Here are 11 awesome things I’ve seen & done in London that you should do too and two you can skip, ranging from eateries to exhibitions and gardens.
Pick & Cheese
A Conveyor Belt. With Cheeses. I can’t believe London had to go this long without one! The place offers 25 types of cheeses plus a few desserts paired with specific condiments. Plate after plate passes by and all you have to do is pick up what sounds or looks good. It has been my favourite dining experience for some time and I am going back to try the other 20.
Olafur Eliasson: In real life – Exhibition @ Tate Modern
On until 5 January 2020
I wasn’t expecting too much of this as I had a feeling I had seen all of it on Instagram! But to really experience the art installations of Olafur Eliasson you need to be in the middle of it. The exhibition lay-out and information was so-so, and though it was meant to be a retrospective, there was little to no information of his career progression and I had to read all the interesting bits online afterwards.
Chelsea Physic Garden
The Chelsea Physic Garden is London’s oldest botanic garden and has been an apothecary garden since 1673 … so you can image they know their plants and how to present them. I loved the Mental Wellness corner that encouraged you to smell and touch the plants and to sit down, close your eyes and listen to the sounds. Hope they keep that section.
Play Well @ Wellcome Gallery
On until 8 March 2020
The Play Well exhibition showcases the ideas and objects that have shaped the way from mid 1800 to today and how play is part of childhood and society. I have to say it’s not my favourite exhibition of theirs, but if you find yourself near Euston and are looking for some free entertainment it’s worth popping in for.
I’ve seen the most delicious pictures from people enjoying their French toast, Full English or avocado on a sourdough at Burnt Toast. As you can image, this all day breakfast place is almost always packed. It took me some time to figure out you the best time to have the place alone with just you and French Toast is as soon as they open.
The Crossrail Place Roof Garden
The free garden in Crossrail Place in Canary Wharf is designed to display and conserve plants from the eastern and western hemispheres to reflect the indigenous to countries visited during the 19th century by trading ships. It’s surprisingly peaceful, well planned out and not too busy on weekends.
WA Cafe is a Japanese patisserie and has the best selection of cakes and teas I’ve had in a long long while. I can confirm their matcha roll cake, sesame cheesecake and strawberry shortcake all go perfectly with a hot pot of buckwheat tea.
I honestly don’t think I’ll ever be out of Mexican places to try in London! Though I prefer most of the market places I do like to go to an actual restaurant once in a while. Casa Pastor has a selection of delicious and well-sized tostadas, tacos and quesadillas, but the winners have to be their in-house tortillas and Chile de Arbol salsa.
Buddhism Exhibition @ British Library
On until 23 Feb 2020
In the British Library you can escape for a Buddhism 101 exhibition where you can learn more about the roots, philosophy and contemporary relevance of the religion. My favourite bit was the adding of music to bring you in the right mood while examining the Buddhist art and scriptures.
London Calling: 40 Years of the Clash @ Museum of London
On until 19 April 2020
An exhibition taking us a behind the scenes of the album as well as background info on all four of the band. I learned one of the members was born just around the corner from where I live and that their diet while recording consisted of beans, eggs and chips. While pretty small, it covers a lot, such as the broken Fender Precision Bass that’s being smashed on the cover of the album, their personal jackets and tour photographs. And of course London Calling is the soundtrack for your tour.
You might have noticed that I like to visit a good old house/manor. But if your visit to London is limited and you’re not sure which to pick, why not combine a walk through Hampstead Heath with some exploring of Kenwood House? You’ll find Dutch masters on the wall, French baroque furnishings in most of the rooms and Latin books in the dreamlike library. The best bit? Entry is free!
Wasn’t For Me
Designed in Cuba: Cold War Graphics @ House Of Illustrations
Until January 19 2020
Their exhibitions sound great on paper, but I haven’t managed to like any of them so far. The current exhibition Cuba: Cold War Graphics didn’t really give me any info on the materials used or how the day to day of a designer looked like back then or who kept the posters. It could have been tied in with the current affairs. Ah well.
Charbonnel et Walker afternoon tea @ The May Fair Hotel
When Team Confetti and I looked for a place for Afternoon Tea I picked The May Fair Hotel because we used to book it for talents a lot back when I worked in film PR. If it’s good enough for all the talents, it’s good enough for me I thought….but not for the Afternoon Tea it seems! I can honestly say the one at Pattiserie Valerie is better value. The sandwiches AND scones were dry, two Charbonnel et Walker Truffles were too rich and the mini donuts were nothing like the ones on the press images. Either go for Pattiserie Valerie or treat yourself to one at Park Lane or Corinthia.