A London Guide

 

A few months ago, my family made the plan to visit me in Europe. Not only we went to Paris, but they also spent a month in London. After being in the UK by myself for two years, I finally feel comfortable enough to show them around.

Personally, when I travel, I like to experience the local flavours of the country, but I know family trips can be quite different. For instance, my mum had a list of world-famous places in mind that she didn't want to miss. It was hard to adjust at first, because there are so many cafes and independent galleries I'd love my family to see...but after the first few days I found a way to balance between the high & lows. 

So, here's a guide of 10 things to do in London as both a tourist and a venturer. 

幾個月前,吳小姐和楊小妹訂下了要來歐洲遊玩的計畫。其中有七日在巴黎,剩下的三週多都是待在倫敦;而一晃眼過去,我也正式卸下為期一個月的小導遊身份。

同樣是遠在他鄉,但旅遊和生活切入的角度終究是不相同;看待新鮮事物的眼神,往往不及觀光客那般炙熱。說來慚愧,一直以來急於發掘自己的口袋名單,咖啡館與獨立藝廊是走訪過不少,不過與許多稱之為「必訪」的大小景點卻素未謀面。想想,他們這趟旅程,安排的正是時候呢!

今天,整理出十個我覺得特別值特一探的地點,一起來看看吧。

 
 

1. Visit the Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is perhaps the most popular place to visit in London, especially for the guard changing that happens at 11am. The palace itself is located in a pretty convenient place with the Big Ben and Westminster being just 15 mins away. Though I'm not usually the type of person who stands in a crowd and wait for a ceremony to happen, do give it a try if it's your first time in London (it kind of reminds of me of Princess Diary, some how).

 

白金漢宮是每本遊指南都不可能遺漏的;壯麗的城堡與廣場,雖不是陌生之地,但每次幾乎都只是匆匆經過,並沒有特別留意欣賞,更別說一賭那有名的衛兵交接儀式。由早上十一點開始,從儀隊到馬上的衛兵,所有人各司其職,動作整齊化一,完全不受一旁人潮的影響,實在令人讚嘆。另外,這兒也十分接近大笨鐘和西敏寺,好好安排一下,便能把這些景點一網打盡。

 
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2. Local Tastes at the Markets

When my family told me they'd like to see the markets in London, I instantly thought of Camden & Borough. The former for vintage discovery, and the later for food. Both of them are pretty easy to get to, but beware the crowd can get quite overwhelming, especially during weekends. 

I love Camden market because there are tuns of cool second hand stuffs that you can't find anywhere else, well, at least not as easy. It's perhaps my favourite place when I feel like finding some new props for my photos. Of course, if you're not into used goods, there are stores & stalls like Designer Studio where they sell loads of accessories and goods from independent European designers. As for food, the grilled mushroom & hummus was really delicious, and don't miss Miss Poppy's ice chocolate. 

Borough market is so much smaller than Camden, but it is the best food market in London, as far as I know. Back then when I still eat meat, I always order the Chorizo Paella, and of course that's what I made my mum & sister try. The vegetable Pad Thai is a great vegetarian. And I always get the chocolate chunks Chocolicous. 

 

由於這趟他們時間充裕,特意選了兩個市集走走逛逛;極其適合挖寶的 CAMDEN MARKET 肯頓市集以及美食天堂 BOROUGH MARKET 波羅市集  。兩者在交通上都十分方便。

肯頓市集並非一般常見的傳統二手市集,在這裡復古與流行並存,再往裡頭走還會發現其實有許多文創與極富個性的設計師在這兒落腳。最裡面的復古與二手區是最容易讓人迷失的地方。從打字機、老相機、望遠鏡到古董指南羅盤等等都有,我也找到了好多下一場拍攝時可以利用的道具。餐飲攤販的種類也是繁多迥異,印度餅搭配鷹嘴豆泥醬與蘑菇是我們一家人的最愛;另外 MISS  POPPY 的冰巧力也十分推薦。

波羅市集規模雖然相對較小,但他是倫敦最著名的傳統美食市集。不只有新鮮的食材,許多街頭小吃的攤位也都駐足與此。以前還吃肉的時候,西班牙臘腸頓飯是每次必點,而這趟發現的素食版泰式炒河粉則成了新歡。甜食方面,CHOCOLICOUS 的巧克力塊味道濃郁、甜度適中,做伴手禮很合適。

 

Camden Market: Camden Lock Pl, London NW1 8AF, UK
Borough Market: 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL, U

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3. Walk Along the London Bridge

As much as I love exploring alternative and local culture, a place like the London Bridge is just something you cannot miss. First, it's the perfect place for a good shot of the Tower Bridge (as seen above), and it's super near Borough Market, aka Food Heaven. 

