*In collaboration with Hotels.com. The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.*
Despite having lived and worked in London for eight years now. Wow, time flies. I didn’t realise it was so long. I only came down to do a 6-week temporary contract at first. Anyway, despite having been down here for so long I definitely just take my new home city for granted. I know that I should get out and about more and investigate what our capital has to offer. So, I’m going to start doing just that.
If you’re not from London, Soho is an excellent place to base yourself. It’s easy to travel out from and there’s so much there in walking distance. Plus, there are so many great hotels in Soho that you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Hopping off the tube at Oxford Street I knew exactly where I wanted to start our mosey around town. Liberty is just the prettiest shop known to man and even just the flowers outside make me giddy.
From here, Carnaby is the next best place for a mooch around. There are some shops that I just can’t help having a wander around and try not to spend too much money. Dr Martens, Vans, Lazy Oaf and Monki are the main culprits. There are also some great places to stop for something to eat or drink too and I can highly recommend Dishoom. Yum.
Sadly, a hungry, fussy eater of a toddler meant that we had to side step Dishoom this time and we headed off to The Breakfast Club on D’Arblay Street. We got there about 11am and the queue was already out of the door. As much as I love The Breakfast Club; a 45 minute wait outside, just as the rain was starting and a hangry two year old was not the best combination. So we ended up nipping next door to Soho Joe’s. I wouldn’t advise it. The food wasn’t great and it was hotter than the surface of the sun downstairs in there. I was pretty upset with myself for not planning our day better and getting out in time to get to The Breakfast Club earlier. Never mind, we didn’t let it put a dampner on our day.
One of my favourite things about wandering around London, or cities in general actually, is the street art. There’s so much of it about and I’m completely fascinated by it. Soho is no exception, there’s an abundance of art around and it’s all worth a look.
There are loads of independent shops in Soho. All it takes is a wander away from Oxford Street and Regents Street and you’ll stumble across them. There are loads of independent record shops, which made Tom very happy, and my favourite, Gosh Comics. I even managed to pick up a copy of Roller Girl because roller derby and comics in one makes Laura a very happy girl. Especially as I can’t skate at the minute.
Soho isn’t just shops and eateries though. There’s even some green spaces hidden away in the form of Golden Square (where I once watched Noel Fielding paint) and Soho Square. The weather wasn’t really on our side, what with it being the middle of January and all, but in the summer, these areas can be lovely for a little rest and is a great chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of Central London for a few minutes.
Even though the weather was a bit on the miserable side it didn’t stop us taking a much-needed trip to Chin Chin. When I went in I was convinced I was definitely going to get a hot chocolate with a torched marshmallow on the top but when it came to ordering burnt butter caramel killer cone accidentally fell out of my mouth instead! Tom wasn’t going to let the weather put him off having ice cream either and went for a choux bun sandwich with tonka bean ice cream. Chin Chin hand churn their ice cream with liquid nitrogen so it really is something special.
As we polished off our ice creams, Cece began to stir from her nap so we made a sharp exit. We slowly meandered our way back towards the tube station and found ourselves back at Kingly Court off Carnaby Street. I supposed the ice cream didn’t help but we were starting to feel the chill by this point. So we stopped at Crumbs and Doilies for coffee and cake. I couldn’t decide what cake to choose so we ended up coming home with a selection of mini cupcakes. I can say the unicorn cupcake comes highly recommended by Cece.
We had a really good afternoon strolling around Soho – getting lost, wandering off the beaten track and just going wherever our feet took us. I’m already trying to decide where we should go next. Although, I have to admit being on my feet for a good five hours of walking took its toll on my back and I had to have a long soak when we got home. But that was no hardship and was a great way to end the day.