London is so enormous and packed with incredible places to shop, dine, and drink, it’s hard to narrow it down. We’ve done our best to highlight our favorite places to brunch, stay, dine, and drink, below. There’s so much to do, we have a separate guide just for East London, too. Enjoy!
Located in London’s SoHo, Dean Street has the ideal location, incredible service, and British charm. The boutique, 39-room hotel has incredible comfortable beds in bright, airy rooms. Every detail is taken care of—from gluten-free treats in the mini bar, to every toiletry you might need, to complimentary laundry and dry cleaning. The kind service, thoughtful details, and well-appointed rooms make Dean Street one of my favorite hotels to date. 69-71 Dean St, Soho, London W1D 3SE, UK
London’s newest five-star hotel is a collaboration between The Ned is a creative partnership between the SoHo House and The Sydell Group. The massive, architecturally stunning establishment is a former bank, and boasts well-appointed, spacious rooms, five restaurants, a gym, spa, stunning rooftop, members-only SoHo House, and more. 27 Poultry, London EC2R 8AJ, UK
This chain of coffee shops founded by a pair of East Londoners is a staple for locals—the multiple locations are packed morning, noon, and night. Grind roasts its own beans and its coffee is delicious. Moreover, the spaces are incredibly cool—and open all day and night serving delicious brunch, smoothies, sandwiches, and cocktails. The signature is, appropriately, the Espresso Martini. Multiple locations, information here.
Farm Girl Café
This charming, health-focused cafe is tucked away in Notting Hill, which is actually packed with healthy brekkie spots. You enter through a slightly dilapidated alley covered in greenery to a packed indoor-outdoor cafe. Farm Girl serves dozens of varieties of coffees and teas, with a focus on brightly colored lattes: a pink hibiscus matcha and a blue latte being the most memorable. The pastries are gluten- and dairy-free, as are the pancakes, plus plenty of egg dishes. Read our review here. 59A Portobello Road, London, UK.
Riding House Café
This warm yet chic cafe is a brunch staple in SoHo. I arrived late on a Saturday and I could barely snag a seat for one at the bar. The spot was packed with groups of friends, couples, and duos of all ages. My Eggs Benedict was absolutely beautiful and utterly perfect. The pancakes, which were topped in a berry compote, were divine. The cocktails can’t be beat—this would be a great spot for brunch, or dinner. 43-51 Great Titchfield St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 7PQ, UK.
London’s hottest new hotel, The Ned, is the place to see and be seen at brunch, with a whopping three different restaurants serving Sunday brunch in an open, Vegas-style floor plan. There’s a healthy, California-style spot, Malibu, where I enjoyed a Matcha latte, healthy smoothie, and lots of veggies. Plus, there’s an over-the-top brunch buffet with tableside mimosa carts, a white coat jazz band, and flapper dancers. The entire place was packed with beautiful people until late in the day. Read our review here. 27 Poultry, London EC2R 8AJ, UK
It’s hard to go wrong with shopping in London, where there’s a Zara or TopShop on seemingly every corner. We thought the shopping in Paris was good, but London is certainly on par. We’ll be heading back for the holidays—mostly for the shopping, brunching, and Indian fare.
Cambridge Satchel Co.
When in London, shop like the British and pick up some of the UK’s most popular independent brands, like Ted Baker, Reiss, Burberry, and others. A popular, affordable option for handbags is Cambridge Satchel Company, the original leather shoulder bag. The boutiques are packed with the latest seasonal collections, as well as the classics. Multiple locations, info here.
This quintessential British department store is not to be missed. If you’re not into the shopping, then visit for the Caviar Bar. 87-135 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge, London, UK
While there are more than enough high-end department stores in London (see: Harrod’s, Selfridge’s), Liberty has its own personality, with a stunning shoe department and in-store services like a brow bar and British gifts department. It’s the ideal place to spend the afternoon. Regent St, Carnaby, London, UK
If you’re looking for a neighborhood to stroll through independent boutiques and high-end shops, Notting Hill is it. I plan to move there, effective immediately. The streets are lined with British pubs, charming health-focused breakfast spots, boutiques and independent outposts of some of Britain’s best designers.
