London, England (Corre Larkin)
Spend the afternoon on a sunny day in the beer garden of a pub and take your kids!!! Kids are welcome in all pubs.
- More about your oliver guide: Corre Larkin
- Trip type: Adult, Family, City
- Activity level: easy
- Ideal length of trip: 7-10 DAYS (OR DO A 2 WEEK TRIP AND TACK ON PARIS TO THE END AND GO VIA EUROSTAR)
to & from
- LAX to Heathrow. Tons of direct flights every day. Air New Zealand is our personal favorite.
- Use London as a base and then take Easyjet or Ryanair for cheap flights to anywhere in Europe.
- Always take the Eurostar if going to Paris. So easy and while it may be a little more expensive than an Easyjet flight, it's worth it for the sake of ease.
Where to Stay
- Try and get an Airbnb in Chelsea -somewhere off the Kings Road. Or in South Kensington or Notting Hill. All great neighborhoods that would be a perfect base.
- If you want to be more central, then you can't go wrong with the Connaught or the Berkeley Hotel. Both are stunning hotels with impeccable service. However, London being London, they are quite pricey.
- If you are on a tighter budget, then try going with an Airbnb slightly outside Zone 1. Neighborhoods that are easy to get into central London would be Fulham, Kensal Green, Chalk Farm, Bethnal Green, Stepney, Lambeth/Vauxhall or Clapham.
Where to Eat and Drink
London is so big with so many food options this one is almost impossible. I will simply give you my favorites rather than where you should go.
- The Sands End pub for a Sunday roast in Sands End Fulham, don't forget to get the scotch eggs to snack on while you wait.
- Benares for the best high end Indian food you will ever eat, central London on Berkeley Square.
- Wagamama for a quick and easy bite in the middle of the day when you are tired of walking (it's a chain- so there are locations all over).
- The Ivy Chelsea Garden for a long afternoon of rose drinking.
- Churchill Arms in Notting Hill is a gorgeous little pub covered in flowers in the summer owned by the most charming Irish pubowner, Jerry. In the back is a small Thai restaurant that has the most authentic thai food outside of Bangkok. Order a Jungle curry and be prepared to sweat.
- La Familiglia right off the Kings Road in Chelsea for simple but authentic Italian and locals favorite. Last time I was there we saw Kate and Pippa.
- The Harwood Arms in Fulham for upmarket gastropub food.
- River Cafe in Hammersmith- go see where April Bloomfield and Jamie Oliver and a slew of others cut their teeth.
- Zafferano in Belgravia is another of my favorites for a slightly more special occasion.
- I would skip any of the upmarket chains like Nobu or Cecconi's. Stick with restaurants that you can't find anywhere else.
What to Do
- Hit up the best shoe department in the world, Harrods.
- Take an uber out and spend the day walking around Richmond Park and then go to lunch at Petersham Nurseries. I promise you it will be your favorite day of the trip.
- Hit up Portobello Market on the Friday rather than the Saturday and you avoid the tourists but instead be among the real treasure hunters.
- Spend the afternoon on a sunny day in the beer garden of a pub and take your kids!!! Kids are welcome in all pubs. (See Sterling Boyd's Guide for Pub Suggestions)
- Walk along the Thames from Westminster Bridget to London Bridge. You will pass by everything and then you can end at the Tate Modern, the coolest art museum ever.
Go into any newsagent and get a Oyster Card. You can then add on money to your oyster card and use it for traveling on the tube (underground) or the bus system. I think you can even use it on the overland rail system now. It’s sooooo much easier and cheaper than buying a day pass.
Oxford Street. It is so packed and full of tourists and stores and is my least favorite part of London.