What to do in London when it rains

? It’s raining, it’s pouring… ?

But it’s no reason to stay in! Even in the rain, London’s quite an exciting city !

(and it’s just as well as it’s not exactly famous for its gorgeous weather anyway…)

So put your (rain) boots on and take a look below for a few ideas of what to do in London when it rains!

1. Invest in a new umbrella

Not only is it a matter of survival (no way this £1 Primark one is not going to survive the wind gusts!), but it’s also the perfect excuse to step back in time and visit London (and the world)’s only store specialising in umbrella retail.

What to do in London when it rains | Buy an umbrella at James Smith & Sons

Founded in 1830, James Smith & Sons offers a wide range of outstanding umbrellas, as well as repair service for them.

What to do in London when it rains: buy an umbrella at James Smith & Sons

A rain-themed Aladdin’s cave of sorts!

2. Go to the pub

The ultimate British fix when something goes wrong.

Radicals & Victuallers London | Restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

Your government just made a terribly stupid decision? Go to the pub, that’ll cheer you up!

Your football team got out of a major tournament? Go to the pub.

The weather’s so awful you can’t even…? Go. To. The. Pub.

Radicals & Victuallers London | Restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

There’s pints and comfort food, and comfy chairs and you can just hide away from the world for as long as you’d like.

God save the pubs!

Radicals & Victuallers London | Restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

There are many great pubs to choose from, but if it’s not too much of a trek, give Radicals & Victuallers a go. They have live sports & board games & mac’n’cheese and are a perfect rain-escape plan!

3. Have afternoon tea

You know what makes everything better? Cake.

And tea, and a couple of hours in a plush chair catching up with your favourite people.

Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky

Which is exactly why afternoon tea is perfect for rainy days.

Little Nan's Cocktail Afternoon Tea at Sutton House | Cake + Whisky

Go to Little Nan’s vintage & funky tea at Sutton House or treat yourself to Cake Boy extraordinaire Eric Lanlard’s version at Palmcourt at the Parklane Hotel, sit down aaaaand relax!

4. Visit the Kew Gardens

Grim weather is one of the most depressing things there is.

But nothing loads of flowers can’t fix.

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

And there’s only one rain-prooved place for that: the Kew Gardens.

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

A rainy day is the perfect time to visit, because you’ll have the place almost to yourself and can truly take your time to discover Mother Nature’s most incredible creations!

Flower power!

5. Play the time away at Draughts

Draughts is London’s first board game café and a haven for game lovers.

What to do in London when it rains: play board games at Draughts

With a huge library of games – 600 and counting! – as well as food and snacks, a range of local craft beers, ales, ciders, and wines, it’s a brilliant spot to stay dry and have fun!

What to do in London when it rains: play board games at Draughts

Check & mate, weather man!

6. Close your eyes and pretend like you’re actually on the French Riviera

This Summer, Le Méridien Piccadilly is bringing Nice to London!

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky

Their Terrace Bar & Grill, has been transformed into an idyllic coastal resort, complete with sun loungers, sun umbrellas, blossoming climbing plants, espadrilles, apéritif and even a pétanque field!

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky

Summer vibes regardless of the weather? Count me in! Read more

What’s your favourite thing to do in London when it rains? Any top tips? 

What to do in London when it rains

Exploring Greenwich

Oh, Greenwich. You absolute babe.

A walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + WhiskyA walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + Whisky

The perfect mix of old & new, of urban architecture & nature, of business & history all in one place.

And therefore one of London’s top destinations for your weekend wanderings.

A walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + WhiskyGreenwich Market | Cake + WhiskyGreenwich Market | Cake + Whisky

Our feet (and hungry stomachs) first led us to Greenwich Market.

London’s only historic market set within a World Heritage site and home to great independant stores, Greenwich Market is quite the shopping destination.

And then, there are all the street food stalls, each more tempting than the next!

Greenwich Market | Cake + WhiskyGreenwich Market | Cake + WhiskyGreenwich Market | Cake + Whisky

From Caribbean jerk chicken to Italian arancini, Brazilian churros, German hotdogs and everything inbetween, Greenwich Market is just the place to go around the world through your tastebuds.

Greenwich Market | Cake + WhiskyGreenwich Market | Cake + WhiskyGreenwich Market | Cake + WhiskyGreenwich Market | Cake + Whisky

But no matter what you do, promise me you’ll make a beeline for Panzerotto Blues’ deep-fried calzones?

Greenwich Market | Cake + Whisky Greenwich Market | Cake + Whisky

Made to order and stuffed full of fresh ingredients (and loooooads of cheese), those are just too good to miss!

With full stomachs and a big grin on our faces, we headed East eager to explore some more.

A walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + WhiskyA walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + WhiskyA walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + WhiskyA walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + Whisky

Going through stunning gates of the Old Royal Naval College, before walking up and down the cobbled streets, oh-ing an ah-ing for each new building.

A walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + WhiskyA walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + Whisky

Picking favourites is a tough job, but the Painted Hall is truly magnificient.

A walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + WhiskyA walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + Whisky

Designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor, it is often described as ‘the Sistine Chapel of the UK’ and it’s really quite worthy of the nickname.

A walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + WhiskyA walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + Whisky

Painted in the early 1700s, the walls and ceiling deliver powerful messages on a range of subjects, including the monarchy, religion, maritime power, navigation and trade.

A walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + Whisky

And the vestibule dome? Well, it’s simply stunning.

A walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + Whisky

With stars in our eyes, we continued our journey.

A walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + Whisky

Destination? Uphill, to the world-famous Royal Observatory.

A walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + WhiskyA walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + WhiskyA walk around Greenwich, London | Cake + Whisky

The perfect place to feel at the centre of the world as you stand on the historic Prime Meridian of the World, see the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and explore your place in the universe at London’s only planetarium.

What do say? Weekend plans sorted?

Exploring Greenwich

10 more things to do in London with your parents

Being a good host is such a tough job! You have to thing of everything, plan everything, double-check everything, all while keeping everyone’s interests and preferences in mind.

Luckily sometimes, somebody else (me!) does all the hard work for you and makes the whole thinking-and-planning bit far easier!

I already wrote about some ideas of things to do in London with your parents before, but in my experience, more ideas are always welcome when it comes to organising the best London trip ever for the best parents ever (obvs.).

Since my parents re-visited recently, I thought I’d share what they’ve enjoyed doing this time around!

1. Visit the Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Kew Gardens | Cake + Whisky

Plants, flowers, trees & carrot cake = perfect ingredients for a blooming lovely day in London!

If your family is anything like mine (a.k.a. 100% obsessed with all tings plants & flowers), a visit to the Kew Gardens will easily be the highlight of their trip!

2. Have a Sunday roast

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

The Smokehouse, Islington | Cake + Whisky

Sunday Roast is one of England’s most glorious culinary traditions and one that is very family-friendly indeed.

The best roasts are to be found in London’s top gastropubs, my personal favourite being The Smokehouse (just look at these roasties!!)

3. Revisit history at the Tower of London

Tower of London | Cake + Whisky

Tower of London | Cake + Whisky

Tower of London | Cake + Whisky

Tower of London | Cake + Whisky

Castle, fortress, prison, military GQ… The Tower of London has always played a predominant role in the history of London and the UK. With just a few steps, you’ll go from long forgotten past to present, and everything inbetween.

4. See the Changing of the Guards

Changing of the Guard | Cake + Whisky

Changing of the Guard | Cake + Whisky

Changing of the Guard | Cake + Whisky

A well-loved classic and one everyone should see once in their life, so if your family hasn’t witnessed the Changing of the Guards at Buckinham Palace, make sure you put it on the list for their next visit!

5. Have Afternoon or Cream Tea

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

Tea, cake and good company…  Is there any better way to spend some quality time with the ones you love? (pictures from a lovely afternoon tea at Le Méridien Piccadilly)

6. Go to a Farmer’s Market

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

10 things to do in London with your brother | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Cake + Whisky | Borough Market

No matter how impressive you want your parents’ trip to London to be, don’t forget to incorporate some of your own favourites things into your plans so they get a chance to take a peak into your actual, everyday life.

… and since I spend most of my free time at farmers’ markets anyway…

7. See a West End show

The Mousetrap, London | Cake + Whisky

The Mousetrap, London | Cake + Whisky

The Mousetrap, London | Cake + Whisky

London’s theatre scene is second only to New York’s and tickets to a West End show are definitely amongst the best ways to spend the evening (especially since tickets are often not as expensive as one would expect!).

8. Go to a surprising restaurant

Things to do in London with your parents | Cake + Whisky

Be it because of the views, the settings or the food itself (traditional Japanese udon, spicy Sri Lankan curries, vegetarian delights… your call!), London always has a trick up its sleeves when it comes to food!

9. Take a Thames Boat Tour

Best things to do in London: a walk along the Thames | Cake + Whisky

Best things to do in London: a walk along the Thames | Cake + Whisky

Sure, that’s a bit of a tourist-y cliché. But then again, boats are the coolest form of public transports EVER!

10. Show them around your workplace

I know it sounds like a strange idea, but the truth is, your parents just want to know everything they can about you and your life and what you do every day and where you go and who you see. So, well, maybe showing them where you work is a nice, easy lil’ step forward, don’t you think?

What’s your favourite thing to do in London with your parents? Anything I need to add to my list for next time?

10 more things to do in London with your parents

10 things to do in London with your brother

Big news! After YEARS of me begging and threatning (and sending approximately 1,500,000 burger pictures through Facebook), my brother is FINALLY coming to visit!

