If you are looking for a weekend in London away from the crowds, queues and over subscribed West End. I bring to you an interesting alternative from the usual weekend haunts of Knightsbridge. Mayfair and Trafalgar Square. I recently stayed at The Soho House owned The Ned at Poultry in the City of London. The wealthiest square mile in the world. A perfect weekend escape as the bankers and IT guys have all deserted the area for some much needed down time. leaving YOU to discover the peaceful haven that they never see. Great for this time of year as this area offers up some stunning restaurants and bars, culture and art galleries and all your christmas shopping in The Royal Exchange. Here you can find Aspinalls, Fortnum and Masons, Boodles, Tiffanys, Jo Malone, Penhaligons, Links to name but a few. All perfectly gift wrapped. Be warned though do your shopping here on your arrival day of Friday as most of these stores close for the weekend. But good to get this out of the way to ensure maximum enjoyment and relaxation in the most chilled place and best kept secret for a genuine London weekend escape.
So, now we have the shopping out of the way lets concentrate on what I love about this area.
WHERE TO STAY
THE NED has 250 1930s inspired bedrooms , 10 restaurants , spa and gym. With prices starting at £250 per night it represents real value for money. This imposing building and stunning facade was once Midland bank. The rooms are sumptuous and cosy perfect for a winters night and the bathrooms are stocked full of cowshed products (10 different shampoos and conditioners ) . There is also a “Mr Porter” (Net A Porter) menu you could turn up just with a handbag and order anything you may have forgot and it arrives in minutes delivered direct to your room from Spanx to swimwear to clothing to cosmetics.
The price also includes access to The Spa with its amazing 20 metre indoor pool, Moroccan Hammam, and several cowshed treatment rooms and nail bar and blow bar. Even vita drips are offered here in the Elixir clinic.
Truly you could just stay holed up in the Ned for the whole weekend but if you do want to venture out then lets look at some of the amazing eateries and places to visit.
Some of my favourites……..
Well The Ned itself has a number of diverse eateries downstairs in the “faded glamour of a 1930s ocean liner” feel. Its lively with live music in the centre of the restaurants. You can choose from healthy californian to Jewish to Sushi to italien every taste catered for. My particular favourites are Malibu Kitchen for healthy by the ocean fare. Cecconis , I love in Mayfair and here at The Ned it never diappoints and the setting feels grander. Great for cocktails with a big sit around square bar.
Coq D’Argent directly across the road. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner. the restaurant is set up high with a garden and the best views across the city. Popular with City peoples during the week but easier to get a table on the weekends although booking advised. The food and service here is exceptional with a set menu starting from £29.50 for two courses. Elegant and white table clothed glamorous restaurant. Perfect for a romantic dinner.
COYA as my followers are aware i am a massive fan of Coya in Picadilly. So was very excited to find the newly opened Coya in Angel Court Throgmorton St. Party atmosphere and fresh clean Peruvian cuisine and not so clean Pisco Sours ! Bottomless brunches with live music on Saturdays from 12.30pm onwards and only a short stagger back to The Ned !!
HAWKSMOOR SPITALFIELDS is the place if you like a steak. The best steaks in London. All day dining so this one can work around your own schedule.
LE PONT DE LA TOUR just over a mile away from The Ned is an old perennial that never gets tired situated on the river right by Tower Bridge this could fit neatly into your sightseeing schedule if you are choosing to visit Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. Saturday and Sunday have a Brunch or Dinner menu with old school french cuisine and an excellent wine menu. Absolutely beautiful setting and a lovely romantic evening stroll back to your Hotel, weather permitting.
I must mention here my little secret a great champagne bar with incredible views and outside seating , perfect for the summer months. JIM BO LAW located within the DORSETT HOTEL Aldgate just jump in the elevator press the pineapple to head straight to the top floor. Although no food served here.
There are so many great eateries in this part of town so experiment.
THINGS TO DO
A few suggestions
- St Pauls Cathedral – pre book a guided tour
- Tower of London – a firm favourite
- Spitalfields Market – one of Londons oldest Markets. Open 7 days a week. Original clothing and arts from over 80 independent designers.
- Guildhall Art Gallery- Guildhall Yard. Over 250 paintings, drawings and sculpture. Also houses in the basement Londons only Roman Amphitheatre unearthed in 1988. Both free admission.
- St Swithins Wine Shipper , St Switihins Lane opens until 10pm Friday but alas closed on a weekend. a destination for wine enthusiasts 48 wines to try from state of the art enomatic machines. also very rare wines can be tried. There is a lovely tasting terrace and platters and nibbles are served to enhance your wine tasting experience. No booking required.
- Sky Gardens , Fenchurch St (the walkie talkie building) for a 360 degree view of London amongst a lot of greenery, plants and trees.
- Typically British Tour a 2 hour tour starting at St Pauls available only on a weekend 13.00 -18.00. For tourists to see how British people typically live but how interesting to go as a Brit to see how we are portrayed. great fun and always a good crowd. Be aware they are walking tours.
- If you are missing the call of the West End theatres head down to the banks of the Thames, New Globe Walk close to Tower bridge for some Shakespeare matinees or evening performances of HenryVI or Richard III. Check schedule for listings. But to see Shakespeare within The reconstructed Globe Theatre as it is supposed to be is a real treat.
Hopefully there are some activities of interest on this list. But as you can see there are many experiences to indulge in the City. It may not have crossed your mind to plan a WEEKEND visit to the City’s square mile but there is something refreshing, new and exciting without the mass crowds. It feels classy like London used to.
JOJOS STYLELIST TIP: Ssssssssssh stylistas lets keep it a secret !
JOJO . xxxxxxxx