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Sarah Guy

Sarah Guy

Articles (2)

The best London hotels with hot tubs

The best London hotels with hot tubs

After a long day at work (or buzzing in and out of the stores in London's exceptional shopping scene), stepping into a warm, bubbling hot tub to ease those muscles – not to mention the mind and soul – is something we can all get on board with. These hotels offer a multitude of fabulous hot tub experiences – outdoor, indoor, perched on a rooftop – London's got it all. Our cherry-picked list contains all of the above and more – think everything from lavish tubs on private terraces to state-of-the-art hydrotherapy and vitality pools. Of course, London also has plenty of incredible hotels with spas offering the full whack, but if you're simply looking to soak until you resemble the most peaceful prune in the world, these hotels have got your back. Looking for more options? Check out London’s best Airbnbs or London’s best five-star hotels This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The best pet-friendly hotels in London

The best pet-friendly hotels in London

Looking for a pet-friendly hotel in London? Dogs - and their devoted humans - have never had it so good. Increasing numbers of London hotels are tapping into the pet-owning pound, recognising that there's money to be made in keeping four-legged guests happy. Bear in mind that the first rule of travelling with a pet is to have discussed your requirements with the hotel – never assume anything, especially if you have a large dog, or another pet (cat? Snake?) entirely. However picky your pooch is, use our selection to choose the right hotel and turn a potentially stressful trip into an enjoyable stay. Looking for more options? Check out London’s best Airbnbs.  

Listings and reviews (35)

Bageriet

Bageriet

4 out of 5 stars

Bag one of the eight seats in this little Swedish bakery-café, order one of its excellent flat whites and a soft, sugary brioche pretzel – sockerkringla – and presto: you have fika (the Swedish concept of stopping for a chilled-out coffee, cake and a chat). Stick with the sweet stuff here and you can’t go wrong: there are all kinds of danish pastries and buns, and a bewildering array of cakes and fancy tarts, from the gaudy princess cakes (marzipan-covered sponges) to bite-sized chocolate-drenched macaroons (Sarah Bernhard) or the yielding almond tarts with cinnamon and apple (äppelmazarin). Seasonal specials appear throughout the year: go in the weeks before Easter for semlor (cardamom-flavoured buns filled with almond paste and whipped cream); in winter, expect the likes of (delicious) blueberry soup. The place looks a treat, too. The pretty window display lures punters in; once inside, the smell of baked goods, the rows of neatly stacked own-made jams and crispbreads, and the vintage Scandinavian sugar canisters on the tables do the rest. Everything is made downstairs in a space no bigger than the café, and that includes the bread. The small selection runs from a white poppy seed bloomer to a dark rye, but my absolute favourite – worth making a special trip for – is the moist, fruity blackcurrant rye. Given the quality of the bakery goods, it’s a shame that the savoury lunch options are more humdrum, just regular rolls with a limited choice of fillings. It’s a small grumbl

The Melusine

The Melusine

4 out of 5 stars

St Katharine Docks is an unlikely home for a small independent – most of the eateries clustered around the marina are chains – but the watery setting makes sense for this inviting fish restaurant. The space is tucked into one of the arches of Grade II-listed Ivory House: the interior is modern but cosy and softly lit, with a long bar perfect for perching at with a platter of Teignmouth oysters and a glass of something interesting from the Greek-leaning wine list. It’s also a good place for date night, with lots of tables for two. During warmer months there’s terrace seating, where you can channel that Mediterranean holiday vibe. The open kitchen behind the bar can get overstretched at busy periods, but solicitous staff and snacks, such as a deeply savoury taramasalata of the palest pink served with root vegetables and black sesame seeds, keep everyone happy. Small plates were equally classy-but-moreish: grilled cuttlefish with lentils and spicy chorizo, and an inspired combo of crispy squid with cold smoked rump of beef served with courgette slices and cep oil. Melusine’s mission statement is sustainably sourced seafood from the British Isles, which means that the menu is in a constant state of flux, but if the whole roast brill (for two) is on the menu, order it: cooked just so, with the wings then battered and served as a posh scampi-style extra, it offers the best of both worlds, especially when matched with triple-cooked chips. Desserts are variations on ice cream, cake

