My London Bucket List – Part 7, The Shard & The very royal parts of London!

IMG_0772So it was my wonderful friend Tasmin’s 22nd birthday and what better way to celebrate when there is only a couple of you in London from uni? The Shard, duh.

I came out of London Bridge station to find The Shard almost instantly to my right. Its an incredibly impressive building.

Naturally there was a security check as we headed inside, Bag checks and all that wonderful and unfortunately necessary business. Then there’s the incredibly fast lift ride up to the 32nd floor!

Once you come out of the lifts you can either head left, to the Oblix Restaurant, or you can head right, to the Hutong Restaurant! Both sounded lovely so we headed into Oblix!

You follow the pathway all the way around to the main restaurant where the view appears and oh my lordy lord is it breathtaking. It overlooks the Thames and London Bridge, It really was wonderful.

I arrived a little earlier than the girls so I chilled for a little bit on my own and ordered myself a £14 cocktail, and once again, it was totally worth the money. 

After being sat at this table on my own for a while finishing my drink, the waitress took my drink away and a new one re-appeared and I was awfully confused as I had not ordered another drink. Turns out the two gents to my left had been sat beside me for a while and ordered me a Prosseco, and not the Cheap glass either, so after thanking them profusely, I kindly accepted!

We chatted for a while and then the girls arrived which was even better because we were seated almost immediate after they arrived.

To start we had Octopus! Never eaten Octopus before and I can confirm that it was DELICIOUS. Then for main, Shannon had a CheeseBurger, I had a Pulled Pork Sandwich and Tasmin had Lobster Linguine! And all of them were again, so so delicious!

Mine was very small but it was wonderful, It didn’t taste how I had expected it to taste like your standard pulled pork sandwich it was even better. It was smaller than I had expected being literally the size of my hand, but it was perfect none the less!

It was a really lovely meal, with a couple of prosseco’s to go with it I hope thatTas definitely had a wonderful birthday! And The Shard is a wonderful venue, I can’t wait to go back and try the other venues they have to offer there!


 

Before meeting the girls at The Shard I had some time to wonder around London!

SO I hopped off the tube a Green Park and sauntered on over to Buckingham Palace!

The walk through Green Park was of course leisurely an calm and the palace itself is incredible. Especially the men out side with the bug guns and hats on.

The palace was very impressive, with its big gates and large statue in front of the palace. Its a very impressive building for a very impressive Queen.

After taking a couple of photos I headed back towards Westminster but I didn’t get back on the tube, I walked it! It really wasn’t far and didn’t take too long, I literally followed Big Ben! I could see him in the distance so that was my point of direction, It took me about 15 minutes to walk!

Once I was there I had Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament to enjoy! Of course Big Ben was surrounded by scaffolding which he will be for the next 4 years, But it was still nice to visit an area I had never visited before!

The Parliament building had projections onto the side of the building making it look even more photogenic by the Thames. 

Of course in that area was the London Eye a well, but a ride on that is for another time.

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My London Bucket List – Part 4: The X Factor Finals, Two 21st’s & Wishing I was Spanish

Hello and welcome to PART 4 of My London Bucket List!

This post is based on lot on heading out, please don’t judge me on my drinking habits (Jokes I don’t have any because I’m broke). So one day before i stepped into work I noticed the X Factor were at the SSE Arena in Wembley, Well I say I noticed but you couldn’t miss it! Extravagant people all singing and dancing, being interviewed and just generally warming up for Boot Camp auditions! Now the X Factor is sponsored by Just Eat, the magical food takeaway company, and of course Just Eat were outside the SSE Arena with a ‘Spin the Wheel’ and win game, so of course as I was bored before work, why not? Typically I spun the wheel, and managed to win two tickets to the final!

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So December 3rd rolls around and My Younger sister and I are off to enjoy the night! We stayed in the Hilton Canary Wharf. Its a very business orientated hotel but it was incredibly accommodating. We stayed in a comfy twin room, en suite and all other hotel comforts and it was lovely, we ordered room service desserts (of course) after the show and they were gorgeous and did not take long to get delivered either! I’d highly recommend the Hilton Canary Wharf to anyone staying in that area or nearby as my sister and I were heading to the Excel Arena!

So to the Excel Exhibition centre we went, The Excel is an incredibly huge building used for shows, presentations, conventions and of course the obvious, exhibitions of all sorts, so it is a large building indeed. But with perfect transport links arriving on the DLR at the Prince Regent stop, its really not difficult to get too at all, depending on which way you’re coming from you may even get to see the O2 Arena on your way!

