T R A V E L / C I T Y G U I D E S
Discover our favourite hotels, restaurants, nightlife and things to do in London right now.
Updated May 2017
This insider's city guide has been a long time in the making. We've eaten in countless London restaurants and visited the latest hotspots. We've also asked the most discerning London locals we know to share their favourite hangouts – whether brand new or classic institutions. We bring you our hand-picked selection of our favourite places in London.
| LONDON |
Whether you're looking for the ultimate design hotel, a cosy boutique hotel, or an ultra-cool apartment, here is our pick of the best places to stay in London.
1. Wow Factor! ...
LONDON EDITION HOTEL
A glamorous London sanctuary for the international jet-set crowd ...
It was during his first foray into the London hotel scene that legendary hotelier Ian Schrager spotted the former Berners Hotel, set across a row of five Georgian townhouses in the leafy Fitzrovia district, that once welcomed guests that included Edward VII and Fabergé. Fast forward 15 years, and Schrager has put the magic back into Berners Street. The London Edition's sultry interiors showcase stunning restored stucco ceilings, marble staircases, wood-panelled bedrooms and highly attentive service. The hotel's social scene is also a major drawcard in its own right: Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton helms the smash-hit Berners Tavern restaurant with its breathtaking art-filled dining room, and the cosy and seductive ground floor cocktail bar serves the city's finest expertly-crafted punches. £££
10 Berners Street, London W1T 3NP, United Kingdom
editionhotels.com | +44 20 7781 0000
2. Celebrity Hideaway ...
André Balazs' exclusive London hotel with an A-list clientele ...
Home to an ever-changing constellation of stars, the Chiltern Firehouse has garnered an almost mythical reputation since opening its doors in 2014. It’s hard to know which of the Chiltern’s charms is more talked about: the legendary hotelier behind the venue, André Balazs; its A-list clientele – Kate Moss is a regular, U2 has a preferred table, and Bill Clinton once took to the custom-made DJ decks; its gorgeous Victorian architecture; or its fabulous restaurant by celebrated chef, Nuno Mendes. Retaining an ultra-exclusive, secret-society-style atmosphere where it's almost impossible to gain entry, the Chiltern Firehouse is home to 26 alluring boutique guest rooms which are accessed through corridors perfumed with Azzi Glasser fragrances. How can anyone resist a vintage telephone with the invitation to “Dial 0 for anything”? £££
1 Chiltern Street, London W1U 7PA
chilternfirehouse.com | +44 20 7073 7676
3. New Boutique Gem ...
A stylish & intimate jewel box nestled across two historic Covent Garden townhouses ...
From the boundless creative energy of the Experimental Group comes the recently-opened Henrietta Hotel, a chic London hideaway infused with the playful touch of award-winning designer, Dorothée Meilichzon. The hotel's 18 gorgeous rooms feature handcrafted bedheads, velvet sofas, pastel pink Art Deco bathrooms and minibars stocked with signature house cocktails. The Henrietta is also home to an excellent restaurant overseen by celebrated chef, Ollie Dabbous and a lively cocktail bar run by the Group’s own Experimental Cocktail Club. £££
14 - 15 Henrietta Street WC2E 8QH London
henriettahotel.com | +44 203 794 5313
4. Sophisticated Sanctuary ...
HAM YARD HOTEL
An urban Eden nestled on a leafy square in Piccadilly Circus ...
Part of the Firmdale Hotel Group portfolio, the hotel's unassuming facade barely contains the riot of colour within. Expect eye-popping prints and bespoke furnishings brought to fever pitch by designer Kit Kemp's signature interior aesthetic. Rich, textured and endlessly fun, Kemp’s eclectic energy fills every corner: from the antiques in the well-stocked library, to the bright orange leather seats in the 190-seat cinema. On the rooftop, a garden of olive trees and lavender awaits, and in the basement, make sure to visit the 1950s bowling alley imported from Texas. This isn’t just a hotel – it’s an urban village in the heart of London. £££
1 Ham Yard, London W1D 7DT, United Kingdom
firmdalehotels.com | +44 20 3642 2000
5. Contemporary Luxury ...
Enjoy the signature understated opulence of the luxurious Rosewood Group ...
At the 5-star Rosewood London Hotel, an original marble staircase sweeps upwards through seven floors of a grand Edwardian building in High Holborn, where an £85 million refurbishment has given its Belle Epoque interiors a modern update. The glamour here is palpable, yet guests will immediately feel at home, where they can enjoy fireside cocktails in the Scarfe Bar, followed by dinner at the Holborn Dining Room which serves refined British cuisine. The Grand Manor House Wing sets the bar for luxury suites in London with 6,000 square feet of living space, and even boasts its own postcode. £££
252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN, United Kingdom
+44 20 7829 9888 | rosewoodhotels.com
6. Classic Luxury ...
An opulent luxury hotel overlooking London's famous Hyde Park ...
