My Perfect London day

I remember when I first moved to London from rural Essex. Everything was new and exciting, I would run around town every weekend agog at the vast array of festivals, theatres, galleries and restaurants. Nothing was too niche for me to go and check it out. Then as I stayed here for longer I got more blasé. World class museums got ditched because y’know they’d still be there next weekend and this weekend I could sit in a sunny garden with my friends in our local pub. I think this gradual sneaky creep of parochialism is familiar to many Londoners, I definitely know North Londoners who know Paris better than they do South London. Everyone gets attached to their own little patch and stays there. But then I got overseas visitors and it reminded me how fun it is to be a tourist in your own city.

So for anyone who’s got stuck in a London rut, here’s a guide to help you rediscover your inner tourist and reconnect with some of the reasons you fell in love with this city in the first place. This is a two hour leisurely stroll that takes you past some of London’s most famous landmarks and, in deference to the tight budgets that a lot of us function on, as many activities as possible are free.

I would kick off with breakfast on the roof terrace of One New Change (hey it’s my perfect London day I’m making it sunny okay!). I would pick up some croissants from Paul, the best in London as far as I’m concerned, head up to the free roof terrace and have my own breakfast at Tiffany’s moment, enjoying the incredible views where the wedding cake dome is so close you feel you could reach out and touch it!


I would then walk across the Millenium Bridge to Tate Modern. Turning right along the river, I would head up past Shakespeare’s Globe and the replica of the Golden Hinde, the famous galleon that Sir Francis Drake used to circumnavigate the globe.


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After this, I would walk to Gabriel’s Wharf and do a well earned stop for lunch. I would recommend the Oxo Tower brasserie for traditional English fish and chips with a great view of the river.


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Keep walking to the Southbank one of my favourite places just to wander around, so much life and vitality, watch the skateboarders in the undercroft, check out the markets and the streetfood traders. But one of my top tips is to catch a free gig at the Royal Festival Hall:

They have a regularly changing programme and if you’re there when the swing dancing troupe is around you’re in for a treat.

After you’ve rested your weary feet, head across Westminster Bridge stopping to admire the great views of Augustus Pugin’s high Gothic masterpiece.

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If you’re a British resident and you’ve been super organised you can write to your MP and request a free guided tour of the Palace of Westminster about 6 months in advance. Sadly, they don’t allow you to take photos inside so you’ll have to take my word for it that it’s well worth seeing.

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Finally, go one stop on the tube to St James’ Park. London is the greenest city of it’s size so you can’t miss a visit to the Royal Parks. I would finish up my day with afternoon tea at Inn the Park, a cute little hobbit-esque structure that look like it has organically grown out of its surroundings with beautiful views over the lake. Enjoy the cream cakes you’ve earned them!

Twitter: @One_New_Change @PAUL_BAKERY @visitlondon @Tate #Modern @The_Globe @GoldenHinde1 @southbanklondon @OxoTowerWharf @southbankcentre @visitparliament @HISTORYUK @PeytonandByrne @innthepark’s_306

About goantolondon

International food and travel blog by London based British Goan duo: Jason and Chiara Pinto. Twitter: @goantolondon @jasonpinto100 @chiarapinto About Goa: Goa is a small state on the western coast of India. Though the smallest Indian state, Goa has played an influential role in Indian history. Goa was one of the major trade centers in India, thus it had always been attracting the influential dynasties, seafarers, merchants, traders, monks and missionaries since its earliest known history. Throughout its history Goa has undergone continual transformation, leaving an indelible impression on various aspects of its cultural and socio-economic development. History of Goa: The East-West symbiosis of Goa makes it different from other parts of India, more than the historical and social niche. The history of Goa is a sweet and sour story of colonial heritage, oppressive rulers, a glorious culture, and uneventful immediate past. As a land with the identity of its own, Goa was brought into focus when it was liberated of Portugal from its oppressive rule of around 450 hundred years in 1961. Goa was captured and annexed to the Portuguese in 1510 following the urges of trade and demand of spices and also cottons and indigo. But, Goa has a history that starts much before Portugal even thought of Goa being where it is. Goa was coveted and ruled by a great number of Indian kingdoms and dynasties from the 4th century onwards. The first kingdom to rule Goa and Konkan were Bhojas, who were the feudatories of Ashoka in 4th and 5th centuries AD. The city of Chandrapur (present Chandor) was founded by Prince Chandraditya, son of Chalukya King Pulakesin from 566 to 597 A.D. after this, Goa was ruled consecutively by Silahara Dynasty, Kadamba Danasty, and finally Hoysalas from 1022 to 1342 A.D. From the 14th century onwards, Goa became a great trading center on the west coast, especially in the vast trade of horses imported from the Middle East. This was the time for bigger empires to move in and Vijayanagar Empire conquered it in 1344. But there empire was not going to last too long and in 1347, Bahmani Sultans defeated Vijayanagara forces in 1347 and controlled Goa. Afterwards, it was a time of great prosperity and peace for Gpa, especially during the rules of Yusuf Adil Shah and Ismail Adil Shah. They created beautiful houses, fortified Goa, and encouraged local craftsmen. Their liberal and progressive rule was not going to last too long and situation changed in 1510 A.D. Goa for all purposes was not on the Portuguese Radar even after a long time of their presence in India. When the Portuguese nobleman Alfonso de Albuquerque and his cousin Francisco de Albuquerque were sent with a powerful fleet in 1503 on the orders of King Dom Manuel I, the purpose was to defend the cargoes of spices, mostly pepper, against Arab Muslim raiders. The center of spice trade was Calicut at that time and Portuguese had built forts in Cochin and Cannanore. It was in 1506-08 that an opportunistic pirate, Timoja, persuaded Albuquerque to attack Goa and acquire a better land base. This made Goa, Portugal's first real territorial acquisition in Asia. After a brief period of recapturing by the Muslims, Goa Albuquerque finally captured Goa in 1510. The inquisition of Goa in 1540 reversed the previous liberal policy of Albuquerque and imposed strict censorship of literature and new laws to forbade non-Christians from professions. Forced conversions took place continuously, censorship was established on literature, the temples were destroyed, and non-Christian priests, holy men, and teachers were evicted. This led to continuous fleeing of Hindus from Goa to other parts of India. It is not that the relationship with Portugal brought only destruction for the Goans. Portuguese also built great churches like the church of St. Cajetan and Bom Jesus basilica in Old Goa, which is a pilgrimage site for the Christians from around the world. But it is also true that pre-1961; Goa was a highly impoverished region very backward and primitive. It is after the liberation that Goa of today has emerged and it has surprised even the locals many of whom had left their homeland before its liberation. Portugal and India are today friends and Goa continues to be a fascinating blend of Latin and Oriental. Information sourced from:
This entry was posted in "How to spend the perfect day" guides, Afternoon Tea, Bakery, Brazilian, chillies, chocolate, cinnamon, Gift ideas, historic buildings, IBS friendly diet, London, One New Change, St James' Park, use of modern ingredients and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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