48 hours in London
Culinary delights, world-class art, and picturesque shopping streets.
Start your weekend by checking in at one of London’s many cozy hotels (also take a look at our London hotel tips). The city offers something for everyone, but if you’re a fan of historical romance like us, then The Rookery is a real favorite. Situated in an 18th-century building where many of the original features have been preserved, you can relax in the grand library if you fancy a quiet moment to yourself or enjoy breakfast in the conservatory before heading out on an adventure in the city. A slightly more budget-friendly option is the lovely The Pilgrm near Hyde Park.
Vintage Shopping vs. Afternoon Tea
If you’re staying in East London, head to Brick Lane to discover what is perhaps Europe’s best vintage shopping. The small shops here, as well as Brick Lane Vintage Market, sell everything from runway pieces by England’s late fashion legend Vivienne Westwood to a pair of well-worn Dr. Martens.
For a more sophisticated experience, enjoy afternoon tea at the iconic Fortnum & Mason department store. Take the opportunity to browse the fantastic selection of teas, and perhaps buy some to take home to your loved ones.
For the longest time, people from all corners of the world have left their mark on England in general, and London in particular, which is reflected in the culinary scene. End your first day in London with a meal at Dishoom, which offers authentic, high-quality Indian cuisine. The restaurant has several locations throughout the city.
Charming Primrose Hill
Take the tube to Primrose Hill—considered by many to be one of the most beautiful parts of London and perfect for discovering on foot. Start at Chalk Farm Underground Station and head toward Primrose Hill Road. As it’s Saturday, you’ll soon come across the fantastic food market. If you haven’t had breakfast yet, now’s your chance. Also pick up some zero-waste kombucha or handmade chocolates and roses.
Then head to Regent’s Park Road and Gloucester Avenue for a little local shopping. Here, you’ll find plenty of small shops, cafés, restaurants, and pubs—including the cupcake heaven that is Primrose Hill Bakery.
You’ll also come across the picturesque blue bookshop Primrose Hill Books. Browse the shelves and pick up the latest title from one of the area’s local authors, such as Kamila Shamsie or Alan Bennett.
After a day on foot, try the seasonal menu at the wonderful Andrew Edmunds Restaurant in Soho, which has operated for 30 years in an 18th-century townhouse. The tables, which are always lit by candles and reminiscent of old London, are perfect for an intimate date, either with yourself and a sketchbook or with your partner. The menu features hearty salads, monkfish with nduja, or whole roasted quail, along with a wine list that is as classic as it is well selected.
Modern art at the Tate Modern
Sunday morning is the perfect time to visit the Tate Modern and its astonishing collection of art. The building—the former Bankside Power Station—is an experience in itself, a remarkable marriage of old and new.
The Tate Modern’s permanent collection offers more than enough to those who haven’t visited before, featuring artists like Louise Bourgeois and Jenny Holzer, but be sure to check whether any of the ongoing exhibitions pique your interest—if so, booking in advance is recommended.
After the museum comes the Sunday roast. A visit to London is not complete without one, and the perfect place to enjoy one lies within walking distance of the Tate Modern: Roast, right above Borough Market. Lamb, chicken, or vegetarian—the choice is yours. All menus come with Yorkshire puddings and all the other traditional trimmings, of course.
12 Peter’s Lane, Cowcross Street
64–76 Hendon Way
Brick Lane Vintage Market
85 Brick Lane
Fortnum & Mason
22 Kingly Street
Primrose Hill Food Market
69 Gloucester Avenue
Primrose Hill Books
134 Regent’s Park Road
Andrew Edmunds Restaurant
46 Lexington Street
The Floral Hall, Stoney Street
Text by Astra Wahllöf Olander