My lovely family visited me in London a few weeks ago and we were lucky enough to have one of the last summery weekends of the year (unless some miracle happens before the new year!). I had taken one and a half days off from work to have a mini London holiday, so on the Friday morning I headed off to Victoria to start my long weekend.
After having a traditional English lunch in an Irish pub (:p) we headed towards Green Park to have a bit of a stroll. If you’re not afraid of crowds and want to see some of London’s greatest sights at once I suggest following in our footsteps. In the space of a few hours we passed the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace but also lots of green spaces and at the end of the walk, the beautiful South Bank. After almost three years of living in London and mostly spending time in the suburbs (as much as I love them!) and on my commute, it’s great to remind yourself every now and then how gorgeous this city can be and how many landmarks it packs even on such a short walk as we did.
We passed a lot of these little cuties on the way too..
We walked through the beautiful Green Park, past Buckingham Palace from where we escaped the masses quite quickly to yet another park – St James’s. This is one of my favourite parks as it has a lovely little lake in the middle and you can even see the London Eye peaking behind the trees in the distance. My favourite thing about St James’s though is that it leads me to yet another London favourite of mine – the South Bank.
I’m not sure I’d recommend South Bank on Saturday or Sunday afternoons though – even a sunny Friday was a bit of a stretch! The crowds can get horrendous, especially on the Westminster Bridge end what with all the sights packed in one little area. Luckily my favourite bits on the river are around the Waterloo, London Bridge & Blackfriars Bridge areas anyway which is why this time too we headed through the crowds towards the many cafes and restaurants around Waterloo Bridge.
We saw a sign for a rooftop cafe and as we were determined to take in whatever little rays the summer still had in store we climbed up to see what it was all about. What we found was this little “wild garden” with tables scattered around the roof and a small bar serving antipasti platters, hot drinks, alcoholic beverages etc. It was very cute!
As I said, we were still set on enjoying all the summery things one last time (how dramatic Laura, there’s always next year!) so we decided to take the (possibly) last Pimms jug of the year. I have to credit them from making the Pimms from scratch – all the ingredients were freshly chopped and the actual drink didn’t come from a tap like in some places I’ve been to. There was a bit too much ice considering how steep the prices were but I guess that’s what you get when you want to drink on the rooftops of the South Bank..
When heading back to the hotel we walked through the lovely Southbank Centre Market which I had completely forgotten was there! They had so many nice stalls of food AND drink so I was a bit gutted I was already completely stuffed.. It was a good reminder nevertheless, I will definitely head back there in the near future!
You’re pretty great, London, please don’t change. Except maybe lower your rent prices. Thanks!