If you fancy a tipple, have a pint and a bite at Lamb & Flag in Covent Garden. It was supposedly a favourite watering hole of British novelist Charles Dickens.
On a clear day, head to Hampstead Heath for a great view across north London. Or visit The Shard, a skyscraper where you can enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the city. If you’re the arty type, visit the restaurant at the top of the Tate Modern and admire the vista and paintings.
Harry Potter fans should take the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, a half-hour train ride north of London. Step inside the Great Hall and view props, sets (above) and costumes used in the Harry Potter movies, and experience “flying” on a broomstick.
Back in the city, purchase tickets to the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child musical at the Palace Theatre. It is based on the adult life of the boy wizard. Due to the epic nature of the story, the musical could not fit into a single performance, so it’s in two parts. Get tickets for the matinee, followed by an evening show.
Spend a quid
I like shopping at Camden Market near Regent’s Canal. Vibrant and colourful, it’s where you can get just about anything – from belt buckles to saris and costume jewellery. If you prefer department stores, head to Oxford Street, which is home to Selfridges and John Lewis. For children’s toys, visit Hamleys on nearby Regent Street. I’ve purchased Star Wars figures for my son, and the Sylvanian Families Grand Hotel set is fun.
Dish it up
The Southbank Centre Food Market (open Friday to Monday) is the best place for fresh and creative street food. There are lots of stalls, but I always veer towards the oriental corner for my favourite: pad thai (fried rice noodles). It’s always nice – and an entertaining experience – to dine at Benihana, a Japanese steakhouse and sushi restaurant. I also like Chino Latino, where I order taquitos (taco parcels) with beef, lobster or vegetables as a starter. This is usually followed by sizzling sirloin steak on hot rocks, washed down with sake.
Big nights out
There are plenty of great clubs and bars in the Shoreditch district. I like Queen of Hoxton (above) – its rooftop terrace has an outdoor cinema screen, themed events and DJs. Also great for a night out is The Blues Kitchen. This old-school American bar and restaurant features live bands and serves barbecued meats and bourbon.
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ILLUSTRATION KEN LEE
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.