The English metropolis of London is the first city to get the WeAr once-over as part of our new “City Check” series. We’ll be sharing our tips for the hottest restaurants, hotels, bars, and clubs.
Writer Samuel Johnson said: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” This city is constantly reinventing itself; there is so much on offer, it’s simply not to be missed.
The concept store LN-CC comprises a bar, a sound space, a book shop, and of course the hippest collections from Ann Demeulemeester, Achilles Ion Gabriel, and Lanvin. Tucked away in the north-east corner of the city, the shop can be visited by appointment only.
Not far away, and also in East London, is the Goodhood Store, a boutique that specializes in trendy, independent labels from all over the world. Collections like Opening Ceremony, Australia’s Rittenhouse, Peter Jensen and APC Madras are on display in the stylish store, which has a womenswear emphasis. There are also several affordable, but undoubtedly cool accessory brands.
Around the corner, you can find Start Boutique. It has been there for years but is always a must if you’re in the neighborhood. Brands like Helmut Lang, Church’s, T by Alexander Wang, Paige, Kenzo, and Maison Martin Margiela, as well as the house collection Mr Start and Mr Start Woman can be found here.
Hostem in Shoreditch is guaranteed to get the fashion-conscious man’s heart beating faster. In its hip East London interior the store holds styles from Rick Owens and Comme des Garçons, as well as handmade shoes from Sebastian Tarek. It is also worth paying a visit to the new womenswear section of this trend store.
Peruvian restaurant Coya is a culinary heaven, a high quality restaurant in a prime location on Piccadilly, with a traditional Latin American atmosphere. The who’s who of the fashion world, heads of state and typical London bankers can all be seen here, enjoying spicy beef and drinking cocktails – Pisco sours. In the bar on the first floor, live jazz-inspired music lures you to the dance floor.
Those who prefer cool to up-market should visit the “in” bar La Bodega Negra. Don’t be put off by the restaurant’s exterior, it’s not really a sex shop but a bar with a restaurant serving Mexican food. The mango and jalapeño scallops and the margaritas just have to be tried.
If you’re in search of an affordable yet centrally located and hip alternative, you can’t go wrong with Meat Liquor. Famous for its burgers, this restaurant is hidden away just off Oxford Street. A dome emblazoned with elaborate graffiti stretches over the dining area. It does get loud there, but it’s still the perfect place to see and be seen.
PUBS & BARS
Punchbowl, the pub that used to belong to Guy Ritchie, is still a top venue for the Mayfair rich and beautiful. But it also boasts the typical British pub atmosphere and serves good British fare.
If it happens not to be raining, Radio on the top floor of the ME Hotel is the one bar that allows you to admire London’s beautiful landmarks from above. During the day on Saturdays, there are parties with good lounge music and house music, where you can eat brunch but also dance the day away.
Drury Club in Covent Garden combines the style of the chic West End with the cool East End and is intended for those who would rather party than sleep. With good drinks, good music, and interior design that sets it apart from most other clubs, a good evening is guaranteed.
Check out Chakana, which opened its doors for the first time in November. Latin American-inspired, they play deep house music and offer a few of the most creative cocktails on the London club scene.
HOTELS & MORE
The ME Hotel is part of the Melia group and – thanks to its location in The Strand, directly opposite Somerset House – it is the ideal base for London Fashion Week. The rooms are stunning, and every evening there is a laser show in the pyramid-shaped lobby.
No doubt about it, 45 Park Lane, a Dorchester Hotel, has the biggest and most comfortable beds and rooms, all of which look out over Hyde Park (make sure to stay on the top floor so that you can get a glimpse of Hyde Park over the trees). Add to that Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant, CUT, serving excellent mini burgers, and this hotel really is a “home away from home.”
The Edition Hotel in Fitzrovia is one of the newest arrivals on the hotel scene and its location, in close proximity to Soho with its night clubs, bars, and restaurants, is unbeatable. The hotel, which is part of the Marriott group, combines English elegance with modern flair. The Michelin starred restaurant and the bar are just as inviting as the tastefully furnished rooms. To top it all off, the penthouse suite has a 360° panorama view of London.
For the full London experience, be sure to go to Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge for a fashionista’s afternoon tea. Balenciaga’s black and white chocolate mousse dress on a walnut brownie would be enough to tempt even the strongest willed model to abandon their diet. Conveniently, the hotel is right by Harvey Nichols and Harrods, both of which are an integral part of any visit to London.
EVEN MORE TIPS
WeAr also recommends the department stores Selfridges and Liberty, as well as multi-label stores Dover Street Market, Wolf & Badger, Matches, and Folk. Other great bars include Mr Foggs, Sketch, Hoxton Pony, and Experimental Cocktail Club. Restaurants worthy of mention are Bunga Bunga, Death by Burrito, Burger & Lobster, Aqua at the Shard, and – for British food – Bumpkin Chelsea. When it comes to hotels, we also rate the Sanderson Hotel, The Connaught, Blakes Hotel, and The Ampersand. And as for clubs, try LouLou’s, Cuckoo, The Box, and Le Baron.
LN-CC: Late Night Chameleon Cafe
18 Shacklewell Lane
London E8 2EZ+44 (0)20 7275 7265
41-43 Redchurch Street, London, E2 7DJ, UK
41 Coronet St, London N1 6HD, United Kingdom
44 20 7729 3600
10 Berners St, City of Westminster, London W1T, United Kingdom
+44 20 7758 8393 www.edition-hotels.marriott.com
ME Hotel: Adresse: 336-337 Strand, City of Westminster, WC2R 1HA
Telefon:0808 234 1953
45 Park Lane: Adresse: 45 Park Ln, London W1K 1PN
Telefon:020 7493 4545
Meat Liquor: Adresse: 74 Welbeck St, London W1G 0BA
Telefon:020 7224 4239
The Berkeley: Adresse: Wilton Pl, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RL
Telefon:020 7235 6000
La Bodega Negra: Adresse: 16 Moor St, London, Greater London W1D 5NH
Telefon:020 7758 4100
Coya Adresse: 118 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London, Greater London W1J 7NW
Telefon:020 7042 7118
The Drury Club, 167 Drury Lane, London, WC2B 5PG T – 020 7831 9399
23 Orchard St, London W1H 6HL http://chakanaclub.com
Punchbowl 41 Farm Street London W1J 5RP +44 (0) 20 7493 6841