As London is our hometown, it was only natural that our very first entry to begin this global guide was our favourite city in the world, the capital which is the source of much of our design inspiration and the place where IZAAK AZANEI was born. From 3 to 1, Deeya is the Founder that still lives in London. Unlike anywhere else in the world, London has an incredible and authentic charm. Rich in beauty, culture and diversity, one thing we love about London is its ability to cater to so many moods, vibes, preferences and people. From the rustic charms of Notting Hill, to the artsy hubs in the East - there quite literally is something for everyone and being born and raised in England, we have countless tips and endless recommendations for this wonderful city.
We hope you enjoy it.
K, R & D x
WHERE TO GO:
London is home to some of the best markets in the world. Whilst we'd love to properly describe each and every one, we thought we might leave that for you to discover on your own with just a few helpful tips from us. Portobello Market (in Notting Hill) has some amazing vintage stores where you can pick up all kinds of one off pieces. Arguably the best food market in London, every food stand at Maltby Street Market (by Tower Bridge) is worth trying, we struggle to pick a favourite, but our go-to stands are the waffles and gyoza. Try out Dumpling Shack at Old Spitafields Market for the best xiao long bao (soupy dumplings) in London. Head to Columbia Road Flower Market (near Brick Lane) to add some colour to your day - this is one of the prettiest streets in London and is perfect for a feel-good Sunday. Check out Bread Ahead in Borough Market (by London Bridge) for one of the yummiest donuts you'll ever try. Remember, calories don't count on the weekend.
Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG
Tate Modern is not only one of London’s most iconic art galleries, but the world’s too. It holds an international collection of modern and contemporary artworks and is a historic piece of architecture worth visiting in its own right. Their international focus means that their collection of over 800 works are by artists from over 50 different countries and their permanent collection features big names including Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.
9 Maddox St, Mayfair W1S 2QE
Four floors of a Victorian townhouse have been dedicated to display the most amazing collection of contemporary and modern art. Made famous by a certain nude portrait of Donald Trump which was banned in the US, this gallery showcases some of the world’s most internationally acclaimed and emerging artists. What's inside is just as good as what's outside the gallery, with their incredible exterior displays changing from season to season. This is a must for any art lover and a perfect way to spend the afternoon.
1 Tracey Farm Cottages, Great Tew, Chipping Newton OX7 4JS
Perfect for a weekend stay or even just a day trip, Soho Farmhouse is a must for anyone visiting London. Set in 100 acres of tame farmland in Oxford, it’s well worth the trip down for a truly enchanting experience. Whether it’s lunch in the Main Barn, a quick dip in the indoor / outdoor pool, a stroll in the never-ending green or a boat ride – the list of things to do is long and varied ensuring that there's something for anyone of any age. You’ll (reluctantly) leave feeling rejuvenated and already looking forward to your next visit back.
WHERE TO STAY:
Carlos Pl, Mayfair, London W1K 2AL
Home to the only Aman Spa in London and the first Aman Spa to be built outside the infamous Aman resorts, The Connaught effortlessly combines discreet English ambiance with the contemporary 5-star touches expected by the modern traveler. Perfectly placed within the heart of Mayfair, expect to come back to one of the best Martini’s you’ll ever try in the hotel's very own Connaught Bar after a long day of shopping, one of our favourite spots for an intimate drink with a friend. The hotel is also famed for its quintessentially British afternoon tea - a must for any tea and scones lover. Located on Mount Street off of Berkley Square, amongst some of London's finest boutiques including Goyard and Oscar de la Renta, it is in the ultimate location just a stone's throw away from New Bond Street, Selfridges, a handful of the best restaurants in town and a walkable distance from Knightsbridge (if the weather's on your side).
WHERE TO EAT:
54 Brook's Mews, Mayfair, London W1K 4EG | 020 7495 4774
With some restaurants, it’s necessary to know what to order and what not to order. It is safe to say that at LPM, nothing’s off the table – quite literally. Famed for using only the freshest ingredients in town, LPM is a must for any foodie and is one of our top picks for a long Saturday brunch. Discreetly housed in a small alley in the heart of Mayfair, you can be easily fooled into underestimating the lively, up-beat atmosphere inside. Must-try dishes include the snails in garlic butter, the prawns, the onion tart – you know what, just order everything! Last but most definitely not least, possibly the most delicious dessert in London and perhaps the best French toast you’ll ever try: the Pain Perdu. This truly is a culinary treat - bon appétit!
Pro-tip: try and get a reservation when The Troubadours are performing. You can thank us later.
37-38 Margaret St, London W1G 0JF | no reservations
We present to you the best burger joint in London. It may be the darkest and dingiest restaurant in town (where you can expect to queue for over an hour at peak times), but this is hands down one of the best (& most sinful) meals in London. All we want you to do is go there and order the Buffalo chicken burger, the hippie fries, the onion rings and that oh so gooey mud pie. Done. Enjoy. You can thank us later. Disclaimer: go wearing sweatpants and preferably old clothes (you will leave smelling slightly like fries, but it's definitely worth it).