The Lanesborough transports its guests back to the Regency era of grand drawing rooms, stately dining and wood-panelled libraries. The hotel’s 93 rooms and suites enjoy private butler service, along with elegant marble bathrooms, 19th-century artworks and period antiques. Beneath the glittering chandeliers and fluted columns of Restaurant Céleste, enjoy the innovative cuisine of Florian Favario, protégé of 3 Michelin-starred French chef, Eric Frechon. Evenings at The Lanesborough end in style at the Library Bar, best enjoyed with a glass of vintage Cognac and live piano music. £££
Hyde Park Corner, London SW1X 7TA
lanesborough.com | +44 20 7259 5599
7. British Boutique-Chic ...
THE ZETTER TOWNHOUSE
Discover your own boutique hideaway in London at one of two intimate Zetter Townhouse addresses ...
Whether you choose to stay at the Clerkenwell or Marylebone Zetter Townhouse hotels, you’ll be stepping into a world of vintage nostalgia, where Art Deco Anglepoise lamps and antique telephones sit atop vintage desks, four poster beds nestle beside original fireplaces, and marble-clad bathtubs invite guests to enjoy a long soak in the tub. With each establishment enjoying its own cosy cocktail hideaway, an expertly-crafted Gin and Tonic is best enjoyed in front of the fire in a wingback chair, or while relaxing in one of the cosy love-seats strewn with crimson cushions. ££
The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone: 28-30 Seymour St, London W1H 7JB
thezettertownhouse.com/marylebone | +44 20 7324 4544
8. Art Deco Glam ...
Channeling the best of the Art Deco era, The Beaumont oozes sophisticated glamour ...
Before stepping into this Mayfair hotel's wood-panelled lobby with its gleaming chequerboard floors, take a moment to admire the dramatic sculpture by British artist, Antony Gormley, which perches dramatically above the building's original 1927 ground-floor facade. The authenticity of the Beaumont’s 1920’s interiors is irresistible, with antique furnishings, marble and chrome bathrooms and a palette of charcoals, greys and pristine whites taking guests back to a time of high society glitz. Enjoy a glass of bourbon in Jimmy’s Bar before heading for the Colony Grill Room, where circular booths in red leather urge you to linger over lobster à la Russe. Don’t miss the chance to unwind in the Beaumont’s hammam after a day’s shopping at Selfridges department store nearby. £££
8 Balderton Street, London W1K 6TF
thebeaumont.com | +44 20 7499 1001
9. Budget-Chic: Central London ...
An affordable, design-savvy residence with self-catering facilities ...
The Nadler Soho Hotel offers a funky home away from home in the heart of London's Soho district. Only a few minutes walk from Oxford Street, the hotel's 78 rooms offer cool and compact kitchenettes, luxe touches such as a pillow menu, free Wi-fi, and Gilchrist and Soames toiletries. Nadler Soho’s flair for designer style starts at the door, guarded by a striking Hew Locke sculpture of the winged Greek goddess, Selene. In the lobby, old movies play on loop and 24-hour ‘Local Ambassadors’ are on hand to help with restaurant recommendations and theatre bookings. Enjoy this affordable haven in central London's coolest district, or opt to stay in The Nadler's other boutique properties in London's Victoria or Kensington districts. £
10 Carlisle Street, London W1D 3BR
thenadler.com | +44 20 3697 3697
10. Budget Chic: East London ...
TOWN HALL HOTEL
A former East End town hall is now home to one of London's most affordable design hotels ...
Explore every inch of this trendy hideaway in Bethnal Green – from the wood-panelled council chamber to the sleek pool area. Every one of the Town Hall’s spacious rooms has been individually designed to showcase Art Deco fireplaces, vintage furniture, ornate plasterwork and cosy sheepskin rugs. Make sure to visit the Town Hall Hotel’s three restaurants and bars - sip delicious cocktails in the sultry Peg & Patriot, indulge in a tasting menu by Chef Lee Westcott in the celebrated Typing Room restaurant, or opt for relaxed, creative fare at the Corner Room. £
Patriot Square, London E2 9NF
townhallhotel.com | +44 20 7871 0460
11. Sleek & Modern ...
A sleek central London design hotel by world-famous architects, Foster + Partners ...
