Visiting London: Day 2 – Exploring with Friends
My second day in London, Sunday, March 20th, consisted of me exploring London with the new friends I met in my hostel room. If you haven’t seen my previous blog post, I met 2 lovely ladies the night before and we all agreed we’d meet up with each other and explore London together. This is a great way to spend the day in London!
There’s no better way to start your trip than to do it with new people you’ve met. Although I was still very jet lagged from my flight, I still made the most of my day. How could I not? I was in London and I was about to explore it with my new friends. After Tal and I woke up around midday, this is what we did:
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Breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien
Once Tal and I awoke, we decided to take the tube to Goodge St. and just explore the area. We didn’t really have any firm plans in place for the day, other than to walk around and explore London. What Tal did want to do was get some new clothes at some point.
But before we would do that, we wanted some breakfast, or brunch at this point in the day. We walked down Goodge St. until we found this cute little cafe called Le Pain Quotidien. We liked the menu and decided this would be a good place to grab some brunch. Tal and I ate our food, drank our drinks, and chatted with each other. It was lovely talking to her and learning more about her background, and her learning about mine.
We stayed here for about an hour and a half, quite a while I’d say. After we were done with our food and drinks, we walked down the street to get to Oxford St. so Tal can go shopping.
Shopping on Oxford St.
Tal mentioned earlier in the day that she wanted to buy new clothes because she needed some. Since we were so close to Oxford St., and the stores she wanted to go to were along the street, it made sense for us to head there to shop.
Tal and I walked into H & M and Primark looking at tops and bottoms. I wasn’t looking to buy new clothes, so I let Tal take her time and look around. She didn’t really find anything of interest in either stores. While we bounced from store to store, we were communicating with Diane, the other lovely girl we met in our hostel dorm. She had other things she needed to do earlier in the day and said she’d meet up with us later on.
After playing phone tag with her for a while, she eventually met up with us in Primark. We greeted each other and discussed what we did earlier in the day. From there, we all walked down Oxford St., following Tal in and out of multiple stores so she could buy some clothes.
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Pictures of Big Ben
Once she found the items she wanted, we all left the store and discussed what we wanted to do next. Tal still wanted to shop a bit but Diane wanted to go to Westminster to get pictures of Big Ben. Since I’ve been to Westminster and have walked along Oxford St. in the past, I was down for anything.
Eventually, we decided to head towards Westminster. Westminster is where Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament are, along with other attractions. Diane wanted to get a picture of Big Ben as she didn’t get a chance to do so yet. She also wanted to do this before it got too dark, because at this point in the day, the sun was setting.
We took our pictures with Big Ben and enjoyed the moment. I’d say the pictures came out very well! My one regret, I guess you could say, was me not wearing a shirt with short sleeves. Why? Because I have a tattoo of Big Ben on my left arm and I wanted to take a picture of my Big Ben tattoo next to Big Ben in Westminster. I didn’t think we’d go to see this clock tower, so I didn’t bother to wear anything with short sleeves. Oh well, there’s always next time.
Evening in Camden
It was about 5pm and we were all pretty hungry. We were all a bit indecisive about what we wanted to eat. Tal wanted to eat a burger with french fries, I was craving pasta, and Diane wanted something light. After discussing our options and where we wanted to go, we all collectively decided to just head back to Camden where our hostel was.
Tal and I decided to eat at Nando’s, which was about a 10 minute walk from our hostel. Diane said she wasn’t feeling good, so she went back to her hostel room. Tal and I enjoyed the food we had. You can’t go wrong with a meal from Nando’s when you’re hungry and looking for something at a decent price. After our dinner, we decided to go to Sainsbury’s to get some snacks.
This is a great idea if you’re staying in a hostel or looking for some snacks for your day trips or adventures. Just go to the closest grocery store, buy any groceries or snacks you want/need, and you’re set with food to take with you on your adventures. I was on vacation, meaning I don’t like to cook or clean since I’m only traveling for a short time. I like to eat out and enjoy myself. But I knew I had 3 day trips coming up and needed some water and snacks to keep me going throughout the day. Tal got some fresh fruit and chocolates from the store.
