The best of London

Looking for inspiration? We've distilled the best places to go, things to do and the coolest culture down into bite-sized guides

The best restaurants and cafés in London

Afternoon teas in London

Recent years have seen an explosion of afternoon teas around the capital, but some are better than others. Having tried most of London's better-known afternoon tea places for this feature, we've found some of them to be cynically overpriced tourist traps – but others have been utterly refreshing delights. Think we've missed a great afternoon tea in London? Let us know in the comment box below.Reviews by Zena Alkayat, Tania Ballantine, Simon Coppock, Guy Dimond, Charmaine Mok, Cathy Phillips Good-value afternoon tea in London Bake-a-boo Vegan as well as gluten-, dairy- and sugar-free bakes are a key draw at this princess-pink cake parlour. But it’s such a hit with north-west London locals, we wouldn’t be surprised if most customers were entirely uninterested in its innocent credentials. Cutesy to its core, the café is packed full of grandma chic such as doilies and net curtains, and serves as a pretty space for chattering mums, friends and hen do’s. Those with restricted diets love the individually named cupcakes – Roxy (raspberry), Bella (blueberry and passion fruit), Polly (plum and blackberry) et al – which are impressively baked without any artificial substitutes. A fifty per cent deposit and day’s notice is required for all afternoon tea booking, though. Afternoon tea served 2-6pm Fri, 10am-6pm Sat, noon-6pm Sun; £15 per head (minimum two people). Bea's of Bloomsbury Bea’s of Bloomsbury is a fast-expanding café, with new branches on the Ki

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London's best breakfasts and brunches

Discover the best restaurants and cafés for breakfast and brunch Our team of experts have sought out the best breakfasts and brunches in London. Whether you're looking for coffee and pastries in a café, a posh Sunday brunch, or a mouthwateringly meaty fry-up – don't miss the most important meal of the day. Time Out's guide to breakfasts in central London Bill's Brighton’s Bill’s (not to be confused with Australia’s Bill Granger) has finally made it into the capital, serving a similar menu of classic breakfast items in a fun, laid-back space. The breakfast options include a vegetarian version of a fry-up with two poached eggs, mushrooms, guacamole, sweet chilli sauce and toast, topped with basil leaves. There’s also porridge with banana and honey, egg and soldiers and greasy-but-great bacon sandwiches (you can take those away too, if you’re a local worker in a rush). Breakfast for two with drinks and service: around £20. See more details Dean Street Townhouse Soho’s smarter denizens can be found breakfasting at this polished and very English restaurant, which – as part of a boutique hotel – opens early. If you prefer your morning repast to be accompanied by starched linen, heavy cutlery and smarly uniformed service, you’ll be impressed, although the dining room always carries a lively and informal buzz. The menu caters for those after something healthy (fruit salad, pink grapefruit, bramble porridge) and diners who need something meaty and cook

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London's best cafés and coffee shops

On the hunt for a classier caffeine kick? Here's Time Out's guide to the latest wave of London coffee shops creating a buzz There’s more to London’s coffee shops than just great brews. The last few years have seen an explosion of coffee culture in the capital, and these are the places to check out this creative community. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions. Central The Attendant It’s been a labour of lav turning this former public convenience into a charming little coffee bar. The aromas wafting up from the subterranean cavern are now of roast arabica and scented candles, even though many of the original fixtures remain in place, from the Victorian urinals to a veteran hand drier. The loo has been locked up and unused for the last 50 years; now the transformation from piss-stop to pitstop is impressive. The beans are supplied by Caravan Roastery; our flat whites had rich flavour and a thick crema. On another visit the barista, obsessively committed to his craft, apologised because the blend might have a little too much citrus flavour from sitting for just three days after roasting (he likes six). It was citrusy, but it was wonderful. He offered to brew a free cup of something else, so we could compare and contrast. There’s a small selection of made-to-order sandwiches and hot snacks, and the cakes (supplied by Bittersweet Bakers) are more than decent. This central café is definitely worth spendin

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London's best cheap eats

Great food and good-value restaurants and cafés in the capital If you’re feeling stretched for cash, don’t worry – dining out in London doesn’t have to be wallet-busting experience. Check out London's best cheap eats in central, north, south, east and west London. We've also picked the best new eating-out-on-a-budget options for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the best cheap meals in London's top restaurants. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions. The full list of London's best cheap eats London dining doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg – the city is full of great-value restaurants, cafés and takeaways. Here is our full list of the top spots for cheap eats in town. Explore London's best cheap eats In central London In north London In south London In east London The full list Cheap breakfasts Cheap lunches Cheap dinners Cheap meals in top restaurants Map of cheap restaurants in London London's best... Breakfasts Whether you're looking for a Sunday brunch, or a meaty fry-up – don't miss the most important meal of the day. Sunday lunches There are few meals more comforting than a traditional Sunday dinner. Go on, stuff yourself silly... Afternoon teas Find out where are the city's best spots for a quintessentially English experience. Steaks For the very best cuts of meat in the city, visit London's top ten steak restaurants. Most popular restaurants with offers Kopapa Just what you want in a

