London Travel Guide – The Best Places to Visit and Eat
A trip to London can conjure up two different and somewhat competing vacation fantasies: the first, a more regal-inspired vision, with fine snacks, shopping at Selfridges, and pictures outside Kensington Palace, and the second a bit more grungy, filled with smoky Camden bars and Soho vinyl stores. Why not do both? For ELLE Escapes, we’ve compiled some of our favorite places to make the most of your trip across the pond. London calling – here’s where to eat, drink, stay and shop when you answer.
Tiffany & Co. Vision & Virtuosity Exposure
Tiffany & Co.’s yellow diamond necklace has been worn by Audrey Hepburn, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé – and now, for a limited time, it will be on display alongside 400 other legendary Tiffany items in a new exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery at Chelsea. The Vision and Virtuosity exhibition by Tiffany and Co. runs from June 10 to August 19, 2022.
There’s a reason Hyde Park in London is always on the list of the best places to visit. Particularly in the summer, when the rain tends to subside, the 350-acre Royal Park is perfect for a picnic or a stroll with a tea to go. If it’s good enough for Kate Middletonit’s good enough for any tourist.
Pandora Clothing Agency
If you’re tired of shopping at all the fast fashion spots in Mayfair, head to Pandora Dress Agency in Knightsbridge for ‘designer brands at a fraction of their original price’. A quick perusal of their Instagram reveals Prada bags in spring’s prettiest pinks and a pair of quilted Chanel clogs we’d frankly die for.
Annie’s Ibiza is the perfect place to find a last-minute party dress that you’ll end up wearing over and over again. The boutique sells luxury clothing and accessories from new and emerging designers as well as vintage pieces.
The Colony Grill
Tucked away inside the Beaumont Hotel in Mayfair, The Colony Grill harkens back to the Art Deco era, serving “transatlantic comfort food” like steaks and shellfish. It’s a carnivore’s paradise, but there’s something for everyone, including dessert lovers, who will be obsessed with the build-your-own sundae bar.
The highly Instagrammable pink coffee is about to dominate your feed again with its new monochromatic makeover, this time a golden yellow burst. While traditional afternoon tea will remain on the menu, expect new artist-inspired West African additions displayed on the dining room walls.
When it comes to British restaurant culture, it doesn’t get more iconic than The Wolseley. Located on Piccadilly, the stately interiors date back to the 1920s, when the building was a luxury car showroom for the now defunct Wolseley Motors, and later a bank. More than a charming place to sit, it has an extensive breakfast menu, including the perfect stack of pancakes topped with berries.
Historically, London is not a city known for its gastronomy. Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi has helped restore his culinary reputation by bringing his trademark roast vegetables to a number of restaurants and delis, including the famed Rovi in the West End.
Chiltern Fire Station
Housed in a real fire station, the bar at Chiltern Firehouse feels like your plant-obsessed, cottage-like friend is inviting you into her Williamsburg loft, but in a good way. The airy space features floor-to-ceiling windows, tons of greenery, and comfy floral sofas perfect for tea or cocktails — the choice is yours. If you want to keep the party going, try working your way into the Ladder Shed bar out back for some after-hours revelry.
Mercato Metropolitano Mayfair
Built in an old church (with a otherar, stained glass, and all), this sustainable community market has stalls selling food from around the world, but the real draw is the Jim and Tonic Gin Bar, where on-site distilled gin is the base for every delicious cocktail you can think of.
The roof of Dorchester
When the weather is warm, the terrace of the Dorchester Hotel is the place to be. With stunning views of Hyde Park and seasonal cocktails with names like ‘Rainbow’ and ‘Joyful’, it’s the perfect place to enjoy spring.
It’s not a wild night out in London if you don’t find yourself in Shoreditch at some point, and Tonight Josephine is perfect for maximalists looking for an Instagrammable place to end their night. The decor is very reminiscent of early club life, with lots of hot pink, neon signs, and, of course, a photo booth.
When it comes to location, the Beaumont is second to none. Tucked away on a quiet residential street in Mayfair, the five-star boutique hotel is within walking distance of some of the area’s best shopping, including Selfridges (and Market Mercado, when you’re in the mood for a post-shopping gin and tonic). ) . The recently renovated hotel recalls the Art Deco era with a cozy bar, delicious restaurant and elegantly appointed rooms with views of Brown Hart Gardens.
The Cadogan was once the home of socialite Lillie Langtry, and the hotel marries that elegant history (Oscar Wilde also frequented the bar downstairs) with Chelsea’s artsy neighborhood for an experience that makes you feel less like you’re staying in a hotel, and more like living in a posh building in London. Guests have access to the private garden across the street, but our favorite amenity is the Sleep Concierge service, which includes a pillow menu, scented pillow mist, and “sleep-inducing meditative recording.”
Stepping into The Kensington is like stepping into the life of the Royal Family. The cozy living room is surrounded by fireplaces and plush sofas, perfect for sipping tea and chatting about the latest royal drama. The generously sized bedrooms include bathrooms with underfloor heating, which guests will appreciate after a cool walk in the gardens of nearby Kensington Palace.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park was recently refurbished by designer Joyce Wang, and the interiors are among the finest you’ll see in a hotel in London. With Art Deco finishes and thoughtful amenities like yoga mats and a GHD hair straightener, guests will feel right at home.