As you may or may not know, The London Marathon is coming up in a few weeks time, 26th April to be exact, and will draw in crowds from all corners of the world.
As the official hotel for The Marathon, The Tower Hotel got in touch and set me my own little marathon challenge (but luckily with less of the running).
Based on the average time of completion – I was to head out on a 4.5 hour ‘Cultural Marathon’ exploring the local area and report back in the form of a 4.5 hour itinerary.
Incase you hadn’t yet worked it out, The Tower Hotel is based right beside Tower Bridge on the Thames and boasts incredible views over London from the rooms.
Anyway, more on the rooms later.
You guys know me.
I love an adventure, I love food & I love exploring London.
So I, of course, accepted the challenge, grabbed a couple of my best friends and headed out to do what i do best.
Ready for our adventure?
The day begun as we headed down from our room to The Brasserie in the crisp morning daylight to fuel ourselves for the day ahead.
From croissants and pastries, to fresh fruit and a full english, my eyes were darting across the room in a million directions and had no idea where to settle.
It was then that I met eyes with a tall dark chef beckoning me over with a frying pan in one hand and a spatula in the other, and I instantly knew what I wanted. A freshly cooked omelette.
The omelette did not disappoint, and after following it up with a bowl of greek yoghurt, honey, dried fruit & seeds – I felt ready to take on the day…
We headed straight out of the hotel to make the most of the early morning sunshine that was lighting up Tower Bridge and making me fall in love with London all over again.
I must say, even though I spend the majority of my life in London, I still get just as excited to explore it as I did the first time and one of my favourite ways to explore is on Boris Bikes.
Swapping the underground for a Boris Bike means you not only get to observe an extremely beautiful city, but you also get to breathe in the fresh air, stumble across a million new places AND you’re getting your daily fix of exercise.
BB Docking stations are located ALL OVER London, making it super accessible and convenient for wherever it is you are heading.
We continued walking just around the corner from the Hotel to Tower Hill Tube station, where we picked up some bikes and began the first leg of our cultural marathon.
A 5 minute cycle from Tower Hill, standing at the junction of Monument Street and Fish Street Hill is The Monument
. This famous column was built to celebrate the rebuilding of the city after the Great Fire of London between 1671 -1677.
It has been welcoming visitors for over 300 years now and for a small price (£4 adults, £2 children) you can walk 311 steps (51.6m) up to the top for an incredible view over London.
Again, you know me, i love a view and so we docked our bikes nearby and headed up to the top…
After a bit of cycling, a bit of climbing, and a few selfies – that early morning sun had left our fingers cold, and well in need of a hot drink to cosy them back up.
So we hopped back on the bikes and begun keeping our eye out for the perfect coffee spot.
Whilst we passed lots of cute pubs / spots along the river, we were more set on a cafe and so cruised along Southwark bridge and through Borough where we met, and followed signs to Borough Market.
Just before entering the market itself we spotted a little loft like cafe, with crates full of fresh coffee beans and antique wood picnic benches filled with fresh bread, brown labelled jam jars and the laughter of fellow explorers.
We were all immediately sold on the home comforts appeal of Monmouth Coffee and the smell of fresh coffee wafting in our direction had us ordered and devouring in a matter of minutes.
Please tell me you’ve been to Borough Market?
Walking through the array of colours, lights and smells that Borough Market has to offer almost makes you feel like you’ve done a mini ‘Around the World trip’, but at a fraction of the cost.
Here you can pick up, try & experience cuisines from all different cultures and walks of earth. After all we are on a cultural marathon?
I picked up some Cinnamon and chocolate covered macadamia nuts, honey and cinnamon cashews & honey covered pecans from my favourite stall which i highly recommend.
But I did indeed pop them in my bag for later because walk out the back of the market, and there is a row of street food stalls serving the most authentic take-away lunch options.
Good luck choosing between them by the way, it’s not an easy job.
We all taken by the prospect of something Spanish and devoured a Halloumi and Chorizo salad box from Cafe Brood
which was infact BEAUTIFUL and filled with a filled with the most complimenting and arousing of flavours.
Also tempting, and worth noting, was their giant skilled filled with fresh seafood paella.
Ever keen for a sweet after thought, we continued aimlessly wandering and stumbled upon Rabot 1745
which had us intrigued at ‘Cacao Restaurant’.
is linked to the ever famous Hotel Chocolat and prides itself on providing Londoners with a unique cacao experience, in the form of a cafe and full restaurant menu.
‘Alongside a dazzling array of inventive cocoa cocktails, Rabot 1745 offers a menu of contemporary dishes drawing on the best culinary traditions of the Caribbean, West Indies, and Britain, using freshly roasted cocoa as a subtle savoury spice. ‘ Read more here.
I’m definitely coming back to give the menu
a try… and the salted caramel hot chocolate.
(Yes you heard right, salted caramel.)
Having just eaten, and already been overwhelmed with flavours today we went for a 100% Raw Cacao hot chocolate which filled the gap nicely and warmed us back up ready for another spin on the bikes.
The Shard is located right at London Bridge station, but if you do find yourself lost, look up – you won’t miss it.
Boasting 360-degree views for up to 40 miles, the 68th & 69th floors of the shard provide the best and highest viewing experience in London.
The Shard is intact the tallest building in Western Europe standing at 308m (thats over double the London Eye at 135m).
Visitors are welcomed up (with a ticket
) to enjoy the views and you can even enjoy a glass of champagne up the top.
We spotted The Tower Bridge and even The Tower Hotel! Can you?
CLUE:(The shadow of the Shard is point RIGHT at the hotel – convenient.)
For the last leg of our Cultural Marathon we docked the bikes and walked along the river front where we passed the London Bridge City Pier and discovered a little haven of eateries on the riverside.
We ducked inside and out of the wind into a glass roofed enclosure of restaurants and daytime stalls, which we later found to be called the Hays Galleria.
With the drop in wind, natural daylight and big open space it felt very european and perfect for early evening dining or a lunchtime escape from the busy streets of London Bridge.
Despite the very tempting menus, we hadn’t quite worked up an appetite big enough for dinner so instead continued our walk towards Tower Bridge and back to the Hotel.
To conclude the Marathon Challenge we finished, of course, with more food. This time heading back into the Hotel Brasserie
where we were seated with a magical view of Tower Bridge lit up and presented with the dinner menu and a glass of prosecco.
Not sure if you’ve realised yet, but I get rather excited by food and I can confirm, this menu is a goodun’.
But just incase you don’t believe me, I took a few photos…
The Pear & Cornish Brie Tart to start…
Whiskey cured, pan fried Salmon with a sliced braised leek, crispy bacon and a cider dressing with honey glazed roasted carrots and parsnips…
And the pudding of dreams that you may have already seen me post on my instagram
Chocolate brownie with raspberry coulis and a scoop of vanilla ice cream…
As you can imagine, I was in food heaven (particularly the brownie part) and I honestly cannot fault the meal, the service or the location.
Good news is too, you can book a meal reservation (here
) without being a guest at the hotel.
Utterly full after our (food and view) marathon we resigned upstairs in the hotel to our beautiful room, overlooking a moonlit London.
Another magical day in my favouritest city in the world.
Thank you London & and thank you Tower Hotel
for a beautiful stay.
Thank you for reading, lots of love…
*This post was sponsored by The Tower Hotel but as always views are 100% my own and completely true to my lifestyle and choices.