London is one of my favorite cities for its incredibly charming streets, lively pub scene and amazing restaurants, plus I clearly I have a thing for the locals (fun fact: my husband is from West Sussex, which is just 45 minutes south of the city). My first time to the UK was actually almost five years ago, when I went home with Chris to meet his parents for the first time. I’ve been hooked ever since.
For the holidays this year, we went into London for the day before hopping on the train to Paris to celebrate New Year’s Eve. It was way too short, but it just made us rigorous with our scheduling. We wanted to tick off a few of our old favorites, like staying at the Dean Street Townhouse and having drinks at Claridge’s, plus try out a few new-to-us spots, like Electric Cinema and Kettner’s Townhouse. Here’s our exact itinerary, plus a few of my other recommendations for your next trip over the pond.
Arrive from West Sussex via train, and drop off our bags at our hotel—Dean Street Townhouse in Soho. Take a taxi to Notting Hill, and snap a photo (or 12) with the cheery, colorful houses that are so characteristic of the neighborhood.
Stroll through the Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill. This was our first time to peruse the bustling market filled with vintage finds, independent artists and unique homewares, and I was very tempted by the rugs. No room in the suitcase though, sadly.
Head to Electric Cinema in Notting Hill to see a movie in the comfort of their massive arm chairs. The best part is their bar snacks, like nachos and french fries, and their full service bar. Champagne and Mary Poppins? Yes, please.
Head back to hotel to check in, lounge in the bathtub and freshen up for the evening. The rooms here are so chic that you won’t want to leave for the night. Further proof below.
Head to Claridge’s for one of their famous martinis and a photo of the chic black and white lobby tile. The holiday decorations are stunning at the hotel too, so be prepared to get in the spirit if you happen to be there in December.
Take a cab back to Soho for dinner at Kettner’s Townhouse. The food was absolutely delicious (I went for the filet) and the atmosphere felt like a special night out. They have a live pianist most nights, so make a reservation and double check the music schedule.
Other London Favorites:
- Tea at Sketch (don’t miss the Instagram-worthy egg-shaped bathroom stalls)
- Sushi at Zuma
- Dinner or drinks at Chiltern Firehouse
- Go to the London Eye first thing in the morning for amazing views and photos of the entire city
- Get a massage at the spa in the Four Seasons
- Have a drink in any of the pubs in Mayfair, like The Footman or The Guinea
- Go shopping at Harrod’s in Knightsbridge
- Have rooftop drinks at Dalloway Terrace
- Indian food at Dishoom on Carnaby Street
- Check out the exhibits running at the V&A Museum