A Little London Mini Break

We can always find an excuse to pop down to London, not that we ever need one. There’s so much to eat, see and do in London and we trying new foods and exploring new places is all part of the adventure – even in a city we’ve spent most of our lives in. So here’s a quick recap of our most recent two day adventure and where we stayed, played and refueled…

Where We Stayed

hub by Premier Inn London Westminster Find it on Google Maps

We stay at the Premier Inn Hub in St James Park. It’s modern, clean, quiet and budget friendly and you can’t say that about many hotels in London! Bonus points for it’s amazing location and excellent transport links.

Rooms are compact and contemporary – we usually opt for a ‘bigger’ room which has a king size bed which you can (just about) walk around. There’s under bed storage, some bijou hanging space, a 40 inch smart TV and complimentary bottles of water.

The bathroom is very compact but super modern with a powerful rain shower and a hand held shower too. There are pump bottles of hand wash at the sink and hair and body wash in the shower. Our tip is to choose the bigger rooms ending in -1 because they are tucked away behind an extra door in the corner of the corridor with no neighbouring guests making these rooms especially quiet.

With so many eating options in central London we don’t eat in the hotel although we do take advantage of the complimentary tea and coffee in the lounge. If you’re thirsty there’s a basic bar and if you’re hungry there’s a simple food menu. We skip breakfast but if you’re hungry and on a budget they do a complimentary brekkie for £6 which is an absolute steal for central London.

Where We Played

The Royal Albert Hall

The real reason we’ve come to London is to see James Blunt at the Royal Albert Hall. We had tickets to see him in Sydney in November 2020 but Covid cancelled that. I’m actually low key obsessed with James Blunt – we’ve been loving him live since 2006 and I even once wrote a blog post about him.

However, we’ve never seen him in a venue as grand as this – the Royal Albert Hall is an absolute stunner! Tickets for James’ two shows were selling like hot cakes so we just grabbed the best seats we could and end up here in the front row of a box, almost next to the stage.

Both the inside and outside of the building is a sight to behold and the acoustics are tip top. If you’re in London and get the opportunity to see a performance here, grab it with both hands!


We hop on the train and head to Richmond for a self guided tour of Ted Lasso filming locations which I’ve put into one tidy blog post. We visit Ted’s house, Ted’s pub and numerous other spots and even spot a seal on the riverbank en route! We don’t know it at the time but you can and should report marine mammal sightings to the Zoological Society here.

River Walk

We have grand plans to walk along the Thames from the city back to the hotel but the weather has other ideas. Before the clouds cry, we walk over the Millenium Bridge, pop into the Tate Modern to use the facilites and stroll along Bankside before we give up and catch the bus back to the hotel.

How We Got Around

When staying in Central London our preferred mode of transport is definitely the bus. Travelling by bus has many advantages – there are more frequent stops, a myriad of routes, the buses are generally less crowded than the tube, they’re cheaper, more accessible and for a visitor, best of all you get to see the city… Especially if you make it to the top deck! Of course, the disadvantage is that journeys can often take longer but the bus is a great option if you have time on your hands.

Where we ate

London is so dog friendly even though we don’t have Teddy in tow, all the places we eat are all dog friendly.

Bone Daddies Kensington Find it on Google Maps

It’s no secret how much we miss Asian food and dinner at Bone Daddies is going to make all our ramen dreams come true. Think old school diner with a cool, Asian twist coupled with a creative spin on Japanese classics. We are here for it. We wish Teddy was here for it too because Bone Daddies is dog friendly inside and out. They’ve even got an instagram account that features their canine customers – it’s called Bone Doggies!

It’s pretty empty when we rock up just before 6pm and the food arrives quickly. We are so hungry and go in for a penny, in for a pound with both ramen and bao. You can mix and match the bao buns and mix and match we do with some chashu pork and crispy duck buns – both are delicious.

David opts for the OG Tonkotsu ramen with a side of dirty tator tots (as you do,) while I opt for a chicken broth Lemon Pepper ramen. It’s only a little spicy but a lot nicey!

