Taylor-Notting-Hill-Pink6

Must-Do Experiences When Visiting London

Visiting London For the First Time

Visiting London For the First Time

London is such an amazing city! It is one of those places that thrives with so much diverse culture, but also remains true to its authenticity. During October 2019, I made my way to the stunning capital of England for the very first time. I only had two days in London, but I attempted to squeeze a lot in during my short time there.

Visiting London For the First Time

Between the amazing iconic landmarks and the gorgeous neighborhoods along with the delicious restaurants and cute cafés, there is something for everyone to enjoy and fall in love with in London. During my time in London, I also had the opportunity to partner with Mimi’s Hotel in the Soho area of the city. I had such a lovely stay and it definitely was the cherry on top of my memorable two days in the city.

Visiting London For the First Time

My trip to the United Kingdom was spent enjoying two lovely days in London and then making my way into the English countryside (Bath and The Cotswolds). After that, I traveled north into Scotland. It was such an amazing and memorable trip that I didn’t want it to end! In this blog post, discover the must-do experiences for when you visit London for the first time. Even if you’ve been to London before, I am sure there is something on this list that you haven’t experienced yet. London is a fairly large city and there is always something amazing happening.

Visiting London For the First Time

*During my trip to London, Mimi’s Hotel Soho hosted me for two nights.


Getting to and Around London:

Visiting London For the First Time

London is a major international hub and has six airports that you could fly into from anywhere in the world. The two main international airports are Heathrow and Gatwick (which is where I flew into). The other airports are Stansted, Luton, London City and Southend.

Visiting London For the First Time

By using Google Flights, I was able to get an amazing deal from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport straight to London’s Gatwick Airport. Using my Capital One Venture points, I got both my flight to London as well as my flight home from Edinburgh paid off through what I’ve accumulated. It was amazing! 

Visiting London For the First Time

In addition to getting to London via flight, you could also travel to and from anywhere in the United Kingdom along with many other destinations in Europe through train. It is easy and very affordable!

Visiting London For the First Time

One of the best ways to get around the actual city of London is by taking the Underground, also known as “The Tube”. Known as the oldest underground metro network in the world, The Tube carries over a billion passengers a year. It is very easy to take and it is also convenient. There is an Underground stop in every area of the city and a train arrives within 10 minutes or less throughout the day. Since the traffic in London is pretty hefty, I totally recommend taking The Tube because it will save you a lot of money and time as opposed to taking a taxi or an Uber.

Visiting London For the First Time

Another great way to get around London is by taking the bus. In fact, I actually purchased a hop-on hop-off bus ticket. As efficient as the Tube is, I really wanted to see London as I was making my way around the city and it is nice to get on and off whenever you wish or if you see something that interests you while you’re on the bus. The tour companies that you can choose from are Big Bus, The Original Tour (which is what I did), London Pass, London City Tour, Golden Tours and more. You could also get around using the Vintage London Bus and many bus tours also offer access to the Thames Hop-On Hop-Off River Cruise. Click here to discover the best hop-on hop-off bus and river tours in London. I got my tickets the day I arrived at The Original Tour booth in Piccadilly Circus.

Visiting London For the First Time

Staying at Mimi’s Hotel in Soho:

Visiting London For the First Time

During my time in London, I enjoyed feeling like royalty at Mimi’s Hotel, which is a lovely boutique hotel situated in the heart of the Soho area of the city. I loved how convenient it was, since it was located near the best that London has to offer. It’s situated in London’s prime bar scene; is steps away from the amazing eateries in Covent Garden; it’s right around the corner from the bustling Piccadilly Circus and it isn’t too far from the beautiful parks and historical landmarks the city features.

Visiting London For the First Time

Offering 53 rooms, Mimi’s is a brand new construction, which features historic London façades on the outside. Inside of the hotel offers high-end and luxurious finishes, which is both trendy and chic for Soho’s creative and stylish neighborhoods. Mimi’s rooms are set in seven categories, offering beautiful crown moldings, comfortable beds and great amenities all with maximum sound insulation. In addition, every room and bathroom at Mimi’s Hotel has under floor heating and there is also a flat screen TV with complimentary in-room movies and music, free WiFi, 5-star mattresses (which were so comfy) with Frette linen, rainwater showers, Molton Brown cosmetic products, hairdryers, direct dial telephones, air conditioning and complimentary water. It is absolutely perfect for those who enjoy traveling luxuriously, but also appreciate authentic touches.