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Once we arrived we were ushered to a ‘Pize Winner’ queue which felt pretty fancy. We were given our tickets with our seat number and row and send off into a Just Eat area with food, they took photos of you as you arrived with the X Factor background behind you, almost like a mini red carpet! There were lots of you typical corny X Factor photo booths and cheesy music, it was set up with park benches and a bit of fake grass, it was funky but we didn’t stick around for long before we went off to get a proper burger! FYI, I couldn’t tell you where I got it from, but it was amazing.

24312605_10210104814128715_8857701371266376113_nOnce being told at 16:50pm that the doors had opened and we could start queuing we were like Hell yes as we’d been waiting around for hours now, only to get in the queue and wait until 18:30pm. But it was absolutely worth the wait because the show was amazing and our seats really weren’t all that bad at all! Not only that but we got to see Little Mix, P!nk and Sam Smith perform live and watch Rak Su win the finals! (Sorry if I ruined it for anyone!).

Although I’ve never been a fan of the X Factor it was really enjoyable, and the Excel is an incredible building, so if you ever get the chance to see both either at the same time or separately, don’t hesitate!

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I’m at the age now where myself and a lot of my first are turning the wonderful 21 years old, Now legal and able to drink in America, how exciting. But turning 21 means a large session is at hand. My first 21st was a big one, Maddie’s 21st. I’m almost certain we 24312483_10210104807688554_7886318755466502035_nwere just going to wing it around London and just see where we ended up. We started at a friend (Mason’s, I’ve mentioned him before as a wonderful tour guide, sorry mase), And then headed to Old Street in London.

Now we had absolutely no plan at this rate. It was amazing. We started in The Craft Beer Co. literally nearby Old Street station, the atmosphere was great and it was relatively cheap as well consider how central we were! After consuming a few drinks and listening to some ultimate cheese music we then headed a little further down the road to a Bar/Club called Floripa! MY GOD was it expensive, £10 entry into this Brazilian themed club, but the vibe was amazing, the drinks were flowing and of course there was good music too! I paid £21 for two doubles, boy do I miss uni prices of £2.50 doubles at Superbull every Friday!! But the place was super cool, all summer themed with Floripa up on the wall with bright bulbs and a large dance floor that was absolutely packed out!

It was a good night that did end with being superglue’d out of masons flat due to his neighbours not liking how loud we were BEFORE the noise curfew of 11pm. 11pm may I add is when you should stop being too loud or noisy in a residential area in the UK. 11pm – 7am are the exact time. So we left at around half 10, to come back to a superglue’d door and no way of entry from 3am, to 5am. It was a pa-larva and a half but it was a great night none the less!

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My second 21st was in Watford for my wonderful friend Shannon, she was 21, we hit up Watford town and headed to Pryzm, a massive nightclub in the centre of Watford. With 2 floors with different music and a funky rooftop smoking area, the music is a main factor as it is amazing. Mixed with your typical chart music and house music that you’d hear in Ibiza it was a crazy night being picked up in a LIMO.

The best part of the night wasn’t just celebrating with Shannon but the fact that I also got to see some of my university friends, its nice to see them in/outside London and not in Lincoln for once! It was a really fun night, and Pryzm in Watford, for £7 entry, is where it’s at on a Friday night! Compared to Floripa where I paid that £21 for doubles I paid £6 for a double in Pryzm! I dont understand clubs sometimes but then Watford isn’t as central as Old Street in London!

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Now I saved the best for last! My wonderful friend Miriam turned 21 back in October and as she is from Spain it made perfect sense to go to the Spanish night they have at the club Tiger Tiger in Piccadilly, London! I went out with Miriam, Carlos who is also spanish, Alex, and Joanna who is Portuguese! There were a few more of us as well all to celebrate such a good night!

The club itself was huge with a large bar and dance floor as you walk in, flashing lights and what looked like a VIP Area up some stairs as you came in. The drinks weren’t too expensive, with a Double being £8-10, which isn’t so bad but also incredibly extortionate! Of course the music was your traditional and typical Spanish music, I discovered this night that I LOVE Spanish music and want to learn the Spanish Language. We discovered a second dance floor a little later on in the night and it was the best part of the whole night!

