Mayfair & Marylebone
West of Soho is Mayfair, whose glamorous reputation is well deserved. It’s home to many of the most luxurious hotels in London and a stay can mean tea at
and shopping at the Queen’s grocer
Fortnum & Mason
. To Mayfair’s north, Marylebone is lower key but still decidedly upmarket. Dip in and out of smart specialist stores like The Conran Shop and Edwardian gem Daunt Books with its oak-panelled galleries. Orderly
is nearby, and
(for the Heathrow Express) in hotel-rich
is to the west.
Kensington & Chelsea
To the west of central London and just south of
, refined Kensington is home to cultural giants like the
Royal Albert Hall
and the family-friendly
Natural History Museum
high-end department stores
and Harvey Nichols are just down the road. Stretching south to the river with London hotels in redbrick townhouses, Chelsea is assured and sophisticated. Michelin-starred chefs like Gordon Ramsay hide their flagship restaurants down discreet residential streets.
Westminster & Victoria
chimes over Westminster’s neo-Gothic
Houses of Parliament
where Britain’s politicians squabble like children at Prime Minister’s Questions. Trains from Gatwick Airport arrive at nearby
. If you fancy staying in the Queen’s back yard look for a London hotel in the surrounding residential streets –
St James’s Park
are just up the road. Art lovers can catch a shuttle boat painted with Damian Hirst spots from
past the London Eye to Tate Modern on the south bank of the river.
East London & The City
East of central London lie districts like
, where Londoners head to eat, drink and rub shoulders with up-and-coming artists and designers. Financial district The City can be an interesting choice of where to stay in London, where gleaming modern buildings tower over fragments of the Roman and medieval city. Victorian
has been given a facelift, while along nearby
fashionistas mix with the Bangladeshi community.