London has no shortage of phenomenal sites to visit. There’s so much to see and do here that would fill years worth of travel. During your stay, I definitely recommend seeing some of the historic palaces and castles dotted in and around London. Here’s a few of my favourites I think are worth visiting!
They say a Sunday well-spent brings a week of content. The last three weeks, Ciaran and I have been to one wedding after another after another and our Sundays have consisted of napping and watching movies on the couch all day. Yesterday was beautiful. The sun was shining and it was warm out. Summer has finally graced us with its presence and we decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and headed out for lunch at St. Katherine’s Docks near Tower Bridge.
We hopped on the train and headed over to Tower Bridge and took a lovely walk along the Thames. It felt good to get out and get some fresh air and revisit an area of London that we both used to go to quite often.
We walked over the bridge, which has some fantastic views of London, including the Tower of London, the Gherkin and the Walkie Talkie building. I find it fascinating that the Tower of London dates back to 1078, yet it’s surrounded by a plethora of modern buildings. An aspect that I love about London is that although it is ever-evolving and new buildings are cropping up all the time, they have done a marvellous job at preserving the historical sites for everyone to continue to enjoy.
We made it over to St. Katherine’s Docks, which is a quiet oasis of restaurants, cafes, gorgeous boats and residences, all tucked behind Tower Bridge. Not many tourists know about this hidden gem, which makes it an ideal destination to escape to for a quiet dinner or lunch. There are a range of restaurants around the Docks including the the usual chain restaurants such as Strada, Slug & Lettuce, Ping Pong and Cafe Rouge. However, we love going to the Dickens Inn, a super cute pub that we first went to a couple years ago.
The Dickens Inn was an original warehouse building in the 18th Century that is believed to have been used for tea or to have been owned by a local brewery. They say that during its early years as a pub, it used to have a sawdust floor and diners used to have candlelight meals on the balcony. Charles Dickens’s grandson formally re-opened the Inn in 1976 and said that his Great Grandfather would have loved it. Pretty cool, right?
Today, the Dickens Inn is home to the Tavern Bar, a Grill and a Pizzeria and I must say that it’s prime location right by the water, coupled with its awesome al-fresco dining balconies and beer garden, make this charming pub the ideal spot for a lazy Sunday with drinks and bar food.
We chose to eat on the first floor in the pizzeria, which features some of the largest pizzas we’ve both ever seen. The decor upstairs is warm and rustic, with exposed brick and wood beams. It feels very relaxed throughout the entire restaurant and they have ample outdoor seating up there.
We ordered a couple of beers, a charcuterie board and a meat-lovers pizza to share.
We slowly tucked into our food (which was much needed after a super fun wedding the night before), sipped our beers and enjoyed the sunshine. It was a lazy Sunday, but at least we got out of the flat and got to relax outside.
And the view from up top is lovely! The Dickens Inn is an ideal spot to go for drinks and a bite to eat. The Tavern Bar downstairs is also awesome to watch football matches and to catch up with a big group of friends. It’s such a lovely spot in Central London that is both beautiful and serene. We definitely recommend walking over when the sun is out and grab lunch at any of the restaurants where you can sit outside. It was certainly a Sunday well-spent for us!
The Dickens Inn | Marble Quay | St Katharine Docks | St Katharine’s Way | London | E1W 1UH | Book Now
Ciaran and I have a new Sunday ritual where we go for a run from our flat in Clapham all the way down to the London Eye and grab a coffee by the river or some street food from the Southbank Centre Food Market and relax in the sun. It’s a really beautiful run past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben and a gorgeous view makes all the difference while jogging (panting) away.
There’s some cute little riverside cafés once you run past Vauxhall and just before the London Eye that are great spots for relaxing and taking in the views of this beautiful city, or keep running past the London Eye and you will end up at Southbank, one of my favourite places in all of London.
Southbank is an eclectic Thames-side area that is home to a great street food market, the National Theatre, the OXO Tower, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Tate Modern, an array of fabulous restaurants, rooftop gardens that are ideal for picnics in the summer and all around, it’s a lovely area of London to grab an ice cream for a stroll along the river.
