In our second installment of “The London Guide” where we explore London’s different neighborhoods and districts, I take you to one of London’s most popular neighborhoods: Southbank. Opposite Westminster on the other side of the Thames, Southbank is saturated with world famous theatres including the Old Vic to Shakespeare’s old playground and home to endless amounts of London’s most famous landmarks.
Things to Do in Southbank
Get Lost in Tate Gallery of Modern Art
I had ambitious plans for my morning in Southbank but a not-so-surprising rainy day led me on a welcomed detour through the Tate Modern. From Andy Warhol to emerging new artists, the delicious variety of creations here in here never ceases to stun me — last time I had the joy of viewing a priceless diamond-covered skull by Damien Hirst. Another fun fact: The Tate and most museums in London are free of entry charge, so it’s a perfect spontaneous rainy day activity. You need only pay for special exhibits.
Eat Through Borough Market
If I ever lived in London, I would be here every spare moment. From lush Italian breads, endless cheese, kale smoothies to glorious vegan carrot cake (which I masticated in a few moments), the Borough market has the greatest variety of both local London foods and global flavor. More than 1,000 years old, this is one of London’s oldest and most beloved markets.
See a Play at Shakespeare’s Globe
No visit to London would be complete without seeing a play at Shakespeare’s world-famous Globe Theatre at least once. Whether you’re a groundling or a royal, this charming experience is one for every London bucket list. Grab a drink and bite to eat at The Swan restaurant to complete your perfect Shakespearian excursion.
Walk Along the Thames and Soak up London’s Skyline
Southbank is one of the best spots to view London’s famous skyline. From the Big Ben, London Eye, Tower Bridge to St. Paul’s cathedral, a lengthy stroll along the Thames River is the perfect opportunity to hop to different famous landmarks and admire the impressive blend of London’s historic buildings and ever-changing modern future.
Where to Eat in Southbank
Breakfast @ The Table / 83 Southwark St
When traveling, I always gravitate toward breakfast options which have both scrummy light options as well as a hearty mix for guests. From fluffy buttermilk pancakes and toasted museli to the glorious English breakfast done to perfectoin, The Table’s menu is sure to fuel your day for your Southbank expedition.
Lunch @ Azzurro / 1 Sutton Walk
We all need a little PAG break when traveling (pizza and gelato), and this Italian eatery will appease every Italophile’s appetite.
Dinner @ Brasserie Blanc / 9 Belvedere Rd
London is all about international food, so it’s only natural to include a exquisite french dining option for dinner. Even if you’re a newbie to French cuisine, there is something c‘est magnifique for every set of taste buds. Go ahead, treat yourself.
Where to Drink in Southbank
Bread Etcetera / 127 Clapham High Street
This option also doubles as a fantastic breakfast choice. If there are two things I love in this world, it is bread and coffee. Bread Etcetera is a charming (and always packed) bakery and cafe and if I could have one built into my house I would definitely make it happen.
Bean About Town / Real Food Market, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd
Om nom nom nom — coffee heaven! Definitely one of the hippest coffee joints in South London, Bean About Town is a must-stop for coffee addicts and afficionados.
The Shard / 32 London Bridge St
The Shard gives the London Eye some major competition for the best view of London (I personally think it’s better). Combine admiring London from way up with a delicious cocktail. Definitely another one for your London Bucket List.
Tell me, wanderlusters! What are your favorite London spots? Let me know in the comment section below!