The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London is open to public all week long and all year long! ( • Adult / 16+ years old: £21.5 • Childs / 5-15 years old: £9.70 )
Inside the fortress you can:
•See the world most famous jewels : the Crown Jewels (still used in Royal Ceremonies)
•Walk in the footsteps of those condemned to death by order of the state; in Green Tower.
•Watch the ravens, known as the guardian’s Tower (It is said the kingdom and the Tower will fall if the six resident ravens ever leave the fortress. Today you have 6 ravens + one spare!)
So that’s what you should expect from Tower of London. If you are a family it’s a place to go as you will find entertaining and interesting activities for everyone.
By sunny day it’s the perfection destination and the right place to take a boat till Westminster or Greenwich.
For history with a modern twist, go to ice-skate in winter. Open till the 2 January.
If you love fashion and exquisite accessories, Beyond Retro is the place to pass by while walking around London major’s sights.
Beyond Retro is one of the vintage temple, for men and women. As you walk down the steps into an endless basement, you are greeted by some old fashion rock tunes and by the selection of the weekly looks. It is actually a branch that you can find in Dalston and Brick Lane.
Vintage fashion stores are surely an institution in London. From north to south, and west to east, you will find the coolest outfits ever; shiny, glittery or classic. Some are pointless, some are overpriced but Beyond Retro has a massive selection of everything so it would be unlikely that you come out with empty bags.
The Crown is a two-floored pub with beer garden, outdoor terraces and quirky, vintage-inspired styling. You will love the over-view on the park in both winter and summer. Their staff is friendly and will make you feel welcomed.
10 minutes away from Mile End station, the pub faces the entrance of Victoria Park and it’s a good way to take a break from the city. Go there for the view and the atmosphere, grab some ales and/or a glass of wine, a cup of fries and here you go!
In the heart of Victoria Park Village The Fish House is an affordable place to eat a casual fish and chip. Most locals opt for carry-outs, but if you choose the restaurant you’ll get a more creative menu, where mains of grilled swordfish with a fragrant salsa, or pan-fried hake fillet with chorizo and butter beans, could precede a classic English pud (banana split, bread and butter pudding). You can’t go wrong with fish from the white-tiled takeaway section; choose from cod, scampi, haddock, rock, plaice or skate, generously battered and deep-fried.
Portobello Road Market is probably the world’s best known street market with a history stretching back over 150 years. It goes through the Notting Hill area carrying everything from farm fresh produce to vintage clothing and accessories. Hundreds of traders sell all sorts of everything, old and new, and there’s plenty of delicious street food from all around the world. Be sure to pop into the hidden gems behind the stalls where you will find endless rows of cafés and antique shops. And don’t forget to stop at 142 Portobello Road where William Thacker’s (Hugh Grant’s) in his shop Travel Book Co. met Julia Robert. It has never been a bookshop but it was Nicholls Antique Arcade, then a furniture store called Gong, and now a gift shop.
Note that the market is opened on Good Friday but closes on other bank holidays and for the famous Notting Hill Carnival.
Somerset House is one of London’s most innovative museums. Find there a formidable art gallery, a beautiful fountain court, a terraced café and a classy restaurant. The new Embankment Galleries explore connections between art, architecture and design with series of temporary exhibitions. Family workshops take place on weekends and holidays. Somerset House is a major sight in London, with its classic architecture (two spectacular five-storey period staircases that you don’t want to miss!) and its quirky exhibitions.
In summer Somerset House hosts an outdoor film screen and a wonderfully atmospheric ice-rink in winter. This winter the ice-rink should appease the most discerning music snobs with all kind of tunes till late in the evening.
London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. It was opened in London on 27 April 1828, and was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study. Today it mixes modernity and history but not at the expense of the animals that live there. In the north side of Regent Park, it will keep you busy a whole day and you will really have fun either going with friends or having kids with you. Arrive early to make the most of your day and be sure to take snacks and other sustenance if you want to avoid spending a fortune on the food on sale at the zoo. Don’t miss Penguin Beach were charismatic penguins love to show off.
Whether you’re a Vampire, Werewolf, Sasquatch or something else entirely, you will find anything you need at the amazing and wondrous Hoxton Street Monster Supplies – yes you read that correctly.
Besides, the Monster Supplies store is the only place in London (maybe in England??) where you can buy some Organ Marmalade, tubs of Mortal Terror or even jars of Thickest Human Snot! Everything about this gift shop is clever, cute and wonderfully themed!
Recently voted ‘No. 1 Kids’ Shop in London’ by Time Out Magazine, all proceeds from this kingdom of sweets and knick-knacks, go towards funding The Ministry of Stories, a charity that runs creative writing workshops for kids in East London, accessible via a secret door in the shop.
Do you really want to experience East-London ? Well first, you better stop going in over-priced touristic ‘traditional’ places and start by the real places! G Kelly Pie and Mash is an old school white-tiled cafeteria for East End classic dishes, pie and mash and jellied eels. That’s is a true east-enders restaurant, don’t expect colourful or well-designed plates but something authentic. Not everyone will enjoy the east-ender service but we are talking about real experience.
The name could scare you off, the outside as well actually. However if you finally take the plunge and step inside you won’t be disappointed! Satan’s Whiskers (named after a devilish cocktail, containing Italian Vermouth, French Vermouth, Gin and Orange Juice, Grand Marnier and Orange Bitters) is an excellent cocktail place. The staff will try to understand what you like the most to make sure the cocktail you order suits you.
The decor is stunning, between taxidermy and old french vintage poster you can enjoy a laid-back night with a really cool hip-hop soundtrack from the 90s. This is definitely the perfect place to go for a first night date! 😉