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London's best Sunday lunches

Let the Time Out experts guide you through the best Sunday lunches in London - from traditional pub roasts to Chinese dim sum and modern French cooking. Time Out reviews anonymously and pays for all meals. Think we've missed a great place to have Sunday lunch? Let us know in the comment box below. Sunday lunch reviews by: Guy Dimond, Anne Faber, Euan Ferguson, Ruth Jarvis, Charmaine Mok, Jenni Muir, Sally Peck The best Sunday lunches in central London The Delaunay The Delaunay is the new sibling of The Wolseley, and shares many of its key traits – a strong sense of occasion, smooth service, grand room, retro European menu. There’s roast rib of beef with Yorkshire pudding served all day (for a hefty £18.50), but the extensive à la carte menu also lists brunch dishes (eggs every which way) alongside more unusual, and more interesting mittel-European dishes. The schnitzels are excellent, so are the German-style sausages. The menu evokes French salons, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Weimar Republic, when grand cafés were the meeting place of Europe’s bourgeoisie – so perhaps it’s no accident that this is where many of London’s intellectuals now choose to lunch on a Sunday. Sunday lunch served 11am-11pm. Sunday lunch for two with drinks and service: around £60. Hawksmoor Seven Dials Finding a decent Sunday roast in the centre of town used to be a difficult mission, wrought with the dangers of greying beef more suited to working the jaw than ch

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The best museums and attractions

The top ten museum exhibitions in London

Get your diary out for London's best new museum exhibitions. Uncover artefacts from buried cities, follow the ch-ch-ch-changes of David Bowie or find out about the fragrant history of floristry. David Bowie is Fame, fascination, the evolution of the rebel rebel, along with the ch-ch-ch-changes Bowie made to his lyrics, scratching out words and scribbling in others, come under the spotlight, together with the Brixton lad's stage costumes and instruments, in the V&A's major show for spring 2013. Exploring Bowie's career as musical innovator and mercurial cultural icon, the exhibition looks at his influence on music, fashion and art through the decades through some 300 objects. Bowie as photographed by the likes of Brian Duffy and Terry O'Neill will provide a focus, along with more than 60 stage cosutmes including 'Ziggy Stardust'-era bodysuits, set designs for the 'Diamond Dogs' tour, sketches, scores and diary entries. Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum Imagine someone discovering a settlement in the UK 1,000 years from now. Not a huge, bustling city like London; more Milton Keynes, or Derby. Somewhere that offers a very everyday view of urban life in that place and time. That’s what this exhibition does, and it does it very well, through an overarching domestic theme highlighted by its design as a typical home of the time, complete with kitchen, toilet, and even a garden. In these spaces, 250 exhibits quietly and memorably evoke the ordin

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The best attractions and days out

Find the best of London with our ultimate list of things to do in the capital Feeling adventurous? Looking for attractions in London? Or fancy revisiting a favourite London experience? Choose between ‘Attractions and days out’ or ‘Things to do outdoors’ below, then scroll through the lists for the very best diversions the capital has to offer... What's missing from the list? Have your say: on Facebook | on Twitter using#ultimatelondon or in the comments form below The best attractions and days out in London Buckingham Palace The Queen’s official residence may not be the most fairy-tale of palaces, but it remains one of the most famous in the world and justifiably so. The State Rooms (19 in all) are open to the public from late July to early October each year, and in 2011 will display the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress. Other royal palaces worth making a beeline for are Hampton Court Palace, Eltham Palace and Kensington Palace. Read our guide to royal events, venues and locations in London Lose yourself in boho Camden Spend a day soaking up the atmosphere of one of London’s most lively villages. Of Camden’s various markets, the Lock Market and warren-like Stables Market are the best, selling classy arts and crafts, vintage furniture and clothes, jewellery and much else besides. After a walk along the pretty canal, why not do a celebrity-spotting all-nighter in the grungy pubs, famous clubs and music venues (such as The Barfly and Koko) and busy bars? Read our Camden

