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How to fake a London vacation

Jul 28, 2016 by Laura Barber

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Jetting off to the British capital may not be in the cards right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a little bit of the city into your home! Want to learn how to fake a London vacation? Here are a few ways to help you feel like you’re on a trip to London, all without leaving your living room.


Whip up a traditional recipe


True English scones are less buttery and sweet than their American counterparts, but that’s only because they’re meant to be slathered with clotted cream and jam before you eat them. Mix up your own with this recipe.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Inspired by the flavors of the Indian subcontinent, this creamy, spiced chicken dish is a national favorite. We recommend serving it on a bed of basmati rice with a side of naan for optimal enjoyment. For easy prepping, try this slow cooker recipe.

Eton mess

Strawberries, cream, and pieces of crumbled meringue combine to create one of England’s signature desserts. This sweet treat takes its name from the prestigious boarding school in Berkshire, where it is traditionally served at the annual Eton vs. Harrow cricket match. Use this recipe to make a batch.


Take a drink


Put the kettle on and treat yourself to a proper cuppa like the British do. For an authentic touch, don’t forget to add milk! (And to feel like you’re actually having afternoon tea in the city, pop inside Sketch on a virtual tour of London.)

Gin and Dubonnet

Sometimes, faking a London vacation at home is as simple as mixing yourself a cocktail and drinking like the royals. This deep red concoction is known to be a favorite of the Queen herself. Get the recipe.

Vesper martini

Channel your inner spy and sip on this Bond-approved potable, shaken of course. Mix it up using this recipe.

Have a movie night

My Fair Lady

In this classic starring Audrey Hepburn, a working class girl is taught how to speak “proper” English in an attempt to pass as a high-society socialite in Edwardian London.

The King’s Speech

Based on true events, this Academy Award-winning biopic profiles King George VI (played by Colin Firth) as he learns to cope with a stutter on the eve of World War II.

Notting Hill

A film where its setting is as much a character as the ones portrayed by actors, this romantic comedy put Notting Hill on the map. Watch an unlikely couple, movie star Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) and bookshop owner William Thacker (Hugh Grant), fall in love in the eponymous London neighborhood.


Curl up with a book

Londoners by Craig Taylor

A collection of interviews with London residents who come from all walks of life, this anthology paints a candid picture of the capital city.

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

As is the case with most films these days, before Bridget Jones became a movie, it was a book. Get swept up in the title character’s misadventures in this humorous reimagining of Pride and Prejudice.

Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

Though not exactly London-centric, this entertaining read from travel writer extraordinaire Bill Bryson is sure to put you in a British frame of mind.

Make a playlist

One of the best London vacation tips for home is to turn up the right music! Load up your iPod with these tunes for a set that gets you in the London spirit.

Waterloo Sunset sung by the Kinks

London Calling sung by the Clash

Baker Street sung by Gerry Rafferty

London Town sung by Paul McCartney & the Wings

For Tomorrow sung by Blur

Fool on the Hill sung by the Beatles

London Skies sung by Jamie Cullum

Pinball Wizard sung by the Who

Wonderwall sung by Oasis

Ramble On sung by Led Zeppelin

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City Stays
About the author | Laura Barber
It all began on a school trip to London in 7th grade. Since that first jaunt across the pond, Laura has been hooked on all things travel (and British for that matter). When she's not at work using her words to help people find their own adventures, she can be found running 5ks, refining her cribbage game, or rewatching The Office for the 100th time.

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