London Shopping

Visitor Guide to Canary wharf in London

Visitor Guide to Canary wharf in London

Canary Wharf is built on the Isle of Dogs in London (not to be confused with the movie!) and it’s the concrete jungle of London, where a lot of the banks, law firms and the skyscrapers are located. It is very protected with security personal and CCTV everywhere and it always feels odd going there, but since it’s a comfortable commute for me, I go there to dine sometimes. It has really changed from when I first moved to London and now it is becoming a little more family friendly and it was even busy on a Sunday, which was very unlikely a couple years ago. In this post, I want to give you a quick guide into navigating Canary Wharf and what you would expect from that part of town.

How to get to Canary Wharf?

Canary Wharf is connected by the underground’s Jubilee Line and the Dockland Light Railway, DLR, which makes it easy to access if you are coming from South and East London. To get the best travel route you can check Google Maps, City Mapper or the official Transports for London website.

Things to do in Canary Wharf

Enjoy all the sculptures

If sculptures are you thing, then you would love walking around Canary Wharf with a lot of the sculptures are on display around the squares and the buildings. You can follow the official art map and see them. I spotted a few that I liked, which I thought was cool, but I am one of the people who went all the way to the Sculpture park in Norway. My favourites are #21 and #23 in case you are wondering.

Can you spot the sculptures in this photo?

Can you spot the sculptures in this photo?

The Dockland Museum

Canary Wharf is the home of the West India Docks, which was an important port from 1802 till the late 1980s when it started declining. It was later taken by the government and sold to various companies and redeveloped to what it is now. If you want the detailed history of all of this, you can go see it and read about it in the Dockland museum. The building itself dates to 200 years ago as well! It’s one of the warehouses in the image below.

The Dockland Museum in Canary Wharf

Roof Garden

I really like the small roof garden in the Cross rail Place. It’s usually quiet and good place to walk to after lunch. It will take you 15 minutes max to go around it by the way. There are two bar restaurants there on either side, but you don’t usually hear any noise. They have a few nice plants and even some fern from New Zealand if you are into that!

roof garden in the Cross rail Place
Roof garden in the Cross Rail Place | Canary Wharf, London

Shopping

Canary Wharf has a few shopping areas and plenty of shops to choose from. You can find the usual high street brands and the upper scales ones. They also have one of the most expensive malls there with a lot of the luxury brands. Here’s their official directory if you want to look up a specific brand.

Christmas Activities

I would advice going to Canary Wharf during the day to be able to see the buildings and the riverside. It is too quiet and dark at night to enjoy unless you are just going for dinner and leaving straight away. My favourite time of the year to visit the area is Christmas because they have a nice Christmas market and a skiing rink that is quieter than most in London.

Canary+Wharf+in+Christmas

Billingsgate’s Fish Market

I know the fish market is random and I actually never wake up early enough to go because it’s only open from 4am to 8am. I heard amazing things about the freshness and the choices of the fish there. This is where restaurants go get their fish selection and one of those days, I will try to get there and do my fish shop!


Canary Wharf Restaurants

There are many restaurants dotted around Canary Wharf, but the three main areas I go to are: The Jubilee Park Mall, the Cross Rail Place and sometimes the river facing restaurants. I have not tried all of them, but there are a few that I like and go to often and are mentioned below.

Ps. Not all restaurants are open late or on weekends. The ones mentioned here usually are, but always check opening times if you are making the trip from a long distance.

Breakfast or Brunch in Canary Wharf

The Breakfast Club

If you are going on the weekend, be prepared to wait up to 40 minutes especially if it’s brunch time. It gets packed so quickly! But it’s a big space with upstairs area and they sometimes have evening events there too. The breakfast club is loved by tourists and locals, but it’s slightly hyped and they don’t always have great service there. It’s a safe option for food though with a lot of options for meat eaters (not halal) and vegetarians (that’s what I get!).

Chai Kai

It’s just next door to the breakfast club and is usually my second stop when I do not get a table at the breakfast club. The prices for mains are very similar to the one above, but they charge for everything! I even extra syrup for pancakes. It is a nice place still and their service is very good. Their chicken and lamb is halal so that’s a plus.

Chai Kai Breakfast in Canary Wharf

Lunch or Dinner in Canary Wharf

Sticks n Sushi

This is one of my favourite Sushi restaurants in London and this branch is much easier to find a table than the rest of the branches in London and their service is always fantastic. I usually get their sea food or vegetarian/vegan options, but if you don’t drink alcohol double check their ingredients because even their regular soya sauce contains it.

