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London guide - Shopping and Restaurants

London invented shopping and here the customer has always come first. The city is buzzing with grand department stores, stylish international-label outlets and off-beaten boutiques. At the other end of the style spectrum are the dozens of street markets were real Londoners sell everything from vintage to antiques. Energized by the capital’s design schools, boutiques and speciality shops are opening up around the city – but are often off the beaten track.

Shopping and Restaurants

The city is as well knows for its exuberant street markets and secondhand bookdealers as it is for cutting-edge fashion boutique, superluxe department stores and none-more-traditional shopping arcade.

On the Streets: Regent Street is home to the flagships of many mid-range, high street clothing chains. For a taste of retail past, St James’s Street is full of anachronistic specialists like the royal shoemaker. Mayfair – especially Conduit Street and Bond Streets – remains the domain of catwalks names (including the British Mulberry, Burberry, Westwood and new comers Georgina Goodman and Luella Bartley). If you are ready to use our platinum card swing by Knightsbridge among the designer salons in Sloane Street or the art nouveau food halls of Harrods. For luxury designer labels without the crush, Notting Hill and especially Westbourne Grove overflows with posh, feminine boutiques.

London has now established itself as one of the world’s top dining destination. But more than anything else it’s diversity that makes London a very attractive culinary destination. Below a selection of our favourite destinations (we also suggest to book well in advance to save time and disappointments).

Department Stores

. Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7XL, (0207 730 1234/ www.harrods.com)
. Harvey Nichols, 109-125 Knightsbdridge, SW1X 7RJ,(0207 235 5000/ www.harveynichols.com)
. Liberty, Regent Street, W1B 5AH, (0207 734 1234/ www.liberty.com)
. Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB, (0800 123 400/ www.selfridges.com)
. Around Piccadilly, the Royal Arcades are an image of the shopping in the past: Burlington Arcade is the largest, Piccadilly, W1 (www.burlington-arcade.co.uk)

Markets

Shopping at London’s markets is not just about picking up bargains but it is also about feeling the character of this vibrant city, in all its aspects and moods. We recommend: Borough, Camden, Portobello Road, Bermondsey, Brick Lane, Columbia Road Flower Market and Spitalfields.

Mayfair

Shops

. Jermyn Street – this is London’s centre for traditional shirtmaking
. Browns, 23-27 South Molton Street W1K 5RD (0207 514 0000) – look also its sister shop (no.50) for previous seasons’ leftovers
. Hatchards, 187 Piccadilly W1J 9LE – London’s oldest bookshop
. Daunt Books, 83-84 Marylebone High Street W1U 4QW – a lovely Edwardian bookshop known for its travel section
. KJ’s Laundry, 74 Marylebone Lane W1U 2PW – a good bet for highly wearable clothes (which you won’t see all over town) with an edge
. Dover Street Market, 17-18 Dover Street W1S 4LT (0207 518 0680) – an energetic six storey indoors market
. Grays Antique Market, 58 Davies Street W1K 5LP – covered market selling everything from jewellery to rare books
. Paul Smith Sale Shop, 23 Avery Row W1X 9HB (0207 493 1287) – stock at up to 50% off

Restaurants

. Duke of Wellington Pub, 94 Crawford Street W1H 2HQ – the beer is still the real thing and now it is a proper contemporary gastropub
. Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill, 11-15 Swallow Street W1B 4DG (0207 734 4756) – a relaxing oyster bar with a smarter first-floor grill
. Maze, 13-15 Grosvenor Square W1K 6JP (0207 107 0000) – one of London’s loveliest locations; the tapas are a real treat

Red Lion Pub, 1 Waverton Street W1J 5QN (0207 499 1307) – a taste of English countryside in Mayfair
. Sketch, 9 Conduit Street W1S 2XZ (0870 777 4488) – interesting place for a drink or dinner
. Wolseley, 160 Piccadilly W1J 9EB (0207 499 6996) – fabulous for afternoon tea
. Wild Honey, 12 St. George Street W1S 2FB (0207 758 9160) – combination of exceptional good food at fair prices

Soho

Shops

. Albam, 23 Beak Street W1F 9RS (0207 315 7000)- fantastic menswear store
. Kingly Court, Carnaby Street W1B 5PW (0207 333 8118) – funky mix of boutique and gift shop

