After New York, London is one of my favorite cities in the world. It is such a civilized place, with charming sights at every turn. I try to visit several times a year. Last year, I covered the basics in my First Timer’s Guide to London. When I went back this year, I was excited to explore all of the new things the city has to offer.
1. Sexy Fish
This restaurant open in 2015 and has quickly become the new London hot spot, frequented by celebs such as Kate Moss and Rita Ora. Sexy Fish has a chic vibe, but is also a lot of fun and not overly fussy. The food was absolutely delicious! Some highlights are the Sashimi Yellowtail, the Crisp Duck Salad, and the Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass. Be sure to book well in advance as this place fills up!
2. Abstract Impressionism at the Royal Academy of Art
This show completely blew me away! The Royal Academy must have raided the collection of every museum in the world to bring together this impressively large collection. All of the main players in this movement are well represented, from Pollock to de Kooning to Rothko. Be prepared so spend at least an hour here. The audio tour is well worth listening to.
3. The New Black Coffee Shop
I came upon this interesting coffee shop in the City while in need of a caffeine boost. Unlike your typical coffee shop, there is no menu. Instead, you explain to the baristas what type of flavor profile you like, and they help match you with a drink that suits you. Referencing the flavor wheel on the wall, I told the barista that I like rich chocolate flavors. He then selected a bean sourced from Nicaragua and brewed it in a futuristic-looking machine. The resulting espresso was a delicious coffee treat to be sipped and savored.
4. Trunk Labs
I came upon this interesting clothing concept while walking around the beautiful neighborhood of Marylebone, London’s answer to New York’s West Village. It has many charming restaurants, shops, and stylish inhabitants. One such shop is Trunk Labs, a curated menswear pop-up. I enjoyed spending time here perusing the interesting collection of brands, some familiar and some new discoveries. I particularly liked their unique collection of men’s fragrances. Just a few doors down is the parent store, Trunk Collection, also worth checking out.
After several days of decadent eating, I was on the lookout for a healthier dining option. A friend suggested Daylesford, also in Marylebone. This restaurant includes both a market and a casual sit-down dining experience. The market is well stocked with healthy snacks and juices. The gluten-free and vegan baked goods are so tempting!
6. Turner Prize 2016 at Tate Britain
As a modern art fan, I look forward each year to the Turner Prize, which honors the best in modern British art. This year’s show did not disappoint. The works of art were very interactive and seemingly designed with a social media savvy public in mind. (You will probably recognize the infamous life-sized butt sculpture from your Instagram feed.) While at Tate Britain, I also checked out their impressive collection of Turners (the namesake of the prize), one of my favorite artists.
7. Switch House at Tate Modern
This is the much-awaited new addition to the Tate Modern Museum. With this 10-story addition, the Tate Modern is now a giant complex for modern art. The new building focuses on experiential installations. I am a huge fan of modern art, so I was excited to see the new building. However, I must admit I was hoping to be more wowed more architecturally. The new building continues with the industrial vibe of the main building, originally a power generating station. But unfortunately the new building comes off as very institutional. The panoramic view of London from the top floor is probably the best part. I hate to be a critic and I am sure the exhibits will continue to develop in such a way that they will outshine the building.