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LONDON LIFESTYLE GUIDE - PINKTROTTERS

Discover with our London Lifestyle City Guide what to do in town... in few simple points


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Our London Lifestyle City Guide in few simple points



BEST LONDON RESTAURANTS:

Polpo: Certainly could not miss an italian restaurant. To ''Polpo'', at Covent Garden, when you enter you have the sensation of being in Venice: simple and delicious food and good wine. The lure of Italian cuisine is irresistible, and the atmosphere reminds the scent of our house.

Le Cafè du Marchè: One of the favorite restaurants by the British, a corner of French atmosphere in Charterhouse Square. The setting is country style with a touch of elegance and romanticism created by the many candles present. A dreamy atmosphere made even more beautiful by jazz musicians who perform live in the local.

The Modern Pantry: A local relaxed atmosphere, perfect for those who love the fusion cuisine, here the typical flavors of English cuisine combine traditional Japanese ingredients, creating beautiful and special dishes. Something that could be born only in London.



Angler: A must for those who love fish and shellfish, here the freshness of the best sea ingredients are a guarantee. It's located at the South Palace Hotel, a real piece of Provence in the heart of London.

Sushisamba: Panoramic restaurant, the lights of London at your feet and a mixture of Brazilian, Peruvian and Japanese cuisine. Is this real? Yes, on the 40th floor of Heron Tower. Reservations are recommended in advance.

The Swan: Attached to the Globe theatre and overlooking the Thames from the second floor, the Swan is guaranteed a substantially tourist clientele, but prices don't exploit this and quality is high. The first floor bar is a casual stop for bar snacks and booze, while the second floor restaurant is an elegant space for breakfast through to lunch and dinner. Afternoon tea is served between 2.30 and 5pm Mondays to Saturdays, and features, unusually, a "Gentleman's High Tea".



The Bull & Last: For a place with such a good reputation for its food, the Bull & Last is refreshingly pubby with heavy wooden furniture, velvet drapes, stuffed animals and old prints decorate both the bar and the upstairs dining room. The latter is a calmer and cooler place to eat than the ground-floor bar, and allows diners to focus on dishes such as king scallop carpaccio with pink grapefruit, crème fraîche, coriander and vinaigrette, a fabulous way to start the meal.

Les Deux Salons: This two-floor Covent Garden restaurant and bar is now owned by Prescott & Conran - the group behind Boundary, Lutyens and the Albion venues, in Shoreditch and Bankside. The look remains very much French brasserie but the food menu is now influenced by the United States. Dishes range from macaroni cheese and steak tartare to hot dogs, burgers and steaks cooked on the Josper grill. There are express menus, too.

Momo: Still London's most glamorous Moroccan restaurant, it attracts a fair smattering of beautiful people alongside couples on special dates and business types. The soundtrack of classic Maghrebi beats and attractive young francophone waiting staff create a seductive buzz. Sexy Marrakech-style interiors, sparkling with light from intricately latticed mashrabiya-style windows and ornate metalwork lanterns, add to the allure. Tables are small and tightly packed, but somehow this rarely seems an imposition.





BEST LONDON HOTELS:

The Corinthia: This hotel is the perfect for those who love luxury. It's located in the district of Mayfair and it is often a destination for celebrities (among others spouses West have stayed here). In addition to being stylish and sophisticated, it offers the largest health club in the city (4 floors) and discounts for Harrods.



Sofitel St James: Sofitel London St James has one of the finest addresses in London, right on the corner of Pall Mall and Waterloo Place. The hotel lies in the heart of St. James's, a prestigious and lively district of London, within walking distance of St. James's Park, Buckingham Palace and the renowned gentlemen's clubs. For international travellers with a taste for art and culture, Sofitel London St James is more than a luxury hotel – it's somewhere that will always feel like home.



Russell Hotel: A 4-star hotel with a beautiful Victorian facade. It is located between Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden, in the heart of London.

The Royal Horseguards Hotel: In 2010-2011, it was awarded London hotel of the year: it is located in a beautiful old building in front of the London Eye, a few steps from the National Gallery.

London Marriott Hotel County Hall: An historic hotel, located on the banks of the Thames. It has a pool and a spa. The metro station is within walking distance, approx ten minutes.

The Arch: Tucked behind the glorious marble arches of Hyde Park's sturdiest landmark, this hotel is a grand Georgian pad, spread over seven former townhouses and two old mews houses. Walls are covered in hand-made Italian wallpaper and artwork by rising British talents, and bedrooms are kitted out with all the technology you could wish for.



The Rookery this hotel has more character in its bathrooms than some hotels have in their entirety; its charms include artful Georgian styling and a location in restaurant-rich EC2

The Zetter: this is a hotel that's all about cutting-edge design, with the clever and ironic contrasts and clashes of modern styles that you'd expect from an establishment embodying London's eastside renaissance. The flamboyant pink chandelier that greets you in the lobby is a statement of intent, and the bold thinking continues throughout.



The Berkeley: High-calibre but laid-back, with an A-list guest list to match, this hotel in Knightsbridge is one of London's most renowned luxury hotels. Its triumvirate of top chefs, one-of-a-kind rooftop pool and celebrity-pleasing snug of a bar are the highlights of this classily comfortable city stay.

Soho hotel: It is a bubble of cool calm, and therefore it's also a surprisingly child-friendly hotel. Veer off Wardour Street and head towards a twinkly-lit porch to find a 10-foot porcelain Botero cat sculpture, oversized plant pots and a clash of driftwood and neon-tinted Perspex – a refreshing alternative to the marble and brass lobbies of most hotels in this postcode.



