A short while ago I made a daring there and back trip to London from West Yorkshire to meet with the marketing, editing and PR team that will be dealing with my book promotion this October. In true British city style I arrived to a grey and rainy London but on the upside I discovered that my publishers new building was opposite one of my favourite walks in London so I can now share my guide to what to do in London when you have 3 hours to spare.
This is the view from the front door of my publishers and it may look unexciting but keep in mind that I did say it was a grey rainy day. The view you are looking at is the Southbank, my favourite walk though London and a favourite of many film makers. Here are a few of the movies filmed on this stretch of the river; Truly Madly Deeply, Four Weddings & A Funeral, Man Up, Bride & Prejudice and Wimbledon, can you name any others? Armed with only my phone to take photographs and wearing boots that I thought were waterproof I set off on my walk.
The building dates back to the late 19th century when it supplied electricity to the Royal Mail, it then became the manufacturing home of Oxo cubes. The building is an architectural wonder before they started to fill London with large ugly glass monstrosities. Today it is a multi purpose building that houses high end flats, a very fancy bar and restaurant, galleries, design shops and independent craft stores. Most are out of my price range but they are all still a wonder to behold. One of my favourites is Candy Anthony a bridal and evening wear shop.
Once you are done looking at beautiful things you cannot afford walk along the river to Gabriel’s Wharf to look at beautiful things you can afford. The square is filled with independent shops, cafes and bars. I discovered a wonder shop where I managed to pick up a very cute little shirt for Sebastian.
Okay this is about the right time to stop for a pizza. May I suggest Gourmet Pizza Company.
Now you are rested and fed continue walking up the river to see wonderful sights such as The National Theatre, despite the harsh concrete lines I have a real soft spot for this building. Walk a little further on and you can marvel at the street art and the skateboarders. Personal confession I used to have a real thing for skateboarders in my teens, that phase was replaced by the much longer basest phase.
It is probably time for another coffee break and there is a delightful little coffee truck on hand to serve your needs.
Walk a little bit further and you can see the Houses of Parliament and The London Eye. Keep going until you have the Natural History Museum on your left and proceed up the stairs it is time to make your way to Soho.
Now the walk from the houses of parliament to Soho is an easy on, it is all flat and it will take you via many shops and theatreland. If you get lost and do not have Google maps working on your phone you could always use this new analogue version of google maps as shown below. There are a whole bunch of them around town.
You are now at the end of your time in London but not before you have dinner at my favourite place in Soho and it is cheap. Govinda’s Vegetarian Thali cafe is on 10 Soho Street, W1D 3DL. I hope you enjoyed my little whistle stop tour of London. Let me leave you with a really bad photo of a very cool vending machine that spits out books, yes that is how my publisher rolls.