I went to London at the end of June to visit my friend Caoimhe who moved there recently.
Although it feels like we did nothing, when I look back on it, it was a great trip. We didn’t go to any typical tourist attractions as such but ate and explored.
When I arrived on Day 1 I said to Caoimhe I would need to sleep since I had to get up at stupid o’clock (seriously 3.30 AM is no joke). After a snooze though we headed for the Sky Garden located on 20 Fenchurch Street (fyi Monument is the closest tube stop). The Sky Garden is this beautiful glass dome with a temperate garden inside which has panoramic views of London city.
Although it’s free to visit you do have to book in advance, you won’t be allowed just rock up at the door. Also ensure that you have some government form of ID with you (we had our driving licenses) and be prepared to go through a metal detector. We got a laugh from the security guard as Caoimhe had a shopping bag with a frying pan in it she was planning to return after we left the Sky Garden.
You can see the Shard in my little snap video, all around the Sky Garden there are little window stickers pointing out famous landmarks.
Caoimhe and I got some sugar to keep us going- I had the English classic that is Victoria sponge and Caoimhe got this unreal Lime and Pistachio cake.
The sun came out eventually so we could really enjoy all the greenery inside!
(I’m never going to hear the end of it off Caoimhe for putting up this photo)
After the Sky Garden we walked around while Caoimhe ran some errands (the frying pan came back home with us in the end). We found ourselves in this Italian restaurant called Ponti’s quite impulsively, we had just come out of BHS, decided we were hungry and who was across the street but Ponti’s Italian Kitchen.
I had their Emilia pizza; mozzarella, parma ham, rocket and tomatoes. It is easily one of the nicest pizza’s I’ve ever had in any restaurant. You can see their pizza oven from the seating area, there’s something honest about being able to see someone making your food feet from where you sit (I think I must have gotten that line from some restaurant show, but it genuinely describes how I felt there)
You can check out their menus here
And if you want to make a reservation you can do so here
I thought it was a really cosy place, which is something hard to achieve given the size of the restaurant (it’s big). I think the colour scheme and decor is quite dark but that didn’t take away from it whatsoever. It felt like you could have good conversation and not have to feel worried about being overheard despite the volume the place can accommodate.
Lovin that copper.
After dinner we headed back to Caoimhes to get changed before we went to see HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD (can you tell I am still buzzing about it?)
If you want to read more about the play (there’s no spoilers, promise!) then just click here https://dontknowuntilyougo.com/2016/07/03/harry-potter-and-the-cursed-child-in-london
We were responsible adults after the play and went back to Caoimhes, where we had £15 worth of crap food from Tesco and drinks.
Read about Day 2 of my trip here: https://dontknowuntilyougo.com/2016/08/04/4-days-in-london-day-2/