Christine McCaughey at Harrods Christmas tree
Lifestyle,  Lifestyle & Events

Penniless in London – December 2018

Penniless in London

It’s 3.15am in a Sunday morning and my alarm clock has just gone off. We are off to London today and I’m knackered!

I have parked the car at the airport so we park and head inside. We get through security with no hassle and head for coffee. I pay for the coffee with my card and think about getting some cash from the ATM.

Then I wonder if I can make it through these next 3 days in London without using any cash at all. We are still quite behind the times in Northern Ireland and there’s nothing like the feel of a fiver in your pocket but … hmmm.

I have a tenner in my bag. And my debit card. Mission accepted.


We arrive in Stansted and realised that the Stansted express has been replaced by bus service – no problem I booked tickets online and have them on my phone so no cash needed. But I’d love a nap!

We get into Liverpool Street Station around 9am and head for some breakfast. It’s match day (I have no clue who is playing) but there is only a set menu on in the restaurant. The cooked breakfast is soggy and unappetising. Owen has seconds. We get tickets for the tube. I buy Owens at the machine using my card and use contactless at the gate for myself. We do this the next two days as well.


We head for the Natural History Museum. I pay £7 to check in our coats and suitcase. Card accepted.

We then venture to both the Science Museum and the V&A Museum. In both these I can check in our luggage and pay by tapping my card. We also have a drink in the V&A museum which I again pay for using my card. While at the V&A Museum we take in an exhibition on Video Games – its free due to disability/carers allowances.


It’s been a long day and we head to the hotel room to check in, get settled and chill out. We stop at Tesco for snacks & drinks and again the card is used. We later decide to get some food delivered to the hotel room – I pay using PayPal.

I also film a make up removal video for my social channels before bed – again free! My #OOTD is shirt and chinos from ASOS.


Monday comes round bright and early. We head down for breakfast as it was included in the room price. I have coffee and croissants. Owen has a cooked breakfast and milk. It’s delicious and there is plenty of choice, seating as well as looking clean.

Farm Girl

Our first stop is Farm Girl cafe which I have wanted to visit forever. I have a tumeric latte and carrot cake and Owen has a hit chocolate. My tumeric latte burns my tongue with the spice on top and is mediocre at best. The carrot cake is dry and stale. I am not impressed. At least I could pay with card but it was little consolation.


We then head into London to mooch around Hamleys, Harrods, Selfridges and Primark! I buy a few things in Hamleys and Owen is captivated by the magic show. I may have made a few Christmas purchases as well! Card tapped again for the win.


We head back to the room for a rest in preparation for our trip to the theatre tonight. We are going to see “Bat out of Hell – The Musical” I have purchased tickets online using my card and we order and Uber to get us there. I paid by PayPal for the Uber. We also have a dominos delivered (the food was below par!) and I can pay using my card.

Drinks at the theatre were paid with on the card but we didn’t make any further purchases on the way back to the hotel.



Today is our last day and we take our time getting ready to leave. We miss breakfast but it’s no worry as we are heading to Peggy Porschen. We ask to leave our case in the luggage room when we check out and I’m informed it £1 to do so. So I need a quid. Can I pay with card – no. I reluctantly hand over my tenner and curse this. Ah well it’s only a pound and I wonder if I can make it though the rest of the day without needing more cash.

Peggy Porschen

Peggy Porschen Cakes is stunning. It is exactly as beautiful as it looks on Instagram. However it is a cattle market outside and I am rammed out of the queue by a tourist with a buggy trying to take a picture. I’ve had enough and we leave to get food else where. We head to Comptoir Lebenis and try our first “real” Lebanese food. It was delicious although I found mine quite rich. Owen loves his.

Winter Wonderland

We then head to Winter Wonderland in Hyde park. It’s free to enter and immediately we are bewitched by Christmas stalls, food, drinks and rides. There is an ice rink but after all our walking the past few days neither of us are up to it (read we would fall and make an idiot of ourselves!) Owen gets a hotdog and the vendor wants cash. I hand over £6. There are plenty of stalls accepting card payments and we pay for rides and drinks by card and I curse not looking around for a food vendor accepting card payments.

Homeward Bound

Hey ho we head back to collect our bags and make our way to the airport. It’s been a long day and we treat ourselves to a drink and a muffin at Costa. Card tapped.

I hate leaving London and I’m already planning on returning. It’s been so good this time and Owen has thoroughly enjoyed himself. We have also vlogged it so hopefully it will turn out well.

Until next time 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.