Tips from an insider - London

SJ may not be available to show you around London, so here are her insider tips.

Tips from an insider - London

It seems like a lifetime since SJ moved to London to seek her fortune and while it's only been nine months, she now knows the city like a local. If you're planning a trip there any time soon, she may not be available to show you around, so here are her insider's tips.

Best coffee
This one’s easy – without a doubt Shot in Fulham. With an alternating Australian and Italian barista, not only is the coffee as good if not better than any you’d get in Melbourne, the Italian pastries and paninis prove that you can in fact improve on perfection.

Best cocktail
I’m a big margarita enthusiast. Easily the best margaritas I’ve had were at a highly recommended Mexican bar called Bodega Negara in Soho. Disguised as a sex shop from the outside, it’s actually a cool underground bar. I’ve been told there’s a place where you can make your own margaritas, so that could be a new number one – I’ll have to test it out for you first though!

Best breakfast
Beany Green in Paddington does a delicious dish involving sweet corn fritters, avocado, poached eggs and bacon. In fact, everything on the menu is delicious, particularly the amazing array of desserts for when breakfast inevitably turns into brunch. It’s also an Australian establishment – what can I say we do world-class coffee and brunch.

Best local view
Being fairly partial to a rooftop, I’ve made it my mission to visit most in London and so feel qualified to answer this. Maddison’s is the clear winner here, simply by following the real estate criteria of location, location, location. Opposite St Paul’s cathedral, it has an uninterrupted view of its distinctive dome, especially as the sun sets – it’s impossible to top.

One fun thing you can do for free
Walk everywhere. There’s always something going on in London and walking is a great was to see the different boroughs. My favourite place to walk is along the private road next to Kensington Palace, where you’ll find all the different embassies. The buildings are some of the most beautiful you’ll ever see.

Something only a local knows about
The Citymapper app is the best way to get around. It will tell you all your options by public transport, car, taxi, bike – even jet pack – as well as how long they’ll take, cost and how even how many calories you’ll burn! Sorry Google,  Citymapper wins this round.

Favourite thing to do in and around the are
I can’t recommend going to Cambridge enough. London’s trains make it easy to do daytrips and weekends away and if you travel at off peak times, you can often get very cheap tickets. Cambridge is one of the prettiest places I’ve been, with enough to do on offer that you can easily spend a day or weekend there. In the interests of being even handed, next stop, Oxford.

Why do you love this town?
I moved to London primarily for its proximity to the rest of Europe. But it has a way of sneaking up on you and making you fall in love with its constantly pulsing tempo. With something always going on, it really is the centre of the universe.


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    Brian from HomeExchange50plus
    31st Oct 2015
    London is a wonderful city with so much to see and do. I try and visit at least once amonth from our home in Twickenham but not tomorrow as I will be at the Rugby, not watching but helping out a friend with programme sales!
    31st Oct 2015
    I lived in London for the first 16 years of my life, it always feels like I'm going home whenever I go back for a holiday.
    fish head
    31st Oct 2015
    London is interesting - in short doses. My personal limit is 6 days. Like most very big cities it is not the cleanest, very impersonal and grey. The key parks are the only relief.Everything is done at a rush and most of the city workers commute sometimes long distances by train into the office. Think very large disturbed ant heap and you'll get the idea.Don't worry, my reactions to Sydney are identical only the ant heap is a trifle smaller.
    31st Oct 2015
    I'm a West Aussie and must say London is just amazing. I must agree with SJ that just walking around is the best way to see so many places and streets that you already know.Also catching the double deckers through the suburbs is great. Sit upstairs and in the front seat. Have not been to New York yet,but London is my favourite so far.
    Brian from HomeExchange50plus
    2nd Nov 2015
    You will enjoy New York when you visit but it has less to offer than London. Walking around most cities is often the best way to see them and one company we use often is London Walks which organise interesting and informative as well as entertaining walking tours around London providing info etc you would not otherwise be aware of.
    1st Nov 2015
    My first visit was in 1966...the swinging 60's! Along with many young Aussies of the day I spent 12 months on a working holiday doing everything from selling sweets at the ideal Homes Exhibition to office work to Nursing. In those days we were considered (condescendingly) as Colonials, except for the employers who liked the hard working Aussies in preference to the locals!
    Since then once I retired I have visited 3 times for periods up to 3 months and am dismayed that we are now lumped in with the foreign nationals, whilst all the "Continentals" sail through customs/immigration. like close relations.
    However I do love London and the UK.... shame it has lost some things.
    2nd Nov 2015
    I have been INSIDE LONDON and my tip is.,,,,,.>>>>>GO HOME.

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