Spending a weekend in London every now and again, doing different things, is quite simply the best.
London is only two hours by train from Manchester, so it’s even more convenient to travel to London than some cities that are closer as the crow flies. And obviously, there’s an unlimited amount to eat, do, watch and experience. So I do like going back again and again and ticking off different landmarks.
Okay… To be perfectly honest, I have now eaten at three different branches of The Breakfast Club. What can I say? They’re nice and I’m a classic tourist.
This June, my boyfriend and I were brought to London for one very special reason… I HAD JACK WHITE TICKETS!!! YAAAAAAY!!!
The White Stripes are my favourite band of all time and now I’ve, finally, watched Jack White perform live. It truly was a Bucket List moment for me.
Here’s what else we got up to on our weekend in London; the good, the bad, the meh.
Our Weekend in London
Our Hotel – Ibis Styles Gloucester Road
I chose the Ibis Styles Gloucester Road hotel because of it’s proximity to Hammersmith and everywhere else in Central London. The Ibis Styles on Portland Street in Manchester (which is weather themed) looks pretty nice, and nicer than most budget chain hotels, so I thought the one on Gloucester Road would also be worth checking out. Especially since the price included breakfast.
It, erm, wasn’t quite what we expected. It wasn’t awful, just a little outdated. A bit meh. Perfect location for our needs, though, and the breakfast was great!
Friday – The Breakfast Club & Jack White
On arriving for our weekend in London at London Euston Station, it was lunchtime, so I made my boyfriend walk 25 minutes to The Breakfast Club in Soho (which I’ve recently discovered was the original). There was a queue (of course there was) but I really do love their American veggie breakfasts. Where else serves a classic veggie breakfast with American pancakes?! Nowhere, but they should! I’m with Lesley Knope, breakfast food is the best food.
We checked into our hotel, then soon after it was time for Jack White at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith. It’s a real regret that I never saw The White Stripes before they disbanded, but I’m forever glad the stars aligned and I could at least see Jack White perform. He doesn’t tour in the UK much and never comes to Manchester, so I’m glad it finally happened. He did not disappoint, that dude is all about the live experience.
Jack White’s shows are famously phone-free, so it was an interesting experience to have my phone locked in a little phone sock. It’s a great idea, but it did encourage toxic males to do even more of that really fun pushing to get closer to the stage. Honestly, nowhere else would it be okay for men to use their physical size to push others out of the way. And the result is that it’s almost all men at the front, all the women at the back just because we don’t want to be hurt because evolution means we’re smaller.
Saturday – Shoreditch, Honest Burgers & Greenwich Park Planetarium
We should have planned the Saturday of our weekend in London better, but we still had a lot of fun.
I wanted to check out Shoreditch for the street art/cool shops but I should have specifically planned where I wanted to go better. I’d saw online there was a Star Wars Mural on Pedley Street a couple of years ago, and even though I knew there was a strong chance it had been painted over (which it had) it was a good area for street art anyway.
It was fun, but I wish I’d researched a few more places for street art in Shoreditch. However, I did make my boyfriend take approx. 500 photographs of me against one wall so I think he’s glad we only went to the one place.
After having a wander along Brick Lane, it was time for lunch. You know what I really hate? When people who want to eat something specific just walk around expecting to find this specific kind of restaurant/cafe. You almost never find exactly what you want, and you continually get more and more hangry. This is what google is for.
I knew we were heading to Greenwich in the afternoon, so I googled ‘burgers in Greenwich’. I stumbled across a really awesome little London chain called Honest Burgers. A simple menu, but really nice burgers and seasoned fries all for only £8 in London plus extra for a nice craft beer! Perfect for us!
Honestly, I think it’s the best veggie burger I’ve ever had. I might have to put it in the London restaurant rotation along with The Breakfast Club…
We spent the afternoon in Greenwich. When I asked Cole if there was anything he specifically wanted to do in London, he wanted to go to the Peter Harrison Planetarium in Greenwich Park.
I’ll admit, I think I fell asleep. The planetarium was really cool though. Apparently, it’s the best in the country or something, so it’s worth checking out if you’re interested in space and stuff. It was also super warm in London (as it was all over the country, all summer) so it was nice to chill in Greenwich Park for a while.
Saturday Night – Bella Italia & The Mousetrap
After we were done in Greenwich, we hopped on what seemed like the 67th tube journey of our weekend in London and got off at Covent Garden to watch a play on the West End. For some reason, I was feeling super overwhelmed at all the people everywhere and it was hard to find somewhere to go for dinner because it’s not a great area of London to eat out on a Saturday night and I was a bit broken at this point.
I felt disappointed that we ended up in Bella Italia when there’s probably 1,000 places to eat out in central London. But, in the grand scheme of things, I know it’s not a big deal and it just means I’ll have to plan better on our next trip.
We were in the West End to watch The Mousetrap; an Agatha Christie play that has been playing on the West End for an incredible 65 years. It’s the longest running show of all time!
We booked our tickets last minute for The Mousetrap. If we’ve learnt anything from this trip, it’s that we need to plan better! All of the shows we really wanted to see (The Book of Mormon, The Lion King, for me) were either super expensive or the seats were awful.
Even though I’ve already watched The Mousetrap, I remembered almost nothing about it (though I did remember the killer haha) and Cole hadn’t seen it and it is a really great play. It’s a great experience that you could only have in London, too.
And despite my desire to revisit certain places or choose chain companies, we still had a lot of unique experiences. That’s the beauty of London, it’s different every time.
Since we went home pretty early on Sunday, that’s everything we did! I don’t think there’s such a thing as a bad weekend in London, despite our bad planning. Have you visited London recently? Let me know what you did in the comments below!