Getaway Edition: London

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The time has come to get your travel size shampoo and pack your suitcase for London. London, where the architecture is quaint, the pubs are packed, and the currency is more decorative than that crumpled up, scribbled on five dollars you got back at your bodega.

If you love traveling but aren’t interested in the biggest tourist attractions, we can help. If you want to live like a trendy native for a week it’s definitely worth skimming our London picks. 

To stay:

Much like New York, London’s different areas suit different personalities. Want to get your nails done while shopping for the new Chanel collection? Knightsbridge is where you belong. Going out in sneakers and ripped jeans is your go to? Find yourself in Shoreditch. All you want is Sandro and brunch? Head to Bayswater. 

 

We decided to set up camp in Little Venice for the week. The quiet area is centrally located with easy access to the tube and busses. This adorable area sits on the canal from which it gets its name from.

To do:

London has an amazing cultural side, take advantage of it. 

The English art scene easily compares to New York’s. Our week’s gallery picks were the Saatchi Gallery, Mona Hatoum at the Tate Modern, and the Victoria and Albert’s ‘Brief History of Underwear’. 

Don’t worry, while the West End is worth visiting, if you can’t get a ticket to a musical or play for the outrageous prices they sometimes ask for, there are alternatives. Theatre’s are scattered all over the culturally rich city. We decided to visit The Playhouse to watch a modern take on Orwell’s 1984. 101 tickets are sold for £19.84 (hehe). 

Ready to put on your dancing shoes? Our first time visit to London’s Salsa! did not disappoint. Dancing to reggaeton and Drakes “One Dance” until 4 am definitely became a night to remember. If you’re a 1OAK or Gilded Lily kind of gal maybe check out London’s Maddox or the ever so exclusive Cuckoo Club. If you much rather go somewhere effortless keep Fabric and EGG in mind. 

The Four Thieves will always remain in our hearts. Sure, its Clapham Junction location puts it a little out of the way but the atmosphere is surreal. With a garden and five separate rooms, not only do they offer the dankest burger we’ve ever had but cheap wine and a huge arcade on the top floor. Car race against your friends or play ping pong with some handsome English men. 

London is just a generally great area to walk around. Spitafield market is worth hitting up. We guarantee you’ll never see culture so concentrated in one area. 

To eat:

Whoever said food in London is bad, clearly didn’t go on vacation with us. Sure, 90% of baked beans in the world are consumed in the UK but don’t let that fool you. London, aka one of the biggest cultural hubs, offers a ridiculously diverse selection of cuisines. 

If you happen to be strolling down Portobello market, you must go to BOOM BURGER. The Jamaican burger place uses sweet potato salsa and an abundance of avocados next to their delicious plantain fries. Or go to Zagat’s favorite Mexican restaurant in Soho, Chilango!

If you’re looking for something casual, Hereford road is always a safe bet. Including our favorite Indian restaurant, Durbar, it offers other cuisines as well like Persian, Japanese,  or English. 

Obviously we all love brunch and Bayswater is our favorite place to go. Daylesford and 202 both kill the brunch game. Soho’s Breakfast Club is worth visiting. People aren’t waiting in line for mediocre food, we can tell you that. 

Or maybe it’s time for you to pop on your Louboutins and enjoy a meal like the royal family. There’s plenty of options for that too. Novikov definitely makes it into the “Royal” category seeing as only Aston Martins are parked outside of it. It offers Asian and Italian dishes in a modern setting. 

If at any point you start missing Manhattan’s skyscrapers, Sushi Samba is your solution. Sitting thirty eight floors up it overlooks the city while your waiters serve you Peruvian-Brazilian-Japanese fusion. In the same building, just two floors higher, you’ll find the famous 24/7 Duck and Waffle. Making reservations is always a good idea. 

Snack time is all the time. London knows good pastries. Walking around Aldgate we stumbled upon Trade. Our fave was their lemon courgette cake with their perfectly brewed espresso. 

 To drink:

Even if you’re not the biggest fan of the London pub scene, it’s worth checking out. If you don’t like beer have a house cider! 

Last week we visited The Botanist on Sloane Square and had trouble not ordering everything! Their unique concoctions will stop you in your tracks. Gin and earl gray or sake and Prosecco, they will pleasantly surprise you. 

If you haven’t yet seen the selfies in Sketch where the bathrooms are individual eggs in colorful lighting you better check it out. Cocktail? Afternoon tea? Get it at sketch and snap a selfie while you’re at it! 

Travel:

While public transport might not be your ideal, we guarantee it’s by far the easiest way to get around in the huge city that is London. 

Just because you’ve heard so much about the wonders of London, don’t knock the cities around it. With inexpensive train tickets, it’s easier than ever to travel the UK. Visit the university town of Oxford or drink wine on the beach in Brighton, which also happens to be Europe’s gay capital. 

Shopping:

If we can give you one advice it would be to avoid Oxford street. Sure, all of your favorite stores are neatly lined up but the mass crowd can be real difficult. Knightsbridge’s Harrods does have a lot to offer but now is more of a tourist attraction than ever. Selfridges is where the Londoners go. The department store pretty much offers every designer you can think of along with a Nespresso bar and Pierre Hermé macaroons. 

If you’re in the market for some antique shopping, stroll down Brick Lane or Portobello Market. Side note: Portobello has the most fabulous collection of vintage furs. 

Best of British! 

Yours in Style,

Lauren Cecchi New York Team 

post in : Bori

 

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