There’s something about – London

I spend a lot of time in London for work but don’t really get to explore and be a tourist.  But I still love London, there’s something rather special about it.

I couldn't agree more!

I couldn’t agree more!

Pounding the pavements

Same view - different every day! My favourite London view!

Same view – different every day! My favourite London view!

There is always something new to see and I always walk to the office or to visit a client if I am in town to enjoy the city!  Even though I  normally walk between the same places, it is always different and there is always something different to see.  There is always anothert alleyway to take a short cut through, and I am always amazed when I find another enclosed garden area behind a row of buildings or offices.  Wherever you go in London there are always tourists and I am fascinated by what people take photos of… What is my walking commute actually has lots of interest too (although often even if I squint at where someone has their camera pointed, I can’t work out what is of interest)! I used to get taxi’s between offices but London isn’t big and taking 10 extra minutes to walk is always worth it, even in the rain!

History a plenty

No shortage of history

No shortage of history

There is history everywhere – statues, old buildings, blue ‘so and so was born here’ signs and palaces of course!  I’m already looking forward to Open House weekend in the city in September when normally inaccessible places are opened to the public.  There is also a complete mix of the very old and the brand new – The Shard sits near to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.  Despite all the development in the city (try counting cranes and you will lose count easily) there remains the protected ‘St Paul’s line of sight’ from many locations.

Green space

Plenty of green space

Plenty of green space

For a city London is very lucky to have so much green space – lovely parks. Nuff said.  My husband works in Westminster and has some gorgeous running routes through the parks at lunchtimes.

Coffee signs

Love a good coffee sign!

Love a good coffee sign!

As competitive as the coffee shops are about having the best coffee, there seems to be a more important battle to be won – having the most amusing or philosophical blackboard sign outside the shop.  There is a little place called the Fleet St Press that I always look forward to passing, their coffee signs change most days and the humour has me chuckling which starts the day well!

Bumping into friends

It's planned when Mr P and I meet in London - but I don't tend to take a snap on a morning commute!

It’s planned when Mr P and I meet in London – but I don’t tend to take a snap on a morning commute!

So many cities are anonymous but in London I often bump into friends on the bus or walking along Aldwych and Fleet Street.  It seems incredible that can be the case – I don’t know that many people – but once a week it tends to happen.  Always a lovely surprise.

Drinks with views

Drinks with a view a plenty

Drinks with a view a plenty

I haven’t invested sufficient time in researching drinks with views, but there are plenty.  Skylon on the South Bank is lovely, as is The Oxo Tower further along.  Windows at Galvin and Radio Bar at the ME hotel are 2 others I like.  There are even nice bars in the train stations that command great views over rush hour!  I love our top floor office view too – always a highlight to have a meeting or lunch at the top to enjoy it without even having to go outside!

There is always a view

Always something to ogle

Always something to ogle

Most offices tend to have meeting room suites on the top floors, we certainly do.  I have to sit facing into the room or I lose concentration and end up enjoying the view too much!  The DLR is also good for a view – take the train out to City Airport and it runs through a total different area of the city which is changing rapidly.  A while back I took my first ride on the Emirates Airline – that certainly gave a good view. As does the London Eye although it is humid in the pod by the time the full revolution is complete!  I always try to get the window seat on a plane – the view coming over London is stunning.

Hidden little restaurants

I love that it isn’t all about fancy and expensive restaurants.  There is so much more if you know where to look.  Just last week I had lunch with some colleagues in La Gourmandia on Lambs Conduit Street – from the outside it appears to be a deli, but there’s a lovely (and great value) restaurant hidden out the back.  On a Thursday lunchtime people were queuing to take our table as we left.

Art and statues

Poppies and Paddington

Poppies and Paddington

As we all know I don’t often visit galleries (unless they have a rooftop view and bar…).  However – there are some fascinating displays in London that have appealed – Hermes Wanderland, Hidden Jamaica, Art of the Brick etc.  All fascinating.  What I prefer though is the amount of art and design that crops up around London year round.  Many years ago I remember the Gormley iron statues which were precariously standing on rooftops and bridges.  More recently there were Book Benches, Paddington bears and London Buses – all designed by different celebrities and creating fun trails around the city.  This summer Shaun the Sheep has been in town!

It can throw a damn good party

London 2012 and the start of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

London 2012 and the start of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

We were all cynical before the Olympics arrived about whether it would be any good.  Then it arrived, the whole of London was transformed, the sun shone, people smiled at each other on the tube (unheard of) and the city threw the best party.  August 2012 was fantastic – just going to work in London had a buzz to it!  We had a marvellous afternoon at the volleyball – on Horse Guards, what a venue.  And then we were hosted by work at the Paralympic closing ceremony – quite incredible.  There’s such a choice of entertainment year round – sport and music, plenty to enjoy!

