One thing I often get asked by friends abroad, is for a list of recommendations of some of the fun, quirky and less touristy attractions in town. Here’s how to eat, drink and dance your way around the capital, according to a born and bred local.
Firstly, no millennial itinerary would be complete without a list of life-saving apps:
- City Mapper: shows you how to get anywhere from where you are, using public transport
- Uber: in case you’re too lazy to take that public transport
- Dojo App: you almost won’t need to read the rest of this post if you download this (almost). It uses your live location to show you all the best bars, restaurants, events and pop ups near you. I recommend this one to all my fellow Londoners!
- Open Table App: some great meal deals especially at lunch time, even features a few Michelin Stars.
- Tube Map App: so you can plan your journey in advance
- Uber Eats App: delivery from most restaurants, for the days you don’t feel like venturing out
- Timeout London App / Website: great recommendations and houses information on pretty much every single event going on that month.
Onto some of my favourite places for the whole sensory experience, in the way of lotions, potions and grub.
- Sketch: Quirky, 18th century townhouse tearoom by day but a crafty, mystical restaurant and bar by night.
- Coya: Hands-down some of the best Pisco Sours and Ceviche in London
- Playboy Club London: Afternoon tea complete with herbal cocktails and bunnies
- Yuatcha: A firm favourite for some of the most delicious Dim Sum
- Milk + Honey: Members bar opposite Yuatcha, open to the public before set times – check the website for details
- La Bodega Negra: Up-market Mexican food in a Sex Shop. Basically.
- The Rumps Room: Booze and Views
- Ladurée: You won’t find better macrons in London
- Lanes of London: Hearty British food in sofisticated surroundings
- Busaba: Easy Thai food, sharing tables, candles and incense – the mocktails are amazing
- Kulu Kulu: Forget Yo Sushi, this is the real deal when it comes to convenient Sushi Belts.
- Dalloway Terrace: Decorated seasonally with floral covered walls
- Elan Cafe: A beautiful array of cakes and teas within Insta-worthy walls
- Restaurant Ours: Have you even been to sloane square if you didn’t take a picture in this hall of mirrors
- Bibendum: Top notch seafood restaurant in a surprisingly good-looking old tyre factory…
- Caramel Bar: desserts and decadence
- Bluebird: Easily the best cocktails in West London, especially around easter
- Peggy Porschen: think pink – and copious amounts of cake
- Re:Mind Studio: Dip in for a drop-in meditation class in this oasis of calm
- Sky Gardens: One of the most stunning backdrops for lunch or dinner
- The Shard: Sign up to the sunrise yoga classes!
- Urban Buddha: One of my favourite shops for crystal treasures
- Sabai Leela: Best for steam facials and Aromatherapeutic massages
- Bob Bob Ricard: Must try the chocolate martini!
- The Happy Dumpling: Cheese burger dumplings and cocktails
- BocaChacha: Beautiful Bohemian cafe in the heart of little Venice
- Uncommon: A wellness-centred co-working space
- Eat By Chloe: trendy vegan fast food
- Petersham and Clifton Nurseries: Beautiful Botanical garden Cafes
- Sukho: Watermelon cocktails and thai sharing plates
- Dinner by Heston: One of my favourite nutty scientist chefs
- Chiltern Firehouse: The crab dount bar bites…
- Sexy Fish: Great for a set lunch
- Leto Cafe: The saffron iced coffee.
- Kanada-ya: A hot bowl of winter Ramen
- Liberty London: Gorgeous shopping selling everything under the sun
- The Shop at Bluebird: Another of my favourite concept stores
- Ace Hotel: Perfect for a cheeky laptop sesh
- Sanderson Bar: Love the outdoor gardens
- Signor Sassi: Lobster Spaghetti and dessert wines
One of my favourites:
La Poule au Pot: A rich, dark and seductive taste of France in London – and that’s not just the romantic, candle-lit decor throughout the winter nights 🔥. With its intimate nooks, festoons of dried flowers and authentic 60s bric-à-brac,
@lapouleaupotrestaurant offers an inviting recreation of ‘Paysan’ France.
Pick from classics like fresh garlic escargots 🐌, ratatouille and tarte tatin or my favourites – the duck liver brioche with dessert wine, a chicken casserole so tender the meat sloughs straight off the bone into a punchy red wine stew, and THE velvety crème brûlée (all very low calorie of course, as the waiter pointed out 🤣). Treat yourself to a nourishing evening of wholesome comfort food, or pop by for an alfresco lunch and try their signature chicken in a pot. I definitely came away feeling more 🐷 than 🐔. Still snorting with delight at the memory of it all but always room for more, as they say in France – quand le vin est tiré, il faut le boire.
A little more residential, think floral streets, cute cafes, yoga studios and pretty parks. Chelsea is great for a day out, the Saatchi gallery on kings road is always displaying something quirky and on weekend’s there is a market in the Duke of York square.
Knightsbridge and Sloane square are full of decadent interiors with middle eastern influence – you’ll find plenty of £60-a-pop shisha bars and the likes of L’eto and Elan Cafe.
Be taken in by the hustle and bustle of the tourist hub of London. Central is also home to institutions like the Ritz, Fortnum and Mason, BAFTA members club, the Royal Societies and other beautiful and sometimes exclusive names. China town is perfect if you’re craving asian food and Covent Garden is always great for bumping into street performers and late night events.
Very family-orientated but perfect if you’re hunting for expansive green spaces. Hampstead heath and lavendar fields make amazing picnic spots, along with Richmond Park or Hyde park in the West.
Most beautiful during the winter when it’s lined with fairy lights and fairgrounds, Christmas markets and the sweet scent of roasted chestnuts! The TATE Modern always has some weird and wonderful things, as does the National Youth Theatre.
Home to those that work out of tracksuits and trainers. Plenty of Tech co-working spaces, cafes and entrepreneurial events. Great for flea markets, bargains at Spitalfields, curry on curry mile in Brick Lane and having tea with the kitten at Lady Dina’s Cat Cafe…
Some of my favourite accounts for weekly London hedonism
Forget the queues and tourist traps, enjoy all there is to London like a laid back local! Personally, my favourite way to see any city.