Founded by literary agents, Lutyens & Rubinstein features a special collection of books, put together after taking recommendations from hundreds of readers – friends, publishing contacts, or writers. When you pick something, remember that the title is there because someone loved that book. The bookshop features a wide range of poetry and art books, as well as a great selection of children’s books.
A destination in of itself, Libreria was designed by Spanish architects SelgasCano to recreate Jorge Luis Borges’s Library of Babel. The bookshop boasts a mirrored ceiling which creates a stunning – and dizzying – optical illusion, reflecting the wall to wall shelves stacked with amazing books. But visitors can’t Instagram their visit since phones are banned inside. Instead, they just have to live in the moment.
Located on Queen’s Walk, under Waterloo Bridge, Southbank Book Market is a great place to spend an hour and take a break from exploring London. Here you’ll find rows and rows of second hand and antique books, as well as prints, maps, or the occasional comic.
A must-visit place for bibliophiles and history lovers. Hatchards is London’s oldest bookshop – it opened in 1797 and has remained in the same location ever since. When you step inside, know that you’ll be in the same space previously frequented by the likes of Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen, or Lord Byron.
Persephone Books takes its name after the queen of the Underworld in Greek mythology. A clever decision, since this bookshop offers out-of-print titles penned by 20th century women writers who have been forgotten, overlooked, or left underground. The bookshop offers a wide selection of unique titles, from novels and short story collections to journals.
This small independent bookshop has a fantastic selection of photography, fashion, and art books. It’s no wonder it achieved a cult status. While browsing the well curated list you may rub elbows with local artists, designers, and even a famous creative or two.
Koenig Books is the perfect place to go to if you want to find art, architecture, photography, or fashion books. The titles have their covers, not their spines, beautifully displayed on the shelves, which is a nice touch. Before you leave, don’t forget to go to the basement level to check out the selection of discounted books.
Legendary bookstore Foyles has four shops in London, but the Charing Cross Road branch is the original. Safe to say, you’ve never seen a bookshop quite like this one: four floors of books, over 200,000 titles, and over four miles of shelves. The building’s third floor is dedicated solely to music, with literary and music events also held frequently on the premises.
As its name suggests, this bookshop was opened by the London Review of Books magazine. Inside, you’ll discover a huge collection of up to 20,000 titles. You’ll probably never have the time to browse through all of them, but you’ll surely find some amazing books here.
Located in a charming Edwardian building, Daunt Books recreates the spirit of old antique bookshops. The large space features an arched window with a stained glass section, dark oak balconies as well as a tall ceiling. You can browse through country-specific sections which cover everything from fiction and nonfiction to travel and maps.
Beloved chef Angela Hartnett grew up with food made by her Italian grandmother and mother. Passionate about honest cooking and quality ingredients, Hartnett creates sophisticated but simple dishes that provide a modern take on classic Italian food. At the Michelin-starred Murano you can expect to find some incredible dishes and plates that look like works of (edible) art.
This modern and laid-back pasta bar offers tasty antipasti and delicious house-made pasta with amazing sauces and fillings – all at affordable prices. You don’t need a reservation – although the place can get quite busy – just drop by and take a seat at a table or at the industrial-style bar.
The rustic décor of Made in Italy charms its customers at first sight with stone arches, exposed brick walls, checkered tablecloths, strings of onions hanging by the ceiling, and climbing plants. You can almost forget that you’re actually in busy Chelsea, not somewhere on the Amalfi Coast. But it’s the restaurant’s traditional Neapolitan pizza that will finally transport you to sunny Italy.
One of the best Italian restaurants in London, the Michelin-starred Locatelli is led by renowned chef Giorgio Locatelli. Not only does the restaurant serve exquisite food, but it also features a classy décor that recreates the spirit of Italian conviviality. A must-visit place for all foodies and lovers of Italian cuisine.
After the immense success of the Screaming Goat restaurant, chef Ben Chapman opened the larger but just as impressive Kiln. The regional Thai dishes feature carefully selected native produce and quite a high level of heat. But that’s to be expected from traditional Thai food. The menu is also quite short, which means that every single detail is completed to perfection.
Traditional food, regional Italian dishes, a stylish décor, and a wood-fired pizza oven – what more can you ask for? Il Baretto’s menu includes northern Italian-style pizza, lobster linguine, risotto with mushrooms and black truffle, various – and delicious – pastas, as well as classic desserts you’ll probably remember fondly.
The hip Hoi Polloi restaurant offers a modern British menu with seasonal ingredients. The décor is “quirky meets retro via a trip to New York”, the atmosphere is friendly, and the waiters wear sneakers. You can drop by for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or just for afternoon tea.
Apart from the amazing food, Fucina also features a stunning décor. The interior was designed by Andy Martin Architecture and aims to evoke “a visual memory of Italian taste” with a ceiling reminiscent of pizza ovens, chairs with legs made of machined branches, colored glass facade, and steel screens. The menu is equally sophisticated and includes organic Italian food with a contemporary twist.