The start of any journey abroad

Somewhere I spend a fair amount of time...

Somewhere I spend a fair amount of time…

London is the start to all our trips abroad – much as there is something about London that I rather like, I also love the choice of destinations that can be reached from London.

Two great quotes for London:

When a man is tired of London he is tired of life – Samuel Johnson

If you’re curious, London is an amazing place – David Bailey

Love London.

Love London.

Absolutely true – there is always something new to find and see.  Whenever I am on the bus or underground I always wonder what there would be to see if I just hopped off early.  Each stop is recommended for visiting something or other – never a dull moment!

25 Comments

  1. May 18, 2015 / 2:32 pm

    I love London, it definitely is a walking city with so many gorgeous views and exciting neighborhoods to explore.

    • May 18, 2015 / 7:36 pm

      I always used to bus or tube, but so glad I always wear my trainers with my suit and enjoy what the walk offers! It’s healthier too!

  2. May 19, 2015 / 3:29 pm

    One of these days i’ll get to London and explore on foot all the great sites there are to see. I can understand why everyone I hear from and talk to loves it so much. Thanks for adding some of your favorites to the list.

    • May 23, 2015 / 12:02 pm

      Hope to see you over here soon! Definitely an on foot city!

  3. May 20, 2015 / 9:08 am

    Nice collection of some of London’s charms. It’s a great city to visit. I have fond memories of my first ever flight as a child was to London, and then I went to Madame Tussauds and we also went to Evita. In later years, I stayed in the Ritz for a night and also went to their wonderful afternoon tea.

    • May 23, 2015 / 12:03 pm

      I have never been to Madame Tussauds – I am amazed that I never had a school trip there come to think of it now!!

  4. May 20, 2015 / 1:09 pm

    Great round-up of my former home town (grew up just south of the river but have lived abroad for over 20 years now). Just back from a trip there and never fail to discover something new each time. The one thing I really miss about England is of course the pubs – and there are so many good ones in London. But we also discovered one of the best pizzerias and Indian restaurants last weekend – at least until the next time 🙂

    • May 23, 2015 / 12:03 pm

      We found a lovely little pub scene along the canal from Paddington station just last night – I love how there are cute and local places hidden where you least expect!

  5. May 24, 2015 / 8:22 am

    Ohh I LOVED this post!! What a lovely ode to our capital. Homesickness aplenty now!

    Polly xx
    Follow Your Sunshine

    • May 24, 2015 / 8:25 am

      You’ll be back here in less than 7 weeks though?! It might even feel like summer by then.. xx

  6. May 25, 2015 / 8:56 pm

    Gorgeous photos. I’ve been down here four years now and, like you say, there’s always something new to discover, even on a walk to work.

    Lisa | Not Quite Enough

    • May 26, 2015 / 7:12 pm

      Always worth walking – just in case!

  7. May 26, 2015 / 9:59 pm

    You have a good point about quirky coffee signs, they’re quite a trend! I loved the Hermes Wanderland exhibition too and London really is so full of interesting sights on every corner

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    • May 31, 2015 / 4:16 pm

      Ah – glad you got to visit it too, it seemed like it just wasn’t here for long enough!

    • May 31, 2015 / 4:16 pm

      I’m never sure if I should stop and take a snap – will always be in the way of somebody rushing around!

  8. May 27, 2015 / 12:55 pm

    I love that the coffee boards have made an appearance here! Couldn’t agree more with all of these. What a wonderful city London is! Thanks for linking up! xx

    • May 31, 2015 / 4:15 pm

      My pleasure! On the look out for more coffee!

  9. May 28, 2015 / 11:35 am

    Great article, reminded me why I love London so much! I agree on the always changing side of it, but walking can at times be challenging (I’ve never had so many blisters on my feet before I moved here!!).

    Sandra | Cake + Whisky

    • May 31, 2015 / 4:15 pm

      HaHa! Always have trainers – I always walk from the station to the office in them now!

  10. May 31, 2015 / 1:35 pm

    Thanks for joining the linky! I love this post, particularly the quote about walking in London, it’s one of my favourite things to do.

    • May 31, 2015 / 4:14 pm

      It’s great isn’t it – I almost look forward to a meeting somewhere new so I can wander through a new part of the city! Last weekend I was near Paddington and ended up in Little Venice for drinks and supper with Mr P!

  11. June 1, 2015 / 4:10 pm

    Great list! I came to London for for a 2 year stint and loved this city I stayed put (17 years later!)

    • June 1, 2015 / 7:55 pm

      Love it – what a great sales pitch it must have had on you!

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