London mornings are the time for markets; fashion fans stalk
for vintage outfits and quirky antiques while
is crammed with hungry Londoners picking up fresh British cheeses and organic meat. Vast department stores like
and Selfridges are the city’s temples to big-name international designers - but the likes of Kate Moss shop at
street-fashion superstore, Top Shop. Lovers of luxury head to the exclusive streets of
, where suits, shoes and even cigars can be hand-made to measure – at a price.
London serves up the world on a plate – if it’s cooked anywhere on the planet, someone is cooking it somewhere in London. Slurp spicy pho soup in Hackney’s great-value
cafés, tuck into modern versions of British classics in a laid-back
, or splash out on a
masterpiece in an opulent London hotel restaurant. Every high street has its own version of those twin titans of British dining: the
fish ‘n’ chip shop
and the curry house.
There’s a green spine that runs through the centre of London. It starts at
, where roller-bladers play on the steps of the ornate Albert Memorial and swans glide regally past the Serpentine Gallery. It heads south-east into
with views of
. And it ends in
St James’s Park
– the genteel green gateway to Westminster Abbey. Further afield deer roam wild in the rolling royal grassland of
. The hills and valleys of
Heath are where Londoners go when they want a taste of the countryside but with all the pleasures of the city just minutes away.
Walking London’s streets can feel like time travel. Head back to the era of Henry VIII at the sprawling riverside palace of
or slip back into the 17th century as ages-old hymns ring out beneath the elegant dome of
St Paul’s Cathedral
. World War Two buffs will find themselves transported at the subterranean Cabinet War Rooms in
where Churchill drew up his strategies safe from German bombers.