Visiting London For the First Time

There are seven types of rooms you could choose from when you book your stay at Mimi’s Hotel. There is the Tiny Single Room, which is a compact room offering a single bed that is perfect for a solo traveler; the Mini Room has a double bed and is also great for a solo traveler looking for more space or its even good for a couple; the Cosy Room, is also a compact room that features a king size bed and the Lux Room features a king size bed too and offers extra space. There are also the Suites, which are a range of serviced apartments offering stylish décor with luxury finishes.

Visiting London For the First Time

During my stay at Mimi’s Hotel in Soho, I was hosted in two different rooms for both nights. The first night, I stayed in one of the Lux rooms. The room was beautiful and perfect for someone like myself and it featured a cozy king bed that had me sleeping like a baby. In addition, I loved the rain shower. Since I took an overnight flight to London, I couldn’t wait to hop in the shower and it was absolutely perfect! The second night, I stayed in one of the Suites that had a balcony. One thing to note about the Suites are that they are located in a different building than where the lobby and bar is on Frith Street. The Suites are situated a hop, skip and a jump away on Greek Street in Soho. It is super easy to get to and you could always call the front desk in case you need anything! All of the suite rooms offer a kitchenette as well as extra space.

Visiting London For the First Time

Not only does Mimi’s Hotel offer amazing accommodations for all, they also have a great bar and social space called Henson’s. I truly enjoyed spending my mornings and evenings at Henson’s. From decorative frothy lattes to London’s renowned wines, it was so nice enjoying the lovely ambiance the hotel features all throughout the day. In the morning, it was peaceful and in the evening it was lively – offering the perfect balance! I truly enjoyed their chocolate croissants and cakes when I woke up both mornings! In the evening, Henson’s provides a great handcrafted cocktail menu as well as a curated wine list. It also features beautiful oak flooring, a fireplace, bespoke furniture, a boudoir-like feel and an inviting atmosphere. Everyone is also super friendly! I loved spending my time in this wonderful and happy space.

Visiting London For the First Time

Where to Eat in London:

Visiting London For the First Time

Covent Garden: One place that you cannot miss when you travel to London is Covent Garden. It is a major food, shopping and entertainment hub located in London’s West End. It is also in Covent Garden where live street performers act out their talents, events of all sorts happen here and it is also where London has one of their Christmas markets during Advent Season. Covent Garden is also where St. Paul’s Church is located along with a variety of different food and artisan markets, the Royal Opera House and the London Transport Museum. It is also conveniently located in London’s theater district and isn’t a far walk from the colorful Neal’s Yard.

Visiting London For the First Time

During my first evening in London, I had the opportunity to meet up with Ophélie of Limitless Secrets. Both Ophélie and I have been friends on Instagram since I first started taking it as a business and we have stayed in touch since. It was so nice to finally meet her in person! In addition, I also got to meet the lovely Morgane of Morgylh. Both Ophélie and Morgane are Parisian travel bloggers who take gorgeous photos and have amazing content. During our evening together in London, we had the opportunity to enjoy cocktails and sushi with Dave from Mr. London (and the London Instagram account) and Alice Sampo of Alis in Wordland at SushiSamba. This amazing restaurant is famed for its beautiful Opera Terrace and it offers a unique blend of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine and culture. It is super posh and I highly recommend making reservations if you want to come here! Plus, the sushi and cocktails are amazing at SushiSamba.

Borough Market: Known as one of the largest and oldest food markets in London, Borough Market is a wholesale and retail food hall in the Southwark area of London. If you are visiting the Tower Bridge and The Shard, I highly recommend making your way here since it is super close. Not only could you get fresh produce here, you could also stop at one of the many stands and enjoy something delicious!

Peggy Porschen: You cannot go to London and skip out on visiting a cute café or bakery. London is known for chic and creative sweet spots that are both delicious and also “Instagrammable”. You could recognize a lot of these spots because they are usually decorated beautifully with floral touches and heaps of bright colors.

Visiting London For the First Time

Prior to visiting London, I knew I wanted to visit the infamous Peggy Porschen because I see it all over social media and it is quite adorable. During my second day in London, I made my way to Peggy Porschen in Chelsea for a late morning snack and tea. (There is also a Peggy Porschen location in Belgravia.) Peggy Porschen bakery offers creative cupcakes, fancy cakes and many other sweet treats to enjoy. (They also have a lot of seasonal goodies!) In addition, Peggy Porschen has a lunch menu with different soups, salads and sandwiches and you could enjoy all of this with a hot beverage along with a glass of champagne, which is quite lovely!