Stick n Sushi Canary Wharf
Sticks n Sushi Canary Wharf

Franco Manca

I always forget it is there! But if you want a nice, reliable Italian pizza, then that is where you need to go! Their prices are reasonable and the pizzas are always delicious.


Is Canary Wharf a good location to stay while visiting London?

Well it depends. If you are there on business and your time is limited it’s better to stay there, but if you have flexibility and you want to see a more authentic part of London then no. I personally would not stay there if I am in London for a short time because it is a very modern and built up part and I like the other quirky side of London that has more culture and heritage.

Canary Wharf Hotels

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L. Cornelissen & Son, High Quality Art Supplies in London

Happy Tuesday! 

After my classes at the Prince's School of traditional arts, I found out about a few art stores that I don't think I can live without anymore. One of them is Cornelissen. It's an old little art supplies store with squeaky wooden floors located just by the British Museum. They basically have everything an artist might ever need from gold to pigments and beyond. Orders can be made online or on the phone. I reserved my order and went to pay in person because students get 10% off, which is a bargain if you are getting a bunch of stuff. I warn you though, going there will surly tempt you to get more art supplies. It's worth going regardless. 

Cornelissen Art Supplies in London
Cornelissen Art Supplies in London
Rainbow coloured pencils
Cornelissen Art Supplies in London
Art Shop
Natural Pigment

Covent Garden

Last night, I spent the evening around Covent Garden and the atmosphere was so magical with pretty lights sparkling everywhere. 

I got off the Covent Garden tube station and just wandered off from there.  

Covent Garden

The Christmas lights and decorations covered the streets and gave everyone extra joy. 

Notice the creepy huge doll in the ball to the top right lol

Notice the creepy huge doll in the ball to the top right lol

There was a lovely singer with a soft voice that added to the magical atmosphere. 

I wish I got her card to tag her! 

I wish I got her card to tag her! 

The beautifully lit reindeer. The noir photo looked more dramatic

The beautifully lit reindeer. The noir photo looked more dramatic

Even the shops were decorated 

London Christmas Decor

Then there was the tree! 

Market Christmas Decor

Too bad I couldn't take a full photo but EVERYONE was taking selfies and snapchats 

London Christmas tree

I also saw a pattern and was totally in love! 

London Geometry
CloseUp 

CloseUp 

It's defiantly worth a visit if you are in London and you haven't seen it already. Keep in mind it was very crowded. Maybe go on the 27th after the Christmas shopping and Boxing Day rush. 

Liberty London

Last weekend I had the opportunity to *finally* visit

Liberty

. I know it was very overdue especially that almost every English crafty friend I had recommended it. Liberty was tucked away from the main street, which makes it more of a destination. The shop was established in 1875 by Arthur Liberty. After the great success it was received with, this current Tudor style building was completed in the 1920s. It was designed by Edwin T. Hall and his son Edwin S. Hall and constructed from the timber of two ships: HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan. You can clearly see all of this in the facade. Read more about the history on the Liberty's

main website

There are few doors to Liberty and my favourite one was the florist front. The flowers were colourful and smelled so good. 

and you go in and see more arrangement choices and lovely flower pots and bits. 

The interior design of the place is as magnificent as the architecture, especially with the quadruple open ceiling that ends with a glass roof that brings a lot of natural light. The style of balconies on each floor of the four floors makes the whole store interconnected. 

The design and the divisions of spaces are symmetrical and angular. 

There are many subsections for all the different available categories from fashion, accessories, stationary, home ware, furniture to everything in between.    

Below is my favourite shot, when the elevator opened and had a second to click. It really felt like Liberty is an open door to fashion. 

I loved the lights that were dangling from the fourth floor to the ground floor. It gave an urban feel to the historic space. 

The building was designed to have three main wells and each one will have smaller surrounding rooms to give a homey feel to the visitors. The other well area had these beautiful crystal chandeliers.  

The ground floor of accessories and stationery was fabulous and tempting was hard to escape the sparkle and all the little goodies. The third and fourth floors were decor, furniture, cookery and interior design accessories. I have a special blog post about that, but take a little sneak peek!  

They also had a beautiful craft section with YARN! *my love* fabric, threads, buttons and more beautiful crafty things that I couldn't resist. 

Look at all the beautiful options!

All high quality and with lots of yummy colours!

Overall, Liberty was a lovely place to visit and to be inspired by. Highly recommended if you are visiting London.