It’s never too early to start thinking about holidays, but perhaps Christmas has taken a toll on that Mulberry purse of yours and you’re feeling a little, dare we say it, blue. And maybe you’re even in the red. Yep. Well, London may not seem like the obvious choice for a cheap getaway but trust us, it can be done. We’re spilling some secrets on Landan, some cheap, some not so much, but all very highly recommended. See you in Shoreditch.
Shoreditch has come under fire of late (literally) for being just a little too… trendy. You know, too much of a scene; gentrified. Well, we’re not here for a debate. We’re here for a city break. And so, we hit Shoreditch, via AerLingus and Airbnb. If a pied-à-terre isn’t your thing, you can always go all out and stay at the über hip and happening (yes, I did type that) Hoxton. Why stop there? The luxurious Ace Hotel will set you back a few pennies but it’s worth a looksie all the same.
26 Grains (one of the reasons we opted for a weekend to London, not even kidding) is a teeny, tiny little gem tucked away in Neal’s Yard and will likely be queued to the nearby benches where you may actually end up having your porridge. But trust us, it’s worth it.
I opted for the almond milk oats with butter, hazelnuts, cinnamon coconut palm sugar and apple (part of my five a day). Becca put me to shame with her bowl of raspberry cacao tahini porridge but whatever. Life’s too short.
If porridge and bumping into Proudlock isn’t your thing, breakfast is also pretty tasty at The Ivy Chelsea Garden. You might spy Mark Francis here (if he isn’t shopping for antiques with Margaret on Portobello Road that is.)
Who doesn’t like pizza? For dinner on the cheap, Amici Miei in, you guessed it, Shoreditch, is as rustic as you can get. Throw in some regional dishes from Sardinia and easy on the eye Italians and you have a happy bunch of ladies.
The mighty Frieze London is one of the world’s leading contemporary art fairs with 160 galleries from over 25 different countries setting up shop in Regent’s Park and exhibiting all sorts of emerging talent, and a fair amount of rubbish too. Add Vivienne Westwood to the mix and we simply had to be there. Shout out to Platform Arts for instigating the whole affair. Note, if you wear glasses, opt for glasses and not lenses. It’s a long day and quite a bit of information to absorb. You will need coffee and potentially some form of sugar – a doughnut perhaps. Pack some. You may also become an Emin fan if you aren’t one already. I know.
See For Free
Make like a culture vulture and do not miss the V&A. Admission is free so you have no excuse. It’s a lovely part of London too so when you are all cultured out, you can head to Harrods. Admission is free there too but you might end up spending anyway…
Take a dander up Hampstead Heath, not forgetting to grab a delicious crepe from La Crêperie de Hampstead along the way.
Pretend for a moment that you’re in Amsterdam and wander along the canal from cool Camden to Regent’s Park and sneak a peek while you’re at it at the giraffes and zebras at the zoo.
Liberty. Oh, glorious Liberty. Just go. Then we can talk.
Grab a cup of coffee before you go – this place is hiving – and take a wander through the market and behold beautiful bouquets and all sorts of treasures and trinkets.
Feeling tired? Take a break at Lily Vanilli’s and enjoy a fatty latte and some tasty treats. You want to be ready for Old Brick Lane, and in particular, House of Vintage. Here you will find precious vintage finds to lust over from the likes of Chanel. Yup.
Over and out.