Visiting London For the First Time

Designed by renowned architects, Peggy Porschen‘s Parlour features a 5-meter (16-foot) long patisserie counter and picturesque wall murals that will get everyone excited when they first step foot inside. There are also different rooms to sit in: The Café, The Lounge, The Salon, The Pink Peony Bar and The Chelsea Rose Room. The Café area allows walk-ins, which is what I did, but to sit in any of the other rooms, you will need to make a reservation. (I also ran into Ophélie and Morgane during my time here. It wasn’t planned either!)

Visiting London For the First Time

The Dog & Duck: If you are looking for an authentic British pub experience, I highly recommend The Dog & Duck. Known as one of Nicholson’s Pubs, The Dog & Duck is situated in the heart of Soho and offers delicious English ales, quality pub food and an exquisite interior. It was originally built in 1734 on the site of the Duke of Monmouth’s home. During my time here, I ate a great fish and chips dish that did not disappoint. (I haven’t had fish and chips since my time in Dublin two years prior.) At night, The Dog & Duck is rocking with Soho partygoers.

Visiting London For the First Time

Vasco & Piero’s Italian Restaurant: Let’s face it, who doesn’t love Italian food?! One of the best Italian restaurants in London is Vasco & Piero’s in the Soho area. This traditional Italian restaurant offers Umbrian cuisine featuring seasonal and homemade pasta dishes from scratch. I savored a delicious spaghettini dish with cherry tomatoes, scallions and squid in a light tomato sauce. It was delicious! During my time here, I got to meet another solo traveler from Dallas, it was awesome.

Visiting London For the First Time

Yorica: I never had vegan ice cream until I visited Yorica, a delicious dessert joint that could be enjoyed by everyone! After savoring my delicious Italian dinner, I was in the mood for dessert, so I stumbled upon Yorica that features yummy vegan ice cream (along with soft serve and milkshakes) as well as crepes and waffles. All of their goodies are free from all 14 major allergens and are made without any animal product. This fun spot has everyone from London meandering to.

Visiting London For the First Time

What You MUST See as a First Timer:

Visiting London For the First Time

Westminster Abbey:

Visiting London For the First Time

The very first place I saw when I visited London was Westminster Abbey. It is absolutely beautiful and what makes it an interesting place to visit is that a lot of history has happened here – coronations, royal weddings and so much more since 1066. It is also the final resting place of 17 monarchs and it is one of the most prestigious and important Gothic buildings in England.

Visiting London For the First Time

Tower Bridge:

Visiting London For the First Time

A landmark that cannot be missed during a first visit to London is the Tower Bridge. (Please do not get this bridge confused with the London Bridge, they are not the same.) It is absolutely majestic and you could walk over it and admire the dreamy views from the Thames River. During the time I walked over the Tower Bridge, it was starting to get dark, so the lights made it even dreamier!

Visiting London For the First Time

The Shard:

Visiting London For the First Time

One of the most iconic skyscrapers in London and a must-see is The Shard. Also referred to as the Shard of Glass, The Shard was formerly the London Bridge Tower. It features 95 stories and offers a luxury hotel, high-end restaurants and bars along with an arcade of independent retailers. It is soon to also be a residential building. From The Shard, you could enjoy outstanding views of the Tower Bridge and all of London.

Visiting London For the First Time

The London Eye:

Visiting London For the First Time

Coca-Cola’s London Eye is the most popular tourist attraction in the United Kingdom and is the tallest cantilevered observation wheel in the European continent. It is the best way to catch the gorgeous views over the Thames River!

Visiting London For the First Time

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben:

Visiting London For the First Time

The Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster is the seat of the United Kingdom’s two parliamentary houses: the House of Lords and the House of Commons. It is a strikingly beautiful building that cannot be overlooked. The most famous part of the House of Parliament is Big Ben. I went to London in October 2019 when Big Ben was undergoing construction. Unfortunately, I was unable to see this iconic landmark, but I hope to go back to London in the near future and see it when the renovation is complete.

Visiting London For the First Time

Buckingham Palace:

Visiting London For the First Time

Famous for the London administrative headquarters of the United Kingdom’s monarch, Buckingham Palace is the principal residence for Great Britain’s Royal Family since 1837. Unlike Madrid’s Royal Palace, Buckingham Palace is a working palace that offers 775 rooms and is the family home for the Royals. The only time the palace is open for the public to see is when the Royal Family goes on vacation during the summer for 10 weeks. One of the top things to see during a visit to Buckingham Palace is the Changing of the Guard Ceremony.

