Oh London how I love you! Visiting London is becoming a yearly pilgrimage for me and every year I fall more and more in love with this charming city. This summer I spent ten days between London and the Cotswolds with my friend Meghan and, as always, we had the best time eating, drinking, and exploring all London has to offer. Save this travel guide with all my recent favorites for your next trip to London! Don’t miss What to Pack for London and my full London Food and Drink Guide.
LONDON TRAVEL GUIDE
WHERE TO EAT IN LONDON
This was my favorite meal in 2018 and continues to be the absolute best. With lots of locations around the city (and now you can even make reservations!), get ready to share lots of incredible Indian dishes and drinks. If you can’t get a reservation, I recommend trying to go early to score a table.
London’s premier outdoor food market with a history dating back to the 1700s, this is a great place to wander and try lots of different dishes. You can truly make a whole afternoon of it! One of my favorite stalls is Bread Ahead. The market is open 6 days a week but does get pretty crowded on the weekends. Some of the walking tours will take you through here!
A cozy spot in Neal’s Yard thanks to their open kitchen bar seating, this Middle Eastern and African fusion menu was a favorite of the trip. Lots of incredible dips, breads and small plates to share. Make sure to have a reservation!
After lots of martinis, a healthy breakfast is in order and there’s no better than spot than Granger & Co. Avocado toast, juice and their ricotta pancakes will bring you back to life! There’s a few locations around the city including Notting Hill, Marylebone, and Chelsea.
For a special night out, Gymkhana is the spot. This world class Indian restaurant in Mayfair is a celeb hot spot thanks to it’s gorgeous decor, delicious menu, extensive drink list, and Michelin star. One of my favorites of the trip.
Another favorite healthy spot, people watch on the streets of Notting Hill (one of my favorite London neighborhoods) while having green juice and then shop in their gorgeous market inside! Great for breakfast or lunch.
One of the Ottolenghi restaurants, we had a gorgeous lunch here in between shopping. Lots of fresh ingredients, unique flavor pairings and a really cool space.
A delicious and hearty spot to have breakfast and start your day in Notting Hill.
One of the hottest new restaurants in London, this Notting Hill bistro serves up a range of unique small plates, fun drinks and an extra cool design and scene.
Strong cocktails, delicious pasta and a great ambiance, Luca was one of my favorite dinners of our trip. Worth the visit to this more quiet neighborhood.
A cozy wine bar with amazing small plates, this Soho spot is sexy and fun and would be perfect for a date night or lighter dinner while bopping around the bars in the area.
With three restaurants across London (and their amazing bakery too!), St. John is a favorite for locals and visitors thanks to it’s ever changing menu that plays up seasonal ingredients and flavors.
We had our last meal here before heading to the airport because we had to finish with fish and chips and Pimms obviously! A cute pub in Kensington area with elevated pub food, great for classic British fare.
This Italian restaurant from the Big Mamma group feels like a sunny Sicilian trattoria in the heart of London’s lively Fitzrovia district. The decor and space is incredible with lots of delicious pizza, pasta and dessert options (make sure to get the lemon meringue pie!).
WHERE TO DRINK IN LONDON
I think my favorite spot of the trip had to be The Egerton House Hotel for tableside martinis! This cozy hotel is located on charming Egerton Terrace (right next to The Parent Trap house!) and they serve an ice cold, filled to the brim martini. Best of all, they also give you some delicious cheese toasties as a snack to their extra strong drinks!
The original tableside martini spot is Dukes and it lives up to the hype as well! Come early to this super chic spot in St. James and get prepared for a possible wait, which is so worth it for one of their incredible martinis. My new favorite is the vesper martini, trying to find the best one here in NYC!
I love a hotel bar and the back bar at The Connaught Hotel is oh so chic and serves a mean drink too. Another celeb favorite, we spotted LeBron James leaving as we arrived!
I just love this cute pub hidden away in Belgravia (and apparently a favorite of Prince William!), recommend coming here for an afternoon beer or pub snack.
One of the most photogenic pubs in London, a great spot for a beer or also their famous Thai food!
While in Mayfair, come to the Donovan Bar inside the Brown’s Hotel for a final final of the night. The space is super chic with green velvet and leather and the drinks are incredible (and Instagram worthy).
The chicest space, we dined at Isabel but would just come back for drinks next time at their super sexy and sleek bar.
WHERE TO HAVE COFFEE AND TEA IN LONDON
Nothing beats a Gail’s latte and pastry in the morning! With so many locations around the city, it’s my favorite coffee shop in London.
