Where to Stay in London
Our definitive guide to where to lay your head in the British capital
Travelling to London? Before you select the restaurants you want to try, which pubs to grab a pint in, what museums to
get bored in visit and whether you prefer shopping at Harrods or Selfridges, you have to decide where you’ll be laying your head. Lucky for you, we make that easy here at Plum Guide, with our fastidious home critics carefully vetting each home you see on our site to make sure they meet your incredibly high standards. Thanks to how meticulous and hard to please they are, deciding where to stay in London for your upcoming holiday is a piece of cake.
Cafe outside a brown building on a typical street in Mayfair, London
Posh and centrally located, Mayfair is home to designer shops, elegant restaurants and high-end art galleries. Your expensive taste will thrive around here, with Bond Street providing your jewellery and upscale clothing needs, and the tailors of Savile Row - some of the best in the world - ready to make you and your better half a perfect British suit for a perfectly pretty penny. You’ll love breakfast at The Wolseley, gallery hopping at Gagosian, Victoria Miro and Hauser & Wirth, and of course a debilitatingly expensive and absolutely worthwhile afternoon tea at Claridge’s, Fortnum and Mason. Or most iconically, the Ritz.
When deciding where to stay in London, elegant Belgravia is the answer for those who really want to live large - ahem, that is you. The neighbourhood of choice for the international elite and anyone with a title darling, pristine apartment buildings face on to private gardens only accessible to residents. The area is supremely central, just a hop, skip and a jump (in designer shoes only please) to Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace. If you're in London in the summer, you're in for a very pleasant stroll around the neighbourhood. Nearby South Kensington is in walking distance where you and your family can enjoy world renowned institutions including the Natural History Museum and the V&A. Head to Pimlico Road to browse cute antique shops and art galleries, or stroll over to cobbled Motcomb Street for the best in designer fashion and jewellery.
If you’re feeling a little younger than your age and want to capitalise on that illusion this holiday, why not choose Soho when deciding where to stay in London? The energy here is palpable with fantastic dining and nightlife options, as well as loads of fun and funky boutiques to explore. After waking up in your sleek Plum Guide abode, head to local spot Bar Italia for the best cappuccino in the city. Then take a gander at Liberty’s department store, as well as neighbouring Carnaby, Oxford and Regent streets. Come evening, you can literally walk to the theatre, and if you’re really feeling like making a night of it, enjoy a gig at the famous Ronnie Scott’s’ jazz club. Just remember, hangovers are worse than they used to be.
Green trees and a brown path at Chelsea Physic Garden, London | Photo by bixentro is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Once home to starving artists and creatives, Chelsea is now an affluent community (isn’t that always what happens) full of chic boutiques, delicious restaurants and beautiful people. Strut down the King’s Road like a local, stopping at Saatchi Gallery to check out the contemporary artwork on view. Remember this street was once Charles II’s private road, built in 1694 so His Royal Highness could get around the city more directly. Next time you think you’re winning at life, that should surely drop you down a few pegs. For the history
nerds buffs among you, don’t miss the National Army Museum, which will take you on a march through the history of the British armed forces starting back in the 1600s. The Chelsea Physic Garden is the oldest botanical garden in London and also worth a visit, especially for those with a green thumb.
Located along the river just West of Chelsea, picturesque and residential Fulham is a wonderful place to reside, especially if you’re looking for more of a village feel. There aren’t too many tourists around these parts so you’ll really feel like a local opening your eyes in the morning. Enjoy a pint or three in one of the many cosy neighbourhood pubs before strolling to dinner at scrumptious local curry house Nayaab. Or for a more upscale evening meal, walk along the river to London’s iconic Italian restaurant, The River Cafe in Hammersmith. If food is at the forefront of your mind, check out our guide to London's food scene.
Live your life in pastel colours by opting to stay in Notting Hill. This vibrant area also has a village feel, albeit a slightly more trendy one. You’ll love the outdoor market on Portobello Road, where you can find everything from kitsch souvenirs to one-of-a-kind antique furniture, vintage clothing and some of the best falafel in town. Check out Westbourne Grove for its fancy restaurants and chic independent boutiques. International crowds flock to the area yearly for Notting Hill Carnival where parades, steel drum bands and Caribbean food and drink make for the best party of your life (and before you ask, it’s definitely one for all ages, assuming you still like to party hard every now and again). We dare you.