London’s size is almost equal to its charm, but don’t let that deter you from feeling like you can really get to know the city in just two days. My suggestion is to pick one or two districts and spend extended time there so you can get a true feeling for the neighborhood. Be sure to eat, visit and shop your way through these Central and West London favorites…
9AM GRANGER & CO.
All the best days start off with a tasty breakfast – and this is a meal you can count on to hit the spot. Granger & Co. is the brainchild of popular Australian restaurateur, Bill Granger, and reflects the easy breezy spirit of Australian culture. Portions are generous and the staff is upbeat and friendly. Order Bill’s Beet juice alongside tasty sweet corn fitters, but plan to arrive early or wait – this is a popular spot with locals!
11AM PORTOBELLO MARKET
With a full belly, now’s an ideal time to get some fresh air while exploring one of the world’s largest antique markets. With over 1,000 dealers, Portobello Market is a series of markets merged into one, and on Saturdays you’ll find the area buzzing with throngs of bargain hunters. It’s a heady mix of vibrant color, hustle and bustle. You’ll find most of the antiques from Chepstow Villas to Elgin Crescent, while Westway to Golbourne Road are geared more toward vintage fashion.
1PM THE LACY GALLERY
The colorful exterior of the Lacy Gallery caught my eye a few years back and has since become my go-to place for frames and artwork. Specializing in antique and period frames and decorative paintings from the 1950s to the present, the gallery feels like a treasure trove no matter what your taste. Even if you don’t intend to buy, it’s a fascinating place to explore.
2PM DAYLESFORD ORGANIC
After all that walking, talking, and haggling it’s finally time for a stylish pit stop. Daylesford Organic is the perfect place to recharge the batteries and enjoy a light, healthy lunch or refreshing drink. All of the café’s produce is fresh and seasonal, delivered daily straight from the farm to the market garden. Artisan cheese and breads come from the creamery and bakery, while the organic meat is straight from their own herd. Be sure to take a peek at their housewares, books and gifts on the lower floor, too.
4PM JONATHAN ADLER
Jonathan Adler’s new boutique is a stylish spot worth visiting while exploring Westbourne Grove’s high-end stores. Beautifully merchandised with attentive, friendly staff, you’ll find a mix of Jonathan’s quirky textiles and ceramics, alongside small – and packable– gifts such as candles, key fobs, stationery, and more.
7PM KASPAR’S SEAFOOD BAR & GRILL
After a busy day shopping, you deserve to put your feet up with a cocktail from the American Bar at The Savoy Hotel. After enjoying an aperitif, head across the front hall to the hotel’s seafood bar and grill, Kaspar’s. Decorated and furnished in stunning Art Deco style, the restaurant was inspired by the decadence of the 1920s and 30’s. Luxurious, relaxing, and informal all at once – it’s the ideal place to indulge and treat oneself. Alongside the delicious food led by head chef James Pare – the pan roasted fish cakes and wiener schnitzel are both outstandingly good – there’s also stunning views of the River Thames and some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, all of which can be taken in from the comfort of your table.
9AM THE COUNTER - THE DELAUNAY
Begin your second day in the British capital with breakfast at The Counter by The Delaunay. Their extensive menu is inspired by the grand cafés of Central Europe, so it gives you the opportunity to enjoy a variety of different tastes. Perhaps you’ll start with a classic croissant or maybe a viennoiserie? If you are in search of healthier options, their homemade granola and bircher muesli are also very good. Reservations are not required so you can arrive at your leisure if you feel like getting a slow start.
11AM FLORAL DESIGN COURSE
Imagine coming home from vacation with wonderful memories and a new skill? Learn the art of flower arrangements in a fun class led by The Savoy's in-house Creative Floral Design Team. Taught by Head Designer, Belinda Bowles, her friendly and knowledgeable approach will make you feel instantly at ease. You’ll learn how to make everything from beautiful corsages and buttonholes to seasonal centerpieces and hand tied single rose gifts. Plus, you can enjoy a glass of bubbles as you work!
2PM LIBERTY LONDON
No trip to London would be complete without a visit to one of the world’s most famous department stores. Liberty is akin to Aladdin’s cave and is one of the last great emporiums remaining for innovative and eclectic design. It offers shoppers the largest silk scarf hall in the world, as well as floors upon floors of cutting edge and avant-garde fashion, housewares, art, and cosmetics. Walking through the historic building – it’s been situated in the heart of London since 1875 – feels like an adventure in itself. It’s the perfect place to get lost for an hour or two of eclectic and indulgent shopping.
Shopped out? Take a break and have a Snog. One of the capital’s most popular frozen yogurt shops, you’ll first pick your flavor and then comes the fun part – picking your toppings! Whatever you're in the mood for, Snog is bound to have something to satisfy your sweet tooth. From sweet and juicy strawberries to mouthwatering Oreos and gluten free chocolate fudge brownies, you can be as healthy or decadent as you wish.
6PM THE LONDON EYE
Round out your visit to London with a magical and enchanting ride on the London Eye. To see the city glitter and sparkle, take a ride on the wheel at sunset or after dark – the sight of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben all lit up is worth the trip alone. As part of the attraction you will also get to enjoy a 4D film, where you will have a birds eye view of London – it’s an exciting way to start the experience as you know you are soon to be high above the city yourself.
WHERE TO STAY: THE SAVOY
STRAND LONDON, ENGLAND WC2R 0EU
With a practical location on the banks of the River Thames in the heart of London, The Savoy makes the perfect base to explore the city from. A stone’s throw from the vibrant Southbank and just steps from Theatreland, you can reach many iconic attractions on foot – the best way to explore the city views and architecture. The hotel itself offers a handful of the most distinguished restaurants and bars in London. Whether it’s the theatrically themed Beaufort Bar complete with monthly burlesque performances or the classic charm of the American Bar, you can enjoy a drink in a variety of exquisitely designed environments. The hotel reopened in 2010 after extensive renovations of its 125-year history and with the Art Deco and Edwardian styles lovingly restored, it makes a memorable 21st century stay.