I am going to do this post in English as I believe there are quite a few of you who might find this guide useful, independent of where in the world you are from. As you might imagine, having lived in London for over 8 years, I get a lot of people asking me about tips of where to stay, what to do, where to eat, drink and party etc in London – not the touristy stuff. And I thought, why not make a mini-weekend guide to my London, hence, the places I love and adore in London and which I think makes it one of the best places in the world! So lets imagine, you have booked a trip to London. Your flight arrives rather late in the evening and you get into London central at around 11pm on a Friday night.
Where to stay?
I would suggest you check into one of the cool hotels around Mayfair and Soho, preferably the Soho Hotel or The Sandersons. Sandersons is a personal favourite due to the cool interior as well as the stunning restaurant and bar.
Where to eat a late night snack?
Once checked in you might be hungry from the traveling, but depending on the time, may be limited in your choices of where to eat. The great thing about London is that it never sleeps (New York, släng dig i väggen!) and so there are several restaurants that are open 24/7. I would suggest Balans Soho – a cute restaurant in the heart of Soho that offers a range of various dishes. The black bean tostada is amazing!
Where to eat breakfast?
After a night of sound sleep and with a busy day ahead, Granger & Co. will offer the perfect start to your day in the form of some lovely breakfast. Food is just as beautiful as the restaurant is, which is very family friendly.
Where to see art?
What is a trip to London without getting cultured? After breakfast, a trip to one of London’s many art galleries is a must! My personal favourite is Saatchi, which is also completely free of charge! Located on King’s Road, it is in the heart of Chelsea, and near to the busy city centre.
Where to eat lunch?
After a few hours of art, the tummy needs refilling. The best lunch spot (yes I dare say!) is Scott’s. The restaurant known for its seafood is located in Mayfair and has everything needed for that perfect lunch – the interior, the light mains and of course, the vino and bubbly!
Where to go shopping?
After lunch one obviously need to do some shopping! I mean, what is a trip to London without having to buy extra luggage on the way home just to fit all the new clothes?! Contrary to popular belief, Oxford Street is a fucking (excuse my French) madhouse. I try to never go there myself because it is just not a nice experience. When I go shopping I want to take my time and be able to stroll around and even do some simple window shopping – that is just not possible on Oxford Street. If anything, you are better off staying on Regent Street, Bond Street, or for the ultimate cute Saturday shopping day, King’s Road does the trick!
Where to have that famous afternoon tea?
If you’re as ambitious as me, you can fit a lot into one Saturday! Afternoon Tea, a British tradition, is quite a touristy thing, but it is still just as lovely! If you prefer the more traditional take on the custom, Brown’s Hotel is the place for you. However, if you are slightly more liberal and like things which are new and modern, Sketch does the perfect afternoon tea. And I mean…how cute is their pink room?
Where to relax and regain energy?
After you have stuffed your face for the third time today, you might just want to relax a little bit. The Bulgari Hotel has an amazing spa which allows for just that. While there are many spa’s in London, I think you will soon realise this is one of the better ones. Who doesn’t like a designer spa?!
Where to eat dinner?
Rejuvenated, it’s time to go for dinner. Anyone who has known me for less than 5 min know that my absolute favourite dinner spot in London is a little gem in Soho, disguised as a sex shop, called La Bodega Negra. A sex shop is great in itself, but when you realise it is not a sex shop, but in fact a Mexican restaurant serving some of London’s best tostadas and margaritas, you are over the moon! Later in the evening it turns into a bit of a party place, with loud music and people dancing.
Where to go for drinks?
While you would have probably had an amazing night at La Bodega Negra, we are trying to see as much of London as possible in a very short period of time. For drinks, we are therefore heading to The Connaught Hotel. It is a very luxurious experience, with amazing cocktails! However, it will cost you an arm and a leg, but if you’re fine with that then it is a must!
Where to go clubbing?
I hope you didn’t think the night was over yet? It’s a Saturday in London, the night doesn’t start until 12.30! And of course, we are going to my favourite club, Maddox! I always have a great night there – hence my constant return! If you are looking for a bit more of an experience, then The Box also does the trick – although not for the lighthearted!
Where to eat a recovery breakfast?
After last night’s madness, with alcohol flowing like never before, a healthier breakfast is on the menu to allow our bodies to recover. Farmacy in Notting Hill is a veggie and vegan place (I am a meat eater but I looooooved this spot) which does all things healthy. They even do healthy shots – no not with alcohol – which are designed to re-balance your body.
If you still want to see a touristy place?
While the aim of this post is to make you venture out from the normal touristy places, I understand that you might want to do some. Portobello Road in Notting Hill is a stunning spot which makes for a greak backdrop to pictures. For the person who loves the great outdoors and animals, Richmond Park provides both! A massive park with deer in it (no I am not biased just because I lived there, it is actually one of the most beautiful places in London).
Where to eat the perfect Sunday Roast?
As a final thing before heading home, if you are in London on a Sunday you simply HAVE to try a Sunday Roast. The British are very proud of it, and while I did not see the appeal at first, I have come to love it like it was my own (tradition). The Holborn Dining Room in The Rosewood hotel does a lovely roast in a beautiful setting.