City Guide: London

One of the world's most visited cities, London has something for everyone: history, theatre, art and commerce. With instantly recognisable landmarks - The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Shard - the city is a culmination of antiquarian and modern. A city of ideas, London is a tireless innovator, championing the arts and culture. With a leftist attitude, it always seeks out the new - be it theatre, football or fodder.

Beyond London's sight-packed centre you'll find urbanite quarters, artist studios and further-afield the leafy vistas of Hampstead and Kew Gardens.

Dictating your pace is the best way to tackle the city. Start slow; pacing yourself is key if you're to survive the heady hum-drum that is this global capital.

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The Pilgrm

London, United Kingdom

Set across a Victorian-era building, there is a focus on British craftsmanship at this “café with rooms”. Many of the property’s original features have been lovingly restored, including the rather grand 200-year-old mahogany staircase that sweeps you to the bedrooms upstairs. While rooms come up small, they are beautifully executed, with Egyptian cotton sheets, plenty of plants and reclaimed items continuing the old-yet-new feel, like the chevron parquet flooring and cast-iron radiators dotted throughout. There’s a modern take on hospitality here, with no reception or room service but the staff are excellent and with the revamped and revved up Paddington on your doorstep you’re not likely to need more. Rooms from £105 per night

Address

25 London Street Paddington W2 1HH

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The Hoxton Shoreditch

London, United Kingdom

Soon to be one of three Hoxtons across London, the original in the heart of Shoreditch still remains one of the best. With its distinctive design, friendly service and unbeatable location, myriad bars, restaurants and markets to explore nearby, this is the place to get to grips with that renowned East London vibe. Whether you’re in town for work or leisure, the hotel’s communal areas offer the perfect hang out with laptop and latte in hand and the Hoxton Grill remains a popular spot with guests and locals alike. There is a great calendar of events at the hotel – from yoga sessions to cake decorating classes and, what’s more, soon your pooch will be welcome too. Rooms from £125 / night

Address

81 Great Eastern Street EC2A 3HU

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Brook Green Hotel

London, United Kingdom

Nestled on the corner of leafy Brook Green, this traditional London pub has been tastefully tarted up to offer 17 stylish boutique bedrooms. Rooms are cool and contemporary with a few quirks thrown in and some of the pricier offerings include added luxuries like freestanding bathtubs. True to its primary form, the food here is hearty and wholesome – you can enjoy a supper of high-end pub grub before heading down to the underground bar for a cocktail or two. Rooms from £105

Address

170 Shepherds Bush Rd Hammersmith W6 7PB

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Leman Locke

London, United Kingdom

The label of “aparthotel” may not immediately inspire but with an aim of bridging the gap between home and hotel, there is a decidedly modish feel to this cluster of studios out East. The interiors are a study in pastel perfection, minimalist yet still cosy, and the huge windows lend spaces an abundance of natural light. Rather than fixating on the bedrooms (which are very comfortable by the by), apartments revolve around the now iconic Locke L-shaped sofa, offering the perfect nook to work, chat or chill. Set in eclectic and increasingly exciting Whitechapel, there is a big community element here with exhibitions from a rotating “creative in residence”, a well-being programme offering mindfulness and yoga classes and a weekly running club that takes you round the ‘hood. Rooms from £125 per night

Address

15 Leman Street Whitechapel E1 8EN

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The Georgian House Hotel

London, United Kingdom

Built in 1851 by the current owner’s great great grandfather, this family-run hotel offers a more traditional pick for your stay in town. The converted Georgian townhouses deliver the perfect blend of old and new with no two rooms the same and plenty of original fireplaces, eclectic antiques and quirky wallpaper dotted throughout. The location in the heart of Pimlico is perfect if you’re here for art with the Saatchi Gallery, V&A and Tate Britain all within walking distance. For those with a love of that infamous wizard, book into one of the Wizard Chambers for the full Harry Potter experience – just be quick, they have a tendency to fill up fast. Rooms from £130 per night

Address

35 - 39 St George's Drive SW1V 4DG

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New Road Hotel

London, United Kingdom

Embracing the borough’s history, this cheap and cheerful hotel is set across a converted textile factory and emotes a certain industrial chic. While rooms are certainly compact, the space is used cleverly with king-size beds across the board and high-quality fittings, along with ultra-modern, glass-walled wet room bathrooms. If you fancy splashing out (both literally and figuratively), opt for the loft suite for your own jacuzzi and terrace with views out over town. While we’re still not convinced by the on-site cereal café, Marco Pierre White’s Chophouse is a popular spot and there is an increasing number of great restaurants nearby along with the excellent Whitechapel Gallery too, of course. Rooms from £90 per night

