Last year I had a special visitor from Derby, who came to see me for a lovely Galentine’s Day out! Ever since then, I’ve been meaning to blog about the day trip we had in London… but life got in the way and it just slipped away! However, since going on this day trip, I’ve visited even more places in that area, so I’ve managed to put together a London walking tour that highlights all of my favourite places, sights, bars and restaurants!
Not got time to read the blog? Head straight to the Google Maps walking tour here.
This walking tour starts in Covent Garden, because I love having a mooch around this area! There’s always something going on in Covent Garden and it’s a great place to start your day with many places open early for breakfast and brunch.
Once you’ve had a wander around, a bite to eat and watched some street performers, I’d suggest walking down to Mr Fogg’s Tavern which is on the corner of St Martin’s Lane. This pub style gin parlour is open from midday every day, accepting walk-ins on the door, and even boasts a food menu.
If you’re lucky enough to book a table in advance, I’d instead recommend Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour which is upstairs, but open from 1pm instead of midday. This upstairs bar offers a more experiential visit with not just gin and tonics on offer, but afternoon teas and gin experiences!
Visit their website to see what’s happening at Mr Fogg’s and to pre-book your experience.
After sipping on G&T’s in a swanky bar, it’s time to head towards the Strand to a pub called The Porterhouse. What I like about this pub is the friendly atmosphere, cheap drinks, and the quirky layout! Before grabbing a drink, have a walk around the pub to see all the nooks and crannies!
Head to Borough Market
Once you’ve had a few drinks in the West End, it’s time to get some afternoon snacks! From the Porterhouse I’d recommend jumping on the tube from Charing Cross to Waterloo, and changing to the Jubilee Line to London Bridge. Alight here for Borough Market; the best place for afternoon nibbles!
Borough Market is open on Saturdays from 8am – 5pm, making it a perfect pit stop for some afternoon nibbles. During the summer this is the perfect place to wander around and try all the local foods. When we went we opted for the £5 sangria and paella… so tasty!
From Borough Market you are within easy reach of a key London landmark: The Shard! As part of your day out you can either view the Shard from the outside, or you can use it as a viewpoint and go to the viewing platform. If you’ve never done this before, I would highly recommend it. There’s nothing quite like having drinks at London’s highest viewing platform.
Top tip: book tickets in advance! Tickets cost £25 and you can do this on their website here.
Once you’ve left The Shard, my route takes you over London Bridge, giving you excellent views of the surrounding city from ground level, including views across the Thames. From here you’ll walk over the bridge and into the “City” of London.
If you don’t book tickets to go to The Shard viewing platform, then instead I would recommend that you go to Sky Gardens. Another popular rooftop bar, but with a twist… it’s London’s highest public garden. The views across the city are spectacular from here, but also the flowers and gardens are so pretty!
Again, you’ll need to pre-book tickets for this rooftop BUT it’s free!! Tickets sell out extremely quickly and they’re only release around two weeks in advance. To try your luck you can visit their website. Failing this, they accept walk-ins after 9pm, or I’d recommend booking dinner in the restaurant for a guaranteed visit!
Dinner time – Ivy Asia
After walking around London all day, it’s time to bring the day to a close with an amazing restaurant that boasts panoramic views of St Paul’s Cathedral. Located in One New Change, you’ll find the Asian late night restaurant brought to you by the Ivy.
This place only recently opened, but is getting booked up months in advance for peak times. To view the menu and book your table, visit their website.
The food, drinks, service and decor in the Ivy Asia are truly impeccable. This restaurant works as tapas style dining, so lots of small plates can be combined to make the perfect meal. If you’re going as a group I’d highly recommend the dessert sharing platter!
This experience actually deserves a review of it’s own…
More cocktails at Madison’s
Located in the same building you’ll find Madison’s Bar and Restaurant; (another) rooftop hotspot! This rooftop has amazing views across the London skyline and looks directly out onto St Paul’s Cathedral, meaning you can get some lovely pictures here.
This bar has a great vibe to it and offers inside and well as outside seating. In the summer the rooftop becomes extremely busy and will require booking in advance, but in the winter it becomes quieter with the change in weather. However, don’t worry as they provide heated seating areas and blankets when it gets a little chilly!
Get the walking route here!
Want to follow my walking tour? Simply click on the map below to download it to your Google Maps!