19 July, 2022
The Ultimate London Guide by Nathan Rollinson
I visited London for the first time in early March 2017 while I was still living in the US with not even the slightest inkling that I’d move abroad and end up in this wonderfully diverse and historical city just two and a half years later.
As an Italian-American with immigrant family roots in New York, it’s true that The City That Never Sleeps has a special place in my heart. Nevertheless, “I love London because it has nearly everything I love about New York but with everything I love about Europe,” was the conclusion I came to at the end of that first trip five and a half years ago. I had squeezed in so many activities and aimless walks to explore the city and surrounding areas in those nine days thinking I’d never have the chance to come back.
Is there any better city to call home than one scattered with over 160 food halls and markets? While I particularly appreciate the heavy focus on specialty foods, many of the markets host vendors selling art, handmade jewellery, and antiques too. These markets provide a great opportunity to support sustainable initiatives and local small business owners. My favourites are—in no particular order—Old Spitalfields, Covent Garden, Borough, Camden, Brick Lane, and Greenwich.
London is home to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew (great for a picnic), the Tower of London, the Royal Observatory (you can catch a show in the planetarium) and Westminster Abbey, amongst other historical buildings. London is overflowing with so much history there is something to discover around nearly every corner. The way in which its significant sites and architecture are preserved alongside 21st century living leaves me in awe.
I love the hustle and bustle of 21st century living, but I also love nature too. Fortuitously, London boasts the title of the world’s first National Park City with over a staggering 3,000 parks. You can spend countless hours exploring its greenspaces, canals and riversides. Hyde Park is of course a classic, but I also highly recommend lesser-known Hampstead Hill Garden and Pergola, St. Dunstan in the East, and Kyoto Garden at Holland Park.
I love a good sunset, especially paired with a breathtaking cityscape, so I’d also suggest making your way to the Sky Garden or any other of London's many rooftop bars. Lastly, the city offers some great options for nice night strolls. One of my favourites is making my way across Tower Bridge: at this time, the crowds are gone and you can fully appreciate the twinkling view of London set against the night sky.
With a modern decor, Bancone is a great place to have some nice antipasti and cocktails, followed by delicious fresh handmade pasta. Try their famous silk handkerchiefs, walnut butter and confit egg yolk. For dessert, head to nearby Italian Bear Chocolate for some cake and a decadent hot chocolate.
This colorful restaurant is all about bringing a piece of Bombay to London and celebrating the fresh vibrant taste of Indian cuisine. Order a mix of dishes for an authentic and flavourful feast to share with your group. Sip on a Ruby Royale cocktail and enjoy the warm friendly atmosphere of one of the top restaurants in the UK.
Renowned for its seasonal cooking, Clarke's in Notting Hill is one of London’s first farm-to-table eateries. The daily menu showcases a wonderful array of ingredients from a trusted list of farmers and fisherman from Sussex to Scotland, France, Italy and Spain. The simple dishes and elegant service will draw you back time and time again.
Sleeps up to 6 guests
From its perch on a charming cobblestone passage near Hyde Park, Groom Place is an intimate and stylish home that gives guests a chance to experience quintessential London at its best. With its beautifully laid out kitchen and living room, this home is ideal for a family.
Sleeps up to 6 guests
One of our newest homes, Kensington Park Road VIII is a charming townhouse with oodles of space and a lovely garden. Just a stone’s throw from Portobello Road and its famed street market, you’ll find a whole host of exciting events, attractions, and landmarks within easy reach.
Sleeps up to 6 guests
Hans Place II shares Knightsbridge’s refined air. Elegantly decorated and with a sleek design, you can expect soothing artwork, refined rugs and a laidback living space. It is very central but still wonderfully quiet. My favourite thing about this home? The idyllic courtyard and natural light.
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