Address

103-107 New Road Whitechapel E1 1HJ

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Mimi’s Soho

London, United Kingdom

It must be said upfront that rooms here are small – very small indeed with even an absence of windows in some – but, for this price and this location, something’s got to give and, with the best of Soho on your doorstep, you’ll likely be late rolling home to bed. In line with the limited space, rooms are lacking in wardrobes or a kettle for a cuppa but the linen is lovely (Frette) and the richly coloured wood-panelled walls give rather a sultry feel. While you’re spoilt for choice on bars, boozers and brasseries nearby – the opulent Henson’s bar down on the ground floor is an art-filled delight, with original prints by Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, perfect for a pre or postprandial snifter. Rooms from £115 per night

Address

56-57 Frith Street Soho W1D 3JG

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The Windmill Clapham

London, United Kingdom

Set a little south of the city proper, Clapham is popular for its green spaces, slower pace and plethora of pubs offering cosy corners for a Sunday roast or midweek supper. This 500-year-old establishment on the Common is no different and boasts the addition of a cluster of rooms for well-fed and weary travellers to lay their heads. The style here is a mix of country and contemporary with rooms more generously spacious than many London hotels and the pricier offering freestanding bathtubs in the bedroom – a surprising treat at this reasonable price. Rooms from £125 per night

Address

Windmill Drive Clapham Common Southside SW4 9DE

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Sea Containers London

London, United Kingdom

Mere minutes by foot from the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, Borough Market and the Southbank Centre, this riverside hotel (formerly Mondrian London) puts guests right on the capital’s historic artery – make sure to book a Thames-facing room. Thanks to designer Tom Dixon, the hotel’s brutalist bones vibe with all the glamour and drama of the golden age of transatlantic travel – a copper hull serves as the reception desk. Hunker down with a good film at the in-house Curzon cinema before sipping on craft cocktails at Lyaness – try the “snap crackle bellini” – or soaking up cityscape panoramas from rooftop bar 12th Knot.

Address

20 Upper Ground South Bank London SE1 9PD

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Mama Shelter

London, United Kingdom

Coming out on top in the wallet-friendly design hotel category is Mama Shelter. With locations ranging from LA to Marseille to Rio de Janeiro, the French hotelier’s East London outpost (opening 2 September) is on our list of places to bed down. Cutting-edge designs crafted by Parisian designers Dion & Arles sees that each of the hotel’s 195 bedrooms are given their own distinctively zingy personality. But before bed, head down to the Japanese-style karaoke rooms and sing your little heart out.

Address

437 Hackney Road London E2 8PP UK

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Corinthia Hotel London

London, United Kingdom

For a glamorous city wedding, the Corinthia Hotel London is hard to beat. Set mere minutes from Trafalgar Square and boasting views over the Thames and Covent Garden, this venue is perfect for couples with big dreams and big guest lists – the hotel can accommodate up to 250 people. The size of this hotel means that there are plenty of spaces on offer in which to celebrate – from the more intimate dining room in Tom Kerridge’s restaurant to Bassoon, a cocktail and champagne bar inspired by 20s New Orleans. It’s regal, central and intent on perfection.

Address

Whitehall Place London SW1A 2BD

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Vintry & Mercer

London, United Kingdom

Located around the corner from St Paul’s Cathedral, Vintry & Mercer is your springboard into historic London. With a rooftop bar, velvet headboards and marble tiles, it’s hard to believe that a night in this hotel doesn’t come with a luxury price tag.

Address

19-20 Garlick Hill London EC4V 2AU

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The Savoy

London, United Kingdom

Overlooking the River Thames, The Savoy is one of the most well-known hotels in not only London, but in the world. It combines influences from both art deco and English Edwardian design, and has sensitively revamped in recent years. Check out the Pinafore dining room, designed in 1926 by Basil Ionides – the architect responsible for the Savoy Theatre.