Surrounded by the historic theatres of London’s West End, ME London Hotel pairs a superb location with stunning futuristic design, personalised service and one of the most glamorous rooftop bars in the city. Ascend to the first floor and step into the astounding lobby - a hollow marble pyramid where dramatic designs are projected onto angled walls - then continue the lesson in flawless design as you pass through gleaming black marble corridors to rooms where cutting-edge technology meets sweeping city views and luxurious feather beds. Sunsets at the ME should be spent sipping cocktails at Radio Rooftop Bar, where breathtaking views of London’s major landmarks can be enjoyed from chic couches, while STK London is the place for succulent steaks and late-night DJ sets. ££££
336-337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA
melia.com | +44 207395 3400
12. Business Cool ...
A forgotten London architectural masterpiece has been transformed into The City’s hottest lifestyle destination ...
When Nick Jones, founder of Soho House & Co, stepped inside London’s dilapidated former Midland Bank in London’s The City business district, it was love at first sight; the space marked the ideal venue for his extraordinary new Soho House project, The Ned Hotel. Home to 252 Art Deco-inspired rooms, The Ned Hotel also boasts nine glamorous in-house restaurants (including see-and-be-seen haven Cecconi's), a rooftop pool with London skyline views, and Ned’s Club – an exclusive members-only cocktail den nestled within the former bank’s underground vault lined with over 3,000 safety deposit boxes. ££
27 Poultry, London EC2R 8AJ
thened.com | +44 20 3828 2000
Average Price of a Double Room: £ = Around £100 or less; ££ = Around £200; £££ = > £300
| LONDON |
Whether you're looking for a fabulous foodie dining spot, the city's best Indian restaurant, or a see-and-be-seen dining spot, here is our pick of the best places to eat in London right now.
1. Glamour Dining ...
Don't miss these ultra-glam London dining spots ...
Boasting one of the most impressive restaurant settings we've ever seen, Berner's Tavern also delivers a soul-satisfying menu of classic British dishes given a modern twist by Michelin-starred Executive Chef, Jason Atherton. Chiltern Firehouse is another exclusive celebrity haven in London, where this former Marylebone fire station has been drawing in the crowds due to celebrated chef Nuno Mendes' creative and delicious gourmand cuisine. Don't miss the pillowy soft crab-stuffed doughnuts or the blackened salmon with sea kale. A favourite of the fashion crowd, Sketch is a glamorous, all-pink haven which is one of the cult places to "see-and-be-seen" in London. ££
Berners Tavern: 10 Berners Street, London W1T 3LF
bernerstavern.com | +44 20 7908 7979
Chiltern Firehouse: 1 Chiltern Street, London W1U 7PA
chilternfirehouse.com | +44 20 7073 7676
Sketch: 9 Conduit Street, London W1S 2XG
sketch.london | +44 20 7659 4500
2. Foodie Hot Spots: Central London ...
POLLEN STREET SOCIAL
Our favourite foodie hot spots in Central London ...
Celebrated chef Ollie Dabbous showcases his rule-breaking culinary talents at Henrietta Restaurant, his new 2017 dining venture nestled within the boutique-chic Henrietta Hotel in Covent Garden. Try as many exquisitely flavoursome dishes as you can, and make sure to finish with the sumptuous freshly-baked warm madeleines with Chantilly cream. Following the success of his smash-hit restaurants in Paris, celebrated chef Gregory Marchand has transported his soul-satisfying gourmand French cuisine to the English capital. Frenchie restaurant's stylish two-story dining space in Covent Garden hints at its Parisian roots with banquette seating and elegant parquet floors, while the chef's sharing-style menu showcases creative dishes such as duck foie gras with smoked eel and beets, veal and scallop tartare and the signature pulled-pig slider. Celebrated British chef Jason Atherton wows with his creative and sophisticated spin on classic British cuisine at Pollen Street Social. It's best to book ahead at this Michelin-starred London hot spot. ££
Henrietta Restaurant: 14 - 15 Henrietta Street, London WC2E 8QH
henriettahotel.com | +44 203 794 5313
Frenchie Covent Garden: 16 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8QH
frenchiecoventgarden.com | +44 20 7836 4422
Pollen Street Social: 8-10 Pollen St, London W1S 1NQ
pollenstreetsocial.com | +44 20 7290 7600
3. Foodie Hot Spots: East London ...
THE CLOVE CLUB
THE TYPING ROOM
Our favourite foodie hot spots in East London ...