But pretty much like for finding him the perfect Christmas present, coming up with ideas of things to do in London with your brother can quickly become your worse nightmare.

Lucky for you, I did all the research so you don’t have to.

So here it is: 10 of the best things to do in London with your brother!

1. Walk alongside the Thames, from Westminster to Tower Bridge.

10 things to do in London with your brother | Cake + Whisky

London Big Ben November 2015

The nicest and most time-efficient way to cover many of the sights first-time visitors to London will want to see.

10 things to do in London with your brother | Cake + Whisky

10 things to do in London with your brother | Cake + Whisky

10 things to do in London with your brother | Cake + Whisky

Including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tate Modern, the Monument, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.

10 things to do in London with your brother | Cake + Whisky

10 things to do in London with your brother | Cake + Whisky

10 things to do in London with your brother | Cake + Whisky

You might also have to make a pitstop at the Borough Market to refill your batteries (because it just so happens to be on your way, and you’ll need energy to walk, and also because bread and hog roast and chorizo and pie and cheese and litterally all that is good in the world).

2. Visit a football stadium / see a game.

Is your brother a major sport fan? London is home to many a football stadium, many of which offer tours (and the same goes for many other sports venues, if footy isn’t really your thing).

10 things to do in London with your brother | Cake + Whisky

Check in advance if you want to book tickets for a game as those are quite tricky to get last minute (or get to one of your team’s official pubs early and cheer for your favourite team with breakfast and a pint on the side!)

3. Visit the London Transport Museum.

One of the most interactive museums there is, which means a whole lot of fun for car/train/bus (and London) lovers of all ages. Just remember to mind the gap between the line and the platform while boarding the exhibits!

4. Tour the parks.

If your brother’s anything like mine, he’s much more of an outdoors-y kind of person and full days of back-to-back museum visits simply won’t do the trick.

10 things to do in London with your brother | Cake + Whisky

Luckily, London is also the greenest city in Europe and there are so many beautiful parks to explore.

10 things to do in London with your brother | Cake + Whisky

10 things to do in London with your brother | Cake + Whisky

From the most central ones (Hyde Park, Green Park) to the most off-centred ones (Richmond Park, Kew Gardens), the most wildlife-friendly (St James Park and its pelicans, Richmond Park and its deers) to the buzziest ones, there’s a park for everything and everyone!

5. Tour London’s best burger restaurants.

Any Londoner’s greatest quest is to find the Saint Grail aka the city’s best burger.

Bleecker Burger, Spitafields | Cake + Whisky

There are so many, it’s pretty much an impossible task, but I’ll be damned if I don’t try to do it anyway! (and I’ll use pretty much any excuse to eat burgers…)

Lucky Chip at The Old Queen's Head | Cake + Whisky

Bleecker Burger, Spitafields | Cake + Whisky

Luckily, my brother (just like most guys I know TBH) is as much of a burger enthusiast as I am, so burger crawl it is!

(PS. Lucky Chip & Bleecker St. are my favourite sofar…)

6. Have a Gent’s afternoon tea.

Afternoon tea used to be a rather girly affair, but not anymore.

With more and more restaurants and hotels (Sanctum Soho, Reform bar & Grill, OXO, The Athenaeum, Chapters to name just a few) offering testosterone- (and burger-) filled afternoon tea, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t treat everyone you love to a bit of food and tea (and possibly cigars), regardless of their gender.

7. ALL THE BOOZE.

If your brother -finally- visiting is not a good excuse to go all out on the drinks, I don’t know what is.

Shotgun BBQ review | Cake + Whisky

Il Porco by House of Peroni and Bunga Bunga 8

Bar8 at Gastrovino | Cake + Whisky

Bar8 at Gastrovino | Cake + Whisky

Choose your format (pub crawl? brewery tour? whisky bar? speakeasy?), pick your poison and have fun! (just make sure you have a plan to get home safely beforehands okay?)

 

8. Be grossed out at The Huntarian Museum.

Remember those times when you were telling each other horror stories (and subsequently preventing the two of you from ever managing to sleep because eww, ghosts and monsters and what if there’s one under the bed?).

Well, the Huntarian Museum is the grown-up version of this. With the oldest collections of anatomical, pathological and zoological specimens in the UK, including include the skeleton of the 7ft 7in tall ‘Irish giant’, it’s just the right balance between fascinating and freakish!

9. Run from zombies.

A must-do for any ‘Walking Dead’ fan (and let’s be honest, who isn’t?), this immersive game will get your mind racing and adrenaline flowing! Trapped in a room with a zombie, you have 60 minutes to escape the room through a series of clues and puzzles… will you escape in time? Or will you be eaten?

