London has a huge amount of culture and history to offer. In addition there are wax figures, Ferris wheels and palaces. Let’s forget all this and concentrate on the really important things like restaurants, bars and streetfood markets. In between we visit some sights that are mostly not part of any bus or guided tours – a real quality feature.
For five days we explore the known and the new, discover the hidden, eat and drink our way through the capital and take pictures.
This time during our short vacation we are accommodated in the centrally located “Chamberlain Hotel” (Affiliate-Link). The hotel belongs to the Fullers chain which is one of the oldest pubs and hotel operators in London. At check-in, we receive a free upgrade to a room with its own roof terrace (room 504). Nice!
Chamberlains Fishrestaurant and Leadenhall Market
For us there is a very clear reason why one should visit the Hyde Park: Greedy, friendly squirrels.
Squirrels in Hyde Park – Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art
With a walnut in the lens hood of the wide-angle lens, the small gnawers can be lured very close to the camera. Or on the lap or on the hand.
On this day Daniel can feel like a real Disney princess. The attempt to attract a green parrot with a nut works and the little feathered guy lands on Daniel’s hand. Unfortunately nobody saw him except Daniel himself. Damn it.
Skeptical squirrel in Hyde Park – Nikon D500, Walimex Pro 8 mm f1:3,5
Very close to Hyde Park, at its eastern end at “Park Lane” there is a cute little café – the “ELAN Café“. The guest can expect delicious and artfully created pastries, cakes or fresh sandwiches. In addition, unusual drinks and compositions of tea and coffee are served. We eat a saffron doughnut and an extremely beautifully arranged Strawberry Cheesecake. Never before has such a small piece of cake brought so much joy to us. We also drink an iced tea from the French Press that reminds us of a mojito.
Small cakes in the “Elan Café” – iPhone 8 Plus inbuild wideangle lens
Camden Market / Streetfood / The Elephants Head
Record shops, hipsters, street food, colourful house facades. Admittedly, with our visit to the Camden market we have broken a little with the promised freedom from tourists. This part of town is full of tourists. Why were we here anyway?
View from the window of one of the Camden Market halls – Nikon D500, Walimex Pro 8 mm f1:3,5
Quite simply: The architecture of the old market halls is a dream for every photographer and in order to relax from it, the visitor is offered a wide range of culinary street food.
Markthalle auf dem Camden Market – Nikon D500, Walimex Pro 8 mm f1:3,5
Besides, a lot of garbage is sold on this market, you have to say that quite clearly. Cheap goods from China, pseudo-paintings from London, which in reality are printed in masses in Taiwan, all kinds of plastic garbage, which some call a souvenir. Nevertheless, in the back streets we discover quiet and somewhat remote record shops and small artists’ studios. It’s best to go where no one else is.
Indian flair in the “Namasté” shop at Camden Market – Nikon D500, Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM | Art
At lunchtime, locals, workers and tourists alike gather in the pubs, just as we stopped for a beer in the “Elephants Head“.
Those who want to enjoy the view should best plan their stay in such a way that one can watch the sunset from up here. With a little luck there will also be live music. You can enter the Sky-Garden as a pure visitor, but then you will have to wait outside in line, or you can book a table online in the “Sky Pod Bar” or the restaurant “Darwin Brasserie“. Then you can pass the queue right on time for your reservation and drive up to the 35th floor.
Personally, I liked the drinks in the “Sky Pod Bar” better in the past, but the cheese platter is still excellent and maybe only the view from the shard is more magnificent.
Officially, there is a dress code that forbids sports shoes, for example, but apparently this is no longer controlled, which is rather harmful for the overall atmosphere.
Covent Garden / Neil’s Yard / St. John Bakery
Another market that captivates with its culinary and creative offerings: Covent Garden Market. There is too much hustle and bustle here today and the offers of the individual markets are always the same somehow. So we go froleave Covent Garden Market in northern direction to the quarter called “Neal’s Yard”.
An alley in Neal’s Yard – Nikon D500, Walimex Pro 8 mm f1:3,5
We discover the small quarter with its colourful house fronts and strengthen ourselves with fresh sandwiches and doughnuts from the somewhat hidden bakery “St. John“. A great, down-to-earth shop with a large selection of fresh snacks. “Do you have any coffee?” asks Daniel, the salesman says, “Sure, filter coffee for a pound. No Grande Tall Blonde Americano Hipster coffee like everywhere else. A great conversation followed as we watched our sandwiches get made. And let’s face it, filter coffee goes great with a simple ham and mustard sandwich anyway. Besides, you don’t feel completely stupid when you pronounce the name of the coffee.
House fronts in Neal’s Yard – iPhone 8 Plus inbuild wideangle lens
God’s own junkyard Walthamstow / Mothers ruins Gin
We are in the district Walthamstow, the home of the “Blitz-Factory”, a manufacturer of neon advertisements. Also located here is a place called “God’s own junkyard“, a huge collection of neon ads. What sounds strange at first turns out to be an insider tip. We enter a hangar, through whose door countless billboards in thousands of colors light up.
It becomes clear to us why neon neon signs have enjoyed such popularity in the past and still do today: The colours, the flashing, the flickering, all this makes us simply happy, especially in the face of this plenty. People love it colourful, we combine colours with happiness and become curious to discover new things. No bad conditions to sell a product through such advertising.
One hangar further down the alley we visit the gin bar “Mother’s Ruin“. In front of the colorful former industrial building we drink a sweet “Old Tom’s Gin” with strong orange notes and tonic water. Life is good.
Original English breakfast on the terrace
Now that we could enjoy the room with roof terrace in the “Chamberlain Hotel” (Affiliate-Link) for free, we booked a breakfast in our room, more precisely on the table of our roof terrace.
In the warmth of the just rising sun we enjoy breakfast, on the street “Minories” we hear pedestrians talking, in the distance we hear sirens and construction site noises, but nothing disturbs us up here. This is how the city sounds – and we are very close. Thereupon a sip of hot coffee.
Columbia Road Flower Market / Oyster Boy / Clutch
St. Dunstan in the East
The small green oasis “St. Dunstan in the East” is located between “Idol Lane” and “St. Dunstans Hill”. The great fire of London and the Second World War have damaged the church, so that today only parts remain.
We’ve never seen a cemetery this big with so many old gravestones. Stone angel figures, overgrown stone crosses and majestic trees wherever you look.
Borough Market and Applebees Fish Restaurant
Teatime at the Reddoor Café in Greenwich
What photographic equipment did we have with us?
Below you will find affiliate links to the equipment we use:
- DSLR-Camera Nikon D500
- Lens Sigma 18-35mm F1,8 DC HSM
- Lens Walimex Pro 8mm f1:3,5 Fish-Eye
- Hand-luggage-compatible tripod Rollei Compact Traveler Mini M (780 g inkl. Kopf)
- Camera-carrying-system Peak Design Capture Clip v3
- Waterproof photo backpack by Beschoi
- iPhone 8 Plus
All the links in this text are Amazon Affiliate Links, and by clicking on an affiliate link I will earn a percentage of your subsequent Amazon purchases. However, this circumstance does not influence the background of my product recommendation. This product recommendation is independent, honest and sincere.
Bei allen genannten Links handelt es sich um Amazon-Affiliate-Links. Durch einen Klick auf einen Affiliate-Link werde ich prozentual an Euren darauf folgenden Amazon-Einkäufen beteiligt. Dieser Umstand beeinflusst aber nicht die Hintergründe meiner Produktempfehlung. Diese Produktempfehlung erfolgt unabhängig, ehrlich und aufrichtig.