Call me old fashioned but I’m the kind of girl that still brings books to read on the train, even when there’s wifi. There’s something way more therapeutic and sentimental about ink on paper and that extends to letter writing too. For the first two years of my long distance relationship, I’d always ask my boyfriend to write me letters for our anniversary and it’s something so meaningful to me that I keep to open and read every now and then.
For my 6 must-see places in London for locals and tourists alike, I partnered with the 130 year old luxury stationers Dempsey and Carroll to leave you little clues (don’t worry, I also tell you the answers) on the cutest spots to dine, feed your cultural side and stay in-the-know. Their cards and beautiful envelopes, my favourite being the illustrated maps from the Jet Set collection, are a lovely way to share with you the key places to visit.
1. Restaurant Ours
“The most Instagrammable bathroom in London? Find me snapping at Restaurant Ours!”
If you were to ask most people, “which bathroom in London is the most Instagrammable?”, they might say Sketch. But honestly, that’s too cliche – Restaurant Ours wins easily with its Malibu Barbie vibes and can we have a moment for those rose gold details? As long as Gucci is still an It brand, pink and green will always be in.
When it comes to the bar, the cocktails here are as remarkable as the space itself. Bold and delicious (a word I actually hate unless it’s thoroughly applicable), their Bloody Mary is one to try. Oh, and get that with a side of truffle fries because you’ll completely forget you ever had a diet once they past your lips.
2. King’s Cross St. Pancras
“Find me at the station that looks like a red castle…”
Aware that when it comes to city guides, they are often catered to residents or tourists, I hope that my 6 must-see places in London will be suitable for everyone. King’s Cross St. Pancras is that cross-section where Eurostar passengers hop off, National Rail riders file in and out of the city and tube commuters such as myself, make their way through one of the busiest sites of transition. It’s excusable that a lot of us forget the beauty of the station and the grandeur of its architecture when we’re always in a rush. But as you can see from this snap, it’s Instagrammable and iconic. While it’s no real competitor to Big Ben, try looking up the next time you’re in the area.
3. Plum and Spilt Milk
“Brunch at 12pm where there’s champagne and lobster!”
Speaking of ‘in the area’, Plum and Spilt Milk is the place to go if you find yourself with a hankering for lobster eggs benny or crab and avocado on toast. Because that is a perfectly acceptable and common craving (isn’t it?!). Whether you’re coming in or out of arguably, the best city in the world via King’s Cross St. Pancras, take some time to enjoy a champagne brunch before catching your train.
4. Rosewood Hotel
“Which hotel in London has a dog and bird cages? See you there! x”
This hotel has a resident golden retriever named Pearl and bird cages with the kind of aves you’d see in a Disney movie. If I were lazy, I could honestly just leave it there because to me that’s kind of all you need to understand how amazing this location is.
Aside from it’s curation of animals, the next highlight of the hotel is that they own what I consider one of the best bars in London, Scarfes. Featuring a fireplace, piano, antiques and mural illustrations by Gerald Scarfe, it’s certainly a place of refinement – and very, very strong cocktails. Then if you’re lucky enough to experience the suite life, the hotel also offers a butler service where they are trained in mixology and can summon almost anything for you via their elusive phones. And because they are just so generous, Rosewood offers little bowls of chocolates around the hotel to fill your pockets with.
5. Victoria and Albert Museum
“Meet me at the museum named after royalty, has 4.5 million decorative objects and a hall of marble.”
You don’t really need me to tell you about their exhibitions because whether you’re a local or tourist, this must-see museum is world famous. Here’s an insider tip, the hall of marble I’m referencing combines various classical-style statues and opens out onto a courtyard with symmetrical architecture. This makes for beautiful natural light, perfect for photographs and critically, sketching. I used to come here as a student to practice drawing the human form (when our life model wasn’t in season) and there’s nothing quite like finding yourself a spot on the cold stone floor and drawing a few hours away. That sounded sarcastic, it wasn’t. You can reward yourself for your artistic endeavours later at the V&A’s cafe, known for it’s grand gold interior.
“Let’s meet at Claridge’s!”