this is my top 10 london. it was my first time in london, it was rainy but what can one do? i went on and tried to make the best of the short 5 days i had.

as usual, here go my highlights:

10. a sing along down the local pub. new friends took us to rockaoke in star of kings pub in king’s cross. for one hour, a handful of enthusiasts demonstrated their singing skills (or lack thereof). unexpectedly great fun!

9. a party at the museum. new friends invited us to the one at the science museum and i think it’s such a great idea to use a museum as an event venue. beside the actual scientific exhibits they have special areas where one can try out all sorts of more or less scientific devices. also, we went to an explosion demonstration/stand up comedy session and could’ve gotten into the speed dating room if we wanted to. i’d do this again!

8. a stroll in soho. the pubs, the stores, the atmosphere. and we were lucky enough to see it all in a very nice sunset light. score!

7. a tour of the city. especially if the weather is nice, take a tour with a thames clipper or with a double-decker with a good route, sit down and enjoy the view!

6. a walk in the park. there are many enjoyable parks in london: i love the hyde park and i especially liked feeding the swans coming out on land with black feet like divers, stretching out their necks to pick up the bread from my hands at the round pond in front of  kensington palace.

5. a session of shopping. whether you like high street or high end-designers, london has a few special places for you. i went to the pop-up united nude shop where they had their entire range including the insane iris van herpen designs. i also liked the top floor/food department of harvey nichols. camden market was interesting but top of my list was dover street market, of course.

4. a delicious lunch at burrough market. they have everything from wonderful cheeses at neil yard’s dairy to ostrich and kangaroo burgers, home-made bread and cakes, and pretty much anything else you can think of. a must!

3. a walk down the water. we stayed at king’s cross so, one day, we walked by the regent’s canal all the way to camden market. on the way, we saw many much-longer-then-wide boats along the canal as well as a variety of birds including a family of two geese and three newly-hatched goslings. the father was going ssssss! and then went to eat the bread i was throwing, along with the rest of them. very cute!

2. a drink in a secret bar. on brick lane, after the obligatory curry, a new friend took us to this members-only place: danger of death. prohibition-themed and hidden as you wouldn’t believe, it offers kick ass cocktails (click here for the very cool menu that reminds me of an old russian vacuum cleaner user’s manual – in the best way possible!). i had the pushing up daisy, a yummy gin-based mix with a mere level 1 of intensity (see chart on the menu) but the rest of the party went crazy on various classic and custom-made cocktails as the bartender was a very understanding and accommodating hipster. a great night with a twist!

1. lots and lots of great art. tate modern with its damien hirst and yayoi kusama exhibitions, the very varied v&a and many amazing galleries. plenty of food for thought (and future posts)!

Also, some random tips:

* transport is pretty expensive so get an oyster card.

* the weather is famously unreliable so bring an umbrella, a rain coat and your hunters/doc martens.

* things i missed but sound interesting nonetheless: christian louboutin retrospectivedavid hockneyleather forever by hermes, the late lucian freud and and of course, the olympics (27.07-12.08)!


photo credits: google search, lilaesthete