Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

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24 Hours in London with ibis Hotels.

London, UK
London is a city I have visited on many occasions. Throughout the years I have gone to the same places, its kind of a regular routine I've been unable to shake off. There's a list of the places I have yet to still discover in London and I'm determined to begin ticking those off now. 24 hours feels like a short time to see London but in fact, there's so much you can do in that time if you really plan it out.

I swapped my hometown of Leicester for the capital for a roughly 24 hours and managed to see places I hadn't explored before. Leigh from Fox and Feather and I (with the help of *ibis hotels) swapped cities for a weekend. It was the perfect way to take us away from our weekend routines and to really immerse ourselves in activities organised by one another. As a result, I have created what I did with 24 hours in London.

The Natural History Museum

I've visited the Natural History Museum before but last time I found the experience completely overwhelming and I had to leave within an hour or so. This time we were off to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 53 exhibition. In this exhibition holds the world's best nature photography and enables you to see some incredible things from all over the globe. 

100 images record the beauty and reality of the natural world, from the tiniest insects to massive mammals in dramatic photographic form. The competition attracts a lot of interest, last year there were almost 50,000 entries from professionals and amateurs from across 92 countries. The young photographers were immediately drawing my attention, their photographs were incredible! 

We even grabbed ourselves 3 prints of the photographs that we loved the most from the exhibition from the shop. We can't wait to get framed and hung up on our living room wall.

Food and Drink

London has so much to offer when it comes to Food and Drink so on my latest visit I branched towards the places I had never tried before. There's always a place to eat within yards of each other and a lot of options to suit whatever you need. Our first stop was for lunch before heading to the Natural History Museum. We popped into Pauls, a place that serves up great cakes, french bread, and coffee too. It was just what we needed. I definitely had food envy when Jordan had his toastie, it looked delicious. I just went for a Chicken Salad baguette. 

After visiting the museum we took the 40-minute walk to Notting Hill. By this time we needed fuel after when hitting Notting Hill so I kept an eye out for a delicious snack. I set my eyes on Doughnut Time pretty quickly once we saw it. It has recently opened 3 branches in London and I couldn't resist having one of their delicious looking doughnuts, I went for Ferrero No Share which was divine. Their doughnuts are super soft, they use carefully sourced ingredients to create freshly made doughnuts every day. 

For dinner, we were scheduled to sample a place in Soho, but decided it would be far more practical to find a restaurant closer to our hotel. We decided to try out GBK, a place we have in my hometown of Leicester but haven't had the opportunity to try yet. Their burgers were delicious and filled my stomach before heading to the theatre for around 7pm. If you want quick food before heading out on a Saturday night then this is the place to go. 

On Sunday we headed towards Brick Lane and quickly sought out a place for lunch before heading home. I had been recommended BOXPARK in Shoreditch, it was around 10 minutes away from Brick Lane. Box Park brings together modern street food and pop-up shops to deliver a community of independent brands specialising in fashion, arts, food, and drink. We headed upstairs to have a look at the food that was on offer. I decided on a Jerk chicken wrap whilst Jordan went for a meatballs and chips combo. It was delicious and we could imagine the buzzing atmosphere this place had during the evenings. Downstairs we found DumDums, a great place for great doughnuts. Of course, we couldn't leave without taking away a couple of doughnuts/cronuts to enjoy on the train home.

Photo Credit: Whitechapel Gallery

Notting Hill

Notting Hill is known for the vibrancy it brings to the north of Kensington. The area hosts a busy market that sells an incredible selection of antiques and vintage fashion. There's so much to explore in such a small area of London including Portobello Road and the Electric Cinema. Notting Hill is known for it's annual Notting Hill Carnival that takes place in the summer. Having never visited here before I loved having a wander through the shops and looking up at all of the colourful houses that line the streets. 

Brick Lane 

On the Sunday morning we headed out to explore Brick Lane. Brick Lane is a chaotic area of London that is bustling with a vast range of markets, restaurants/cafes and if you look around you can also see some incredible Street Art too. On Sundays, the area comes to line with people selling second-hand furniture, unusual clothes and bric-a-brac. I love exploring the width of a Vintage Market so when I found that Brick Lane had a huge one under one roof I couldn't wait to have a look. It contained so many different traders in clothes and vinyls, I grabbed a couple for my parents and Jordan managed to purchase himself a bargain with a hat. 

It was such a fun place to explore and somewhere I'd like to return to in the future.

ibis Styles London Kensington

It can be tough to find a great, affordable hotel in London with all you need within distance. The hotel is a 2-minute walk from Earl's Court tube station, an easy 20-minute tube ride from Kings Cross station. I love how this hotel has been transformed from a Victorian brick townhouse to a contemporary hotel offering comfort and peace away from the craziness that London has. The hotel is located 1.4km walk from the Natural History Museum so it was within a comfortable walking distance, particularly so if the weather is on your side. 

Our room was particularly spacious, with a sofabed to relax on, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV and tea/coffee making facilities too. One of our added bonuses to our room was we had the addition of a bath with jacuzzi jets in it, after a long day of walking around London it was exactly what my body needed to unwind. The only problem we had with our room was that during the night our heater decided to switch to cold air and it was freezing! 

The hotel also offers its customers a free continental breakfast in the morning. They provided enough breakfast snacks to kickstart your day in the capital. I would definitely stay in this hotel again when revisiting London, I had such a comfortable sleep that I completely forgot I was in London when I woke up the next morning. 

Book your room at the ibis Styles London Kensington Hotel.

The Vaults, London

You'll know that one of my favourite things to do whilst I'm in London is to head to the West End to watch a production. I headed out to be a part of a new theatre experience when heading to see a performance of NeverLand as part of the VAULT Festival, you can read my review of that here. The space is a truly captivating and has so much to offer, we loved hanging out enjoying a drink and the live music before seeing the performance. Little would you know it's beneath Waterloo station and minutes away from the London Eye.

Overall it was such a fun trip checking out some really great parts of London and being able to experience something different. It's definitely encouraged me to go and see more. I'm already booking my next trip with a list of other things to check out.

Is there anywhere in London you'd like to explore within 24 hours?

*this post is in in collaboration with ibis Hotels UK. 


  1. Love this post! Makes me really want to go to London and buy all the doughnuts.


    1. I couldn't resist all of the doughnuts, it's all I want now! :P x

  2. I love London but always go and spend at least 2 or 3 nights, never realised how much you can pack in in just 24 hours! Amazing!


    1. Nah me neither but my feet definitely felt the result of all of the walking! I was shattered! x

  3. Love posts like this one! London is most definitely one of my favourite cities, so many gems to discover each time :) miss living there, so many things to do!


    1. I think it definitely has more to offer than you think, it's about fitting it all in! xx


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