
If you’re looking to feel extra British, the Holborn Dining Room is a grand brasserie set in Midtown London that serves up seasonal, locally sourced British cuisine in a vibrantly bustling dining salon. This place looks and feels amazing with its antique mirrors, red leather banquettes, and antique copper-topped bars. It’s a great place to enjoy a delicious meal with an amazing atmosphere.
What to Do
House of ELEMIS
If you’re looking to get pampered, be sure to check out the House of ELEMIS. This UK brand is known for creating luxury skin care with natural ingredients. I use the Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm for taking off my makeup. Smells amazing too.
This was one of my favorite things we did while we were in London. You must do this on your next trip! smallcarBIGCITY offers a unique way to explore all the hot spots of London in a Vintage Mini Cooper. I know what you’re thinking, tours can be cheesy. But I assure you, this was not. Austin and I loved this experience! A driver picked us up to take us on a tour of London. We did the 1.5-hour tour to hit the major landmarks around London. The car seats 3 guests comfortably + the driver (don’t worry, you don’t have to drive). It was a lot of fun and a great way to see London. Our driver was knowledgable and super nice. They also offer other tours. Next time, we are definitely doing the Harry Potter Tour.
If you fancy a trip to the English Countryside, EJ Churchill is a must. Enjoy clay pigeon shooting or a trip to the West Wycombe Estate. The estate has been featured in Downton Abbey, Bridget Jones’s Baby and many more. It was a beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. If you’re traveling from London, the easiest way to get there is probably by train. It was a 30 minute ride and about a 15 minute drive from the station.
Charbonnel et Walker
If you’re near Bond Street or looking for something sweet, Charbonnel et Walker has been selling fine chocolates in London since 1875. It’s worth stopping by to try a few chocolates and learn about the history behind the chocolates. They are even endorsed by a Royal Warrant to be one of the few chocolatiers for The Queen.
Paxton & Whitfield
Another, more savory piece of London history is from Paxton & Whitfield. They been Britain’s leading cheesemonger for over 200 years. We got to sample many of their cheeses and they were absolutely divine.
Pretty in pink, Peggy Porchen is a must stop if you’re craving something sweet. They have been awarded “Best Cupcakes in the World” by Vanity Fair and I might have to agree. If you’re shopping on Elizabeth Street, you should definitely pop in for a quick treat.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was stopping at Jo Loves on Elizabeth Street. While we were there, we got to meet Jo Malone herself. She was an absolute delight and her story is so inspirational. A cancer survivor, mother, wife and successful business woman, Jo Malone is truly making an impact in this industry. Her latest invention is the Paintbrush Fragrance. To be honest, I wasn’t sure about this concept at first. But after hearing her vision and thought behind the paintbrush – I was on board. I actually really like the product and find that it lasts just as long (if not longer) than a fragrance tradition spray. It’s easy to travel with or throw in my purse. Pomelo is my favorite scent!
This luxury swimwear brand is such a beautiful store. What a delight it was to get to meet with the Heidi Klein team and hear about their swimwear collection. My personal favorite was this black one-piece.
If you’re a bride-to-be or just looking for a special occasion gown, you must stop by Halfpenny London. During our stay, we got to meet with Kate and create a gown to wear to our dinner at City Social. Not only is Kate incredibly kind, but she is so talented and makes beautiful gowns. Her studio is gorgeous too.
Have you been to London? What are your favorite things do to?
Look 3 (Mini Cooper): Bobi Sweater Rib Cape | J. Crew Cashmere Turtleneck | Mott & Bow High Rise Skinny | Marc Fisher LTD Booties | Brixton Fiddler Cap | MICHELE Sidney Diamond Watch | Chanel Wallet On a Chain
Thank you to Visit Britain for a wonderful trip. All opinions are our own.