Ditch the tourist crowds and head to these up-and-coming neighborhoods that three stylish locals call home.
“My wife and I live in Barnsbury, just north of King’s Cross. It’s basically an 18th-century village within the city: tree-lined streets; elegant Georgian terraces. I love to sit in the lush green park at the center of Lonsdale Square. The neighborhood is set to be a new style hub: Central St. Martins art school, which Mike Leigh and Stella McCartney both attended, just moved to a new campus here. Large Glass (392 Caledonian Rd.; 44-20/7609-9345), an art space that hosts convivial openings, is a must, as is the Booking Office Bar (pictured; Euston Rd.; 44-20/7841-3566; drinks for two $30) at St. Pancras station, which is now a Renaissance hotel. It’s grade-one Gothic splendor, this vaulted room with paneling all the way around.” —Ben Evans, director, London Design Festival
“Marylebone is my favorite neighborhood. Head to the quirky Wallace Collection (Manchester Square; 44-20/7563-9500), a 19th-century private house turned museum. Some works are presented in secret: you have to push back curtains and open drawers. Next, stroll Marylebone High Street, a chain-free strip with interiors stores such as Nordic-skewing Skandium (86 Marylebone High St.; 44-20/7935-2077) and independent bookstore Daunt Books. I always end up at Rococo Chocolates for their thin dark-chocolate wafers infused with violet, ginger, or cardamom.” —Maureen Paley, director, Maureen Paley Gallery
“World’s End, the boho-chic western tail of King’s Road, in Chelsea, was the focal point for Swinging London. It’s a real mix: little old ladies who’ve lived there for 60 years; old chaps in velvet jackets swanning along with dogs; moms with Bugaboo strollers. Bea’s of Bloomsbury (370 King’s Rd.; 44-20/7242-8330; tea for two $6) is a cozy spot for tea. The antiques auctions at Lots Road (71 Lots Rd.; 44-20/7376-6800) are another treat—you never know what you’re going to find. It might be an alligator made of bronze or a pair of 1950’s chairs. My husband and I love the hearty Tuscan suppers at La Famiglia (7 Langton St.; 44-20/7351-0761; dinner for two $100). Zucchini flowers and pasta pomodoro—that’s what I always have.” —Alannah Weston, creative director, Selfridges