City Guide: London, England
Today we welcome Suze to the blog, a writer living in London, England. Suze shares with us how she stays inspired by using her city, every single day.
Welcome, Suze! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your blog?
I’m Suze, aka, Luxury Columnist, and I started writing on my friends’ recommendations, to share my experiences and love of photography. My mission is to help everyone experience a little luxury in their lives. Luxury Columnist was recently named one of the 50 best luxury blogs and websites by Qosy and we have over 41,000 followers across Instagram, Twitter, Faebook and Pinterest – thanks for your support!
What are three words that define London?
Vibrant, historical, multicultural.
How would you describe London to someone who has never been?
There’s a famous saying, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life” and this sums up London pretty well – there’s always something going on!
What makes someone a Londoner?
To really describe yourself as a Londoner, you used to have to be born within the sound of bow bells from St Mary le Bow church in the City. These days, it’s anyone who feels a true connection with the city.
What is the one London clothing essential?
An umbrella, the weather does change quite a lot! Having said that, we no longer have fog and we have many very sunny days.
Somewhere super touristy you still like to visit?
Climbing the top of the Monument – it commemorates the Great Fire of London and there are 311 steps! I’ve also been meaning to visit Westminster Abbey for ages.
What’s the best way to get around the city? Bike, bus, metro, car…
We have bikes for hire all over the city and new cycle lanes are being built but for me the best way is on foot as much as possible. Taking the number 11 bus will give you a good tour of the major tourist attractions too.
What is your city’s philosophy?
I guess, anything goes. We’re a fairly tolerant bunch.
Describe an ideal day in London.
It depends on your interests but a walk along the South Bank is always fun, there’s lots to see along the way – the London Eye, human statues and plenty of cool places to eat.
What hotel do you recommend to visiting friends?
I recently stayed at Batty Langley’s, it’s a very quirky boutique hotel in Spitalfields decorated with lots of antiques.
What is your favorite place for…
A date night: Darwin Restaurant at the Sky Garden, it’s on the 36th Floor of a skyscraper and the views are fantastic.
A dinner with friends: Tramshed in Shoreditch is a spectacular building with even more spectacular artworks by Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin, plus great value food, making it a perfect choice for dinner with friends.
Working: From a deckchair in one of London’s Royal Parks – if only 😉
People watching: The Grand Cafe in the Royal Exchange in the City – it’s a beautiful indoor courtyard in a historic building and once you’ve finished people watching, there are 30 luxury stores to explore.
Shopping (boutique, vintage, chain store): The King’s Road in Chelsea has it all, independent boutiques, vintage stores and well known chains such as Zara and Anthropologie.
Your coffee shop: Bill Granger’s in Clerkenwell.
Your local bar: Zetter Townhouse in Farringdon is a very cool bar with a speakeasy vibe. The door is unmarked and it feels like you’re in a private member’s club.
Your park: St James’s Park, it overlooks Buckingham Palace
What is one souvenir to bring back from London? Tea and biscuits from Fortnum and Masons department store.
Okay, now some really hard questions…
I’m OBSESSED with afternoon tea, a concept that originates in your beautiful city! Do you have a go-to spot for afternoon tea?
All the hotels do great afternoon tea but one of my recent favourites was the gentleman’s afternoon tea at the Stafford Hotel. It has some really tasty savouries as well as delicious desserts and it’s too good just to keep for the menfolk 😉
European living must be so great in that it lends itself to easy access to other countries in Europe for quick weekend trips or easy vacations. Do you have a favorite spot in Europe you have visited?
I really loved Budapest and I want to return with my husband who has never been. It’s got amazing spas, beautiful architecture, friendly inhabitants and trendy restaurants and bars.
Your blog is all about Luxury in London (and beyond!) Are there any luxury products/brands that are specific to London that you can’t live without?
London W11 make cashmere knitwear and loungewear that’s perfect once the weather turns colder.
I often say that if I were blessed with a British accent, I’d never shut up. (Seriously, I think they are the best things ever!) Being British yourself, is there a specific accent from somewhere else in the world that you also find fascinating? (And it’s ok if it’s British, I would totally agree with you!;-)
I’m delighted that the British accent is so popular, perhaps I need a return visit to the States to really capitalize on this ;-). Not far from home, I find the Welsh accent fascinating and they have some of the longest place names in the world that they still manage to pronounce!
Ok, I’m planning a visit to London. Winter, spring, summer, or fall?
They all have their charms. Winter is great for the Christmas lights and window displays plus the sales afterwards, though I have a soft spot for Summertime and picnics in the parks.
Thank you so much for sharing your city with us, Suze!
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