London is one of my favorite cities. I was considering moving because a lot of my family is there, but in the end I decided it’s too cold, too big, and too hard to meet people (I would have been very dependent on my cousins to take me out/introduce me to people). It is, however, an amazing city to visit when you want to “get away from it all,” but don’t want to just sit around on a beach. There’s always something new to explore, but also tried and true classics. Here’s what I took away from my trip last week.
First up, if you go you MUST stay at Nobu Hotel Shoreditch. London is expensive – save your money for shopping and food. Nobu is exceedingly better priced than the other top hotels, while still being a luxury hotel. Rooms are small – but so are all rooms in London (I’ve stayed everywhere from The Edition to The Ritz on previous trips) unless you’re opting for one of the big suites. At Nobu bathroom amenities are good (Natura Bisse), service is amazing, rooms are clean and new, bathrooms are pretty spacious, and of course the food can’t be beat. Above is an image of my breakfast. Get the breakfast! It’s a mix of Japanese (think matcha muffins, dragon fruit, miso, and classic think pepper gravlax, croissants…). The top image of this post is from their Nobu restaurant, which is always worth visiting. It’s one of the few places that you can get delicious, healthy foods in a trendy, upbeat environment. And don’t skip dessert! I had chocolate souffle and matcha ice cream and it was pure heaven.
Nobu Hotel is also located close to the subway line (though it was so cold we took Ubers everywhere; they’re a lot cheaper than taxis). Working out is very important to me so it was also great that Nobu was located a 7-minute walk away from one of Barry’s Bootcamp four locations. I tried a few instructors while I was there and my favorite was Sonya. I would highly recommend her because there are a lot of calories to burn off with all the amazing food in London! If you’re more of an SLT-type person, Nobu Shoreditch actually has a fitness studio within the hotel. It just opened and is called Studio Lagree (in addition to a free gym).
For brunch, you can’t beat Eggbreak. They serve breakfast all day and they’re located in Notting Hill. I took the above image there. Everything is fresh, healthy, and totally delicious and the place has an adorable vibe. My husband, pictured above, is Israeli. He ordered the shakshuka and said it was better than anything he’s ever gotten in Tel Aviv. If the weather is warm I would suggest going there and then strolling around the beautiful neighborhood. If you’re a Soho House member it’s also close to their best location, in my opinion.
Spa-wise there are a ton of options in London, but my favorite is The House of Elemis. It’s in an amazing location (a few minutes walk from Selfridges), with great service and it’s just overall a beautiful space. I love that you can get champagne and a shot of green juice as well as tea, no matter what service you book. Their spa is also spacious, which is rare (don’t be fooled by the outside!) and their products are great (they just launched a new superfood line).
Another great brunch/lunch option in Notting Hill is Nama Foods. It’s an adorable raw vegan spot (though they have tea, coffee, and wine), they’re also open for dinner, and have to-go options. I would recommend stopping in here no matter what if you’re a healthy eater because you’ll find the best raw-vegan snacks. How amazing does all of the above look? The bowl is a gut healthy probiotic bowl. Their raw vegan fare is better than anything I’ve had in NYC, so much so that even my husband loved it! Also above is their seaweed salad, pizza, and truffle zoodles.
If you’re looking for something classic, you can’t go wrong with The Wolseley in Green Park. Again, a very central location (next to The Ritz). The food isn’t anything out of the ordinary (I added some GG crackers to my egg white omelette and salmon) and it is expensive (the above was equivalent to $25), but for a proper, highbrow English breakfast/power lunch experience it doesn’t get better.
Also it’s worth noting that if you’re a follower of F-factor or any high fiber diet, you can get GG crackers in London. I had a box delivered to my hotel from Holland and Barrett (see above!). The wrapper is different but it’s the same product that you get in the USA.
In keeping with “classic” no one can leave London without going to Sketch. It’s the most Instagram-able spot in all of London and of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had. They’re all in one building, but Sketch has a few restaurants including a 2-star Michelin one. I would recommend checking out the Afternoon Tea. I’ve done tea at so many spots, including The Ritz (a waste of money in my opinion…) nothing compares to Sketch. Do plan to be there at least two hours. It’s multi-course and you will have soo much to photograph. Don’t forget to checkout their bathrooms!
For a night out, Mr Fogg’s Residence is the best lounge/bar in London in my opinion (and those of my two best friends living in London). Above was my smoking cocktail. What I loved about it is that aside from having amazing cocktails (and pages and pages to choose from), it’s packed with people without being so loud that you can’t speak without yelling.
Members-only clubs are big in London – and not just Soho House. The Curtain is one of the newest and trendiest options at the moment and they have a gorgeous rooftop spot as well as a club/bar/event space downstairs. They’re also a relatively affordable hotel option and all of their facilities are open to guests. There’s a Red Rooster location in the hotel.
As for dinner, Chiltern Firehouse remains super popular, but the team behind it recently opened Isabel. It’s a more swanky, Vogue approved option (I felt like I was in a Woody Allen movie with the jazz music and Art Deco vibe). The dishes are small plates and everything we ordered was great. I would particularly single out the sea bass, the eggplant, the tuna tartare, and the avocado (yes avocado as a side dish for dinner…).
If it wasn’t clear from this post, I’m already ready for another trip to London…