Love it or hate it, the UK’s controversial Brexit furore means that one of the world’s most expensive cities has become a lot cheaper – for overseas tourists, there has never been a better time to visit. With many pockets of true originality, hip stylishness and a dash of English eccentricity there are many unique and exciting places to discover in the majestic UK capital. Here’s a collection of our favourite stylishly hip places which would make the perfect London weekend away for travel snobs everywhere…
Breakfast at the Chiltern Firehouse, Marylebone
Start your day in the trendy affluent area of Marylebone with a breakfast at the fabulous Chiltern Firehouse – a Neo-Gothic ex-firehouse turned designer hotel and A-lister celebrity haunt. Grab a table in their in their award-winning restaurant and choose from a varied menu of dishes including organic eggs benedict and delicious Spinach crepes – just make sure you get yourself on the guestlist first!
Go shopping in Kensington High Street
Next take the tube to window shop in Kensington High Street, one of the most stylish shopping areas in London. With branches of all the usual chain stores, a handful of boutiques and some fabulous department stores, it makes a much more pleasant and less crowded alternative to London’s West End.
Lunch at Babylon at Kensington Roof Gardens
You’ll probably be feeling hungry now so head down to the Babylon, a modern British restaurant located on the 7th-floor restaurant and set beside 3 rooftop gardens complete with flamingos! Enjoy fabulous views of the city skyline while tucking into sweet potato discs and their date pudding covered with lashings of Guinness caramel.
Browse for bargains at Portobello Road Market
Next take the tube to Notting Hill to explore the world-famous Portobello Road Market. Attracting hipsters by the bucket load, the market stretches for miles and offers everything from food to posters, vintage clothes, antiques and music. The main market days are Friday and Saturday with a smaller market running Monday to Thursday.
Dine on Dim Sum at Seventeen, Notting Hill Gate
For your evening meal head to the sleek, dark and sexy surroundings of Seventeen in Notting Hill which serves up delicious a fusion of Chinese, Japanese and Korean cuisine. Expect carved wooden screens, blue lighting and black lacquer furniture at this highly regarded restaurant and that’s not forgetting the fine array of food on offer. Make sure you try at least one dish of their delicious Dim sum which is handily served up all day.
Taste a biodynamic wine or two at Negozio Classica, Notting Hill
End the evening with an organic or biodynamic wine served up by the glassful at the warm and elegant Negozio Classica, a fine Italian establishment part-owned by the Tuscan winery Avignonesi. With an excellent reputation to uphold, they meticulously source all their ingredients ensuring all their customers have an original and artisanal drinking experience.
Brunch at The Blue Legume, Angel, Islington
Start the day at the trendy North London Borough, Angel Islington. The Blue Legume is a light and airy room with an atrium skylight, exposed brickwork and a gorgeous vintage decor making it a perfect spot for brunch. Expect tantalising sweet offerings such as french toast, Spanish doughnuts or a more savoury vegetarian/vegan English breakfast.
Browse the boutique stores of Upper Street, Angel
While away some time perusing the shops of Upper Street, Angel. One of the most highly regarded places to shop in the city, Upper Street has eschewed chain stores in favour of a fabulous collection of boutique and independent stores. Islington’s shops boast vintage finds, design icons and quirky one-offs aplenty. For antiques and second-hand treasures, head to tucked-away Camden Passage.
Go for lunch at Tapas Brindisa, Borough Market
Next hop on the tube to another trendy area in London, the Artisan food market Borough Market. You’ll probably be feeling hungry so head to Tapas Brindsa a Spanish Tapas restaurant with an excellent reputation. Brindisa is one of the UK’s best-known importers of Spanish produce, so it’s no surprise that the establishments prides itself on its breads, cheeses and charcuterie. Choose from freshly cooked seasonal dishes such as tortilla, freshly made croquetas and Padrón peppers.
Shop for artisan food, Borough Market
You can’t visit to the market without having a look around as Borough Market is one of the largest and oldest food markets in the city and has now become a London institution. Expect gourmet goodies from fresh bread and cakes to all manner of preserves, oils and teas. Make sure you take advantage of the takeaways or the plentiful supply of free samples on offer.
Go for early evening drinks with a view at the Aqua bar, The Shard
This cosmopolitan bar and restaurant is located on level 31 of The Shard, the three-storey high atrium bar is particularly spectacular and makes a fabulous stop for early evening drinks. Take in the breathtaking views while supping on cocktails endearingly named “The Camomile Lawn” and “Old Times Revival” – just make sure you dress smartly!
Dine at Brigade Bar and Bistro, Tooley Street
Next head down to Tooley Street to this hip and stylish bistro with a heart. Located in a former fire station, the decor is trendy but relaxed with exposed brickwork and an open kitchen, but it’s also a social enterprise. The restaurant help homeless individuals develop skills and motivation to find employment and a visit here means you’re helping their apprentice chefs. The Modern European food is also delicious and they serve only seasonal, sustainably sourced dishes – a perfect way to round off your two-day hip London break!
Where to Stay in London
Enjoy your London travel snob weekend!