London: City of Westminster

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Carnaby Street in Soho

While in London, I did a lot of exploring in the City of Westminster. What is the City of Westminster? It’s an inner-city London borough, but also holds city status. Confused? Me, too. Almost any London site you can think of is in City of Westminster.

My last visit was mostly in Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and Camden Town (King’s Cross is a neighborhood in Camden), so I was excited to have some time to visit the traditional tourists site of London! I walked a total of 6 hours on Thursday trying to see as much as possible!

I started with a walk through Soho, described by Visit London as “diverse, fun-loving and never quiet”.

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Carnaby Street, a famous shopping street in Soho known for British brands and concept stores

 

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The Spirit of Soho mural

 

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Any Game of Thrones fans reading this post?

 

After a walk through Soho I headed to Regent Street to see the new Polo Ralph Lauren flagship store. Regent Street is one of the most famous shopping streets in London with more than 70 international flagship stores. The Georgian architecture makes it a beautiful street to stroll.

 

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Polo Ralph Lauren on Regent Street

 

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Dutch pancakes, or poffertjes on Regent Street

 

I think I found my favorite pub in London. I love scotch eggs and did some research about where to find the best ones in London, and The Burlington Arms was on the list. You can find the pub on a side street of Regent Street, a hidden gem for a respite from shopping and exploring. Also, they have a pub dog!!

 

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The Burlington Arms

 

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Inside

 

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My delicious scotch egg

 

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Cider is my go-to drink in London pubs (I can’t drink British beer after living in Belgium so long…)

 

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Super cute pub dog that wanted a bite of my scotch egg

 

After my delicious snack I headed toward The Green Park, passing through Berkley Square Gardens. On our last day in London, Koen and I came for breakfast at The Wolseley. The breakfast here is so famous that there is even a book called ‘Breakfast at The Wolseley’.

 

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Never did get used to looking left, so this is very helpful!

 

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Berkley Square Gardens

 

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Berkley Square Gardens

 

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The Green Park

 

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The Wolseley

 

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Inside

 

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Inside

 

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Koen browsing the breakfast menu

 

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My cappuccino

 

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Koen’s coffee

 

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My Eggs Benedict with side of bacon

 

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My Cannelè Bordelais

 

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Koen’s caramelized pink grapefruit

 

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Koen’s English breakfast

 

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Ready to eat!

 

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So much food!

 

Close to The Green Park is the Fortnum & Mason flagship store on Piccadilly. Because we go to America in a week, I wanted to pick up some tea for my mom.

 

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Fortnum & Mason Flagship

 

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Picadilly Circus

 

Chinatown is also part of the City of Westminster! While you’re walking around, you can’t miss it!

 

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Chinatown

 

It had been 12 years since I’d seen Buckingham Palace, so since I was out in the City of Westminster I wanted to see it again! Not quite as beautiful as I remembered, but still fun to see again. The beautiful Victoria Memorial is situated in front of the palace.

 

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Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Memorial

 

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Front of the Victoria Memorial

 

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Back of the Victoria Memorial

 

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Buckingham Palace

 

After visiting the palace, I headed to Westminster, a square where Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster are located. It’s also situated next to the River Thames, and you have a beautiful view of the London Eye from the Westminster Bridge.

 

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Churchill statue at Westminster

 

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Westminster Abbey

 

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Westminster Abbey

 

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Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster

 

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Westminster Bridge

 

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View of the Palace of Westminster from Westminster Bridge

 

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London Eye

 

After visiting Westminster, I went for a walk, visiting St. James’s and Trafalgar Square.

 

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St. James’s

 

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Beware!

 

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Trafalgar Square

 

After exploring the City of Westminster by foot, I went to the Tate Britain to enjoy their collection. Definitely recommend if you’re in London!

 

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Victoria Tower Gardens

 

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Tate Britain

 

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David Hockney exhibit

 

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One of the galleries

 

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An Athlete Wrestling with a Python, 1877, Frederic Leighton

 

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Woman’s Mission: Companion of Manhood, 1863, George Elgar Hicks

 

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Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, 1885-6, John Singer Sargent

 

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The Lady of Shalott, 1888, John William Waterhouse

 

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Thhe Cholmondeley Ladies, 1600-10, British School

 

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Brown Eyes. 1891, George Clausen

 

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Minnie Cunningham at the Old Bedford, 1892, Walter Richard Sickert

 

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The Annunciation, 1892, Arthur Hacker

 

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Golden Autumn, 1900, Alfred East

 

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Rule Britannia, 1910, Spencer Gore

 

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Museum Snack!

 

For an evening activity, because Koen was attending a reception, I decided to entertain myself by seeing Wicked in the West End! Luckily there are many restaurants close to the theaters with theater dinners (aka early dinners). I decided on Shepherd’s, because it’s a Westminster establishment often frequented by members of parliament serving British classics. The head chef is Karl Goward, who worked in a couple of my favorite restaurants – St. John in London and The Spotted Pig in NYC. It was the perfect dinner before seeing Wicked and only a 10 minute walk from the theater. I definitely recommend the combination if you’re looking for something to do in the evening while in London!

 

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Shepherd’s

 

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Dinner for one

 

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Delicious Shepherd’s Pie

 

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The Shepherd’s Pie

 

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For dessert – Apple crumble with clotted cream

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Wicked!

 

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Waiting in line to get into the Apollo Victoria Theater

 

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The stage

 

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Gift shop

 

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So much fun in London this trip!

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