Destination Discovery: London Calling
London calling! From Kate Moss to Kate Middleton, some of our favorite trendsetters hail from across the pond—and that chic attitude extends to London. When it comes to all things cool, Brits may just do it best: These stylish standouts reign in this capital city.
Where to Stay
Mondrian London At Sea Containers opened last fall to great fanfare not only for its location (in the legendary Sea Containers building along the shores of the River Thames) but for its splendid interiors. Design of this urban boutique hotel on South Bank, guided by Tom Dixon, is ocean liner-inspired, with a nautical theme reminiscent of the glam glory days of transatlantic travel. Highlights include a 56-seat cinema, riverside dining, quick access to city landmarks, rooftop bar (not to mention Dandelyan bar spearheaded by award-winning mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana, known as Mr. Lyan in some circles). Capping off the experience is the subterranean signature agua Bathhouse & Spa.
Can’t wait to visit? The property’s current London Calling promotion allows you to save up to 40 percent off summer bookings.
Where to Spa
Bask in the extreme sophistication of ESPA Life at Corinthia London, a four-floor all-encompassing wellness facility that blends spa and beauty with fitness and complementary alternative services. The spa sets itself apart not only with elaborate details like a café, vitality pool, ice fountain, and amphitheater sauna, but with meticulous attention to relaxation, including marble heated loungers and private sleep pods. We’re also obsessed with its flawlessly elegant design features—stainless steel, curved walls, black Tunisian marble, and textured leather accents.
Book an ESPA service, or opt for one of the lengthier lifestyle programs created exclusively with the spa’s team of naturopaths, Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncturists and herbalists, personal trainers, osteopaths, and more. (We love the concept of the spa’s “Rush Hour” beauty menu, too!)
Other spa hotspots to try include COMO Shambhala Urban Escape at the Metropolitan London. Providing a sanctuary amidst the city, the spa showcases its award-winning Shambhala wellness philosophy, offering holistic, Asian-inspired therapies such as Thai massage, acupuncture, and shiatsu, married with Dr. Hauschka and Dr. Perricone facials and signature COMO Shambhala Wellness Paths. Full gym memberships are also available.
Where to Snack
Sip vintage-style cocktails like Sazerac and scoflaw at the fashionable St James Bar; situated inside Sofitel London St James, the lounge draws inspiration from Coco Chanel’s 1920s Parisian apartment (an ideal stop on any fashionista’s travel itinerary!). A more formal affair can take place afternoons at The Rosebery at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. Enjoy a proper high tea (those who don’t prefer tea can taste champagne), while noshing on light bites such as scones, handmade pastries, and madeleines.
What to See
If this is your first time to London, definitely check out the major attractions—Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, Hyde Park, etc.—they’re all worth seeing. If you’ve been before, consider visiting other sites: Take a ride on the London Eye (it’s not far from Mondrian London!), marvel at the beauty of Kensington Gardens, and catch a performance at the Royal Court Theater in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea or at the West End.
Where to Sweat
WORKSHOP Gymnasium finds its home at Bulgari Hotel & Residences, London—schedule the gym’s exclusive FRAMEWORK assessment—a series of tests tailored to various aims, including movement, nutrition genetic analysis, food intolerance, metabolic, functional movement, and body composition—and a personal “guidebook” will be determined specifically for you.
If yoga’s your thing, check out Yogasphere. You can find many locations placed throughout the city but may we suggest Saturday morning classes at the top of The View from The Shard? You’ll be doing warrior pose 1,016 feet above the city!