1. The Borough Market
In a country where cricket is religion and cricketers are god, it is hard to stay away from the cricket fever. And while a lot of us have to be content watching the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 matches on our TV screens, the lucky ones have already booked tickets for London. Our superstars are not immune from the cricket fever either. So Brahmotsavam star Mahesh Babu, who is currently on vacay mode in London with the fam, turned up at The Oval Stadium with son Gautham. He shared a photo of them at the stadium and wrote: “This one’s for my boy…🏏 @gautamghattamaneni ♥♥ #INDvAUS @ The Oval”. In London for the ICC World Cup as well? We find out seven experiences you must try out to experience the British capital like a local.
This market, which goes back to the 13th century, houses some of the best restaurants and bars of the city. Situated in London Bridge, here you can sample some of the best artisanal fare. When you are there, don’t forget to drop by at the Market Porter pub. Potterheads will certainly remember this one. It featured in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as a bookshop right next to the Leaky Cauldron. Try out the free samples from the stalls at the market for your fill.
2. Catch up on some art
The Tate Modern in South Bank is where you can check out some of the best modern and contemporary art for free. If you are an art aficionado, soak in the works of stalwart artists such as Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali and David Hockney. Hop over to the Switch House extension for a panoramic 360-degree view of the London skyline.
3. Shakespeare’s Globe
You can’t be in London and not pay homage to The Bard. The original Globe might have been destroyed by a fire, but this reconstructed version is worth a visit too and is just a few hundred yards away from the site where the original theatre stood. If you don’t wish to spend a bomb, buy a standing spot for just £5 like they used to back in the day. If you book in advance, you should go for a midnight performance.
4. Time to shop
Who goes to London and doesn’t shop? Come summers and practically all our celebs head to London to cool down, and to shop. But instead of buying overpriced stuff from Leicester Square, head to Carnaby Street in Soho for some cool brands. It has a lot of independent brands and quirky flagship stores which were once frequented by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Jimmy Hendrix. This street, which is sandwiched between Oxford and Regent Streets, also has some great food and beverage outlets.
5. The Tower of London
Okay, it is slightly touristy. But you cannot go to London and miss out on one of its most famous landmarks. This medieval castle has an amazing collection of crown jewels (yes, including the Kohinoor). The British royal family still uses the jewellery on special occasions. Add an unusual touch by taking a tour of this castle with one of the Yeoman Warders who live and work there for some great insider dope.
6. An afternoon of tea
We may all love our masala chai now, but it wasn’t so till the British got tea plants from China and introduced us to this delicious drink that has led to many a chai pe charcha in India. if you want to experience something that is essentially British, you must try out the afternoon tea at the Claridge’s, touted as one of London’s most elegant hotels. Don’t be surprised if you bump into some A-listers who frequent this place. Apart from the bespoke tea, munch on scones and sandwiches.
7. Go swimming in Hampstead Heath
Well, the climate change is taking its toll. London summers are no longer as cool as they used to be. And while they might not be burning like Hyderabad, you can still go for a swim to cool off. The Hampstead Heath ponds are bang in the middle of Hampstead Heath. Practice those strokes as you soak in some amazing views of London’s skyline. These public ponds are only a short walk from the Parliament Hill and have life guards too. So, you can swim worry free.