What to Eat, See, and Do in London, According to an Insider

Claire Darrow Mosier curates the ultimate London guide for Domino.

Photography by Chiltern Firehouse

The cozy chic neighborhood of Marylebone, London, characterized by its quaint village feel, regal architecture and family-owned businesses, has been a fashionable destination for centuries. So when Chiltern Firehouse, a beautiful fire station-turned-boutique hotel owned by Andre Balazs, opened in 2013, it fit right in. Like any Balazs property, the trendy property immediately became the place to see and be seen (its restaurant remains one of the toughest tables in town).

As the creative right-hand of Balazs, Claire Darrow Mosier is the design wizard responsible for crafting the Chiltern’s aesthetic (and that of every Balazs properties), and since relocating to London five years ago (take a tour of her townhouse here), she has come to know the city’s chicest spots well, so who better to curate a must-see guide? Here, she shares some of her favorite spots to eat, shop, see and do in her beloved London town.

Photography by CHILTERN FIREHOUSE

TO EAT AND DRINK

Laddershed at the Chiltern Firehouse, 1 Chiltern Street
If you can’t manage to score one of the Chiltern’s 26 boutique rooms to stay, at least make it a point to stop by the A-list hotel’s comfy bar, so named for the place where firemen used to store their ladders. Fireplaces and a pink marble counter make the space feel both cozy and upscale.

Landsdowne Pub in Primrose Hill, 90 Gloucester Avenue
A staple of London’s well-known pub scene, this casual, family-friendly restaurant—that happens to be just across the street from Mosier’s residence—features a blackboard menu that changes daily with dishes inspired by both British and Mediterranean cuisine.

Primeur restaurant, 116 Petherton Street
With the exterior of a former garage space, this restaurant makes for the perfect place to grab a drink from one of the daily wine lists or enjoy a bite to eat from the menu of family-style European and British dishes.

Photography by Palomar

Palomar in SoHo, 4 Rupert Street
Here you’ll find a delicious menu influenced by the cultures of Southern Spain, North Africa, and the Levant. Mosier recommends scoring one of the restaurant’s 16 seats at the kitchen bar that overlooks the chefs at they’re cooking your meal.

Dinings, 22 Harcourt Street
If you’re on the quest for authentic, yet inventive Japanese, Dinings will provide a truly unique cultural experience. Set against the backdrop of simple, yet elegant surrounding, this place lets you enjoy some truly delicious sushi, sashimi, fresh seafood, and more.

Noble Rot restaurant, 51 Lamb's Conduit Street
Located in a lovely atmospheric townhouse, this wine bar and restaurant boasts laid back vibes, an extensive wine list, and fine Franglaise food for the ultimate end-of-day wind down.

Photography by GYMKHANA

Gymkhana , 42 Albemarle Street
Hailed as some of the best Indian food in town, Gymkhana looks like an Indian club on the inside. With ceiling fans that hang from the slatted oak ceiling and hues of deep green, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Indian high society.

Tea at Fortnum and Mason, 181 Piccadilly Street
No trip to London is complete without afternoon tea. At Fortnum and Mason, you can nibble on delicious cakes, scones, and tea in quintessential style. Be sure to make a reservation in advance.

Photography by 180 STRAND

TO SHOP

A.Society, 2 Chiltern Street
Directly across from the Firehouse you’ll find a cozy book shop that was just opened by Mosier. Offering vintage photography, limited release vinyl and of course, books, the quaint shop is the ideal place to curl up and read.

Mount Street Printers, 4 Mount Street, Mayfair
Indulge in some luxurious stationery from this shop that is also home to the factory that makes it. Choose from custom made envelopes and cards or off-the-shelf notepads, invitations, and more.

Rellik, 8 Golborne Gardens
Mosier loves this independently owned boutique that’s stocked with tons of vintage women’s clothing and accessories dating back to the 1930s.

Alexandra Soveral, 97 Elgin Avenue
For organic skincare products and specialized facials or skin treatments, this is the place to go.

Prism London, 54 Chiltern Street
For trendy, high-end swimwear made for with everyone in mind, Mosier recommends stopping by Prism. She’s also a huge fan of their extensive sunglass collection and adorable espadrilles.

Mouki Mou, 29 Chiltern Street  
Another independently owned shop right in Mosier’s neighborhood, here you’ll find an eclectic mix of clothes, jewelry, and beauty products hand-picked by the owners for a truly unique selection.

Lock & Co. hatters, 6 St James's Street
Experience the world’s oldest hat shop and feel like royalty by selecting from one of their traditional or contemporary designs for a look that’s truly luxe.

Liberty, Great Marlborough Street
Stop by this lovely London department store to shop your favorite brand and luxury goods. With everything from fragrances and cosmetics, to clothes and homeware it is known for it’s beautiful, feminine floral prints.

Photography by MOHAMMED ALNASER VIA FLIKR

TO SEE

British Museum, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury
Free and open to the public, take a tour or simply wander the British museum to get a taste of history from around the world.

British Library, 96 Euston Rd Kings Cross
Browsing the national library of the United Kingdom could be a day trip in itself. The historic library is the second largest in the world for the number of items catalogue (about 150 million!). Plus, it’s open to visitors seven days a week.

White Cube Gallery, 144-152 Bermondsey Street
If you’re feeling more contemporary, check out the White Cube gallery, which has hosted many influential exhibitions. Take a guided tour or walk through the minimalist art on your own.

Photography by MAX COLSON FOR BARBICAN

Barbican Centre, Silk Street
Film, dance, music, theater, and visual arts take center stage at the Barbican. The conservatory garden is a personal favorite of Mosier’s.

Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road
The angular building of the Hayward Gallery is a work of architectural art itself, but inside is a world- renowned contemporary gallery. It just re-opened in January after a two-year renovation and is ready to host more fabulous exhibitions.

Store Studios, 180 The Strand
Experience a unique creative space at the Store Studios, which host an array installments and exhibitions.

Photography by MARYLEBONE FARMERS MARKET

Marylebone Farmers Market, Cramer Street Car Park
Find fresh produce or munch on something delicious at this 40 stall flagship farmers market that runs every Sunday from 10am to 2pm. Mosier recommends grabbing a mushroom sandwich here for a tasty lunch.

Thermal Floor at ESPA, Whitehall Place
Indulge in the ultimate treat yo’self day at the Corinthia Hotel’s spa. The super luxury bath house is the perfect place to unwind.

Club 51, 51 New Cavendish Street
Healthy living rules at this exclusion London fitness studio, Mosier’s ideal spot for sweating it out through fitness training and boxing.

Photography by PHILI VILE FOR ALMEIDA THEATER.

TO DO

Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street
Take a seat in this small theater to see one of their internationally recognized plays and enjoy the fine performing arts. Check the box office ahead of time to see what’s on stage.


Triyoga, Carnaby Street, Soho
Mosier loves the yoga classes offered at this posh studio where sessions are taught by globally trained instructors.

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Published on January 11, 2018 - 5:00am EST

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