My husband and I lived in London for 6 months in 2017 and it was one of the best times of our lives. I’ve been thinking about a trip back ever since we returned! I have countless lists here and there of things we did and places we ate… now I finally have some of our favorite spots in one place. Here you will find some of my top London picks! Hopefully these inspire you to get out and explore the city on your own.
E A T & D R I N K
Daylesford Organic: a perfect stop for a casual breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. There are a few locations throughout London and the food is fresh and delicious. Take some bites and groceries to-go, or sit and eat in the restaurant.
Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason: a wonderful afternoon tea experience! With a rich history and a store you definitely will want to shop through, I’d recommend booking your afternoon tea at Fortnums. (Other spots for tea: The Ritz, Sketch, Claridges, The Wolseley, Dorchester, Lanesborough)
The Connaught Bar: a ritzy bar in the ultra-stylish Connaught Hotel in Mayfair. The drinks and décor won’t disappoint. Be sure to order a martini which will be made to your liking table-side on the martini trolley. One gin with ginger and grapefruit, please!
The Shed: one of the most delicious meals I’ve had in a long time. Beyond fresh and chuck full of seasonal flavor. This is a must try in Notting Hill.
Dishoom: this is also one of the most delicious meals I’ve had in a long time. A fun Bombay-style stop for Indian street food. Even if you don’t like Indian food, I’m still fairly certain you’ll love Dishoom both for it’s food and vintage décor.
Barrafina: a delicious diner style Spanish tapas bar. They don’t take reservations, but you can have a cocktail while you wait and the line moved fairly quickly.
Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London: a really, really beautiful hotel that you should consider staying at! But, even if you don’t stay over night, you will definitely need to stop into their Scarfes Bar. It’s gentleman’s club-esque, complete with a fireplace, cozy armchairs, live music, beautiful woodwork, and even better cocktails. We went there for a few drinks and snacks before dinner at…
The Barbary: a cozy spot in the popular Neil’s yard in Covent Garden for an absolutely delicious Berber-style meal. We waited almost 2 hours, and you will too unless you show up at 5. But, I promise it’s worth it, especially considering you can wait inside the lively little spot with a drink in hand.
Duke’s Bar: a famous, classic London bar – go for a martini!
Yauatcha Soho: absolutely delicious dim sum
The Churchill Arms: you’ve definitely seen this Notting Hill pub on instagram. Flower-decked and filled with Churchill memorabilia. Stop for a pint!
Granger & Co: The best fluffy ricotta hotcakes ever! An excellent spot for brunch, lunch or dinner. This is a classic in Notting Hill.
Chiltern Firehouse: Super hot spot for dinner and drinks. If you can’t get a resy, just try to sit in the bar.
Ottolenghi: I visited the one on Motcomb Street in Belgravia – a delicious deli that is perfect for a takeaway lunch.
Borough Market: one of the oldest and largest food markets in London – browse 100+ food stalls and grab a delicious lunch!
Grenadier: one of my favorite local pubs if you find yourself in Belgravia and in need of a pint.
Bernardi’s: we stumbled upon this Italian kitchen and are so glad we decided to stop in. We sat at the bar, sipped on cocktails and had a delicious meal. They have some outdoor seating for when the weather is nice.
The Ivy Chelsea Garden: you’ve likely seen the front door of this spot on Instagram. It’s facade is filled with flowers and the interiors do not disappoint. Food is tasty! I loved this spot for lunch in the spring.
S E E
Fortnum & Mason
The Wallace Collection
Churchill War Rooms
Kensington Palace // Hyde Park // Kensington Palace Gardens (the Princess Diana Memorial Garden is beautiful)
Buckingham Palace / St. James’ Park
Neighborhoods to wander: Kensington // South Kensington // Belgravia // Notting Hill // Marylebone // Chelsea // Mayfair // Soho // Primrose Hill
M E W S
aka the most charming streets in London! Originally these streets served as service lanes providing back entrances to the mansions and stables for horses– with carriage houses below and living quarters above. Today these cobblestone streets are lined with some of the cutest houses in London. Here are some of my favorites:
St Lukes Mews
Holland Park Mews
Sussex Mews West
Queens Gate Mews
S T A Y
splurge: The Lanesborough, The Cannaught, Rosewood London, The Berkeley
The Egerton House Hotel (boutique hotel and I really love the location)
Charlotte Street Hotel
S T O P S & S H O P S
Daunt Books: I visited their shop on Marylebone High Street and I felt like I was taken back in time a bit (this happened often… oh London, you’re so charming!) Pick up a few good reads for your vacation and flight home.
Soane Britain: I walked through this charming showroom off Sloane Square and couldn’t help but daydream up a deliciously English home for myself. Every piece is made in Britain and it’s beyond lovely. If you’re into interiors, this shop is for you.
Wild at Heart: Just down from Daylesford in Sloane Square, you’ll find this beautiful flower shop. A London favorite and a must visit! They also have locations in Notting Hill and outside Liberty London.
Peggy Porschen Cakes: An incredibly chic and delicious bakeshop located near Sloane Square. It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so this shop is decorated quite perfectly for the occasion. I’ll be taking the husband back to help me sample some more sweet treats.
Liberty London: Likely already on your list, this department store is a must visit for those interested in fashion. Among beautiful clothes and accessories, there’s a cute cafe and stationery shop inside, and a charming flower shop (another Wild at Heart location) out front.
La Stupenderia: Next door to a yummy cheese shop, you’ll find a beautiful children’s store. Stop in for a classic outfit for your little one.
Rachel Riley: Another favorite when it comes to children’s clothing. She makes the most darling dresses for little girls!
Pepa & Company: Aaaand… another favorite when it comes to children’s clothing! Stop in for traditional pieces worn by the Royal Family.
VV Rouleaux: I will always find the local fine ribbon store! I’m a sucker for ribbons and this store has quite the collection.
The Parent Trap House: Ok, agreed, this one is touristy of me. But I’m such a genuine fan that it really would have been a shame if I didn’t pay Annie’s home a visit. Plus, the neighborhood is beyond lovely. 23 Egerton Terrace.
Peacocks in Holland Park: I recommend taking a stroll through Holland Park. Although just off the busy Kensington High Street, the park is incredibly peaceful. Plus, you’ll likely run into some beautiful peacocks!
John Lobb Bootmaker: on St. James’s street, this family run shop has been hand making bespoke boots since 1866. In 1863, John Lobb apparently sent a pair of boots to the Prince of Wales who was so impressed by the quality of the workmanship that he appointed him his personal supplier. He then opened his London shop in 1866 and it’s still there today, supplying bespoke hand made shoes to people all over the world. They hold two Royal Warrants to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales. It’s a classic and a must-see!
James Smith & Sons: the most enchanting shop chuck full of classic umbrellas and walking sticks that has been in London since 1830. This is one of my favorite places I’ve gone while in London and you really must stop in. The umbrellas are made in their shop below the storefront, which is largely unaltered since they opened. I left with a black watch tartan that I’m excited to keep for years to come! (Side note: It rains, like, every day in London. But it doesn’t ever really rain to the point where you need an umbrella. That’s beside the point though, you should still go buy yourself a classic umbrella from this shop!)
Mount Street Printers: this one might just be for this paper romantic over here. But, if fine stationery is also your thing, it’s worth stopping into this classic printery. They also have a Royal Warrant and have been printing on beautiful Mount Street for over 35 years. They mostly do bespoke orders, but also have some cards and stationery on the shelves that you can take with you. If you stop in, tell them I sent you!
Harrods & Selfridges: likely already on your list… these are department stores you can’t miss!