10. Build the coolest Lego robots.

Revive your most cherished chilhood memories at Drink, Shop and Do’s creative evenings of Lego robots building! Entry is free when you buy a drink (very good start to any evening if you ask me!) and then it’s all about chanelling your inner child and getting the creativity flowing!

10 things to do in London with your brother

London’s First Mulled Wine Festival

There is no better way to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season (yes,  it’s only mid-November,  I know,  I know!)  than with a cup of spicy mulled wine.

Oh wait. Yes there is.

Several cups of it.

Plus mince pies and candy canes.

And London first Mulled Wine Festival, organised by Yelp London, has it all and then some more,  making it the best thing that could have happened to your weekend.

Yelp #MulledWineFest London | Cake + WhiskyYelp #MulledWineFest London | Cake + Whisky

To find it, easy,  just follow the Christmas trail!! (or you could check it out on Yelp…)

Yelp #MulledWineFest London | Cake + Whisky

Strong Christmas sweater game? You’re probably getting close…

Yelp #MulledWineFest London | Cake + Whisky

Giant reindeer? Getting hot!

Yelp #MulledWineFest London | Cake + Whisky

And when you see a big group of Santas,  you know you’re in the right place!

Yelp #MulledWineFest London | Cake + Whisky

Download the app and check into the event, get your wristband from one of the fantastic Yelpers on site (and say hi! for me), and you’re all set to go!

Go where I hear you say? The most wonderful place of them all.

Yelp #MulledWineFest London | Cake + Whisky

Mulled wine land!

Yelp #MulledWineFest London | Cake + Whisky Yelp #MulledWineFest London | Cake + Whisky

A hot cup of the Christmas staple will make you forget that winter is coming.

Yelp #MulledWineFest London | Cake + Whisky

And soon you’ll be saying that it’s ice cream weather.

Yelp #MulledWineFest London | Cake + WhiskyYelp #MulledWineFest London | Cake + WhiskyYelp #MulledWineFest London | Cake + Whisky

(YES,  mulled wine ice pops are a real thing. A really,  really good real thing even!!)

Yelp #MulledWineFest London | Cake + Whisky

A side of mince pies is pretty much obligatory.

Yelp #MulledWineFest London | Cake + Whisky

But that’s if you can resist the inviting smell of MeatLiquor‘s burgers (don’t even bother trying.)

Yelp #MulledWineFest London | Cake + Whisky

Eat, drink and be merry!

London’s first Mulled Wine Festival sure is the best way to welcome the festive season!!

Yelp’s #MulledWineFest is in full swing on Covent Garden Plaza today and tomorrow (November 13-14), 12-9 PM. Entry is free if you download the Yelp app and check into the event.

London’s First Mulled Wine Festival

Borough Market

You’d have to give a lot of money to miss out on the opportunity to explore a market.

A trip to a foreign supermarket is always one of the things I look most forward to when abroad on holiday, and I always come back with suitcases full of spices, sauces, sweets and other local specialities.

If anything, I like markets even more.

Especially one as epic as Borough Market.

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

If you’re a foodie, Borough Market is really close to the idea you have of heaven.

They have everything you could possibly wish for.

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky Ted's Veg | Cake + Whisky

Beetroot | Cake + Whisky

Mushrooms season is my favourite! | Cake + Whisky

From fruit and vegetables stalls, pilled high with the most gorgeous produce the season has to offer…

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

… to mountains of cheese

Ortiz tuna cans | Cake + Whisky

Jam | Cake + Whisky

Mountain Spice, London | Cake + Whisky

Mountain Spice, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

… along with some excellent deli products…

Eggs | Cake + Whisky

Brindisa, London | Cake + Whisky

… a few essentials (if you don’t think Iberico ham is essential, you’ve clearly never been to Brindisa!) …

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

… and piles of fresh bread, still warm from the oven.

And the best part is, you get to taste it all!

You can truly make a meal out of nibbling your way through the stalls.

But if you’re feeling quite peckish, Borough Market is also home to some of London’s best street food stalls.

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Brindisa, London | Cake + Whisky

Borough Market, London | Cake + Whisky

Paella | Cake + Whisky

Raclette, hog roast, sandwiches, paella or Asian food, the only difficulty (as usual) is to choose!

London's best doughnuts: Bread Ahead | Cake + Whisky

Turkish Delights | Cake + Whisky

Macarons | Cake + Whisky

But whatever you go for in the end, make sure you save some room for dessert! 

Maybe save some for me as well?

Borough Market, 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL

Borough Market

Kensington stroll and night at the BBC Proms

It’s Proms season!

Actually, it’s been for quite a while, but I hadn’t managed to make my way to the fanciest of all music festivals.

Or so it was until yesterday, when I left work early and Uber-ed my way to South Kensington for an evening of classical music at the Royal Albert Hall.
A Night at BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London | Cake + Whisky Continue reading “Kensington stroll and night at the BBC Proms”

Kensington stroll and night at the BBC Proms