MOD LIFE

London Calling

With a melting pot of neighbourhoods, each with its own distinctive style, London is the ultimate sartorial destination. Here’s where to go and what to wear on your next trip across the pond

Words Maddison Glendinning

Artwork Nour Algharabally

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SHOREDITCH

MO: Industrial grunge with a hipster edge.

Why you should visit: If all things art and culture are your calling, then a trip to Shoreditch is a must. Home to some of the city’s coolest artists and creatives, Shoreditch is bursting with character. Take time to wander the streets and marvel at the expansive (and impressive) wall murals, visit the Brick lane street food market or the Columbia Road Flower market and stop in at any one of the many vintage stores in town to find something to match with your new season purchase.  This is the epitome of low-key London cool.

Columbia Road flower market

Where to stay: Barely two years old, the Nobu Hotel Shoreditch is an architectural masterpiece located in the heart of the neighbourhood. The property is described as offering “a dynamic blend of Nobu’s signature East-meets-West philosophy and Shoreditch’s creative and industrial energy” and is the first standalone property under the famed Nobu umbrella. Its impressive façade mimics the forward-thinking nature of the suburb, whilst its interiors are quintessentially Nobu – think sleek velvet and clean lines complemented by world-class service.

What to pack: The vibe here is cultured and cool. Leave the heels at home and opt instead for sneakers, tailored trousers, frayed denim and luxe bombers.

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SOHO

MO: Creative eclecticism-meets-tourist hotspot

Why you should visit: Love a musical? Or a world-class theatre experience? Then Soho is the spot for you as it’s home to the city’s famed West End. But the buzzing neighbourhood of Soho goes beyond shows and also offers up a bunch of top-notch eateries and boutiques to spend your days devouring and discovering. Be sure to take a wander down the famous Carnaby Street, too.

Carnaby Street. Getty Images 

Where to stay: Soho is a busy area, so it’s imperative that your hotel offer some much needed peace and quiet – and the Ham Yard Hotel does just that. Set right in the centre of the action, the 91-room hotel is a veritable sanctuary in the city. And although its suites are stellar and food offering remarkable, it’s the rooftop terrace that really sets it apart. Offering stunning views of the London skyline in a leafy green surrounding, you’ll be hard-pressed to pull yourself away from here to head out.

What to pack: By day you’ll need a pair of cool trainers or comfortable flats to ensure your feet don’t tire as you explore Soho’s winding streets and alleyways. By night, it’s go bold or go home – this is the place for prints and loud pops of colour.

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NOTTING HILL 

 MO: ‘Gram-worthy streets with cool markets and vintage finds.

Why you should visit: You’ve seen the movie one hundred times, and the Notting Hill neighbourhood is as picturesque in real life as you’d expect. Rows of candy-coloured Victorian townhouses provide endless Insta backdrops and there’s no shortage of cafes to perch at for the day to take in the passersby. Plus, Portobello Road Market, the suburb’s famed antiques and vintage market, transforms the streets into a bustling hive of activity every weekend. If you want a postcard London experience, this is it.

Notting Hill. Getty Images

Where to stay: Given the eccentric charm of Notting Hill, The Portobello Hotel is the perfect place to base yourself in during your visit. Two neo-classical mansions were transformed to house the 21-room boutique hotel and no two of its rooms are the same. Offering old-world charm in a modern setting, the hotel delivers a home-away-from-home vibe to visitors (and the occasional celebrity guest), which will leave you wanting to move in permanently.

What to pack: Think effortless-meets-low-key elegance when arranging your suitcase for this pit stop. Leggings are a must, a cool jacket highly recommended and a statement handbag large enough to fit all of your fabulous new finds in is key.

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MAYFAIR

MO: Quintessentially British and unapologetically luxe.

Why you should visit: Number one: So you can feel like you’re in a real-life game of Monopoly. But seriously, this swanky London neighbourhood is the definition of sophistication. Here you’ll find a dazzling array of top-notch restaurants, expertly manicured parks in which to spend an afternoon reading a book and galleries boasting tributes to some of the country’s finest cultural icons. This is the area to see and be seen.

The Apartment at The Connaught 

Where to stay: When lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow loves a hotel so much she designs her own home based on it, you know you’ve found a winner. And that’s exactly the story of The Connaught. One of the city’s most luxurious hotels, The Connaught is a regular A-list haunt with Paltrow, the Kardashian-Wests and Taylor Swift all having spent time under its roof. The most desired room in the hotel is its sprawling penthouse, called The Apartment, and is the exact room that inspired Gwyn’s own home renovation. It boasts its own on-call butler, a marble fireplace, a bespoke David Collins dressing table and wraparound views of the streets below. The on-site food offerings are also exceptional.

What to pack: The best of Brittania – think Erdem, Burberry, Emilia Wickstead and Roland Mouret as a (very) stylish starting point.

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CHELSEA

MO: Upmarket urban centre with a rock’n’roll history.

Why you should visit: Sitting pretty along the shore of the River Thames, Chelsea is the neighbourhood that’s all grown up. Once the playground of some of Britian’s most influential bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, the suburb has since transformed from a bohemian enclave to a buzzing urban centre with plenty of things to see and do. Be sure to visit the Saatchi Gallery, which is home to Charles Saatchi’s private art collection, as well as the Saturday market for a dose of farm-fresh goodness. An added bonus is that Kensington is the next suburb over, meaning you can fit in a quick visit to see Kate, Wills and the fam during your stay, too.

Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea. Shutterstock/REX Features

Where to stay: Elegantly interweaving history and modern luxury, the Belmond Cadogan Hotel is truly a sight to behold. Having been the destination of choice of famed playwright Oscar Wilde, the hotel offers up a well-stocked library with classics sitting alongside Taschen tomes, as well as a vast private garden that delivers photo-worthy respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. With just 54 rooms and suites, it’s a boutique hotel that delivers as much, if not more, than its mega-hotel counterparts by way of luxury.

What to pack: For days spent strolling, you’ll want a selection of laidback separates on hand, as well as a midi dress (or five).


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