Visiting London For the First Time

Hyde Park (Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace):

Visiting London For the First Time

One thing I love doing when I visit a new city is taking a stroll through the park. Prior to going to London, I was told that I had to visit Hyde Park, especially during the autumn season. This beautiful park is the largest of four Royal Parks. It boasts the stunning Kensington Gardens and you could also see Kensington Palace (another royal residence of Prince William and Kate Middleton) while you are there. Other popular sites to visit in Hyde Park is The Serpentine pond, the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, the Rose Garden, the Lookout, the Hudson Memorial Bird Sanctuary, the Queen Caroline Memorial, The Reformers’ Tree, the Apsley Gate, the Queen Elizabeth Gate and the Queen Victoria Statue (pictured here).

Visiting London For the First Time

Notting Hill:

Visiting London For the First Time

One of the best areas to stroll around and get lost in is the affluent area of Notting Hill. This area of London first became known for brick making in the 1800s through its prosperity during the Victorian era. It then held slum housing in the mid 1900s and became known for the migration from the Caribbean to London. Nowadays, it consists of beautiful (and rather colorful) townhouses and private gardens.

Visiting London For the First Time

Notting Hill is also known for the carnival that is pretty much considered the “Mardi Gras” of the UK. It is also famous for the Portobello Road Market, which began in the 19th Century and is a 2-mile antique and fashion market that thrives on Saturdays. In addition, you could also visit Hugh Grant’s house from the motion picture Notting Hill and you could also visit Kiera Knightley’s house from the movie Love, Actually at 27 St. Lukes Mews.

Visiting London For the First Time

Visiting London For the First Time

I hope you all enjoyed reading my visitor’s guide to London and that it inspired you to visit. I had such an amazing time exploring the city for the very first time in my life and my stay at Mimi’s Hotel in Soho was definitely one to remember. If you have any questions about my time in London, England or my UK trip in general, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

Visiting London For the First Time

Basic Facts of the United Kingdom (England):

Currency: British Pound, UK and England Capital: London

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*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

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12 Comments

  1. Brittany Sneller on October 29, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    Another good post, Taylor! That’s so cool you stayed in the Soho area. I’ve heard it was super chic. I need to go back and discover all the cute cafes and pastel houses as you did! And that’s amazing you got to meet up with Ophelie. That must’ve been so fun to finally meet them in person!

    • Taylor Deer on October 29, 2019 at 1:53 pm

      Thank you Bri! It was definitely a great trip there! 🙂

  2. Beth Lucy on October 29, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Love your post Taylor! I am so glad you enjoyed London!! 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on October 29, 2019 at 1:54 pm

      Thank you so much Beth! 🙂

  3. World of Lina on October 29, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    Oh Taylor this blog post makes me miss London so so much!!! Itms my favourite city in Europe 😍

    • Taylor Deer on October 29, 2019 at 4:18 pm

      Thank you Alina! It was such a lovely city that I cannot wait to revisit one day! 🙂

  4. Elena Pappalardo on October 29, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    I have to say that London was never high on my list compared to other cities, but you’ve DEFINITELY sold me on it with this post, Taylor! And Mimi’s Hotel looks like the perfect set up and jumping off point for exploring the city. I just pinned this for my future adventures here 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on October 29, 2019 at 4:39 pm

      Yay! I’m glad I sold you on it. Honestly, London was never really high on my bucket list either until recently. I’m so glad I went. It was such a beautiful city and Mimi’s was awesome! 🙂

  5. Kim Deer on October 30, 2019 at 12:06 am

    Love this blog, felt like I just went to London and saw all the beautiful iconic buildings, gorgeous architecture and delicious food choices ~ thanks for continuing to take me around the world ~ Love you, mom xoxo

    • Taylor Deer on October 30, 2019 at 8:49 am

      Thank you mom! Love you too xoxo

  6. Maria on October 31, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Aww your post makes me think back on my time in London. In this city you just never run out of things to do and places to visit. Mimi’s Hotel also seems to be a great place to stay!

