Once considered a backwater of crusty Old Master dealers, London is now a contemporary art powerhouse, with more creative and commercial clout than anywhere outside New York. The world's most influential art dealers—like Gagosian in New York, and Zurich's Hauser & Wirth—have opened galleries in the capital. Dozens of new spaces have surfaced in edgy East London. Every October international collectors flood the city for the Frieze Art Fair, organized by the London-based international art journal Frieze.
On weekends Borough Market draws some 70 organic farmers, artisanal producers, world-class bakers, and gourmet food importers from all over the world.
Wake up! The earlier you can drag yourself over to the Portobello Road Antiques Market the better—many shoppers are here at the literal crack of dawn, and most of the serious trading is done by 9 a.m.
Selfridges impressive pillared facade, spanning an entire block, hints at the retail experience within, but this is no ordinary department store. Inside, the bright-white shopping space houses the finest British and international fashion and home design; niche labels and cult brands mingle with the likes of McQueen, Prada, and Gucci.
London's street fashion is rather dapper. This young man said, "Everyone says I’m like Paddington Bear, as I carry my stuff in my father’s old lunch box and wear brogues that a friend bought me at Fifth Avenue Shoe Repairs."
The Queens gift shop in Spitalfields Market, in the East End.