About

The London Rack: Your BFF London Travel Blog, or the London on a budget obsession at its finest.

Hi there!

I am Ibtissam El Azami, freelance writer in jewelry, fashion, and travel. I consider London to be the capital of the world and have been fascinated by its hustling streets since 2014.

I am a huge enthusiast for the best free and cheap things to do in London, but I am also attracted to high-end and luxury activities. This is a London travel blog and guide for anyone who would like to know where to eat in London, what to do in the city, and how to have fun.

What to expect on The London Rack, your BFF London travel blog?

If you’re looking for:

  • halal food in London
  • vegan food in London
  • activities and restaurants in London on a budget
  • and luxury shopping and fine dining,

You’re exactly where you need to be!

Why is The London Rack something different in terms of London travel blog?

Well, The London Rack is designed to be all-inclusive. These are restaurant reviews, shopping tips, and the best visits for people on a budget trip to London and for those who want to splurge on the coolest things to visit in London.

Whether you’re broke or want to spend like there’s no tomorrow, I’ve got you covered on The London Rack.

I have thought of my vegan peers, and Muslim friends with a great selection of the best halal restaurants in Central London, and the best vegan places to eat in the city.

Why did I start The London Rack, with so many other London travel blogs around already?

Easy – I lived in London for about two years before I started splitting my time between busy London and laidback Rome, Italy. I am now based between the two cities where I spend a few months in each (it’s a question of sunny weather, friends).

My background

Living in the UK full-time led me to learn how to live in London on a budget. When you move to London, most of us don’t have the opportunity to make lots of money straight away. Especially if you come to study or work as a freelancer. I used to be a freelance fashion makeup artist, and had to juggle many jobs to make ends meet in London. I worked as an estate agent, a cleaning lady, a prep cook at nighttime, and ended up working for a year as a receptionist at the restaurant Oblix at The Shard.

I’ve known ending the month with 90p on my bank account. I’ve known starting work at 10 pm and missing my Tube station when going back home at 6 am from my shift because I was dead tired from work. I’ve known double shifts day in day out, working on heels as a receptionist – and I am not a high-heels girl.

Then, after years of writing part-time, I finally became a full-time freelance writer in travel, jewelry, and fashion in 2020, during the pandemic. My freelance writer portfolio is available on The Target Idea, should you wish to take a look and hire me.

I have since then dropped fashion makeup artistry as a freelancer. Still, I have kept the part where I love to play with products, colors, and textures. I am also passionate about candles. You can find the result of that fascination for candles, makeup, and empowerment on my blog The Rouge Velvet, your cozy candle rendez-vous.

london travel blog: Why luxury and budget London?

If London is still my passion, and the love of my life, it is because of all the opportunities II’ve been trusted with while living there. If you live in London or are looking to travel to London on a budget, you know that information is firsthand lived through.

That’s why on The London Rack, I try to include London blog posts about freelancers and students too. Because I know what life in London is like for us.

However, I am a big luxury lover – luxury bags, fine dining restaurants, high-end perfume and makeup… So aside from just dining and shopping in London on a budget, I want to write about all the fascinating luxury stuff that makes my heart beat in London.

London Travel blog: Why vegan and halal london?

I am half-French and half-Moroccan, born and raised in France. As much as I can, I want to give back to both my cultures. I am not a practicing Muslim. However, my little sister is. I started my first London halal food blog posts for her, for when she would come visit me in London. When she doesn’t eat meat at a restaurant because it’s not halal, it’s vegetarian and vegan options straight away. Hence the focus on these kinds of cuisines.

From my Moroccan side, I have taken the love for natural haircare and skincare. I am very interested in African and Black owned brands in London, which I will try to highlight as much as I can. From my French side, we’re talking elegant coffeeshops in London, expensive perfume brands, pastry shops, Instagrammable bakeries – that kind of thing.

Where do I start on The London Rack?

You can definitely start here. Just click on the button you’re interested in and start discovering the amazing world of The London Rack:

Welcome to The London Rack, your BFF London travel blog, and definitive must-have guide for any trip to London on a budget – or not.

Contact: ibtissam@thelondonrack.co.uk

Instagram: @thelondonrack.uk

Pinterest: The London Rack