How to Visit London Like a Movie Star
This world-class city has everything: the hotels, the meals, the can't-match-it shopping opportunities. If it's celebrity treatment you're after, this city has it in spades. Read on for the best ways to enjoy London the way the stars do.
1. Get Dinner at The Ivy Chelsea Garden
When in London, go celeb-spotting at The Ivy. The famed brand now has several outposts in London, the latest—and most glam—being The Ivy Chelsea Garden. It might be causal but there's an undeniable sense of luxury in the air that runs throughout the restaurant, terrace, and orangery. Start with the delectable truffle arancini (best washed down with a Dry Martini) before moving on to the whole grilled lobster or the ever popular Chicken Milanese. Play it cool but keep your eyes peeled for A-listers—and remember that it's open late.
2. Pick up Souvenirs in Fortnum & Mason
While Piccadilly Circus might be a tourist trap, Fortnum & Mason's food hall is a far more refined affair. Blow your budget on luxury chocolates, heritage brand marmalades, and fine rare teas at prices that might make your eyes water. It's as good a spot for picking up traditional British souvenirs as it is for indulging in decadent shopping snacks. (Because nothing keeps up energy levels like chocolate-covered passion fruit liquorice.)
3. Eat Caviar at 45 Jermyn St.
Continuing in a similar vein, 45 Jermyn St. in the heart of St. James is a slick, sophisticated dinner from the team behind Fortnum & Mason. Kick things off with a Beau's Negroni (named after Beau Brummell) at the sumptuous marble bar, before taking a seat in one of the burnt orange leather booths for dinner. In A-list fashion, don't miss the caviar trolley nor the boozy ice cream floats for dessert.
4. Sip Cocktails at Dandelyan
Dandelyan, the slick cocktail bar on the ground floor of The Mondrian, was last year voted 50th best bar in the world. Not a bad little accolade, and Ryan Chetiyawardana's (a.k.a., Mr. Lyan) sophisticated drinks deserve it. Go at dusk to admire the impressive views of the north bank and kick back with a Heartwood Old Fashioned (Johnnie Walker Black Label, oak syrup, and Dandelyan resin bitters).
5. Have a Spa Day at Cowshed, Primrose Hill
Lap up the luxury lifestyle at Cowshed, a casual yet covetable spa tucked away in the leafy streets of Primose Hill—one of London's most beautiful neighbourhoods. Zone out for the morning with a treatment—whatever your ailment, ache or pain, they'll fix you—or go for a Cowshed pedi or manicure. After your treatments, stock up on Cowshed products to take back with you, then kick back with a glass of bubbles and a homemade cake in the farmhouse kitchen.
6. Stay late at Sushisamba
Nothing says 'celebrity' like sushi with a view. SUSHISAMBA does both well. An international brand, here in London it's 38 floors up the Heron Tower and serves a fine fusion of Japanese, Brazilian, and Peruvian flavors until 2 a.m. at the weekend. A dramatic bamboo ceiling adds to the exotic vibe, and the glass walls offer 360-degree views of the City. Order ruthlessly; just be prepared for the hefty bill.
7. Drink at the American Bar at The Savoy
No blow-the-budget trip to London is complete without a visit to the famous American Bar at The Savoy, which dates to the golden age of cocktails. A new cocktail, devised by bar manager Declan McGurk pays homage to iconic London landmarks, and features four cocktails from six of London's boroughs. Try the Punk Rock, which references London's music scene, or the Pickering Place, a two-drink sharing cocktail served with a silent short film.
8. Sleep at 45 Park Lane
Every movie star needs their 40 winks just like the rest of us mortals, but instead of an Airbnb, in London they stay at 45 Park Lane, a designer boutique hotel located on one of the city's wealthiest stretches in Mayfair. Directly opposite Hyde Park and a stone's throw from sister hotel The Dorchester, the hotel's interiors are designed by Thierry Despont, and each of the guest rooms and suites offer impressive views of the park. Wander up the bold central staircase to BAR 45 for a cocktail, and if you can fit it in, don't miss dinner at steak restaurant CUT, Wolfgang Puck's first restaurant in Europe.