My mum and sister landed just a few days after the London Bridge attack. But as frightening as the Londoners are, the city is also laced with strength to unite and chant for the lives lost. The bridge itself had flowers all over, it was a emotionally overwhelming scene. British or not, almost every single person stopped to appreciate the notes, candles, and beautiful flowers left for those who were tragically affected.

All in all, love is borderless, and so is human spirit...as they should always be.

 

自助行程的安排的優點,就是能在深度旅遊與觀光之間做適合自己與旅伴的調適。由於楊小妹對於倫敦還不算熟悉,在走訪波羅市集之後就順勢去觀賞倫敦塔橋;而對面的倫敦大橋,是拍攝塔橋的絕佳地點。幸運的話,還能像我們一樣剛好遇見大型渡輪進港的時間,增加畫面的豐富性。

其實,吳小姐與楊小妹抵達日期和「貨車衝撞人群事件」的發生時間相距不遠。這段日子,許多民眾帶著蠟燭、花朵和照片信件到橋上悼念傷亡。而往返的人們,各個也都因眼前的畫面放下腳步,心繫受此事影響之人;此時此刻,我們不分民族,以最直接的方式表達自己的關心。

啊,不就本該如此嗎?人與人之間的情懷,是沒有國界的,如此純粹。

 

 

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4.Shopping around Regent Street 

You NEED to go to Regent Street, I know its such a cliché, but it's famous for a reason. First, it is super easy to go to (Oxford Circus Station or Piccadilly Circus Station), and you can basically find every high & low brand here. The Burberry flagship store is something I recommend to not miss, even if you're not planning to have anything. I had the best make-up tutorial experience the other day, and now I'm hooked to there products. Plus, Liberty is just around the corner, it is hand down the best and most well-decorated department store I've came across!). Another perk of Regent Street is that its right next to Carnaby Street, where you can find the best cupcake in London — Crumbs & Dollies! 

 

攝政街,是所有外來觀光客必訪之地。不單單只是購物,美麗的建築風貌也是其深受歡迎的主因。不過,往返幾次後,發現與其說是精品街,我倒覺得他像個極度完整的綜合商圈。除了高價精品,一旁的小街也集合了許多個性品牌入駐,從流行時尚、文創小舖到設計家具都有。很推薦到座落於 1802 年古蹟建築的 BURBERRY 旗艦店看看,不一定要買東西,體驗體驗獨到的英倫風味也挺好的。同時倫敦的百年老牌百貨 LIBERTY 就在不遠處;不管是展示商品的方式、內部裝潢或是選物都十分有特色,每每進到這裡都會忍不住多看幾眼,彷彿這樣就能多修幾個品位學分。另外,有時間的話,就到附近的 CRUMBS & DOLLIES 甜點店(步行約五分),嚐嚐我心目中最好吃的杯子蛋糕吧!

 
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5. Spend a Day in Notting Hill

I was drawn to Notting Hill because the colourful houses looked super cute online, and I'm the biggest fan of William and Anna's love story. I still remember how I didn't want to leave when I first visited the neighbourhood two years ago. I loved everything about it, the houses, the creativity, the vibe, and the perfect balance between tourist and locals. I almost wanted to live here, but my friend told me this isn't the safest place to relocate, especially for someone who's just only arrived Europe. So I ended up keeping this place as my weekend go-to...I am indeed just a 5ft Asian girl after all. 

 

會安排諾丁山,絕對是私心作祟。彩色房屋、古董家具店、藝術家攤位與波多貝羅市集,各個都是我的愛。不過,若是說起這區最有名的原因,那就屬電影「新娘百分百」莫屬了;一年四季,都有人為了要一睹威廉與安娜相遇之處而前來。記得初次到來時,起了住在這裡的念頭,不過在考量到房價與交通等等因素(離學校要將近一小時的車程),就暫時放棄了。不打緊,保持點距離吧,這樣的朦朧美有助於維持心中浪漫的憧憬。

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6. Lunch at BAO

"Guá Bao" is a famous street food from Taiwan, which normally contains pork belly and peanuts. However this little restaurant (BAO) in Soho provides a variety of option for those who don't eat pork, for example, the fried mushroom version is a great alternative choice if you're a vegetarian like me. I love their sweet potatoes fries and green foam tea, the perfect homesick cure. 

