Destination Guide to Londonby Lucy Laucht
Rich in history and culture, London is one of the world’s most exciting cities. Here, where the modern and venerable mix, you’ll find centuries-old pubs, iconic landmarks and world-class dining. To get the most out of this grand old dame of a town, Brit photographer and content director Lucy Laucht is precisely the person to ask.
Buzzy and beautiful, The Ned is housed in the Lutyens-designed former Midland Bank building. The light-filled Grade-I structure harks back to a different era. Case in point: the 92 verdite-covered columns that span the main banking hall, each one carefully composed of rich green rock fragments and shipped all the way from Africa. With eight restaurants, signature Cowshed spa and the best rooftop views of St Paul’s Cathedral, there’s no reason to leave.
Sophisticated and elegant, the grand Edwardian-era Rosewood is one of London’s best and rightly so, as it’s ideally located close to Covent Garden, the West End theatres and many excellent dining options. Don’t miss the Pie Room at the Holborn Dining Room—chef Calum Franklin’s not-so-humble homage to the delicious pie.
Iconic and reverential, The Savoy is for those who appreciate the uniquely British heritage of etiquette and formality. Expect impeccable service and incredible views over the Thames. Tip: the Charlie Chaplin room provides the best vantage point. The breakfast waffles are equally fantastic.
The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione
Decadent and opulent, The Franklin London, an Anouska Hempel-designed, townhouse style hotel, strikes the perfect balance of being both luxurious and welcoming. Cocktail hour in the luxe Franklin bar is fabulous.
EAT & DRINK
Within a delightful blush pink interior, find the most delicious fusion of British, African and Middle Eastern food by chef, food writer and stylist Ravinder Bhogal. This combination secures Jikoni as one of London’s best new restaurants. The prawn toast Scotch egg paired with the pomegranate Negroni is a personal favourite.
Make a pilgrimage to Borough Market where you’ll find over 100 artisanal food stalls including cheeses, seafood, meats and produce. Highlights include Richard Haward Oysters, Brindisa, for the very best Spanish food and ingredients, and Monmouth Coffee—aka the best coffee in London.
Tucked away in Neal’s Yard, The Barbery fills up fast for a reason. Inspired by the African and Mediterranean coasts, this petit, Berber-style eatery’s flavourful dishes are designed for sharing.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese
One of the oldest pubs in London, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese comes complete with a roaring fire, local ales and literary pedigree to boot—past patrons include Charles Dickens and Mark Twain.
Bob Bob Ricard
From the dusty pink uniforms to the “press for champagne” button at each table, there’s something wonderfully Wes Anderson about wildly opulent Soho restaurant Bob Bob Ricard. They claim to pour more champagne than any other restaurant in the UK.
A low key and unassuming spot, Casa Manolo serves up delicious Spanish iberico jamón, chorizo and wines.
Malibu Kitchen at The Ned
A little slice of California in London, the Malibu Kitchen is housed within The Ned and it’s an Instagram-worthy spot for super food salads, fresh ceviche and cocktails.
Perfumer Lynn Harris’ Perfumer H is the place for bespoke and seasonal fragrances and candles in a beautiful space.
No visit to London is complete without experiencing this famous department store on Great Marlborough Street. Liberty is known for their iconic floral and graphic prints.
Matches 5 Carlos Place
This gorgeous five-storey townhouse by Matches Fashion is designed as a retail and events space. Also known as: shopping heaven.
Fortnum and Mason
Renowned for their fine foods, hampers, teas, wine and gorgeous packaging, Fortnum and Mason is the perfect spot for gift shopping.
Chiltern Street in Marylebone
An original Edwardian bookshop with long oak galleries and graceful skylights, Daunt Books specializes in travel books. A gem not to be missed.
Cheese shop, gourmet grocer and cute cafe all in one space, La Fromagerie also stocks beautiful French chore jackets and string market bags.
Natural History Museum
Founded in 1756 and housed in one of London’s most exquisite Victorian buildings, the Natural History Museum is one of the world’s largest science museums.
The largest green park in the city is Hyde. Go early and watch the horses being exercised along the North Ride and South Ride—there’s something wonderfully old London about it.
National Portrait Gallery
Home to the largest collection of portraiture in the world, the National Portrait Gallery’s highlights include portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Winston Churchill. Tip: go an hour before closing and have the gallery to yourself.
Britain’s leading centre for contemporary and historical photography, Photographer’s Gallery is a haven off chaotic Oxford Street. Past exhibitions include Juergen Teller, Wim Wenders and Martin Parr.
Blue Mountain School
A six-level townhouse reimagining the concept of retail, Blue Mountain School is a beautifully designed, multi-disciplinary space. It features a listening room, an exhibition area, a dining room and a retail space with designer clothing.
The Shard has simply the best 360-degree views of London. Tip: go before sunset and stay till dark when the city lights up. Once you purchase a ticket, you can stay as long as you want.