Oh wow. I have got 101 (thousand) suggestions of what you could do with your time, but here is just one set of options for you! I hope to come up with many more!
My cousin Joanne was coming from Cork and we wanted a bit more of a girlie time. Here is some of our our itinerary. A lot of London is free in regards to museums and main attractions and therefore you can definitely budget according to your needs.
I’ve included some free things (Sky Garden, walking around Fortnum and Mason, and the Daunt Book shop/Marylebone/Regents Park areas.
Options to try:
Sky Garden. This was my 5th visit and I won’t get bored of it! I booked online roughly 2 weeks ahead and selected a 2.15pm slot. It’s free to go up here! There is a brief que downstairs, which looks long when you first arrive, but they get everyone moving quickly. You then go through airport style scanners. We spent a bit over an hour here, walking round, talking, admiring those views and sipping a gin and tonic (2 G&T’s roughly £13-14.00 so fairly standard London prices). It was gorgeous! I believe they are starting to take bookings for New Year’s Eve right now which would be totally epic. One piece of advice: wear shoes if you got for an evening slot, otherwise I don’t think you’ll be let in. There is food throughout the day and teas/coffees and most things are genuinely quite reasonable: https://skygarden.london/
Fortnum and Mason Café. This old historic building sums up Britishness to me! It’s well worth a visit, just to have a look around the beautiful shop floor and especially at the Christmas shop! Trees are up, handmade advent calender’s are out and the baubles are glitzy. It’s Charles Dickens type fab. It’s at a great location between Piccadilly and Green park tube stations, and I only visited this shop for the first time this year! It’s special and photo worthy. Everyone raves about the afternoon teas here, so it’s on my “to-do” list.
We then took a visit to the Parlour cafe on the first floor, and chose the ruby and salted caramel hot chocolate with respective marshmallows! It was busy as it was Saturday so we had to wave a bit to get our waiters attention, but everyone is super nice here and there were lots of happy groups around us sipping on Prosecco and clearly taking part in special occasions so it has a really nice feel to it. I think our hot chocolates were around £6.50 each, and well worth it for the quality and surroundings: https://www.fortnumandmason.com
Daunt Book Shop. This lovely Edwardian bookshop is a little haven from the shoppers on Marylebone High Street. It has a lovely little balcony area upstairs where you can sit and my cousin got a lovely free bag with their gorgeous shop facade on it with her purchase! As original and independent book shops go, this is the place to visit! https://www.dauntbooks.co.uk/
Regents Park. It’s cold but it’s still beautiful! I realized how much of it I don’t actually know! Contrary to popular belief, London has so many parks and green spaces and a lot of them immaculately kept. Plus a lot of these parks like Regents are huge! The sun was going down as we arrived, hence the darker photos. It’s always lovely to take a little stroll through one of these parks. It is one of the more popular, but due to the size you’ll always have plenty of space and you time moments!
Afternoon tea. If you are going to do it anywhere, do it in London! As a special final day treat, we took in a Beauty and The Beast themed afternoon tea at the beautiful Town House Hotel in South Kensington, which I have to say was absolutely glorious! My cousin bought me the Disney film when it came out when I was 10 and it’s been a favourite of both of ours since then. The interior of this hotel is wow-ing, the staff were just the loveliest (we had an explanation of everything we were eating and it’s connection to the film explained!), it’s of course a super cute theme and the quality of the food was awesome.
They change their themes periodically, but The Tale as Old as Time tea will run until the end of December 2018. If you book soon, you’d always get the theme with a festive twist during December, for extra magic! https://townhousekensington.com/
Hope this has been a useful and enjoyable read! If there’s anything about the above you’d like to know more about, feel free to send me a message or just leave a comment anyway! Be great to hear from you x