Recently I've spent a lot of time in London for work so I decided to make a weekend out of it. There's something liberating about being able to spend time alone in a city you don't know very well and just getting to explore.
The first London struggle (aside from the Tube) is finding a nice but not overpriced place to stay. Looking at hotels in London can be so overwhelming. However, I'd heard good things about Citizen M in Bankside so decided to just go for it and it turned out that it was the prefect place to check in for some downtime.
The rooms are simple and clean (but not in the hospital style à la Travelodge), the bed stretches the whole expanse of the room and with the fluffy pillows it's the perfect place to rest your weary head. To top it off the room is controlled by a tablet and you can change the mood lighting of the room. I'll be back for sure!
I'd never been to Southwark or Bankside before but it's a part of the city I really enjoyed. When I've been in London for work it's always been Central London or Kensington which sounds more fancy than it is.
I had the perfect Saturday first heading to Borough Market in the shadow of The Shard. I ate the best vanilla custard doughnut from Bread Ahead, it was so good I didn't even think to snap a picture for Instagram which says it all really. Borough Market was already quite busy in the early morning and I don't think I saw a single 'real Londoner' but it's still well worth a visit.
My next stop was St Paul's on my way to the Tate. It's a magnificent building, even more when you think about how it miraculously survived the Blitz. It's well worth taking the walk on the Millennium Bridge and seeing the cathedral poke out from the modern city buildings. I love how old and new sit so comfortably together in London.
The main focus of my day was my first visit to The Tate Modern. I grew up with my mother taking me to art exhibitions to show me important pieces of work from Picasso or Matisse so it's something I like to take the time out to do by myself now that I'm older.
It's free to get in to the Tate (you do have to pay for special exhibitions), and it's really a joy to be able to see pieces from Picasso, Max Ernst and Andy Warhol without having to pay at all. Modern art is a bit hit and miss for me, there were some pieces which I didn't like at all or understand but it's well worth a visit to the Tate for the amazing space of the old power station, and the view from the coffee shop on the 5th floor.
The day ended with me scoffing down some frozen yoghurt on South Bank whilst reading one of the books I picked up from the Tate gift shop. Whilst I was in London there was a great food festival going on so I had plenty to choose from, but after a day of walking (I managed to avoid getting the Tube), some frozen yoghurt went down a treat.
On Sunday I had a lie in, enjoying every second in my cloud bed before I dragged myself out of my cocoon room for brunch with some old school friends who now live in London. I suggested The Breakfast Club, but it already had a huge queue so in the end we went to The Table which was delicious and highly recommended for any Southbank dwellers.
All in all it was the perfect weekend, it gave me a chance to catch my breath and spend some quality time with myself. I think everyone should go on a mini break alone every now and then, it does wonders for my self esteem and contentment levels.
This post is a scheduled post because I'm currently flying over the Atlantic towards Brazil, so catch you later!