Recently I was given a challenge to spend $150 of my home currency on a touristy day in London with a Travelex passport. As soon as I received the challenge I had various ideas of how to spend the day swirling through my head but I knew that since moving to the ‘East’ a.k.a Hackney, I really wanted to do more in my local neighbourhood.
So one beautiful sunny morning I walked from my house down to the Tower of London to pick up my fully loaded Travelex passport with £78 on it (exchange rate isn’t so bad is it?).
I couldn’t help but snap this beautiful picture of one of London’s famous landmarks basking in the winter sunshine. I knew then and there it was going to be a great day.
I met up with my husband Dan at Spitafields Market for my first stop on my London tourist day in East London. It was the alternative walking tour. I have always wanted to do this but never got around to it.
We met our bearded guide Josh (typical East London) for the day just outside Spitafields Market by the goat statue. Our group was just over 20 people from various places around the world. Our guide Josh was a local street artist with a wealth of knowledge on the area, the history and most importantly the art.
He advised us not to judge but rather appreciate the various art works on display around East London and remember to always look up as you never know what you might see. I spotted quite a few of these road signs that had been transformed into art.
The walking tour was 2 hours long and full of information about my local area that I never knew. From the silk Jewish heritage to the brand new luxury apartments being built, this area is ever changing as is the street art that decorates the shops and walls of Brick Lane. The tour took us around Brick Lane, the Nomadic Gardens and finished up near BoxPark.
Our guide Josh focussed more on the smaller pieces of art dotted around rather than the larger commissioned pieces but I must say I sure do like them.
After freezing my butt off for two hours in the cold January day I jumped into Brooklyn Coffee to get my caffeine fix and to thaw out for a few moments.
My third stop on my London tourist day in the East with Travelex was a hot chocolate stop at Mast Brothers. It was 2 degrees on my day out and I was still in need of some warming up. Mast Brothers are famous chocolate makers that hail from Brooklyn, the shop is beautifully presented along with their various blocks of chocolate. They make goat milk chocolate, olive oil, vanilla and mint. A hot chocolate will set you back £5 there but it is worth it, it is chocolatey creamy goodness in an awesome cup.
Once we had thawed out we headed to our next stop for lunch – Pump in Shoreditch is a small food market that specialises in London’s favourite street food. Me and my husband Dan shared a pulled pork cheese toastie and chilli cheese fries from Yank’d. Street food in London is everywhere and it is a must for any tourist day out.
This was some seriously deliciously loaded chilli cheese fries. Slaw, salsa, chilli and some chips sure warmed me up.
Our final stop for the London tourist day in the East was draughts board game bar in Haggerston. The concept is simple, you pay £5 entry free, pick a board game, sit down at one of the round tables, have a drink or a bite to eat and enjoy.
Draughts is set in an old railway bridge arch and has kept the interior looking old train station chic. It was really popular when we went. You can book during the week on their website but on the weekends you need to put your name down and wait your turn.
Some information about the Travelex passport:
The Travelex Multi-currency Cash Passport is a prepaid MasterCard® PIN-protected travel money card that allows you to load multiple currencies onto one easy to use card. Reload conveniently online via Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card.
I am definitely going to use this on my upcoming big trip around the world.
What did I spend?
Alternative Walking Tour – You pay what you want so for both us we put £20 into the envelope that came around at the end, totally anonymous so theres no awkwardness.
Two coffee’s – £7
Hot chocolate at Mast Brothers – £10 for two hot chocolates
Lunch at Pump – £6.50 for the cheese toastie and £6.50 for chilli cheese fries – Total £13
Draughts – £10 for entry, £10 for drinks
Total for the tourist day: £70
I really enjoyed my travelex tourist day in East London, it makes you realise there is great things on your doorstep and that the possibilities are endless in London for a great day out.
Thank you to Travelex for providing me with a fully loaded Travelex passport to spend on my chosen day out.
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