This summer has been FILLED to the brim with travel, all kinds of it at that! I found out semi last minute that I’d be traveling to London & Paris with work at the beginning of August, then coming home five days before my already planned vacation in Europe. Yep, five. It was a little bit insane. Whew! That said, I’m never one to complain about excessive travel. I’ve been to London before, in addition to Liverpool & Whales, and absolutely adored the city, even more so than Paris. I’ve since discovered other captivating cities, but London definitely has captured my heart in the food and hospitality department. Here are a few of my favorites from my most recent jaunt to London town..
Where I stayed:
I’m being a little aggressive when I say this, but this was one of my all-time favorite hotels I’ve stayed at. The Haymarket is a boutique hotel right in between the Theater District and Soho. The small, homey feel was perfect for an eight night stay. What I fell in love with most was the quirky and eccentric décor, something so many hotels stray away from. I was able to see a few different rooms while there since we stayed one night, checked out and went to Paris for the weekend, then checked back in for the rest of the week. All of the rooms had complete different styles, which kept it fun. Oh! And the indoor pool area was the coolest set-up I’ve ever seen. I mean, who usually wants to sit in a hot indoor hotel pool in the middle of a city and do work on their laptop? Not me. The pool area at the hotel was so open, chic, and inviting. I spend many afternoons perched on a couch aside the pool sipping coffee and working.
The Haymarket Hotel is one of two hotels in London and a few others in New York, part of the Firmdale Hotel brand. All of the hotels are designed by the famous Kit Kemp – known for her stylish and eclectic interior design skills. She has a book showcasing many of her works of art.
Eating through London:
Dinner at Zuma: Also found in NYC, Zuma is a well-known Japanese restaurant with a high-end, yet comfortable vibe. The open kitchen and design makes it inviting. You’ll see both business diners and families here. Zuma is the perfect place for a healthy and light meal for a dinner following a day of travel. We came here fresh off the plane!
Breakfast at the Haymarket – I’m still dreaming about my breakfast every morning at the hotel. The room included both the breakfast buffet and a full breakfast menu. Think bountiful bowls of berries, a huge variety of baguettes & pastries, and organic yogurt spread out on a continental buffet. The actual menu had all of my favorites – fluffy pancakes, avocado toast, eggs benny, and more. It became a joke that every morning I’d leave breakfast saying I’m already looking forward to tomorrow.
Lunch at Nopi – If Nopi was in San Francisco it would be packed every day! This Greek restaurant has a tapas style lunch with a clean, and crisp aesthetic inside. The truffle polenta chips (fries) were a favorite. You must check out the bathroom. I posted an Instagram story inside the bathroom (yes, you heard that right.) The walls, ceiling, sink, and everything else inside is covered in mirrored glass. Trippy. I’ve also heard the Sunday brunch is fantastic if you’re on the hunt for a yummy weekend spot.
Dinner at Nobu – We all know what Nobu is by now thanks to the Kardashians. Fresh Japanese in a high end atmosphere. The London location is perfect for large groups and is in a great neighborhood.
Dinner at Balthazar – I hear the NYC location is great, and the London one did not disappoint. I am always down for French-American food, and this was SO good. I’d rate it the best of the trip. We ordered the mac & cheese for the table and I had the burger and fries (helloooo, cheat meal!). Please open one in SF!
Dinner at Jamavar – I was traveling with someone who said this was their all-time favorite restaurant. I’m not much of an Indian food fan, that is, until I went here. It’s definitely upscale, but I hear the lunch menu is also great if you’re looking for a casual option for your Indian food fix while in London. We shared about six dishes and I loved them all. Make sure to ask for mild if you’re sensitive to spice – they don’t mess around here.
The Berkeley for dessert – Known as an extremely high-end luxury hotel, its super fun to get a taste of the good life by grabbing dessert in the hotel lounge. You’ll be treated like kings and queens here.
Soho Grind – Eclectic coffee shop – including the baristas, music and décor. A fun stop that will make you a convert to oat milk lattes. The Londoners looove their oat milk.
Press London – I came here most mornings to stock up on fresh juice. The juices are huge and well priced. I really try to seek out juice bars while traveling. I find that my body starts to crave greens and fresh nutrients while on on the go, and Pressed seemed to do the trick! I also picked up a few of their cacao matcha protein balls and packaged granola bars (which I’m still hoarding until I order more online!)
Churchill War Rooms Museum
Shopping in Soho
National Gallery (free!)
Harry Potter World
Morning runs throughout the city (my favorite way to explore)