I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again. There really is no place like London. And with it essentially on my doorstep, I for one definitely take it for granted. I forget that London is on people’s around the world bucket lists, much like New York and Sydney are on mine. I honestly can’t remember the last time I went to London without an agenda, without content to shoot, meetings to attend or porn star martinis to mindlessly guzzle whilst I stumble back to a friend’s flat.
There are so many amazing places in ‘the big smoke’, but the hub of it all, the root of London’s buzz has to be Soho. With more opportunities for mischief, and hidden gems then I can think of it really doesn’t get much better. And with gorgeous hotels around every corner, there’s even more reason to explore this perfect representation of London. Ben and I hopped on and off the tube and we arrived in its centre, ready for a day of endless possibilities and not a clue where or what we wanted to do.
During our travels Ben and I stumbled upon a little restaurant called Honest Burgers, tucked up in a backstreet corner near Chinatown. And sweet damn believe me when I say it was the best burger I’ve ever sunk my nashers into. As you walk into the small building, it instantly has that ‘you’re sat in an authentic kitchen’ vibe. With a huge chalkboard covering the width of one of the walls, outlining the menu and choices. Odd tables and chairs, with rustic french cupboards where the condiments and cutlery where all housed. You instantly feel cosy and welcomed when you walk in, with only a handful of options on the menu which for my fellow indecisives is an utter dream.
As standard all of their burgers are cooked medium rare, and I honestly could have hugged the waitress when she asked if it was okay. Is it okay if I weep a little bit? Along with their signature rosemary salted fries, rosemary being a bougee luxury I now require on every potato form going forward.
I went for the classic cheese burger with rosemary salted fries, perfectly cooked with Old Winchester cheese, fresh crispy lettuce in a brioche bun. Whereas Ben being the classic boy he is, went for the biggest and most audacious choice there is: ‘The Cheese Truck’ special. A beef burger companied by: bacon, cheese, chipotle jam, pickles and the piece de resistance? An entire patty made of deep fried mozzarella. You heard me right, two burgers, one made entirely of cheese. There is a God, and his name is Cheesus.
So these monstrous sized and perfect burgers, alongside a drink each cost us less than £30. An absolute bargain, as I would have happily paid over and above for that slice of meaty heaven. As we were walking around it was astounding just how many options there were for food and drink, catering to every mode you may be in and to suit every kind of budget.
There really is no way you can be bored in this vibrant part of London, with so much to do all within walking distance and again, to suit every budget. Ben and I walked around Chinatown, taking in the beautiful displays and staring longingly at all of the delicious looking street food.
Literally around the corner was a parade of shops and boutiques (as well as Oxford Circus being a stones throw away) for those who are looking for a little spend up. With Leicester Square being a few minutes walk, Ben and I decided to go into the National Portrait Gallery – free admission, with a donation being recommended for the maintenance and so on. We spent a while, quietly walking around taking in the art work, gauging at the detail and wondering just how long it would take to complete some of the larger pieces. Once we were finished we went back to Leicester Square to watch the street performers, before heading off in search of some sweet treats.
Whilst we slowly sauntered around the area, I noticed just how many of the West End shows were located around the area. Les Miserables, Aladdin and Harry Potter & The Cursed Child all within a 10 minute walk of one another. The perfect evening out if you were staying in the area.
Whilst I was dragging Ben around, miraculously stumbling upon countless ‘spots’ for Insta shots we found ourselves outside Crosstown Doughnuts. A vegan doughnut shop, with a line out of the door. If it has a line, it’s got to be good right? We picked up a raspberry jam filled doughnut, dusted in sugar and finished it off before we’d even crossed the adjacent road. I’m not a vegan connoisseur, as someone who adores meat and cheese too much (as we’ve all learnt from the above) but if everything tastes as good as that – I could be tempted to reconsider.
And what is a day in London without at least two porn star martinis? Not one I want to be a part of. We came across one of my favourite London hangouts, Be At One – Greek Street. I’ve never had a bad night there, It’s quirky, it’s fun, it plays cheesey music constantly and it has a happy hour from 5-7pm. 2-4-1 on all drinks you say? Lemme pull up a chair. Ben and I hung out, sippin’ our cocktails, swaying to Alesha Dixon – The Boy Does Nothing and reflected on our day. How lucky are we to live so close to such a vibrant and alive city? Somewhere so rich in culture and opportunities. Not to mention there’s a different bar and pub on every street corner.
If you’re looking for a mini break or just a chance to immerse yourself in the city, Soho is your gal.
(this post is sponsored by Hotels.com, who have kindly gifted me spending money to spend around the area, however all views, thoughts and opinions are my own.)