    • Taylor Deer on October 31, 2019 at 5:24 pm

      I truly enjoyed my time there! I definitely could’ve stayed longer and seen so much more. Definitely coming back in the near future! 🙂

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Taylor-Notting-Hill-Pink6

Must-Do Experiences When Visiting London

Visiting London For the First Time

Visiting London For the First Time

London is such an amazing city! It is one of those places that thrives with so much diverse culture, but also remains true to its authenticity. During October 2019, I made my way to the stunning capital of England for the very first time. I only had two days in London, but I attempted to squeeze a lot in during my short time there.

Visiting London For the First Time

Between the amazing iconic landmarks and the gorgeous neighborhoods along with the delicious restaurants and cute cafés, there is something for everyone to enjoy and fall in love with in London. During my time in London, I also had the opportunity to partner with Mimi’s Hotel in the Soho area of the city. I had such a lovely stay and it definitely was the cherry on top of my memorable two days in the city.

Visiting London For the First Time

My trip to the United Kingdom was spent enjoying two lovely days in London and then making my way into the English countryside (Bath and The Cotswolds). After that, I traveled north into Scotland. It was such an amazing and memorable trip that I didn’t want it to end! In this blog post, discover the must-do experiences for when you visit London for the first time. Even if you’ve been to London before, I am sure there is something on this list that you haven’t experienced yet. London is a fairly large city and there is always something amazing happening.

Visiting London For the First Time

*During my trip to London, Mimi’s Hotel Soho hosted me for two nights.


Getting to and Around London:

Visiting London For the First Time

London is a major international hub and has six airports that you could fly into from anywhere in the world. The two main international airports are Heathrow and Gatwick (which is where I flew into). The other airports are Stansted, Luton, London City and Southend.

Visiting London For the First Time

By using Google Flights, I was able to get an amazing deal from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport straight to London’s Gatwick Airport. Using my Capital One Venture points, I got both my flight to London as well as my flight home from Edinburgh paid off through what I’ve accumulated. It was amazing! 

Visiting London For the First Time

In addition to getting to London via flight, you could also travel to and from anywhere in the United Kingdom along with many other destinations in Europe through train. It is easy and very affordable!

Visiting London For the First Time

One of the best ways to get around the actual city of London is by taking the Underground, also known as “The Tube”. Known as the oldest underground metro network in the world, The Tube carries over a billion passengers a year. It is very easy to take and it is also convenient. There is an Underground stop in every area of the city and a train arrives within 10 minutes or less throughout the day. Since the traffic in London is pretty hefty, I totally recommend taking The Tube because it will save you a lot of money and time as opposed to taking a taxi or an Uber.

Visiting London For the First Time

Another great way to get around London is by taking the bus. In fact, I actually purchased a hop-on hop-off bus ticket. As efficient as the Tube is, I really wanted to see London as I was making my way around the city and it is nice to get on and off whenever you wish or if you see something that interests you while you’re on the bus. The tour companies that you can choose from are Big Bus, The Original Tour (which is what I did), London Pass, London City Tour, Golden Tours and more. You could also get around using the Vintage London Bus and many bus tours also offer access to the Thames Hop-On Hop-Off River Cruise. Click here to discover the best hop-on hop-off bus and river tours in London. I got my tickets the day I arrived at The Original Tour booth in Piccadilly Circus.

Visiting London For the First Time

Staying at Mimi’s Hotel in Soho:

Visiting London For the First Time

During my time in London, I enjoyed feeling like royalty at Mimi’s Hotel, which is a lovely boutique hotel situated in the heart of the Soho area of the city. I loved how convenient it was, since it was located near the best that London has to offer. It’s situated in London’s prime bar scene; is steps away from the amazing eateries in Covent Garden; it’s right around the corner from the bustling Piccadilly Circus and it isn’t too far from the beautiful parks and historical landmarks the city features.

Visiting London For the First Time

Offering 53 rooms, Mimi’s is a brand new construction, which features historic London façades on the outside. Inside of the hotel offers high-end and luxurious finishes, which is both trendy and chic for Soho’s creative and stylish neighborhoods. Mimi’s rooms are set in seven categories, offering beautiful crown moldings, comfortable beds and great amenities all with maximum sound insulation. In addition, every room and bathroom at Mimi’s Hotel has under floor heating and there is also a flat screen TV with complimentary in-room movies and music, free WiFi, 5-star mattresses (which were so comfy) with Frette linen, rainwater showers, Molton Brown cosmetic products, hairdryers, direct dial telephones, air conditioning and complimentary water. It is absolutely perfect for those who enjoy traveling luxuriously, but also appreciate authentic touches.