A fancy tea is a must when in London and we tried Jean-Georges at The Connaught Hotel and it exceeded our expectations. The space is sunlight filled and get ready for some of the best tea sandwiches, pastries and scones you’ll ever have!
One of London’s most famous hotels, this is a classic spot to have a fancy afternoon tea in their gorgeous main room.
Tucked away in a charming alley, this coffee shop is a perfect place to start your morning.
Located in charming Marlyebone, this Instagram famous coffee shop doesn’t disappoint in their coffee or photo opps.
For the best cinnamon roll in London, a stop at Chestnut Bakery is a must. All of their pastries looked heavenly but we couldn’t stop thinking about this one.
If you’re looking for a coffee (or cocktail) in the afternoon, highly recommend taking a break at Maison Assouline. Surrounded by their famous coffee table books, it’s such a cool space with lots of coffee and cocktails to reenergize with.
Another adorable coffee shop with lots of locations around the city, perfect for a pick me up on the go!
This Instagram famous pink bakery is a must while in Chelsea. Come here for over the top desserts and drinks for an afternoon sugar fix.
HJEM is a chic Danish coffee spot located in charming Kensington. Grab a coffee and pastry to go while wandering by all the dreamy homes and explore the various London mews.
If you don’t make it to Borough Market for Bread Ahead donuts, they now have their own standalone shops so you can grab a coffee and their famous donuts to go!
If you’re in Notting Hill, head to this cute cinnamon bun (and lots of other flavors!) shop, for pastries and coffee. They’ve recently expanded into other locations around the city including Covent Garden and Soho.
WHAT TO DO IN LONDON
I am so thrilled to have visited London during the Chelsea Flower Show and experience Chelsea In Bloom throughout the streets of Chelsea. The city goes all out with incredible flower installations. I highly recommend planning a trip around this annual event if you’re love flowers. This would be a great time to visit with your mom or a girlfriend!
My favorite place to get a look into the Royals lives and history. Be sure to see what exhibits are on and don’t miss the new Princess Diana statue in the gardens.
London has some of the best department stores and charming shops to wander through so make sure not to miss Harrod’s, Selfridges, Liberty London, Floris London (for signature British perfume) and Fortnum & Mason (for British treats)!
Wander around Notting Hill and do some antique and vintage shopping along Portobello Road! So many unique treasures to bring home!
London parks and green spaces are just spectacular and my favorite is stunning Hyde Park. A quiet escape in the hustle and bustle of the city, plus lots of off-leash and perfectly British dogs roaming the park with their owners.
The V&A is such a lovely spot to duck into on a rainy afternoon. Lots of unique exhibits (especially in fashion!) and a gorgeous space as well. It’s free to enter but some exhibits require you to purchase tickts.
I think the London Eye and is such a cool way to see the city, especially if it’s your first time! A quick 30 minute trip gets you views of all the incredible landmarks in London including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Tickets for the West End are much cheaper than here in the states, so see as many shows as you can! We saw SIX! which was such a fun show, especially while in London!
Take A Day Trip
London’s fantastic public transportation system makes it super easy to escape the city via train. Twice now I’ve taken day trips from London on the train – once to Oxford and more recently to the town Bath! Home to lots of filming locations for Bridgerton, it’s a charming town only a hour away on the train. Make sure to go to Landrace Bakery for the most incredible cinnamon roll!
WHERE TO STAY IN LONDON
The Kensington Hotel is a gorgeous five-star luxury hotel. It’s located in Kensington in West London, so it’s easy walking distance to a lot of great neighborhoods and attractions as well as Tube stations. The rooms are a great size and the service is impeccable. We also loved their hotel bar and have heard tea service is wonderful as well!
I also highly recommend The Hoxton for a visit! The rooms are on the smaller side but the service is wonderful, the hotel is cool and design-forward, and the location is perfect for exploring, whether walking or getting on the tube a few blocks away. Plus they have a great coffee bar and restaurant for nights you want to rest at the hotel!
WHAT IS LONDON KNOWN FOR?
Can you tell how much I love this city? London really is a dream destination with its vibrant dining scene, world class museums (don’t miss the Tate Modern, British Museum, The National Gallery, and the crown jewels at the Tower of London), expansive public transit system (don’t forget to pick up an Oyster Card or simply tap-to-pay with your credit card on the Tube and buses), and lush green spaces. There really is something for everyone here whether you’re a history buff, a fashion lover, a royal enthusiast, or a foodie. It’s also the perfect jumping-off point to explore other places in Europe, and a super easy direct flight from NYC and most major US cities.