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Shops and markets

Shopping centres

All the convenience of the high street with none of the buses, tourists or chuggers; London's shopping centres and malls are where retail therapy gets serious. Whether you're shopping for gifts or something a little more selfish, here are ten we'd wholly recommend. Watch our video tour of Boxpark Boxpark Refitted shipping containers plonked artfully underneath the elevated Shoreditch High Street Overground station make up this contemporary shopping and eating mall. Installed in late 2011, Boxpark is founded by Boxfresh entrepreneur Roger Wade who, with developers Hammerson and Ballymore, has filled the mall with labels like Dockers, Evisu and Nike, book publishers Phaidon and Scandinavian interiors brand Marimekko, and food and drink outfits Chop'd and Crussh – although the inclusion of Bukowski grill and café Foxcroft & Ginger promise a wider breadth of indie brands to come. Taking up a small corner of The Goodsyard, a 4.7 hectare site running alongside Bethnal Green Road, it seems Boxpark is the first of a series of developments on the former wasteland that could see up to 2000 new homes, office and retail space and leisure facilities. Brent Cross Shopping Centre When Brent Cross opened in 1976, people didn't believe the concept of the shopping mall would work but nearly 40 years on and Britain's first enclosed shopping centre is still thriving with plans underway for a massive redevelopment. With a mix of trusty department stores (Fenwick, J

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Kids' outfitters

Be warned: after a visit to London's finest shops for children's clothes, your little ones may be better dressed than you.

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See our full guide to shopping in London

London theatre

Circus in London

Roll up, roll up, for the best circus London has to offer

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Open-air theatre

No need to stifle your theatre habit this summer; just go outdoors for an open-air performance instead

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See our full guide to theatre in London

The best comedy in London

Find your local comedy club

Every regular Friday and Saturday night comedy club on one map Central London comedy clubs 99 Club Covent Garden A Covent Garden 99 Club with a good solid line-up. 99 Club Late Late(ish) night comedy, in a very intimate pub room every Saturday night, from the 99 Club team. 99 Club Leicester Square This long-running West End club – the 99 Club team's biggest and most famous venue – regularly hosts good quality circuit stand-up line-ups, six or seven nights a week. 99 Club Leicester Square View An intimate 99 Club overlooking Leicester Square with a regular solid line-up. Some seats are blocked by a pillar, so do get there early. Amused Moose Soho Hils Jago runs a tight ship at her multi-award winning Greek Street club. The bills here, every Saturday night, are reliably strong, featuring a mix of circuit stalwarts and exciting new talents. Plus, if you’re lucky, the likes of Noel Fielding or Simon Amstell may well drop by to try out new material. Boat Show Bob up and down gently while crying tears of laughter on the only comedy club held on a paddle steamer permanently moored on the Thames. Comedy Carnival Leicester Square Now at a new venue, the central London Comedy Carnival show brings you an amusing line-up. Comedy Store There’s no doubt about it, the Comedy Store is the daddy of all comedy clubs, and what most other gigs strive to be. Seemingly as old as London itself, the club has been instrumental in the growth of alternative comedy, and s

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London's best LGBT venues

See our full guide to guide to London's best LGBT events, shows, clubs and bars

The best health and beauty venues

Barbers

Trendy haircuts, wet shaves, beard trims and beauty treatments are all on the cards at London's best barbers.

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Brow bars

Find the best bars for threading, tweezing, waxing and tints

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Hairdressers

Treat your tresses at these classy salons and classic barbers

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Tattoo studios

Take your pick of the top places in London to get inked

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Nail salons

Find magnificent manicures and pretty pedicures in the capital

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Budget beauty salon

Some salons offer cut-price deals on everything from manicures to massages

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By: Katie Dailey
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The best restaurants in London for...

Chinese

Chopsticks at the ready! There’s Cantonese dim sum, classic Beijing-style roast duck and plenty more in our round-up of London's best Chinese food

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Steak

We've tried and tested the very best restaurants in London for the very best cuts of meat, and here are the results 

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Italian

From crusty sourdough pizzas to Venetian small-plates and more, tap into London’s vibrant Italian restaurant scene

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British

From cutting edge cuisine to firm culinary favourites, British food has made a dramatic comeback in the past decade

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Burgers

The burger bandwagon rolls on and on. But which ones are the trailblazers, leaving the rest for dust? 

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Ramen

We've seen a spate of ramen joints open in London. Here's our pick of where to grab a steaming bowl of thin wheat noodles in broth

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Coffee

A guide to the latest wave of London coffee shops creating a buzz

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AndrewThomas
AndrewThomas

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