My London findings

Double decker bus miniature

It was interesting to return to London after 9 years. As if the fact of already visiting London isn’t enough, I had the extra excitement of seeing what has changed and what hasn’t. I certainly saw and experienced the city differently, 9 years ago I had other worries and plans, this time I went on a mission to enjoy what I found on the way, and not only pay a visit to the innumerous touristy attractions in town, but of course, they were also part of the trip.

I wasn’t in search of anything in particular, I decided to just walk around and see what I could find. I let myself be surprised, and I liked it. It turns out I have found some cool things – some of them are probably not new nor interesting to the Londoners – and even though I wasn’t the first one to spot them, I decided to call them my London findings, and of course, share them with you.

Β One New Change rooftop

When I heard about this place, the first thought that came into my mind was “oh, I think it is probably packed and no one can get a good picture”. However, to my surprise, when I got there on a Wednesday around 6pm, there were only 6 people and myself. But for those who don’t know what I’m talking about, why is this place so special?

The One New Change is a shopping mall in London with an amazing rooftop from where you have a spectacular view of St. Paul cathedral; and what a view. They also have a bar/restaurant up there and the elevator is panoramic. The access to the rooftop is free, but I guess that for the bar you need a reservation. After a long day, I enjoyed the chilly breeze sitting on a bench, alone – W only joined me on the weekend – photographing the cathedral.

St. Paul cathedral from One New Change

Bywater Street

This narrow, colourful and cute street probably reminds you of Notting Hill, but it’s actually located in Chelsea. I found it while I was walking around the neighbourhood and thought it was worth getting a picture, simply lovely.

Bywater Street, London

Taro: a Japanese Restaurant

I know most Londoners probably know about this restaurant, but for me it was a great finding in a day I was feeling very sick, and got to eat something proper after 3 days. Actually, not only something proper, but the best ramen soup I have ever tried.

I was walking around Piccadilly Circus and decided to get myself something to eat, which didn’t cost a fortune. After a few minutes rambling around some narrow streets, I found Taro, a simple and yet delicious Japanese restaurant. I liked it so much that I went there again a couple of days later with W when he joined me in London. I’m certainly going back there next time I’m in town.

Japanese Soup in London

Hatchard’s Bookshop

On a rainy day I found comfort in this amazing old bookshop – as old as 1797, the oldest in the UK – at Piccadilly. I am not the kind of person who reads a book in one day or in a week – this happens rarely for me – but I love reading, I love the silence of a bookshop, and I love the smell of new books. Hatchard’sΒ is particularly enchanting, and a paradise for book lovers.

I decided to give myself some time to grab any book and sit at a couch, without a care in the world. I ended up reading the first chapter of an Agatha Christie classic – note I never read a mystery book apart from The Da Vinci Code – and I liked it so much that I decided to buy it.

Hatchard's Bookshop

“Dog waste only” trashcan

I didn’t find London not even close to Munich when it comes to being a pet friendly town. However, the city is pet friendly, and it put a smile on my face when I was walking at Hyde Park and found this trashcan especially for dog waste. How cool! It made me think of my morning walks with my traveling dog, so far there are no trashcan like this in Munich.

London pet friendly

Leinster Mews

Is it a street or an alleyway? No idea, but I spotted it on my last morning in London, while I was walking back from Hyde Park to the hotel I was staying – Blakemore Hyde Park. If you read my post about San Gimignano, you know I am obsessed with alleyways and narrow streets, so I couldn’t just pass by and not have a peek and take a photo.

Alleyway in London

Old siphons in Notting Hill

I have always appreciated old and vintage things, and once I worked with a company that restored soda siphons from the 1920’s and 1930’s and came to appreciate them. When walking in Notting Hill on a rainy Saturday morning, I was happy to spot some colourful ones at a vintage store located in the Portobello Market.

I should have bought one home, but unfortunately I had no more room in my hand luggage – yes, I managed to spend 9 days in London with only a carry-on. Please be proud of me, especially because it got broken already on my way from Munich and it wasn’t too practical to carry that thing around. Funny, and my blog is called Packing my Suitcase. Oh well, I need a new one.

