London’s calling and you’re ready to go? Now here are some tips in order to not get lost in the thousand places where you can eat and drink in one of the oldest cities with the most history in the world.
Sleep at… The Edition
The Edition has this design touch while being cosy at the same time. The lobby offers a cool lighted bar that I highly recommend for its cognac cocktails, comfortable couches to savour them (be careful, it will be hard to stand again, they will retain you!) and a picture-lined restaurant all under the direction of Michelin-starred Executive Chef Jason Atherton that offers gourmet British cuisine. You should also check the nestled Punch Room that you can access only if you’ve booked in advance. It’s a real modern reincarnation of these nineteenth-century London private clubs.
The rooms? What else to say than that they will leave you fantastic memories? They have wonderful beds, the softest towels and bathrobes and display artfully strewn faux fur throws that add a feeling of warmth to the room that you will never want to leave again.
10 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, London, England, United Kingdom, W1T 3NP.
020 7908 7920
Savour a quick Asian lunch at… Bao
Tired of these same old boring dishes? I would totally go for BAO if I was you. Except if you’re very lucky, you will have to queue a little bit to get a seat at the bar or at a small table but I promise it is worth it (no reservations are possible). This Taiwanese spot is always packed and you will certainly understand why when you try their so soft bao buns and sides: eggplant dip, wonton chips sweet potato fries and pickled prune ketchup. Pair them with peanut milk, cold-pressed oolong tea, gin-yuzu-lemon cocktail or sake and enjoy!
53, Lexington St. London W1F 9AS
Enjoy a pinky afternoon tea at… Sketch Gallery
This is the place that has seen all the who’s who from Kendall Jenner to Gigi Hadid or Elton John and there is not one person of London’s fashion industry that has not been to this fancy hotspot. Sketch, which has two Michelin stars, stands for a bourgeois bling look. Made up of a series of artist spaces, Michelin star-awarded Sketch is not only a restaurant but a show. In the well-known Sketch Gallery that girls love for its pink colour, a delicious and traditional British afternoon tea is proposed starting from 45 pounds. From eggs, salmon and sandwiches to scones and macaroons, I can guarantee you will not be hungry when you leave this cute place. By the way, don’t forget to visit the bathroom and take your camera with you. It might be awkward to say but you’ll realize when you get there that you want to be photographed in this alien space from the 80’s!
9 Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG, UK
+44 20 7659 4500
Dinner at… La Bodega Negra
Located in the heart of Soho (the neon side outside says “sex shop” so you’ll easily recognize the place once you know that), La Bodega Negra is a really cool place where Londoners meet to have dinner. Descend the stairs of this nightclub-like restaurant and enjoy! Even though eating in a felted atmosphere has never been my favourite thing (yes, I like to see what I eat!), I really liked the atmosphere, especially for their amazing music. If you’re a group, order a bunch of tacos, sea food, crunchy cheese or quesadilla and don’t forget to taste the rich lamb shank in dark juices, the highlight of the menu! Go there to see and be seen but not only, I swear you will not get bored and will leave the place having understood why this place is chased by all of London!
9 Old Compton Street London W1D 5JF
Feel the Israeli gourmet food vibe at… Palomar
God must be pouring tears to this Israeli-owned restaurant serving pork belly tagine, mussels and oysters. Although I haven’t tried these dishes, the ones I have had were amazing. Since it opened in 2014, the Palomar has been renowned not just for its food, a brilliant, unselfconscious tangle of Mediterranean flavours and influences, but also for what can only be called the “vibe”. A meal at the Palomar involves endless flavours equal to an artistic painting. The food is brilliant, so tasty and this place is just the perfect gateway for a night out with friends. It has a family feel that can hardly be found anywhere else. Book in advance if you want to make sure you’ll get a table.
34 Rupert St, London W1D 6DN, UK
+44 20 7439 8777
Savour delicious cocktails at… The Artesian of The Langham Hotel
The Artesian has been one of my favourite hotel bars in the world since I first came there 5 years ago, trying their not only deliciously tasty cocktails but also really creative. All of them have a history and multiple savours. Using only the best alcohol brands, the bartenders as well as the waiters have a know-how that can be reached only in the most luxurious places. Every time I have been there, all the staff, from the doormen to the waiters have been really nice and smiley and it might be because I am French, but it’s something that is really appreciable. On a romantic date, for business or with friends, The Artesian is the perfect destination for cocktail lovers.
The Langham, London, 1C Portland Pl, Marylebone, London W1B 1JA, UK
+44 20 7636 1000
Let your hair down with London’s who’s who at… The Box
Prince Harry, his cousins Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Kate Moss, Emma Watson and Keira Knightley have all partied here until dawn in this night club where only the most fashionable crowd can get in. Despite arriving early, you might have to wait before passing the door, if you manage to do so. Most people say they’ve waited 30 minutes and with London’s weather, you must be waiting for a real show when entering this famous nightclubber’s den. Once inside, guests are welcomed with a gold carpet and wallpaper featuring X-rated erotic images – setting the tone of the evening to come. Simon Hammerstein, the owner of The Box, describes his nightclub as a place of ‘mystique, mystery and sexual openness’. Lots of people have described the shows they give at The Box as outrageous but it has not stopped anyone going, on the contrary, people want to see that and I guess you are part of them, right?
Walker’s Ct, Soho, London W1F 0SD, UK
+44 20 7434 4374