Having been named the 26th World's Best Restaurant in 2016, Clove Club is one of the highlights of London's foodie dining scene. With a dramatic dining setting within the former Shoreditch Town Hall, Clove Club is helmed by talented young chef Isaac McHale, who will take you on a bold and surprising culinary journey throughout his superb five- or nine-course tasting menu. At Lyle’s, natural light pours in through the factory style windows of this minimalist dining space, placing all of the attention upon chef James Lowe's exciting and refreshingly affordable tasting menu. In the heart of Bethnal Green, culinary star Lee Westcott is the mastermind behind The Typing Room, known for its delicately intricate tasting menu, served straight from the open kitchen in an intimate dining space of parquet and teal. ££
The Clove Club: Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT
thecloveclub.com | +44 20 7729 6496
Lyle's: Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JJ
lyleslondon.com | +44 20 3011 5911
The Typing Room: Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, London E2 9NF
typingroom.com | +44 20 7871 0461
4. Chic Asian …
ZUMA & ROKA
Discover our favourite Asian restaurants in central London ...
Zuma London offers a sophisticated, contemporary twist on the traditional Japanese Izakaya style of informal dining. Dishes are characterised by exquisite texture and flavour, such as the lobster tempura with spicy ponzu; tuna tataki with shards of crisp garlic; and scallops grilled with green pepper and black bean sauce. We also love Zuma's more intimate sister restaurant, Roka, in the SoHo district's stylish Charlotte Street. The first Chinese restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star, Hakkasan is a local institution serving refined modern Chinese cuisine in a glamorous, low-lit setting, with two London restaurants in SoHo & Mayfair. For refined dim sum, make sure to visit Yauatcha, also in Central London's trendy SoHo district. ££££
Zuma London: 5 Raphael Street, London SW7 1DL
zumarestaurant.com | +44 20 7584 1010
Hakkasan: 8 Hanway Place, London W1T 1HD
hakkasan.com | +44 20 7927 7000
Yauatcha: 15-17 Broadwick Street, Soho, London W1F 0DL
yauatcha.com | +44 20 7494 8888
5. Best Indian …
Discover our favourite Indian restaurants in London ...
It has often been said that curry is Britain’s national dish, and London is spoiled with a wealth of fantastic Indian eateries. Named the Best Restaurant in London in 2014, Gymkhana continues to turn heads with its timelessly elegant setting and refined Anglo-Indian cuisine. The sleek subterranean dining room oozes the feel of a sophisticated gentleman's club. Savour dishes such as slow-cooked pork cheek vindaloo, best accompanied by a glass of Bombay punch. Another London institution is Chutney Mary, which has been serving some of the city’s best Indian cuisine for over 25 years. The restaurant now boasts a glamorous new setting in St James, where you can join a well-heeled clientele for flaked Cornish crab with garlic butter, or duck salad with tamarind glaze. A Bombay-inspired casual brasserie, the award-winning Dishoom restaurant chain adds a contemporary twist to Indian cuisine that has enchanted Londoners. Wait for a table over a refreshing Lassi at this no-reservations hotspot. $$$
Gymkhana: 42 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4JH
gymkhanalondon.com | +44 20 3011 5900
Chutney Mary: 73 St James's St, London SW1A 1PH
chutneymary.com | +44 20 7629 6688
Dishoom: Several London locations
6. Power Business Dining …
DINNER BY HESTON BLUMENTHAL
These glamorous restaurants are ideal for power business dining or special occasions ...
Voted one of the World's Best Restaurant for several years running, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal boasts a prime position overlooking Hyde Park in Knightsbridge. Offering a modern take on ancient English recipes, the restaurant offers an elegant setting to enjoy a short yet inventive menu of seasonal flavours such as the signature meat fruit with mandarin, chicken liver parfait and grilled bread; and the tender black Angus sirloin steak served with bone marrow, Japanese breadcrumbs and a red wine jus. Having first opened its doors in 1851, Scott’s is a veritable London institution steeped in history which was frequented by none other than Oscar Wilde and Ian Fleming for decades. Scott’s was given a much-needed modern facelift in 2007 by the famed Caprice Group, and is now renowned for its sumptuous fresh seafood and glamorous James Bond-style social scene. The Ivy restaurant and private club is the favourite late-night haven of the jet-set crowd who come for the top service and the see-and-be-seen atmosphere. £££
Dinner By Heston Blumenthal: 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA
dinnerbyheston.com | +44 20 7201 3833
Scott's: 20 Mount Street, London W1K 2HE
scotts-restaurant.com | +44 20 7495 7309
The Ivy: 1-5 West Street, London WC2H 9NQ
the-ivy.co.uk | +44 20 7836 4751
7. Casual Dining …
For delicious Sri Lankan dosas .... £
49 Frith St, Soho, London W1D 4SG
+44 20 7292 2040
For homemade udon noodles .... £
50 Frith St, London W1D 4SQ
For wood-fired Turkish pizza .... £
53 Shaftesbury Ave., W1D 6LB
+44 20 3327 3888
For delicious salads .... £
Multiple London locations
+44 20 7823 2707
8. Best Breakfast ...
THE MODERN PANTRY
GRANGER & CO.
