Driving around London can be stressful at the best of times, whether you're dodging cyclists, trying to find a parking spot or stuck behind a bus but the MINI automatic is here to change all that. In celebration of the MINI automatic making London's hectic roads easier to navigate, the quintessentially British car manufacturer asked me to pinpoint some of my favourite London locations that make for the perfect day out in the capital.
Apologies if you've landed on this post in search of new, trendy locations. While I do tend to avoid the crowds in some of London's less known locations, I'm actually extremely fond of a lot of our top attractions - that is when I don't mind a bit of a battle against a sea of tourists, of course.
8 Southwark Street, SE1
There's no chance of me getting anywhere before 11am most days and especially on the weekend. Nothing kicks off a Saturday like a tour of Borough Market. Hunt down the stall that serves up a tremendous Bloody Mary to cure the hangover caused by one too many last night. Stomach settled, it's time to focus on what's really important - the food. Gourmet cheese toasties, aromatic duck wraps as thick that come rolling pin thick, huge germans sausages and burgers in the softest of floury buns are just a small part of what the market has to offer. You can also pick up your fruit and veg for the week; everything tends to be seasonal and organic.
Liberty London & Carnaby Street
Great Malborough Street, W1F
Liberty London is easily my favourite London department store. The store was founded by Arthur Liberty with a £2000 loan from his father and opened with just three members of staff. 140 years later and Liberty has expanded but the listed building remains untouched and undeniably beautiful. It's rare to pay a visit without leaving with something exquisite, be it a simple bunch of flowers from the florists at the front entrance of the store.
Carnaby Street can be found behind Liberty and is home to many of London's great independent stores as well as high street brands such as Monki, Cheap Monday and American Apparel alongside designer boutiques such as Diesel and The Kooples.
Covent Garden, WC2E
Covent Garden may be a tourist hub but there's good reason why so many flock to the market place daily. Some of London's best street artists can be found performing to hoards of people all throughout the day. If you're peckish come mid afternoon, Laduree is one of my favourites for a cup of tea and something sweet. Make sure to have a visit of the Chanel make up boutique, Aesop and Opening Ceremony while you're there too. If you fancy a quiet corner, St Paul's Church courtyard offers a little peace from the hustle and bustle.
Somerset House & Waterloo Bridge
Somerset House is one of London's cultural hubs. In the winter there's an ice skating rink in the courtyard and in the summer, it plays host to a series of open air concerts and gigs. Exhibits are shown in the various galleries and there tends to be something for everyone.
Walk out of the back entrance to Somerset House, turn right and you'll find yourself on Waterloo Bridge. If you begin to cross the bridge towards Waterloo, St Pauls, The OXO Tower and the City will be located on your left while the London Eye, Westminster and Big Ben to your right. In the winter you can expect the sun to set at around 4.30pm and the bridge is the place to be to watch it. While I can't promise the burning skies I saw capturing the skyline, the view is quite spectacular.
Berners Tavern & The Basement, The London EDITION
10 Berners Street, W1T
If you're a regular, you'll realise that this isn't the first time I've featured The London Edition as one of my favourite London late night hang outs and I'm sure it won't be the last. Book in to Berners Tavern for supper, satisfy your tastebuds and line your stomach for a night in the hotel's club The Basement. The Basement has something going on most nights, accommodating the world's finest DJs. To date I've seen James Blake, Lil Silva and so many other great names. Plus, it's always free to get in - you just have to make sure to RSVP via email.
This post was written in collaboration with MINI.