Lemon Pepper Ramen

We go from ravenous to ramenous in a few dishes and will definitely be back at one of the Bone Daddies locations next time we’re in town… Hopefully with Teddy in tow!

Megans at The Old Town Hall Find it on Google Maps

There are a number of Megans’ around the capital but this time, we’re dining at Megan’s at the Old Town Hall, Richmond. We’ve been to Megan’s before and although we try to avoid chain restaurants when we’re in London, we love that that Megan’s are independently owned, dog friendly and their Mediterranean inspired menus serve brunch, lunch, dinner and cocktails and coffee too. Talking of coffee, can we just take a minute to appreciate David’s Biscoff Latte. It is very sweet but goes down a treat!

Megans is so dog friendly there’s dog bowls, dog cushions and even a little dog house in the restaurant. The restaurant has two levels so don’t be put off if you look in from the street and see the restaurant is packed. The downstairs is spacious and just like upstairs, the decor and styling is on point.

It’s a busy lunchtime service and we’re lucky to get a table without a booking (they do walk ins all day during the week and until 3pm on weekends,) and settle in for a coffee and light lunch. Megans is known for it’s open kebabs served on flatbread with pickled red cabbage, pickled onions and harissa hummus so David goes for the open posh lamb doner.

I choose the felafel and cauliflower pita with garlic coconut ‘yoghurt,’ harissa hummus and pickles. This is a vegan option and it’s so good I don’t miss the meat and neither do I notice that the yoghurt isn’t yoghurt at all!

Iberia Georgian Restaurant Find it on Google Maps

When you’re eating out in London, you are literally spoilt for choice. On this visit, we both want to try a cuisine that we’ve never had before and when I discover this Georgian restaurant on an internet search, it ticks all the boxes. Even the box for dog friendly (pups are welcome at the front part of the restaurant.)

I know that it’s the one when I see that these delicious dumplings Khinkali, are a Georgian speciality. Considering we book at such late notice we are lucky to get a table because the cosy restaurant is packed on this busy Wednesday night.


We have no idea what to order (apart from the dumplings obvs!) so we are guided by our trusty waiter. We start with Megruli Khachapuri – flat bread stuffed and topped with cheese – it is incredibly moreish.

Megruli Khachapuri

For mains, we try the Mtsvadi – BBQ pork served with plum sauce and fresh bread and of course, the Khinkali with pork. The dumplings are incredible, kind of like giant xiao long baos – so meaty and soupy. I am in dumpling heaven.


We save some stomach space for dessert because we cannot resist the Taplis Namtskhvari – honey cake with condensed milk. It’s so light and creamy and the perfect end to a delicious dinner. The Georgian wine is excellent too. It might be our first taste of Georgian food but it won’t be our last.

Honey cake with condensed milk

Spitalfields Market, E1 Find it on Google Maps

After a quick ride on the circle line to Aldgate, we find ourselves in the heart of east London and a short stroll from Spitalfields Market. Fun fact: my family come from the East end of London, my mum was born within the sound of Bow Bells!

Anyhoo, back to Spitalfields, there’s been a market on the site for over 350 years and this former fruit and veg market has been lovingly restored and is now a one stop shop for fashion, art, crafts and all things vintage. Oh, and a mouth watering array of food and drink…

Incidentally, the art market and public spaces are dog friendly (put your pup on a lead though,) but it’s best to check with individual establishments if you want to take dogs into one of the restaurants or bars.

We arrive mid morning and the market is just getting started. Although we’re here bright and early, the market is open all day until late. Most of the food vendors start serving at 11am so after a quick stroll around the market, we kick back and relax with a coffee at Noxy Brothers. I’m pleased to report that the brews are as good as the bagels. By the time we leave, the market is filling up fast, especially the tables near the food stalls.

There are so many different types of food here, it’s really hard to choose. David has set his heart on Melt ‘purveyors of melted filth’ and the spot at Spitalfields for epic grilled sandwiches. He goes for ‘The Jimmy’ with crispy chicken buffalo tenders, Melt cheddar blend and pickles in sourdough bread with ranch sauce to dip on the side – and it seems like a solid choice.