Don’t miss these quintessential London breakfast spots ...
Having transported his cult status as the breakfast champion of Sydney to London, self-taught Australian chef Bill Granger is the talent behind the light-filled London cafe chain, Granger & Co. With three London locations in Notting Hill, Clerkenwell & King’s Cross, this low-key celebrity chef delivers a delicious menu of modern Australian flavours, including the signature ricotta hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter, and sweet corn fritters with roasted tomato, spinach and bacon. The Modern Pantry chef Anna Hansen has also won a devoted following thanks to her fresh, inventive plates that draw inspiration from around the world. With two locations in Clerkenwell and Finsbury Park, The Modern Pantry serves a creative menu featuring dishes such as the sugar-cured New Caledonian prawn omelette with green chilli, coriander and smoked chilli sambal, along with honey roast oats with seeds & nuts, grated apple, pomegranate and Greek yoghurt. Caravan is another fantastic all-day London cafe with locations in Kings Cross, Exmouth Market and the up-and-coming Bankside district. £
The Modern Pantry: Multiple London locations
Granger & Co: Multiple London locations
Caravan: Multiple London locations
9. Best Coffee Spots ...
In need of a caffeine fix in the English capital?
Make sure to visit Kaffeine in Fitzrovia, one of the leading London coffee spots. As proud of their market-fresh menu as they are of their coffee, Kaffeine serves a weekly-changing selection of freshly baked breads, soups, salads and baked treats at their two Fitzrovia locations. At Workshop, warm red brick walls, reclaimed woods and an on-site roastery have made this Clerkenwell address an all-day destination. Start the day with Eggs Benedict and a superb coffee made from meticulously sourced, home-roasted beans. The team have also expanded with three other coffee bars around London. At TAP, it’s all about good conversation, mellow spaces and expertly-crafted coffee. Whether you choose a single origin espresso, an Aeropress or brewed cone drip creation, TAP couples serious coffee skills with a laidback attitude at its three central London locations. £
Kaffeine: Multiple London locations
Workshop Coffee: Multiple London locations
TAP Coffee: Multiple London locations
10. Best Organic Deli ...
Enjoy farm-fresh organic dining in a chic café setting ...
A champion of organic, seasonal fare, Daylesford Organic offers organic farm-to-table dining in its three London locations in Notting Hill, Pimlico and Marylebone. In the wholesome, organic all-day menu, you’ll find meats sourced directly from the Daylesford farm in Gloucestershire, fresh cheese, milk and yoghurt churned in the Daylesford creamery, and vegetables picked from the market garden. Stop by for a cold pressed juice, freshly baked breads, or buttermilk pancakes, or enjoy a supper of sweet pea samosas with apple mint and almond chutney. Make sure to take home a delicious selection of deli-style dishes and products from the in-house food boutique.
Mutiple London locations
Best Afternoon Tea ...
33 Albemarle Street, Mayfair W1S 4BP
roccofortehotels.com | +44 20 7493 6020
Average Price of a Main Meal: £ = Less than £10; ££ = Around £20; £££ = More than £30
| LONDON |
Whether you're looking for a cosy cocktail bar, the glamorous wine bar, or a see-and-be-seen late-night club, here is our pick of the best places to party in London right now.
1. WOW Factor!.
Discover the four-time World’s Best Bar ...
Nestled within London's luxurious Langham Hotel, Artesian has been crowned the World’s Best Bar for four consecutive years, courtesy of the talents of world-famous mixologist, Alex Kratena. Head Bartender Gabor Fodor can currently be found helming the shakers, crafting innovative cocktail menus which might feature everything from aged pisco and beetroot to cactus and hopped gin – even Artesian’s custom-made glassware is designed to heighten the sensory cocktail experience. Settle into one of the crocodile-leather sofas and enjoy cutting-edge cocktails, complimentary canapés and the refreshingly unpretentious atmosphere. Likened to a night at the theatre, Artesian is a must-visit address for serious cocktail connoisseurs. £££
The Langham, 1C Portland Pl, London W1B 1JA
artesian-bar.co.uk | +44 20 7636 1000
2. Great Cocktails ...
Award-winning cocktails by one of the world's top mixologists ...
