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If you’re faithful readers of this blog, you’ll know that half of my heart lives in London, the city of my childhood travels and last student year. What’s more, is that my sister’s been living there for the last three years so I’ve been visiting frequently. Inspiration strikes when I’m there and we constantly find loads of things worth sharing. So if you frequently visit London for work or to visit family and friends, here’s a series destined to give you a glimpse of the city through our eyes. 

Fall weather is fast approaching. This means the movies are the best place to be. Here are 5 small and cozy cinemas in London.

If you’re faithful readers of this blog, you’ll know that half of my heart lives in London, the city of my childhood travels and last student year. What’s more, is that my sister’s been living there for the last three years so I’ve been visiting frequently. Inspiration strikes when I’m there and we constantly find loads of things worth sharing. So if you frequently visit London for work or to visit family and friends, here’s a series destined to give you a glimpse of the city through our eyes. 

This week, it’s all about workweek lunch. Here are 5 places to grab a quick lunch in Soho/Covent Garden.

Grabbing a cheap and delicious lunch in soho / covent garden can be a bit of a struggle when you’re indecisive and looking for a good value and satisfying meal. The overwhelming choices and the fear of falling into a tourist trap can be paralysing (too dramatic?) next thing you know, it’s 2 pm and you still haven’t decided where to eat!
After months of exploring, we bring you 5 great places to eat a cheap (ish) and exciting lunch:

Koshari st (A small Egyptian shop on St Martin’s Lane which serves only a couple of dishes – perfect for a filling and cheap meal. Try the hot sauce which is not killer hot and will add flavour to your dish!)
Wellbeing kitchen (A low budget korean cafe in covent garden which serves a number of Korean favourites for a surprisingly low price. The chicken katsu curry is one of the best we’ve ever had. The free miso soup that comes with almost every meal is a real treat.)
Smack lobster (A small cafe style space on Dean street that serves a variety of lobster rolls and lobster chowder. The seven samurai lobster roll is a must. The buttery soft but slightly crunchy bun is heavenly)
Pepe (An all time favorite, also on St Martin’s Lane, serves a variety of italian food. Get a box with a combination of two different pastas and thank us later. Unless you’re on a diet, then we’re really sorry)
Tobiko (Although slightly on the more expensive side, this small sushi shop on Garrick street is well worth it. Their hand rolls are honestly the best, with a proper crispy seaweed wrap – as it should be! The crab and avocado hand roll is so good you’ll feel a bit sad when it’s over.)
Bon appetit!

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If you’ve been reading Breadonbutter for a while, you probably know by now how much I love traveling and discovering new places and cultures. But, like I mentioned once (here), there are cities I’ve visited many times that I’ll never stop making place for in my budget and time, and one of those cities is London.

London holds a very special place in my heart as it’s where I often went when I was little to visit my uncle, it’s where I spent lots of weekends during my studies, and it’s where my sister lives now. This city has many faces. More generally, we can say it has 4 different faces: East, West, North and South, each with special things you get attached to as a tourist. I once spoke about East London (here), but today, here’s a broader list of my favorite 20 things about London.

20 things about London

1) Parks – Walking around when the weather is nice, jogging or having a little picnic in any of London’s parks is of pure enjoyment. Among many, I would pick Regents Park, Hampstead Heath and Victoria Park as my favorite.

20 things about london | breadonbutter

2) Markets – Come the weekend, there is no greater pleasure than strolling around London’s different markets. The list is long: there are Borough Market and Broadway Market; there are Brick Lane, Spitalfields and Portobello and many more. You can view a full map of all the markets and their opening hours and days on this link.

20 things about london | breadonbutter

20 things about london | breadonbutter

20 things about london | breadonbutter

3) Oxford Street at Christmas – The busy Oxford Street already has everything you need. And if you’re looking for a place to really feel the Christmas spirit, this is it.

20 Things About London | Breadonbutter

4) Burger places – Among my favorites are Dirty Burger, Five Guys and Burgers and Lobsters. You can use the Zomato app while you’re there to check out the trendiest burgers in London.

20 things about london | breadonbutter

20 things about london | breadonbutter

5) Asian Food – Vietnamese, Korean or Thai; you can all find them anywhere you go. My favorites are Busaba eathai for the best Thai meal, Bibimbap in Soho, and Cay Tre for the best ramen and pho. I had the best Vietnamese food experience at Cay Tre where I found the food was the most fresh, flavorsome and authentic. An absolute delight!

20 things about london | breadonbutter

6) Notting Hill and Portobello Road.

20 Things about London | Breadonbutter

7) Fortnum and Mason for a typical British tea time.

