Samuel Johnson famously said: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life, for there is in London all that life can afford.” And I suspect he’s right. But what if you don’t have a lifetime to devote to London? What are the must-do highlights if you’re there for just a day or two? Here’s my short city break guide to London!
Stay Artist Residence
After a few days at this cool, comfy boutique hotel in restrained-yet-refined Pimlico, I don’t think I ever want to stay anywhere else in London again. I love the style and clever use of space, the jars of lollies at reception, bright front restaurant and subterranean bar … but most of all the warm, engaging staff.
Lunch St John Smithfield
This pared back bar-bakery-restaurant is my quintessential London lunch spot. Alongside nose-to-tail dishes like roast bone marrow, dripping carrots, and crisp pig cheek with dandelion, there’s enough to keep the less carnivorous happy – I’m looking at you broad beans & Berkswell cheese and hake & leek pie!
Shop Borough Market
Borough Market has supplied its neighbourhood with food for the past 1,000 years. Today it’s a vibrant collection of local produce, imported delicacies and hot food inspired by the world’s diverse cultures. Most of all it’s a community united by a belief in quality and the pleasure of good food and conviviality – don’t miss it! #LoveBorough
Visit Tower of London
Fortress, royal palace, prison, place of execution and home of the Crown Jewels, the Tower of London is guarded by Yeoman Warders (or Beefeaters) who also act as very entertaining tour guides. A couple of hours exploring this iconic landmark is a great way to get a sense of British history.
Dinner Marianne Restaurant
I’d travel to London just to eat in this 14-seater Notting Hill restaurant. I’m still dreaming about scallop ceviche with blood orange, tomato consommé with burrata, ‘toasted cheese sandwich’ with caraway, and wonderful strawberry mille-feuille – plus great wine list and wonderful service. The £35 3-course lunch is a steal too!