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We hit the club at about half 1 in the morning and stayed until the lights came up, I’ve never danced the way I danced in that club that night! It was phenomenal, it wasn’t just your boring typical trashy dancing you would see in a club, people were dancing traditionally and with partners and moving their feet and their hips like no ones business, it was an amazing place and atmosphere. When the lights came up even then the fun and singing didn’t stop as people were still dancing and singing, everyone was so merry and there were no problems at all, just like a huge family night, and it was a night I know I will never forget.

Shout out to Miriam, Carlos and Joanna for showing me how to REALLY move my hips to the wonders of Spanish music! I will be going there again one Wednesday!

 

My London Bucket List – Part 3, Brads Birthday adventures!

Our next London Adventure was a good one, it was for Brads 21st birthday!

I thoroughly enjoyed this one because I planned the wholeeeee day for Bradders and what he wanted to do in London, so I’m going to enjoy telling you about it! So we were headed to central London! Of course we started with some food as we set off around 12ish. So where else to be for that but Camden?

89We arrived and as per usual it was busy busy! It was a lovely day as well which meant we could walk about in just T-shirts, so we headed down all the different alleyways looking at the clothing stalls and smelling all the food. I went for the old school Chinese chicken and noodles, The stall I got it from was incredible, I chose it because the last time we visited Camden they gave me a sample from the stall and it was AMAZING. So of course I went back for more this time! We had a proper wonder around Camden and there are so many different stalls I want to go back and try, for example the cereal Killer shop looks incredibly cool. More reason to come back hey!

We found the main area of the market, kitted out with deck chairs on different levels and places to sit, theres a statue of Amy Winehouse as well as a memorial to her, it was really lively. But my personal favourite shop that we found was called Cyberdog. Its a ravers shop with two huge metal statues outside the front, its all luminous and loud bass line music pumping out the shop, I didn’t even realise until after we went inside the shop it has 3 FLOORS. It was crazy fun!

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93.jpgOnce we decided it was probably about time to head from Camden the next part of Brads 21st was somewhere he kept talking to me about going, so if course we headed straight over to the Imperial War Museum!

When we arrived we had a couple hours to go around the entire building, it was incredibly impressive and moving, really enjoyable and insightful too! The outside of the building had two massive gun statues placed right out in front of the building. It looked so good. As we headed up the pathway and inside the who place opened up and there was a huge open space in the middle of the museum. With the building rising up 5 floors and being able to see each display roughly from the outside of each floor from the balconies above, it was a pretty cool place. 99There were huge planes hanging from the ceiling and a number of tanks dotted around, with all these different displays of the trenches and how brutal the war was. You could see each story of WW1 & WW2 on different floors. There was a new floor that had opened also dedicated to the holocaust. It was eye opening and moving, dark tourism at its finest, with there being a model of what Auschwitz would’ve looked like from above, behind the model in glass cases were real shoes left over from those who were hoarded into the gas chambers, it was chilling.

We stayed right up until we had to leave because it was closing, it was a wonderful place, we didn’t quite manage to get all the way around, gives us an excuse to go again!

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Once the museum had closed we headed to the hotel! We’d booked in to stay in the Doubletree Hilton Docklands, right on the Thames/Docklands area of the Thames, And just opposite Canary Wharf!

It was a beautiful hotel on the water, we’d booked a king room and it was wonderful and huge, with a view of Canary Wharf and the thames one side and a skyline view the other side of the window! The beds were comfy, of course we got warm cookies upon arrival, and the en suite was so clean and fresh. Of course I wore my robe religiously around the room. Nothing better than hotel robes.

We had a lovely stay, a cracking breakfast as well, like my god did it set me up for the day. But it was nice to stay in London for a change, we were pretty close to everything we wanted to do and it didn’t take us long to get back from dinner at the Savoy to the hotel either!

One thing I wont forget was when we were heading back to the hotel from the bus stop literally 2 minutes away, there was a small park and as we were walking past, there were 3 urban foxes all fighting and playing in the middle of this park. I’d never seen anything like it, and it was so dark and quite they didn’t even see us. it was wonderful to watch and I never thought id get the chance in such a big city to see such a thing.

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109Finally, Brad and I went for a wonderful Dinner together at the Savoy Hotel in London, In Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant to celebrate Brads 21st Birthday!

It was a very fancy place, the Inside of the hotel was beautiful. It was marble floored and the bathrooms were something of royalty, yes the bathrooms were a high point, but if you’ve seen them you know they’re fancy as hell! There was a piano in the middle of their open seating and dining area, and the woman playing the piano was so talented and she had a wonderful voice.

