Hi friends and happy Monday!! It has been about two weeks since we got back from our trip and I finally got around to give you all a run down of our time in London and how we conquered it with Sofia.
First and foremost I want to let you all know that a big help was going through a travel agency that compiles everything together for you. From car services, the hotels, rooms, suggestions of where to eat and what to do, private tour guides and so forth. This is the second time we have used True Trips, the first time for Paris and Greece, and they still did an amazing job this time around as well.
Now onto on the details you want to know about taking a mini London trip with your toddler. <3
WHERE TO STAY
Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington
This boutique hotel was literally perfection for our first stop and first time London. Not only was it a great location, but the staff went above and beyond to make Sofia feel like a little princess. There was one gentlemen in particular that was in his 20s, and he stayed he was from Portugal, and he constantly played and gave Sofia little rubber duckies from the moment we arrived. As a parent those little moments and feeling make a world of a difference.
The location was located right across the street from the South Kensington train station, a block away from the Natural Science Museum and two blocks away from the Victoria and Albert Museum. In addition, it was the perfect location that was close to a park and a ton of restaurants and dessert shops to keep our hunger from ever arriving.
THINGS TO DO
DAY 1 (Half Day)
Natural Science Museum – If you have a chance to stop by please do so because this one one thing we really wish we would have done the first day we arrived, but being so excited to be in London I wanted to be out and about and walking around.
Hyde Park– We spend about an hour in Hyde Park only because we didn’t expect the weather to be so gold, because prior to arriving it stated it would be in the 80s but it was in the 60s. It is absolutely a gorgeous park, but due to it being so big and running on low fumes we only. We walked all the way to the Princess Diana Memorial and then made our way back since Sofia was sleeping.
Victoria and Albert Museum– Another museum to head to it you have the time.
Thurloue Square Garden– This square garden was great and right across the street from the hotel. We had a few meals in this area and a lot of play time too with Sofia jumping up and down off the sitting areas that you will be able to see in the video below. 🙂
Kensington Palace– So gorgeous and when I see a castle I literally get so excited because I feel like I am going back in time.
Dinner at Carluccio’s. This place was suggested by the receptionist at our hotel and it was a super yummy and cute spot around the corner from our hotel. As a parent you want to eat as close to the hotel as possible, especially on your first day because everyone’s energy is low and the jet lag is real. 😉
Breakfast at Muriel’s Kitchen. If we were back in Houston, this place would be my new favorite. Super cute decor, amazing food and great aesthetic.
Big Ben– Just so everyone knows, Big Ben is currently in construction for the next 3 years, so the gorgeous shot you see in all the pictures when googling London will not be of that, but this picture below. I guess this means I need to go back in 2021.
London Eye– With our travel agency we got a fast pass to go see the London Eye, and friends this is a must. The line to go is extremely long and with a toddler they do not understand what that means, so within less than 5 minutes we were up and on our ride. The views are gorgeous and it moves so slowly you don’t even notice that you are on the top until you get there.
Visit Underbelly Festival on Southbank and grab some beers and drinks while you all take a breather. Super cool place similar to a brewery here in Houston with lots of color and a great atmosphere. It is just a 1 minute walk from the London Eye and right past the carousel.
Buckingham Palace– Once you visit Underbelly Festival walk out and cross the bridge right in front of you. Then you head to the other side we will also pass by a Sherlock Homes restaurant that is super cute and great for a picture. From there you will take a straight shot and a around a 10-15 minute walk to the Palace on what is called “The Mall”. Sadly the Queen wasn’t there for our afternoon tea, but hopefully she will make it next time we are there. 😉
St. James Park– Either before or after you visit Buckingham Palace head to the park and let yourself relax or have the kids run around and have some fun.
Dinner at CERU– One of the gentleman that worked at the hotel suggests that we go to eat here because it was one of his favorites and we were absolutely obsessed. It was Levantine food and completely delicious, plus it was around the corner from the hotel and they were extremely sweet with Sofia.
Head to Jubilee Gardens– Head back to the London Eye area and enjoy the views of the Thames river at night and do a quick carousel ride with your little one at the Golden Carousel
Walk your way down Southbank Centre passing by all the restaurant, a skate park and take in all the fun and liveness that the area has in store.
Notting Hill– This was one area that I was the most excited about visiting. From the colorful areas to the charming homes, it was so perfect.
Portobello Road– Growing up one of my favorite movies was “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” and they have a song in the movie was all about Portobello Road. So seeing it in real life was 10x better and even cuter than they had captured in the movie. One thing we were extremely surprised about was how immensely long it is. We went a few miles worth till we got to the very end and was pleasantly surprised. From selling everything to food, clothes, and giftables to big store chains, they had something for everyone.
Harry Potter– For those that love Harry Potter or know someone that loves the movies but doesn’t have a lot of time to do the tour, this is a mini way for you to grab some items and take a photo. My sister loves the movies o I grabbed her a few things and took a picture close to it since I didn’t have time to stand in line with Sofia.
Tower Bridge– After such a busy morning we headed to the other side of London to check our the famous and absolutely gorgeous London Bridge. Plus I thought it was even cuter with this one.
Tower of London– Once your cross over the bridge you will see the Tower of London, and if you wold like, you can buy tickets to enter and view. Sadly because we got their around 330 and it closed that day at 5pm, they highly suggested we do not view it because it would not be enough time.
Shakespeare Globe– After a busy day we then headed across the other side of the bridge again to visit the famous Shakespeare glob. I was so sad because the time we got their it was 5:07 and it closed at 5pm.
THINGS TO CHECK
- Times of when places close and open
- Triple check the weather
THINGS TO BRING
You can read more of what to bring HERE from our Italy recap last year, but in addition to those here are some updates.
- Less pouches. I brought 2 pouches per day for Sofia, which all together is pretty heavy and we still have half of the snacks I bought when we got home. In Europe there are so many places to easily grab fruit and snacks that you don’t need to bring so much.
- Mind you, since Sofia is now almost 2 1/2 her eating habits are a lot different than last year and adjustments always needs to be made.
- Extra diapers. I completely forgot that with her size of diapers there are less in the packages and we ended up buying more in Spain. Totally find and easy to do, but she went through them a lot faster than we expected. (1 full package of diapers in a week)
Thanks so much for reading guys and have a fabulous Monday!! <3