United Kingdom

Welcome to London

City Description  

A city full of contrasts, London is one of the most diverse and exciting cities in the world. It simultaneously wears a royal crown and a punk mohawk. It’s districts traverse the spectrum from the historic Westminster to the cutting-edge Shoreditch. It’s distinguished, yet also open to the latest trends; reverent, yet also liberal. The English capital buzzes with life and is comfortable living it up in a mini-skirt, while also treating its institutions and traditions as sacrosanct. It retains a multi-faceted identity where Royal Ascot thoroughbreds, the hallowed grass courts of Wimbledon and quidditch matches at the Harry Potter studios coexist in perfect harmony.

On the banks of the mysterious Thames, a wave of mist plunges you into an atmosphere worthy of a tale of Sherlock Holmes, and the imposing Palace of Westminster rises up before you. The bustling City is just a stone’s throw away, as is the elegant St Paul’s Cathedral and the enthusiastic debates at the House of Parliament, which the unflappable Big Ben seems to watch over with a unwavering eye. For many years, the tower and its clock have displayed a very British placidity, not unlike that of the waxworks of Madame Tussauds.

Travelling along the river, the city shows off its historic side at the Tower of London, a fortified jewellery box recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Further on, the huge millennium wheel, the London Eye, and the glass and steel skyscraper, the Shard, opposite the legendary London Bridge, remind us that the city has firm foundations in modern times. Covent Garden, which blossoms in the shadow of Westminster Abbey, along with the lively streets of Notting Hill - now the ultimate weekend destination for chic bohemians - bear witness to a vibrant heritage.
Among cool, hip and groovy Londoners, Shoreditch is THE place to be, with its explosion of colour and façades decorated by street artists. Trendy restaurants and bars, hip designers and quirky shops live side by side to create as an exhilarating shopping and café experience as any that Piccadilly Circus might have to offer, where London’s main roads converge.
Between Soho and Mayfair, the exclusive designer labels of Bond Street and Regent Street respond to the elegant brands of Oxford Street, and the department stores join the battle of “who can offer more” which began last century: Harrods or Selfridges, which will you choose?
When you decide to set aside your shopping bags and explore a museum or two, history lovers can choose between the three London sites of the Imperial War Museum, not forgetting a visit to Trafalgar Square. If Egyptology or Antiquity is more your passion then head to the British Museum, a true cradle of knowledge that you’ll never finish exploring.
Interested in modern art? Then make sure to visit the short-lived London Art Fair or the industrial Tate Modern, where you can enjoy a daring programme combining unmissable masterpieces and the next big thing. If you fancy large-scale exhibitions on a range of different themes, the Victoria and Albert Museum looks forward to the Fashion Weeks to remind us all of the English capital’s place in the fashion world.
The new hub for fine food, London is welcoming a new generation of high-flying chefs, serving up an uninhibited gastronomic experience. Arriving from all four corners of the globe to get involved in London’s daring new scene, they are encouraging the more established and well-known chefs to take the elegant sophistication of their dishes one step further. When Sunday morning arrives, forget about brunch and give in to the temptation of the Sunday roast - a stylish, laid-back staple you can enjoy in a local gastropub pub or a trendy restaurant. The dynamic energy of the city can almost make you dizzy! When you’re ready for a more peaceful escape, make sure to visit Greenwich, the southeastern London port famous for its Meridian, to reset your watch before you head home … or to start your London adventure all over again.

Top things to do in London

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Where to eat

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<div>The hippest vegan restaurant in London, Farmacy is popular with celebrities and models during London’s Fashion Week. Located in Notting Hill, it’s famous for its BD oil-infused cocktail. It was set up by Camilla al-Fayed, daughter of Mohamed Al Fayed. Its dishes are about clean indulgence and its motto is taken from Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” They state on their menu: “Our mission is to help raise consciousness around food. We are part of a community promoting a healthy lifestyle. This is a movement that promotes plant-based, organic eating and a chemical-free approach to increase health and wellness for both us and the planet.” They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Highlights on their menu include their chocolate chip waffles (made with oats, sunwarrior protein and chia seeds served with banana, housemade Nutella and coconut ‘yoghurt’), Fire starter syringe shots (ginger, turmeric, cayenne and lemon) and Middle Eastern Bowl (steamed buckwheat served with baba ganoush, spirulina hummus, sprouted tabbouleh, sweet potato falafels,, pickled beetroot topped with sprouts and za’atar crackers).</div>



Expect carefully sourced local seasonal ingredients and classic British flavours at HIX, a fantastic London restaurant chain helmed by celebrated chef/ restaurateur Mark Hix. After dining at HIX Soho, head downstairs to Mark’s Bar and enjoy an expertly-crafted cocktail.



Restauranteur Mourad ‘Momo’ Mazouz and French chef Pierre Gagnaire have created a sophisticated adults playground for lovers of food, art and music at Sketch, a restaurant and lounge bar set over two floors of a converted 18th-century building in Mayfair.



Israeli-born chef, Yotam Ottolenghi takes his signature bold Middle Eastern flavors to a new level at his stylish London restaurant, Nopi. The dining room is chic and the sharing plate-style menu is organized into ‘Meat’, ‘Fish’, and ‘Veg’ sections to suit all palettes.


Pollen Street Social

One of the city’s best places to eat, drink and socialise, chef Jason Atherton’s award-winning Pollen Street Social is a true London gem serving sophisticated Modern British cuisine in a vibrant setting in London’s Mayfair.


