London’s Fashion Week Cheat Sheet — Where to Eat, Sleep, and Shop – Yahoo Travel
The Burberry Prorsum show at London Fashion Week (Photo: Alastair Grant/AP)
With New York Fashion Week over, the chicster crowd is heading to Europe, for a series of runway shows in London, Milan, and Paris. In each city, there are inevitable hot spots that appeal to fashion types. Here’s a rundown of those stylish places in London.
Where to stay:
Claridge’s in London (Photo: Dave Hunt/Flickr)
Like the city itself, London’s hotel scene is a mix of old-school tradition and ultramodern vibrancy. Right now, both types of properties are filled with fashion editors and international store buyers. For those who prefer something with a distinctively British sense of Old-World service and luxury, the fashion crowd has always been drawn to hotels like the art deco Claridge’s (where Kate Moss famously held her 40th birthday a few years ago) and the classic but discreet Brown’s, conveniently located next door to the fashion store Dover Street Market. Both are centrally located, as is the recently opened, slick London Edition, essentially a stylish contemporary hotel within the bones of a long-standing building. Other chic and central modern mainstays include The Metropolitan and St. Martins Lane.
Related: Cheat Sheet: London
Ace Hotel at Shoreditch (Photo: Ewan Munro/Flickr)
Other editors, however, choose to stay in trendy Shoreditch, a hub for creative entrepreneurs and the shops and restaurants that accommodate them. Already preferred in that area is the Ace Hotel, the latest addition to the undeniably hip chain.
Where to eat:
The Chiltern Firehouse in London (Photo: Chiltern Firehouse)
London’s hottest restaurant at the moment, Chiltern Firehouse has quickly become ultrapopular with celebrities as well as fashionistas since opening a couple of months ago. That’s understandable: It’s a bustling, casually chic spot with appealing food (like perfectly seared salmon) and a very friendly staff. Dinner reservations are hard to get for mere mortals, so many fashion types simply opt for a drink in its lovely outdoor space, arriving early to get a table.
Lunch at the Wolseley (Photo: Scott Dexter/Flickr)
If one restaurant could be called the fashion world’s canteen, it’s the modern European Wolseley, [http://www.thewolseley.com/], the place to be seen at all meals, particularly breakfast. One of its sister restaurants, the Austrian-leaning The Delaunay [www.thedelaunay.com], is also packed during Fashion Week, since it’s just a few minutes’ walk from Somerset House, where many of the shows are held. Other fashion favorites in that vicinity: the cozy Italian minichain Polpo; Balthazar’s London branch, with essentially the same much-loved French bistro menu as the New York flagship; and the British restaurant at Dean Street Townhouse, with a clubby vibe that’s part of the exclusive Soho House family (but open to nonmembers.)
Where to shop:
Selfridges department store (Photo: Corbis)
For many British fashion editors, dressing with style is all about creating a high and low mix of designer labels, cheap and cheerful finds, and a vintage piece or two that shows one’s personality and flair. For designer goods, Selfridges is many insiders’ department store of choice, with its extensive selection of the chicest brands and accessories. (The huge beauty department is also where many brands launch new lines.) Although Harrods is, arguably, more popular with tourists than locals, a large and newly redesigned shoe department is hard to resist.
Crowds wait outside Primark. (Photo: A. Marga/Flickr)
For cheaper pieces, some fashionistas call the inexpensive chain Primark “Primarni” for its designer-influenced options — just brace yourself for a shopping experience that’s extremely crowded and not exactly glamorous. (Insider tip: Head to the Tottenham Court Road location early — it opens at 8 a.m. on weekdays — to beat the crowds.) For tastemaker labels, stores like Hoxton’s high-end Start Boutique and Hub Shop [www.hubshop.co.uk] are frequent fashion haunts.
Absolute Vintage at Shoreditch (Photo: Absolute Vintage/Facebook)
Also popular: the Portobello Road flea market and vintage shops like pricey Rellik, where you might bump into a model or two, and Shoreditch’s massive and affordable Absolute Vintage. The latter gets packed on weekends, which makes it a great time — whether or not you’re in the fashion industry — to check out the street-smart style of its trendy young clientele.
WATCH: Top Shop on Trend With High Tech Show: