I never travel to a city without getting at least a few recommendations. I like to maximize the experience of a trip with the locals best spots in the city. Most of the time, I call Nath my dear 411 who is always in a plane somewhere traveling the world. To take it even further, I invited some of my friends who are native to the cities to collaborate with Mademoiselle Jules to ensure that when you get to any of these cities, you'll be sure to have an amazing time. So I asked Lindsay to do our London City Guide and she will update it occasionally when needed. Enjoy!
Born in Montreal, a graduate of Concordia’s business school, Lindsay began her career in Marketing and Events for Montreals’ luxury restaurant groups. She now shares her time between Montreal and London, her soon to be permanent home. Lindsay hopes to bring her expertise in the hospitality industry to London. While in Montreal, Lindsay met her husband Andrew, whom she married in 2009 and together they have 2 daughers, Dani & Sofie.
London By Lindsay Rosen
How would you describe the city: Vibrant and alive, every day of the year!
What is your city philosophy: If you are looking for something, they’ve got it, five of them infact, the hardest part is choosing!
What is your neighborhood of choice: Knightsbridge all day long. You’ve got the park for the greenery, for kids it has everything, for a runner its picturesque. Just a quick cab away from neighboring areas that you would want to visit. It’s the pulse of London, great restaurants, shopping, museums and sights. If it’s good enough for the Queen, I don’t mind staying there either!
The best way to get around the city: Walk or black cab, although the tube is the quickest way!
Your favorite hotel and why: I love the Bulgari because it’s so central, near the park, all the shops, its boutique-like, new and glamorous. You also get to make a bag of candy every time you pass through the reception!
Best place for a cup a coffee, fresh juice: For fresh juice, try the Good Life Eatery, apple, kale and coconut water, they’ve got it all. Also around the corner from there is Jaks, it looks like a horses stable with all the carrots, apples, celery and ginger stacked to get to work!
Best brunch: Aubaine, it’s a great spot to meet friends and to people watch, they have a few great locations, one off of high street, the other off Brompton road, and their latest in Selfridges when you need a bite before shopping!
A good restaurant for lunch with friends: With girlfriends, it’s the Good Life Eatery, its organic, gluten free, amazing and the line up is down the street. With a mixed group, Cecconi’s on Bond Street it’s always a buzzing spot and the food is great. The new Bumpkin is also a really fun spot with some nice healthy options for a pub.
Where to eat out at night: There are so many great restaurants in London, its hard to even name the top 5, but a fun new Peruvian cuisine has hit to trend, so that restaurants like Coya and Lima are really hot right now. Nobu, Zuma and Hakkasan are always a crowd pleaser. Scott's is amazing for fish and seafood. Bob Bob Ricard has been around for years but with their new hot club room, dazzled red, you can't help yourself but press the “champagne” button, one at each table! Chiltern Firehouse is a hotspot, and a hard spot to get into. Sushi Samba , Duck and Waffle at the top of the Heron Building are always fun if you're up for heading into the city. If you’re a local or if you know someone in London that loves to go out, chances are they hold a membership to a private members club, there are many in the city, they are exclusive and they are fabulous. Everything from a great bar, upscale dinner, nightclub and lounge. If a friend invites you to the Arts Club or Number 5 Hertferd Street, you don’t want to stay home that night!
The best stop for “people watching”: Everywhere in London is a place to watch people, if you’re on Brompton road at any of the cafés, you’ve got a front row seat to London’s non paying fashion show!
For a fun girls night out: La Bodega Negra, in the heart of Soho, with a racy entrance, the music is great, the flavoured mojitos go down so easy and the sharing plates make this Spanish style hotspot really fun. Kurobata also a new fun spot to check out during the week, with a Junk Food section on their menu and a Skinny Bitch sushi roll alongside an extensive robata list the choices are delicious and endless!
Great date spot: Nobu, its timeless, every other city wants one, the food is always good, its buzzing but still intimate. Scalini’s, the food is just so good there are no words, everyone I recommend to go there thank me, some even send me pictures of what they ate. Best lobster pasta perhaps in the world! When I was pregnant I may have eaten there 3 times a week!
