As you may have seen on my Instagram, I recently went on a weekend away to London with my boyfriend. I was totally spoilt because he bought the trip for my birthday present and arranged the whole thing, with tickets to see the Lion King in the West End included. I was so excited for my trip and packed way more than necessary. Since the weekend was so fantastic, I just wanted to share a quick blog about what I got up to while I was there.
We started our journey the same way that we usually do when we head to London – standing at the bus stop outside Cardiff’s Hilton Hotel waiting for our Megabus. We always choose to travel this way when we go to London because it’s so cheap and means we get to sleep on the way there or take full advantage of the free Wi-Fi to roam the internet aimlessly for a little while.
We arrived in Victoria Coach Station around 11am, the perfect time to have a little brunch before we headed out for the day. We grabbed some food at a nearby bar then headed towards Buckingham Palace, despite having our suitcases in tow. Whenever I visit London, I always love to stop off at Buckingham Palace – it’s a little bit of routine for me. No matter what time of day you walk past, it’s always jam packed with tourists waiting to see the changing of the guard or hoping to sneak a peek of any of the royal family. Unfortunately, none of these occurrences happened when we walked past but it was still a pretty picturesque stop all the same.
Then, instead of heading towards Westminster bridge like we usually would, we decided to avoid some of the busyness by taking the Waterloo Bridge crossing towards Southbank where we were staying. This was a much quicker route purely because we weren’t bumping into other pedestrians every few seconds and it really had some wonderful views.
We were staying very close to the London Eye, at the Waterloo Premier Inn. This was in such a prime location, easily accessible to the tube and only a stone’s throw away from some of the key sightseeing areas. I would happily stay here again – the room was simple but great and the bed was ridiculously comfortable.
After checking into our hotel, we took a stroll along the Thames with the end goal of reaching Tower Bridge. Of all the times that I’ve visited London, I’ve never crossed this site off my list of things to see so I was determined to on this occasion. On the way, we passed Shakespeare’s Globe, a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre where some Shakespeare’s iconic plays were performed. I’ve wanted to visit this for a few years now but never really had the chance so it was nice to see, even if I didn’t get to go in this time.
We continued on our walk along the river and after what seemed like ages and countless steps, we finally reached Tower Bridge. It was an absolutely beautiful sight and I can understand why it features in so many films about London. This view was absolutely stunning, although the weather did turn slightly bleak for this shot.
After a quick tube ride back to our hotel, it was time to get ready for our evening out in the city. A change into my H&M dress and Zara blazer and a fresh face of makeup and I was ready. My boyfriend didn’t look too shabby either!
As I mentioned, our trip to London was centred around the Lion King show but first, we had to eat! My boyfriend found a Spanish Tapas restaurant called Meson Don Felipe which wasn’t too far from our hotel. It describes itself as London’s first authentic tapas bar, offering up food in a casual atmosphere. We started with a bottle of red wine between us and ended up working our way through the menu. We ended up ordering olives, potatas bravas, meatballs, chicken, prawns, lamb and Jamon ham. It’s safe to say that we were absolutely stuffed – the food definitely beat us! I do agree that it did have an authentic feel both in terms of venue and the food. But I would say that I found the experience nice, although it wasn’t overwhelming good to point where I would return on my next visit – I’ve had better, sorry.
Then it was time for the short walk across to the theatre to help walk off our food and admire some of the spectacular views that London has to offer. I always prefer to walk wherever possible in a city because I feel that you just end up seeing more that way, mostly because it’s usually an accident to do so.
When we arrived at the theatre, it couldn’t have been easier for us to pick up our tickets – they’d be ordered from Amazon and needed to be collected before the show. Only one person from each couple was allowed into the ticket office, so I took advantage of this time to take some pictures of the theatre – the Lyceum Theatre truly is a lovely venue and I couldn’t have imagined a more picturesque location for my first West End show.
The show was absolutely incredible and I was so thrilled by all of the costumes and big performances from the cast. I found myself knowing every single word to the songs and it transported me back to my fond childhood memories when I would constantly watch the Lion King with my stuffed Simba faithfully by my side. Times have changed but my love for the Lion King story has not – this was such a wonderful birthday present and I am so grateful for the experience.
We finished our evening with drinks alongside the river quite close to our hotel which meant that we could stumble back after our evening drinks but also take in the beautiful views, with all of the main attractions lit up. It was a gorgeous end to the evening and I couldn’t have planned it better myself.
The next morning we had a little breakfast and after checking out of our hotel, we had a leisurely stroll around London which was slightly disrupted due to our bags – but it was still pretty all the same. To get back to Victoria Coach Station, we made sure to pass Westminster Abbey for a little eye candy before we headed home.
London is one of my favourite cities – there’s just always so much to do and see. Whenever I visit, I always find myself doing something completely different and discovering areas of the city that I’ve never found before which is such a lovely feeling and it keeps the city interesting for me. What a wonderful 24 hours I had here and I’m already looking forward to coming back sometime soon. Do you have any recommendations for London? I’d love to hear them!