Alongside New York and Paris, London is on every girls bucket list, and what better way to enjoy the British capital’s offerings than with your best friends by your side.
So, whether it’s a day trip, a luxurious weekend or a week of wisdom you’re looking for, we’ve delved deep, wandering London’s backstreets, exploring top museums and visiting the city’s top rated attractions to bring you a list of the 10 best things to do at every corner of the tube map.
Watch a Stand Up
What better way to start your trip than a visit to one of London’s comedy clubs. Yes, you could splash out and watch a top billed comedian at the O2 but there are plenty of other venues to enjoy for a lot less. In fact the Theatre Royal Stratford East is home to London’s longest running free comedy night which can be enjoyed in the bar from 8pm every Monday.
Alternatively Soho Comedy Club enjoys a packed calendar of both up and coming and established comedians looking to try out new material on a small audience.
Cocktails with a View
Meeting somewhere special for drinks is always a great way to catch up with friends, but choosing one of London’s bars with views of the skyline adds an extra dash of glamour to the mix.
Of course The Shard is London’s most famous skyscraper, and contrary to belief you don’t have to book to enjoy a cocktail at one of the bars. We love the bar at Chinese restaurant Hutong on the 32nd floor where you can sample exotic cocktails whilst enjoying views of St Paul’s cathedral and the London Eye.
Other popular cocktail destinations with a view include Frank’s Café in Peckham, Aqua Spirit in Soho and the Sushisamba Bar located in the iconic Heron Tower.
Afternoon Tea at the Ritz
Ok so there are lots of afternoon tea options hosted in luxurious hotels throughout London, but none are more iconic than the afternoon tea at the Ritz. Opened in 1906, this luxurious hotel has enjoyed its fair share of famous diners and guests including Charlie Chaplin, Coco Chanel and Winston Churchill.
If you choose the extravagant Epicurean Afternoon Teayou’ll get to taste a range rare teas, which have been ‘curated by certified Tea master GiandoScanu’ and paired with delicate sandwiches and beautiful French patisseries.
Of course, a visit to the Ritz is also a great excuse to put your finery on and enjoy a silver service.
Watch Tennis at Wimbledon
This one is very time sensitive and is obviously only worth considering if you’ll be heading to the capital when the tournament is on, but if you fancy a few strawberries with cream for lunch while rubbing shoulders with the stars then attempting to get tickets to a Centre Court match is a must.
If you’re eager to watch the top seeds then Centre Court is the place to be, but these tickets can be difficult to get hold of and, not to mention expensive. So, if you’re looking to pack in as much as you can it seems courts 3 and 5 are the places to be, according to this handy ‘where to be at Wimbledon’ guide.
If you’re struggling to get tickets but would still like to revel in the atmosphere then head on over to Murray Mound. Jam packed full of tennis fans unable to get tickets for Centre Court, take a picnic and enjoy the game on one of the big screens – this experience is especially rewarding if the sun decides to make an appearance.
Shop ‘til you drop
London is home to an incredible array of both specialist and mainstream shops, and whilst most will head straight for Oxford Street, this is no longer the ‘best’ place to enjoy some retail therapy.
For vintage clothes and one off finds Camden, Shoreditch and Portobello Market all have their share of independent boutiques and stalls. For high street shopping, Kensington High Street and Covent Garden are slightly less busy alternatives to Oxford Street, although the latter is home to the flagship stores of Nike and Topshop. For high-end designer labels, Mayfair and Marylebone are the areas to peruse but if you’re after a bargain you’ll find the Burberry and Aquascutum Factory Shops in Hackney.
London’s charity shops, particularly those located in wealthy areas, have also become somewhat of a destination for fashion lovers in recent years. Head down to the Kings Road in Chelsea or St Johns Wood in North London to find a vintage designer bargain.
Dine like a Queen
If you’re in the mood to tantalise the taste buds then London is most definitely the place to do it. With a concentrated mass of Michelin Starred restaurants to choose from, it’s all down to personal taste but for something a little different to the usual fine dining, try Amaya, specialists in pan-Indian tapas. Alternatively, another Michelin tapas specialist is Barrafina, the queues outside this place speak for themselves!
Finally, perhaps the most impressive Michelin table would be at the three Michelin star Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. With 15 Michelin stars under his belt – that’s more than Gordon Ramsey – from restaurants around the world, he is considered the most successful restaurateur in the world. The menus are distinct and very French, taking beloved traditional dishes and transforming them with a modern twist. If you’ve ever wanted to experience food cooked by a chef in love with his craft, then this is the place to do it.
Watch a Show in the West End
Alongside New York’s Broadway, the London West End is famed the world over for its diverse array of award winning shows. Popular performances include The Lion King, Guys and Dolls, Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. For something more contemporary, The Book of Mormon is guaranteed to have you in stitches.
What you’ll pay for a ticket differs greatly, so if you’re on a budget it’s advised to book a deal in advance or grab a last minute bargain from the ticket booth in Leicester Square.
Relax with a Spot of Pampering
Whilst most people head to the English countryside for a spot of pampering, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy some relaxing treatments at the spas in London. In fact, many of the hotels include destination spas.
For somewhere truly special, The Berkeley Spa boasts an outdoor swimming pool with views of Hyde Park whilst the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental is known for delivering a bespoke service amongst decadent interiors.
The Porchester Spa however is one of London’s gems. Don’t expect the luxury that comes with the modern hotel spas, but if you want somewhere affordable and unpretentious then this 1920’s venue is the one for you. Expect Turkish baths and a sizeable swimming pool as well as a range of treatments.
The V & A Museum
London’s museums deserve a library just to themselves, but for the purpose of a girls trip to the capital the V & A is a fantastic option in affluent South Kensington.
As well as boasting a beautiful orangery to enjoy a cup of tea or lunch, the museum is home to a permanent display of art and design from around the globe as well as exhibitions on historical fashion and interiors. Marvel at embroidered kimonos from Japan, woven rugs from the Middle East and elaborate ceramic works from the Far East.
Remember, all of London’s main museums and galleries are free to enter.
Located just near London Bridge, Borough Market is a must for foodies. As well as taking in the gorgeous displays of fresh produce from local sellers, there’re always plenty of tasters and snacks to buy on the go. In fact, if the weather is good it’s a great place to pick up some bits for a picnic and then head to nearby Potters Fields Park where you can enjoy views of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.