Name: Eleanor Büsing
Location: London, UK
Travel Style/Profile in 5 Words or Less: Brunch for the win. In travel, as in life.
Favourite Food Spots:
Too many to count. I'm a huge foodie, and I've definitely settled in the right city for it. London has an exciting, vibrant food scene, with literally any kind of food you could wish for somewhere out there.
I'm a big fan (ok, more like a disciple) of chef and restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi, so his chain of eponymous delis is first on my list. Go for lunch, share a plate of breads and order a selection of the delicious salads. The mains are tasty too, but not the point here. For a fancier evening meal, their Soho restaurant Nopi is one of my favourites.
My favourite brunch spot is hands-down M1LK in South West London. It's a neighbourhood joint, run by Kiwis (so you know the coffee is good), serves amazing food and on weekends the queue runs down the street. It also happens to be a 15-minute stroll from my house, so it's where I meet up with local pals, take visiting friends and go whenever I can't be bothered to fetch my own breakfast.
Other favourite restaurants include Honey & Co (owned by a husband-and-wife team formerly employed by the Ottolenghi empire), Palomar (incredible Israeli food), Ceviche (Peruvian sharing plates), Dishoom (Indian sharing, but go for breakfast to really be blown away) and Ducksoup (simple, seasonal fusion). I'm also not above heading to Shake Shack in Covent Garden for a burger and fries post-work on a Friday.
Favourite Non-Food City Spots:
One of the best things about London is the culture at your fingertips: there's always something interesting on in one of the many museums and galleries, and most of the permanent collections are free. My favourite gallery is the National Portrait Gallery, which is small and centrally located. I never miss their BP Portrait Prize exhibition, which is on every summer. Many museums also do a Late Shift, meaning that on certain evenings they're open until late in the evening, often with a bar, live music and other fun stuff.
Borough Market by London Bridge is a foodie's paradise, and a fun place to grab lunch on a Saturday. I also love Broadway Market for a more local flavour, or Columbia Road Flower Market for a beautiful way to spend a Sunday morning.
My favourite shop is probably Liberty, which is like a museum in itself, full of beautiful and surprising discoveries.
Favourite Places To Go With Friends:
Top of my list is probably Brixton Village in South London. It's an old covered market arcade from the 1930's, which over time has become home to some of the best (and tiniest) restaurants in London. You'll find Beijing street food, handmade pasta and perfect Mexican tacos. The place has a fun, lively atmosphere in the evenings, with lots of bars nearby to continue the party after dinner.
In the summer months, it's all about picnics in one of London's beautiful parks. I love Primrose Hill or Greenwich Park for views, Regent's Park and Holland Park for beautifully kept gardens, and Hampstead Heath for walking (and celeb spotting).
A Perfect Saturday Looks Like:
I wake up with the sun and head to early-morning yoga at my favourite studio-- the best way to start the weekend. Afterwards I'll meet friends for lunch, either at the aforementioned M1LK or somewhere in town, maybe Granger & Co. in Notting Hill. In the afternoon I might catch an exhibition or take a walk through a new-to-me neighbourhood; I love ducking into vintage furniture shops and bakeries, particularly.
Come evening, I'll have friends over for dinner, or I'll head to one of theirs. During the week I'm often out in central London so I try to avoid it on the weekends. If I do go out, I might head east to Shoreditch or Dalston for craft brews and beards. Or if we're feeling fancy, we'll go to old favourite Sketch-- the crazy loos are worth the price of a cocktail themselves.
Any Other London Favourites or Tips for Travellers?
London is a beast of a city, so plan your days ahead of time so you're not criss-crossing it all day. And try to avoid the tube where you can-- I think the Underground is fantastic, but it's hardly the best way to see the city. Take buses (sit upstairs for views) or walk to orient yourself better. Get the London Citymapper app to help you out with getting around.
Dress in light, divestible layers and carry a small umbrella at all times. I don't bother because I'm immune to rain at this point, but it can ruin a holiday! Also comfortable shoes-- a good pair of black ankle boots is appropriate for any situation in this town.
Londoners may look unfriendly (that stiff upper lip and all), but that's just our game face-- most will be thrilled to help you out with directions or a recommendation, so don't be afraid to ask.
Check out Ele's site at http://eleanorbusing.com or on Instagram at @elebusing