This time last year we planned our travel to London and had no idea how inspiring it was going to be. London is a charming city (and it's not only because of the accent) - and there is no denying that it is a photographer's dream for the street life and characteristically English architecture. We'd go back in a heartbeat.
If you are booked in to travel there this holiday (or hey, it's not too late - just saying), here's a list of our favourites!
London is not complete without an obligatory touristy photo involving Big Ben. Did you hear about the renovation work that is about to commence on the tower, and expected to take a year to complete? Yes, get in there now to secure your obligatory selfie.
We stayed at an Airbnb a (very) short bus ride away from Primrose Hill. This is where you find rows of of pastel coloured English townhouses. We spent a good chunk of time here just painting the pastel Technicolor into our minds, telling make-believe tales of our make-believe lives in make-believe English accents...
I hate to admit it but we travelled here to go to the Petit Bateau shop so Dawn could buy a raincoat. That said - public transport in London just
so doing things like that really doesn't feel silly at all. Though when we were there, Hampstead Health really got its Christmas feels on - it also helped that it was raining and the fog hung low to dramatise the fairy lights strung across the trees on the street.
From the eyes and soul of someone who's lived in Melbourne for the past decade, Shoreditch is the Brunswick of London. Edgy street art, trendy stores and young locals with the cool attitude, it's got the soul, the groove, and the on-point cap wearing baristas.
I will not lie - this is effectively a massive quadrant within a series of massive street intersections. But the English really know how to make their street intersections look regal and
Victoria and Albert Museum
By far this is our favourite museum in London that we had to go twice (this has become somewhat of a tradition in our travels).
This is possibly by far my favourite market. It's the largest, and the busiest (and I will not be surprised if it is actually a tourist trap) - but it's also got the widest selection of stalls and... I guess that makes the most festive market atmosphere.
Columbia Road Flower Market
We were so tempted here to buy flowers. What do we do with them though?
Tower of London
No trip to an European city is complete without an obligatory selfie (and visit) to an actual bloody castle in the middle of the city.
No trip to London is complete without an obligatory selfie involving Buckingham Palace. Reckon the Queen knows that and takes a wander on the palace grounds?
Liberty London Dawn compared Liberty to her Bergdoff experience in NYC. I think of Liberty as a cute swiss cottage turned into a shopping mall.
Koya Bar A tiny Japanese resturant tucked away minutes from the theatres, that braised pork belly ramen changed our lives forever. P.S. be prepared to spend an hour in the queue (possibly outside, in the rain).
There are several Ottolenghi restaurants peppered around London, and there wasn't one we did not like. On a trip where binge eating may be an occupational hazard, a main of roasted red rice salad containing some of the most exquisite textures and flavours is a welcome relief.
Do you like pink? The colour? No? Go anyway - Sketch is not inexpensive, but it is very worth the experience (even if not a fan of very English high tea). The walls are pink. The seats are pink. The ceiling I'm pretty sure is pink, or it might just be sensory overload or pink burnt into my retinas. The toilets are pods. What?
I learnt during the trip that London is known for its Indian cuisine, and that Dishoom is where you
go to sample this. I possibly had the best briyani in my life here.
Four Seasons Love peking duck? Then seriously do yourself a favour and order the flavoursome duck at this restaurant in Chinatown.
Burger & Lobster OMG. Best lobster ever. 'Nuff said.
Duck & Waffle
We make it a point to have one "special date" restaurant every trip, and Duck & Waffle was it for London. It's not the most expensive restaurant in town (in fact, fancy meal-wise it's not expensive at all), but we had one of the best meals in the city, taking in one of the best views from 40 stories up.
More photos of London can be found on the Instagram feed via the #dawnndarrensbigadventure hashtags.Want to see how we found our way around London? My Google Maps with all our points-of-interests plotted is accessible
- do keep in mind this is only accurate as at January 2016, so some places may have moved!