Having moved to London around 5 months ago my list of places I would still like to visit is never ending. Being in such a big city with so much to offer it can be difficult to not get swept up in the tourist attractions and well known chains. When Boohoo contacted me regarding their 'Spring Adventures' campaign I thought it would be the perfect collaboration to share how I find hidden gems in my new hometown.
Instagram Location Tool
One of my favourite ways to find places is through Instagram, mostly through people I follow. After falling in love with their feeds, I keep my eyes alert when scrolling down the timeline as they often post places they visit and if it's something I feel I would like or matches my aesthetic, I simply make a note. When a day comes you are not sure what to do, or you may be in a particular area and want to find somewhere trendy close by you can refer to that list. You can also use the Instagram location tool by following these three steps:
1) Click on to the platform
2) Search and filter to 'places'
3) Look at 'Nearby places'
Through this you can visually look at places just round the corner, selecting what dish you have your heart set on before you have even arrived. Once you start doing this it gets more and more addictive, great if you are a blogger looking for places to shoot too. This tip relates to Instagram but your use of social media doesn't have to stop there. Facebook is another great platform which works well for searching upcoming events in your area.
Before you set off anywhere it is always useful to do a bit of research on the place you are. If I am going somewhere I always like to have a little nosey online first. What happens if you finish earlier than you expected and you aren't ready to go home? Best to be over prepared and have a jam packed day than to only book one thing and then end up window shopping just for the sake of it.
Live Like A Local
I think sometimes when you live somewhere you take for granted some of the most beautiful places right on your doorstep. For example I am just a short walk from Hampstead Heath and have only just taken myself there. I believe to truly experience the city you have to embrace it, every single part. Stay clear of the chain restaurants you can get anywhere and make use to the quirky independent venues which will make your day that little bit more special. Although it is nice to do touristy things, they aren't going anywhere. If you have to choose always pick something that might just for be there for the weekend like a pop up or just more spontaneous than usual. It will be ten times more memorable and a lot more culturally enriching. If you are still relatively new to London (like me) ask people who have lived here much longer to recommend some of their favourites spots. They have had a lot more time to explore therefore can make some amazing suggestions and cut out some leg work for you.
Go Off Track
This might sound a little bit silly but sometimes you can't always find things the normal way, you just end up stumbling across it. A wrong turn, walking around with no particular destination or just generally getting lost can be the best way to finding somewhere you might not have even known was there. The best kind of accident is being in the right place at the right time. Even if you know where you are going keep looking around, maybe somewhere new has opened, been refurbished or you haven't ever noticed it before.
One of my favourite apps since moving is City Mapper. With a click of a few buttons and typing in where you want to go it can take you every step of the way. It goes in to detail with roads, bus routes, tubes and anything you need to know to get you from A to B. It even includes prices and times so you can plan ahead and if you are on a budget, plan a pocket friendly route.
On this occasion I headed to The Wallace Restaurant just off Bond Street. Hidden between the walls of the Wallace Collection this glass-roofed courtyard is certainly the definition of hidden gem. The French brasserie offers afternoon tea which features a selection of finger sandwiches, homemade scones and a medley of delicious cakes. We opted for a glass of vintage Champagne and the tea of our choice in this stunning setting with pink walls, sculptures and plants, I couldn't think of a more calming spot to catch up. The pale wooden furniture, gold plated bar and yellow cushions scream spring summer making the perfect backdrop to shoot this outfit.
Shop The Post:
I wore this backless playsuit (by Boohoo of course), with my new pointed patent boots and a leather jacket to make it slightly more casual. This cute pink and black polka dot design ticks all the trend boxes with subtle frills and cut out shoulders. You can have a browse through their playsuit and jumpsuit section here.
I hope you have found my tips useful, bring on the next adventure!
Disclaimer: A massive thank you to Boohoo for booking this mini adventure and for kitting me out for the occasion!