20 things about london | breadonbutter

8) Breakfasts – I just love The Breakfast Club in Angel and Albion in the South.

20 things about london | breadonbutter

20 things about london | breadonbutter

9) Shoreditch and the graffiti.

20 things about london | breadonbutter

20 things about london | breadonbutter

10) Monmouth Coffee company – You can choose your coffee beans then share a table filled with jam and bread with other customers.

20 things about london | breadonbutter

11) The Monocle Café on Baker Street.

20 things about london | breadonbutter

Photo taken from google

12) Chipotle for the best Burrito.

20 things about london | breadonbutter

13) Musicals – My favorites until now are Sound of Music, Matilda and Wizard of Oz.

20 things about london | breadonbutter

14) Covent Garden – Ideal for a warm hot chocolate in the morning after going around the market.

20 Things about london | breadonbutter

Photo taken from google.

15) Indian Food – One of my favorite Indian restaurants in London with a fun and colorful interior is Masala Zone in Covent Garden. A must try.

20 things about london | breadonbutter

Photo taken from google.

16) Tate Modern – The most visited Art Gallery in the world. You can check current exhibitions here.

20 things about london | breadonbutter
Photo taken from google.

17) Piccadilly and Leicester Square – Make sure to visit the Photographers’ gallery (click here for more details), the first independent gallery devoted solely to Photography. I can spend endless hours in there just looking at the exhibited photographers’ different perspectives on life.

20 things about london | breadonbutter

18) The National Portrait Gallery on Trafalgar Square – Check out the exhibition of the moment on this link.

20 things about london | breadonbutter

19) Carnaby Street for a colorful walk.

20 things about london | breadonbutter

Photo taken from google

20) The Lily Vanilli Bakery – This is by far my favorite place in the entire city. This little bakery is great for a warm afternoon tea and the most wonderful non-traditional desserts.

20 things about london | breadonbutter

Have you been to London? Anything to add to the list?

 

Sure we all know that visiting a country as a true tourist is way different than visiting it through the eyes of “the real people”.The first time you visit London, it is a must that part of your trip should be to see the city in the eyes of a tourist; visit London Zoo, Hamley’s, parks, go to a musical, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, the Thames and the London Eye, Big Ben, Covent Garden, Oxford Street, Soho and Carnaby street, National galleries and museums.

But once you have seen all this, you have got to change perspectives. It’s a culturally rich and diverse city that will never cease surprising you. I have visited London a number of times before, but this time I discovered East London; the realest place you can find in the city.

Here’s my advice for 5 days in London.

Day 1:Head first thing to Trafalgar Square where you will find the newest art installation part of the fourth plinth program (details here). For now, it is a blue rooster. More details can be found here.

After that, take a small walk to the National Portrait Gallery and check out the newest exhibition. If it’s not that interesting, you can still visit the permanent exhibition which is quite fascinating considering its variety.

At lunch time, walk to Soho (Little Newport Street) and try the delicious Korean BiBimBap (the restaurant goes by the name of the dish), a healthy mix of vegetables, rice, meat and egg. Or, if you’re craving a burger, you can head to Five Guys Burger and taste their delicious patty.

BiBimBap
Five Guys

Then, walk to Covent Garden and sit somewhere for tea or coffee after having bought tickets to the musical of your choice (Sound of Music, Matilda and Lion King are my recommendation for now).

Before your musical, have delicious curry at Masala or at Punjab.

Day 2:

Visit Camden Market. You’ll love it for the funkiness and fun in everything you see.

Then head to Dirty Burger, right next to Hampstead Heath, one of the nicest parks in England, where you can take a long walk.

At night, if you’re up for it, drinks at any nearby pub would do.

Day 3:

In the morning, check which market is open (here) and choose between Portobello Market, Spitalfields Market, Columbia Road Flower Market, and Brick Lane (only open on Sundays).

All of these markets (except Portobello) are in the East. So after you’re done, you can have brunch at Albion.

In the afternoon, you can go to another market nearby and then have coffee and cake at Lily Vanilli, the most wonderful bakery I have ever been to.

At night, a nice movie at Picture House is all you need.

Day 4:

You can spend that day in Oxford Street, shopping and reminiscing childhood memories at Hamleys, then having lunch at Chipotle, the best ever burrito you can have, and coffee at Monocle Cafe (both on Baker Street).

Day 5:

Head to Borough Market, and try all the wonderful food. Then, enjoy a coffee at The Monmouth Coffee Company.

Finish your day with an Asian Dinner at Busaba Eathai (Thai Food) or Cay Tre (Vietnamese).