The Dorchester Hotel, 53 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 1QA | 020 7319 7088
Available to anyone at any time either within the restaurant itself or by the bar (we prefer to eat at the bar when we're heading out after dinner), each visit at China Tang offers superb food in an exquisite setting with impeccable service. This restaurant holds particular significance for us, as it's the one place in London we usually celebrate all major family milestones - big birthdays, engagements, anniversaries. Unlike most hotel restaurants, China Tang has a warm and inviting atmosphere and is a go-to for many locals in the area. Our top recommendations are the Peking duck, BBQ pork pastries and the Shanghai dumplings to start and both the lobster noodles and the steamed fish with ginger and spring onion for mains. Not forgetting the Toffee Temptation for dessert (if you know, YOU KNOW).
121A Mount St, London W1K 3NW | 020 7499 1256
Though Delfino can be found in the heart of Mayfair, this is quick, easy and VERY casual dining. It’s delicious, hearty Italian yumminess and is the perfect meal in between a shopping trip or, even better, at the end of a tiring day when all you want is a big bowl of pasta (with extra cheese, of course). Our favourite is the pink sauce pasta – we actually think it’s the best in London!
16 Neal's Yard, London WC2H 9DP | no reservations
Sitting on backless stools around an open “kitchen bar” in the middle of Neal’s Yard, you may be wondering why we included this on our travel guide. Wait. Wait until your food arrives. The menu is small in size but HUGE in flavour. This is one of the very best restaurants in London in terms of quality of the food. It truly does not disappoint.
157 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2RS | 020 4524 0880
This low-key spot on the corner of Westbourne Grove has a Muji meets raw-fish aesthetic that says it’s all about the food. If you’re after fun rolls drenched in mayo or truffle shavings on your yellowtail, do not go to Sumi. Sumi isn’t about that. Instead, it lets the top quality fish speak for itself. Sumi is the second restaurant from Endo Kazutoshi aka the KING of omakase, so we’re not one bit surprised at just how great this place is. The menu is small and we recommend everything on it.
14A Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 4TJ | 020 7734 7492
Dubbed as the pop-up that everyone wanted to stay, this truly is food for the soul. With sister restaurants Bone Daddies and Flesh & Buns, Ross Shonhan seamlessly strikes third time lucky. Whilst the food is asian/fusion, the serving style is tapas, allowing you to order many dishes for the table. Each dish has been thoughtfully prepared to perfection and you’ll definitely be back for more Korean fried wings (our favourite wings in London), we guarantee it.
42 Albemarle St, Mayfair, London W1S 4JH | 020 3011 5900
A meal at Gymkhana is an education. With the unique interior of dark oak wood panelling and wall lamps made of cut glass from Jaipur – diners are transported to what seems like an Indian speakeasy, right in the heart of Mayfair. Nestled on one of our favourite streets, Albermale Street, there is also great shopping in the area, including the talked-about Victoria Beckham store on Dover Street (one of our favourite interiors of a store in London), as well as the new Elie Saab boutique. Back to the food! Must have dishes include the truffle biryani, goat curry, black daal and duck dosa. The food is heavy though, so expect an afternoon of nothingness post your indulgence.
14-16 Queensway, Paddington, London W2 3RX | 020 7727 9012
Even at less than obvious times, this restaurant is always overflowing and never fails to disappoint. On every table, expect to see the most delicious lobster noodles, a dish that they are renowned for (we recommend them in spring onion and ginger). This is a must try in London with the friendliest staff and a very relaxed Sunday vibe - if you know, you know. Our top tips: make a booking and go hungry.
2 Elystan St, London SW3 3NS | 020 8191 9885
Owners George Bukhov-Weinstein and Ilya Demichev, who also play a part in other casual luxury brands such as Beast and Burger & Lobster, have created an offering with a menu which incorporates a raw bar and pastas, plus fish grills and meats. It’s more sophisticated than the other sister restaurants and its position in the heart of Chelsea should give that away. The red prawn tartare, artichoke salad and lobster linguine are must haves on the menu.
31 Peter Street, Soho, London, W1F 0AR | no reservations
Ramen is the ultimate comfort food, and this restaurant houses the best bowl of ramen we've had so far in London. A trip to Bone Daddies is a must for any out-of-towner, especially in the colder months, when a hearty bowl of soup can cure just about anything. What started as a small menu with a nice selection of ramens and a few appetisers has now expanded three-fold - offering asian comfort food favourites like korean wings, sticky ribs (one of the best appetitisers on the menu), crispy soft shell crab and yellow tail sashimi - all alongside a much wider selection of ramen. Again, this is a restaurant that tends to get crowded at peak hours so expect to queue, although there are plently of bars in the area (around Old Compton Street) to keep you occupied whilst you wait. Top tip: the Tantanmen (spicy ramen)!
