If you know me at all, you know I miss London a little bit. There are many amazing cities in the world, but London will always hold a piece of my heart. As the two year anniversary of my departure nears, I’ve been slowly compiling this list of little things that I miss about living in London. Anything resonate with you?
1. Knowing which tube carriage to ride so you get off right by the exit
Photo: a view from the interior/Flickr
Commuting is hard work, especially at the same time as thousands of other grumpy travellers! After taking the same route for a while, you start to remember where all the exits are out of the station, and can pick the appropriate carriage to make sure you’re at the escalator first. You know you’re a local when…
2. Walking between Knightsbridge and South Kensington
For some reason Knightsbridge and South Kensington were always far apart in my head. I loved starting in Knightsbridge and wandering through Harrods, then walking down Brompton Road until it became Cromwell Road, taking me into the heart of South Kensington. It’s such a beautiful part of the city, and the two are actually not far apart at all!
3. Having brunch on the Southbank
Photo: tim rich and lesley katon/Flickr
Sure, it rains a lot in London, but when the sun shines it’s magical. I absolutely love when the weather is nice enough to allow you to sit outside to eat, and brunch along the Southbank on the Thames is the best place to be. Inside is good too though..
4. Eating tapas at El Pirata in Mayfair
Photo: Pittaya Sroilong/Flickr
My first boss in London had very good taste, and was a frequent diner at El Pirata (lovingly abbreviated ‘El Pi’s’) in Mayfair. He would often take us there to celebrate, or for a relaxing Friday lunch. The best part about going with him was he knew the menu back to front. The drill was that he’d quickly check if we liked this or that, then order the best spread of tapas you’ve ever had! You can find it tucked away on Down Street, and I’d definitely recommend it for lovers of wine and tapas. Make sure you call ahead!
5. Catching a quick glimpse of Big Ben as the train rolls into Waterloo Station
Photo: Nikos Koutoulas/Flickr
For a year and a half I worked near Waterloo Station, and would take the train two stops in from Clapham Junction. Every day I’d hope to get a spot on the lefthand side of the carriage, enough so that you could see out a window. Why? As the train is slowing down to pull into the station, if you keep watching intently, you will catch a quick glimpse of Big Ben between buildings. It’s only for a few seconds, but always reminded me of how excited I was to be in London. Despite being cramped on a train during rush hour into work!
6. Trying to remember which taquito is my favourite at Wahaca
Photo: Garry Knight/Flickr
I’ve taken most of my visiting friends and family to Wahaca. In fact, I’ve taken people there when I’ve been the one visiting London! It’s such great value for money, and the food is so yummy! I really can never remember which taquitos I order, and I think I might order something different every time, always certain that it was what I ordered last time..
7. Wandering through the familiar rooms of the National Gallery
I’ve spent hours in the National Gallery. I’ve spent minutes in the National Gallery. Heck, I’ve wandered in here when I was early for a date nearby! This place is one of my favourite cultural spots in the city, so much so that I’d even go back now when I’m visiting from Dublin. I took one Art History class in University and I swear that half the paintings we studied are in that building. How cool is that?
8. Trekking across town for a Saturday catch up at Spitalfields Market
I was a West London girl. East London eluded me. I probably should have made more of an effort to be honest, and I suggest you all do if you have the chance! But, there was the odd visit here and there to catch up with East side friends, which usually included a wander through the fun stalls at Spitalfields Market on the weekends. It was always worth the journey.
9. Knowing which direction I’m facing thanks to the number of landmarks
This one is a bit weird, but it’s true! When I first moved to London I kept getting lost and was always late because I couldn’t make a map work. This wasn’t normal for me, and drove me mental! Soon enough though I realised the way to get around wasn’t to follow the map, it was to follow the landmarks! Lost? Look up, find two you recognise, and figure out where you are in relation where they are to each other. Simple. You’re welcome.
10. Knowing that the C3 bus will get me anywhere I want to go
Photo: Garry Knight/Flickr
I lived in three different flats, had three different jobs, and wandered around the city as often as I could. Somehow, no matter what the combination of houses to events to bars to jobs, the C3 was always part of my commute. Best bus route in West London!
Want more London? Take a look here. What’s your favourite thing about the city?