I have to say, I probably picked the nicest weekend of the year to visit London – it was boiling! I’ve visited London a few times and have done a lot of the main tourist attractions; the London Eye, Madam Tussaud’s, The National Gallery, The Tate etc. This time I was visiting a friend who lives in London and was keen to show me some new places. Although I didn’t have as long to spend down there as I would have liked, we still managed to visit quite a few different places and it was good to have someone with me who knew their way around.
Our first stop was Whitechapel Gallery which is on the North side of Whitechapel high street. The gallery is free so it’s worth popping in to have a look around. Although it’s not massive, there were still quite a few good exhibitions on. My favourite was an installation called Spazio di Luce by Giuseppe Penone which was a 12 metre hollowed out tree positioned on its side so you could look down the length of the trunk.
Another striking piece was a big fluffy bear made from chicken down as part of Sandretto Re Rebaudengo’s collection ‘Have you seen me before?’
Our next stop was something of a treat. Sushi Samba is located on the 38th and 39th floors of Heron Tower and has an amazing view of London, including the Gerkin. Reaching the restaurant using the lift is not great for people afraid of heights (like me!) but the view from the top is definitely worth it.
I mentioned that this place was a treat. That’s because a bottle of rosé wine here will set you back around £45 including the service charge. I didn’t dare to look at how much the food was.
If you feel like splashing out then it’s a good place to go – plus you can get your photo taken with the Gerkin in the background which is pretty cool.
After our very expensive bottle of wine had been consumed we headed to the bustling Brick Lane in search of a curry. It’s easy to be spoiled for choice for restaurants in London but we settled on The Monsoon Restaurant where we had a starter, main, poppadoms and a drink for £10 – definitely more within my budget. The food was nice and luckily it wasn’t too busy, probably because, as one random guy pointed out ‘who wants to eat a curry in this weather?’
Afterwards we took a walk through Spitalfields Market. It’s a covered market where you can pick up some really interesting bits and pieces from clothes to art to food.
After heading home for a quick change it was time to see what London nightlife had to offer. We opted for Bedroom Bar in Shoreditch which had live music playing all night as well as DJ sets by Scroobius Pip and Rizzle Kicks. While it was free entry before 9.30pm, I’m still getting used to London drinks prices. For a double vodka and mixer it was about £7, a bottle of wine was £17 and bottles of beer and cider were about £5. My friend assured me that this was normal and seemed equally surprised when I told her I normally pay about £2 or £3 for a drink up North!
All in all, it was a good trip and I got the chance to see a few places I wouldn’t normally have visited. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to fit it as much as I’d have liked, but there’s always next time!