One of the best things about London is that there’s so much to do. One of the worst things about London is that there’s so much to do. It’s a plus and a minus, with the city giving us so many options it can be overwhelming. But on the rare occasion I find myself in town on a weekend, I have a bit of a ritual. It makes a perfect Saturday in London, and it goes like this.

Spring Flowers on a Building London

I start my day in Chelsea‘s Duke of York Square, where there’s a weekly market on Saturdays. A maze of vendors sells everything from duck confit sandwiches to decadent chocolate cakes. Locals and visitors browse the stalls, sampling Italian white truffle oil and English Wyfe of Bath cheese.

Duke of York Square Market in London

The market is big enough to offer a lot of variety, but small enough not to overwhelm. On sunny days, it’s the perfect place to enjoy oysters and champagne to the sound of live music played by street performers.

Duke of York Square Market in London

Right next to the Duke of York Square market is the Saatchi Gallery, where I usually end up next. The contemporary art museum offers free entry, and its exhibitions change regularly enough that there’s always something new to see when I’m there on a Saturday. From Warhol to Weiwei, the gallery exhibits a range of contemporary and modern works by artists from all over the world.

Art at the Saatchi Gallery in London

When I’ve had my fill of art, I usually do a bit of shopping along the King’s Road and Sloane Square until I’ve worked up an appetite again. From Anthropologie and J. Crew to Reiss and Peter Jones, it has more than enough stores to entertain.

Pub in London

When I’m ready for a break, I pop into Cuisine de Bar, the London branch of my favorite breakfast place in Paris. When it opened a few years back, I was so excited that I wanted to move in. It’s always busy for breakfast and lunch on the weekends, and I can’t get enough of their Welsh rarebit tartine.

Michelin Building in London

My perfect Saturday in London continues with a walk up Sloane Avenue and past the pretty boutiques on Draycott Avenue and Walton Street. Eventually I reach Cromwell Road, home of the Victoria & Albert Museum, Natural History Museum, and Science Museum. I’m spoiled for choice with three of London’s largest and best museums in front of me, another symptom of the city’s tendency to offer too many temptations.

Victoria and Albert Museum in London

I usually pop into whichever one I’m in the mood for, whether it’s fashion at the V&A, the giant California Redwood at the Natural History Museum (hey, I get homesick), or the evolution of flight at the Science Museum.

Bridge in London's Hyde Park

Hours later, I emerge thoroughly museum fatigued. It’s nothing a rest in Hyde Park can’t cure, though. I walk up Exhibition Road in South Kensington and recharge in the green fields while the swans go by on the Serpentine. If there’s still time left when I’m walking around again, I head northwest through Kensington Palace Gardens and into Notting Hill.

Cafe in London's Hyde Park

There’s no shortage of energy in Notting Hill, and I spend the rest of my day exploring the Portobello Road market and meeting friends for dinner at one of the many good restaurants and pubs in the neighborhood. Often the night continues at the buzzy upstairs bar at The Oak or the hilariously kitsch basement of Trailer Happiness.

Alice Shop in Notting Hill, London

By the time my perfect Saturday in London comes to an end, I’m both thoroughly exhausted and completely overwhelmed by how much the city has to offer. And when I think about how this is only one tiny corner of it, I realize for the millionth time that I could spend the rest of my life in London and have a different perfect Saturday every weekend. But for now I’ll stick with this one.

How about you? What’s your perfect Saturday in London?

28 Comments on Lady’s Perfect Saturday in London

  1. Ah your perfect Saturday sounds so much like my Wednesday this week – I had a stroll and shopping session around The Duke of York Square and Kings Road, before popping into the V&A to take some outfit photos, then to Saatchi Gallery for the opening of their new Hermes exhibition. It seems that great minds think alike! šŸ˜‰ Enjoy your weekend lovely x

  2. This sounds like the perfect Saturday, and it’s exactly the sort of thing I like to do when I have a day to myself in London while my husband watches football matches.

  3. One of the things I love about London is that most of the museums (including the V&A) have no required admission fee, just a donation box, so you can pop in if you have 20 minutes to kill, and donate whatever you think is fair.

  4. I LOVE this post Julie – makes me feel so nostalgic as I spent years studying at university on Exhibition Road so all these places are familiar though would you believe in all these years, I’ve never actually been inside the Saatchi gallery! I’m definitely going to try and spare a Saturday to relive all these sights šŸ™‚

  5. those picnic tables next to the river look amazing – what’s the name of the pub? Would love to take my mom there next week when she visits us in Barnes.

  6. Wisteria season is just the best time of year — I can’t get enough of those beautiful blossoms.
    Sounds like you’ve got the perfect weekend planned out =)
    xo

  7. My perfect day: Stroll around Trafalgar Square and take some photos, pop into the National Portrait Gallery and afterwards grab a sandwich at the Pret A Manger nearby and eat that on the steps of St. Martin in the Fields. After that, take a stroll down Whitehall and see if the guards at Horse Guards are doing anything interesting. Then head down to Whitehall Gardens to take some more photos, ending up sitting on a bench on Embankment, taking more photos. Perfection!

  8. I would say that mine is fairly similar to yours. I’d start the day with breakfast at The Good Life Eatery and take some of their delicious peanut butter cups to go. I’d then make my way to the V&A and have a relaxing browse around there. If I was there for long enough I’d make time for tea and a slice of their delicious lemon cake. A walk through Hyde Park is a must every time I’m in London. I think I’d then hop on a tram and go to Covent Garden to browse a few shops and find somewhere to eat.

  9. Posts like this really make me miss London. There is no such thing as too much to do – in fact, this is pretty much exactly how I’d spend my Saturday. And once I sat down with a beer by the pond, I’m pretty sure I’d never leave.

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