Before you leave the city you HAVE to eat at … Maroush, late night Lebanese cuisine, they are allover town. It’s cheap and cheerful! If it’s a Sunday then head to any local Pub for a roast dinner, my favorite is The Pantechnicon, roast dinner, potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, veg and gravy, you’ll be glad you’re walking home!
A London classic, an institution: The Ivy, its old British elegance with the food to follow but it’s the hardest to get a table and there are always celebrities in the corner of your eye.
Your absolute favorite place: Harrods food hall, you’ve died and gone to taste bud heaven!
The new super cool place: Oblix, Chiltern Firehouse, Jenius Social, Burger Lobster is also a new concept which is opening allover London, no reservations, always packed, 3 options; a burger with fries or salad, lobster on brioche or grilled lobster with fries or salad. Get in line!
What is totally overrated: The Shard, the tallest building just being completed. The building is stunning, it has the most magnificent view of the city from the highest point. 3 restaurants, neither of them worth trying again, but worth checking out the bar for a drink since the views are that spectacular.
Your favorite Museum: The Science museum, its beautiful, great location and there is always something going on.
Place not to be missed: the Orangery at Hyde park for Afternoon tea. It’s a stunning spot to stop for tea or to bring friends when you’re walking through the park.
A very touristy place that you still love to go sometimes: HARRODS! Or Buckingham palace, if the flag is up the queen is home!
Do you have a shopping route: Usually I keep all the oxford Street area together, Selfridges, then Bond street. Then the knightsbridge shops (Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Sloane Street) repeat!
Tell me about your favorite shops:I love Harvey Nichols because it has a bit of everything, glam, the latest fashions but its youthful and edgy. Hockley furs is out of control, hot Minks in every colour to complement the season, and young cutting edge designs and styles. Move over Peta if you're in London, you need a fur in your wardrobe!
Your favorite multi-brand boutique: Trilogy, its young and carries a mix of European and American brands, super trendy but not over the top designer
What about Vintage pieces: Salou in Knightsbridge is a fabulous consignment store, I always find something special there
Where do you go to pamper yourself: I love going to the spa at the Bulgari , they have every facial and body treatment you can ever want. They even do a couples room with champagne and a Jacuzzi with rose petals, its surreal.
Where to get a good work out: I love to jog the park and bootcamps are really popular since there are so many great parks around the city. I watched a few then approached someone who meets me in the park a few days a week. Londoners are all pretty active and stay fit in one way or another. There are gyms and health clubs everywhere, they are bigger than fitness centers, they are social spots too. Celeb inhabited, lunch and meeting spots, its bring a health club to a whole new level and more reason to join!
You have one day & one night in the city: London Eye & Ben. Bucks Palace. Nat History Museum. Harrods. Dinner at Zuma, walk back to the Bulgari and go tot bed!
Best way to escape the city: Coworth park in Ascot. Only an hour and a half drive from the city, the most gorgeous display of flowers as you enter the hotel grounds. They have everything for a romantic weekend or a time with the family. Better yet hop on the train and get to Paris for the weekend!
Your best spot to watch sunrise: Hyde park all day long, you see the sun beautifully colored rise above the water, with the swans swimming by and the troops exercising their horses from a distance with Kensington palace not far along. Its breath taking!
Your best spot to watch sunset: Radiobar above STK or the Shard
FOR THE KIDS: If you have small children and are looking for some fun activities, there is the London zoo, there is a smaller kids zoo at Battersea park, which is less overwhelming and really fun, there is the bubble show at the Science Museum, it takes place every 30 minutes, they get the kids involved and they show you everything you can do with bubbles, its pretty amazing! There are many fun shows, like Peppa Pig and the Gruffalo Live!
Hyde park has tons to do, lots of playgrounds, Princess Diana memorial fountain to soak your feet, feeding the ducks, horseback riding and pedal boating, its picturesque in terms of a park and in the Winter there is the winter wonderland that the kids love