Holding a reputation of as one of the world’s most important global centres, London enjoys an inspired food culture influenced by hundreds of ethnicities.
Due to a long history of immigration, London currently fosters more than 300 languages, each belonging to a culture with its own culinary traditions. Ethnic enclaves dot the city, exemplifying its nature as a cultural melting pot.
The East End’s Brick Lane is a go-to for authentic Indian and Bangladeshi curries. Notting Hill’s Golborne Road is a must-visit for Moroccan and Portuguese food specialities. Edgware Road in the north-west is home Lebanese restaurants and shisha cafes aplenty. Shoreditch’s Kingsland Road boasts a number of Vietnamese eateries on a stretch affectionately called Pho Mile. The West End is not just famous for its theatre productions, but also its Chinatown restaurants.
No trip to London is complete without visiting one of the city’s celebrated food markets. Some of country’s best produce and artisan foods can be found at these atmospheric street soirees.
Favoured by foodies and restaurateurs, the Borough Market is a London institution, famous for its fresh organic produce and gourmand delights. Used to represent Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter films, Leadenhall Market is a visually appealing marketplace, flanked by shops, pubs and restaurants. Berwick Street Market is a renowned haunt for chefs, offering an array of cheeses, bread, seasonal produce, and inspired street food. London’s most famous market Portobello Market is not solely devoted to food, but offers exceptional food experiences.
As one of the world’s foremost cultural hubs, London is also home to a plethora of outstanding fine-dining opportunities. London’s best restaurants constantly evolve and change, however home-grown UK food legends like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay continuously champion local fine-dining, both with a number of restaurants to their names.
Home to a large population and a thriving tourism industry, London swells with opportunities to spend a pound. The city is home to several distinct retail districts and shopping streets, most of which embrace a specific theme or speciality.
Oxford Street is the heart of London shopping, constantly abuzz with more than 300 shops including designer outlets, high street chains and landmark stores like Selfridges. Elegant shopping street, Regent Street offers a good range of mid-priced fashion stores alongside some of the city's oldest and most iconic shops. Nearby, the very British Jermyn Street is renowned for men's clothing.
Bond Street and Mayfair are London's most exclusive shopping enclaves, renowned for their extravagant retail opportunities and big-name fashion houses. Stretching through Chelsea and Fulham, King's Road boasts an eclectic mix of trendy boutiques, unique labels, designer shops, artisan workspaces, and high-street staples. The birthplace of the 1960’s cultural revolution, Soho’s Carnaby Street is a mecca for lifestyle retailers and independent fashion boutiques.
Covent Garden is a go-to for hip fashion, unique gifts and one-off handmade jewellery. The rich, famous and fashionably elite flock to Knightsbridge and Brompton Road to shop for prestigious brands and up-to-the-minute trends at illustrious department stores like Harrods and Harvey Nichols. Savile Row fosters a hub of British tailors legendary for crafting bespoke garbs the old-fashioned way. Notting Hill offers an array of small shops selling vintage clothing, rare antiques and quirky gifts, and is home to the world-famous Portobello Road Market.
Westbourne Grove mixes designer shops, quirky boho boutiques, hip cafes, and art galleries. Shoreditch boasts the world’s first pop-up mall, Boxpark, where shipping containers are filled with an exciting blend of fashion and lifestyle brands, galleries, cafes, and restaurants. London’s epicentre of alternative culture, Camden is abuzz with unique and unorthodox stores, and the sprawling Camden Market.