Chez Elles

Chez Elles

3 out of 5 stars

A little French bistro on Brick Lane, Chez Elles teeters on the brink of cuteness and cliché, but thanks to a big heart and some decent cooking, it powers through. Service isn’t perfect – and can be forgetful – but the charming staff are easily forgiven, and were swift to remove a pudding from the bill when they judged we’d waited too long. The menu is a short list of tried-and-tested classics, including frogs’ legs and moules marinières. Dishes are rich and largely successful. Yes, the lemon meringue was a little liquid and a touch too sweet, but most courses hit the spot: onion soup, weighed down by a generous bread-and-cheese topping, was a meal in itself; truffled cheese soufflé was just so; and onglet with shallot sauce and frites was worthy of a much fancier establishment. The intimate setting and pretty, fetchingly haphazard decor (birdcage lampshades, lots of mirrors and candles) make this a great place for a date, though it’s every bit as popular with groups of friends for a catch-up. There’s a genuinely convivial atmosphere – on a Saturday night everyone was chatting away nineteen to the dozen, in French and English, with chanson and accordion music burbling away in the background. A welcome escape from the real world.

Fabrique

Fabrique

3 out of 5 stars

London now has several branches of this Swedish bakery chain but the Hoxton outlet, in a railway arch next to the Overground station, was the first one to open, and it’s where the actual baking is done. There’s not much room – there are far more tables outside the industrial-looking unit than in – but the restricted space means customers get to see the magic happen. The creation of cinnamon buns involves a mesmerising looping action and the sheer amount of spice required is awe-inspiring. Fabrique’s strength is as a spot for coffee and a pastry (rather than for lunch). As well as cinnamon buns, there are cardamom buns, pastries, raspberry tarts, brownies and little chocolate balls (chokladbollar), but in comparison, only a couple of filled baguettes. Smoked salmon with pickled fennel on walnut bread was more interesting and easier to eat than an overly wodgy goat’s cheese with red onion chutney on a chewy sourdough baguette. Staff are good-natured but not always professional, and the place is an uneasy mix of café and workplace, with bags of flour piled high and high jinks bakery on show. Our advice: pick up a coffee (it’s good) and a loaf (try the rye and cranberry, brilliant with cheese) to take away, or for a more sedate café experience, head for one of the more central branches. 

Ibérica Canary Wharf

Ibérica Canary Wharf

3 out of 5 stars

An upmarket tapas chain with four branches in London, Ibérica puts more effort into its menu than you might expect. There’s a short list of classic tapas – including a pedestrian patatas bravas and some crisp-but-oozy serrano ham croquetas – plus another more interesting list of contemporary tapas. We were suspicious of red berry and beetroot gazpacho topped with mint and frozen goat’s cheese, but it worked, being zingy with just a hint of sweetness. Beetroot, pickled fennel and orange salad made a refreshing foil for a splayed confit artichoke with rich sherry sauce. There are also plenty of Spanish cheeses and cured meats, including several varieties of jamón ibérico, plus chicken or seafood paella (for two). From a short list of desserts, a creamy rice pudding came beautifully caramelised on top, like a crema catalana. The Spanish wine list offered more than it could deliver (the first two bottles we chose had run out), but charming service glossed over any glitches. The Canary Wharf location couldn’t be handier – right next to the shopping centre and surrounded by office blocks – while the decor does a decent impersonation of a certain type of dignified Spanish restaurant: dark wood furnishings, patterned floor tiles, walls lined with bottles and adorned with photos and posters. This branch is on two floors, and in summer there’s also the option of Ibérica’s La Terraza on the grassy square across the road, where a menu of grills, sandwiches and sharing platters is served.

Copita

Copita

4 out of 5 stars

With its crema catalana-coloured tiles, whirling ceiling fans and Iberico hams hanging in the window, Copita feels properly Spanish even before you clock the menu. The nicely-burnished bar and the air of not trying too hard doesn’t hurt either. Diners perch on high stools at a choice of wooden counters (tip: if you’re dining solo, try for the one in the window), then settle in to wait for what Copita does best: gently inventive and skilfully cooked tapas. Almost everything we ate was excellent, from a simple but effective onglet with roasted shallots and chimichurri to a flavour-packed Andalusian chickpea and spinach stew. The black ink squid croquettes will ruin you for any other version, and we adored a plate of broccoli brought to life by gremolata and shaved manchego. The only misfire was a slightly undercooked tentacle and too much enthusiasm with the smoked paprika in an otherwise gutsy dish of octopus with crushed peas and sobrasada. Desserts come paired with by-the-glass suggestions – coffee and burnt milk ice-cream with shortbread plus dolce mataro was a pretty good match, though the ice creams were slightly too subtle for the heavenly raisin taste of the sweet red wine. Drinks in general are a strength: the (Spanish) wines and sherries are all available by the glass (copita). Coffee is excellent, too: the cortado is perfection. It’s all pretty good value given the location and the quality of the cooking, and you don’t have to order a full meal; the charming staff

Moio

Moio

Please note, Moio has now closed. Time Out Food editors, JANUARY 2020.  An alluring stokie spot, Moio is modern European, but with a special place in its heart for Portugal. The interior is beautifully lit – not too bright, but light enough to read the menu – and simply furnished with old church chairs, bare brick walls and a bar lined with blue and white Portuguese tiles. There are bar stools with a ringside view of the open kitchen, window perches perfect for solo diners and a bunch of closely packed tables. It’s a warm, welcoming room, as you’d expect from a neighbourhood joint, but the service and food are next level. An amuse bouche (burnt baby kiwi fruit with ginger mayo: a little burst of flavour) signalled the start of a culinary adventure. Plates are meant for sharing, but vary in size through nibbles, starters and mains. Portuguese morcela (blood sausage) with smoked plum sauce was a fabulously rich mouthful, and a perfect match for the sharper-tasting ‘Algarve flavoured’ (oil, parsley, garlic) carrots. One size up, heirloom tomatoes with Kentish raspberries and cheese ice cream was another ‘ooh’ dish, but the torched mackerel with grilled baby gem lettuce and smoked eel beurre blanc was a misfire, with slightly woolly-textured fish – a fraction more cooking time would have helped. Later, duck breast with a spice crust matched tender pink bird with a sticky, sweet ‘beetroot variation’; equally good was the special, crispy octopus confit in aged beef fat with harissa

Pasta Remoli

Pasta Remoli

3 out of 5 stars

This mix-and-match pasta specialist is one of the more mellow places to eat in Westfield Stratford City, tucked away from the hurly-burly in a corner near the entrance to Waitrose, and with plenty of tables. The faux-rustic decor does its best to persuade you that you’re not in a shopping centre; the comfort food does the rest. The menu is pretty simple: run-of-the-mill salads and antipasti to start and limited but rather better desserts (a good tiramisu and bought-in gelati from Grom) to finish. Most diners are here for the bit in the middle. You choose a fresh pasta, either plain (spaghetti, linguine and so on) or filled (ravioli with spinach and ricotta say, or ham and parmesan), then a sauce. These range from a butter and sage to spicy seafood, with a separate list of ‘Roman sauces’, such as carbonara. Our advice: keep things simple. A tagliatelle with basil pesto was a better bet than aubergine and roasted tomato ravioli topped with beef bolognese; the pesto was a decent step up from a bottled sauce, whereas the bolognese combo was on a par with a ready meal. Keep an eye on the bill, as items are charged individually (one price for the pasta, another for the sauce) and it mounts up fast. On the plus side, staff are cheerful and lightning fast, the place is licensed, and vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are clearly marked, so even overwrought shoppers can easily navigate the menu.  

Goodman Canary Wharf

Goodman Canary Wharf

3 out of 5 stars

The Docklands outpost of the Goodman steakhouse chain has a quiet waterside location – if you discount the planes going in and out of City Airport – and an unexpected view of The O2 from the terrace overlooking South Quay. Eat here if you can, unless you’re a fan of ubiquitous steakhouse interiors (lots of reds and browns, dark leather, and B&W photos on cream walls). It’s a low-key setting for a meal that comes with a wince-inducing bill, but you’re paying for the prime, aged-onsite meat, not the decor. A short menu is supplemented by a blackboard packed with cuts of the day: from a long list we could have ordered porterhouse, T-bone from Nebraska, bone-in ribeye or chateaubriand from Yorkshire. There was a meltingly good 250g fillet steak (with a choice of pepper, bearnaise or stilton sauces) on the menu for smaller appetites, and doggy bags if your eyes are bigger than your stomach. The summer special of surf ’n’ turf, including a large (450g) sirloin, lipsmacking and fatty in all the right places, was unfortunately let down by a bland lobster tail. Sides were worth ordering, particularly crunchy but yielding chips, butter-soaked mushrooms and chilli and garlic spinach. While for diners strong-armed here against their will, there’s grilled chicken or fish of the day. Of the – frankly superfluous – starters and puddings, rich, well textured crab cakes were a hit, but baked cheesecake with strawberry and basil was a missable, overly sweet version. That said, staff were an