Visiting London For the First Time

There are seven types of rooms you could choose from when you book your stay at Mimi’s Hotel. There is the Tiny Single Room, which is a compact room offering a single bed that is perfect for a solo traveler; the Mini Room has a double bed and is also great for a solo traveler looking for more space or its even good for a couple; the Cosy Room, is also a compact room that features a king size bed and the Lux Room features a king size bed too and offers extra space. There are also the Suites, which are a range of serviced apartments offering stylish décor with luxury finishes.

Visiting London For the First Time

During my stay at Mimi’s Hotel in Soho, I was hosted in two different rooms for both nights. The first night, I stayed in one of the Lux rooms. The room was beautiful and perfect for someone like myself and it featured a cozy king bed that had me sleeping like a baby. In addition, I loved the rain shower. Since I took an overnight flight to London, I couldn’t wait to hop in the shower and it was absolutely perfect! The second night, I stayed in one of the Suites that had a balcony. One thing to note about the Suites are that they are located in a different building than where the lobby and bar is on Frith Street. The Suites are situated a hop, skip and a jump away on Greek Street in Soho. It is super easy to get to and you could always call the front desk in case you need anything! All of the suite rooms offer a kitchenette as well as extra space.

Visiting London For the First Time

Not only does Mimi’s Hotel offer amazing accommodations for all, they also have a great bar and social space called Henson’s. I truly enjoyed spending my mornings and evenings at Henson’s. From decorative frothy lattes to London’s renowned wines, it was so nice enjoying the lovely ambiance the hotel features all throughout the day. In the morning, it was peaceful and in the evening it was lively – offering the perfect balance! I truly enjoyed their chocolate croissants and cakes when I woke up both mornings! In the evening, Henson’s provides a great handcrafted cocktail menu as well as a curated wine list. It also features beautiful oak flooring, a fireplace, bespoke furniture, a boudoir-like feel and an inviting atmosphere. Everyone is also super friendly! I loved spending my time in this wonderful and happy space.

Visiting London For the First Time

Where to Eat in London:

Visiting London For the First Time

Covent Garden: One place that you cannot miss when you travel to London is Covent Garden. It is a major food, shopping and entertainment hub located in London’s West End. It is also in Covent Garden where live street performers act out their talents, events of all sorts happen here and it is also where London has one of their Christmas markets during Advent Season. Covent Garden is also where St. Paul’s Church is located along with a variety of different food and artisan markets, the Royal Opera House and the London Transport Museum. It is also conveniently located in London’s theater district and isn’t a far walk from the colorful Neal’s Yard.

Visiting London For the First Time

During my first evening in London, I had the opportunity to meet up with Ophélie of Limitless Secrets. Both Ophélie and I have been friends on Instagram since I first started taking it as a business and we have stayed in touch since. It was so nice to finally meet her in person! In addition, I also got to meet the lovely Morgane of Morgylh. Both Ophélie and Morgane are Parisian travel bloggers who take gorgeous photos and have amazing content. During our evening together in London, we had the opportunity to enjoy cocktails and sushi with Dave from Mr. London (and the London Instagram account) and Alice Sampo of Alis in Wordland at SushiSamba. This amazing restaurant is famed for its beautiful Opera Terrace and it offers a unique blend of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine and culture. It is super posh and I highly recommend making reservations if you want to come here! Plus, the sushi and cocktails are amazing at SushiSamba.

Borough Market: Known as one of the largest and oldest food markets in London, Borough Market is a wholesale and retail food hall in the Southwark area of London. If you are visiting the Tower Bridge and The Shard, I highly recommend making your way here since it is super close. Not only could you get fresh produce here, you could also stop at one of the many stands and enjoy something delicious!

Peggy Porschen: You cannot go to London and skip out on visiting a cute café or bakery. London is known for chic and creative sweet spots that are both delicious and also “Instagrammable”. You could recognize a lot of these spots because they are usually decorated beautifully with floral touches and heaps of bright colors.

Visiting London For the First Time

Prior to visiting London, I knew I wanted to visit the infamous Peggy Porschen because I see it all over social media and it is quite adorable. During my second day in London, I made my way to Peggy Porschen in Chelsea for a late morning snack and tea. (There is also a Peggy Porschen location in Belgravia.) Peggy Porschen bakery offers creative cupcakes, fancy cakes and many other sweet treats to enjoy. (They also have a lot of seasonal goodies!) In addition, Peggy Porschen has a lunch menu with different soups, salads and sandwiches and you could enjoy all of this with a hot beverage along with a glass of champagne, which is quite lovely!