Address

2 Savoy Court Strand London WC2R 0EZ

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The Goring

London, United Kingdom

Hotel School is a joint venture between The Passage (London’s largest voluntary sector homeless resource centre) and The Goring Hotel. Teaching hospitality skills to homeless and vulnerable people, Hotel School matches participants to sustainable employment and supports them in their first steps into work. Supported by London’s Five Star hotel community, the programme consists of a one-week taster course followed by a 10-week level one introduction into the hospitality industry, incorporating cookery skills, customer service and food service. Successful graduates receive a nationally recognised certificate and a supported pipeline into work with one of The Goring Hotel industry partners.

Address

The Goring 15 Beeston Place London SW1W 0JW

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Artist Residence

London, United Kingdom

In Pimlico, an area filled with has-been hotel chains, the smart, striped awnings of Artist Residence stand shine a little brighter than the rest of the uniform-white regency houses. The third outpost carries all of the charm and eclectic style of the other two (located in Brighton and Penzance) and is within skipping distance of all of London’s most famous attractions. In the rooms, authentic milking stools have been refashioned into bedside tables, retro biscuit tins conceal jelly babies and rotary dial phones sit atop weathered desks. After admiring the original works of contemporary art scattered across the gallery-cum-lobby, retreat to the luscious Clarendon Cocktail Cellar. The drinks menu reads like a who’s who of Tate’s greats – Andy Warhol, George Seurak and Edvard Munch have all been reimagined into alcoholic works of art. If you’re not staying at the hotel, this dimly lit bar is an excellent place to have up your sleeve in a part of town with a surprising dearth of good watering holes.

Address

52 Cambridge Street, Westminster Borough, London, SW1V 4QQ

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The Buxton

London, United Kingdom

In London’s East End, this former Victorian pub brings an airy escape to the streets of Spitalfields. Ideal for staycationers, solo travellers and loved-up duos alike, The Buxton hotel invites you to explore the streets of Shoreditch before heading to its panoramic rooftop for sundown cocktails. From the team behind nearby Spitalfields gastropub The Culpeper, of gigantic rooftop-gherkin fame, architect Gareth Roberts and business partner Nico Treguer have revamped the Victorian building. Adding two extra floors, a rooftop terrace and a stonking street-level restaurant/bar, the Buxton’s dining space is a much-needed addition to the kebab shops that more commonly characterise this end of Brick Lane. Rooms are compact to say the least, for a flat rate of £100 (including a welcome drink and breakfast) it’s a seductive option for those who fancy travelling no further than a few flights of stairs when going from dinner to duvet. Rooms from £100 per night

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The Franklin

London, United Kingdom

Knightsbridge might not scream sex appeal, but its old-school charm is no less seducing. The Franklin’s swellegant surrounds have been known to raise many a heartbeat, while the minibars attached to Franklin’s Junior Suites and higher categories, will tip you over the edge.

Address

22-28 Egerton Gardens London SW3 2DB United Kingdom

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White City House

The former BBC headquarters is undergoing a transformative facelift. Comprising of 950 apartments, a new Soho House member’s-only club and a second Bluebird restaurant, expectations for the campus have reached mighty heights, almost outshining The Ned which was the most talked about hotel opening of 2017. Unlike the shabby surroundings of BBC classic Fawlty Towers, expect the White City 50-room hotel to decked to the highest standards with sumptuous velvets and instantly Instragrammable floor tiles. Opening spring 2018

Address

White City House Televison Centre 101 Wood Lane London W12 7FR

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The Dixon

Once considered more of Miss Havisham style abode than millennial hangout, this century-old build (formerly the Tower Bridge Court) is set to become one of the most-popular southside spots in town. The design team have drummed up all the usual suspects: exposed brickwork, copper tables and edgy curations from local artists. Perfectly pinned on SE1, a short amble from the hotel, you’ll find TATE Modern and the newly opened, Art Yard Bar & Kitchen (great for a pre-theatre bite). City strollers and design lovers – this one’s for you.

Address

211 Tooley St London SE1 2JX

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Boundary London

Each of the Boundary’s 17 bedrooms pay homage to influential 20th-century designers and architects. The Bauhaus Room is bedecked in a primary-colour scheme and features replicas of iconic furniture from the school, such as the B33 chair designed by Marcel Breuer. Swot up on the design movement courtesy of the German art literature strewn on the bedside table.

Address

2-4 Boundary Street, Hackney, London E2 7DD, UK

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Sanderson London

Address

50 Berners St, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 3NG