The Brits just get it– the culture, history, food, architecture, people, fashion, beauty, and rising health and wellness scene make London seriously GLOWY.
London is a diverse and huge city (Glow Guides part 1. & part 2.). With tons of different neighborhoods to explore, from Notting Hill in the west to Shoreditch in the east, London constantly impresses. The food scene is on point, if you know where to go, the shopping is the sickest, and so much to explore and see in the ever-evolving yet old-school city. Every time we take a trip here we fall more and more in love with it– honestly could move here in a heartbeat!
On Tara’s recent trip to the LondonTown, she walked around for miles and miles getting to know each and every neighborhood ((PS. walking is seriously the BEST way to explore a city– you see so much all while allowing you to indulge in everything along the way without all of the guilt!).
As with any big city, there’s always so much to do a so little time. Tara spent about 4 and a half days exploring the city, and she fit in quite a bit. Here’s a rundown of some of her favorite spots during her quick trip, grouped by day and general neighborhood:
// DAY 1::
Portobello Road Market— This open air market on Sundays in Notting Hill is a must. There’s tons of incredible food stalls, vintage finds, and glowy knick-knacks
Granger & Co— Went here on the first night in London and it was the perfect meal. Lovely vegetables, especially the eggplant, and fish. Granger is putting out some of the best food in London right now
// DAY 2::
Daylesford— GLOW central. This market-place / restaurant sources all of its ingredients and produce from their farm. Only farm fresh, local, organic goodness from this spot. The eggs for breakfast are the move. There are multiple around the city– Notting Hill, Marlyebone
Regents Park / Queen Mary’s Gardens— This peaceful and huge park in Central London is a lovely place to take a jog or stroll. And don’t miss the beautiful Queen’s Gardens along the way
Primrose Hill– This picturesque neighborhood, especially Regents Park Road is an idyllic and upscale part of town. Great restaurants, cafes, and family vibes
Cowshed— This spa is a little glowy oasis thanks to the cafe inside. You can cozy up in luxuriously soft chairs, get your mani/ pedi, all while muching on great coffee and healthy eats
Primrose Bakery— Sugary goodness, from cupcakes, to cookies, to fresh loafs, Primrose Bakery has the sweets on lock. The rose cupcake is perfect.
Marlyebone High Street :: This street has tons of great shops, food spots, bookstores, and more
La Fromagerie— This is a cheese lovers paradise! The cheese room is enclosed to ensure freshness, and you can find incredible product in their little market, as well as wonderful prepared eats in their back cafe. Definitely glow spot.
Pierre Marcolini Eclairs / chocolate store— the eclairs here are almost too pretty to eat, but seriously worth it every bite. Think crispy hazelnut, pistachio, passionfruit, and raspberry flavors…
Natural kitchen— A wonderful natural foods marketplace and cafe. Tons of vibrant and healthy vegetable options and a good place to hang out
Daunt Books— This is the quintessential London bookshop, old charm and a fantastic selection. You can find everything from literature, to travel books, to gifts and more. Book worms paradise.
Oxford circus :: The craziness of this area is made better with the spots below
Liberty London— This really might be one of the most beautiful department stores ever. Not only that, they have an incredible selection of unique gifts, clothing, beauty products, home goods, chocolates, stationary and more!
Detox kitchen— This health food delivery system has gone brick and mortar. There’s usually a line out the door here and for good reason. Some of the best healthy food in the city. Juice, smoothies, vegetables, and sweets done just right
Kingly Court— This foodie square has everything from a ramen spot, to Greek food, to smoothie spot, and lots of other deliciousness
Burlington Arcade— Picturesque and quintessential London, this timless shopping hall houses high end shops like Chanel, La Perla, and Laduree macaroons, our favorite of course!
Selfridges + Food Hall— Selfridges is one of London’s best high-end department stores. It’s especially great because of its new food hall, with tons of awesome options like Press juicery, gelato, a Daylesford outpost, and lots of specialty food items
Neal’s Yard— This colorful center square in Convent Garden is possibly one of the glowiest spots in all of London. You can get it all here, food, coffee, back massages, glowy products, and a place to rest up.
Walk-In Back Rub— No appointment needed here! You just choose how long you’d like your back rub to be and get to relaxing. Great spot to get some refuge after exploring the city
26 Grains— Glowy little slice of heaven with healthy foods. This place focuses on grains, mainly porridge bowls both hot and cold, as well as smoothie bowls
Blend and Press— Awesome pressed juices, nut milks, and raw/vegan eats done in the chicest way. Great spot to get in some nutritious eats.
Neal’s Yard Dairy Creamery— Cheese HEAVEN. They’ll give you a taste of whatever you’d like too, which is half the fun
Monmouth Coffee— London’s most legit coffee spot. So strong, and so good.
Barrafina – frith street — This small tapas bar always has a wait and for good reason. Possibly one of the 10 ten meals of all time here! While you wait you can order wine and small bites to keep you busy, but the main attraction happens at the bar as you get to watch the chef prepare your delectable tapas. Try the Pan con Tomate, Spanish Omelette, Crispy Artichokes, Grilled Qual, and Corguette Flowers. Seriously a must. Still dreaming about this meal.
// DAY 3::
Ottolenghi— Yotam Ottolenghi reigns supreme in London. He creates magic with food, and when you enter any of his eateries you’ll just drool. It’s hard to decide what to pick, because you’ll want one of everything, but not to worry because you can’t go wrong. I had a quiche, almond croissant, and chocolate chip cookie just for breakfast in one shot. Yep, and it was perfect.
