5 Must-Do Activities for a Two-Day London Trip

5 Must-Do Activities for a Two-Day London Trip

Posted by Charlene Dunbar on

I traveled to Reigate in the UK (located about 40 minutes south of London), in October and was able to squeeze in a 2-day expedition to the city. I had such a good time and so much to tell you about that I actually have to squeeze it into three blog posts. Here's my first installment. 

#1 Victoria & Albert Museum 


Gorgeous museum with a vast collection of art from around the globe. I caught a special exhibit on the history of underwear called "Undressed" but I was most impressed by their permanent fashion history collection. I can't get this Western take on the kimono out of my head and this Lanvin dress was clearly ahead of its time. Gentle folds of creamy chiffon plus avant-garde rectangular shaped gold leather appliqués spread like confetti? Yes.

This black sequin jumpsuit also reminded me of the current Gucci collection of trompe l'oeil fame. The underwear collection was cool, but I could have used a cliff notes version. I can't believe that folks were actually out here getting their organs crushed in pursuit of an 18" waist using those corsets. Um, no. The contemporary collection of lingerie inspired looks tied it all together. Special shoutout to this gorgeous Lanvin "pajama" set (teal robe) and seeing an Alexander McQueen dress (ocean of gathers) up close and personal. And the gift shop?? It was chock full of inspiration. Totes, scarves, quirky toys and in gorgeous Indian block prints. I was so enamoured, I went to V&A twice to finishing exploring the shop and to take care of all my souvenir shopping, natch.

#2 Borough Market - Best. Food. Market. Ever.

Overwhelming in the best way possible. Street food heaven. Those are the best words I can come up with to capture how cool this spot was. Stop by there to see the world buzzing around you in one big, happy kitchen. Fresh, gorgeous produce, food trucks and fragrant baked goods abound. I met up with Laurene and her two handsome boys and we sat down for a lovely lunch at fish!. She told me tales of finding the perfect dance class and a great squad in Monrovia, Liberia (our shared hometown). I wrapped up with a chocolate chip cookie the size of a personal pan pizza and wish I could have stayed longer. I'll be baaack.

#3 Shoreditch Neighborhood

I stayed there because it was highlighted as the hipster neighborhood of London and it was close to my Saturday stops. Shoreditch did not disappoint and felt like an expanded, glossier version of the Little Five Points neighborhood in Atlanta. I stayed at the Hoxton, which looks like a jaunty bachelor pad, complete with a respectable book collection in each guest room. The wall art scene in Shoreditch was impressive and I would have explored more if I wasn't so tired from walking 10 miles from Borough Market to the hotel (really girl?). I feasted on Peruvian food for dinner at Andina  and saw the magic happen from a barstool seat near the open kitchen. Uber zipped me back to the Hoxton, but there was lots of nightlife left for the taking. Speaking of, why was the hotel lobby lit like a club? Uber driver was like, "Oh, you staying at that club hotel!" Right! Fun times in the city. 

#4 Harrods (Honorable Mention)

I actually didn't go this time because of a pesky little policy about having to pay 50 pounds to come in with luggage and have it stored while you shop, to which I responded, "No thank you." *smiles tightly and exits stage left* Anyway, I went there (sans carry-on bag) a year ago and it was delightful. Artisan food court (do you see a theme here?), designer collections, hipster seating areas, gilded escalators, all in a very intimate, non-American-mall-vibe, well-curated space. Stop by if you are in the area.

#5 Pop Brixton

I decided to check out one of my fellow African-inspired brands, Jekkah while in London. Located south of London proper, Brixton was a nice break from the postcard version of London I had just experienced. No tourists, just real people out here living. Pop Brixton is amazing in that it is a collective of emerging businesses and the space is made entirely of repurposed shipping containers. I snapped up a button-down Ankara shirt for hubs and got a Jamacian burrito for dinner. The excursion almost soured when I sat down to enjoy my burrito and a burly man came up and informed me that I had paid for my lovely Ankara shirt with a 50 Naira bill, NOT a 50 British pound bill. Whoops, disorganized currency issues. The shop girl was super sweet about it, but burly man was not amused and must have thought I was trying to pull a fast one. Jokes aside, I love the street wear direction of Jekkah's brand. There pieces were inspiring and their IG feed is always fly. Check them out online or at one of their three locations in London. 

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