This post is part of the ‘Go with Oh’ series. I choose to use their writing prompts to kick off this blog because their goal is so in line with my own constant travel mission: to experience local life at a grass-roots level. As I sift through past experiences in some of Europe’s greatest cities to put together my own European bucket list, I’m uncovering much about I’ve changed as a traveller and a person over the years.
Thankfully I’m heading to London quite soon, so I may be able to knock some things off my bucket list.
But in the meantime, here’s the top five things I wish I could do in London:
1. Find My Favourite High Tea (That Doesn’t Cost 40 Pounds)
When I was in college and more prone to spend money on “once in a lifetime” experiences, I had tea at the rooftop café at Harrods with my friends. And while it was a fantastic experience (and we totally stuck the extra scones in our bags for later), that’s not the kind of tea you can go to every day of your vacation. Well, some people probably can, but travel writers sans press trips are not among them. I want to find an affordable, delectable, visually stunning—or at least quaint—tea spot to call my own and bring my friends to when we need a coppa.
2. Eat Lunch at Every (Major) Open-Air Market
First off, I have never had a long enough stay in London to attempt this feat. I always just flit in for a weekend from or on my way to Italy. Second, the glorious time I had munching in and photographing the market in Notting Hill last spring has been marred by the fact that all my photos are now gone. On my defunct hard drive. So for my next London expedition, I’m making it a point to eat lunch each day in a new market to fill both my camera and my belly—while keeping my wallet pleasantly fat.
3. Discover My Neighbourhood Pub—And the People Who Frequent It
I think I may already have this wish list item under wraps, but I don’t want to cross off the list until the patrons pan out as much as the pub. As I am neither the bar nor the beer type of girl, the concept of pubbing has long eluded me. Now, however, a ridiculously twee chain of pubs in London has given me hope that I can finally feel at home in the neighbourhood pub. I’ll report back on how it goes.
4. Connect with the London Writing Community, Over Drinks Of Course
Coming from New York, I know that I am spoiled in terms of colleagues nearby. But the Brits seem to have more fun! And there is something somehow so less anxiety-ridden about connecting with people away from home. Less permanence. Less pressure. As a naturally introverted person, that might just be the ideal professional networking environment for me.
5. Sneak into One of Those Private Parks from the Movies
The last time I was in London, my partner-in-crime and I went on one of those ridiculously long walks that you only do when you away from home. We wandered down trafficked streets that were really not the best for walking, but we found out how the locals handle these roads: they sit in private parks! Think of the last scene in Notting Hill, when Julia Roberts is lying on a park bench reading. There was even a movie shoot in progress as we walked by one of these darling things. Now I just need to figure out how to get someone to let me in.
‘Go with Oh’ is offering one lucky blogger 4 weeks of free apartment rentals in 4 of their 10 European locations, but you don’t have to be a blogger to cash in on their generocity.