By: Catie Keogh
Planning a girls trip to London? Travel Experts (and co-hosts of the upcoming television series, The Trip Sisters) Catie Keogh and Colleen Kelly share their tips and tricks for planning the ultimate girlfriend getaway in England’s buzzing capital.
We arrived at Heathrow airport on Saturday morning and headed straight to the hotel for an early check-in. I was excited to shop and walk around London, but Colleen wanted to sleep for a couple hours due to jet lag. Tip for a successful girls weekend: embrace time alone. It's your vacation and you do not have to be together 24/7.
Booking a hotel is always the hardest decisions for us when planning a girls weekend, but we decided to stay at The Capital in the Knightsbridge area. We were only 102 steps (I counted) from Harrods so that in itself was exciting! I thought I was going to walk out dripping in Harrods bags, but after seeing the prices at Harrods I decided to people-watch and window-shop. I did end up buying a couple of key chains and a stuffed animal because, truthfully, I just wanted the green shopping bag to take home.
One of my favorite things to do when traveling is to walk around and explore new areas. I never make a plan… I just start walking and look for markers so I know my way back to the hotel. My first find was the Victoria and Albert Museum—it's free, and worth going inside to see the historic exhibits and beautiful works of art. Museums always make me feel very smart and cultured… I try to visit at least one during every vacation. I like to wear my glasses to add to the smart girl look too! (Just kidding.) Afterwards, I walked a few blocks down and found the holy grail of ice skating rinks! They even had a vendor selling hot pecan nuts on the street. I was in my very own London Christmas story! My heart was so full, and at that very moment, I fell in love with the city of London.
I ran back to the hotel to wake my sister and share my love of the city! She was already in the lobby chatting with the staff, who greeted me with a complimentary glass of brandy. Our girlfriend getaway weekend had officially started! We toasted the weekend, sipped our warm brandy, and then hopped into a black cab to take us to our first dinner in London.
Travel tip: The Capital Hotel offers phones to use throughout your stay. You can call anywhere in the world and use the GPS to get around town. We took it everywhere!
If you love chicken with a twist, you’ll flip for Whyte and Brown. Located in the heart of Carnaby, it’s the perfect place to grab a bite to eat—we ordered chicken souvlaki with a side of pork and apple scotch eggs—before hitting the shops!
You know you’re a tourist when you’re excited to take the tube! Colleen and I really felt like locals as we zipped to our destinations underground. If you plan on taking the tube multiple times during your stay in London like we did, it’s best to buy a London Travelcard in advance. It's worth it!
The tube took us to our lovely Sunday brunch at Dishoom in Covent Garden. There was so much to choose from, but I was looking for something a bit more mainstream so I ordered a pork sausage naan roll, spiced with cracked black pepper. It was delicious—and so much fun to enjoy breakfast with an Indian twist!
In our world, good hair equals happy sisters, so our next stop was to Blow Ltd. in St Martin's Courtyard for classic British blowouts.
After our pampering session, we enjoyed afternoon tea on a vintage double decker bus with two cute French men. We saw Big Ben, Parliament, and Buckingham Palace while we ate cakes and drank tea with our newfound friends. It was the perfect way to see the sights and enjoy high tea!
Next, we ventured to Chelsea to drink and eat like the locals at a fabulous Spanish restaurant called Cambio De Tercio. Chef Alberto Criado is an award-winning chef in London and his passion truly comes through in his dishes. Side note: Pippa Middleton dines here. Enough said.
On our last day at The Capital, we called room service and ordered a proper British breakfast. We had no idea eggs and bacon was supposed to look and taste this way! We ate our breakfast in our robes and felt like royalty for a brief moment.
We spent the rest of the day working, but as soon as 5 pm hit, we jetted off to check out our new hotel, Cheval Three Quays. We had heard it was steps away from the Tower of London, but didn't realize it truly was next door to the Royal historical site where the Queen’s jewels are stored and displayed. Just knowing the crown jewels were only steps away made us feel so happy… and a little bit like royalty.
We stayed in a two-bedroom apartment with a full kitchen. It was perfect for us, but we could have added in a couple more friends as well and still be comfortable. The view was spectacular! Most nights, we sat outside on the balcony and watched the boats go back and forth under the majestic Tower of London. In fact, one of the on-site restaurants called Coppa offers little heated pods for guests to dine in outside so they can see the sites all year round. If you’re interested in this dining experience, be sure to book early as the pods are a huge hit in London right now. I would have loved to dine inside a pod... next time!
London has some of the most diverse cuisine in the world, but if you’re craving an authentic British dining experience, we recommend grabbing a drink at The Savoy (it's expensive and very posh, but worth one drink if nothing else). After following our own one drink rule, we headed to another Rule. Rules is considered London's oldest restaurant and was established in 1798—you know, the year our second president John Adams was in office and America was only 13 years old?
We ordered the Rib of Beef for two, served with with dauphinoise potatoes, spinach, and Yorkshire pudding. We ended our very British meal with the restaurant’s famous sticky toffee pudding. Well, secretly. I finished it off while Colleen was in the bathroom—it was that delicious and I didn't want it going to waste!
After dinner, we went to see Kinky Boots at the Adelphi theatre. Watching a show in London is a very girlfriend getaway thing to do. Initially, Colleen did not want to go, but I persuaded her and she ended up having a better time than I did! It's a fun show written by Cyndi Lauper, who is a total girl's girl. So we knew we were going to have fun at this show!
London theatre tip: You can purchase a glass of wine and bring it back to your seat! You don't have to sneak it in like we do in the States!
Sometimes Colleen and I play a little game together: No googling, no asking for recommendations… we just walk down the street and pop into the first cool looking venue we see. Tonight, we picked Fratellli La Bufala. Mainly because Colleen noticed that they had burrata and that is one of her favorites! We walked in and sat down in the bar area.
They were getting ready to close, but they graciously let us put in a last-minute order. We settled on the burrata and a margarita pizza cooked in the wood-burning oven. We may have been in the heart of London, but we felt like we’d been transported to Italy.
We went out in style on our last night in London. We made reservations for drinks and dinner at One Aldwych Hotel, a five-star boutique hotel that originally served as the offices for the Morning Post. Sir Winston Churchill was a former employee of the Morning Post and just knowing he walked into the same doors as we did that evening was quite exciting! We were greeted in the lobby by an award-winning mixologist named Pedro Paulo who made us an old-fashioned British cocktail from cart full of spirits, fruits, and ice cubes in the shapes of golf balls. The next few minutes were unforgettable as we watched him prepare our drinks in such a thoughtful and glorious way. After our drink, we headed to the downstairs restaurant, Eneko, for a delicious seafood dinner.
We had such a fantastic time in London and can’t wait to return! To see more of our travels, follow us on social media: