London can be many thing to many different travelers. A key port of call for people on their first Euro trip. For some, it’s a fashion and business hub for the global elite. It’s a hipster paradise on the cutting edge.
For me, the British capitol is a mix of all three and yet so much more. I’ve passed through and even lived in the city multiple times over the last decade and have had adventures across this town. I love all of it, but West London is what keeps drawing me back.
Traditionally, London is about sophistication and culture. I see it as an opportunity to let my fancy flag fly and West London is the perfect venue. To be clear, this guide is not for those looking to see the sites, but instead for girls who want to enjoy a bit of modern day Jane Austin fantasy. Below are a few of my insider suggestions on London Shopping, places to visit, and dine from Kensington to Chelsea and beyond. Whether you spend a day in Kensington or choose to do some Chelsea London Shopping you are sure to have a great time.
I’ll be honest, I am not the biggest fan of museums but this Chelsea institution is one of the exceptions. Founded in 1985, the Saatchi Gallery is one of the first major global institutions to focus on exposing the work of new and upcoming artists. Some of the biggest names in art including Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and Wendy Sherman launched their careers here. This avante garde approach has paid off with more the 1.5 million people visiting the gallery annually. Now that you’ve gotten some culture, time for lunch.
Let’s gets straight to the point, the Ivy Chelsea Garden has one of the most magical outdoor gardens I’ve ever dined at. Filled with a riotously unruly explosion of plants and flowers, the outdoor dinning area makes you feel like you’ve been invited to the Mad Hatters private tea party. Once you’re seated enjoy some really great food, I recommend the lobster linguine. This is definitely near the top of my list of where to eat in London.
While tourists go to Harrods, fashionistas go the Knightsbridge flagship of this iconic high end department store. The buyers at Harvey Nichols take risks, filling the store with an exciting selection available nowhere else. Founded in 1931, this now megastore began life as a West London linen shop. This top destination in Knightsbridge now features the world’s premier designers. If you get hungry while shopping stop by the in store Burger and Lobster outpost for some comfort food.
Pub life is a cornerstone of British culture, and over its 300 year history The Goat has played a big part in building the tradition. When King William build Kensington Palace in the late 17th Century, Kensington itself became a bustling thoroughfare.
Legend has it that at one a point a secret tunnel connected the pub directly to the palace, but no direct link has been found in the mazes of ancient construction underneath these London streets. While you might not meet a king here, its stills a great place to chat with relaxed locals. If you’re hungry try the fish and chips. Whiles its not lady like, I recommend a cold pint to get in the proper pub spirit. Definitely one of my favorite things to do on Kensington High Street.
In my previous piece on vintage shopping, I mentioned I love searching for luxury bargains in cool cities. London is one of my favorite destinations to find amazing vintage pieces. Chelsea Vintage Couture specializes in sourcing, buying and selling authentic pre-owned luxury vintage, Haute Couture and epic ready-to-wear by French designers. This Chelsea London shopping destination features an eyes watering selection that will help you look fabulous and ready to take on the town.
This travel guide to West London features some of my top tips for leading a fashionable and cultured lifestyle. Check out Lonely planet for the tourist must sees, but I feel like my followers are looking for something more. As always this is not exhaustive but just a few highlights to get you started. My advice is to book a plane ticket and get out there and go exploring for to see what London can offer!
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