Soda siphons in Notting Hill

 

What were your findings on your last trip?

 

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My London Findings

About Allane

A Brazilian living in Germany. Married to W. mommy to a baby girl and a Golden Retriever. Traveler, writer, aspiring photographer, diver, wine appreciator, Formula 1 fan, avid reader of historical and young adult fictions books. City girl, nature lover, believer of a better world, one little change at a time.

  • Although Paris has the No1 spot in my heart (for various reasons, mostly aesthetical and architectural) London is the city I’ve visited and explored the most.My best discovery to date is a place called Chelsea Farmers Market on Sydney street, which has restaurants around a lovely garden (ideal for summer). Also I loved walking down on Sloane street from Knightsbridge to Sloane Square. Along the way there’s a beautiful private garden called Cadogan place as well as a beautiful Chucrh (Trinity).

    • Ohhh these are great recommendations!! I noted them down for next time! I walked by Sloane street and square and I loved it. It is indeed soooo pretty πŸ˜€

  • Great spots Allane. I love the One New Change balcony. It’s so near to my work. Taro is a great shout – there are several Japanese restaurants in town that are just as good, too. Being a Londoner – you sometimes get stuck in your own routine, so don’t venture out as much. One of my favourite spots is Shepherd’s Market which is part of Mayfair. It’s a small area around Berkley Square with great pubs and restaurants.

    • Thank you lovely πŸ˜€
      Ohh next time I want to try other Japanese, they are very good in London!!
      I know what you mean, I think when you live in a city you don’t explore it so much because you are used to it and have your own routine.

      Ohhh it was amazing to meet you!! Next time I hope we have more time to talk and of course to take our picture hahaha πŸ˜€

  • Haha, you visited so many places that even I’ve never been despite living here like one new change and taro and that bookshop! Can’t believe you managed 9 full days with just your hand luggage – that is seriously impressive!

    • Ohh really? hahaha I’m happy to know that, because everything in London is so famous that I thought most of those things were just nothing new to you guys. πŸ˜€ I’m sad I didn’t have time to see all I wanted and to meet with you again. Everything was so stressful at the end because of our flight πŸ™ Next year I hope to be back and it will be better πŸ˜€

      And with the hand luggage it was veeery hard hahaha! I had to make some sacrifices hahaha

  • I can imagine!! You should go back to visit sometime πŸ˜€
    About the rooftop I think it’s something recent apparently. I think this shopping mall is new, not sure.
    Ohhh I wanted to go to this bookshop at Covent Garden but didn’t have time! Next time I will make sure to go there! And yes, Hatchard’s is amazing, such a cosy place!!

  • I can imagine! London is huge, there is sooo much to do and see!
    Sooo happy we could meet in person!! I hope we can meet again sometime πŸ˜€

  • soo true!!

  • Heey Suzanne!

    Yes, I tried to do some different things and I loved it. London is already so explored that it might be hard to find something people haven’t heard of before. Though the city is huge and there is always something to see πŸ˜€
    Yes, check the One New Change terrace, it’s amazing!

  • Those were some pretty great finds! I’m excited to check out the One New Change view point! I love finding new places that offer the best views!! πŸ™‚

    • Thaaank you dear!! Are you back from the US already? πŸ˜€
      Yess, you have to go to the One New Change, the view is stunning!! πŸ˜€

  • It’s great isn’t it? I don’t know if the bar up there is good as I didn’t try, but maybe next time I will! πŸ™‚

  • Mabel Kwong

    So happy to hear you got to visit London again! That ramen looks so good, and because London is quite a cold place I’m sure it’s getting more and more a poplar meal with locals πŸ˜€ Yours looks like it has beef in it? I usually like the chicken broth one a lot πŸ˜€

    • Heeey Mabel!
      Yess it was really good and yes it had beef πŸ˜€
      In Munich we also have them, but I still haven’t found one I love, this one was great!