What To See in London in 3 Days

tea and cakes house in London, flower arch

Oh, the things you will see in London on a three-day trip.

What to see in London for a girls-only trip — big, all-girlie plans that the boys weren’t keen on doing on our last two visits. This time around, we stayed in the West End and hit the pavement with a skip in our step so we could catch everything before cabby-ing back to Heathrow.

We stayed in the West End / Leicester Square area this time, at the W London. A 6-star out-of-a 5-star rating. Everyone there was next-level friendly! My foot hadn’t hit the pavement out of the little black cab before the door person had our bags, grabbed the elevator door, and shuffled us past the nightly party-goers heading to the lively lounge. We arrived midnight Thursday, and the party scene was alive and dancin’ that night {every night we were there, really}.

{The dance party in the bar must have gone silent, because up in our room, we didn’t hear a beat below us!}

Day 1:: What to see in London

All those party people from the night before didn’t rise for breakfast at 8:30am. Neither did many of the shops, so if you’re a breakfast person, add the breakfast option at your hotel. It’s a limited menu, but perfect for Emma & me. Turmeric shots, smoothies, fresh fruit, chia breakfast pudding, chocolate, almond, or plain croissants, avocado and lox toast…I was there for all of it, every morning!

Don’t let the English fool you — they aren’t a tea-only country, because each morning the W served the richest, darkest, smoothest coffee, along with a mini milk jug of warm cream on the side {mmmm}.

After breakfast, we grabbed our bottled water from the cute little water bar in the lobby, and it was time to hit the markets!

London has some of the best open markets. Experiencing at least one of them should be a must on your trip.

Which London Market? you decide::

Camden Market:: more trendy, focusing on the younger crowds. Street vendors with your normal hats, bags, glasses…small shops for shoes or clothes, pastry shops, and upper deck dining areas that are fun to sit at, eat at, and people watch from for a hot minute {and it was hot the day we went}.

Borough Market:: This is more of a farmer’s market set-up with fresh produce, cheese, and meats. Mixed in are the artisans selling their handmade soaps, scarves, and jewelry.

Notting Hill:: This was on the list this trip, but we didn’t make it over there {sad face}. Open-air street vendors and the rainbow houses. Three trips to London and the rainbow houses of Notting Hill have escaped my visit every. time. {Me and my camera were super sad!} If YOU make it there, PAA-LEASE send me a photo!

We headed back towards the hotel after stopping to shop a little — because girls trip! And no boys rolling their eyes at me when I say, “let’s peek in this one and see what they have.”

Now, Emma would go to all the musicals, all day. I love seeing the performances too, but I need to stretch my legs at least part of the day. We bought tickets for two nightly musicals, and made a plan, if we found time, to see what TKTS had for matinees {spoiler: Em found plenty more shows to see}.

Neal’s yard in London, color buildings

Musical #1:: SIX.

If Siskel and Ebert were still alive doing their schtick, they’d give this performance a “WOW! LOVE! SIX thumbs-up” review. Instead, I’m giving you the ME+EM review.

We even found our own sign in the Belgravia neighborhood! After all the musicals we’ve seen over the years, maybe we’ll start our own musical reviews channel on her TikTok…{@readingbookswithem}

“SIX is a historical musical/concert about Henry VIII’s six wives. Taking a lead from Hamilton, this pop-culture performance kept us riveted on each of the wives’ history with the king. A WOW! LOVE! ROCKSTAR retelling!”

How’s that for our first review?

Day 2:: Neal’s yard+shopping+musical

We went downstairs for breakfast, and the sweet hostess had our room number memorized! She even offered us any seat in the dining room. Only because we were the first {or last} ones coming in for breakfast — but still, it was a sweet gesture ;) We slid into ‘our’ booth and had the coffee steaming.

First stop was the colourful alley of Neal’s Yard, and finding our theatre for the night before going shopping.

Neal’s Yard is a small alley located in Covent Garden {and a good start-up story}. I came across it on Pinterest initially. It’s full of colour, restaurants, an apothecary in Neal’s Yard Remedies, and St John’s bakery. Casanova & Daughters {wine and cheese} was a stop-in I wanted to try, but it’s more suited to a Brian-and-I trip than a me+Em trip {next time}.

