Friday Flying to London (Travel Tips)
Friday, November 18, 2016
By Danie Blum
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Warning: This post may make you want to pack for London Right now…

 

“My Dad says that being a Londoner has nothing to do with where you are born. He says that there are people who get off a jumbo jet at Heathrow, go through immigration waving any kind of passport, hop on the tube and by the time the train’s pulled into Piccadilly Circus they’ve become a Londoner.”

– Ben Aaronovitch

London is, in fact, a magical kingdom, full of natives and foreigners, all bearing the title of Londoner. Anyone that ever steps foot in the busy, timeless, metropolis instantly wants to fit in and find their place in its world. There’s something enchanting about the way everyone seems to walk in synchronicity and the way the smell of fresh coffee dances with notes of curry and wakes you out of a daydream at any given moment. The usually gray skies break open occasionally and sprinkle you with dewy drops of rain or drown you in warm sunshine. London invites your creative side to come alive and fires up your inspiration, making things possible that you never even imagined. The architecture drips in history and sheet metal. The tube is a crowded silent caterpillar scooting its way through every neighborhood’s dirty underground. The people, the culture, the food, the art, all of it is a melting pot, oozing with originality, freshness, and individuality.

 

Here are just three reasons why you should go to London on your honeymoon or just get away:

 The Food:

London is a foodies paradise! Every street corner is decorated with unique restaurant: Italian, Turkish, Moroccan, Indian, American, Greek, Korean, Thai, Mexican; you name it and you will find at least one version of it somewhere. Even if you don’t want to face the crowds you can get top notch delivery straight to your door. Food trucks line the streets in certain districts offering up tasty variations of pulled pork sandwiches, meat pies, crispy fish and chips, duck tacos, freshly squeezed juice, and even vegan donuts. The best coffee in the world can be found at Naked. It’s menu is simple, to the point, and the coffee is damn good. Tapas restaurants, being the new trend are popping up faster than you can say Ceviche. Speaking of Ceviche, it happens to be the name of one of the best tapas restaurants in the city. This particular Peruvian inspired hot spot is serving traditional Pisco Sours as well as mixing up some tasty alternatives for the classic libation. The menu is complex and inviting. I suggest you start with the Cancha, a “nibble” of Peruvian corn served lightly spiced and crunchy. Think of popcorn that’s not fully popped and deliciously addicting. Then add at least one of their mouth-watering ceviches. Might I suggest the Carnaval de Conchitas (Scallops, ikura, avocado, sea fennel, and Tiger’s milk) or the Don Ceviche (Seabass, Amarillo chilis Tiger’s milk, sweet potato, red onion). Add an order of Chanchito (crispy pork belly, onion and apple puree, pickled spiced cabbage) and Adobo de Pato. For dessert, another glass of Malbec and the Picarones Old St. (Pumpkin doughnuts, honey, and cinnamon ice cream). Ceviche can get a little pricey but it is worth every damn penny. Now wipe the drool off your chin because we are just getting started in the food department…

 


The Markets:

They are sprinkled around London like freckles on the English. There are hundreds of markets spread out throughout the city with more and more popping up on the weekends. Broadway Market picks up on Saturday with Sunday being the highlight with an elaborate flower market. Grab a seat outside, listen to live music and sip on a delectable Bloody Mary at Market Café before entering into the madness. Join hundreds of other marketers and meander around the booths. You can find old records and fur coats, homemade soaps, and vintage books. The real stars of the show though are the food vendors. There’s fresh fruit, vegetable, and bread stands. Butchers and Fudge makers. There are thousands of cheeses to choose from: White Cheddars, creamy Blues, delicate Parmesans, Smokey Goudas, Double Gloucesters, fresh Buffalo Mozzarella, smooth Truffle Burratas, logs of Chevre, Ricotta, Lacy Swiss and Brie. And don’t forget the plethora of stuffed olives. Chili, jalapeño, almond, lemon, pimientos, and capers fill these tasty little treats. Throw in a side of pickled garlic (to die for, literally) and a homemade salami or two. My favorites, were the Wild Boar, Duck, and Peppered. On the way out grab a creamy Truffle Risotto with fresh Rocket and Porcini mushrooms. Don’t forget your bag to stuff all of your goodies in. On Sundays, Brick Lane offers up its own market. It’s not as big as the Broadway Market but it is equally as neat. Brick Lane is a hipsters paradise with food stands and unique vintage shops lining the streets. The Truman Brewery offers the “Boiler House Food Hall”, which houses over thirty different international food stalls on Sundays. Step outside and you will undoubtedly find the best Ramen in all of London- but seriously. Here are some more markets: Old Spitfields, Brough, Market, Camden Lock, Columbia Road Flowers, Greenwich, and Portobello Road, all of which are lovely and unique in their old ways.