The river walk is lined with independent food vendors, ideal for grabbing a quick bite to eat on the go.
Bleecker St. Burger is one of my favourite burgers in London and they’ve taken up a permanent residency at Southbank.
Or if you fancy a taco, Wahaca also has a Mexican street food truck parked right outside the Royal Elizabeth Hall with colourful picnic tables to enjoy some street food in the sun.
The real gem of a food market though lies behind Royal Festival Hall…
The Southbank Centre Market is bursting with cultural cuisine from all four corners of the earth. It’s really a smorgasbord of some of the best street food in London. From pastries and pizza to juices and curries, there’s something for everyone!
One of my favourite street food stalls is The Frenchie. They specialise in the most out of this world duck confit sandwiches on fresh brioche with goats cheese and truffle honey. There’s just nothing quite like them. Next time you’re at Southbank, check them out – you won’t regret it.
These Dosas looked incredible.
If you’re looking for some Southern USA grub, head to Hank’s Po’Boys – it’s the closest you’ll get to authentic New Orlean’s Po’Boys in London.
Dough Bros Pizza is always a good idea.
After perusing all the stalls, Ciaran decided on a delicious chicken shawarma wrap.
Made fresh right in front of your eyes.
Being indecisive as usual, we took another lap around and the Donostia Social Club really caught my eye.
Specialising in Spanish Tapas, I couldn’t ignore the delectable looking samples and awesome hot tapas menu on display.
I was sold on the beautiful cold tapas alone and even more so after seeing the menu around the side.
I opted for the seared scallops with a colourful pisto sauce, green chili and almonds.
We took a seat in the sunshine and watched as the chef masterfully whipped up this gorgeous dish in front of our eyes. There is definitely something to be said for food made from scratch. It’s definitely appreciated and the dish tasted great. I’m a huge fan of scallops and these were cooked beautifully.
After finishing off the scallops, we were craving something a little on the sweet side.
In comes the Marshmallowist. They were the guest stall of the weekend and we had to give it a go. These guys specialise in quirky marshmallow flavours and will toast them for you.
Raspberry and champagne for me!
Perfectly toasted and gooey, we demolished our ‘mallows and stopped each other from getting another. Until next time, we both agreed as we made our walk back home to Clapham.
The Southank Centre Market is one of my favourites in London and is truly a treasure trove full of fantastic food from all over the world. I highly recommend sampling a few different stalls followed by a stroll along the river. I am excited for it to warm up so we can spend a day basking on the roof top gardens with some Pimms overlooking the gorgeous view of the Eye and St. Paul’s.
What is your favourite part of London?
Thanks for reading x
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Borough Market is one of the most famous attractions in London. When I first visited nearly 4 years ago, I was in awe of the all of the traders and magnificent food. Back then, the market was only open on Fridays and Saturdays. A lot has changed over the past few years and Borough Market has nearly doubled in size and is open every day of the week with the exception of Sundays.
Steeped in history, Borough Market dates back to the 11th Century and was a market even back then. Being right near London Bridge, the market was a haven for traders selling all sorts of goods. In the 13th Century, the traders relocated to Borough High Street as there was so much foot traffic from people travelling across the bridge and Borough Market has existed ever since! Pretty cool, huh?
Today, Borough Market is the ideal spot for tourists and locals alike who share a passion for culinary delights and great for anybody who simply loves eating and drinking! With the sheer amount of traders, where does one begin their culinary adventure and what are the best vendors to visit? Read on to find out..
In the summer, I took a foodie tour through Borough Market with Celia Brooks, an incredibly talented chef and food writer. Celia hosts a number of London Food Tours, all of which are a great opportunity get an inside look into London’s burgeoning culinary scene. If you’re a real foodie, I can’t recommend her tours enough! The tour we took through Borough Market opened my eyes to some amazing spots I had missed over the years, but will now be sure to visit regularly. She showed us the best that Borough Market had to offer and we got to taste several different types of unique foods and drinks along the way.
Before Christmas, Ciaran and I decided to have a festive day exploring Borough Market and it was a great opportunity to revisit a lot of the awesome places Celia had introduced to me and try out some new places too. We started off the day at The Wine Pantry, where you can buy British champagnes, sparkling wines and English produce. They host regular tastings and you can buy some fantastic gifts here.
