Sunday, 9 September 2018

MY TOP 15 PLACES TO INSTAGRAM IN LONDON

There's nowhere else I'd rather be living in this world than London. Such a diverse and beautiful city full of creativity, but sometimes it can be all to easy to fall into the humdrum of every day routine, and bow your head down as you breeze walk, especially when your commute takes you past the same high-rise apartment blocks and familiar streets.  I'm definitely guilty of this, but things do take on a completely different perspective if you merely just look up, and much more recently I have gone out of my way to take different routes and discover new places. I also find a lot of inspiration from following London travel and food accounts on instagram, plus my best friend is equal parts an avid foodie and photographer so I'm grateful that she often drags me to visit new locations. I've had a couple of questions from you guys about how I find cute locations in London to photograph and what my top places to instagram would be if you were planning on visiting and I can't believe it's taken me this long to compile this list together. I've narrowed it down to 15 spots and categorised them so hopefully it will be easier for you to plan for your next visit to the city. Without further adieu, these are my top 15 places to instagram in London:

THE CUTE CAFES AND FLORAL DISPLAYS

1. Saint Aymes | 59 Connaught St, London W2 2BB
There's not much a blogger loves more than a pretty coffee and cake situation to take a flatlay of and a gorgeous flower wall to pose in front of so Saint Aymes have very kindly catered to our needs. This cafe looks like a place Wes Anderson dreamt up and will tickle your sweet tooth with their trademark Unicorn Lattes and plenty of edible art that's almost too beautiful to eat.

2. Peggy Porschen Cakes | 116 Ebury St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9QQ
Possibly the most well known of the instagrammable cafes at the moment, Peggy's is a pink dream that not only serves cute cakes but also switches up their gorgeous floral displays every season. It does tend to get busy throughout the day and on the weekends, so best to come on a weekday and if you want a completely people free shot, be an early bird arrive five minutes before it opens.

3. Les Senteurs | 1 Elizabeth St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9PJ
Not a cafe but whilst you're at it, Peggy Porchen sits right in the corner of Ebury St and Elizabeth St, the latter being an instagrammer's dream street lined with adjacent cafes and shops, each with their own different floral decorations. Les Senteurs perfumery is one of my particular favourites with a magnificent tree (changes every season as well) that spans across their pretty blue shopfront.

4. Dominique Ansel Bakery | 17-21 Elizabeth St,  Belgravia, London SW1W 9RP
Down the street is my favourite place for desserts (though they also serve savoury food). Their menu changes seasonally but every single time I've been there, I've been blown away by the presentation and taste of their dishes. Definitely try their Blooming Hot Chocolate (permanent menu) which is fun to watch as the flower shaped marshmallow on top opens up quite like those flowering tea balls, and if you visit on a warmer day, I'm totally obsessed with their watermelon soft serve (served in a real watermelon wedge with dark chocolate seeds, need I say more?) Of course there's a vast floral display over the entrance and also a flower wall inside.

5. Moyses Stevens Flowers | 53 Elizabeth St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9PP
Right next to Les Senteurs is my favourite florist. You'll probably see me running around with a bouquet of flowers in hand most of the time and when I get them from Moyses, it would just be rude not to take a snap inside with the floral ceiling as well.

THE RAINBOW HOUSES OF NOTTING HILL

6. Hillgate Place, London W8
Basically every other street in the Notting Hill area is full of houses in a rainbow spectrum of different colours so pick your fancy but one of my particular favourite is Hillgate Place. In the springtime, most of the ones with foliage on their front will transform into clouds of purple wisteria.

7.  Sézane | 233 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill W11 2SE
French clothing brand Sézane (I'm wearing their blouse here) have recently opened their first London store and it's located in Notting Hill. There's just such a lovely contrast between their crisp white storefront and flower lined square windows so whether you're out shopping or just window shopping, be sure to grab a quick snap outside their store.

8. Wild at Heart | 222 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill W11 2SE
Right opposite Sézane is another beautiful florist. Admittedly I've never bought a bouquet from them before but only because they're a bit further away from where I live and I always fear they will wilt on my tube commute. Their arrangements are so aesthetically pleasing though and I love their turquoise bricks.


THE TYPICAL TOURIST SPOTS FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

9. One New Change | 1 New Change, London EC4M 9AF
The elevator to the top floor of One New Change shopping centre takes you to a lovely viewing platform for St Paul's cathedral if you've previously struggled to get that dome roof into your frame.

10. St Pancras Renaissance Hotel | Euston Road, London NW1 2AR
Right next to St Pancras International is this hotel that bears a striking resemblance to Hogwarts. You might also be able to sneak in and grab a photo on their grand carpeted staircase inside.

11. Red telephone boxes | Broad Court, Covent Garden WC2B
Of course there are plenty of these iconic London telephone boxes scattered all over the city but there are five of them sitting neatly in a row in a rather secluded alley in Covent Garden and you know what that means, less people in the shot!

THE COOL GRAFFITI WALLS

12. Shoreditch | London E1 
Shoreditch is home to many awesome graffiti walls, some spanning several stories high. They get painted over regularly so do take a walk around and keep your eye out for any particular ones you may like. I'm gonna cheat a little and give you two addresses of permanent ones here, the first one being the rainbow facade of the Doughnut Time just outside Old St tube station (233a Old St, EC1V 9HE), and the second one are the infamous angel wings outside Redemption Bar (I really rate the raw vegan food this bar does too) on 320 Old St, EC1V 9DR.

JUNGLE WITHIN A CONCRETE JUNGLE

13. St Dunstan-in-the-East | St Dunstan's Hill, London EC3R 5DD
There's no aesthetic I love more than abandoned places overgrown with greenery so St Dunstan-in-the-East is possibly my ultimate favourite out of all these locations. It was once a church that got destroyed in WWII so now the ruins encase a public garden. I feel like not many people know this spot because it's in the centre of a business area and entirely hidden from the main road but it's the most beautiful surprise when you stumble upon it.

14. Kew Gardens | Richmond TW9 3AE
This is the largest botanical garden in London and currently houses over 30 000 living plants. It's a little further from the city centre but if you catch the tube, only a train line away so there's really no excuse not to visit. You'll definitely need an entire day to see everything as the gardens are so vast with many different areas inside. My favourites are the Palm House, the water lilies and the rose garden.

15. Greenwich park | London SE10 8XJ
Greenwich is quite a popular tourist location what with the GMT and the filming location for a number of famous movies but the park comes alive in the springtime and is the best place to photograph cherry blossoms in London.

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