To me, London is the perfect city. It’s got that wonderfully European joie de vivre, appreciation for work-life-balance, is extremely international, equidistant from New York and Dubai, and a heck of a lot of fun. With the Royal Family popping up on my Instagram feed nearly daily, it is also ever present in my mind. Having just spent the past two summers renting an apartment in Mayfair and Notting Hill respectively, I can say with absolute certainty that this city is a rare gem and unlike any other. I have come to love quite a few spots and wanted to share them all with you here to enjoy on your next visit.
What to Pack:
- London’s weather can be pretty unpredictable. I’ve been there for some of the hottest summer days on record but by the time August rolled around, I was in desperate need of fall sweaters and hunter wellies. Obviously what you pack varies season to season but no matter the time of year, layering is key.
Where to Stay:
- The Corinthia London: one of the nicest, most tranquil hotels in the city and situated conveniently below Trafalgar Square and just above the River Thames. It also has one of the most exquisite spas so do make sure to book a treatment and build in extra time for the vitality pool and sauna.
- The Franklin London: I adore this little luxury boutique hideaway, built in the heart of Knightsbridge. A stone’s throw from Harrods and the Victoria and Albert Museum, it is a perfect spot for afternoon tea to cool off on warm summer days. It also faces onto a garden so it provides a really calming retreat from the bustle of the surrounding neighborhood.
- Sonder.com: this past summer I decided to rent an apartment on my own in London to see for myself what life
What to See:
- Tate Modern
- National Portrait Gallery
- Buckingham Palace
- Boat Cruise along River Thames
- London Eye
- People watching in Trafalgar Square
- West End Theatre
- Big Ben
- Tower Bridge
- Hyde Park
- Notting Hill
What to Eat:
- Sketch – no matter how many tourists there are, this experience is a must. Make sure to book afternoon tea in the pink room so you get the full dining experience. Oh and also head to the bathroom for a glimpse at the future!
- Casa Cruz – in the heart of Notting Hill, this place is covered in mirrors and velvet walls. The menu is an interesting mix of Argentinian style dishes but the vibe is really the attraction.
- Coya – Peruvian style sharing dishes, really great drinks and in the heart of Mayfair, aka my favorite place.
- Kurobuta – super hip Japanese spot with inventive and relatively inexpensive sushi dishes.
- The Orange – gastropub in Belgravia, a 6-min walk from Sloane Square with yummy food and laid-back afterwork vibe.
Where to Shop:
- Matches Fashion
- Westbourne Grove
- Portobello Market
Where to Play:
- Chiltern Firehouse
- The Anglesea Arms
- The Footman
- The Box
What to See Outside the City:
- Soho Farmhouse – unless you are staying in one of the cabins as a guest, you will need a membership card to enjoy the facilities just for the day. I would say that it is completely worth an overnight stay on property to enjoy the full experience.