36 Hours in London With a first-timer

“I want to do all the London things,” said my wife, a London first timer. With 36 hours in one of Europe’s largest cities, we decided to wake up early and stay up late to experience London. Here’s what we did.


  • Fish and chips from Goat Tavern, a pub on the site of a tavern over 300 years old.
  • Puchkas, prawn malaikari, and aloo paratha at Darjeeling Express, a woman-owned restaurant with a women-led kitchen that was highlighted in Netfix’s Chef’s Table.


  • Chai followed by a “1948 Sour” from Dishoom, a popular Indian restaurant inside an Irani cafe-themed space.
  • Latte from Monmouth Coffee, a cafe that brews single origin beans and helps the earth by not using takeaway cups.


  • Book the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea at One Aldwych Hotel.
  • Find peace and art at The Phoenix Garden, a community garden in West End.
  • Shop at Hamleys, a toy store across seven floors that rivals New York City’s FAO Schwarz.
  • Stroll through Hyde Park, one of the largest parks in London with a lake and memorials.
  • Take your kids to the Diana Memorial Playground, a fully enclosed space with a pirate ship, other equipment, and a cafe, within Kensington Gardens.
  • Walk across the Westminster Bridge at night to see the Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster lit up.
  • Wander through neighborhoods like Chelsea and Covent Garden.


  • Vintage stands and shops at Camden Market, one of London’s most popular markets in a mural-filled neighborhood.

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