City Guide: London

February 09, 2016

City Guide: London

Article and photos by Xanthe Berkeley

STAY

Hoxton hotel – An award winning unique place to stay right in the heart of the Shoreditch. 

St Pancras hotel – A London icon with fairytale façade that mingles Victorian splendor with contemporary style and service.

Claridges – In the heart of London’s Mayfair, Claridges is an art deco jewel and a total feast for the eyes.

Airbnb – Airbnb connects people to book unique accommodations, at any price point in London.

EAT

 Ottolenghi – (various locations around London) – delicious “happy-making” food with a Mediterranean influence made from fresh ingredients locally sourced.

Skylon – Located at the top of the Royal Festival Hall, this stunning setting offers a spectacular panorama across the River Thames. With a choice of menus, there is something delicious for everyone.

Polpo – (various locations around London) - Polpo is a bàcaro.  This is a Venetian word to describe a humble restaurant serving simple food and good, young local wines.

Bake-a-boo – A unique hideaway in West Hampstead, described as magical and simply darling. Offering cakes and baked treats and their famous afternoon tea of finger sandwiches, scones & other delights.

Chin Chin Labs - Now a fixture of Camden Market – where a simple menu of ice-cream is frozen to order amid billowing clouds of liquid nitrogen-generated steam.

 HAPPY HOUR

 69 Colebrooke Row –  This little hideaway bar boasts outstanding cocktails with a subtle jazz-age vibe is adopted throughout, with smartly clad bar staff, vintage advertising posters, black and white checked floor tiles and a pianist belting out swinging standards.– it’s not easy to get a seat without booking.

Sushi samba -  Located on the 38th & 38th floors of the Heron Tower, this impressive location delivers striking 360 degree views of the city of London. A delicious selection of cocktails can be enjoyed with a unique blend of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine.

Milk & Honey – One of Soho's best-loved bars, this is a great place for perfectly executed classic cocktails. Set over three floors offering a range of intimate booths, counter and lounge drinking. Access to non-members is by reservation only until 11pm.

SHOP

Old Spitalfields Market – Located in the eclectic area of Shoreditch this market offers collectible vintage and antique gems, and fashion & art on different days of the week.

Liberty - Liberty is one of the last great emporiums for innovative and eclectic design. Situated in the heart of London since 1875, it remains to this day the destination of choice for the savvy and sophisticated shopper.

Camden Market – This market has been running for over 30 years and is a sea of entertainment. Set alongside Camden Lock on the Regent’s canal, there’s plenty do, eat and see – with stalls selling crafts, clothing, food and bric-a-brac from all over the world.

PLAY

Tate Modern - Tate Modern is a modern art gallery located in along the River Thames based in a former Power station, making the setting as impressive as the huge collection modern and contemporary art.

Emirates Air Line – London’s only cable car experience where you can enjoy spectacular views on a 10 mins journey over the river between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. A wonderful new addition to London, plus an inexpensive experience to see a different part of London.

Hyde Park – Take a picnic and head this part of London and you can enjoy the Serpentine lake by taking out a rowing boat or swim in swimming area on the southern bank. Paddle your feet in the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain or go bike riding or visit one of London’s best loved galleries - the Serpentine Gallery. – so much to do in this special destination.

V&A Museum – The V&A's art & design collections are unrivalled in their diversity. Explore historical and contemporary art and design, including works of art from many of the world's richest cultures. Be sure to check out the beautiful garden area at the heart of the museum or have refreshments in the stunning restaurant.

Portobello market - Portobello is really several markets in one, Saturday being the day when all are in full swing. Then you can experience a mile or two of hustle, haggle, colour and energy. The feature of Saturdays is the opening of hundreds of antique and specialist shops and stalls. There are some talented and bizarre street performers to be spotted too.

LOCAL SECRETS

 Hire a Barclays bike – For a great way to see the city. Pick up a bike at various docking stations around the city, ride it where you like and return it at your destination.

Grab an Oyster card – If you’re moving around town on public transport, pick up an Oyster Card for the cheapest way to pay for journeys on bus, tube, tram, DLP and other rail services. Grab a tube map app for help planning a journey.

Photographers’ gallery - The Photographers' Gallery was founded in London in 1971, and was the first independent gallery in Britain that was devoted entirely to photography – free admission to this beautifully curated space.

Covent Garden & The Southbank – Two eclectic areas in Central London packed with lots to see and do especially the entertaining street performers on every corner.

Brick Lane – This part of East London boasts tons of street art and interesting architecture and plentiful people watching.

Regent’s canal - The Regent’s Canal is one of London’s best-kept secrets - a peaceful haven often hidden by the surrounding buildings, it offers a unique perspective on some of the capital’s urban landscapes.

All photos and recommendations by Xanthe Berkeley. See more of her work at London vs. Paris.  

Have anything to add to this guide? We'd love to hear in the comments below! 



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