Hopping across the pond can be a blast when you’re with your besties! I love traveling with my girlfriends because we all share similar interests, and one of the best trips we’ve taken together was in London, England.
I’ll admit it — I adore this city. I mean, what’s not to love? London has the easy-to-navigate Tube and is home to Harry Potter, the royal family and Colin Firth. Put this city and a girls trip together, and we had one of the best travel experiences ever. Here’s where we dined, shopped and went sightseeing in London:
Savor tasty eats in a beautiful setting.
No trip to London is complete without enjoying some fish and chips. We discovered an abundance of places to get this signature dish, especially walk-up stands that were convenient to visit when we were on the move. However, for a nice, relaxing meal with your girlfriends, I suggest heading to Fishers, an adorable restaurant in Fulham. It’s here that we enjoyed good old-fashioned fish and chips (I prefer the cod) and shared a bottle (or two!) of rosé from the affordable wine list. To really do it right, head to Fishers for dinner and sit on the patio, where tealights create the ambiance of a beautiful English garden. Oh, and whatever time you go, don’t forget to order the mushy peas! This dish is a London favorite and my girlfriends and I agree: the mushy peas at Fishers are top notch.
Another great option for dinner during your girls trip is Founders Arms. Located next to the Tate Modern alongside the River Thames, this pub has an incredible view of St. Paul’s, making it the perfect place for dining al fresco. We’ve been lucky to have great weather for our trips, but if the London gloom is out and you dine inside, sit at one of the large communal tables — Founders Arms is great for mingling with locals, who hang out here after work.
The bad news: London can get expensive when it comes to eating and drinking. The good news: Many bars and pubs offer good happy hours! So just look for the after-work crowds and ask about specials.
Partake in high tea and pre-dinner drinks.
Nothing says “London girls trip” like enjoying afternoon tea. A variety of tearooms around the city offer a wide range of high tea experiences, from super fancy to laid-back. My friends and I love going to The Orangery, which is located on the grounds of Kensington Palace. Because if you go to London and can have tea on the grounds of a castle, why wouldn’t you? This stunning brick building looks like it belongs in a Jane Austen novel, and the inside makes us feel like we’re drinking tea with royals — which makes sense, since Prince William and Kate Middleton live at Kensington Palace. So keep an eye out for them, but even if you don’t see a Prince or Duchess — sadly, we haven’t yet — the delicious tea sandwiches and scrumptious pastries are certainly worth the trip.
Dukes Bar is another London institution that’s not to be missed. This intimate bar is known for its martinis, and it’s pretty much the perfect place to grab a pre-dinner drink with your BFF. The minute you step inside, you feel as if you’ve walked into an old-school British parlor. Waiters push carts full of booze and mixers and prepare all drinks tableside, giving you a front row seat to the action. Fun fact: This was one of Ian Fleming’s favorite bars, so it’s no coincidence that James Bond’s drink of choice is a martini.
Buy an Oyster Card when you first arrive and fill it with funds so you can easily get around London via Tube. You’ll want to leave the stilettos at home since you’ll be doing a lot of walking. If you’re wearing heels, they might get caught in the setts — which are slightly smoother than cobblestones, but still treacherous to navigate in heels!
Make like a tourist and go sightseeing.
Eating and drinking aren’t the only things to do in the English capital. From Buckingham Palace to Big Ben to the Tower of London, there’s no shortage of historical landmarks you can visit (and take selfies in front of). As fans of historical British dramas, my besties and I love to stop by Westminster Abbey. Jeremy Irons narrates a self-guided audio tour that leads you through the building, the site of many past and future coronations and burials. Not only do we enjoy the history lesson — we also get to feel like we’ve walked onto the set of our favorite BBC series.
Indulge in a shopping and spa day.
When it comes to spending time with your girlfriends in London, nothing beats a day of shopping at Camden Market. Eclectic and sprawling, this is the perfect shopping experience for a large group. There’s something for everyone here! After exploring the wide range of clothes as well as a bunch of food stalls, we always leave Camden Market wishing we had brought extra carry-on bags.
After a morning of shopping, we’re ready for some pampering. And what’s a girls trip without a spa day? At The Club at Park Lane, you can enjoy a variety of treatments as well as take a dip in the 12.5 meter heated swimming pool. Additionally, the steam room is the perfect place to work up a sweat — and chat with your friends about your next adventure together!
Where to Stay: