international travel, travel

A Travel Guide To London In 48 Hours :: Day One

Two weeks ago, a small group of us Seattleites jetted off to London so that a few days later we could hop the inaugural Virgin Atlantic flight from London to Seattle in celebration of their new direct flights between these sister cities.

Landing on a Friday afternoon, we basically had two full days to explore and take it all in. Needless to say, it was essential for us to choose our itinerary wisely! With a little help from the folks at Visit London, and a lot of suggestions from you guys, we packed in a whole lot of sights and experiences into 48 very short hours.

a dark grey exterior row house in London | 48 hour travel guide via coco kelley

After mapping every single location that we wanted to go, we decided to focus our trip on three areas: Shoreditch, Soho and the Museums in West London. We crammed SO MUCH into every second, it’s kind of hard to believe that we weren’t there for a week! Which is why we’re breaking this up into two posts.

Day 1: Museums, Soho, Notting Hill & More

Cambridge Street Kitchen in London | 48 hour city guide via coco kelley

Our first full day in London started with a leisurely brunch at Cambridge Street Kitchen in an area called Pimlico. I cannot recommend this place enough – it’s got a perfectly relaxed weekend vibe! (Did I mention we totally lucked out with the sunny weather!?) As an added bonus, the restaurant is tucked into the most adorable neighborhood that invites wandering and taking five thousand photos of doors.

the charming doorways of West London | coco kelley

YEP.

the stunning Victoria & Albert Museum with creamy marble architecture | 48 hour London city guide on coco kelley

After brunch, it was time to do some museum hopping! With such limited time unfortunately we didn’t make it to all the places we wanted to go. The Hockney exhibit at the Tate Britain was sold out until noon and we didn’t have time to wait, so instead we grabbed a cab over to the Victoria & Albert Museum which you could probably spend days in and still not see everything.

Note: If you decide to take this path through West London, I would recommend a detour through Sloane Ave between brunch and the V&A for some lovely shopping! 

the stunning Victoria & Albert Museum with creamy marble architecture | 48 hour London city guide on coco kelley

the stunning Victoria & Albert Museum with creamy marble architecture | 48 hour London city guide on coco kelley

After the museum we popped by this stunning little boutique called Mint (there were several others in the area too!) and making our way through Hyde Park to Soho for lunch.

Mint boutique | London city guide on coco kelley

And what a lunch it was. Remember when I blogged about how bad I wanted to go to Sketch Gallery? We made it happen!

high tea at sketch - an amazing experience! | london travel guide coco kelley

David Schrigley art at Sketch London | travel guide on coco kelley

I have to give a shout out to Joanna and Rebecca who were my travel buddies for most of this trip. You should have seen us soaking this place up – everything was so impeccable, delicious, over the top and magical. Truth time though: taking photos in here is HARD. Everything is very pink and it’s a bit dark. Until you go to the bathrooms…

the egg pod bathrooms at Sketch London | 48 hour travel guide on coco kelley

Yes, that is the bathroom. Everyone gets their own little pod. Ladies to the right, gents to the left. It’s amazing.

After that experience, it was hard to even think about topping it, but off we went to end our day in Notting Hill

the cutest colorful houses of Notting Hill | coco kelley

While Notting Hill is always fun to visit for its colorful buildings lining the streets, Portobello Market, and charming little spots for instagrammable moments, it is typically pretty crowded. Being there at the end of the day we had hoped maybe we’d miss the masses, but no such luck. (This was a Saturday, mind you!) 

Farm Girl Cafe in Notting Hill | London city guide on coco kelley

We decided to duck into Farm Girl Cafe for a quick coffee as the sun began to fade. Then headed quickly off to The Shard for a staggering view of the city at sunset…

Sunset over London with the view from The Shard | 48 hour travel guide coco kelley

After that it was back to our hotel – The Mondrian, which I’ll share more about tomorrow! The hotel was so stunning. As was our dinner that evening at their main restaurant – Sea Containers.

Sea Containers Restaurant at the Mondrian London | coco kelley

Can you believe that was only one day? Neither can I! And we definitely missed a few spots too. Ready for Day Two and another favorite neighborhood? Head over right here.

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Disclosure: Our trip was sponsored by Virgin Atlantic, and some activities by Visit London. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help bring us fabulous opportunities like this one!