Travel Guide: London
London is my second home. Not only did I grow up there until I was eight. I also went to school with Daniel Radcliffe before he became Harry Potter (no lie). My mom is an architect in London and my sister married a Brit, so London will always be a homebase. There are too many good restaurants and bars to recommend, but this list captures a nice handful of places that should not be missed! (Pardon the summary, which is more about me than London. But hey, that's human nature.)
Food & Drink
1 Blackloch Shoreditch & Soho • Champions of the chophouse and all its traditions. An unpretentious and familiar atmosphere with multiple locations. Soho is an atmospheric basement restaurant whereas Shoreditch is set in a renovated furniture factory with mid-century, industrial interiors.
2 Sushisamba Heron Tower & Covent Garden • Japanese-Brazilian-Peruvian sushi on the 38th-floor of the Heron Tower. Great ambience and views. One of my favourite restaurants in the world. Covent Garden also has great vibes.
3 Dishoom (all five locations: Shoreditch, Kings Cross, Carnaby/Soho, Covent Garden, Kensington) • Pays homage to the Irani cafés and the food of old Bombay. My favourite Indian restaurant in the world for ambience, food & drinks.
1 Scarfes Bar (live music) • Refined bar at the Rosewood Hotel offering whiskies, cocktails & food in a clubby digs. Creative cocktails are paired with live jazz every day of the week. A stone's throw from London's Covent Garden.
2 Oriole Bar • Subterranean cocktail bar with explorer-style decor and live music, for cocktails and rare spirits. Make a reservation to ensure easy entry. They also have a great looking food menu that pairs well with drinks.
3 Nomad bars: Library & Side Hustle • The Library is an intimate spaces reserved exclusively for hotel guests, offering light fare and drinks in a library setting. Side Hustle is a casual all-day restaurant and bar that gets lively at night!
1 Borough Market • One of the largest and oldest food markets in London, with a market on the site dating back to at least the 12th century. I always squeeze in a visit. The Black Pig makes the best sandwich in the world: HONEY TRUFFLE PARMESAN PORK SANDWHICH Slow roast free range pork shoulder, honey truffle mayo, fennel & apple slaw with 30-month aged parmesan on toasted ciabatta. SHUK, Tel Aviv Market Food, is also great. But so many of the stalls have incredible offerings!
2 Columbia Rd & Broadway Market • One of London's most well-known and nicest-looking markets, Columbia Road overflows with bucketfuls of beautiful flowers every Sunday. Broadway is close by an is considered 'A Working Victorian Street Market'. Both places are on great streets with quality shops and parks nearby.
3 Spitalfields Market & Maltby Street Market • Spitalfields is a lively market with independent vendors for clothing, jewelry, home items, art & gourmet products. Maltby is an outdoor weekend street market below 19th-century railway arches with 30-plus fresh produce stalls.
Other Food & Drink
More Food • Islington Smokehouse, Paella, Hawksmoor, Pig & Butcher, The Garrison, Soho Houses (there are eight locations in London), Atis (for salads)
More Drinks • Booking Office, Bar with Shapes for a name, Black Rock, Connaught Hotel bars: The Connaught Bar & Coburg Bar, Happiness Forgets, 3 Sheets, Savoy bars: American Bar & Beaufort Bar, Mr Foggs, Shochu Lounge, Bar Termini, 69 Colebrooke Row, Satan's Whiskers, Zetter Townhouse, Direspute, Lyaness, Tayer & Elementary, Coupette, Sun Tavern, Barts
Coffee Shops • Roasting Party on Pavilion Road in Chelsea, Allpress, Hagen, Jolene, E5, Pavilion Bakery
Activities & Attractions
1 Walk through Hyde Park • Hyde Park is 350 acres of lush green English foliage. It's a magical park to run, walk and hang out in.
2 Visit amazing neighbourhoods in London incl. Kingly Court, Spitalfields Market, Eclestone Yards, etc. • London has some hidden streets with enchanting shops and restaurants. You can get lost in the labyrinth of streets and what they have to offer.
3 Gyms: KXU, 1Rebel Victoria, Blok, DigMe Blackfriar, Altitude Club, Barry's • Some of the best gyms on the planet are in London. Our personal favourite is KXU on Pavillion Road.
OTHER ATTRACTIONS (SITES, PARKS, ETC.)
Sites • Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum
Parks • Hyde Park, Battersey, London Fields
Other Activities • Weekend trip to Cotswolds or Soho Farmhouse
Chelsea, Shoreditch, Soho, Covent Garden, Marylebone, Mayfair, Bermondsey, Pimlico Belgravia King's Cross Islington
HOTELS & AIRBNBS
H Claridge's, Mayfair • Best for Old-World Glamour. Considered one of the best hotels in the world with great restaurants and bars inside.
H Nomad London • Housed in Covent Garden within the historic former Bow Street Magistrates' Court, NoMad London offers gracious hospitality combined with elegance & comfort.
H Z HOTELS • 11 locations across London. Described as 'Prime locations without the price tag, and priceless experiences at your feet the moment you step out of the door.'
H CitizenM • citizenM hotels offer affordable luxury in some of the most exciting cities in the world: London, Paris, New York, Rotterdam, Copenhagen and many more. Four locations in central London.
H The Resident • With locations in Soho, Victoria, Kensington and Covent Garden. Was ranked #1 Hotel on TripAdvisor, so the value must be there.
H Ham Yard Hotel, Soho • Quirky with a 1950s bowling alley imported from Texas.