The Last time I was in London by Guest Blogger – Tess Van der Staal

Asking me to write something about London is a tricky thing to do. Kudos to my friends at hidden little gems for having the bravery to do so. Why tricky? Simple: Once I start writing about London I’ll keep on writing… So this time I set myself a goal that would stop me from typing too much. At the same time this goal will work out for you as well. You won’t find yourself stressing around London with a never-ending-to-do-list from Tess.

The goal: only three suggestions covering three different kind of activities.

Somewhere to eat.
Somewhere to shop.
Something cultural.

Spreading, no overkill. That’s the trick. Here goes.

Somewhere to eat

The last time I was in London, my timing was perfect. When I jumped of the Eurostar, it started to snow down on London. Beautiful! Plus in that same weekend history was written: the guys of What the Dickens cooked and served breakfast at The Reliance for the first time! And I was there, oh happy days… (also worth a mention in the history books: it was there I ate my first ever Eggs Benedict. Again, oh happy days!).

People living in London and loving East might already know the breakfasts of What the Dickens. They have a stall at Chatsworth Road market, where they serve their food for the soul. Serving breakfast at The Reliance was a whole new experiment, for both the cooks and premises. An experiment which turned out really well and now is a weekly fact. Every Saturday morning you can head down to The Reliance on Old street to enjoy an old fashioned, filling and very-tasty-indeed breakfast. I’m telling you – it’s what you need on a Saturday morning that follows a Friday night. Imagine yourself surrounded by good company, eating beautiful food in a lovely pub. What more do you need? I really enjoyed it and if I were in London right now I’d know where I’d be on a Saturday morning.

Breakfasts at The Reliance are served Saturdays from 10.30am until 2pm and will cost you no more than £8.50. The Reliance can be found on 336 Old Street, London, EC1V 9DR. For those in need of proper and life saving food on Sunday mornings… Chatsworth Road market is every Sunday and you’ll find What the Dickens between 11am and 4pm.

For menu and more info on What the Dickens:

Somewhere to shop

During that same last London-trip I bumped into Luna and Curious on Calvert Avenue whilst strolling around East – one of my favourite things to do when I’m in London. And being a girl with a curious mind I thought this shop would just be my thing. And it was…At Luna and Curious you’ll find all things things you need. When it comes to quirky things with a capital Q. Mermaid tail sleeping bags, peacock false eyelashes, winking tights, slightly cruel but mouthwatering jewelry, cool ceramics. When you’ve searched high and low for that one special present and you actually gave up all hope… Uhuh, you’ll find it here!

Apart from their shop on Calvert Avenue they also have opened a new shop in the Sanderson Hotel in Central London, where they showcase “carefully selected British design”. I still don’t quite get why I hadn’t noticed Luna and Curious before… But now that they’re in my system I will always find my way back.

Here is where you can find them:
Luna and Curious 24-26 Calvert Avenue, E2 7JP
Luna and Curious at Sanderson 50 Berners Street, W1T 3NG

Something cultural

A friend once advised me to visit Sir Soane’s House. I did. You should. Sir John Soane was an architect famous for his designs of the Bank of England and Dulwich Picture
House, just to name a few. During his life he collected many curiosities, books, sketches and much more. While his house started to look more and more like a museum he decided that, after his death, his house would actually become a museum for architect students and other interested folks. And a good job he did in doing so!
The house on 13 Lincoln’s Inn Field has something magical to it; it almost feels like Mr. Soane only just left the building for a Sunday afternoon stroll. Or to get a copy of the Evening Standard. Mmmmm no, he probably wouldn’t read The Evening Standard… Right? If you aren’t particularly interested in architecture, not to worry. Go for all things beautiful and for an afternoon spend in a very peculiar house. Just sniff around. You’ll come out inspired. And of course don’t forget to check out that sarcophagus…. A sarcophagus in a house, can you imagine? Ha!

Having been to been to this museum once, I’d love to go back for another visit. Especially on a Tuesday evening. A 1st Tuesday evening of the month to be precise. That’s when candlelit tours are held! Just to add a little more magic to it. Oh, bliss. (Meanwhile she’s clapping her hands with excitement… Did mentioning that one detail just reduce the magic for you she wonders?) These Candlelit tours are between 6 and 9pm. Take my advice: go early. As in REAL EARLY. Queues develop at 4pm already and you cannot book in advance. When your author once happily came skipping onto Lincoln’s Inn Field at 6ish, there was no way she could get in anymore. So as I said: take my advice, go early. And be overwhelmed!

Sir Soane’s House
13 Lincoln’s Inn Field
Nearest tube station: Holborn

Note that there won’t be a candlelit tour in June. Next candlelit tours will be July 3rd 2012.

If you would like to read more from Tess and her adventures you can follow here Ifiwereinlondonrightnow or like Tess, if you too fancy doing a guest blog post get in contact with us

Feel free to add your London gems to this list on our Facebook App. Or if you simply want us to send the occasion gem your way like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

One thought on “The Last time I was in London by Guest Blogger – Tess Van der Staal

  1. Pingback: If I were in London right now, I’d … « inlondonrightnow

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