I love a city break, if you follow my blogging or Instagram adventures, you’ll know this! I also like to think I’ve got *some* London knowledge and I’m not a typical tourist but there are still so many places that I haven’t experienced. So, when Mercure Hotels challenged me with a City Swap with the lovely Milly from Mini Adventures, I jumped at the chance to see what a real Londoner would recommend to me to do.
Milly tasked us with hitting Shoreditch and visiting the amazing Borough Market. She also recommended seeing a West End show but, being the weekend before Christmas all the shows were booked up! We ventured down to London to see Charlie & The Chocolate Factory last year and it was amazing so hopefully, we’ll get the chance to see another performance sometime soon.
We headed down on Saturday morning, found the hotel, (right by London Bridge!), dropped our bags into storage and headed to Shoreditch. We grabbed some lunch with some friends before exploring Shoreditch High St and Boxpark some more and then headed back to the London Bridge area to explore Borough Market.
I didn’t realise Borough Market was so close to our hotel, I’ve never visited the London Bridge/Southwark/Borough area of London before so it was great to see somewhere new. I usually stick around Shoreditch and Hoxton/Hackney whenever I visit one of my besties in the Big Smoke so it was cool to see more. I finally feel like I *almost* know my way around London but of course, I still rely on my trusty iPhone. Citymapper is literally the biggest lifesaver whenever I’m in London, I wouldn’t know how to navigate the tube without it.
The Hop Exchange was also incredibly near to Borough Market so we took to having a drink or two to sample some craft beers at The Sheaf, a little underground pub before we headed back to the hotel to check in.
The Mercure London Bridge Hotel is a 4* hotel with a really cool interior and decor theme. It’s quite mid-century with the furniture but has a cool homemade rustic feel with chalkboards and wooden crates too, it’s really different and it was super cool and cosy. They had loads of Christmas decorations up too and a lovely tree!
Our room was fab, fairly big and the bathroom with walk-in shower was lovely. Basically, it was awesome and the only thing that I’d say was a bit annoying was the fact that there was no normal tea bags already in the room, only Earl Grey, and green tea. That, and the pillows being a little hard were literally the only things that I could complain about. And, I can hardly call that complaining. I’d definitely stay at a Mercure Hotel again after this experience.
After checking in and freshening up we headed out to manic Oxford Street to see the lights and do some shopping. After stopping off at a cool serve your own wine bar in Soho we headed back to the hotel for a relaxing dinner in the Marco’s restaurant. Think Jamie’s Italian style but from Marco Pierre White. The food was awesome – we had a seafood sharer with crab cakes, garlic prawns, and calamari and then both opted for an Italian-inspired main.
I had lasagne which was probably a 7/10 with some great garlic bread and Luke opted for a creamy Carbonara with chicken Milanese which, by all accounts was pretty tasty. We both finished with a Knickerbocker Glory which was ridiculously indulgent but so yummy and really fresh with loads of raspberries and Chantilly cream. Food was great and the staff were lovely. The restaurant had a really nice atmosphere and was probably one of the best hotel restaurants I’ve eaten in.
After a pretty good night’s sleep we were surprisingly peckishand ready to hit the continental breakfast! It was a great one with loads of choice. It was cool to see different stations for everything like a granola and yoghurt bit and a porridge section with sachets of Quaker’s instant porridge, I thought this was really cool.
We checked out and headed to the National History Museum for a bit of touristy sightseeing and then wandered into Chelsea to see what all the Kings Road fuss was about. We didn’t see any MIC cast members, though! All in all, we had an awesome weekend seeing more of London that we hadn’t visited before and I was so glad Milly tasked us with visiting Borough Market. Thanks to Mercure for putting us up, I’d massively recommend their hotels now, for sure!