Planning a short visit to one of the world’s most diverse and exciting cities is quite a feat! Trying to see and do as much as possible in a short time frame and take back as many memories and emotions as possible. And visiting this wonderful city with a friend makes the experience even more special.
A London village
In the heart of Notting Hill and just off Portobello market, lies the picturesque and fashionable Westbourne Grove. Whichever street you wander into or wrong turn you think you made, leads to a surprise. Be it great shops, colorful architecture or a leafy island to just sit and admire your surroundings. And when you need to refuel be sure to enter number 202! A restaurant, a beautiful boutique or a bookshop? All three and a great vibe to top it all up. Be it breakfast, lunch or tea, served either inside in a busy but relaxing ambience or outside while you watch Notting Hill walk past. The decor is enticing and the fare on offer is varied and good.
Stepping back in time
When you need to break away from the hustle and bustle of what London is all about, head out to Regent’s Canal. One of those off the beaten track itineraries which should not be skipped. Visiting the canal via longboat from Little Venice to Camden Lock makes for an enlightening and unique experience. The cruise takes you along this historical canal passing picturesque houseboats and the mansions of Regent’s park. The informative commentary accompanies you while you glide through tunnels, the London Zoo and finally to Camden Lock. Here you can get back to shopping and eating to your heart’s content.
The Fashion Gallery
Dover Street Market is a temple to fashion, to the art of fashion. It is supposed to be a concept store but actually it is more like visiting an art gallery. This 5 story historical building in Haymarket, houses a collection of the best designer wear alongside artistic decor which is constantly changing. Each designer has it’s own particular and unique space to house their brand amidst intrinsic and captivating art designs. The collections and installations are a treat to admire and can only leave one in awe. This does not need to be a shopping experience but is definitely worth the visit just to appreciate the exterior, interior and contents of this superb space.
A hamlet in Soho
The district of Soho is one of those not to be missed itineraries in London. Be it for shopping,dining or entertainment. Tucked away between the energy and excitement of these streets, one can stumble into a hidden passage that leads to a tree-filled piazza, known as Ham Yard. Illuminated by fairy lights at night it is an unexpected and exceptional haven so different from it’s surroundings. This village comprises a collection of unique and charming boutiques and the famous Ham Yard Hotel. Having a meal or a drink directly in the Square or inside in one of their very special areas is truly magical. The decor of their rooms, be it the restaurant, bar or the conservatory is relaxing and utterly unique. Great cocktails, friendly service and good food.
A walk through Chelsea
Just behind the luxurious shopping area of King’s Road, in the heart of Chelsea, lies Draycott Place with it’s grand Victorian red brick and terracotta townhouses. Before turning into this street one can see the many red chimneys, turrets and roof terraces that adorn these beautiful buildings. Each doorway of these terrace houses is different and particular as are the bas reliefs which embellish the facades. This street makes you spin around in awe, while trying not to miss out on the variety and contrast of the architecture. An open air museum which takes you back in time.
Her Majesty’s Phantom
In keeping to the must do London one must not miss out on seeing a play and our choice fell on The Phantom of the Opera. The theatre itself is a work of art and the show an emotional experience from beginning to end. The scenography and special effects leave you enthralled, as does the wonderful music. I was glad to see i was not the only one to leave with tears in my eyes. May the Phantom live on for another 30 years!
London has so much to offer, to see and to do. The time will never be enough.
Anna Moggia is Owner of Boutique Hotel Zenana.