Here is a super quick guide for if you've only got about 72 hours in London.
Virgin Atlantic offers a direct flight. I got to chill in the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse beforehand, which was a nice reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the airport. I lounged, caught up on some work, charged all my electronics, and ate lunch (had a bowl of ramen... and a couple drinks).
Once you land, you can take the Tube from Heathrow Airport to the city for £7, which takes about an hour. If your hotel is close to a Tube station and you don't have too many bags, then I'd recommend that form of transportation. I've also taken a car from the airport, but it also takes about an hour because the traffic is so congested. Once in London, we mostly traveled by foot or the Tube because our hotel was so central. There are also taxis and Uber of course, but just know that traffic can take forever!
2:00pm - Check-In to Mondrian Hotel
After freshening up from a day of travel, we headed over to the Soho neighborhood nearby.
4:30-8:00pm - Twilight Soho Food Tour
After the tour, we went back to the Mondrian and had a nightcap at their bar Dandelyan. This night, we retired pretty early since we had to be rested for the next day's adventures!
9:00-12:00pm - Harry Potter Studio Tour
Harry Potter Studio Tour so I'll write more then! I'll be sharing tips about getting there (it's an hour out of London) and details of the tour. Long story short, if you're a Harry Potter fan, you should absolutely do this! Please let me know if you have any specific questions in the comments section below.
1:00pm - Afternoon Tea at Sketch
Sketch yet, you must book tea at the Gallery in Sketch. I'll also be doing a whole post on my experience here, so please let me know if you have any specific questions in the comments section below!
3:00pm - Shopping at Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road Market, though I found the crowd to be quite overwhelming. I liked when we popped out of the Market into the area of boutiques and bars, and people were hanging out and drinking in the sunshine. At one corner, a saxophonist was playing jazzy remixes to modern songs from Major Lazer and Rihanna and everyone was enjoying themselves and having a little dance party on the street.
6:00pm - The Shard
The Shard is the tallest building in London, so we went up during sunset to catch magic hour from a bird's eye view. The highest level on floor 72 has a bar and turf grass, so people drank while waiting for the sun to set. It does get crowded, and I found the other viewing platforms on floors 68-69 to be a tad bit more bare.
I heard there are yoga classes on top of The Shard every Saturday morning, which would be an incredible experience! I didn't have time on this trip, unfortunately, but next time!
7:00pm - Dinner at Sea Containers
Sea Containers Restaurant at Mondrian Hotel every morning because the food was so good, so we had to have dinner there.
You can order a set feast, which is reasonably priced per person. Our dinner started with bread and olives, ceviche (fave!), grilled octopus salad, and lamb meatballs. For the mains, we had the whole brill, a Mediterranean flatbread, and roasted chicken (fave!) with a side of truffle mac and cheese (fave!), blistered shishito peppers, and heirloom tomato salad. We finished with a trio of desserts: carrot cake, pecan pie, and chocolate lava cake. I totally think the dinner set is worth it - everything was delicious and we were so stuffed!
After, we popped over to Dandelyan Bar at the Mondrian where a DJ was spinning old school hip-hop. The cocktail program is sophisticated and modern. Case in point: I ordered an herbal gin cocktail, and it came with the "100" emoji printed on top!
10:00am - Thames Rockets
Thames Rockets speedboat tour via the Thames River is basically the definition of that. The experience was even more fun than I had expected, as they weren't joking when they called it a speedboat tour! During parts of the tour, they turn up the music, rev up speed, make quick turns, and follow the wake of bigger boats. Then later, they would slow down and explain some of the sights that you'd pass. Make sure you bundle up, as the winds could get chilly, though they give out big coats at the beginning of the tour.
11:00am - London Eye
1:00pm - Sunday Roast at Blacklock
Blacklock, which was soo good. From their menu, I picked the 55-day aged beef rump. The roasted meat came with Yorkshire pudding (something I wish the United States ate more!), duck-fat roasted potatoes, steamed vegetables, and bone marrow gravy (which was so amazing I could have drank a jug of it).
2:00pm - Shopping
Dover Street Market
Dover Street Market, which is an incredible museum-like boutique featuring brands like Comme des Garçons, Gucci, Balenciaga, J.W.Anderson to name a few. It's a must-visit for any fashion lover, with 5-stories of covetable pieces housed within ever-changing art installations. You can refuel with a rose latte and pastries at Rose Bakery on the 5th floor.
Seven Dials is an adorable neighborhood in Covent Garden that I discovered on this trip. There are lots of boutiques and shops, and nearby is Neal's Yard, a colorful alley and courtyard that is so picturesque.
My Cup of Tea
My Cup of Tea to rest our feet from a day of walking. They served up matcha in traditional Japanese pottery bowls, and green tea was just what we needed to reenergize and hit the road again.
Carnaby Street until this trip. There's lots of shopping and restaurants here, and we had dinner at Jinjuu and drinks at a fun Underground-themed bar called Cahoots in Kingly Court.
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Heathrow Airport, which was a nice way to settle in before the flight. There was plenty of space to lounge, dine, or work, and there is even an outdoor terrace to get fresh air. I had coffee and breakfast at the Clubhouse before venturing out into the airport for duty-free shopping (got a Gucci souvenir ;)).
The inaugural direct flight from London to Seattle was quite a party. Virgin Atlantic invited British singer Raye to perform at the Upper Class bar in-flight! Here is the video of the experience (I was interviewed in it!).
Thank you to Virgin Atlantic for partnering with me on this trip! I had the best time, as London was a complete pleasure as always. I already can't wait to return! You can see my other London travel posts or all of my travel posts here.
This post is written in collaboration with Virgin Atlantic. Thank you for supporting companies
that make Hey Pretty Thing possible! All photography, writing, and opinions are my own.