Nostalgic Diary of a Travelling Soul - The Best of London in 3 Days

Ecaterina Kilian's picture
Nostalgic Diary of a Travelling Soul - The Best of London in 3 Days

Nostalgia is often perceived as a negative word. Yet it is prone to revive memories and stir emotions.

I left London in June 2011, my head and heart was full of bitterness, and it is only now that I understand that it was because I was so exhausted. I was tired of the system, of the people, and of studying hard at University. Following the world's favourite idiom; 'the grass is always greener on the other side' I went back to Moscow. A year and a half later, I’d still rather be anywhere other than the UK, yet I get waves of nostalgia from my time in London.

I often want to close my eyes and return to the times of walking down the little streets of West London, listening to the silence and saying hello to the parrot that sat in someone's garden and said 'hello' when I acknowledged him. I miss the fact that within one city you can travel through the whole world, Moscow is not quite there yet. Let me reminisce and tell you what I would do if I was in London for a mere three days.

Always take the morning flight, so you have the whole day in front of you. Drop of your bags, wherever you are staying, for me it will forever be wherever my Curl is. Then I would rush to the South Bank and walk all the way down to London Bridge. I’d sit on my Sunday bench on the way, the second one after Waterloo Bridge and then have lunch at the pancake place in Gabriel's Wharf.

Go back to the Embankment and walk to Tate Modern, marvel at the peculiarities of modern art, wonder what it all means, get inspired, buy something crazy at the gift shop and escape to Borough Market by London Bridge. Taste everything, buy nothing, have a glimpse at Tower Bridge. Hop on the tube and go to the Natural History museum, remembering why I never took the underground, as it will stop in every tunnel and take longer than needed at every station, because well 'why not'.  The best exhibition there was the 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year', be amazed at nature and buy a calendar, then hop on the bus to meet friends for dinner. My place of choice for your first dinner in town would be the Diner in Carnaby Street, because of the cheese fries, the atmosphere and they let you spike your milkshakes. Stroll through Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus, because even at night it feels like day, I wonder how much they pay for electricity... who cares?! Stop at a couple of bars; see more friends and sleep for a few hours.

Wake up the next morning and travel to East London. Walk through Spitalfields Market, look through the eclectic mix of designer and vintage objects and clothing, may be buy something. Then go for lunch at Cafe 1001 in Brick Lane, sit outside amongst all the hipsters and people who just got out of after-parties, and enjoy a burger with coffee. Then, walk down Brick Lane, going into every single market and vintage shop, in search of memories. Look around for the occasional Banksy. Get on the 55 bus at Old Street and go to Covent Garden, walk through the little streets until you get to Oxford Street, do a little shopping, just to say, back in Moscow, 'I went to London for the weekend to shop!' Whilst I am in the area I will gladly stop by the Photographer’s Gallery to see how they’ve refurbished it. Have a quick dinner in China Town, because you have to experience it. Then chose amongst the hundreds of different musicals and plays, to have a splendid evening full of emotions at the theatre and if you get to see someone famous, even better.

Sunday has to be spent in Notting Hill. Have an English breakfast on the rooftop terrace at the Thai restaurant with a view onto a very inspiring wall. Trying not to spend all of your money on everything that Portobello Road has to offer is one of the hardest things to do. No one should ever leave Notting Hill without trying a cupcake at the Hummingbird Café because it is heaven on earth. If you have time, walk down from the tube station to the Churchill pub, midst all the beer and people who seem to live there, you will find a green and fresh noodle bar. And just like that I will be back on the Piccadilly line, back to Heathrow, because I will have to catch the evening flight.


In no time I will be back in the city of lights, the city that never sleeps. Fully satisfied and ready for a new week. One last piece of advice, no matter where you are look around and not at you feet because you never know what might catch your attention.