And finally, here is my Where To guide for food in London. Some things just don’t exist, some things are better, it all depends what you’re looking for. At the very least, you’ll know where to go to buy lunch on your first day of work.
Lunch on a Workday: Pret a Manger or Eat. Often looked at as boring by the locals, these places are a refreshing, more-or-less healthy alternative to McDonalds and Taco Bell. They offer soups, sandwiches and salads, plus an array of coffees and snacks.
Hamburger: The Hurlingham, Fulham. There’s no White Spot in London, but this standalone pub does the trick. Try their Hurley Burger for a real treat. www.thehurlingham.co.uk
Powdered Drinks: Try Squash. They don’t make powders to put in your water! They just don’t exist here. The thing to do is buy a bottle of squash (concentrated juice) and dilute it with water. It’s usually something like 1/8 of a glass of squash, and 7/8 water. Be careful not to mistake these for juices to be had straight! You’ll be in for a sweet surprise.
A Starbucks Alternative: Costa. I can’t say I was converted, but their drinks are pretty good. They’re England’s favourite coffee chain, so it can’t be that bad! www.costa.co.uk
Pastries: Paul or Patisserie Valerie. For a European twist on a snack, try a delicious pastry from one of these wildly popular chains.
Big Mug: Cath Kidston. I’m a sucker for big mugs. Even if I don’t drink everything, my morning tea has to be in a huge mug. Cath Kidston does the best size, with cute patterns to boot. www.cathkidston.co.uk
Wine: The Grocery Store. Unlike in British Columbia, you can buy beer, wine, and spirits in the grocery store in the UK. One stop shop!
Party Snacks: Marks & Spencer. You’ll make friends soon enough and suddenly be invited to parties. Don’t want to arrive empty handed? M&S does great party food. Try the traditional favourite Scotch Eggs!
Vitamins and Health Foods: Holland & Barrett. Whether you need a new batch of supplements, some protein powder, or a bag of almonds, this store has everything you’ll need. www.hollandandbarrett.com
Was this helpful? Take a look at Where To in London: Essentials and Where To in London: Shopping.