Welcome to our travel guide taking you across one of the most diverse cities in the world – London. There’s so much to explore here and each borough has a distinct character of its own. Starting in the West and ending in the East, this travel guide features the must-see museums, hidden foodie gems and up-and-coming hotspots loved by those in the know. When you arrive take a cab to Notting Hill, the first district featured in this itinerary.
Check into The Laslett, a delightful hotel situated only a short walk away from the local boutiques and coffee shops in Notting Hill Gate. Set across five Victorian townhouses, the hotel is sleek and stylish but unassuming. Named after the founder of the Notting Hill Carnival, Rhaune Laslett, the hotel takes its inspiration from the neighbourhood’s vibrant and colourful history.
Each room is individually designed with quirky touches such as selections of Penguin Classics, butterflies in bell jars and antique curiosities. Begin your night with a few drinks at the dark and alluring bar in Blakes Hotel before moving on to The Ivy Chelsea Garden on the King’s Road. A modern British restaurant housed in a leafy orangery, The Ivy is known for its comforting gastro-pub classics – we recommend the shepherd’s pie.
Bluebird: A chic and casual institution on the King’s Road loved by the A-List.
La Famiglia : A family run Tuscan restaurant in a simple and stylish setting.
Daphne's: A sophisticated Italian hotspot known for its whimsical interiors and outstanding cuisine.
Granger & Co. Chelsea: A trendy Australian eatery with a laidback atmosphere.
Wake up with a morning coffee in the library before making your way to the top of Portobello Road. Have breakfast at Bluebells then stroll down the famous street, past the iconic pastel-coloured houses, market stalls and antique shops. At the bottom of Portobello Road, you’ll come to Westbourne Grove, a high-end retail strip where you can pop in and out of boutiques such as Gwyneth Paltrow’s concept store, Goop, retail and dining space, 202, and artisanal home accessories store, Summerhill & Bishop.
Your afternoon of art and culture begins at the Design Museum. Situated in a restored Grade II listed building overlooking Holland Park, the museum is devoted to British and international contemporary design. From the Design Museum, walk up High Street Kensington, through Kensington Gardens and towards the Serpentine Galleries. Championing contemporary art since opening in 1970, the galleries host exhibitions by established and upcoming artists. Afterwards, be sure to pop into Chucs Café in the extension of the gallery designed by Zaha Hadid. After freshening up back at The Laslett, enjoy a pint at the locally-loved pub and saloon bar, The Cow, before dinner at Italian Osteria, Mediterraneo.
For your last morning in the West, either have breakfast in the hotel or set off early to Chiltern Fire House in Marylebone for brunch. As the name suggests, the hotel is housed in a restored firehouse and boasts a fabulous restaurant headed up by Michelin-starred chef, Nuno Mendes. The menu features traditional plates with a twist of decadence such as the lobster and crab omelette. In the summer, we can book you a seat in the outdoor courtyard where you can enjoy brunch while basking in the glorious English sunshine.
Marylebone is widely known as one of London’s most fashionable districts and the high street is an ideal area to explore luxury boutiques and people-watch some of London’s most well-heeled locals. Notable stores in the area include Daunt Books, a three-storey Edwardian bookshop, and Content Beauty, a highly-curated organic cosmetics store. If you are travelling with kids, we can arrange for tickets to the world-famous wax museum, Madame Tussauds or the Sherlock Holmes Museum , both only a short walk away. Walk to Fitzrovia and enjoy lunch in a bright and buzzy atmosphere at The Riding House Café. If you’re still full-up from brunch, skip the sit-down lunch and grab a quick snack or coffee at Australian-inspired café, Kaffeine .
It’s time to check into the Ham Yard hotel . Nestled in the heart of London’s entertainment district, the hotel is tucked away in a peaceful courtyard sheltering its guests from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding area. All interiors are designed by Kit Kemp and reflect the bold and playful nature of the Soho district. In the basement you’ll find a spectacular original 1950s bowling alley which we can book for you should you fancy a game or two!
