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London recommendations - early Feburary - Page 2

post #16 of 33
If you're coming in early February Heston Blumenthal's new restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental will be open. I'd imagine it'll be very busy though so you might have some difficulty getting a table.

Other restaurants I'd recommend are:
The Harwood Arms (Michelin starred pub in Fulham)
Hawksmoor (possibly the best steaks in London)

Viajante in East London looks very interesting as well. Is there any particular sort of food you're thinking of going for?

For shopping you might want to have a look in Old Hat near Putney Bridge. They stock a pretty wide selection of vintage tailoring at fairly low prices.
post #17 of 33
In town, Arbutus and Wild Honey are two sister restaurants that are very good modern European cuisine. Arbutus is smack in SoHo - went there on Saturday. Just down the street across from the jazz club is a tiny little Italian cafe that is always packed with people, spilling out into the street regardless of the weather. Hint: it's like that for a reason.

In Marylebone, go to Le Relais de Venice for really good French bistro fare - the menu's all the same for everyone. And across the street is the Golden Hind, which serves some of the best fish & chips in London. Caffe Caldesi is also in that area, which is good Italian.

If you can get out to west London (as opposed to the West End, which is still central London) a smidge, check out the River Cafe - Italian food that will make your head spin. Expensive, but worth every penny.

In the East End, go straight to Brick Lane - 24 hours a day, the baegel (yes, that's how they spell it) shop churns out salt beef bagels to die for. You can't miss it for the line that snakes out the store at all hours of the day. Very good Bangladeshi curries in that area, too.

One more recommendation - do a search on Paul A Young chocolates. He has two tiny boutique stores, one north in Camden, and one in the City of London outside the Bank of England. Very easy to miss, but whatever you do, don't come to London and visit his chocolate shop unless you're willing to have everyone else's chocolate taste like rubbish forever after. I'm dead serious - his creations are that good!
post #18 of 33
On the above, Arbutus and St John Bread and Wine seconded: both excellent. Wouldn't bother with Criterion: a famous old restaurant and wonderful space that has been fairly well buggerised.
On other food/drink related options, Borough Market is wonderful though perhaps best avoided on a Saturday afternoon as the crowds are getting farcical: they were dropping tourist coach parties off on my last visit and it's not a big space. Few great boozers (sorry, pubs) around there too: the Market Porter and the Globe in or adjacent to the market itself. And there's The George, on the other side of the Borough High Street and down a bit, which is surely London's most spectacular pub?

Liberty's meanswear dept was a bit smaller than usual due to building work on a recent visit. If you're in Piccadilly, Fortnum and Mason's is worth a schufti.

Try starting at Piccadilly Circus tube, walking down Piccadilly, via Fortnums, to take in Jermyn Street, up Burlington Gdns, into Bond St and Savile Row, onto Selfridges and then, bracing yourself, up Oxford Street to Liberty, then down Regent Street or, if you're all chainstored out, down one of the Soho backstreets like Wardour Street back down towards Piccadilly Circus again. If it's evening when you get done, continue onto Trafalgar Square for a a drink in Albanach (if you like whisky). If you're in a wine mood, try Gordons Wine Bar in Villiers Street (to the left of Charing Cross station), or the Ship and Shovel if you want a beer (an alley of Villiers Street).

British Museum's my favourite, for the building as much as contents. I also enjoy the V&A, the Tates (Modern and Britain, get the boat between them) and the Natural History Museum. Houses of Parliament are worth look though check in advance as access is restricted - you can't just rock up and pay on the door.

On the aimless mooching side of things, the South Bank is probably the best (Westminster to London Bridge - great views and, if you end at London Bridge, there's nice places for the pint you've earned). Also, the parks (St James and Hyde), Soho, Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia (don't miss Lamb's Conduit Street), and Kew Gardens, Greenwich, or Limehouse if you can be arsed travelling out of the centre a bit.

Sorry for droning on: just moved back after six years in Australia and I am enjoying being back here.
post #19 of 33
Here's my report from last year:

I'd make stopping into W. Bill the number one priority.

As far as restaurants, St. John's in Smithfield is number one with a bullet.