Award-winning bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana – most commonly known as Mr. Lyan – has been blazing a trail across the British cocktail scene and now boasts two of London’s top cocktail destinations to his name. In a unique twist, White Lyan is the only bar in the world which uses no perishables whatsoever – that is: no ice, no fruits and no branded spirits. To a soundtrack of hip hop, funk and disco, Lyan’s homemade distillations, tinctures and spirits are served in a minimalist setting of rough brick and jet black. For a hit of urban glamour head to the Mondrian Hotel and discover Dandelyan, where you’ll find glitzy 1950’s interiors designed by top British designer Tom Dixon and killer views of the Thames. ££
3. Glamorous Lounge Bar ...
A timelessly elegant nightlife destination designed by the inimitable Ian Schrager ...
When legendary hotelier and Studio 24 founder Ian Schrager returned to London after 15 years to create the London Edition, he was fulfilling a long-standing dream – but you don’t need a hotel reservation to share in the magic. Dine under the auspices of Michelin-Starred chef Jason Atherton at Berners Tavern, one of the hottest tables in town and a haven of wood-panelling, countless gilt-framed artworks and a glamorous backlit bar. The Punch Room is for intimate cocktails and a daily special punch and is inspired by the peaceful libraries of old: expect candlelight, dark woods and impromptu musical performances. The party continues in the soundproofed basement club – but you may need to call in a few favours to make the guest list…
10 Berners Street, London W1T 3NP
editionhotels.com | +44 20 7781 0000
4. Cool Wine Bar ...
A wine lover’s haven from the team behind Paris’ Experimental Cocktail Club ...
Settle into the cosy living-room atmosphere of CVS, known for its superb wine list, delicious sharing plates and stylish interiors featuring colourful vintage-print sofas and 1930’s coffee tables. Removing any sense of intimidation from the 400-label wine list, the resident team of sommeliers will be on hand to share their expertise. Make sure to order tasty plates of Ibérico ham, creamy burrata, charcuterie or tender BBQ pulled pork. ££
8-10 Neal's Yard, London WC2H 9DP
cvssevendials.com | +44 20 7734 7737
5. Shoreditch Speakeasy ...
The sultry underground speakeasy which was named the World's 16th Best Bar in 2016 ...
Named after a nocturnal bird, one of London’s leading cocktail bars retains a sense of mystery despite its astronomic success. Nightjar’s nondescript frontage conceals a subterranean world of tin-panelled ceilings, barely-there lighting and live jazz. Quirkily inscribed on a full pack of cards, a heady cocktail menu of premium spirits ranges from prohibition favourites to modern classics – try the BBC, with absinthe smoke, calvados and Becherovka cordial. With black leather couches, Friday night DJ sets and even the occasional 21st-century cabaret, Nightjar’s unpretentious attitude is the perfect finishing touch. Booking recommended. ££
129 City Road, London EC1V 1JB
barnightjar.com | +44 20 7253 4101
6. Local Institution ...
This award-winning Mayfair cocktail bar simply oozes sophistication ...
You needn’t be a guest at the legendary The Connaught Hotel to enjoy the timeless glamour of its celebrated in-house cocktail bar. Enter a silver-tinted haven of studded leather, lofty ceilings, Art-Deco hints and glittering mirrors, designed by renowned designer David Collins. Effortlessly chic yet refreshingly unpretentious, The Connaught Bar offers a genuinely warm welcome alongside expertly-crafted cocktails, mixed behind its zinc-topped bar. Dress for the occasion and discover this modern London classic. ££
Carlos Place, London W1K 2AL
the-connaught.co.uk | +44 20 7499 7070
7. Cosy Soho Gem ...
A cosy gem for great coffee and cocktails by famous mixologist Tony Conigliaro and Marco Arrigio ...
Where a London cocktail visionary and the Head of Quality at Illy have joined forces, Bar Termini places you in expert hands - whether you happen to be sipping a meticulously-crafted coffee or one of Conigliaro’s latest cocktail creations. The cocktail maestro collaborated with everyone from scientists to perfumers to create a superb menu of truly unique house cocktails. Try the Death In Venice with Campari, grapefruit bitters and Prosecco, served alongside small plates of cheese and charcuterie. The chic and cosy space is decorated with Venetian blinds, chequerboard floors, a marble topped bar and dark woods. Discover the newest Bar Termini in Marylebone, where spacious interiors and a large terrace offer ample space to enjoy small plates, cocktails and coffee after an afternoon of shopping on nearby Oxford Street.££
7 Old Compton Street, London W1D 5JE
bar-termini.com | +44 7860 945018
9. Private Members Clubs ...
THE ARTS CLUB
THE GROUCHO CLUB
Discover our pick of London's top private members clubs ...
