Sunday, August 25, 2013

How to give someone a proper taste of London

Hello, toasters!
It's been a busy few weeks for me, as I have been working at a summer camp.

At work on Mexican Day, in our moustaches
 and flattering yellow tee shirts
No one can ever fully prepare you for working with 150 children by simply giving you a few sessions of 'training'.
I use the term training loosely as I don't really think that a few lectures discussing the importance of play can really prep you for building forts, playing dodgeball and diffusing a heated argument over silly string.

On one of my days off, I went to London with my boyfriend Dan, and the countless lost-looking tourists wandering around gave me the idea to write this.
Let me begin by saying that I am no Messiah of London, I do not know everything awesome there is to do, so this will just be my suggestions from my own experiences.
That said, I am the Messiah of the London Underground. We understand each other, no questions asked.

Let's begin with travel. Definitely get the train, it's so much better than traffic, paying the conjestion charge, more traffic and then an intense fight for what seems like the only parking spot in the whole city.
If you don't like the person you're showing around, get the train at rush hour. You'll be crowded in like a tin of sardines, so the person whom you dislike will definitely not want you to be their tour guide ever again. Perfect.

If you have a Merlin pass, I'd recommend going straight to the London Eye. The longest I've ever had to queue is about half an hour, and even on a rainy day the views are still pretty sweet.
However, I'd definitely avoid the field in front of the London Eye, unless snap-happy pouting Chinese schoolgirl tourists are your thing.
And if they are your thing, I'm not sure whether you should be out in public unsupervised.

Then take the Northern line up to Camden Lock. Even if you're not a cyberpunk/ emo/ goth/ scene kid coated in metal and eyeliner, it has something for everyone.

An old photo of me riding Aslan, the Camden Lock Lion
The coolest thing about eating lunch in Camden is that you get to feel like a total badass sitting on the motorbike seats.
But be warned, if you start acting like an asshole Son of Anarchy, or start humming Born in the USA, you will get punched in the spleen.

Because we are British, a large part of our national identity revolves around the art of tea drinking.
So it goes without saying that you need to go to at least one café during your day to unwind and have a moan about how tourists are everywhere.
I'd recommend the Haagen Dazs café in Leister square. It's a little on the expensive side, but the hot chocolate is incredible.
Once I went over the top and ordered a large chocolate brownie, covered in chocolate sauce and chocolate balls, accompanied by two scoops of chocolate cookie ice cream and rich hot chocolate.
Now I love  chocolate. But this dish was so indulgent, I never wanted to even lay eyes upon chocolate ever again.
But although I ended up feeling like an over-inflated chocolate smeared balloon, it was awesome.

Next stop: M&M world!
I never knew there could be so much merchandise inspired from a packet of chocolate, but it was a definite eye opener.
Not only are you bought face to face with the epitome of consumerist culture, you don't even care because they pump the air full of chocolate!
I don't even like M&Ms, but I genuinely left with a packet of them after spending just 20 minutes in the store.

Now maybe it's because I'm a theatre freak, but I find that a day to London is incomplete without a trip to the West End.
While there a lots of shows out there, my favourite has got to be Priscilla: Queen of the Desert.
I mean.... drag queens, a tour bus and a dress made exclusively from flip flops... what could be better?

Finish off by going to the late showing at The Comedy Store. It's where loads of great comedians started out, and frequently has awesome comedians like Paul Merton and Josie Lawrence performing.

So, there we have it- my ingredients for an awesome day out in the Capital.
What floats your boat when you're in London?
Let me know!

See you soon,


  1. ahaa~~
    I'm genuinely surprised that your labels aren't just chocolates, chocolate, more chocolates, hot choc, and many a more chocolates.


  2. I think I definitely missed a trick!
    I was tempted to put 'not being allowed in public due to perving on Chinese schoolgirls' as a tag but I thought better of it...