London: The Gem You Must Look For
When I first came to London as a tourist I was blown away. I couldn’t stop wowing because everything was so big, so busy and so spectacular. Everything around was shouting for attention – Big Bend, Buckingham Palace, the National Gallery, everything. And back then the impression that I got from London was that it was this crazy busy pretty place with mad traffic and people queuing up everywhere I wanted to go. So naturally I couldn’t even imagine myself living here one day. Until I actually did. And to be honest, I’m grateful for that because it gave me the time to explore more and realise that the “classic” trip to London where we tick off the tourist attractions off the list doesn’t really show the real charm of London. To see what London has up its sleeve you gotta go see Carnaby.
What is Carnaby
Carnaby is a unique pedestrian area in the heart of London which offers a nice escape from the crowds and somewhat grey buildings on London’s most famous Oxford and Regent Streets. It’s a very relaxed combination of 14 narrow cute streets with simple colourful buildings which house over 100 shops and 60 places for a bite and a drink. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not encouraging all the spending in London’s overpriced shops, not at all. But even a stroll in this area will open up your eyes to a somewhat different side of London. With many independent cafes, bars and shops, this place really is doing its best to distance itself from the High Street and poshness of the city, and that alone I just love!
So Where is Carnaby
Having said that this place is kind of the opposite of the poshness that sparks the whole of Oxford and Regent Street, you’ll be surprised to find out that Carnaby is literally 2-3 min walk away from both of these streets. As you would expect with all such gems, it’s a bit hidden. But if you come out of Oxford Circus Underground station and start walking down Regent Street, on your left you’ll see this gorgeous building.
If you just cross the road and go underneath the gorgeous clock you see on the right of the picture and walk a few metres, you’ll see on your left the welcoming sign (one of many) to Carnaby.
Once you get here, just have a wander around. Explore and enjoy! Here are a few pretty things to look for.
Who said bite and drink?
I mentioned bite and drink at the start! Carnaby is just the best if you want a chilled out lunch/ dinner or just a little drink. The magic place is called Kingly Court. It’s a segregated area whose only purpose is to offer you a fantastic choice of nice places to eat and drink. It is spread on 3 floors so you can imagine the kind of choice we are talking about. What I love about this place is its athmosphere. It’s cosy and colourful (I love a bit of colour :D) and it’s got nice trees that make the place feel really homy. See what I mean.
At this point you’ll probably wander around the Kingly Court and pick a place to try. Enjoy a drink! Recharge from all the walking and exploring you will have done and if you wonder whether there are other places like that in London, I’ll reveal the secret … Yes, there are 🙂 Just send me a message on Facebook or Instagram and I’ll tell you all the other secret gems.
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