Visiting London For the First Time

Designed by renowned architects, Peggy Porschen‘s Parlour features a 5-meter (16-foot) long patisserie counter and picturesque wall murals that will get everyone excited when they first step foot inside. There are also different rooms to sit in: The Café, The Lounge, The Salon, The Pink Peony Bar and The Chelsea Rose Room. The Café area allows walk-ins, which is what I did, but to sit in any of the other rooms, you will need to make a reservation. (I also ran into Ophélie and Morgane during my time here. It wasn’t planned either!)

Visiting London For the First Time

The Dog & Duck: If you are looking for an authentic British pub experience, I highly recommend The Dog & Duck. Known as one of Nicholson’s Pubs, The Dog & Duck is situated in the heart of Soho and offers delicious English ales, quality pub food and an exquisite interior. It was originally built in 1734 on the site of the Duke of Monmouth’s home. During my time here, I ate a great fish and chips dish that did not disappoint. (I haven’t had fish and chips since my time in Dublin two years prior.) At night, The Dog & Duck is rocking with Soho partygoers.

Visiting London For the First Time

Vasco & Piero’s Italian Restaurant: Let’s face it, who doesn’t love Italian food?! One of the best Italian restaurants in London is Vasco & Piero’s in the Soho area. This traditional Italian restaurant offers Umbrian cuisine featuring seasonal and homemade pasta dishes from scratch. I savored a delicious spaghettini dish with cherry tomatoes, scallions and squid in a light tomato sauce. It was delicious! During my time here, I got to meet another solo traveler from Dallas, it was awesome.

Visiting London For the First Time

Yorica: I never had vegan ice cream until I visited Yorica, a delicious dessert joint that could be enjoyed by everyone! After savoring my delicious Italian dinner, I was in the mood for dessert, so I stumbled upon Yorica that features yummy vegan ice cream (along with soft serve and milkshakes) as well as crepes and waffles. All of their goodies are free from all 14 major allergens and are made without any animal product. This fun spot has everyone from London meandering to.

Visiting London For the First Time

What You MUST See as a First Timer:

Visiting London For the First Time

Westminster Abbey:

Visiting London For the First Time

The very first place I saw when I visited London was Westminster Abbey. It is absolutely beautiful and what makes it an interesting place to visit is that a lot of history has happened here – coronations, royal weddings and so much more since 1066. It is also the final resting place of 17 monarchs and it is one of the most prestigious and important Gothic buildings in England.

Visiting London For the First Time

Tower Bridge:

Visiting London For the First Time

A landmark that cannot be missed during a first visit to London is the Tower Bridge. (Please do not get this bridge confused with the London Bridge, they are not the same.) It is absolutely majestic and you could walk over it and admire the dreamy views from the Thames River. During the time I walked over the Tower Bridge, it was starting to get dark, so the lights made it even dreamier!

Visiting London For the First Time

The Shard:

Visiting London For the First Time

One of the most iconic skyscrapers in London and a must-see is The Shard. Also referred to as the Shard of Glass, The Shard was formerly the London Bridge Tower. It features 95 stories and offers a luxury hotel, high-end restaurants and bars along with an arcade of independent retailers. It is soon to also be a residential building. From The Shard, you could enjoy outstanding views of the Tower Bridge and all of London.

Visiting London For the First Time

The London Eye:

Visiting London For the First Time

Coca-Cola’s London Eye is the most popular tourist attraction in the United Kingdom and is the tallest cantilevered observation wheel in the European continent. It is the best way to catch the gorgeous views over the Thames River!

Visiting London For the First Time

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben:

Visiting London For the First Time

The Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster is the seat of the United Kingdom’s two parliamentary houses: the House of Lords and the House of Commons. It is a strikingly beautiful building that cannot be overlooked. The most famous part of the House of Parliament is Big Ben. I went to London in October 2019 when Big Ben was undergoing construction. Unfortunately, I was unable to see this iconic landmark, but I hope to go back to London in the near future and see it when the renovation is complete.

Visiting London For the First Time

Buckingham Palace:

Visiting London For the First Time

Famous for the London administrative headquarters of the United Kingdom’s monarch, Buckingham Palace is the principal residence for Great Britain’s Royal Family since 1837. Unlike Madrid’s Royal Palace, Buckingham Palace is a working palace that offers 775 rooms and is the family home for the Royals. The only time the palace is open for the public to see is when the Royal Family goes on vacation during the summer for 10 weeks. One of the top things to see during a visit to Buckingham Palace is the Changing of the Guard Ceremony.

