Kings Road has good shopping as well as Sloane Street. There, you will find the same types of shops you can find in most every major city.
For fun shopping, a place I discovered on my last trip (which I loved) is Dover Street Market, very cool. Otherwise, one cannot go wrong Harvey ‘Nicks’/Nichols in Knightsbridge. Right near to Harvey Nicks is a great boutique called Luisa Spagnoli, a Milan designer with just one store in England and none Stateside.
The favorite shopping of all the British-born is Selfridges on Oxford Street.
Marylebone High Street is also great with nice boutiques and some cute frommageries and pubs off on the side streets. French purveyor of tea, Kusmi Tea, has a shop on the street– try the Almond Green Tea.
Shopping for the Men:
While the women may occupy themselves shopping, the men will want to check out Anderson Wheeler– the British Rifle maker featured in the most recent James Bond film (named one of the best Bond guns of all time, too). The store in Mayfair has more than just rifles- English Men’s Clothing, details for Safari and one of a kind artwork and taxidermy adorn the store.
The Uber Fabulous:
For that, there is LouLou’s where the who’s who of London mix. It’s worth scouring facebook see if any of your friends are ‘double-barreled toffs’ who may be part of this private social club. Thought this quote was appropriate, from a piece on LouLou’s in the Pursuitist, about the club: For any expat traversing the London nightlife scene, Loulou’s may be the equivalent of walking Downing Street and believing that you can somehow talk your way inside.
To Get Outdoors:
Richmond Park is a short train stop from London and incredibly picturesque. It looks like a British fairytale with manicured lawns, gorgeous estates and the expansive park where the Queen’s Deer (just in case you thought they were your deer) roam free, as pictured below. After a stroll around the park you can sit beside the Thames and have a pint with some fish and chips at The White Cross Pub. This is a wonderful way to see more of the greater London area and get some fresh air.
For Those Into History:
Clearly, England has no shortage of rich history. So we have distilled the list. St. Pauls’ Cathedral is one of the most historic places in and around London (right up there with Westminster Abbey and possibly Shakespeare’s Globe). A architectural beauty with a incredible stories of fires and imperialism. It’s worth a visit to the crypts below. The Cabinet War Rooms is where Churchill ran the war during the blitz. A good spot for people who like WWII History.
Try to structure a visit around Ascot, Henley Royal Regatta or Wimbeldon. Each event is special in it’s own right and worth seeing…. Pimms, party dresses, top hats and strawberries and cream.
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For fantastic farm raised meats in artisan fashion:
For the views:
Dinner or drinks at Sushi Samba in the Heron Tower.
For a great deal if you can get it:
Burger & Lobster: no reservations. Get there at 11.50 for lunch, or sometime before 5.30pm for dinner if you don’t want to wait for hours! Limited menu (either burger or lobster and fries, GBP20 either choice) – awesome!
For a change of pace outside the city:
River Café, relaxed Italian with great quality food, a 20 min taxi ride from Knightsbridge. The Hind’s Head is a michellin starred gastropub right next to The Fat Duck (very famous Blumenthal restaurant). The Crooked Billet is excellent near Henley.
For a power lunch:
Green’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar, very old school scene on Duke Street right next to Fortnum & Mason and the very fashionable Jemyn Street. The steak tartare composed table-side is fantastic.
For a quick cheap eat:
Pret-a-Manger- they are everywhere. And the food is very good, well-priced, with organic, vegetarian and vegan options as well. The environmental angle they have taken appeals to the Californian in me (check out the above), rendering this a go-to snack spot. It even beat out even the highly acclaimed Caviar House in Heathrow for my pre-flight purchase– the Caviar bar has fioe gras, too.
Other Honorable Mentions:
Boudin Blanc in Mayfair- in an absolutely charming location, fantastic French food. Pollen Street Social – good bistro, great cocktails and desert bar, very central. Ceccones – there is on in the SoHo House in South Beach, but this is the original one, it’s sceney. Bumpkin for good low key English. And the Painted Heron – great Indian food in Chelsea.
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London CallingA guide to London. One caveat, this is definitely not a hipster or touristy version of a travel guide. Nor is it entirely cost concisous. It’s centered around Kensington/Knightsbridge/Chelsea and it is simply what we know to be the most fabulous things to do in London right now.Places to StayNumber Sixteen:When you walk by this place, pictured above, in South Kensington, you would truly think it is just a gorgeous home in an exclusive neighborhood that was throwing an early evening cocktail party. When we walked up to the entrance, there was more than a part of me that thought I was walking into someone’s foyer by accident. There are 41 individually designed rooms. The hotel boasts a beautiful conservatory that opens into a private garden where you can dine all day.image: loomis luggage
This is a great hotel, part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s boutique collection. However, we love this hotel for one main reason: it’s the best priced luxury hotel in this prime location. It is about a block away from the Natural History Museum (as you can see from the beautiful windows in the hallway pictured above) and a very short walk to the Victoria and Albert Museum. They have a very sweet lobby area where you frequently see posh looking guests sipping tea and nibbling on macaroons. The staff was extremely accommodative to our changing schedule. And they do not nickel and dime you with extra costs like internet access.
Other Honorable Mentions:
The Mandarin Oriental is iconic, right in the center of Knightsbridge near Harrods and Hyde Park. Their bar has a cocktail served in a martini glass with a giant circular ice cube that has inside it’s frozen sphere, an elderflower. Blakes is good spot as well. The Lanesborough is stunning.
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