The Effortless City

While this post is slightly delayed (due to post-20 hour flight extreme exhaustion), London is not a city that can be rushed. With endless markets, shops, landmarks and museums, I could have spent my entire 3.5 months away here and I wouldn’t have gotten bored, even after having been to London five times before. In a city with 4 level Topshops, I certainly ALWAYS feel at home.

It was difficult to pinpoint what exactly to write about London as I love every aspect of the city (except the tube in peak hour). London is the epitome of effortless. It’s unique and hipster without being annoying. It’s fashionable without being patronizing. It’s classic without being boring. And it’s bursting at the seams with activities, without being tiring. It’s a city buzzing with life, that truly never sleeps.

So instead of continually throwing verbs around, I decided to write a list of my favourite things to do in this city.

Markets – You can’t visit London and not go to Camden market. The birthplace of true mohawk-wearing ‘punks’, with a strong Vivienne Westwood vibe. Camden stays true to its roots and the original grunge scene. For a more upmarket scene, head to the undercover Old Spitalfields Market (my personal favourite) for some avant-garde homegrown designers, fashion-forward vintage, and (it wouldn’t be fashionable without) food trucks.

Old Spitalfields Market

Museums – The Victoria & Albert Museum is always a winner, with previous exhibitions on Vivienne Westwood designs, Alexander McQueen designs, Italian fashion through the ages, wedding dresses and most recently shoes (see Shoes: Pleasure & Pain). Keep your eyes peeled for other pop ups as London seems to nag some of the best fashion exhibitions around. For those sciencey-inclined (like moi), the Science Museum and Natural History Museum, are two worth visiting. Beneath their older beautiful exteriors, their interior designs are incredible and interactive content unbeatable.

Natural History Museum
Victoria & Albert Museum
Victoria & Albert Museum
John Paul Gaultier exhibition

Landmarks – Don’t miss ‘The Gherkin’ and ‘The Shard’, two modern high rises amongst a city of small old buildings. It’s also a punishable crime by law to visit London and not wave to Big Ben. And if you feel like a tourist doing this, it’s probably because yes you are a tourist, deal with it.

The Shard
The Shard
The Gherkin

Nerd Activities – Harry Potter world is must-see for dedicated fans. Watch movies about the making of the films, see real sets and props and taste butterbeer (WARNING: you will never want to drink actual beer ever again).

Chamber of Secrets

Shopping – You can’t go past Oxford Circus. I do warn you though, you may enter the Topshop flagship store and never return. There’s a nutritious food store, a cupcake stall, a frozen yogurt store, an eyebrow salon, a hair salon and probably more that I’m yet to discover. If you’re there in Summer, try heading to Harvey Nichols for 90% off. Yes you didn’t read that wrong, it’s been rumored that I purchased an Alexander McQueen purse for $70 reduced from $700 and Dries Van Noten heels for $90 reduced from $900…

Nightlife – Shoreditch and Camden are two areas you can’t go past if you like somewhere lively and unique. Nightclubs in old stables are some of the treasures you may come across.

Food – You don’t go to London for food, but if you’re like me and enjoy fast easy HEALTHY food, head to Eat or Prêt à Manger. You don’t need directions, they’re on every corner (no exaggeration).

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