London: A Royal Beauty

I have traveled to many special places in the world, but London holds a special place in my heart. I could happily spend every weekend in London, browsing around with no itinerary and not a care in the world. Everytime I leave this vibrant city, I feel a pull on my heart strings which reminds me that I will definitely be back soon.

Outfit Details: Maxi Dress- All Saints ; Cropped Leather Jacket- H&M ; Biker Boots- Office : Bag- JW Anderson 

London has something to offer for everybody, in terms or restaurants, events or things to do. I spent a week in London during fashion week: spending the first half with my parents and the second half with my best friend. I feel that I know London as well as I know my home city, therefore I am going to give a little run down on my London trip, and my recommendations for anyone going to visit.

*RESTAURANTS*

SKETCH LONDON

Located in the heart of Mayfair, this restaurant is the most aesthetically beautiful place I have ever dined. I am sure everyone has seen at least one picture of the candy pink dining area, pop up on their instagram feed and think  ‘where on earth is that?’.  Dinner at Sketch has been on my bucket list for quite some time , but it was only on my most recent trip did I actually get to go, and oh my goodness it was so unbelievably worth the wait. Hidden behind the plush velvet certain which graces the entry is the powder pink, restaurant: The Gallery. Decorated with scalloped,  pink booths, a vast copper bar and wall to wall David Shrigley drawings, this place is deliciously bonkers. The food is equally fantastic also, I dined on the vialone risotto with green curry and prune marmalade, sounds strange – looked even stranger (it was a vivid bright green!) but it was absolutely amazing. It was so good I wish I could have licked the plate and asked for a second helping!

P.S- check out the surreal bathrooms!!

 

THE CHILTON FIREHOUSE 

It has been nicknamed “London’s hottest celebrity hangout”, and is a personal favourite of my parents, so naturally I had to see what all the fuss was about. It is a former fire station situated in the heart of Marylebone but it has been transformed into a stylish New- York brasserie. Picture high ceilings, a bustling open kitchen, large mirrors, spectacular drop lights and an unbeatable  atmosphere- that is only a couple of attributes which make this restaurant special. I must admit, my palate is not the most sophisticated, I cannot stand fish (unless battered and covered in ketchup, which apparently doesnt count), I dont like olives, and I simply need chips with every main course. Nevertheless I do have a palate for beautiful restaurants. You know a restaurant is truly amazing when even fussy (or plain) eaters cannot resist the food, which was absolutely the case at the Chilton Firehouse. The dishes have a prominent American influence and are deliciously ‘cosmopolitan’, and even a dish which on appears ordinary on paper is absolutely exquisite to taste. For example the Caesar Salad, which I am sure we have all tried at some point, but naturally at the Chilton it had the extra special edge, replacing chicken breast and bacon with crispy chicken skin- simply delicious. I would most definitely recommend The Chilton as a restaurant to try when your in London, for the food, decor and ambience it is an all rounder, and as one of London’s hottest celebrity hangouts be sure to keep your eyes peeled!

THE IVY GARDEN CHELSEA

Think of the most typically old school classic english restaurant and you think of the Ivy Garden. I never take a trip to London without stopping by the Ivy for lunch, no salads for me though (obviously) but they do a mean steak sandwich with caramelized onions and horseradish mayo which is worth going for in itself. I have lunched at both the Chelsea and Covent Garden Ivy restaurants and whilst they are remarkably similar I do favor the Chelsea spot purely because I think it attracts a  younger crowd and therefore the vibe is slightly less reserved. Furthermore always ask if they have an available table out in the terrace area (they are like gold dust so don’t be disappointed when they say no) and if you are fortunate enough to get one love and cherish it and sit all afternoon and drink as many tall glasses of rose as you can, without stumbling out of the place obviously – one does not think that would be appropriate in the Ivy.

HUBBARD AND BELL

I do tend to go on and on about my love for a good coffee, a good skinny flat white to be precise and as all true coffee drinkers will tell you once you find a place you really like, you will most definitely go back time and time again. I have an extremely loyal relationship with Hubbard and Bell and no trip to London is complete without a coffee stop here. I discovered it when visiting the British Museum with my boyfriend last year, we were actually walking along debating (arguing slightly) over where we wanted to stop for lunch and there it was shining like a beacon of light – I knew it would be great before I even stepped past the front door! Thats another thing about really great coffee houses, you can sense immediately that they are going to serve great coffee, maybe its smell of freshly brewed beans or the stripped back decor but there is always something which makes it inherently obvious.

DISHOOM

Ah Dishoom, what does it mean? In English it the equivalent to ‘kapow’, think Jackie Chan or Dennis the Menace comic books, but this name has most definitely been cleverly thought out. ‘Kapow’ describes how the aromatics captivate you into dining in the restaurant, it also accurately describes the reaction to each mouthful of every dish (that I have tried anyway). Dishoom is modeled on a traditional bombay cafe, with chic painted brickwork, dimmed lighting and old black and white ancestral photographs lining the walls, it conveys the feeling of a family run indian restaurant situated right in the middle of Bombay- which of course it isnt. London is a city full of amazing restaurants so when you seen a specific restaurant queued out every night it is an obvious sign that there is something worth waiting for. It is the little touches that make certain restaurants special. In Dishoom, as you wait you literally queue outside (there’s none of the good ole ‘wait at the bar’!) which is undoubatedly a bit of a pain, however as you wait you will be handed a sweet milky hot chai to warm you up. If you love traditional Indian food then you should absolutely try Dishoom!

*DRINKING ESTABLISHMENTS*

THE BLUEBIRD

If I lived in London this is where you would find me every Friday afternoon, sipping alcoholic beverages and lounging around with my friends. The Bluebird is the perfect combination of casual and classy, the restaurant is upstairs but the place to be is in the outdoor bar which graces the entrance. Despite being outdoors don’t let the winter months put you off, it is fully heated so it is actually cosy no matter when you go.

DIRTY MARTINI 

There are a number of these stylish cocktail bars scattered around London,  known for their bespoke cocktail list it is the perfect place to get all the girls together. Every night of the week all of their bars are crazy busy, especially during happy hour (cocktails are £4.50 so yeah that’s why) . If like me you hate standing around, trying to hold your drink and handbag in somewhat cramped conditions I would suggest going after happy hour and paying a little extra for your cocktails- they are still cheaper than most places in London.

Would love to hear if any of you guys have recommendations for restaurants/bars in London for my next upcoming trip!

 

 

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