Travel Diary: London

June 5, 2011

First stop, London. A city close to our hearts. Here, the Maurice & King edit for the best spots to hit while you're in the heart of the Motherland.

Best eats:
Ottolenghi in Islington for breakfast/brunch. For a Mediterranean feast that will warm the cockles of your heart try Aphrodite Taverna, in Bayswater. Moro, at Exmouth Markets, for a sublime Moorish dinner. Dishoom, in Covent Garden, for fabulous Indian - Tapas style! The Wolseley, Piccadilly, for High Tea. If you want something a little more cutting-edge (with cocktails after!), book dinner at Yauatcha, Soho, or for Michelin Star "wow" in humble settings try the seasonal degustation menu at Morgan M. in Islington. If you're looking for a great Gastropub - a London specialty - we love The Engineer in Primrose Hill.

London fashion faves:
Ledbury Road and surrounding Westbourne Grove are favourites with stand-out boutiques Emma Hope, Twenty8Twelve, Nicole Farhi and Anya Hindmarch. Diptyque, Aesop and Smythson also have beautiful boutiques here. And of course, when in London, Burberry, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. Neal's Yard Remedies for sublime organic skincare and homeopathy. For fabulous one-stop shopping hit Liberty - quite simply, they have the very best of everything. Liberty Flowers by Paula Pryke, the florist at Liberty's Great Marylebone Street entrance, is also worth a look.

Did someone say homewares?
SCP, on Westbourne Grove, and twentytwentyone, on Upper Street, both have a fabulous selection of contemporary furniture, lighting and accessories by some of the leading names in British Design. Labour And Wait, Heal's and ARIA for an eclectic range of home accessories. Treacle World, a kitschy bakery/homewares store on Columbia Rd, has everything from tea towels and oven mits to retro blenders, cake stands and ’50s dressers. The Cross, in Holland Park, is a new favourite of ours, offering a fabulous edit of fashion, homewares and accessories - a must-visit.

To market, to market!:
Be transported to gastronomic heaven at Borough Market. Columbia Road flower market for the London of yesteryear, and some hidden gems in the shops/cafes behind the market stalls. Spitalfields Market for great fashion and furniture finds from emerging designers.

Drink & be merry:
Hang with the cool kids in Shoreditch for the best nightlife the city has to offer. Favela Chic, on Old Street, for Mojitos and dancing till the wee hours. Kick Cafe, on Shoreditch High St, is a favourite also for afternoon drinks, foosball and shootin' the breeze.

Must-do tourist activity: 
There are so many outstanding galleries to choose from, but you can't go wrong at the National Portrait Gallery or a walk along the Millennium Bridge to the Tate Modern.

Nature stop:
Walk through Green Park, past Buckingham Palace and into St James's Park. Perfect.

Hidden gems:
Burlington Arcade, Mayfair, has everything from cashmere to bespoke leather to fine jewellers selling estate jewellery on behalf of dowager duchesses. Globe-Trotter, the chic luggage makers, are also here, making suitcases fit for Paddington Bear. Tom's Deli, on Westbourne Grove, is yet another gem from Tom Conran, with fabulous food and groceries in a suitably retro setting. Melrose & Morgan, in beautiful Primrose Hill, is a wonderful fine grocery shop and seasonal kitchen - a foodies delight! The Wallace Collection, hiding behind Baker Street, is an absolute treasure trove, including 25 galleries filled with 18th century French paintings, porcelain and furniture that belonged to Marie-Antoinette - a must-see.

Cosas Minimas


Briar {Sunday Collector} said...

Welcome back and fantastic guide! Am passing this on to my little sister - she's heading over next week. Briar

nina marsh said...

thanks for the guide, will have to take a look around at a couple of these sites. Im renting for a couple of weeks in London and need to find a couple of nice restaurants, the kitchen well lets just say it isn't the best :(

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