As many of you know, my fiancé's family is originally from London, where his parents moved over to the states ~30 years ago. Because of this, I have had the opportunity to visit London multiple times.
The first time I ventured across the pond was with my family 7 years ago. We did a family Euro trip that only began in London, ending in Germany. On this particular trip, we did every touristy thing possible: from M & M World (a must go if you love chocolate as much as I do) to visiting London Tower.
On my other trips over to England, I still enjoy doing the touristy things because you always learn something new, even though you may have been to the same place many times before.
For those of you who don't know, my brother, pictured above, moved to London on and off for about two years. My family is very very close, and I don't like going more than a few months (more like a few weeks) without seeing everyone.
So while he was living over there, I was able to visit him 3 times, where each time, we would go and explore the city.
Here's something a lot of you may not know: Robert has this innate ability to find the most interesting and exciting places in a city that tourists may not be aware of. I always know we are going somewhere amazing when he says "okay, don't be scared, but...just trust me". This always leads to walking through some questionable areas where we end up in the most beautiful and the most interesting places that I never would have found on my own.
One of my favorite places Robert took me to was in the picture above: a Container Market. I had never been to one of these before, as I'm sure many of you are in the same boat (boat? get it? container?) but these container markets are made out of the containers that are shipped all around the world on those massive ships.
What looked like a winding road to nowhere, ends up being a giant market with so many different shops: anything from donuts to beer to southern food.
If you ever get the chance to find one of these while in London and explore it, I highly recommend it.
Seriously though, if you can find You Doughnut in London, drop everything and get there as quickly as possible.
Also, have you ever walked through a refrigerator to a downstairs hidden room? Try to find The Breakfast Club and say "We'd like to see the Mayor Please". That's the only way you'll get to find the hidden underground restaurant.
My next not so top secret secret, is called Gordon's Wine Bar. I don't know how I did not know about this place before my most recent trip, but it is thought to be the oldest wine bar in all of London having been established in 1890. They have kept the decor the same and sell wine, as well as having some of the best cheese (can you tell I like food?) you will ever have.
With the candle lit room and noise of the trains underneath, you can't go wrong coming here for any occasion.
Whether you're getting caught in a torrential downpour, popping into different coffee shops, ending up in beautiful gardens, or being the typical tourist and taking a picture in the awesome phone booths, London is one of the most magical and exciting cities I have ever been too. Every trip you will find something new, so travelers, here is my advice:
wander, get lost, explore new places, don't be afraid, because in this beautiful place you will end up somewhere you never expected and have the most amazing time.
Here are links to some of my other favorite places in London that I highly recommend visiting but I didn't have pictures of:
more photos of places we stumbled upon when visiting my brother