London is brimming with activities and experiences unlike any other city, but even if you can’t physically be there, you can still take advantage of them from your very own living room. From morning until night, London’s world-renowned museums, expansive parks, and creative cafes make it easy to pack your daily planner — so here’s how you can virtually explore London, plane tickets not required.
Start your digital day off right by indulging in some serious morning fare at The Breakfast Club — one of London’s most queued-for brunch spots. The menu at this popular cafe offers virtually (no pun intended) every breakfast plate you could ever dream of, such as an all-American breakfast, a butternut shakshuka benedict and banana and salted caramel pancakes. All locations across the city have had to temporarily close their doors, but not to worry — this means you can skip the long waits and experiment with making some of their signature dishes at home. Fried chicken and waffles, anyone?
After a breakfast like that, you’ll be fully fueled for a long walk around one of London’s most glorious green spaces — Hyde Park. The largest of four Royal Parks that line the entrance of Kensington Palace, a spring stroll will have you face-to-face with fresh blooms and (hopefully) bright sunshine all morning. But whether you can visit in real life or not, you can still experience the park in all its glory. Simply grab your mobile device or tablet, pop on some tunes you like to move to and hop on the treadmill or jog in place to a virtual run around Hyde Park.
Once you’ve spotted the park’s Wellington Arch and taken a lap or two around Kensington Gardens, the Victoria & Albert Museum should be next on your virtual itinerary. Boasting one of the most incredible collections of decorative art, design, fashion, and textiles in the world, the V&A resides in a converted cathedral in South Kensington and offers free admission daily. And though a personal visit is exemplary, you can still explore them virtually on their website, so whether you have the chance to ogle its collections in person or not, you won’t feel like you’re missing out.
If you’re in the mood for a snack after your virtual stroll through Hyde Park and online perusing of the V&A, Borough Market should be next on your list. Here you’ll find an incredible offering of everything from cheese to pastries to chutneys to milkshakes, and plenty of specialty cuisines from around the world. You can find all of its vendors on the market’s website, with many still taking delivery orders so you can enjoy their tasty creations from home — though some international deliveries may be a bit tricky. If delivery isn’t an option for you, why not try your hand at recreating some of the market offerings yourself? Creativity knows no limits!
Dusk is the perfect time for a riverside stroll near the iconic Tower Bridge. Watch London light up against the night sky as you stroll along the water, taking in virtual views of the River Thames, The Shard, and other notable landmarks such as the Southwark Cathedral.
After the sun sets and the virtual views have whetted your appetite, Covent Garden is your locale for a proper Indian curry at hotspot Dishoom. Since its first cafe opened in 2010, Dishoom has expanded to seven restaurants across the city. Getting a table can be a challenge even in person, so skip the lines and take full advantage of their cookbook that offers up recipes for some of its most sought-after dishes, such as masala chai, a bacon naan roll, black daal, okra fries, and a jackfruit biryani. If you’re too excited to wait for your book to arrive, here are a few recipes to get you started.
No night in London is complete without a bit of theater, and luckily you will never be without options. Grab a front-row seat (from home!) to some of London’s most talked-about performances at The National Theatre. The renowned theater company has opened up its vault of shows so you can see a new full-length play every Thursday, free of charge.
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The journey doesn’t have to end there. While there is an endless number of virtual experiences you can have to better acquaint yourself with London, Visit London offers a pretty comprehensive array of 360-tours, including views from the top of the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Royal Albert Hall, and Big Ben, just to name a few. Happy (virtual) exploring!
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