Belgraves: This hotel brings Brooklyn to Belgravia – exposed brick walls, casual-cool doormen and a sexy glass-fronted fire are just a few of the New York flourishes. The setting, too, is pure London luxury: an elegant corner of moneyed Sloane Square.

The Connaught: It was bound to be stately and stylish: it's more than 100 years old, set in monied Mayfair and has the royal stamp of approval. Despite a recent revamp, old-fashioned values remain (English grandeur, top-notch butler service, antique furniture) but with modern frills added: flatscreen TVs above the baths, an indoor pool and the UK's only Aman Spa.



BEST LONDON CAFES:

Cereal Killer Cafè: Looking for a familiar-looking, colorful and where to eat cereal and milk at any time? The Cereal Killer Cafe, Brick Lane, is the place for you, here you can find 120 different kinds of cereals, 20 different types of milk and 20 different types of topping.

Number 90: Located in the district of Hacnkey, the number 90 is a wonderful restaurant and bar: offers a wide range of food and coctkail. The wooden furniture, the large terrace and the rich artistic program have elevated to the status of establishment of Hackney.



Bake-a-boo: A unique hideaway in West Hampstead, described as magical and simply darling. Open to all on the weekends for a wide variety of hand-baked seasonal cakes, treats & cupcakes galore! A delicious range of speciality cakes and treats free from the common allergens of wheat, gluten and dairy, suitable for coeliacs, and allergy and intolerance sufferers. We also offer egg and sugar free treats.



Bea's: Bea's of Bloomsbury is a mini-chain of cafés, with branches in Watling Street near St Paul's and Cowcross Street in Farringdon. But this original in Bloomsbury is the best, not least because it's the source of all those spectacular gateaux and special occasion cakes – the busy, and sometimes noisy, kitchen and bakery occupies the rear half of the long and narrow space. Choose your seat in the long corridor facing the counter carefully, as the tables nearest the front bear the brunt of the constant bustle of takeaway customers; further back the room's only slightly cosier. But people don't come to Bea's for the ambience (the tables are wipe-clean bare, though not always spotless) or for the service (frosty on our most recent visit) – they come here for the cakes.



Gallery Mess: Gallery Mess at the Saatchi Gallery has attracted enthusiastic reviews for its beautiful setting, charming atmosphere and excellent food. With exposed brickwork, vaulted ceilings and display of art, the listed interior provides the perfect location for dinner, a long leisurely lunch or drinks. The seasonal menu and extensive bar selection is provided by award winning Rhubarb Food Design. The restaurant also benefits from a wonderful al fresco terrace. Gallery Mess can be hired exclusively for private events.

Le Chandelier: Both tea and cake are in plentiful supply at Le Chandelier. More than 30 varieties of loose leaf tea by Jing are stacked in jars while the cakes cause passers by to ogle from the window. Piled high and wide, they cover the gamut of confections from cupcakes and brownies to billowing meringues and grown up cheesecakes and are ordered daily from various local suppliers. Scones, however, are baked in house and are a pleasing addition to the generous afternoon tea, which, depending on what's fresh that day, usually includes a slice of Madeira cake and a Portuguese custard tart among a selection of four sweets. The salon setting – a sort of grand French, British and Middle Eastern fusion – is a suitably special backdrop.



BEST LONDON CLUBS AND COCKTAIL BARS:

The Fabric: is one of the most famous of London: a must for lovers of nightlife and reminiscent of the biggest names in music electro and drum 'n' bass. The Saturday night are increasingly glamorous, while Sundays are transformed into colorful fashion night.



Mahiki: It is famous for the VIP clientele who decide to go here on a Friday or Saturday night: from Rihanna to Lady Gaga, but also his most famous customer, Prince Harry. It reminds of Polynesia and has a special open door policy, but it is better able to enter before 11 pm anyway.



Funky Buddha: Design engaging, a mix of modern and oriental, the Funky Buddha is one of the coolest venues in town. The music ranges between R'n B, house, funky and everything danceable. A place where you have to go at least for one night. Don't miss the gold (999 carats)Buddha statue.

Love & Liquor: Late-night cocktail bar inspired by Williamsbury in Brooklyn with 1920s cocktails and a warehouse-style interior. Regularly hosts a mix of big-name and underground DJs, particularly at weekends, mostly spinning house, R&B and hip hop.

Pacha: It opened its doors in 2001, bringing the capital it's very own ray of white isle magic, delivering a global club brand with cutting edge cool that only London can provide. Staying true to its roots, the venue is right on cue for taste and blistering hot talents straight from the sun, courtesy of their bespoke Martin Audio passive sound system recently installed to national acclaim.




BEST LONDON SHOPS:

Liberty London: The oldest department store, which is the perfect place even for those who find themselves making purchases or gifts at the last minute. It is located in Regent Street in a stunning historic building that is definitely worth visiting. You can find clothing, accessories and household items inside.



Fortnum & Mason: If you are in London you have to buy some english tea. The best place to do this is definitely Fortum & Mason. Moreover, in addition to tea, inside this lovely building you can also find a good restaurant, wine bars and tasty ice cream.

Selfridges: Voted the best department store in the world, Selfridges has all the latest designer collections, must-have toys & gifts for all the family.

Harrods: This remains at the height of British luxury retail, attracting millions of loyal customers from across the globe with its unrivalled product selection. The food hall worth a visit for sure!




Photo Credits: Google Images

With the kind contribution of Tatiana Barone.

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