We're getting right to it because I can't even believe it took us this long to feature this city, and I absolutely can't wait another moment.
Our trustworthy guide, Georgina @georginatwong, a Cambridge student and born and bred Londoner. "I've lived in London all my life, and just don't think you could ever get bored of it! There are new things happening all the time, and new places to discover.
A buzzing city, steeped in history but also full of exciting, modern development. There are streets which you can walk down where you literally feel transported to two hundred years ago, parallel to streets where disused car parks are now home to the best street markets in town.
I love Instagram as a way to share and curate things that I love: whether that's a restaurant recommendation, or the prettiness of the changing seasons. Instagram has also provided me with loads of new opportunities and introduced me to some great people - but sometimes I do get frustrated with the almost competitive (and definitely repetitive) side of it, for instance when people are set on visiting specific 'Instagram-famous' places just for the sake of getting a good picture that's already featured on everyone else's feeds!
And yes, I am as obsessed with avocado toast as much as the next basic bitch." If loving avocado toast makes you basic, we don't want to be... complex? 🤔
Hello, hello, hello! It's @georginatwong here, and I'm so excited to be showing you my hometown this week: London. To start us off, we'll begin at this adorable neighbourhood cafe in North London, @finkssaltandsweet. This place is the perfect spot to relax whether you're with friends or visiting alone: I love to come with my laptop or book and while away the hours with a good cup of coffee and croissant. Their delicious lunch platters and 'chèvre on avocado toast' are pretty smashing too.
It's almost 5pm in London, and we're starting to make dinner plans: one of my favourite restaurants is @chicamalondon, a Peruvian-Japanese fusion restaurant in Chelsea, west London. The delicious sharing plates are experimental, and full of flavour - they taste as exciting as they look! The cocktails here are pretty good too - @georginatwong.
Today we're heading east to Shoreditch, where this cafe, @creamshoreditch is based: an industrial space with an ever-changing menu of fresh and wholesome dishes. I recommend popping in for coffee, and then visiting their art gallery next door which always has free exhibitions going on. Afterwards, wander down Redchurch Street and Shoreditch High Street in search of boutique stores and graffiti - the area is ever-evolving and there are always new pop ups, street food markets, and exciting new projects happening. Although once a grimy part of London, Shoreditch is now giving way to gentrification - keep heading towards Brick Lane (where there are many more cafes and vintage shops) if you want a more authentic east London experience. - @georginatwong
Anyone else a big fan of brunch? London has millions of good brunch places, but if you're after a *fantastic* meal, you'll want to check out @thefriendsofours in Hoxton. Here you can get specialty coffee, a seasonal menu with innovative, filling dishes, and stellar, friendly service. Some of the best dishes I've had here include ricotta and strawberries on toast, honeycomb and banana French toast, apricot waffles, and beetroot fritters with kasundi and avocado. You feeling hungry yet? - @georginatwong
Want incredible, panoramic views over London from a beautiful garden built inside a skyscraper? If you're visiting the city, you must check out The Sky Garden (@sg_skygarden), in the heart of London's financial and business district. From inside the garden, you're free to roam across the different levels and are given an amazing view of London's skyline. There's also a cafe and restaurant inside the garden if you're feeling peckish, and best of all, entry is free! (Just make sure to book an entry time in advance online!) - @georginatwong
Time for some afternoon tea and crumpets! This English tradition is taken to a whole new level at @goodandpropertea, where a huge selection of deliciously brewed teas are available, as are tasty homemade crumpets served with toppings like PBJ or avocado smash. (They have loads of cakes too). Warm up with your cuppa in this cosy space on Leather Lane. - @georginatwong
I'm taking you guys to west London today, beginning with this beautiful space in Chiswick: @no197chiswickfirestation. Functioning as a brunch space, restaurant and bar, No.197 is a fantastic space to have a leisurely coffee and all-day brunch by day, and enjoy a good cocktail by night. The space is airy, and the interiors are plush: lounge on the pink sofas or sit in their outdoor garden before having a wander down Chiswick High Street. - @georginatwong
If you want to explore more of west London, I'd definitely recommend having a walk around Notting Hill. Not only is this neighbourhood home to the famous Portobello Road Market (great for its antique stores, eclectic vintage shops, and cafes - check out @farmgirlcafe, @fabriquebakery and @bluebellesofportobello) but it's also worth exploring Notting Hill Gate (known for its candy-coloured houses) and Westbourne Grove for classy boutiques and delicious lunch places (my favourites are Granger & Co and @ottolenghi). - @georginatwong
It's Saturday and we need coffee! One of my favourite places in London is Tap Coffee (@tapcoffee) - proper speciality coffee and a range of home baked goods can be found at any of their three branches, all located in central London. - @georginatwong
We're heading south of the river today, to Brixton. In recent years, Brixton has earned itself an exciting reputation, where it was once known to be a grimy and unsafe area of London. Now, with popular installations such as Pop Brixton (@popbrixton), and a myriad of independent cafes and restaurants (check out @salon_brixton, @frenchandgrace and @fmondayscoffee, pictured above) it's home to a vast majority of twenty-something Londoners. - @georginatwong
The weekends are for brunching, and for one of the best brunches in London, you need to head to @milkcoffeeldn in Balham, south of the river. Expect a queue on Saturday, and for good reason: their brunch classics have the most inventive twists; think eggs royale with burnt butter hollandaise, butternut squash with feta and baked eggs, and 'The Convict', an incredible sausage patty with bacon, egg and Parmesan cheese in an English muffin. - @georginatwong
We're heading eastwards this Sunday! Columbia Road is transformed on Sundays with their famous flower market - if you're after fresh blooms, make sure to head here today: there's also a wide range of boutique shops and food stalls that don't open during the week. Make sure to check out @lily_vanilli_cake for scrumptious cakes! - @georginatwong
What are your Sunday brunch plans? My favourite place in Hackney has got to be @raw_duck, a beautifully industrial space filled with plants and serving up comfort food with a spicy twist: try their chill eggs on flatbread, seaweed and salmon nori bowl, or their avocado toast is always a win, served with smoky bacon and perfectly poached eggs. - @georginatwong
Hey, everyone! This is my last post for @withthelocals - I've really enjoyed doing a takeover this week, and I hope you guys have all found my London tips helpful! To end your weekend, I definitely recommend checking out Broadway Market (we're still in east London today), which has many cafes, shops and boutiques, as well as a proper market on Saturdays! One of my favourite places is @pavilionbakery - grab a cinnamon bun from here and a coffee from @climpsonandsons, or if you're feeling a bit more hungry, I also recommend brunch at @marketcafeldn and @tiosk_uk. For more snaps and tips about London, feel free to check out my personal account @georginatwong, and I'd love to know what you think about the places I've posted - enjoy your Sunday evening! - @georginatwong