Draft itinerary based on so many helpful TALF Suggestions/Trip Reports (this forum is amazing) and superb advice from a London friend. My 2nd time in London, DH's 1st trip. In addition to 1 or 2 major sites/day wanted to include neighborhoods that many tourists don't have a chance to see (Hampstead, Islington, Clerkenwell/Smithfield, Richmond) and also allow free time to wander, relax, savor just being there. Holiday activities a bonus - pantomime, decorations on Oxford, Regent Streets etc., Southbank Christmas market. Decided not to include any long distance excursions on this trip - too much to see in London! Our eating style is more small plates, tapas, wine bars, food markets with a few pubs thrown in of course! Really appreciate your input/advice. Thanks, everyone!
DAY 1 - SAT/NOV 30 - ARRIVAL
• Arrive Heathrow @ 8:15 p.m. – car service transfer to hotel
• Arrive Haymarket Hotel/West End by 10.15 pm - realistic?
• Walk around West End, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, Cov Garden, etc.
• Any suggestions?
DAY 2 - SUN/DEC 1 - HAMPSTEAD
• 10:00 am - Hampstead Village/London Walks Tour
• Lunch @ Holly Bush pub
• Le Creperie de Hampstead for possible dessert
• Explore Hampstead/Primrose Hill/Belsize Park… The Flask Pub, Sir Richard Steele Pub
• Dinner - Gordon's Wine Bar or Soho - Boca di Lupo, Barrafina
DAY 3 - MON/DEC 2 - WESTMINSTER/CHURCHILL WAR ROOMS
• Breakfast @ Regency Cafe (a real locals place - we love those)
• Walk through St Johns Smith Square to Westminster Abbey
• 10.30 am - Verger Tour @ Westminster Abbey
• Churchill War Rooms
• Dinner on Bermondsey Street - Pizzaro
• 9.30 pm - Ceremony of the Keys @ Tower of London (tickets received)
DAY 4 - TUES/DEC 3 - TOWER OF LONDON & THE CITY/CLERKENWELL/SMITHFIELD
• Breakfast @ Terry's Cafe/Southbank (another locals place)
• 9.00 am - Tower of London including Yeoman Warder Tour @ 10 am
• Lunch @ Tower or Whitecross Market
• 2:30 pm - Secret City Tour w/ Richard Jones (starts Mansion House tube, ends Cloth Fair)
• St Bartholomew the Great Church - stop in before closing @ 5pm
• Cocktails @ Zetter Townhouse
• Dinner @ Vinoteca/Farringdon location
• Stop by Ye Olde Mitre Pub?
DAY 5 - WED/DEC 4 - ST PAULS & LEGAL LONDON
• 8.30 am - St Paul's Cathedral
• 10:00 am - Inns of the Court Private Tour w/ London Walks
• (DH is a trial attorney so this tour along w/ lunch in the Hall is a special treat)
• Lunch in Middle Temple Hall w/ London Walks tour guide
• 2:00 pm - Attend a trial @ Old Bailey
• Dinner @ The Eagle Pub/Farringdon or Soho - Boca di Lupo, Barrafina, Polpo, Chettinad
DAY 6 - THURS/DEC 5 - HAMPTON COURT
• 10.00 am - Explore Hampton Court
• Lunch @ Hampton Court cafe
• London Eye sunset ride if weather good and/or shop, relax, afternoon tea, etc.
• 6.00 pm - Pre-Theatre Dinner @ Brumus in Haymarket Hotel
• 7.30 pm - "One Man, 2 Guvnors" play @ the Royal Haymarket Theater (booked)
DAY 7 - FRI/DEC 6 - BRITISH MUSUEM & SOUTHBANK
• Breakfast @ Bush & Fields Cafe/Museum Street (locals place - 2 min walk to British Museum)
• British Museum including 11.00 am Eye Opener Tour
• Lunch @ Borough Market & wander through market stalls
• Walk along Southbank
• Possible stops @ Tate Modern, George Inn Pub, Shakespeare Globe Gift Shop (tours in a.m. only), Anchor & Hope Pub
• Browse Southbank Christmas Market? (opens 11 am)
• London Eye sunset ride if weather good
• Visit National Gallery? (open until 9pm)
• Dinner on Bermondsey Street - Zucca, Pizzaro, Bar Tozino?
• Post-Dinner -Visit Tate Modern or Southbank Christmas Market? (both open to 10pm)
DAY 8 - SAT/DEC 7 - PARLIAMENT & ISLINGTON
• 9.15 am - Parliament Tour (booked)
• Lunch @ Honey & Co/Warren Street in Camden (must try the cheesecake!)
• Post-Lunch Photo Op: Speedy's Cafe @ 185 North Gower Street (BBC Sherlock TV show)
• Explore Islington - Camden Passage, Upper Street, Paul A Young chocolates
• Stop in for a pint @ Charles Lamb pub
• 5.00 pm - tapas @ Moro in Exmouth Market and stay for dinner @ 6.00 pm
• Southbank Christmas Market (open until 10pm)? or wander/shop elsewhere?
DAY 9 - SUN/DEC 8 - RICHMOND
• National Gallery or leave for Richmond early?
• Explore Richmond
• Lunch @ Petersham Nurseries (a splurge!)
• Explore Richmond
• 5.30 pm - Peter Pan pantomime @ Richmond Theater (booked)
• Late dinner/tapas @ Gordon's Wine Bar or Spuntino (Soho)
DAY 10 - MON/DEC 9 - OPEN DAY/LAST MINUTE SHOPPING/SIGHTSEEING
• Breakfast @ The Wolseley
• 9.30 am - DH gets wet shave @ Trumper's (very cool tip from our London friend!)
• Walk around Shepherd's Mkt, Burlington Arcade, shop in Mayfair, Jermyn St,etc.
• Lunch in Mayfair @ Windmill Pub or Red Lion Pub
• Shopping - Mayfair, Soho, Covent Garden, or tour London Museum, or return to site/neighborhood we liked or London Eye?
• Dinner in Soho - Boca di Lupo, Vinoteca (Soho), Barrafina, Spuntino, Polpo
• Our last night in London…possible activity? Pub Quiz maybe? Theater show?
• Or, Ronnie Scott’s jazz place?
DAY 11 - TUES/DEC 10 - DEPARTURE
• Wander around Trafalgar Sq, St Martin in the Fields, Westminster, St James Park, Buckingham Palace, Covent Garden? Other suggestions?
• Lunch option - Red Lion Pub, 2 Duke of York St off Jermyn St (6 min walk/hotel)
• 1.30 pm - airport car transfer to Heathrow