I’m feeling especially indecisive and am torn between hand pulled noodles and dumplings, although I’m sure you won’t be surprised when I tell you dumplings win the day. I head to Dumpling Shack where I hedge my bets with a ‘set’ – Dan Dan beef noodles and two pan fried pork soup dumplings. The best of both!

We’re too full for dessert but we head to Crosstown Doughnuts and grab some doughnuts to take away. This ‘from scratch’ bakery prides itself on it’s handcrafted, sourdough doughnuts with a heap of vegan options. We come home with a Sea Salt Caramel and Banana Cream and a Sri Lankan Cinnamon Sugar – both of which are outstanding. Our only regret is not buying more!

Where We Drank

We mixed things up with some traditional London pubs, outstanding coffee and some killer cocktails – once again, all venues were dog friendly!

Nostos Coffee Find it on Google Maps

Our search for good coffee brings us here just a stone’s throw from our hotel at St James Park in Orchard Place. Although we don’t have time to sit down, it’s a great space with a really relaxed atmosphere and service is welcoming and of course, it’s dog friendly. There’s heaps of speciality coffee options and coffee experts could really geek out here. Certainly, the coffee we have here is the best we’ve had in a very long time and it’s well priced too. Caffeination at it’s finest!

nostos coffee orchard place

The Churchill Arms, Kensington Find it on Google Maps

We pop into this flower bedecked boozer for a quick drink but mostly so I can get a picture of the florals and foilage on the exterior. In fact, the foilage is so fabulous that it’s one of the few pubs that has been a Chelsea Flower Show winner!

Inside the pub is warm, cosy and busy with lots of locals and heaps of tourists, the latter not surprising given the pub’s history, location and blooming wonderful exterior. The pub was built in 1750 and in the 1800’s Winston Churchill’s parents were regulars which is how the pub got it’s new name after World War 2.

The pub is packed full of Churchill, sporting memorabilia and weirdly chamber pots! It is dog friendly and has a Thai restaurant out the back which we don’t get to try but seems pretty popular.

The Princes Head, Richmond Find it on Google Maps

Ted Lasso fans will know this pub as The Greyhound. Let’s say it didn’t have a match day atmosphere when we swing by but it is busy, mostly it seemed with Ted Lasso fans. The pub gets very busy around lunchtime and has a full menu, so if you want to eat, it’s worth booking ahead – then you’ll be seated in the restaurant. The front bar is reserved for walk-ins. Luckily, we score one of the last tables and grab a drink.

For Ted Lasso fans, you’ll see the Richmond AFC scarf behind the bar and if you go through the dining room near the ladies loos, you’ll see Ted’s table which is all set on the day we visit. Apart from being Ted’s local, the pub is pleasant but otherwise unremarkable although granted, it is dog friendly and in a great spot with the traditional red phone boxes outside and overlooking the lovely Richmond Green.

Purgatory Bar, Pimlico Find it on Google Maps

There is nothing hellish about this Gothic inspired cocktail bar, in fact, the cocktails are quite heavenly. We pop in for some pre-dinner drinks and just miss Happy Hour – which is a great deal on 2 for 1 on selected drinks, running Monday to Friday 4-6.

There’s a relaxed vibe here, service is good and the cocktails are top notch. I like the spicy blood orange margarita so much I have two (although I wouldn’t have said no to more spice.)

David’s PB old fashioned is the star of the show though, which is smoked to perfection. The cocktail arrives under a glass cloche and you have to leave it for a few minutes for the smoke to do it’s thing. This is more than a drink because there’s a real sense of theatre about this smoky old fashioned. However, if cocktails aren’t your jam, there’s a good range of beers, wines and mocktails and if you want to make a night of it, there’s escape rooms here too! Your dog is welcome to join you for beverages but understandably the escape rooms are off limits to the hounds!

And so it is, with full hearts, full bellies and an empty wallet we head home after an epic couple of days in the Big Smoke.

Have you ever been to London? Do you have any recommendations to add to the list? Which of these places would be top of your places to visit if you were ‘up town’?

Linking up with Min for Wednesday Words and Whimsy