The capital of England. Full of queues, umbrellas and invariably conversations about the weather. It is nearly always busy, and there are more things to do here than you can shake a stick at, so to set you up for exploring this city, here is a selection of seven things to do.

 Santander Cycles

GO

Santander Cycles

Hire a bike at a docking station, cycle the streets and return to your closest docking station. Easy. After a more leafy alternative and feeling adventurous? Richmond Park is further down the river and a perfect picnic spot, just watch out for the deer. All you really need is a bank card, and to keep your cycle-safety wits about you.

 

 Bamford Haybarn

RELAX

Bamford Haybarn

For a haven away from the hustle and bustle of the streets below, head to Haybarn at The Berkeley. Centrally located in Knightsbridge, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped foot into the countryside. Soothe and refresh your soul with only British-made organic products used in all treatments. Stay on for afternoon tea at The Berkeley, Prêt-à-Portea. Surely worth it even for the name.


Nordic Bakery 

SIP

Nordic Bakery

In need of coffee to power you through the day? Golden Square is home to a clutter-free, peaceful cafe, just off the tourist tracks. Open sandwiches, cinnamon buns. Thank us later.


 Daunt Books

SHOP

Daunt Books

For the floor alone, we love Daunt. Parquet in a traditional herringbone, solid timber balustrades and of course, floor to ceiling shelf upon shelf of books. The double-height arch window also adds a church-like feeling to this bookshop. When you’ve finished getting lost in here, while away the hours along Marylebone High Street. 

 

 Borough Market 

EAT

Borough Market

Potter around a market, grazing as you go. It will be crowded and you may well queue, but that is part and parcel of the eating adventure. Certainly, there are restaurants aplenty around London, but for testing and trying all manner of things, it can’t be beaten. There’s even a cookbook if you have enough space left in your suitcase.


National Portrait Gallery 

VIEW

National Portrait Gallery

A classic and not to be missed. With over 200,000 portraits to discover, from permanent collections to visiting exhibitions, there is a lot to take in. Not to mention the restaurant with a view to kill akin to a James Bond movie. Panoramic vistas of London that would keep any budding photographer busy.


 

 High Road House

 

SLEEP/STAY

High Road House

A Georgian townhouse couldn’t be more quintessentially London. From ‘tiny rooms’ that are cosy yet still with king-size beds to larger rooms with rain showers. Originally designed by Ilse Crawford, the Scandinavian feel is palpable. Simple, pared-back design in the west of the city, this is right up our street.