Harrods Food Halls

Located within one of the most famous department stores in the world, the Harrods Food Halls are home to the finest food retailers in the world. This is one of London’s most upscale addresses for gourmet products, fine foods, international wines and fresh produce.



With seductive, low-lit interiors and sumptuous modern Chinese cuisine, Hakkasan is the award-winning, Michelin-starred restaurant which changed the face of upscale Chinese dining in London. Savour crowd-pleasing signature dishes such as stir-fried Chilean seabass with Szechuan pepper.


CVS Seven Dials

Settle in for great wine and flavorsome sharing plates at the stylish and cosy wine bar in London’s Covent Garden, Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels Seven Dials. Make sure to sample their great selection of French and international wines.


The Best Viennoiserie in London

<div>French days often start with a short stroll to a nearby boulangerie or pâtisserie – a café if there’s time – coffee, a croissant, maybe a little fruit juice. Fresh breads and pastries are a way of life across the Channel, and the habit is one we’re happy to replicate.</div><div><br></div><div>Thankfully, there are plenty of excellent bakeries in London offering their own fine viennoiserie. Here’s half a dozen of our favourites:</div><div><br></div><div>1.<span style> </span>Aux Pains de Papy</div><div>St Pancras</div><div><br></div><div>A stone’s throw from King’s Cross, this authentic French boulangerie pâtisserie sells fresh baguettes, traditional pastries, and a selection of harder-to-find delights including flaky Paris-Brest and fragrant bugnes.</div><div><br></div><div>2.<span style> </span>Comptoir Gourmand</div><div>London Bridge</div><div><br></div><div>A classic style boulangerie pâtisserie, Comptoir Gourmand sells fresh pastry, sweet viennoiserie, and savory bakes, all handmade in French fashion. </div><div><br></div><div>3.<span style> </span>Little Bread Pedlar</div><div>Bermondsey</div><div><br></div><div>The Little Bread Pedlar’s Bermondsey home is only open on Saturdays, with a range of delicious pastries, cakes, brioches and more available to buy. If you’re looking for a midweek fix, you can find their viennoiserie in several cafés and shops across the city.</div><div><br></div><div>4.<span style> </span>Beyond Bread</div><div>Fitzrovia</div><div><br></div><div>Think hot-out-the-oven bread, light-as-anything brioche, and delicate pastries filled with crème pâtissière. Beyond Bread produce gluten-free favourites that never compromise on quality. If you miss breakfast, head over in the afternoon and pick up a sandwich or melt to make up for it.</div><div><br></div><div>5.<span style> </span>Cake Boy</div><div>Wandsworth</div><div><br></div><div>Cake Boy is a boutique pâtisserie bear Wandsworth. Master pâtissier Eric Lanlard changes the menu at least weekly, so there’s always something new to discover. Savories are divine, but if you’re looking for a sweet hit, Cake Boy’s take on the traditional pain au chocolat is unmissable.</div><div><br></div><div>6.<span style> </span>Dominique Ansel Bakery</div><div>Belgravia</div><div><br></div><div>The home of the Cronut, Dominique Ansel Bakery has ascended to icon status thanks to its array of innovative and traditional treats. You should – if they aren’t sold out – try the Cronut. Also sink your teeth into the ‘DKA’, a caramelised, deep-fried croissant, and grab a canelé before you leave – the chewy, custardy pastries are hard to find outside of France!</div><div><br></div><div><font style><font style>Whether you're spending a week in London or just passing through, make sure you grab something fresh and sweet from one of these spots. </font><font style>Get there early enough and enjoy it indulge on the go - there's no wrong way to eat pastries. </font></font></div><div><br></div><div><font style><font style>If you're looking for hotels near Kings Cross St Pancras, Pullman St Pancras London is an elegant choice. </font><font style>Centrally located and easy to access, this beautiful Pullman hotel promises you from the very moment you arrive. </font></font></div>


Rapha Cycle Club Café

A celebration of all things cycling, the Rapha Cycle Club Café is the perfect place to mingle with cycling enthusiasts over great coffee, fresh food and good vibes. The in-house cafe nestles within a corner of the Rapha Cycle Club store in London’s Soho district and serves excellent coffee roasted by Workshop Coffee. 



At TAP’s three London locations, it’s all about serious coffee skills and quietly cool spaces. Try a single origin espresso, an Aeropress or a brewed cone drip coffee as you unwind in the funky industrial-style interiors. Dark woods, factory lights and the hum of conversation make this a local favourite in London. 



With two cafes in London’s Fitzrovia neighbourhood, Kaffeine is one of the leaders of the UK specialty coffee scene due to its expertly-crafted brews and regularly-changing casual cuisine. As the seasonal range of sandwiches, tarts, soups and salads emerge from the kitchen, settle into this cosy space and enjoy a smooth latté, a single origin espresso or a pour-over coffee creation. 


La Belle Epoque

Every dish is a work of art at La Belle Epoque restaurant in the Sofitel London Heathrow, where French gourmet cuisine is given an Asian twist by Chef Mayur Nagarale. The only fine-dining restaurant in Heathrow airport, this 3 AA Rosette award-winning culinary gem is known for its inspired menu featuring dishes such as herb-crusted monkfish with Dorset crab, smoked wood pigeon with confit legs and beetroot, and roasted saddle of rabbit with a boudin of chorizo. With a stylish dining room furnished with plush purples, deep turquoise and golden lighting, La Belle Epoque brings a touch of Parisian glamour to Heathrow. 

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