Dishoom’s décor pays homage to the post-colonial Iranian-style cafes in Bombay. Think large ceiling fans, vintage photos, mahogany wood bar, and bar stools with blue upholstery. The menu takes you on a journey through India with its naans, birianis, tandoori grills, and chai. The restaurant is open all day, from breakfast to lunch and up to late at night.
Damascu Bite serves delicious and authentic Lebanese and Syrian food. It stays open until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, so it’s the perfect place for a late night meal to finish the day on a high before heading back to the hotel. Popular dishes on the menu include chicken and lamb wraps, falafel, hummus, and cardamon tea. And some say that the garlic sauce is worth the trip all on its own.
Those who feel a bit homesick can drop by Dirty Burger. The popular chain has 12 locations in London, as well as one in Chicago and one in Barcelona. So far. At the Shoreditch restaurant you can order a cheeseburger with a side of crinkle cut fries and a delicious milkshake. Can’t get more American than that.
If you feel like going for a pizza – who doesn’t, really – you should definitely drop by Crate Brewery. Here you can order a thin-crust pizza made in a wood-fired stone oven, drink the house-made craft beer, and admire the sunset on the terrace – right by the canal. Oh, and the place gets extra points for the industrial décor!
Famed for its modern Peruvian menu and its sophisticated décor designed by the Sagrada studio, Coya offers a taste of Latin America in the middle of London. Fine dining with a Peruvian twist. At the Pisco bar you can also try one of the bespoke pisco infusions, select a rum from an extensive list, or choose between more than 40 brands of tequila.
At Brawn you’ll find a daily changing menu with seasonal dishes made with locally sourced ingredients and a respect for tradition. Try the house-made black pudding and don’t forget to book a table for the Sunday roast meal to feel like true Brit for a couple of hours.
If you crave some Mexican food, you can’t get better than Breddos. This colorful restaurant recreates the spirit of Mexican cuisine with a sprinkle of Californian charm. Not only you can get authentic tacos and tlayudas, but you can also order their house-made Coca-Cola drink which uses real sugar cane.
With an interior that focuses on elegant design and natural beauty – there are plants and greenery everywhere – Blixen provides an opportunity to take a break from exploring the city and simply relax. Oh, and the French -style food is also fantastic, along with the excellent cocktail list.
The name says it all. At Bibendum Oyster Bar you’ll find some pretty tasty oysters – some say they’re the best in London – as well as simple but delicious seafood dishes. The restaurant has two levels. The ground floor is spacious and open, perfect for breakfast and lunch, while the upper floor is ideal for more formal dinners.
Inspired by California and its health-focused eating habits, Bel-Air’s menu includes gluten-free and dairy-free dishes without any refined sugar. The restaurant makes everything from scratch and abhors the use microwaves. Other ingredients include sustainable, ethically sourced meat and fish as well as seasonal and fresh vegetables and fruit.
Chez Bruce offers a modern and original menu that takes inspiration from classical recipes and French/Mediterranean cuisine. Traditional cooking methods take precedence over gadgets and sophisticated machinery. As a result, here you’ll be able to enjoy house-made charcuterie and bread, slow cooked braised meat, classic desserts, and the restaurant’s expertly assembled cheese board.
Friendly and laid-back, Caravan welcomes its customers in an airy and bright space that overlooks the busy Exmouth Market through a glazed facade. Drop by for a delicious breakfast or brunch and don’t forget to order a coffee – they actually roast it on site!
Clipstone is the more informal sister restaurant of the nearby Portland. The place has received the ‘Restaurant of the Year’ award at the GQ Food and Drink Awards 2017. Looking at the menu list, we can see why: modern European cuisine that blends refinement and premium ingredients with house-made specialties.
Dive into the below street-level Apero and be prepared to be delighted not only by the cuisine, but also by the amazing décor. Spanish tiles, whitewashed or exposed brick walls, vaulted ceilings, blue leather sofas, and vintage-style lighting. The menu features flavorful Mediterranean dishes full of zest. A perfect break from busy – or rainy – London.
Bandol brings a piece of the French Riviera in the middle of London. The décor complements the classic French menu: copper surfaces and eclectic furniture lit by the warm glow of the many pendant lights. An old olive tree stands out in the main room, with two private dining rooms also available.
Bao started as a simple – but wildly popular – market stall and transformed into two restaurants – and counting? – in Soho and Fitzrovia. Lines reach the street, which tells you everything you need to know about this eatery. But yes, before you ask, they DO serve baos (Taiwanese milk buns with finger-licking fillings) as well as other traditional delicacies.
Taste a bit of Spain while drying off from the rain shower that caught you by surprise -again – while exploring London. At Barrafina you don’t need a reservation, but keep in mind that among the three locations, the Covent Garden one only offers bar seating which fills up quickly. After you grab a seat, order some tapas and wash the food down with a glass of Spanish wine.
A meat lover’s dream, Beast offers a menu that focuses on steak and seafood. Dished include whole Maine lobster and Norwegian king crab as well as grass fed Nebraska beef steak. Aged parmesan, grilled vegetables, and several salad dishes will also please the vegetarians in your group.