At The Arts Club, membership has been a hard-won privilege since 1863. Book a room or suite to gain exclusive access to the club’s Brasserie restaurant, bar and the basement club, where performers have included Dionne Warwick and Lauren Hill. Not only a private member's club with several bars and restaurants, Shoreditch House is home to boutique bedrooms, a rooftop pool and gym spread across five stylish floors. The Groucho Club is the city’s original hangout for the arts and media crowd, and after an extensive refurbishment, this Soho townhouse flaunts art and beautifully restored original features throughout its bars, dining room and library. £££
The Arts Club: 40 Dover St, London W1S 4NP +44 20 7499 8581 theartsclub.co.uk
Shoreditch House: 1 Ebor St, London E1 6AW +44 20 7739 5040 shoreditchhouse.com
The Groucho Club: 45 Dean St, London W1D 4QB +44 20 7439 4685 thegrouchoclub.com
10. Late-Night Dance Clubs ...
MINISTRY OF SOUND
Our pick of London's top dance clubs ...
London’s nightclubs offer everything from the iconic to the underground. For one of the world’s most famous clubs, the Ministry of Sound is still drawing dance-music lovers to its home in a former bus depot, where four dance floors, world class DJs and a dedicated space for underground beats makes the MoS an all-night playground. In Farringdon, Fabric has gained a reputation for high-quality programming throughout its sprawling warehouse rooms, where the latest talent and established DJs spin drum ‘n’ bass, garage, dubstep, techno, house and disco until 6am. At Shoreditch’s Xoyo, it’s all about eclecticism. From singer-songwriters and live gigs to the freshest DJ talent, Xoyo’s Saturday night slot is curated by some of the biggest names in the business.
Average Price of a Drink: $ = Less than $10; $$ = Around $20; $$$ = More than $30
SEE + DO
| LONDON |
Don't miss these incredible London museums, art galleries and cultural landmarks.
Major Landmarks ...
One of London’s most iconic landmarks, the Palace of Westminster - more commonly known as the Houses of Parliament - lie on the Thames riverfront in the heart of London. The spectacular meeting place of Britain’s government, the Palace complex is instantly recognisable thanks to its famous clock tower, Big Ben, which was renamed as the Elizabeth Tower in tribute to Queen Elizabeth during the Royal Jubilee in September 2012. The world’s largest four-faced bell clock, this British icon has stood for over 150 years and is named after the largest bell within the tower. Built in 1702 by the Duke of Buckingham, Buckingham Palace is the official residence and office of the Queen and the British royal family. The State Rooms of the Palace are open to the public during the Annual Summer Opening, held from late July to September. Don’t miss the impressive “Changing the Guard” ceremony which takes place at the front of the palace regularly. Attracting over 3.5 million visitors each year, enjoy spectacular panoramic views from the futuristic glass viewing pods of the soaring London Eye Ferris wheel. Rising 135 metres from the Thames river-bank, opt for a sunset ride and enjoy 30 minutes of stunning twilight views over the city. The spectacular Westminster Abbey Gothic Church is the traditional venue for Royal coronations and burials, while countless famous (and sometimes infamous) British figures are also buried here – perpetual residents include Geoffrey Chaucer, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and numerous Kings and Queens. Originally built in the 11th century and rebuilt in 1245, the historic Abbey recently hosted the marriage of Prince William to Catherine Middleton – don’t miss the Museum, housed in the Abbey’s ancient vaults.
Perhaps London’s most famous arts venue, the prestigious Albert Hall dates back to 1871 and has played host to a rich and diverse live music and entertainment program ever since. Opened by Queen Victoria and named in honour of her late husband Prince Albert, the hall’s breathtaking architecture and grand interiors make the building an attraction in its own right, while performances range from Cirque du Soleil to the English National Ballet. With a soaring position atop Ludgate Hill in the City of London, St. Paul's Cathedral has been a London icon since its construction in the 17th century. The work of renowned British architect Christopher Wren, St Paul’s has become an emblem of London life, made famous by dramatic photographs taken during the Blitz. Climb the 259 stairs to visit the Whispering Gallery within the cathedral’s famous dome or simply admire the awe-inspiring interiors. Completed in 1894, the impressive Tower Bridge takes its name from the nearby Tower of London, a historic castle which boasts a rich history as a former royal residence, armoury, fortress and jail. Witness to the turbulent history of London (and Britain) since its construction in 1066, this fascinating landmark offers a journey through time.
Major Museums ...
