Open House London, Or, When Things Don’t Go to Plan…

I left the house on Saturday morning (ha, as if, try early afternoon) with a cute new outfit and tons of plans to explore London’s secret spots for Open House London weekend. In case you haven’t heard of it, basically, it’s the one weekend a year loads of London’s spaces open up for the public to have a nose around (for free). I’ve always planned on going but have, for one reason or another, never got round to it. Awful London lifestyle blogger. So I had good intentions for a packed day of SEEING STUFF.

Um. Yeah. Unfortunately, we pretty much failed at visiting most of the places on my list. Because I’m not like the rest of the British public, in that I’m pretty averse to a good ol’ British queue.

Instead of getting dejected and throwing a tantrum (which I only did a TINY bit), we took our own walk through London. And some of the things we discovered were actually pretty cool.

St Dunstan in the East church gardenSt Dunstan in the East church garden

After we’d been unsuccessful in visiting the Billingsgate Roman House and Baths (queue reasons), we stumbled straight into St Dunstan in the East’s church garden space. It was lovely and green and had walls and benches and, most importantly, it was QUIET.

Sometimes when you’re buzzing about the city and the noise just takes over and worms its way into your tired lil brain, finding a nearby quiet spot to take a breather/have a sit down/scroll through your Instagram is just what’s needed. And the more spots like this you know about, the better, in my books.

London skyline from belowSt Andrew Undershaft

On our way past the mega queue for the Gherkin, we found ourselves at St Andrew Undershaft, a 15th-century church that survived 1666’s Fire of London and the Blitz. It’s quite small, but the stained glass windows are pretty incredible!

Black outfit and a colourful wall in Liverpool StreetA colourful wall in Liverpool StreetBlack outfit and a colourful wall in Liverpool Street

Liverpool Street next, where I resisted the pull of Pizza Union and instead zeroed in on a wall that’s caught my eye whenever I’ve strolled past. It’s a big, yellow wall with letters printed all over it – and the perfect backdrop for aforementioned cute outfit.

There was a bloke sitting on a bench about two feet away from Conor as he snapped away so I felt pretty awkward standing around making poses and faces and trying to embrace my inner style blogger. She apparently exists – because if I say so myself, these actually turned out hella cute.

Outfit Details: Black Lace Collared Shirt & Leather Look Skirt, New Look // Leather Jacket, H&M (really, really old)

Street in central LondonVerde and Company, LondonOld Spitalfields Market shops, LondonPoppies Fish and Chips in London

Through Spitalfields, we arrived at Christ Church and our hopes were raised when we saw no queue to have a look around the church’s crypt. Cause when you’re dressed like you’re excited for Halloween (I so am though), a crypt is the best place to visit. Those hopes were quickly dashed, by the inconsiderate folks who’d decided to get married that afternoon, meaning it was closed. Rude, indeed.

By this point, stomachs were rumbling so we stopped off at somewhere that’s been on my ‘to eat’ list for a while – Poppie’s Fish and Chips. Because it’s in all the famous London places to eat lists and has won some awards and that. This girl? Sucker for hype.

Okay, we didn’t get fish, just chips. And we ordered them to take away, not eat in. But a couple of mouthfuls, and I understood why Poppie’s is an award winning chippy. £2.80 for a big box of some of the best chips I’ve ever got my face around? Best.

Village Underground tube carriages, ShoreditchVillage Underground tube carriages, Shoreditch

One success we did have with our Open House London plans was Village Underground, in Shoreditch. Y’know those tube carriages that perch above the sign saying ‘Let’s Adore and Endure Each Other’? The ones from every Londoner ever’s Instagram? Basically, there are lots more old tube carriages in the area, emblazoned with graffiti art. I’m planning on doing a full post on this one later in the week, so keep an eye out.

Finally, we walked up to Bethnal Green, where we wanted to pay a visit to the Foo Fighters Arms, a pop up pub that fans of the band have been flocking to. We took one look at the queue, felt the drops of rain bouncing off my freshly-dyed hair, and decided it was time to head home. Home is where the cider and cookies are, after all…

Bank Station, London Underground

I guess, sometimes, days don’t go to plan. And that’s okay. Because, also sometimes, diversions and changes of plan actually lead to things that are equally awesome. If not more so.

And if worst comes to worst? There’s always the pub.

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When adventures don't go to plan... | Mini Adventures London Lifestyle & Travel Blog

  • Love this! Sometimes the best adventures are ones you haven’t planned. Great photos! 🙂

  • great shots!

  • Sometimes the best adventures can be had when you go in the opposite direction to the crowd. Looks like you found the best place the be that day!

  • Yum to those chips! Love the look of the St Dunstan in the East’s church garden space and yourphotos are gorgeous.

  • I clicked through just because the picture on your Pin was so damn cute. But now I want chips and being in Vietnam, there’s no way I’m gonna get any decent ones!


    • Aw thankyou! Sometimes the best photos happen when you’re being silly, clearly! 😀 Oh no, that sucks about the chips – I’m quite jealous of your awesome Vietnamese food options too though!

  • Oh no! But sometimes the best adventures are the unplanned ones x

  • Kate Williams

    Oh I would have been the same as you, I can’t be doing with queues at all! The chips sound all sorts of awesome though.

  • Bex Smith

    I’m the same when it comes to queues. Sound like you discovered some absolute gems on your jaunt around London though!

  • I love open house weekend but queues do my head in and some people don’t understand the concept of it, which annoys me more x

  • beautykinguk

    If Londoners knew how to queue it would make some experiences more enjoyable. Getting on a bus is an absolute nightmare as everyone just pushes in and crams on.

  • Open House is such hard work! I was away this year so didn’t go, but I’ve done all the big ones which has meant some awful five hour queues for what is basically a ten minute experience!

    Nicola //

  • Sometimes the best plans are the ones you don’t plan! I can’t wait to see your post on those old tube carriages, they look so intriguing!

    Char xo ||

  • I had a slightly more successful Open House, but this was because I was volunteering so they give you a priority access badge. But the nicest thing was by far just having an excuse to roam around London taking photos, and noticing things. And there’s always next year 🙂

  • Thena

    Looks like a totally awesome fun time! Love the pics, thanks for sharing!!