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Not as sad and grey as you may think

Story by Fabien Bazanegue October 26th, 2017

Who thought London was a sad city ?

If that was your case you are totally wrong. London is one of the most colorful city I have ever visited. Not only for its world famous red phone booths but also for the lovely colored houses, doors and windows. Either flashy like near Covent Garden or pastel like in Notting Hill.


For the Londoners everything seems to be an excuse to put color: doors, facades, storefronts, or buses. As if they wanted to ward off the gloomy weather that often plagues the British capital.


neal'S yard

Neal's Yard is a small square near Covent Garden. I stumbled upon it by chance while strolling in Neal Street. You'll have to be watchful to not miss the entrance of this alley, or rather entries because there are three. It can be reached either from Shorts Gardens, between the Benefit Cosmetics shop and the Bio Holland & Barret grocery store (numbers 19-21), or from the two access points on Monmouth street: at Orla Kiely store (number 31) or next door from Shu Uemura (number 15). For once, the place is really colorful and really worth to be discovered!


THE MoNUMENT to the Great fire

The Monument commemorates the Great Fire of 1666 . The fire raged for four days and during that time one third of all buildings in London were destroyed, 86% of the City was burnt to the ground and 130,000 people were made homeless. It is one of the most significant events in London’s history.

If you have enough courage, climb the 311 spiral steps to enjoy one of the best views over the City.

Inside The Monument

Architecture diversity

London has also a great architectural diversity. From modern glass buildings to old brick houses all mixes into an heterogenous but harmonious set.


Tower Bridge

Back on the River Thames banks to cross the iconic Tower Bridge.


Borough Market

Borough Market is London's most renowned food and drink Market. It is one of the largest food markets in the world, and one of the oldest. That foodie haven represents London's openness to the world.


St. Paul Cathedral

St. Paul was built after the destruction of the old building during the Great Fire of London. It is actually the fifth cathedral built on this very place. Its architecture is a mix of classical and baroque.


Tate Modern

The Tate Modern is the museum which, since its opening on May 2002, brings together the collection of national and international modern and contemporary art.

This former power station has become London's great cathedral of international modern art. And thanks to its riverside setting, the museum's restaurants offer great views over the Thames, St Paul Cathedral and the Millennium bridge.

View on St. Paul Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge from Tate Modern
London cabs collection

The London shopping experience

Oxford Street is a famous avenue in central London. About 2.5 km long, it is lined with 300 stores, making it the longest shopping avenue in the world.

Regent Street

The Department Store Liberty is not well known to tourists who prefer to visit Harrods, which has an international reputation and has a huge sales area. Located a few meters from Regent Street, Liberty is easily recognizable thanks to its beautiful half-timbered Tudor facade.

This beautiful building made mainly of wood is a unique and pleasant place where you can discover the true British style. The large wooden stairs serve every floor where, from a balcony, you can admire the architecture of the place and the glass roof.

Liberty fabrics make the identity of the store.

Museum of Natural History

The Museum of Natural History of London is one of three major museums located along Exhibition Road, in the Kensington district.

The Museum is home to some of the most important collections of life and earth sciences collected around the globe, including the collections of famed explorers and naturalists James Cook and Charles Darwin.

What strikes you at first when you enter the Central Hall it's fantastic architecture. Considered one of the best examples of Romanesque architecture in Britain, the Waterhouse building has become a reference in London. Its high towers that rise above the horizon and its huge front line inspired by the basalt columns of Fingal's Cave in the west of Scotland - are impressive.

To be noted: Dippy, the diplodocus which for almost 40 years throne in the big hall of the Museum, has been disassembled in January 2017 to leave place to a blue whale skull.

Dippy, the diplodocus


With a slew of monuments, Westminster is a cultural and political epicenter. Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace (God Save the Queen, May God protect the Queen!) And the British Parliament share the same sidewalk under the benevolent eye of the famous Big Ben.

Westminster Abbey north entrance
Big Ben and London Eye in the background

Only two steps away from Westminster Palace, do not miss the Changing of the Guards ceremony in front of Buckingham Palace.

During the ceremony, the Old Guard hands over responsibility for protecting Buckingham Palace and St. James's Palace to the New Guard. All the guards participating in this ceremony are dressed in the traditional red tunic and are wearing a bearskin hat.

Buckingham Palace, St. James's Palace and Wellington Barrack are the three locations between which the Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place.

Walking between these locations lets you see more of the Guards and Bands, taking part in the ceremony, plus a chance to get some great photographs.


London Eye

If you want to have an outstanding 360° view of the capital and its famous monuments, do not miss the most visited attraction in London for 10 years.

Getting aboard London Eye will guarantee you a breathtaking adventure at 135m high. The progressive rotation of each of the 32 glass capsules takes about 30 minutes and gives you a constantly changing perspective of London.

Enjoy the view on Westminster

Notting Hill & Portobello Road

I am sure you already heard of Notting Hill, especially thanks to the famous movie of the same name. This colorful neighborhood is a place where it is very pleasant to walk around. There are a lot of shops in Notting Hill. I invite you to stroll along Portobello Road and wander from store to store.

All along the street you will find stands with antiques, going from jewelry to books through clothes and old clocks.

Acklam Village Street Food Market

But what struck me again in Notting Hill is the lovely colored houses: punchy on Portobello Road (with flashy reds, greens or blues) and pastels in the rich and exclusive residential streets.


Little Venice

Little Venice is a small triangular pool, an oasis of water and greenery located in the heart of London's Maida Vale at the junction between Regent's Canal and Grand Union Canal.

If you are looking for a quiet and refreshing place, away from tourist attractions, the small Little Venice basin lined with barges, boats and beautiful Victorian homes will make your happiness.

One of the greatest pleasures of this little paradise is to enjoy a barge ride along Regent's Canal that will take you to Camden Lock Market.


Camden Lock Market

Probably one of the most extravagant place in London, Camden Market is located just at the northeast of Regent's Park.

The Camden Market is a covered market where you can find different items, from crafts to clothes or food. Originally, the place is also known for its "underground" and hippie atmosphere.

You will also find many bars and restaurants serving food from all countries: Indian, Chinese or even organic ... This diversity is reflected in the public who frequent the market. Some have formed bands that add to the special atmosphere of the place.

The Camden market, which includes five distinct markets (Camden Lock Market, Historic Camden Stables Market, Camden Lock Village, Buck Street Market, Inverness Street Market), is one of London's most popular venues, especially on the weekends.

Food from all over the world
Footnote: All photos taken with a Canon 6D
London, United Kingdom