This past weekend Han and I visited London for Han’s birthday. We have been to London the past couple of years now and love the place for a weekend visit. It all went a bit too quickly if I’m honest but here are the highlights…
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A great tip for anyone having a few consecutive days away is to look at a week in terms of overall volume. Don’t run yourself into the ground, but if you normally have 2 days off then where they are in the week may not matter as much. That is, provided you get the same volume in across the other days! London wasn’t really focused on fitness at all, so I made sure I trained through the week to make up for a weekend of relaxation.
Okay, so strictly speaking no actual ‘defined’ fitness took place. The hotel had a gym and you could even get equipment sent to your room, but it just wasn’t that type of trip.
On our venture around London we tried to walk as much as possible. We used the tube for longer rides or later on but for the most part we walked. has some really cool places and we tended to walk most places and catch the tube. This meant that we got to see some quite cool sights along the way and it also gave us a way to burn off the food!!!
There are so many great buildings and sights hidden away in London (as on the right), and walking is a great way to see them all.
On the Saturday morning we walked to Bourne & Hollingsworth before carrying on to Covent Garden. In total this was around 60 minutes worth of walking. This is still pretty decent level of exercise even if it is only walking. With my knee being the way it is the walking also acted as a form of recovery which was good.
Quite often, walking can be overlooked. Fitness On Toast has an interesting post on 6 key benefits of walking found here. It is a great way to get up and get out if you are new to fitness. Not only this but if exploring a new location, or even one you’ve visited before, it’s a good way to discover new places. There may be areas you’ve not seen before and by walking you can take the time to see them. It also makes you feel good and if like us you eat a lot, it can help burn some of the excess calories!
The one bit of fitness related activity that meant the most was the fact that on the Saturday it was 12 weeks post-op. This meant that I was allowed to try to squat, finally!
I’ve written about this in more detail over on my workouts post for October found here. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t easy but it was certainly a highlight (even if a selfish one) of the trip for me.
So, that’s pretty much it for the fitness side of things whilst in London. A bit different to normal, but the honest side of things is that it just wasn’t a priority. As I said, I trained extra during the week to allow for two days off this weekend.
Now, onto the good stuff…
Bourne & Hollingsworth
On Saturday morning we visited Bourne & Hollingsworth (B&H Buildings) which is a really cool breakfast place in Clerkenwell, East Central London. It is a popular breakfast venue and serves some really cool food in one of the nicest settings we’ve been to in a while.
The menu is a modern take on traditional breakfast foods. For example, I had “drop scones with maple bacon” which was essentially pancakes and bacon but was amazing. Han had the full breakfast which was served on really good Sourdough bread. I genuinely believe you can judge a full breaky by the bread you get with it!
The whole atmosphere was just chilled and cool. They had bottomless brunches running whilst we were eating as well. This seemed to go down well with most but we didn’t have indulge. After breakfast we walked to Covent Garden…
Covent Garden is one of our favourite places in London. It always gives me the feeling that everything is a big show. The energy there is great and the way the modern retailers have been worked into the old buildings is amazing. We spent some time wandering around and afterwards went to see a show which was a first for me!
Charlie and the chocolate factory
Before going down we looked at two shows and I’ll be honest this one seemed the most appealing. I have never been to a theatre production before and I was not disappointed. We saw the 14:30 showing at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The first thing I noticed was just how impressive the set was! I couldn’t get over just how much must have gone into the set design and production. I was keen to understand how a film could be put not a stage but now I know! In addition, transitions between scenes were seamless and you quite literally couldn’t tell when one segment moved to the next.
Secondly, I expected the cast to be fully adult with Charlie and the other children being played by full cast members. However, this was not the case, all of the children in the story were played by kids. When I was 10/11 I could barely remember who the starting eleven were for a Saturday footy match let alone a full show of lines.