This place is quite internationally known, so there might be a long queue during popular hours. 

 

旅遊也好,或是出國留學工作也罷,總有那一時半刻想念家鄉的種種;而熟悉的食物所帶給我們的情懷更是無法抹滅。不過,在西方國家,道地的台灣菜真的非常難找,更別說是夜市小吃了。在蘇活區著名的 BAO 是罕見的成功例子,用刈包在倫敦一戰成名,不管是華人或是當地人都十分喜愛。吃素的人,可以選他們特製的辣味蘑菇刈包。或是像我一樣,來份地瓜薯條與冰涼的奶蓋茶,重回一下高中生活的味覺記憶。

小提醒:這家店幾乎無時無刻都要排隊,建議大家可以在營業時間前十分鐘前往。

 

53 Lexington St, Carnaby, London W1F 9AS, UK

 

 

7. Big Ben

It's a pity that Big Ben is currently under refurbishment. The photos might not look as nice, but it still pretty amazing in person!

One thing I love about London is that, even though the city itself can be so developed, they never fail to keep buildings like this in good condition. 

 

倫敦,是座成功保有新舊平衡的知性之都。東邊如同金絲雀碼頭的商業區,高樓大廈林立,景色現代摩登。若是往西沿著泰晤士河,就能瞧見所有人熟知的伊莉莎白塔,也就是俗稱的大笨鐘,以城市經典的灰蒙天色當作背景,又是另番復古風情。

某日早晨,看完白金漢宮衛兵交接後,我們一行人穿越詹姆士公園,步行前往大笨鐘。因為正在進行為期三年的大整修,鐘塔外圍漸漸架設了許多鷹架,不過別擔心,這絲毫不減其莊嚴、沈穩之感。

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8. Syrup of Soot Cafe

I found this coffee place right after I took my family to the British Museum, its only 5 minutes walk away, and we desperately needed a place to drink & rest. Syrup of Soot is very Victorian-inspired and the staffs are extremely friendly. Definitely a must try if you're around the area. 

 

在走訪大英博物館後,發現了 SYRUP OF SOOT 這家小巧的咖啡館。維多莉亞式的風格非常討人喜歡,店員也都十分熱情。經歷過幾小時的歷史人文洗禮,的確是個適合小憩的好地方。

 

38 Museum St, Bloomsbury, London WC1A 1LP, UK

 

9. St Paul Cathedral

St Paul Cathedral is one of the best places for views over London. You can walk along the staircase to the different galleries, which also offers a peek through the interior of the beautiful dome.

The Golden gallery runs around the highest point of the outer zone, it's 528 steps above, giving you the view of River Thames, Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. And the Whisper Gallery is my personal favourite, because it is the perfect place to admire the charm of the dome's construction.

 

不管在歐洲哪個成是旅行,教堂確實常見。聖保羅教堂是當年黛安娜王妃與查爾斯王子舉行婚禮的地點,也是少數單由一位設計師獨立設計完成的作品。華麗的視覺樣貌是巴洛克建築獨有的,然而在光鮮亮麗的背後藏的是令人讚嘆的細膩工藝和手法。

教堂最上層的拱頂,是俯瞰市貌的貴賓區。在戰勝了 528 階的樓梯後來到制高點,一覽泰晤士河、泰特現代美術館、莎士比亞劇院等著名地標,將倫敦的個性與姿態一覽無遺,很值得。

 

St. Paul's Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD, UK

 

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10. Brunch at The Riding House Cafe

Last but not least...you have to get brunch at the Riding House Cafe! This is my favourite place for Avocado on Toast, and they have the fluffiest pancake in town. However, the portion of their dish can be quite big so I reckon order a few to share rather than each having one. I recommend shopping at Regent Street after since it only 5 mins walk away from the area. 

Do book in advance because they are extremely busy, even on weekdays. Crazy! 

 

最後,我想把我在市中心最愛的早午餐餐館 THE RIDING HOUSE CAFE 介紹給大家。我很喜歡在週末與朋友來場早午餐約會,畢竟這兩天的時間不用受工作或學業所限制,可以安安心心地享受一頓飯。來杯熱茶、一份飽足的酪梨吐司,最後五六個女生再一塊兒分享鬆軟的莓果煎餅,果真是完美的時光呀!

小提醒:這裡不管是平日或假日都絕對要事先訂位,不然候位可能會等上好一段時間。

43-51 Great Titchfield St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 7PQ, UK

 

Shot on Nikon DF with 50mm lens.
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