Have fun! Jealous!
post #20 of 33
A lot of great options in this thread. A few of mine:

Budd is a must see, ask to see their selection of cuff links and gloves (best in the city for the price)

W. Bill is a rite of passage for any clothes hound

The Ledbury near Portobello Rd is my favorite restaurant in the city, Helene D at the Connaught is a close second. Both offer outstanding values at lunch - set menus from 30 to 40 gbp.

If you want something distinctly British go to Rules restaurant - it will be filled with tourists but the food is still good and the ambiance is very hard to beat.

Make sure you eat at least one Indian meal during your stay - the food in London is even better than the "real" thing in Mumbai. There are many to choose from...just ask around.

Not sure about what hotel class you are aiming for but if you can swing it stay at Claridges. Otherwise the Royal Park Hotel just north of Hyde Park is a great value.

Have a drink one evening at the Dukes bar at the Dukes hotel or the American bar at the Stafford - both hotels are in St. James and a block away from one another.
post #21 of 33
Spitalfields Market is a little out of the way, but worth a trip if you have the time. I started with brunch at The Luxe, followed by a walk around the market which had food stores, arty farty types and used stuff. There was an Albam store around also - highly recommend it. I had a fantastic dinner at St John Bread & Wine, but remember the wine prices to be on the $$ side.
post #22 of 33
eats: le relais de venise in the City - before/after try some old boy shopping in/around leadenhall market, cross bishopsgate and walk towards the exchange. More trendier, head to hoxton/shoreditch/spitalfields/bricklane but some nice 'weekend' wear which shows you aren't oap, yet.

Asakusa near Mornington Crescent.
The Wolseley for late dessert.
post #23 of 33
how about a trip up to alfie's antiques market, the largest indoor antiques market in the uk.
also on church st is joel and sons, who carry the largest inventory of fabric in london

also, st johns in smithfields is not the same as st johns in spitafields (even though theyre the same people). you want to eat at the one near smithfields market (farringdon tube).

breakfast at the providores on marylebone high street is also very good.

trunk has lots of monocle/styleforum brands, so its worth a visit if youre in the area, as is the monocle shop.

and whilst youre there, visit the ginger pig for a sausage roll.
post #24 of 33
Originally Posted by fox81 View Post
how about a trip up to alfie's antiques market, the largest indoor antiques market in the uk.
also on church st is joel and sons, who carry the largest inventory of fabric in london

What brands/kind of fabric do Joel and Sons carry? How are the prices relative to direct from source like HFW?
post #25 of 33
Joel carry a very wide range of fabrics but their trade is mostly for women's fashion so many silks, velvets, boucle etc . Their website shows much. Their woollen fabrics for men's suiting are mostly Italian.

I cannot confirm what their prices are like compared to direct from source but would suspect they are higher.

Alfies has a reasonable café on the top floor. Not great food but a good place to rest your feet.

In addition to Fox's places in Marylebone La Fromagerie deserves a mention for its café as well as its cheese. And while you are in the area a visit to the Wallace Collection is a must.

The begining of February is Chinese new year and Time Out is a great place to find out what is going on
post #26 of 33
lets make it a marylebone thread.

daunts books on the high st is regarded as one of the best travel book shops in the world. carrying a daunts tote bag trumps even the much coveted monocle tote.

as for fish and chips, seashells on lisson grove has reopened after a much extended refurbishment. frequented by the americani of st johns wood to its north.

dim sum at royal china on baker street is also worth noting, just make sure you go to the correct royal china (its the one closer to oxford st/away from baker st tube)
post #27 of 33
oh, and for joel and sons, yes its mostly zenga and loro piana but i did see some H&S there once. prices arent really cheap but ive never bought from there, so im not sure how much movement there is on the price. paying retail is for suckers.
post #28 of 33
Originally Posted by fox81 View Post
lets make it a marylebone thread.

Haha. Not quite sure if it should be a Marylebone thread. I will be in London in mid-Feb, and wonder whether there are good bargains to be had for mc-type accessories (ties, cufflinks, scrafs etc).
post #29 of 33
Thread Starter 
Where should one go for custom made shirts? I'm looking for something close to the Piccaddilly area and smth which is of a good price/quality ratio. Naturally Jermyn Street comes to mind.
post #30 of 33
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