The most-visited modern art gallery in the world, the Tate Modern sits on the banks of the Thames in an iconic industrial space. With a collection dating from 1900, the gallery’s seven floors are home to a rolling programme of world-class exhibitions alongside the Tate’s superb permanent collection of international works. The original gallery of the famous Tate network, the Tate Britain welcomes guests to Britain’s national collection of art. With works dating from 1500 to the present day, Tate Britain is home to seminal works by J. M. W. Turner, William Hogarth, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Henry Moore and William Blake. Aptly located on Exhibition Road, the world-famous Natural History Museum boasts a dizzying collection of over 70 million items – from Darwin’s samples to vast dinosaur skeletons. The stunning façade and labyrinthine interiors are a wonder-world of ancient fossils, breathtaking exhibits, cathedral-like spaces and fascinating facts – perfect for a family day out. A mecca of culture, art and design, the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) boasts the world’s largest collection of decorative arts spanning over 5,000 years. With almost 13 acres of exhibition space, guests may choose to explore the dazzling fashion gallery, the glittering jewellery collection or the outstanding Islamic Art exhibitions – afterwards, don’t miss afternoon tea in the opulent café. Home to over 8 million objects of human history and culture, the prestigious British Museum draws together the legacy of global human existence. First opening to the public in 1759, today the museum’s vast spaces exhibit jaw-dropping collections, from Ancient Egypt and Greek Civilisation to iconic artefacts including the Rossetti Stone and the controversial Elgin Marbles.
The Best Shopping...
Whether you’re looking for a one-off vintage piece at Portobello Road Market, the latest designer fashion on Kings Road in Chelsea, or the best in designer fashion at the glamorous Selfridges department store, London is renowned for its fabulous shopping. The most famous department store in London, Harrods lives up to its reputation as the epicentre of luxury fashion, beauty and homewares, and is home to a world famous gourmet food hall. Westfield London is a mega-complex which is one of the largest shopping centres in Europe, offering an impressive roll call of top designers hosted underneath its rolling glass roof such as Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Mulberry. Set over 6 floors in Mayfair’s upscale Dover Street, the trendy Dover Street Market is London’s leading designer concept store for cutting-edge fashion labels, curated by celebrated Comme des Garcons designer, Rei Kawakubo. British fashion icons include punk pioneer Vivienne Westwood, a British fashion revolutionary who’s been creating bold, attention seeking and outrageously cool clothes for men and women since the ’70s; Paul Smith, who is best known for his quirky men’s suits and funky travel accessories; and Stella McCartney, who has gained a loyal cult following for her sophisticated women’s fashion.
Art Galleries ...
Opened by Charles Saatchi in 1985 to display his personal collection of contemporary works, the Saatchi Gallery has become a leading force in British art. With a history of controversial but scene-changing exhibitions, the Saatchi Gallery is an iconic powerhouse of the art world, launching new talent onto the international stage. Nestled in a 1934 tea house in the picturesque Kensington Gardens, the Serpentine Gallery is a contemporary art gallery which exhibits the works of internationally renowned artists, including Man Ray, Andy Warhol, Anish Kapoor and Damien Hirst. Don’t miss the yearly-changing pavilion on the gallery’s lawn – created by a new architect and host to talks, film screenings and the BBC proms. Founded in 1971, the Photographers’ Gallery is the largest photography-dedicated gallery in London, boasting a visual feast of photography, film and digital imagery. The world’s first portrait gallery, the National Portrait Gallery next to Trafalgar Square opened in 1856 and is home to a wonderful collection of historic and contemporary portraiture. Based on the importance of the sitter – not the artist –the stunning collection draws together the most famous and influential British figures, including iconic depictions of William Shakespeare, the Bronte sisters and Queen Victoria.
The Best Parks...
Enjoying a peaceful stroll, a jog or a relaxing picnic in one of London's verdant parks is a quintessential local activity. When the sun is shining, pick up some delicious food, a bottle of wine and head outdoors for the afternoon. St. James Park is a beautiful 23-hectare park and is the oldest royal park in London, with a prime central location overlooking Buckingham Palace. Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens are two of central London’s largest parks covering over 142 hectares, divided by the Serpentine Lake and situated adjacent to the Kensington Gardens. Visit the legendary Speaker’s Corner where open-air public speaking, debating and discussions take place. Regent’s Park is one of London’s most popular local parks where Londoners come to play sports, watch films at the Open Air Theatre, and visit the London Zoo. Kew Gardens (The Royal Botanic Gardens) is London’s impressive Royal Botanic Gardens which boasts an extensive collection of flora and fauna, with over 121 hectares of gardens and botanical glasshouses in South West London. Head north to Hampstead Heath, a rugged, verdant expanse in north London, popular for long Sunday walks and open-air concerts in summer. Greenwich Park is a 183-acre Royal Park which dates back to the 17th century as the former hunting grounds of the Royal Palace of Placentia. Visit the World Heritage Listed Royal Observatory, the National Maritime Museum, and the Queen’s House while you’re there, designed by acclaimed English architects, Christopher Wren and Inigo Jones. Greenwich is also the geographical source of Greenwich Mean Time.
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