HOTSPOTS IN LONDON – And Not Just The Cliches

So, as some of you might know – if you follow me on Instagram πŸ™‚ – you’ll know I went to London with three of my friends this summer! And I have to say, the trip was incredible. I had never been to the UK before, and London surprised me in many, many ways. ❀

Of course, as I am a blogger and my friends are weirdos too (yes you are don’t deny it πŸ˜‰ ) we obviously went sight-seeing but went to some more unique and less famous places as well. And because it’d be a shame to not visit these spots if you’re visiting London, I wanted to share them with you.

So here are some hotspots in London that you’ll definitely have to visit when you’re nearby!

RAGYARD – 115 PORTOBELLO ROAD, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM

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The first thing on this list is something for the fashionistas: a shop called RAGYARD. It sells clothes that are a little retro, a little vintage, and incredibly beautiful. There are original and bold pieces all around you, like purses that look like watermelons. You’re surrounded by a cool, hip vibe and the staff is incredibly nice.

Some of these things may be a little bit more on the pricey side, but even if you’re on a budget, I suggest you go there anyway. It’s incredibly inspiring and fun, and the discount area in the back is a heaven. ❀

Notting Hill is a beautiful area to visit anyway, so the most convenient way to visit this place is while visiting Notting Hill. We also combined this with Kensington Gardens, which is only a short – and beautiful – walk away.

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JAMIE’S DINER

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The second thing on my London Hotspots To-Do List is something food-related, and it’s a restaurant my friends and I thoroughly enjoyed. The food was incredible, and it had the perfect atmosphere for a relaxed night in an American style diner.

The waiters and waitresses were incredibly nice to us and the cosy chatter in the restaurant all added up to an incredible night. The serving was fast and efficient and we enjoyed every single minute of it, and I haven’t even addressed the decor: it was so American and so typical and so fun! I mean, there was a freaking dinosaur hanging above the entrance. πŸ™‚

Since it’s incredibly close to Piccadilly Circus and the Piccadilly Circus line, it’s easy to go there from nearly anywhere in London. We actually went to Lancaster Square after this – I actually think we walked? – and the area is so pretty and cute that you can have fun anywhere around there.

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THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

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Now, the next thing that I want to bring to your attention, is the Natural History Museum. Our first day in London presented us the typical weather of the UK, which we are used to in the Netherlands too. That’s why we decided to visit two musea that day, the first one being the Natural History Museum.

The thing about this museum is that it is so much fun and it’s so impressive. The building is enormous and we had to select some exhibitions to visit, because we wouldn’t have any time left if we did them all. For the people on a budget: it’s free! πŸ™‚ And it’s perfect for your kids, because it’s educational but very interactive. When we were there, there was an earthquake simulator which simulated an earthquake in a Japanese store, and the ground we were standing on was shaking all of a sudden. We had lots of fun here, the nerds we are.Β 

The location of the Natural History Museum is near Hyde Park, which is something you might want to visit as well. We also took a little tour to the Science Museum, so if you’re uninspired on a rainy day, you might want to consider visiting the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum.Β 

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KENSINGTON GARDENS

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Now, luckily for us, it wasn’t rainy all week – we were actually pretty lucky πŸ™‚ . And on one of the beautiful, hot days we decided to take a stroll through the Kensington Gardens and past the palace. And if you want to do something relaxed and peaceful, I would definitely recommend this.

We were incredibly fortunate in terms of the weather, and I think this was one of my favourite moments in London, because we were all so happy and serene and at peace, and we really enjoyed the weather and just being in London. Also, we met a squirrel that actually posed for me when I wanted to take a picture. πŸ™‚

Kensington Gardens offers opportunities to go anywhere you want. We actually went to Notting Hill before this and then walked to the gardens, which wasn’t too long and was actually pretty beautiful. I think walking gives you the opportunity to actually see London as well.Β 

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BRICK LANE

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Photo Taken From Google Images.

This is something that I have unfortunately not taken any pictures of 😦 but I wanted to include it anyway, because this was by far my favourite thing we did. Brick Lane is, well, a lane, that offers incredible vintage stores. We went into some kind of market space first, where we found a lady who sold 100% cashmere for Β£30,- per article. We also stopped at a girl who sold vintage camera’s and she patiently and kindly told us how everything worked, which was interesting to hear about. We went into two “basements” where people had small stores everywhere: all in all, it was incredible! ❀

As you can see, you can combine Brick Lane with things like the Tower Bridge, if you’re someone who loves a good walk. We didn’t actually do that, because we wanted to visit Covent Garden after Brick Lane, but I’m sure the walk is do-able. πŸ™‚

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KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA

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The sixth thing on this list with London Hotspots is Kensington and Chelsea, because if you’re a fashion blogger, Instagrammer, etc. this is the most perfect background for pictures. And it was actually quite a coincidence that we happened to go there – well, Isabel and me – because it wasn’t planned at all, but I am so glad that we did.

( In short: my Oyster Card got declined and foreign bank passes are not accepted on London buses, so I had to get out and Isabel went with me because Maxime and Robbin hadn’t even noticed we had gotten out πŸ™‚ )

I actually really liked our stroll through Kensington and Chelsea, because the neighbourhood is incredibly peaceful and pretty. We actually had gone to Hyde Park and the Diana Memorial in Hyde Park before this, as it is pretty close. Definitely, something to put on your to-do list πŸ™‚ .

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BENITA BAKERYΒ 

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This is another food-related thing in this list, because I like eating and I feel like it’d be wrong not to give this bakery a shout out. Basically, we’ve had breakfast here every single morning while being in London, and they honestly have the most amazing things ever. Their loaves of bread and pastries are incredible and their croissants and muffins are to die for.

Benita Bakery is located near the Highbury and Islington station. We had the luck that we stayed in a house in Islington that was quite near the station, but if you’re ever there, take a look at the bakery, because the food is absolutely amazing!

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QUEEN CORALINE’S TEMPLE

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Now, this place may seem a little random and is definitely not a cliche when it comes to pretty spots in London, as it is a little chapel hidden in Hyde Park. It is pretty small, but oh so beautiful, and we had a lot of fun chilling there and taking Instagrams. We were pretty lucky with the weather so we sat there for like, an hour in total, just chilling and chatting, and it was a lot of fun.

The Queen Coraline’s Temple is situated practically in the middle of Hyde Park, and is a perfect thing to go to after the Diana Memorial for example, or just during a stroll through Hyde Park. There’s plenty of other things to do around here, so don’t worry about logistics: just go there πŸ™‚ .Β 

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And that is my list of non-cliche hotspots in London, although of course some semi-cliche ones were included. These were the high lights – for me – of this trip at the same time, and I have really fallen in love with this city. I hope if you ever have the chance to go there you will, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I have. I also hope this post helped you find things to do in London and inspired you a little, or at least entertained you for the time being. All the love, x. ❀
P.S. And of course credits to my great friends for taking the pictures of me; Maxime Bos, Robbin Kramer and Isabel Bannenberg. πŸ™‚

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