 

 

The Bar Scene:

London is undoubtedly known for the nightlife, wild parties, cocaine, and prostitution but it’s home to some pretty awesome watering holes as well. For instance, KICK is the shit! A tiny little sports bar nestled in the streets of Shoreditch. It offers guests the chance to challenge each other and strangers to a game of nerve-racking foosball. There are fourteen tables inside and you can even order a delicious Cajun chicken sandwich, that is so good, it should be illegal. Or head downstairs and grab a prime seat on one of the couches, grab a bucket of beers, kick your feet up, and watch Liverpool whomp on Man United on one of the many big screens. Kick is a chill place to relax and watch a game or get fired up and cheer on your favorite sports team. Another bar with a fun atmosphere is_______. They play reggae tunes and serve one hell of an Expresso Martini. Soothing tunes dance through the air, easy going attitudes, and intimate conversations drift around the room, and delicious libations make this a spot you don’t want to miss. Moving to a more mystical encounter there’s Callooh Callay. It’s a little bit weird, a little bit classy, and a whole hell of a lot of fun. It’s tucked away from the street but that doesn’t mean it’s not drawing quiet the crowd. It’s been voted to have the “Best Cocktail Menu in the World” and is the “#1 bar in London” but don’t let these honorable awards turn you away. It is a must see with friendly service, wicked décor, a closet straight out of Narnia, trust me, you don’t want to miss this. And my favorite place in all of London is a good old-fashioned speakeasy. The Nightjar is serving up specialty cocktails, vintage spirits, and live blues music. It’s intimate and exclusive with a strict no standing policy so recommendations are highly recommended. The Nightjar is dimly lit with velvety soft booths and tables. The cocktail list is jaw-dropping and includes a variety of cocktails from Pre-Prohibition drinks like Greenwich Sour (Johnnie Walker Gold, Barley Popcorn, Honey Rusk Syrup, Fresh Lemon, Raspberry Ginger Wine, and Egg White). The Zombie (Bacardi 8 Year, Santa Teresa, Absinthe, Wray & Nephew, Lime, Maraschino, Mamajuana, Pineapple, and Tamarind) fits into the Prohibition Period and try out a Post War cocktail like the Airmail (Havana Club 7, Fresh Lime, Bee Pollen, Fresh Mint, Green Tea, and Champagne). Signature drinks are styled like the Beyond the Sea (Gin Mare, Oyster Leaf Infusion, Harvey’s Sherry Blend, Pink Grapefruit, Plankton Air, and Ume & Yuzu Salt). The Nightjar is designed to leave you awe-inspired and breathless. It’s not for the faint of heart and any spirit enthusiast might not ever find the door. Here is a list of even more places that offer a place to boogie the nights away, drink away your inhibitions, or enjoy the company of your significant other. (www.timeout.com/london/bars/best-bars-in-london)

 

You see, London is a city full of opportunity and adventure and the food, markets, and bars are just a small piece of the pie. London’s architecture, street art, history, and vibe alone is enough to bring people from all corners of the globe. Whether it’s for a week or a lifetime, London is bound to change your life forever and is an ideal Honeymoon destination for those who crave cultural experiences and food that really leaves an impression.

 

If you have any questions and/or concerns or are interested in booking a honeymoon with us please feel free to contact us at soletrips@gmail.com or visit our site at www.soletrips.com.

 

                                

                              Photos by: Danie Blum