Angler

Angler

4 out of 5 stars

Every table in the seventh floor restaurant of the South Place Hotel (part of the D&D empire) has a view over the surrounding rooftops and cranes; it’s a serene spot, with pristine white tablecloths and chic flower arrangements, though on summer weekends it’s more of a party space, complete with DJs. This relaxed style permeates the building – staff are as switched on as you’d expect from the restaurant’s Michelin star, but charmingly unstuffy with it, and that blend suits a restaurant poised between the old-school City and the new world of the Silicon Roundabout. British fish is the speciality, impeccably cooked and presented, from a menu by executive chef Gary Foulkes. The star of the show was cuttlefish bolognese with basil rigatoni, Amalfi lemon and olive oil, a sprightly, springtime starter bursting with flavour. A main of john dory with mousseron mushrooms, three-cornered leek (a wild allium with a short season of only a few weeks) and Tuscan lentils was also splendid, with beautifully crisped skin and tender fish. Both dishes came from the set lunch menu, brilliant value at £34 for three courses (which is less than a single main course from the à la carte). Alongside the fish there are a few meat options, but when the fish and seafood are this good, it seems pointless to stray. Chocolate pavé with banana and reduced milk ice-cream was a pleasing mix of fancy and comfort food to finish. Special mention should also go to the yeast butter, delightfully light and with a Ma

Skinny Kitchen

Skinny Kitchen

3 out of 5 stars

Its name is a bit of a misnomer, because much of The Skinny Kitchen’s menu is anything but. Sweet potato or halloumi fries, for example, are moreish precisely because they’re calorific; ditto eggs benedict with avocado and chipotle hollandaise. There are plenty of good-for-you ingredients, but as the listed calorie counts show, very few mains come in at under 500 calories (for that you’ll need to order the raw buddha bowl). The original TSK is based in Ibiza, and this London outpost is a slightly incongruous sidekick to Islington’s Business Design Centre. A big café space with lots of bare surfaces and a dance music soundtrack (even at lunch), it’s tricked out with fake greenery, velvet-covered chairs and a pink neon sign behind a long bar. The menu is a roll-call of food fads (‘track your macros’, ‘clean eating’), but kudos for the number of vegan and gluten-free dishes, which are clearly marked. There’s also brunch (served until 5pm) and a main menu of global crowd-pleasers: from burgers and chilli to protein bowls. A cold sharing platter – beetroot houmous, mashed avocado, raw carrot, radish, lettuce, big green olives and brown sourdough – was fine, though forgettable. A bowl of buckwheat noodles with tofu and veg was equally so-so, monotone in flavour except for the occasional chilli kick. Much better, and very much worth ingesting 836 calories for, was the beef burger; a charcoal bun stuffed with two patties, plus cheddar, pickles, red onion and lemon mayo. Also good was

Crispin

Crispin

4 out of 5 stars

The most striking thing about Crispin might be the building – a handsome glass and zinc construction on a Spitalfields backstreet – but its food comes a close second. A venture from the people behind popular coffee house Lundenwic, it does a daytime menu that’s all organic bacon sandwiches, coconut-milk porridge and Assembly Coffee. But come nightfall, the offering is more ambitious – and it delivers. Sourcing is strong here. Potato sourdough from Hackney bakery The Dusty Knuckle came with terrific whipped butter. Folds of meaty Secret Smokehouse salmon were teamed with homemade pickles, and the creamy burrata was lavished with olive oil from Senia. The kitchen’s skills are also strong, from celeriac croquettes with moreish sage aioli to pork belly in broth with pickled daikon. Mushroom ravioli with wild garlic cream and pine nuts looked a treat and vanished in a flash. Only onions with labneh and hazelnut lacked pizzazz. Puds of rhubarb upside-down cake with milk ice cream and blood-orange sorbet with oats turned the dial back up to ten. Our advice? Go for the one-of-everything option: £27 a head gets you the full parade of small plates. The minimalist dining room is airy but intimate. And service is slick. Our table wasn’t quite ready, but before we’d had time to grumble, we were seated at the bar with free fizz in our hands. Nicely done. Like Crispin, really.