London, the capital of England, is widely acknowledged as the center of ‘cool’. Fashion, food and music trends tend to originate in this lively city, a global financial center. Given its preeminent position on the world stage it's hardly surprising that London offers a plethora of dining and entertainment options, with new and happening spots being launched with great alacrity.
Listed below are a few of the city’s hotspots, worth a visit if you happen to be in London anytime soon.
London Top Tables – 2015
As a vibrant, multicultural city, London offers a smorgasbord of cuisines at its numerous eateries, gastro-pubs, and formal dining rooms.
Hotelier Andre Balazs, the man behind some of the trendiest hotels in the US, the Mercer, the Standard, the Sunset Beach and Chateau Marmont now brings his expertise to Chiltern Firehouse. The restaurant is housed in a hotel of the same name and serves eclectic modern American fare, created by award-winning Chef Nuno Mendes. The restaurant has received rave reviews and is the place in London ‘to see and be seen’. Do make reservations way in advance if you are tempted to dine at this buzzing hotspot.
A long established fixture on London’s dining landscape, this posh Mayfair restaurant has for years attracted celebrities and royalty. The restaurant received a much-needed makeover in October 2014 and is now back to its winning ways. This grand old dame of London’s dining scene features a European menu that showcases the finest British ingredients and is complemented by an excellent 300 bottle wine list. However, in true Quaglino tradition patrons enjoy knocking back the restaurant’s famous champagne cocktails.
The Duke of Wellington
When in London, you have to partake of pub grub at one the city’s many public houses a.k.a pubs (traditional English bars). Most pubs have a dine-in menu featuring staples like beer battered fried fish and chips with mushy peas, steak, and kidney pie and others. The Duke of Wellington, located in Marylebone, is a well-regarded gastro-pub worth sampling if you are curious about traditional pub grub.
London’s best watering holes
Going out for drinks after work is a well-established English tradition. The city teems with bars of every type. Traditional cocktail bars, dive bars, trendy lounges, beer gardens, alehouses are visible all over the city.
The bars at the Connaught Hotel
The stately Connaught hotel hosts two well-known bars, the Coburg Bar and the smaller Connaught bar. Go to the Connaught for expertly mixed classic cocktails like martinis, daiquiris, mint juleps and more.
The London Cocktail Club
The London Cocktail Club refers to a chain of casual and fun bars, which have outposts in heavily tourist trafficked areas of London. The bars all feature a shabby chic décor but are immensely popular with the after-work drink crowd. The extensive bar menu at the London Cocktail Club features traditional favorites like Long Island Iced Tea, Bellinis, Pina Coladas, Mojitos along with ever-changing innovative concoctions created by the club's innovative bartenders.
Aqua occupies the 31st floor of London’s newest landmark, the towering Shard near London Bridge. Offering panoramic views of the London cityscape from every corner, the bar at Aqua offers a wide selection of cocktails, wines, and champagnes. The Aqua is perhaps the best spot in London for sundowners for the bar offers spectacular views of the sun setting over London. Aqua also has an adjoining restaurant that serves traditional British fare with a twist, if you feel like a nibble after drinks.
Best London nightclubs
Nightlife options abound in London. The city hosts plentiful venues for myriad performing arts. Theater, cinema, cabaret, comedy, burlesque all feature on London’s nightlife arena. However, London is known as the birthplace of various styles of music and hence, is also home to a raucous club scene. Clubs of every genre litter the city’s nightlife landscape and if you fancy dancing the night away on your London trip here are some suggestions.
Fabric stands on the site of a former Victorian meat cellar. Music is the focus at Fabric and rather than simply flying in famed DJs; the club aims to provide a platform for local acts to showcase their talents. The clubs’ Fabric Live event hosted on Fridays is always a sell-out as patrons crowd the club to discover new indie, drum n’ bass and electro sounds.
KoKo housed in a former theater has an illustrious rock n roll past. The club has played host to legends like the Clash, the Sex Pistols, the Eurythmics, Madness and even Madonna down the ages. It continues to sport a theater inspired décor with lush red soft furnishings, baroque accents, gilded mirrors and the like.
Located in Greenwich in South East London, Studio 338 is London’s biggest nightclub that can accommodate 3000 revelers at a time. Studio 338 has all the bells and whistles of a modern nightclub including cutting edge audiovisual technology and sound systems. If you enjoy modern dance clubs with all the glitz and glamor then Studio 338 is the place for you.