Offering high-quality, luxurious staples, Reiss is a great go-to for investment pieces that don’t absolutely annihilate your bank account. For example, while I’d like a $1,000 Burberry winter coat, a $400 tweed option from Reiss, while still an investment, is a high-quality stunner I’ll keep for years to come. There are several large outposts of the store across SoHo and downtown. Multiple locations, info here.
Selfridge’s is basically the Bloomingdale’s of London, filled with of-the-moment, high-end brands from Rag & Bone to Self Portrait to the Kooples. The five-floor mecca of beautiful fashions, organized by designer, will make any fashionista’s heart sing. The shoe department is a work of art in itself. And, if you need to get glam, there are beauty bars for brows, blowouts, and makeup applications. 400 Oxford Street, London, UK.
This adorable cookie shop in Notting Hill serves up decorative iced cookies that are great gifts. Inside and out, the shop is perfectly Instagrammable. And, I was not the only blogger snagging pictures after spotting the cute spot on Instagram. These delicious iced cookies are available in all sorts of themes, from Anglo-style British taxis and guards at Kensington Palace, to Notting Hill Street signs, to customizable options. 194 Kensington Park Road, London, W11 2ES
Everyone kept raving about Dishoom, an Indian restaurant with multiple locations across London—no less than three Bitches told me I had to visit. We met up with friends at the East London location and were not disappointed. The space has a chic ambiance, solid wine and beer list, and is absolutely packed with stylish Londoners. The modernized take on classic Indian fare was utterly unbelievable. We loved the garlic naan, Briyani, and curry shrimp. Well, we loved just about everything. Multiple locations.
There are dozens of dim sum spots in the few blocks that comprise London’s Chinatown, and many are quite similar. We heard the best spot was Dumplings Legend, and we were not disappointed. The cashew chicken, cucumber salad, and array of dumplings were sampled were all divine. It’s worth bumping to the top of your list. 15-16 Gerrard Street, Chinatown, London, W1D 6JE
Prix Fixe Brasserie
If you’re looking for an affordable, delicious meal, look no further than Prix Fixe Brasserie in SoHo; a steak and frites spot modeled after Le Enctrecote in Paris and similar to Medium Rare here in Washington. The quaint French spot offers authentic French service and the set menu of steak, frites, salad, and bread as well as other set menu offerings. The wine is cheap and the pours are generous. 39 Dean Street, SoHo, London
This bright, cozy, and eclectic restaurant in Notting Hill serves up British small plates like foie gras, scallops, and more. The service is friendly and the space is packed with stylish Londoners. It’s a great place to meet your girlfriends for dinner and drinks. 122 Palace Gardens Terrace, Kensington, London
The Experimental Cocktail Club
I loved this spot in Paris, so I was excited to visit the London outpost. This hidden bar in Chinatown was packed with beautiful people and playing an interesting assortment of American pop and rap music from the late 2000s. I ordered the Tudo Bem, an interesting cocktail crafted with Yaguara Cachaca, lime juice, sugar cane syrup, egg whites, and green tea. The frothy, light cocktail served in a coupe glass was a cool combination of frothy, lime, and green tea. 13a Girard Street, Chinatown, London
Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlor
This chic, hidden cocktail bar is among London’s best hidden gems. Nestled in the heart of Chinatown, the bar is on the third floor above the Jade Door restaurant. It’s dark, sexy and playful—everything you want in a cocktail joint. The bartenders are friendly and the cocktails memorable. I enjoyed a Champagne and brandy cocktail, which was topped with a naan crisp and butter and set alight. Then, the butter was poured into the cocktail. The dumplings—especially the mushroom and truffle ones—were great, too. The Jade Door, 15-16 Gerrard St, London W1D 6JE
See & Do
See a Show in West End
I had an evening to myself in London, so I popped over and snagged a ticket for 42 quid day of the show. 42nd Street was absolutely incredible—and currently not showing in New York. Head to Chinatown for dumplings after.
Fit in a workout at Barre Core
With multiple locations across downtown, Barre Corre is the go-to barre studio, and it’s easy to see why. The spaces are luxurious—with lockers, showers, blow dryers, and high quality amenities. The classes are challenging and engaging. Multiple locations, check website.