Samuel Johnston was right: If you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life. It’s the city that set the mold for countless others across the globe in terms of structure, commerce and law. It’s a city of of art, of culture, of music and some of the world’s most recognisable and desired fashion brands. It is, in a word, iconic. Some think it is the greatest city in the world. Agree? You’ll have to explore to find out!
Where to go
You know the usual tourist faves, so let’s go beyond that. Take time to investigate the city’s distinct neighbourhoods, from the resurgent and hip East End, to the chic and fashionable West End. Venture south of the river, beyond the Globe Theatre to the Southwark Borough Market here you can sample foodie delights from across the globe. Explore Spitalfields and Shoreditch for up and coming designer fashion. Have high tea at a grand hotel. Go on a walking tour of street art or the seamier side of the city’s history. Head down to Greenwich for a unique view of the city and some fantastic shops and restaurants. Pick an area and wander it, discovering a thousand hidden gems.
Food & Drink
It’s London - you can get almost any food you can imagine at any hour of the day. That said, the capital does hide a few foodie nirvana worth seeking out. For some of the most spectacular views, you might like to try Hutong (The Shard, 31 St Thomas St) or Searcy’s (30 St Mary Axe). For something more down to earth, Ember (1A, Pudding Lane) delivers delightfully spicy pan-Asian cooking on the street the Great Fire of London began. However for something truly London, head on over to Paternoster Chop House (1, Warwick Court, Paternoster Row), with views over St Paul’s Cathedral, for a terrific steak.
Where to begin? London has some of the best nightlife in the world. From huge iconic nightclubs like Fabric and Ministry of Sound to small, intimate bars, there’s something for everybody’s speed. We’re going to recommend Scarfe’s (Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn) for a night of gin-soaked fun - seriously, you have to see the gorgeous interior - or The Connaught (Carlos Place) for glitzy glamour, seemingly straight out of the 1930s. Of course, one of the great joys of London is discovering your own hidden gems, so pick a neighbourhood and explore!
Where to stay
We think that the Portobello Hotel
in Notting Hill is one of the most romantic boutique hotels in London and the ideal base for exploring the capital, close to many great restaurants and shopping districts - Marylebone High Street is nearby with high-end boutiques and artisanal food-sellers. Cocktails at the nearby Chiltern Firehouse Hotel are also a fun way to spend an afternoon Expect discreet, personal service at the Portobello - they've been in the business since 1921. Over in Knightsbridge, just a hop and a skip from Harvey Nichols and Harrods, The Levin
is perfect for shoppers - you can have all of your shopping delivered back to the hotel! Otherwise, this is a wonderful boutique hotel with a terrific restaurant. Finally, the Royal Park Hotel
, near Marylebone High Street is a slice of bygone elegance suitable for all kinds of discerning guests. Again, impeccable service is the order of the day here, extending to helping you discover the best that London has to offer. How to get there
There are direct flights to London from almost every major city in Europe and the east coast of the United States. From Europe, London can be reached by Eurostar rail services.