The London Guide: Where to Eat and Shop

Oh London Town, my home town.  Now I need to not get too carried away here because I could honestly give you a list the length of my arm with all the amazing places to eat and shop in London and trust me my arms are long!

So starting off with places to eat I’ve tried to devise a list of different places that will meet everyone’s needs.  I can be quite fussy when it comes to food and favour Italian and Asian cuisines.  So here are my faves…

I happen to work very close to Borough Market so I get to frequent here a lot.  It’s only open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.  Sometimes I like to just wander around and take in all the great smelling foods or sometimes I like to take cheeky tasters from all the stalls!  Pretty much everything you buy here is fresh which I love.  My favourite stalls are the olive stall which literally has olives stuffed with every kind of filling you can imagine and also the cake stalls which serve beautiful fresh cakes, especially the brownies!

I’ve developed a real love for Asian food in the last year.  I’ve always been a fan but I’ve been branching out a bit more recently rather than just having my usual mushroom chow mein from the local Chinese take-away.  There are some really really nice Asian restaurants in London and I am enjoying trying them all out!  Buddha Bar is one of my faves.  I love the dim sum here and they also do great sushi if you’re a sushi lover.

This is probably my favourite place in the whole of London.  Firstly they have amazing views over London which is lovely to see day or night when it’s all lit up.  The have some of the best cocktails in town and the most talented chefs.  They do some really good seafood here so if that’s your thing then it’s definitely worth a visit.  If not, then you should still go along for a drink just to check out the amazing view.

The Rainforest Café is a great place to take the kids BUT it’s not just for the kids!  When you step inside you literally feel like you have entered a rainforest, they have done the place out so well to represent a rainforest with sound effects also.  The food is quite Americanised so expect burgers etc.  I had a vegetable stir fry last time I visited.  They do some awesome desserts and milkshakes too.

Sketch is a really fun loving restaurant done out in really colourful décor.  They serve a mixture of food here and it’s quite ‘play it safe’ for people like me that don’t like to venture out too much.  I had risotto which was perfectly made and I would definitely visit again.  They also do really nice cocktails here and have a separate room at the front with a bar if you just wanted a drink.

Have I made you hungry? Let me know if you visit any of these places by tweeting me @wonky_lauren

So now onto my more experienced specialisms… shopping!  I won’t give you actual shops because the list would just be ridiculously long so here are a few of my favourites areas in London for shopping and a couple of my favourite department stores.

Starting off with Camden, home of the grungers, Goths, emos and punks.  Here you will find a real eclectic mixture of high street stores and outrageously bizarre stores.  Camden also has a really good market which goes along the riverbank.  It’s a nice place to take a stroll in the sunshine (when we get any!).  It also boasts some of London’s best tattoo and piercing shops so if that’s a bit of you then you’ve come to the right place!

In complete contrast to Camden we have Harvey Nichols in the luxurious area of Knightsbridge.  This is probably my favourite department store in the whole world.  It has everything you could ever want and I could easily spend a whole day in here.  It has 5 floors with everything from make-up, clothes, accessories, home furnishing, a cute little restaurant which serves great afternoon tea and a salon if you’re in need of a quick pick-me-up from a hard day at the shops!

Chelsea is another luxurious and expensive area in London which you will know if you’re a fan of the show [Made in Chelsea].  I actually come here the most to shop because I find it’s a lot less busy and hectic than the other parts of London.  The King’s Road is basically a really long road running through the centre of Chelsea with lots of great shops (high street and designer) as well as nice restaurants like Benihana, bar, pubs and clubs.  Phew.  They also have cute coffee shops which are perfect for stopping at to break up a day of shopping and if the weather is nice you can sit outside and enjoy the area (Blue Bird Café is my fave).

Well I had to mention this one didn’t I.  I wouldn’t say I exactly love it because it’s so bloody hectic ALL THE TIME but I kind of have a love/hate relationship with it.  It’s perfect if I just need to grab something after work and know exactly where I’m going as the stores are all so big they always have a lot of stock in.  If I just wanted a stroll and a browse round the shops however, this would not be my first choice.

Westfields are basically shopping centres with loads of stores inside them.  I’ve grown up shopping in shopping malls so I guess that’s why I really like them.  I just find them convenient that everything is under one roof and they’re perfect for when the weather is a bit naff and you don’t want to keep running out onto the streets.  They also have nice restaurants here, a cinema, a bowling alley AND a casino so you don’t even need to go for the shopping!

I hope this was helpful and please let me know if you have any other London post requests! 

Lauren xx

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