Next up, I took Ciaran over to Richard Haward’s Oysters, which have the BIGGEST and most delicious oysters I’ve ever had. Richard is a 7th generation oysterman, so it’s no surprise that the oysters are of the utmost quality. Ciaran’s not the biggest fan of oysters, so more for me! Creamy, plump and fresh from the sea, I could eat these oysters everyday. I’d also like to note for the large size of these oysters, the prices are outstanding. Also, what’s better than oysters and bubbles? Nada.
We were both a bit parched, so we headed over to the New Forest Cider for sparkling English cider. This is a great spot to try traditional English cider if you’re visiting London for the first time. I can’t recommend it enough. When I studied abroad four years ago, a lot of us visited this stall to try out all different types. We couldn’t get enough! You can buy a few bottles to bring back home with you.
I don’t know about you, but I am a sucker for truffles. I could have truffle on anything and everything if I could. Tartufaia is the best place in Borough Market for truffles. We lifted the lids up and inhaled the dreamy aroma of these little delicacies. Even if you don’t buy any, head over just to smell the truffles. It’s worth it, trust me.
I took Ciaran over to Khanom Krok in the older part of Borough Market for these gorgeous coconut puddings I had tried on the tour with Celia. I can still remember the taste of these sweet little pancake-type desserts. Bottom line, they were so good and really unique. If you see them the next time you’re at the market, wait in the queue and order some to try – you’ll love them.
The best stall to grab dumplings from is L’ailOlive in the green market. Plump and juicy chicken and vegetable gyoza drizzled with their renowned garlic and chilis oils is outstanding. L’ailOlive will be trading at Alexandra Palace Market beginning on 3rd January.
Cheese please! For your parmesan craving, grab a slice from the The Ham & Cheese Company in the Green market. Sourced directly from farmers across France and Italy, the Ham and Cheese Co brings some top notch charcuterie and cheese to us lucky ones in London.
Who could resist all this charcuterie goodness? Awesome to bring to parties and for hosting your own. Borough Market is filled with some great charcuterie traders. One of the best is Brindisa for jamon Iberico.
We took a little stroll around the rest of the market to walk off some of the goodness we just inhaled. It was gorgeously decorated for Christmas and really got us feeling festive.
This is MY FAVOURITE Olive Oil ever. It’s pumpkin flavoured olive oil and is incredible for dipping bread, using as a marinade or even as a light salad dressing. I bought it four years ago when I first visited Borough Market and I have looked for it every time I’ve been back but failed to find it again. Keep an eye out for it the next time you’re there and sample some. Let me know what you think!
There’s other little trinkets and treasures to be found here as well – from tea towels and tea pots to unique cutting boards and serving plates. You never know what you may find.
Pate Moi is a delicious mushroom pate. I personally love this spread and think it tastes great on crackers!
Shellseekers is fantastic for scallops and seafood. The fish is delivered fresh daily and the prices are great as well.
Northfields is fantastic for naturally reared meats. Northfields has incredible burgers and the filet is so tender. A note to Americans, you’ll love the taste of this meat. It tastes very similar to meat you would eat in the US.
We wrapped up the day with something sweet at Rabot 1745 with iced chocolates and salted caramel hot chocolates. For chocolate fiends, definitely visit Rabot 1745 the next time you’re in Southwark.
It was quite the gluttonous day but calories don’t count at Christmas, right? I’m glad I got to show Ciaran some awesome traders Celia introduced to me a few months ago. If you’re a first time Borough Market visitor, I would recommend going sometime during the week to avoid massive crowds and to have a better experience. During the weekends, it can be quite manic. For those of you who have visited Borough Market already, what are some of your favourite spots? I’d love to visit them!
Thanks for reading! x
8 Southwark Street
Southwark, London SE1 1TL
- Open for lunch on Monday – Tuesday from 11 am – 5 pm
- Full market is open on Wednesday – Thursday from 11 am – 5 pm, Friday from 10 am – 6 pm, and Saturday from 8 am – 5 pm (closed on Sunday)
To sign up for Celia’s foodie tours or to get more information about them, click here.