123 Clarendon Rd, London W11 4JG | 020 3321 5400
Known for its beautiful interiors, on Notting Hill's famed Clarendon road, Casa Cruz has quite quickly become the go-to spot. Opened in 2016 by restauranteur Juan Santa Cruz, the vibe is distinctly intimate, where "people can meet friends, fall in love, and do business". Known more for its ambiance, smoking patio and beautifully dressed clientele as opposed to the food, it nevertheless is the ultimate London hangout on a Thursday or Friday night. Top tip: book in advance.
23-25 Lonsdale Road, Queens Park, London NW6 6RA | 020 3848 2090
With almost everything at Carmel, the real flavours are in the smears, yoghurts and dressings. This North African/ East Mediterranean restaurant has a wide menu with plates bursting of both flavour and colour. The warm, fresh sourdough flatbreads with toppings such as spiced lamb with aleppo chilli are insanely delicious and spookily cloud-like. For us, the harissa prawns, which arrive in a pan of ’nduja butter with courgette tzatziki, and are the best thing on the menu!
Shepherds Market, 46 Curzon Street, Mayfair, London W1J 7UH | 020 7491 3777
We were in two minds about adding this one to the list, because it quite literally is one of Mayfair's best kept secrets. This tiny little restaurant is tucked away in Shepherd's Market on a small alley and is not the most appealing looking restaurant by any means. We'd been tempted to try this place for years before finally giving in, and we can safely say that Yazu has some of the best sushi rolls in London. The restaurant seats around 12 people, with everyone seated around one conveyor belt which brings the sushi rolls to you. Unlike your typical Yo Sushi conveyor belt style restaurant, the rolls are actually made in front of you and are incredibly fresh, you can also ask the chef (who is right in front of you making everything on the spot) to make any roll fresh for you. For all the truffle lovers out there, some of their best rolls are infused with truffle mayo and are excellent. The place is very casual, reasonably affordable (given its postcode) and very quick. You will be in and out within 40 minutes tops. Must-try dishes: the spicy tuna roll and the seared salmon with truffle nigiri.
184A Kensington Park Rd, London W11 2ES | 020 3995 4777
The food at Haya is Mediterranean in flavour, with Israeli influence. It’s the best spot on a summery afternoon when you’re in the mood for a light bite. The menu mainly comprises of cold plates, so expect lots of fresh salads. We strongly recommend the octopus (it’s the best we’ve had in London) and the hispi cabbage (this most unassuming dish exceeded every single expectation!).
You know a menu is good when it barely changes over the years. The Good Earth is a family favourite where the food is consistently delicious. Expect to find all your favourite Cantonese classic dishes with speedy service and a warm atmosphere. Our go-to location is right by Harrods making it the much-needed meal after a long day of shopping.
Walton House, Lennox Gardens Mews, Walton St, London SW3 2JH | 020 3597 9706
Dinings SW3 is set in a Grade-I listed mews building with the dining room split over two levels. Here, Chef Masaki Sugisaki blends Japanese cuisine with Western influences – it’s not exactly fusion, but it’s definitely not strictly traditional either. It’s one of those rare places that caters to every kinda vibe, whether it’s a family dinner, girls night, quiet Sunday lunch or date night – it’s a go-to every single time with food that you know is gonna be great.
WHERE TO PLAY:
2-5 Hertford St, Mayfair, London W1J 7RB | Members only
Featuring a bar made of shells and a huge stuffed giraffe, there really is something for everyone in this exclusive haven of luxury. With the 80’s music, get ready to be taken back to yesteryear and carelessly dance the night away. The beautiful décor designed by Rifat Ozbek is one to be remembered, no matter how many lychee martinis you drink.
40 Greek St, London W1D 4EB | Members only
Located in 5 converted townhouses in the heart of Soho, Soho House Greek Street offers its members the perfect place to let loose. Nick Jones’ other houses all share the same cool, minimalist wood and glass interiors. So whether it’s a drink at the bar or a bite at the restaurant - you’re guaranteed to have a good night surrounded by the coolest locals and out of towners after some fun. Head there after dinner on a Friday or Saturday night and head straight to what we like to call ‘The House Party Room’ on the 3rd floor. It is a VIBE.
6 Grafton St, London W1S 4EQ | Members only
Located within a Georgian Grade II listed townhouse in Mayfair, Maison Estelle is another one of London’s private members clubs. What really makes this place stand out, however, is the fact that there are four dining experiences and eleven drinking venues to be found within the space – so there’s a space for every vibe. Be prepared to get lost within the walls of this place on a night with absolutely no evidence of what happened thanks to the stickers on your phone camera that they give you upon entry.