Enjoy a pre-dinner drink on the Ham Yard’s rooftop as you watch the sun set behind the streets of Soho. Our experts know all the best dining spots so no matter what cuisine you prefer, we will secure you bookings for each night to ensure that you don’t miss out. For an extraordinary dining experience, we highly recommend escaping into a world of fantasy and fancy at Michelin-starred restaurant, Sketch . Alternatively, Temper specialises in whole-animal barbecue and is a real haven for meat lovers. If you’d like to take the night further, we can also arrange tickets to a live jazz and blues performance at the renowned Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club .
Barrafina: A cosy and ambient tapas-style restaurant with an impressive drinks selection.
Chotto Matte: A popular Japanese and Peruvian fusion restaurant serving Nikkei cuisine and creative cocktails.
Blacklock: A moody and atmospheric restaurant with a meat-focused menu.
Kiln: A buzzing open-kitchen restaurant serving Thai-inspired noodle and rice dishes.
For a delicious (and nutritious) breakfast, walk to Seven Dials where you’ll find 26 Grains, a café specialising in porridge. It may sound boring but trust us on this one – this isn’t your ordinary porridge. Explore the intricate network of the seven streets in the area then walk down Long Acre, through Leicester Square and around Shaftesbury Avenue. This is the Theatre District so if you’d like to take in a show during your stay in Soho, we can arrange tickets for you before your visit. Find respite from the crowds and enjoy some quiet time exploring the exhibitions on show at Somerset House or the National Portrait Gallery .
Hop on one of the iconic London buses to Green Park. The famous Ritz hotel is located on the outskirts of the park and if the mood strikes, why not pop in for a spot of their world-famous afternoon tea? For something a bit more offbeat, walk towards Mayfair and up Dover Street where you will find the quirky and upscale concept store, Dover Street Market. At the top of the building is Rose Bakery, a simple and homey café where you can enjoy some pre or post shopping sweet treats. For an afternoon cocktail, delve into the world of Jules Verne’s novel, Around the World in Eighty Days, and have a gin and tonic at Mr.Fogg’s Residence.
Dinner is served at Flesh & Buns, an edgy Japanese-inspired restaurant specialising in steamed buns with succulent meat fillings. The Korean chicken wings here are also heavenly but for those travelling with children, be warned – the bathrooms are plastered with adult-only Manga wallpaper. If you’d prefer something more refined and are a fan of Indian food, we can arrange a booking at Gymkhana, a family-run restaurant often listed on the World’s Top 50 Best Restaurants list.
Frescobaldi: A romantic Tuscan fine-dining restaurant and wine bar.
Aquavit London: A Nordic contemporary restaurant serving Scandinavian fare in a stylish setting.
Da Corradi: An authentic and welcoming Italian restaurant loved for its generous plates of pasta and homemade tiramisu.
Either have a leisurely breakfast at the Ham Yard, or if you’re eager to get out and start your day, we can book you a table at Dean Street Townhouse, a popular breakfast spot for creatives working in the area. After breakfast, walk towards the Embankment and along the river Thames. It’s a 45 minute walk from the hotel to Tate Britain, but you’ll be making stops at some of London’s most iconic landmarks including Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster. For those with a keen interest in 20th century history, we can arrange tickets for the Churchill War Rooms (the secret underground headquarters from which Churchill orchestrated military plans during World War II).
Tate Britain is the oldest of the Tate galleries across the United Kingdom and is firmly established as one of the country’s best for historical and contemporary British art. The Grade II listed building is bright and airy, and an afternoon can be spent here enjoying the historically significant works on display. Afterwards, cross the Millennium Bridge and enter Tate Britain’s counterpart, the Tate Modern. Contrasting Tate Britain’s classical architecture and more traditional artworks, the Tate Modern is housed in a restored power station and showcases avant-garde modern art. For a light lunch, make your way back towards the West End where you will find The Palomar , a buzzing restaurant in Chinatown serving modern Middle-Eastern fare. For dinner, opt for an elegant bistro such as The Delaunay or enjoy al-fresco dining on the terrace of J Sheekey, one of the top seafood restaurants in London.
Sticks ’n' Sushi: A modern Japanese restaurant with a focus on sushi and yakitori dishes.
Henrietta Bistro: A playful bistro located on the ground floor of the quirky Henrietta Hotel.
Asia de Cuba: A chic restaurant boasting colourful interiors and a unique menu that blends Asian and Latin flavours.
After years of gentrification, Shoreditch has evolved into a district characterised by its quirkiness, artiness and all-round edginess. Your hotel in the East, The Curtain , certainly captures this character. Located on Curtain Road, the hotel’s aesthetic is slick, refined and chic with a touch of grunge. Expect brass finishes, crittall windows, exposed brick and eclectic artwork. Staff here are friendly and on hand to ensure that your stay is as enjoyable as possible.
The streets of Shoreditch are filled with artists, freelancers and trendsetters frequenting the plethora of vintage shops, gastro-pubs, pop-up stores, artisanal cafés and co-working spots. Make your way from Curtain Road towards Shoreditch High Street. Check out Box Park, a two-storey pop-up mall fashioned from shipping containers, before going to Redchurch Street where you’ll find fashion-forward boutiques like Modern Society. For an afternoon drink, head up to Boundary Project Rooftop where you can enjoy a coffee or cocktail taking in the views from this vantage point.
Located on Redchurch Street, Burro e Salvia is a trattoria inspired by tradition and nostalgia – their plates of fresh pastas and homemade sauces are mouthwateringly delicious. If you're not in the mood for a sit-down meal, walk to Spitalfields Market. The semi-indoor market houses an array of stalls selling quirky and handmade pieces from personalised jewellery to vintage posters. You will also find a vast selection of fantastic street food stands including Chinese dumplings, juicy burgers and Indian naan wraps.
As zestful as Shoreditch is during the day, this part of London really comes to life in the evenings. A basement bar in Hoxton Square, Happiness Forgets is a popular spot to enjoy cocktails in a cosy and candle-lit space. If you’d prefer to stay above ground, Shoreditch Grind on Old Street Roundabout has a great evening ambience as the freelance favourite transforms into a bar at around 6pm. If you consider yourself something of a cocktail connoisseur, speakeasy-style cocktail club, The Nightjar is a must-visit. For dinner, hop in a cab and head to Luca, a stylish 1950s-inspired restaurant that serves an Italian menu championing British seasonal ingredients.
Brat: A Michelin-starred rustic restaurant focused on barbecue dishes with a Basque influence.
Smoking Goat: A lively eatery serving flavourful dishes inspired by Bangkok street food.
Princess of Shoreditch: A popular and vibrant gastro-pub specialising in modern British cuisine.
Kick off the last day of your London adventure with a trip to one of the city's famous markets. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in East London on a Saturday, take the short bus ride or 30 minute walk from the hotel to Broadway Market . While most of the permanent shops are open seven days a week, the market itself is only open on Saturdays. On Sundays, the Columbia Flower Market is a blooming wonderful way to start your morning. For an option that’s open Monday to Saturday, look no further than Borough Market . One of the oldest and largest in London, this busy indoor market is located by London Bridge and has an endless variety of stalls specialising in artisanal produce.
Either jump on the overground tube from Shoreditch High Street, or if you’re already in the Broadway or Columbia Road area, walk to Dalston, one of the increasingly popular areas in the Hackney borough. Spend some time people-watching in London Fields then stop for an afternoon pick-me-up at Violet Bakery on Wilton Way or All Press Roasters on Dalston Lane.
Grab dinner at one of the up-and-coming restaurants putting the North-East area on the food-lover’s map. Primeur in Stoke Newington is located in a restored garage space and serves a locavore sharing menu in a convivial candle-lit ambience. For a very special treat to close your London holiday, we can make a reservation at Pidgin, a Michelin-starred restaurant located on Wilton Way. The small and intimate restaurant serves an innovative four-course menu (with vegetarian options) that changes on a weekly basis.
It’s impossible to experience everything that London has to offer in one year, let alone just one week, so as your journey comes to an end and you make your way back home, start pencilling in a date for when you will next return . . .