London is truly one of my favorite cities on the planet. There’s great shopping, amazing parks, cool museums, and loads of areas to explore. We just made our third trip back earlier this year and I’ve been meaning to share some of my favorite places to stay, eat, and shop in London while it’s still semi-fresh in my head.
Strangely, having been there 3 times and it being one of my fave cities on the planet, I have yet to ever share a travel guide for it. The good news though, is that I have a lot of suggestions now that I’m finally putting it together. Not to mention, Emma (who you’ve seen pop up in plenty of photos here this year) lived in London for six months before starting to work at Paper and Stitch and I added some of her fave places to the list as well.
Here are the coolest places to stay, eat, and shop in London, England.
Cool Places to Stay in London
In London, we’ve tried Airbnb and boutique hotels and I think my favorite place we’ve stayed so far in London has been The Hoxton Holborn. They also have a Shoreditch location, which we’ve also been to and I’d recommend that one too, but the Holborn location was my fave. The rooms are teeny tiny and a bit dark (but cool), but the food downstairs (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) is delicious and the location is pretty good too – in terms of being fairly central.
I also really like The Pilgrm…especially the common areas there (it’s where this photo was taken). But there are a couple of things to keep in mind here: the rooms are again super tiny (unless you spring for the ‘large’ room) and there is no air conditioning in any of the rooms…so if you’re going in the summer during an especially hot week and you’re 20+ weeks pregnant like I was at the time, could be a little bit of an issue. Haha. But it was a great place to stay…super close to the train station (like one block away), which makes it very convenient for coming and going to the airport.
And then, if you want to go the Airbnb route, we’ve stayed here (it’s in Hackney) and it was a cool townhouse. The host was super sweet and has two very awesome cats that stay on the property and might even snuggle up with you at night when you’re sleeping. One of the cats in particular slept with us every night. And it was really nice to have a furry companion while traveling. Hackney is a little further out from some of the other spots though…so we did have to jump in cabs a lot to get to other parts of town. We haven’t stayed in this area since our first visit, but there are a few cute restaurants and shops around.
Good Places to Eat in London
The Breakfast Club. This place had a cool, relaxed vibe and good food.
Taqueria. This was one of Emma’s recommendations and it was really good! This one’s not a photo-op spot BUT the food is delicious. My favorites were the chicken tostadas and the potato crispy tacos.
Sketch. I hesitate to put this on the list because if you’re not into fancy foods, this one won’t be for you. BUT if you’re in it for the experience, then definitely go once. This is the home of the famed pink room for afternoon teas that you’ve seen every Instagrammer on the planet take pictures of. My favorite part is the artwork…the gallery room is covered in David Shirley pieces and I love his work!
Hubbard & Bell. This restaurant is attached to The Hoxton Holborn hotel that I recommended and it’s got a cool, laid back vibe. I think we ate breakfast here almost everyday…and some dinners too.
Chicken Shop. I remember really liking the mac and cheese here. It’s also basically connected to The Hoxton Holborn…just underneath it.
Housewares / Home and Misc
The Conran Shop. This is my fave home store in all of London! If you’re big on housewares, be sure to pop by! They have more than one location in London.
Twenty Twenty One. This small(ish) housewares shop is another really good one – there’s great small home decor goods, kitchenware, little gifts, a little bit of furniture, etc.
Labour and Wait. Love this shop! I bought an amazing broom tassel, some incense, a bunch of wood doorstops (random but they were really affordable and simple), and a couple other things. It’s in East London.
Kent + London. Custom rug store with small housewares – vases, etc.
Muji. I love Muji, I really do. It’s affordable and they have cool simple home accessories. There’s some Mujis in the states too, but not one anywhere near us. So it’s still a novelty whenever we find one…like in London.
Paper Smiths. The floor to ceiling pink tile and unique paper goods (magazines, stationery and small gifts) are too good to pass up. This shop is located in Shoreditch (specifically in Box Park), so there’s lots of other shopping and food around too.
Mouki Mou. This is one of my fave womenswear shops. They have great jewelry, cool / casual shoes (sandals), and a good selection of womens clothing.
Toast. Have always admired this brand, so it was cool to visit one of their shops in person and pick up a few things.
Modern Society. They have an online shop too, to check out the vibe ahead of time.
Emin + Paul. This shop is across the street from Modern Society and has some cool stuff. It’s small, but they have lots of clothes in a few different styles. I bought a pair of pants and a top from here – and it was pretty reasonably priced.
Pam Pam. They have cool sneakers for women and a small but strong collection of women’s clothing too. I bought a sweater from here a couple years ago that I still wear every winter.
Universal Works. Jeff always buys a few things from here when we visit. He loves it. And the people that work here are super nice, very cool, and totally helpful. When we were there last time, one of the guys from the shop actually remembered us from the time before (which was like a year before). So, they’re pretty awesome. Technically, there are some unisex pieces here that could work for women too, but it’s really a shop for guys.
Oi Poloi. This is probably Jeff’s favorite store in London for clothing. It’s a little small but they pack in a lot of good stuff…clothing and accessories. A few brands they carry include Norse Projects, Novesta, orSlow, Howlin’, Engineered Garments, etc.
Folk. They actually do have womens clothing as well, but most of the stores only carried mens that we found.
Monocle. The famed magazine comes to life in this teeny tiny shop in Marylebone.
Mens and Womens
Goodhood. Every time we’re in London, we stop by Goodhood. They have great pieces for men and women and the whole downstairs is housewares and beauty products. I always find something for our house there. Always!
Aida. Cute women’s clothes and a little bit of mens clothing as well. And there’s a little coffee shop in this store too.
A.P.C. I think there are a few A.P.C stores in London.
The Collaborative Store. Mindful design in the Marylebone area.
OTHER/Store. Cool independent store in Soho, with mens and womens clothing. FYI – The clothes in this shop are on the pricey side.
You Must Create. YMC exclusively carries their own line of clothing in store. So be sure to check out their website ahead of time to see if it’s something you’ll love. I like it, obviously, or I wouldn’t be included it. But wanted to give the heads up.
Liberty. This store is nuts. It’s a giant department store essentially, that has every category of shopping you can think of – home, womens, mens, baby / kids, stationery, etc. We walked around here for a bit last time (and the other two times we’ve been to London), and found a few things to bring back home.
Have you ever been to London? Where are your fave shops and restaurants to visit?