After being skeptical of going to see something like this I’ll hold my hand up and say I was wrong. It was brilliant and then we headed back for dinner…
A really good shop for presents or just a sweet lover is Sugar Sin. It’s on the corner of Russel Street in Covent Garden and you can’t miss the shop with its design. There are some really unique takes on traditional sweets in the store as well as your regular items. Han bought some Prosecco flavoured sweets for her flatmate which I’ve not seen before. I’d imagine that in today’s world these are a pretty good seller! There is also a wall of pick and mix and the whole shop has been designed in a bespoke way which makes everything that bit more appealing. If you’re a sweet lover I’d go and check it out.
Galvin at Windows
One of the treats we arranged for Han’s birthday was a meal in Galvin at Windows. This is in the Hilton, Hyde Park and has views of the park and all of London, it really is spectacular. It also happens to be the workplace of Fred from First Dates, however he wasn’t working which we hoped he would be! However, the food was amazing. The value is quite good for this type of restaurant as well. It is £79 for 3 coursed plus all the amuse-bouche, chocolates and sweets thrown in afterwards. They also have a really good Menu du Jour lunchtime offer, 2 courses at £30, 3 courses at £35, 3 courses, half a bottle of wine, water and a coffee at £55. This is available between Midday and 14:30 Monday-Friday.
Galvin had a Korean theme through the menu. It is part of their Korean month and home of the Head Chef Joo Won. It took regular dishes and spun them with new flavours which made for a really interesting but tasty menu. This might have been the best restaurant I’ve eaten in to date! The food is also generous in portion size and we left stiffed! Finally, the highlight was either the Venison main course or Banana Souffle, both were amazing and I could have eaten them three times over. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone visiting London, it is great value for what you get.
Essentially the weekend was mainly made up of big eats!
Following this we went and visited my friend who lives in London for a couple of drinks and on the Sunday went for a roast…
Hawksmoor – Air Street
On Sunday we met up with Han’s sister and her boyfriend for a Sunday roast. We went to Hawksmore, Air Street, Han and I have been to the one in Manchester so kind of knew what to expect but have never had the roast.
I’m going to put this out there, I think this was the best roast I’ve ever had.
I mean, you kind of expect a Sunday roast to be good in a steak restaurant. If it wasn’t it would be like going to a brewery and getting rubbish ale, a bit of a let down. However, this really was good. Han’s sister and her boyfriend are both in the restaurant and hospitality business at a very good, Michelin Star hotel and they were impressed. If you ever can, go to a Hawksmoor on a Sunday and get the roast, you won’t regret it!
In addition, for dessert I had something called a “Bowl of corn flakes”.
Now, I ordered this purely to find out what it was, I had no idea. The menu didn’t really explain it well and even when asking the waiter i was unsure. So, this was ordered out of inquisition more than anything else.
As stupid as this may sound, it tasted exactly like a bowl of corn flakes. It was made up of condensed milk, nuts, ice cram and what I think was toffee flavoured popcorn.
I’m not actually sure how they have managed to make this, however it was good and that’s all I care about with a dessert.
It was actually surprisingly refreshing and whilst it wasn’t on the healthy side the diet was on hold for this weekend to allow myself to enjoy things that bit more.
On the whole, Hawksmoor was a success. I guess we kind of knew what to expect from previously going in Manchester. However, the design inside was less industrial and more high-end hotel which was a surprise.
A good chilled out place to visit for Sunday lunch in London.
Following Hawskmoor we had a bit of a wander around and visited a couple more bars which were nice but we only had drinks. The trip to London was a really good one. We managed to cram quite a bit into the two days we visited. This did mean we were very tired on the way home but nothing a train nap couldn’t sort out!
I love London and so does Han, living there maybe not so much but for a weekend break definitely. It was good to try different places to where we have been before which made the trip a bit more special. Essentially the weekend was mainly made up of big eats! We really couldn’t complain.
I’m sure many of you have visited London, or have a trip coming up. If you have or do, please let me know your thoughts through the comments below and subscribe for future content!