There are shopping “centers” in London, but the charm of London lies in all the alley shops. The boys are never interested in walking in & out of all these shops, so this was my chance to saunter in and out of these alleyways. Sad to say I did not come home with any shoes, but I did find new pieces for my outfits-of-the-week post!

Walk off the main roads and explore the alleys. There are so many hidden places you’ll miss if you don’t wander. Even in a quick 3-day trip, you’ll have time to peek around the corners and into shops.

Musical #2:: & Juliet

This is a comedic twist on Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare and his wife, Anne Hathaway {nope, not the actress from The Devil Wears Prada. Isn’t that funny?}, square off to rewrite the ending to one of his most famous plays. “What if Juliet didn’t kill herself…” {Anne Hathaway, Act I}

I tell ya, these playwrights are capital T — Talented! And the voices and the lungs of these actors are smooth like butter with a punch of grit to give their part that edge that we go to the theater to hear over and over again.

This musical is still pretty hot, so your tickets won’t be bargain price {but compared to Broadway in New York, you’re still saving a few pounds}.

The Me+Em TikTok review for this musical is “spectacular singing, hilarious Shakespeare/Hathaway duo, with a Shakespearean ending that leaves you laughing instead of crying”.

Emma did manage to slip in a matinee on her own between days 2 & 3…Bonnie & Clyde.

This musical was in a black box theatre — a square room with black walls and flat floor. “Small” seems too big a descriptor for this space, so maybe “itty-bitty” fits better. Maybe that’s why the tickets were only 27 pounds.

Em’s review:: Heart-pounding, heart-wrenching, and heart-stopping, with over-the-top talent and vocals. 10/10 would recommend {especially if you can catch Jordan Luke Gage in the lead!}

DAY 3:: What to see in London

Tea for 2 + Biggest Bookstore EVER + Matinee

Peggy Porschen Cakes in Belgravia was my highlight. Not only for its cuteness-factor, but Emma & I sitting for afternoon tea on Mother’s Day was the ending I wanted for our trip. It’s not Mother’s Day in London on the same day as in the US, so it was just a regular Sunday for them, thankfully. I don’t think we would have gotten a seat otherwise!

The outdoor café-type scenery may have added to the taste, but both the English Rose & Raspberry tea with our cupcakes {Raspberry & Lemon for me, Red Velvet for Em} redeemed all the lackluster food we had on our previous London vacations {stay away from the hot dog vendors}.

You’ve been in a Barnes & Noble, right? Waterstones in Piccadilly Square makes B&N look like a two-row independent bookshop. Nothing wrong with small book shops — we frequent a lot of them — but good googly-moogly, THE SIZE OF THIS PLACE!

Waterstones bookstore in Picadilly Circus

If there is a book in print, it has to be in Waterstones at Piccadilly. Six floors — six FULL FLOORS of books lining the walls, tables, side tables, and stand-up pillars. I lost Emma four times while she was looking for her books, and I was turning circles looking for the stairs to the restrooms.

Impressive bookstore if I didn’t make that clear in those last two paragraphs. And while we were talking to one of the desk clerks, they said Waterstones just purchased Barnes & Noble. So, six floors of floor-up-the-wall-books may be coming to a city near you!

Last matinee of the trip was a movie classic for us 50-somethings…Back to the Future.

ME+EM Musical Review:: Their casting of Doc, Marty, and Mom & Dad had me doing a double-take that they weren’t the original movie cast. The musical mostly matched the movie, so it doesn’t make my top 5, but the effects and actors made it a fun one to see {the DeLorean flying over the audience at the end definitely deserved its standing ovation}. It also cost about the same as going to the movie theatre, so why not see it live {and with new songs}?

Phewwww!

A lot of walking, talking, and musical singing, but we had a great whirlwind of a London trip! Topped off with a chatty cabby back to the airport, we got all caught up on the Queen’s Jubilee {which we just missed}, the ousting of Prince Henry from the Queen’s balcony, and plenty of other Royal’s stories. I love hearing stories, don’t you?

What’s a must-see spot for your trip to London?

Andrea ~ A Next Chapter Blogger
A Glimpse of Good
World Traveler • Over 50 Styler • Lifestyle Blogger • Books&Wine
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Andrea | A Glimpse of Good

Andrea | A Glimpse of Good

Writing for the next chapter in travel, 50-n-fabulous style, vacation rental re-do +forever searching for good coffee, great wine, & the next captivating book.