Restaurants

. Baraffina, 54 Frith Street W1D 4SL (0207 813 8016) – terrific tapas bar
. Princi, 135 Wardour Street W1F 0UT – more than a bakery…an angle of Milan
. Mother Mash, 26 Ganton Street W1F 7QZ (0207 494 9644) – sausages and mush delight
. Player, 8 Broadwick Street W1F 8HN (0207 292 9945) – cocktail lounge (open to non-member before 11pm)

Covent Garden & Bloomsbury

Shops

. Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop, 44 the Market WC2E 8RF (0207 379 7866) – superb toy shop
. Koh Samui, 65-67 Monmouth Street WC2H 9DG (0207 240 4280) – vintage pieces sourced around the world
. Lamb’s Conduit Street – tucked away in residential back street it’s ideal for browsing (refuel at the Lamb Pub)
. James Smith & Sons, 53 New Oxford Street WC1A 1BL (0207836 4731)- 175 years old Victorian shop selling crafted brollies and walking sticks

Restaurants

. Hakkasan, 8 Hanway Place W1T 1HD (0207 907 1888) – super Chinese inspired food
. Long Bar, Sanderson Hotel, 50 Berners Street W1T 3NG (0207 300 1400) – lovely bar with a courtyward, which is a nice setting for cocktails
. Roka, 37 Charlotte Street W1T 1RR (0207 580 6464) – modern Japanese cusine with a sylish bar
. J Sheekey, 28-32 St. Martin’s Court WC2N 4AL (0207 240 2565) – stupendous fish in a succession of small rooms
. Lamb & Flag Pub, 33 Rose Street WC2E 9EB (0207 497 9504) – traditional pub and one of the best in the area

City

Shops

. Exmouth Market, this discrete street has few great independent shops
. Bread & Honey, 205 Whitecross Street EC1Y 8QP (0207 253 4455) – upscale sports and casualwear
. A Butcher of Distinction, 11 Dray Walk, Old Truman Brewery E1 6QL (0207 770 6111) – fashion boutique with a butcher theme

Restaurants

. Moro, 34-36 Exmouth Market EC1R 4QE (0207 833 8336) – excellent Spanish with a North Africa accent
. Smiths of Smithfield, 67-77 Charterhouse Street EC1M 6HJ (0207 251 7950) – menu focused on good meat
. Loungelover, 1 Whitby Street E1 6JU (0207 012 1234) – glamorous bonhomie with fabulous cocktails

Notting Hill

Shops

. Ledbury Road – Just off Westbourne Grove this is an enclave of chic boutiques
. Alice & Astrid, 30 Artesian Road W2 5DD (0207 985 0888) – feminine and flirtatious lingerie shop

Restaurants

. Assaggi, 39 Chepstow Place W2 4TS (0207 792 5501) – superb informal cooking
. Cow Pub, 89 Westbourne Park Road W2 5QH (0207 221 0021) – decent pint of Guinness with oyster and prawns
. The Warrington Castle
. Ottolenghi, 63 Ledbury Road W11 2AD (0207 727 1121) - a treat with food to die for
. Warrington Pub, 93 Warrington Crescent W9 1EH (0207 592 7960) – Gordon Ramsay’s nicest gastropub

Kensington and Chelsea

Shops

. Conran Shop, 81 Fulham Road SW3 6RD (0207 589 7401) – Conran’s flagship store
. Shop at Bluebird, 350 King’s Road SW3 5UU (0207 351 3873) – it is part a boutique and part a design gallery

Restaurants

. Amaya, 19 Motcomb Street SW1X 8JT(0207 823 1166) – innovative and exquisite indian
. Pig’s Ear Pub, 35 Old Church Street SW3 5BS (0207 352 2908) – a Chelsea treat with excellent beer
. The Builders Arms Pub, 13 Britten Street SW3 3TY (0844 567 2312) – chill out atmosphere


Coffee Houses

Go to: www.classiccafes.co.uk for London’s finest cafes



Afternoon Tea

The classic English afternoon tea with assorted sandwich, scones and cream, cakes and lavish tea is a must to experience in London. The best venues are the capital’s top hotels and below are our suggestions:


Cocktails and Clubs

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