Visiting London For the First Time

Hyde Park (Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace):

Visiting London For the First Time

One thing I love doing when I visit a new city is taking a stroll through the park. Prior to going to London, I was told that I had to visit Hyde Park, especially during the autumn season. This beautiful park is the largest of four Royal Parks. It boasts the stunning Kensington Gardens and you could also see Kensington Palace (another royal residence of Prince William and Kate Middleton) while you are there. Other popular sites to visit in Hyde Park is The Serpentine pond, the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, the Rose Garden, the Lookout, the Hudson Memorial Bird Sanctuary, the Queen Caroline Memorial, The Reformers’ Tree, the Apsley Gate, the Queen Elizabeth Gate and the Queen Victoria Statue (pictured here).

Visiting London For the First Time

Notting Hill:

Visiting London For the First Time

One of the best areas to stroll around and get lost in is the affluent area of Notting Hill. This area of London first became known for brick making in the 1800s through its prosperity during the Victorian era. It then held slum housing in the mid 1900s and became known for the migration from the Caribbean to London. Nowadays, it consists of beautiful (and rather colorful) townhouses and private gardens.

Visiting London For the First Time

Notting Hill is also known for the carnival that is pretty much considered the “Mardi Gras” of the UK. It is also famous for the Portobello Road Market, which began in the 19th Century and is a 2-mile antique and fashion market that thrives on Saturdays. In addition, you could also visit Hugh Grant’s house from the motion picture Notting Hill and you could also visit Kiera Knightley’s house from the movie Love, Actually at 27 St. Lukes Mews.

Visiting London For the First Time

Visiting London For the First Time

I hope you all enjoyed reading my visitor’s guide to London and that it inspired you to visit. I had such an amazing time exploring the city for the very first time in my life and my stay at Mimi’s Hotel in Soho was definitely one to remember. If you have any questions about my time in London, England or my UK trip in general, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

Visiting London For the First Time

Basic Facts of the United Kingdom (England):

Currency: British Pound, UK and England Capital: London

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12 Comments

  1. Brittany Sneller on October 29, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    Another good post, Taylor! That’s so cool you stayed in the Soho area. I’ve heard it was super chic. I need to go back and discover all the cute cafes and pastel houses as you did! And that’s amazing you got to meet up with Ophelie. That must’ve been so fun to finally meet them in person!

    • Taylor Deer on October 29, 2019 at 1:53 pm

      Thank you Bri! It was definitely a great trip there! 🙂

  2. Beth Lucy on October 29, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Love your post Taylor! I am so glad you enjoyed London!! 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on October 29, 2019 at 1:54 pm

      Thank you so much Beth! 🙂

  3. World of Lina on October 29, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    Oh Taylor this blog post makes me miss London so so much!!! Itms my favourite city in Europe 😍

    • Taylor Deer on October 29, 2019 at 4:18 pm

      Thank you Alina! It was such a lovely city that I cannot wait to revisit one day! 🙂

  4. Elena Pappalardo on October 29, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    I have to say that London was never high on my list compared to other cities, but you’ve DEFINITELY sold me on it with this post, Taylor! And Mimi’s Hotel looks like the perfect set up and jumping off point for exploring the city. I just pinned this for my future adventures here 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on October 29, 2019 at 4:39 pm

      Yay! I’m glad I sold you on it. Honestly, London was never really high on my bucket list either until recently. I’m so glad I went. It was such a beautiful city and Mimi’s was awesome! 🙂

  5. Kim Deer on October 30, 2019 at 12:06 am

    Love this blog, felt like I just went to London and saw all the beautiful iconic buildings, gorgeous architecture and delicious food choices ~ thanks for continuing to take me around the world ~ Love you, mom xoxo

    • Taylor Deer on October 30, 2019 at 8:49 am

      Thank you mom! Love you too xoxo

  6. Maria on October 31, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Aww your post makes me think back on my time in London. In this city you just never run out of things to do and places to visit. Mimi’s Hotel also seems to be a great place to stay!

    • Taylor Deer on October 31, 2019 at 5:24 pm

      I truly enjoyed my time there! I definitely could’ve stayed longer and seen so much more. Definitely coming back in the near future! 🙂

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