Central London :: including Knightsbridge & Mayfair
Hyde Park / Kensington Gardens— One of London’s best parks, the Kensington Gardens are beautiful and a lovely place to get lost and frolic
Orangery— Quintessential old British style building where you can get proper British food, overlooking the Kensington Gardens. A nice place for breakfast, lunch, or tea
Harvey Nichols— One of London’s high end department stores in Knightsbridge, with a lovely glass-roofed food hall on top
Chisou— This authentic Japanese spot is a definite favorite, thanks to GP, we’re also hooked on the Horenso salad. It’s so simple but perfect. Just spinach, crispy shrimp, and shredded carrot, with the most perfect light yuzu viniagrette. Could eat this everyday.
Harrods + Harrod Food Hall— World-famous, everything is just so grand at Harrods. The food hall is brimming with every food item you can imagine. It’s really a luxury foodie’s paradise!
Pierre Herme— The lightest, softest, and most unique macaroons around. Definitely worth a try if you’re a macaroon lover. The flavors are creative and special as well. Rose is a favorite.
Dover Street Market— Aka, DOPEr Street Market. You can find the dopest designers and picks here, definitely pricey but seriously the best. Also, Rose Cafe at the rooftop is an awesome spot for some healthy eats.
Yauatcha— This Michelin starred Chinese restaurant is a constant favorite because of their INCREDIBLE dim sum dish known as the Cheung Fung with prawn and bean curd. Serioulsy, you must try it and thank me later. Crispy fried shrimp/bean curd wrapped in steamed dumpling sheets, covered in the perfect savory sauce…. woah, it’s special.
Chiltern Fire House— Chic, exclusive, and cozy. If you can manage get in here, you’ll be chillin with London’s coolest
// DAY 4::
Clarke’s— The chef here used to work at Chez Panisse and you can definitely feel the California-local goodness in the food here. Perfection in every way.
East London :: Explore Bermondsey Street off the Tube stop, and get a glimpse of London from above at The Shard
Borough Market— Hands down one of the BEST food markets in the world. Incredible produce, cheese, bread bakers, olive oil makers… you can get it all at Borough Market. From fresh juice, to paella, to scotch eggs, to Turkish desserts, to fresh burrata… foodie paradis times a million. It’s only open Weds-Saturday.
Shoreditch :: This is the alternative, hip, and uber glowy part of London. Explore Columbia Road and Redchurch street, tons of amazing shops
Ace Hotel— This is a great place to stay in Shoreditch, hipster vibes done London style, with great access to the Shoreditch glow
Leila’s Shop— Go here for breakfast and get the eggs. You’re welcome. The supermarket attached to it is super glowy too.
Boxhouse Shoreditch— Pop-up central with everything from food, to clothes, to juice and more. V. cool, v. hip.
St. John Bread & Wine— Absolutely excellent food. The bacon sandwich. Everything is done just right, down to the warm madeleines.
Spitafields Market— This open market has vintage finds and awesome food stalls
Dishoom— Bombay diggity Indian food. The vibe is incredible, especially their open air seating in the front. Everything is amaaaaazing here. A bit of a modern spin on Indian food, but it’s perfect. We got the crispy calamari, pulled lamb burger, Chicken Tikka, dahl, and garlic naan of course. For dessert, we had the pistachio ice cream on a stick, deeelish. Literally rolled home.
// DAY 5::
Serpentine Gallery— Their current neon-plastic exhibit is a big glow bubble of inspiration, a definite must-see
Claridges High Tea— The Claridges Hotel is so perfect. Old school London with tons of charm and royal beauty. Their tea time is a bit more playful than others, but it’s so perfect. Lovely selection of teas, endless tea sandwiches, warm scones with clotted cream, and sweets to end it off. Everything down to their green and white striped plates are iconic.
Phsycle— Get your indoor spinning on to loud music
Love Yoga— Lovely East London yoga studio
Evolve Wellness Center— This well-rounded studio offers yoga, pilates, and soul-nourishing workshops
TriYoga— Everything from yoga, pilates, massage treatmenets, and workshops
Spa Illuminata— Revel in the Crystal Steam Room, Sound Massages, and oasis healing vibes in the middle of Mayfair
Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Center— This oasis tackles healing from the elements: earth, water, fire, and air, with a lounge bar, spa, gym, and holistic classes
Chuan Spa— This spa focuses on the values of Chinese Medicine, especially the elements of water, of which you can steep in their vitality pools for extra relaxation
Ushvani— This spa is pure bliss and luxury at once. The ultimate in body treatements: massage, wraps, scrubs, soaks, as well as luxurious facials
Ace Hotel— If you’re looking to stay in Shoreditch, this is your spot
Covent Garden Hotel— This chic Soho hotel is quiet, cozy, and beautiful
Connaught— Ultimate in British sophistcation and luxury, and not to mention one of the chicest bars in town
Claridges— This is where you stay to splurge on a proper old-school British experience, in central London’s Mayfair. One of the city’s best High Teas.
The Berkley— British luxury with a more modern twist, a Knightsbridge favorite. They’ve got a lovely rooftop pool during the summer months.
Chiltern Firehouse— Posh, exclusive, and in central London. Guest access to their downstairs bar and lovely patio.
Photography by: Tara Sowlaty
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