The Classic London Guide
Our guide to the most iconic spots of this much-loved city, perfect for both locals and visitors alike.
Claridge’sBrook St., Mayfair | +44.20.7629.8860
It's a great place to stay, and it's also a wonderful spot to duck into for an afternoon tea. Live piano and violin (sometimes even a double bass) accompany the much-acclaimed menus here. You'll find a variety of small-batch Tregothnan English Estate blends, which are the perfect companion to the finger sandwiches, warm scones, and clotted cream. Their famous Marco Polo jelly is not to be missed, neither is a walk through the Art Deco lobby to check out the stunning sweeping staircase.
The Connaught HotelCarlos Place, Mayfair | +44.20.7499.7070
The Connaught was revamped in 2008, and the interiors are full of subtle and modern surprises while maintaining the institution's old-world charm. The décor is elegant, the service is top notch, and the Connaught Bar and the Hélène Darroze are tasteful additions. The top floor of the hotel is occupied by an exquisite apartment decorated by the late David Collins in his signature shades of blue and grey. It's available to guests for a luxurious stay, and at the very least worth exploring on the website.
The DorchesterPark Lane, Mayfair | +44.20.7629.8888
In addition to the exquisite floral displays, large, luxurious rooms with views of Hyde Park, and a range of dining options, The Dorchester is one of our favorites for high tea in London, as it has a full-on traditional English feel.
Belmond Cadogan Hotel75 Sloane St., Knightsbridge | 800.237.1236
Currently undergoing a renovation (it's part of the Belmond family), and reset to open in 2017, this is one of London's great hotels. While we love it for the luxurious and cozy rooms, booking at this small, longstanding boutique hotel in Knightsbridge will also grant you access to the lush and private Cadogan Gardens and tennis courts. Lit fans should request room 118, Oscar Wilde's old room and the site of his infamous arrest.
The BerkeleyWilton Place, Knightsbridge | +44.20.7235.6000
This is one of our favorite grown-up hotels in London. It is decorated beautifully in subdued tones and offers pretty wonderful services, many of which are geared toward families (on-call babysitters, goody bags, video games). On sunny days, the rooftop pool is the best spot to take in everything on offer: hula hoop classes, alfresco lunch, and twice-daily kids' swim hours. Beyond than the now-famous breakfast spread, there's no lack of dining and boozing options thanks to the Blue Bar, Koffmann's bistro, and the luxe Caramel Room.