Along the Thames

When you live in London, it’s really far too easy to get trapped into the everyday life and forget how much of a wonderfully fascinating city it is.

As a Londoner, you almost never get the time to actually see the city at day-time (because work and commute and burgers). And you’d rather die (or you know, spend an hour queuing for brunch) rather than doing some sort of touristy thing.

And being a tourist in London is a rather wonderful thing I indulge in once in a while (basically whenever I have people over).

And you should too. You deserve it. If only to take advantage of the gorgeous weather we’ve been having lately.

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

 

Whether it’s your first time in London or you’ve been living there for years, a walk along the Thames is one of the best things to do in London.

But then any day that starts with that view ought to be a winner!

Thames path walk | Cake + Whisky

Wrap up warm, leave Big Ben behind and march your way east, indulging in a bit of people watching and architecture-induced jaw dropping along the way…

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

From glorious residences to some of London’s most iconic buildings , walking the Thames banks is an architecture-nerd’s dream come true.

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

And one of the best ways to cover some of the city’s most iconic sight-seeing venues, especially if you’re only in town for a few days.

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

Before you realise it The City and its multitude of strangely-shaped skyscrapers appear in front of your eyes.

The perfect mix of old and new, it’s one of my favourite parts of London to explore (and very well worth the time if you have half a day to spare).

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

Walk a few more minutes and you’ll be greeted with some of the best views over St Paul’s cathedral.

And if you’re extra lucky, with a few soap bubbles as well.

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

From then on, follow your heart and venture into the small streets…

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

Before eventually making your way to the Borough Market for a (very much deserved) spot of lunch.

Wander among the stalls, pick up a bit of everything that looks good and settle in for an absolute feast of a picnic.

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

Ours included mountains of cheese in the form of toasties from Kappacassein.

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

Golden on the outside and so, so indulgent and cheesy, it’s basically a hug in sandwich form.

How anyone can resist getting one (or three) is simply beyond me.

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

But if you insist, I’ll let you get away with getting one of Brindisa’s famous chorizo rolls…

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

And make sure you pick up a few croissants as well.

I wouldn’t want you to get hangry as you march your way to Tower Bridge!

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

From then on, you have two options. You could walk down on the other side of the River and making your way to St Paul’s (before collapsing in front of a well deserved cup of tea and biscuits).

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

Or you could give in to your ‘love everything sparkly’ side and make a beeline for the Tower of London’s Crown Jewels exhibition.

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

Castle, fortress, prison, military GQ… The Tower has always played a predominant role in the history of London and the UK.

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

Walking up and down the cobbled streets feels like going back in time.

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

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

Each artefact will make you discover a new side of London’s rich (and sometimes tragic) history and make you loose track of time.

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

But looking through the windows will bring you back to nowadays with some of the best views over the city.

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

With just a few steps, you’ll go from long forgotten past to present, and everything inbetween.

A truly fascinating journey and one I highly recommend you take yourself.

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

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

Having had our share of glistening diamonds (the Crown Jewels are my fave, unfortunately no pictures allowed, so you’ll have to go check it out for yourself and let me know what you think!), we waved the Tower’s metal menagerie goodbye and made our way home with the head full of real-life fairy tales.

Along the Thames

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

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