With that, we left Sainsbury’s and went back to our hostel. We both relaxed in our dorm for a bit. This wasn’t the end of our evening, however. We just had to take a little break so we’d be able to continue with our evening.
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Night at the club
Tal asked me the night before if I wanted to go with her to the club. I agreed to this. Typically, I don’t go to the clubs. I only go when my other friends invite me; I’m just not a club type of person. Plus, Tal was about a decade younger than me, so she was ready and willing to go to the club and party the night away. Me, and my almost 30 self, was a bit tired at 10pm and would have rather stayed in bed. But I figured since I’m on vacation, why not go?
Nonetheless, I mustered up the energy I had left and went out to the club with Tal. The club we went to is called The Zoo Bar and Club in Leicester Square. Tal found this club and thought it was the best one out of all the other options. We took the tube to Leicester Square and paid about ￡20 to get into the club.
The drinks here were on the expensive side and I didn’t quite care for the music they had. The club did have some older music I grew up with but overall all, it wasn’t my vibe. Tal didn’t really care much for it either. This experience just reminded me how I’m not a club person. Expensive drinks, hit or miss music, with slightly tipsy or drunk men trying to hit on me, is just not fun to me. But I was on vacation and Tal had invited me, so I looked at it as an experience to do while in London.
Although it wasn’t the best club in the world, Tal and I enjoyed each other’s company nonetheless and had a good day overall. However, I was extremely tired because we got home around 12:30am and I was still a bit jet lagged. I knew the next day, I had a day trip and had to be up very early to meet the group. So, I quickly showered and got into bed, eager to start my day trip!
16 thoughts on “Visiting London: Day 2 – Exploring with Friends”
Happy to read you made friends on your solo trip and explored London together. Le Pain Quotidien has a few branches around town (Waterloo comes to mind which is in a cool vault under the bridge). My fav places in Leicester Square is Dirty Martini and there’s a cool Mexican (Leicester Square kitchen), too many cool places to choose from tbh. I’m sure you’re already dreaming about your next trip to London 😀
Carolin | Solo Travel Story
It was such a fun day with those ladies. Loved making new friends! And yes, there’s so many places to check out in Leicester Square, I did more exploration of the area 7 yrs ago but there’s always next time. And yes, I cannot wait to make it back there!
You shopped at Primark, ate at Nando’s, bought snacks at Sainsbury’s and went to Zoo bar – I’d say your led the life of a Londoner whilst there ! Le Pain Quotidian is quite a London, more up-market café – they have around 15 outlets in London (It’s primarily a London Co). Having lived in London for 15 years I could mentally trace your steps around the capital and you seemed to have done a good traditional route.
Pity about the Bid Ben tattoo pic – that would have been such a coincidence..
Great that you met up with people along the way and got in with them so well. That can make solo travel so much more interesting and enjoyable.
It was such a busy and fun day! Even though I’ve already been to some of those areas previously, it was fun to explore them again with new friends and visit new places as well.
I love days like this when I’m on vacation. Nothing really planned and just do whatever comes along. I’m like you as far as clubbing goes. Not a fan. I would have stayed in and slept lol.
It’s awesome when you can go with the flow! And yeah, I would’ve rather stayed home and slept lol but yolo, right?
Every time I read about London I miss it and want to go back. How nice to spend a day in the city going with the flow and letting go at the pace of what we feel like doing.
That phone booth with Big Ben in the background is mythical ahahah I also took pictures there, of course!
It’s so great, it makes me want to go back as well! Big Ben is just iconic lol
Yes Big Ben it’s a piece of art in the city ☺️ no one is indifferent to it
Sounds like a good day to me, minus the club maybe. Primark for sure! Happy to hear you met some nice people to spend the day with and got to see some sights too. London is a great place and it’s nice to see Big Ben again, last time I was there it was under renovation and all covered up
It was a lovely day, for sure! And yes, Big Ben is coming along and is not so boarded up with scaffolding and whatnot.
Sometimes just exploring a city without true plan is the way to go! Just going into it and seeing where the day goes has been one of my favorite days!
For sure, they just enhance the travel experience!
I’m getting excited about my upcoming trip to London, so thanks for all the suggestions for eateries! Glad to hear you had fun, especially meeting new friends as you travel solo.
That’s awesome to hear, I hope you have fun in London!