We then headed into the restaurant, two glasses of rose and our food orders later and we were incredibly impressed. With someone to ask us what when we wanted before we ordered the wine, and incredible service and food, it was a lovely experience.

I ordered The Lamb and it melted in my mouth and the flavours were incredible, and brad ordered a Steak with Peppercorn Sauce and chips and it was cooked exactly bow he wanted it, They even put something together for Brad for his birthday which was also lovely!

After we were done we headed down to the Thames and had a little walk down to the London Eye and back before heading back to the hotel. The city lights looked so pretty from there, with St Paul’s also lit up in the background. I’d never even walked along the thames before this, so it was really nice. A wonderful way to spend such a lovely night!

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The next part of the bucket list coming soon guys, thanks for reading!

J x

 

The London Bucket list

Hey Guys, If you’ve managed to find your way here then you’ve reached the start! (Hopefully you discovered the page explaining what all this was for first but you catch my drift, if you didn’t, here!)

Below is my bucket list of thins to do in London before the end of the year, its your typical touristy stuff of course so dot think its going to be some super edgy bucket list with different things to do, yeah there will be a few things, but its pretty standard! I hope you will take to the time to read and enjoy it as much as I did!

Im going to aim to complete everything on the list by July 2018, So lets do this! The list will be added too after I have published this post so it will be ever growing during the year also!

Green = DONE IT M8

IF ANYONE HAS ANY SUGGESTIONS PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO LET ME KNOW! I would really really appreciate others experiences and where to go too so if there is anywhere to recommend please do so!

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The Bucket List

  • Visit St Pauls Cathedral
  • Drinks in the Shard
  • Go to a show on the west end, preferably Wicked or Book of Mormon of COURSE, love musicals, LOVE EM. (We went to see Book of Mormon, it was AWESOME, Highly hilarious and recommend big time).
  • Cereal Killer Cafe, Camden
  • Tour of Wembley Stadium (this one was a bit of a given).
  • London Zoo
  • Harry Potter Studios
  • The Shoeboxe’s in Shoreditch
  • Visit the Shakespeare Globe
  • Go to Buckingham Palace and see the changing of the guard.
  • Walk across Tower Bridge
  • The London Dungeons
  • Climb up Primrose Hill and Enjoy the view
  • Eat all the wonderful food at Camden Market
  • Visit the Cookie Dough Store / Naked Dough
  • Ditch CityMapper and get a little lost!
  • Boat ride down the Thames
  • The Imperial War Museum
  • Visit Alexandra Palace
  • MADAME TUSSAUDS
  • WESTFIELDS, Stratford
  • Get a Coffee in the Sky Garden
  • The Crossrail Place roof, Canary Wharf
  • CHINATOWN
  • A night out in London! its got to be done really: Fabric / Egg / Printworks / Ministry of Sound / Tobacco Docks / Tiger Tiger (these are some of the clubs I want to visit, they play the good tunes trust)
  • Notting Hill Carnival
  • National Science Museum
  • Natural History Museum
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Yorkshire pudding wraps in Soho
  • Boedeans in Soho
  • Ride on the London Eye
  • Dinner in the Savoy
  • Stay At the Waldorf
  • SLIDE DOWN THE LARGEST SLIDE AT THE OLYMPIC PARK
  • The Ice Bar in Camden
  • Visit the Olympic Park Generally, its been a while since the olympics so its probably wise and I have still never been.
  • Borough Market
  • Visit Gods Own Junkyard
  • Walk along the Canal at Camden
  • Walk down Little Venice, Paddington
  • Visit Kew Gardens, ALL OF IT.
  • Chislehurst Caves
  • Lady Dinah’s Cat Cafe
  • Have a Brick Lane curry
  • Climb the O2
  • Go to a gig at Brixton
  • Visit the fuckoffee Cafe
  • Go to an event at the ExCel London
  • Event at the O2 London
  • Botanist Broadgate Circle, Liverpool Street
  • Visit the Palm Vaults
  • Hackney City Farm (This horse is ACTIN UP)
  • Broadway Market
  • Colombia Road flower market
  • Visit the Millennium Bridge (The one from Harry Potter)
  • Somerset House
  • Tate Modern & Cafe
  • Royal Albert Hall
  • See the Ballet
  • Kingston Dominos Phone box
  • Visit Ballie Ballerson in Shoreditch