August 29, 2016

Siobhan Ferguson of the more than adorable Instagram account, @prettycitylondon gives us a whirlwind tour of her must-see destinations in London over 48 hours. Over to you, Siobhan…

When taking a trip to London, it can be so tempting to head straight for its iconic sights. Andy why not? They are incredibly unique. There’s no better way to spend an afternoon than to stroll along the Southbank taking in the likes of Big Ben, the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern to name a few. However to truly experience the wonderful soul of the capital, you simply need to explore its many tucked away villages, its gorgeous neighbourhoods, its pretty little cafes. It is then that you can really get to know and fall in love with the city. There is so much to do in London and simply impossible to cover these in 48 hours, but when I think about my ideal weekend in the capital it would definitely involve some (or maybe all) of the following:

West London

Holland Park and Notting Hill

I like to hop off the bus at the bottom of Holland Park Avenue and stroll at my leisure through Norland Square up to Clarendon Cross, a charming and elegant village which homes a lovely bunch of upmarket boutiques. L’Maison , Summerill and Bishop and The Cross Shop are my favourites. To top it off, this area is completely surrounded by elegant pastel coloured houses each pristinely painted. I always feel like I have landed in a charming village in the South of France. This area is an absolute mecca for vintage cars, well placed bikes and it is oh so Instagramable. I could honestly visit time and time again and always find something new to photograph.

I typically leave here and walk towards Portobello Road through Elgin Crescent. I rarely visit this area without a stop at Harper and Toms (one of my favourite flower shop/stalls in the area). Also worth a mention are Biscuiteers (clue in the name) on Kensington Park Road, Alices (Antique Shop) on Portobello Road and Farmgirl Cafe also on Portobello. I wouldn’t recommend leaving Notting Hill without visiting St Lukes Mews, famous for its part in Love Actually. I love to stroll through this enchantingly pretty cobbled street mews and admire its many remarkable features. Even the bins have a sense of style. I never leave here without popping in to the Tin Shed and highly recommend their hot smoked salmon bagel.

My Favourite for :

Coffee and treats

• Farmgirl Cafe on Portobello Road
• Fabrique on Portobello Road
• The Tin Shed on All Saints Road
• For something more substantial try Pizza East off Golborne Road.

The Cloth Shop on Portobello Road and Pedlars on Talbot Road are absolutely worth a mooch in too.

South Kensington and Chelsea

I love to visit two of my favourite museums, V&A and The Natural History museum before exploring the general area of South Kensington. The main entrance of The Natural History Museum is a photographer’s dream and the entire interior of the V&A is a must see. I love to stroll up to Chelsea through South Kensington, always taking my time on Walton Street to people watch and window shop. When in Chelsea I often head down the Kings Road to Bywater street, famous on Instagram for its row of pastel coloured houses. I also like to explore Pimlico Road and always walk over to say hi to the girls in Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart.

My Favourite for

Coffee and treats

• Fernandez and Wells on Exhibition Road – their breakfasts are incredible and they even have their own coffee. I jump for joy when I manage to get that table at the window out the back.
• Cote Brasserie on Sloane Square is the perfect spot for a light bite or more

I love to lose an hour or two mooching through Anthropologie’s large store on Kings Road. The Kings Road shop is in the beautiful old Antiquarius building, lovingly restored by an in-house team. The fantastic space is complete with exquisite original features like plate-glass windows and intricate ironwork, it offers an elegant shopping experience.

Lower Belgravia

My favourite streets in Belgravia are Elizabeth Street and Motcomb Street. The former is an elegant Victorian street which houses some of London’s best shops including Jenny Packham, Philip Treacy and it would be a sin not to lose an hour or two both photographing and sampling the divine cakes Peggy Porschen has to offer. Its floral arch, new for this spring/summer has been particularly popular on Instagram – no surprise. I only recently discovered Motcomb street closer to Hyde Park Corner and home to some gorgeous eateries including Ottolengi and The Fine Cheese Company.

My Favourite for :

Coffee and treats

• TomToms on Elizabeth Street
• Peggy Porschen also on Elizabeth Street

For something more substantial I like The Tomas Cubitt on Elizabeth Street for some unfussy British cuisine.

Central London

Covent Garden

Although quite touristy, I still think it’s worth stealing a little off the beaten track on to Monmouth Street. Incredible for coffee lovers and shoppers, and I love to people watch here. I can’t believe how much this area has changed recently. Monmouth Coffee is one of my favourites. I love photographing the pretty shop fronts along here: Club Monaco, Murdocks and Le Labo are always top of my must see list. If I am in the mood for the tourist spots of Covent Garden, I pop into Laduree for a couple of macarons eating them on the steps of the piazza while watching the street entertainers.

My Favourite for :

Coffee and treats

• Monmouth Coffee on Monmouth Street
• Covent Garden Grind on Henrietta Street
• Primrose Bakery on Tavistock Street

For something more substantial to eat, try Balthazar on Russell Street. Balthazar’s Boulangerie next door serves homemade artisan breads, pastries, salads and sandwiches to eat in, take away or have delivered.

North London


This is my definite ‘escape to the country but stay in London’ destination. I love everything about this perfect lofty neighbourhood, be it a stroll along Flask Walk, a mooch in the shops on Hampstead High Street, coffee at my favourite Ginger and White or a walk through Hampstead Heath. It really is a must-see when visiting London.

My Favourite for :

Coffee and treats

• Ginger and White on Perrins Court
• For a unique grocery experience pop into Melrose and Morgan in Oriel Place

To experience a lovely little pub try The Flask on Flask Walk or The Holly Bush

Primrose Hill

48 hours in London would not be the same without a trip to Primrose Hill and more notably Regents Park Road. The latter’s many independent shops and eateries make it a very special place, it’s no wonders it is home to so many London celebrities. It has a real community vibe. I love to browse around Chalcot Square and Chalcot Terrace with its beautiful pastel houses and walk down towards Camden.

My Favourite for :

Coffee and treats

• Primrose Bakery on Gloucester Avenue

East London

Shoreditch and Bethnal Green

East London has so much to offer, but for me the best streets are Shoreditch High Street, Calvert Avenue, Redchurch Street and Old Spitalfields area. I like to hop off the tube at Old Street and walk up to Shoreditch High Street .. walk down Calvert Avenue and Redchurch and head down Brick Lane. I never leave without visiting Old Spitalfields with its “movie-set” terraced houses.

My Favourite for :

Coffee and treats

• The Attendant on Great Eastern Street
• Paper and Cup on Calvert Avenue
• Kahaila on Brick Lane

Favourite Neighbourhoods: Connaught Village, Chiswick, Islington, Marylebone and Soho.

Favourite Parks: Hyde Park and Green Park.

Favourite Mews: St Lukes Mews in Notting Hill , Hyde Park Gardens off Connaught Street and Kynance Mews near Gloucester Road.

Favourite Markets: Borough Market and Columbia Road Flower Market