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Weekend Like A Local, The London Edition

A bit about me—I am 30, and was born and raised in London. I work as a chef/caterer here, so am always on the lookout for the best new restaurants and bars. With family in Seattle, I was able to get to my first Seahawks game in 2012, having only been able to watch games on TV before then. I’ve been totally hooked ever since, and travel out to Seattle once a year for a game, and co-host the UK Sea Hawkers podcast, the Pedestrian Podcast. As for a favourite Seahawk memory, being in Seattle for the Super Bowl win is something I’ll never forget!

For fans traveling over to London for the big game, every minute is likely to be jam-packed with activities. With a number of historical monuments, beautiful parks and world-famous buildings, London has enough to fill a month, let alone a weekend, but there are a number of things to do that may not be quite so famous, but are equally ‘must-see.’

By way of advice, there’s only one thing that all fans would be wise to get on arrival to the nation’s capital, and that’s an Oyster Card. There is no need to have a car in the city, with everything accessible by public transport, and an Oyster Card will allow you to travel all over the city on buses and trains, ‘tapping’ in and out on every journey, with cheaper rates and an ability to top up your card with more money at every train station. For more information, and how to buy a card, visit here.

With your transport sorted, the city is very much your Oyster. As well as seeing all the obvious big-ticket spots, here are some alternative London locations to check out for fans who fancy spending their time with the locals, and seeing some areas of the city that you may otherwise miss.

Food & Drink

For a great way to start your day, there are a load of fantastic breakfast spots all over the city. The Wolsey and the Delaunay are quintessentially British, where you’ll be sure to be served the perfect pot of tea! For something a little more modern, Hide and Caravan serve some of the best contemporary British food around, or for a twist, head to Dishoom for an amazing Indian breakfast.

As the day goes on, food markets pop up all over the city. Most famously is Borough Market, where you can browse through a number of stalls and pop up restaurants, all whilst being on the banks of the River Thames and a great view of London Bridge. For Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts fans, Notting Hill is as picturesque as it comes across in the movie, and Portobello road market running through the centre of the area is a lovely place to get lost in for a few hours, picking at snacks en route.

If afternoon tea is your thing, the Savoy hotel will provide all of the finger sandwiches, scones and cakes that you could wish for, and for a quirkier experience, Cutter and Squidge host a Harry Potter tea, whilst the Sanderson are known for their Alice in Wonderland theme.

For a pre-dinner drink, there are speakeasies all over town, with Milk and Honey in Soho being my favourite. Or for more of a pub feel, the Founders Arms offers great drinks with the added bonus of being right on the river Thames, with beautiful views as the sun sets over town.

For Seattleites looking for a Capitol Hill or Ballard-type vibe, try Shoreditch in London, the (at time self-proclaimed!) coolest part of the city. With a huge number of bars and restaurants, this is a great area to kick-off your weekend. Try and get a table at Smokestak, Morito, the Clove Club, or any of the other amazing eateries, and then head to any of the buzzing bars that will be packed all night. For specific recommendations, try this site and pick one that suits you. Shoreditch is always buzzing at any hour of the day, so a trip to this part of town will always be great.

Points Of Interest

Whilst eating and drinking is a focal point of any weekend in London, there are a number of non-foodie sites that are also well worth checking out. Spitalfields Market always provides a buzzy atmosphere throughout the weekend, with a number of unique shops and stalls within walking distance of each other, as does the Truman Brewery area.

Around the corner from there is historic Brick Lane, where London’s cultural melting pot is in full view, hosting a vast array of different nationalities and societies. Before heading to the big game, try to have a stroll around this area on Sunday morning, where you can find the Columbia Road flower market, for a vibrant, colourful start to your day.

For entertainment buffs, there are spots all over the city that you won’t want to miss. Take a photo at the Harry Potter’s iconic Platform 9 and three quarters in Kings Cross station, or recreate the Beatles famous shot over the crosswalk, or zebra crossing, outside Abbey Road studios in St. John’s Wood. For a bespoke tour of the entertainment side of London that you want to see, try the Culture Cabbie who will have you whizzing around the city seeing everything you want to see, in the back of the legendary black taxis.

If relaxed walks are your thing, we are blessed to have a number of incredible parks for you to get yourselves lost in. The top of Primrose Hill will give you an amazing look over the whole city, and is a short walk from Regents Park, whilst more centrally, Hyde Park and Green Park are areas of perfect serenity if you fancy escaping the noise of the city of a couple of hours.

For sports fans, if one game a weekend isn’t enough, there are a number of professional and semi-professional soccer clubs who play throughout the weekend—unfortunately the Premier League is on an international break this weekend—and you’ll invariably be able to buy tickets for the match at the door. In addition, the England soccer team will be playing on Friday night, so poke your head around the door of any pub to watch the locals cheering Harry Kane and the rest of the team on during their game in Croatia. Lastly, if you can’t face to miss out on your college team’s game on Saturday afternoon/evening, try the Carlsberg Sports Bar inside the Empire Casino in Leicester Square; if the game is on, they’ll be showing it.

Lastly, I’d like to send an advanced welcome to all of the 12s making the trip over to London. One thing I’m always struck by when I visit Seattle is the warmth and amazing welcome that we all receive from the natives, and we are extremely excited to finally be able to return the favour in our great city.

Wishing you all a safe trip, and we can’t wait to meet you all on this amazing weekend.

Go Hawks!

For more fan information on the Seahawks' trip to London, including details about official pregame get togethers and activities, head to London.Seahawks.com

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