Classic locations in London are representative of the city

Unrivalled in quality museums and restaurants to visit, at the forefront of finance and fashion, London is a global city that is truly cosmopolitan. As one walks through London, it is a great reminder of all of the above and acts as a living canvas that the residents continue to add to its beauty. London’s streetscape and skyline have changed over the years, but as with classic garments that you wear and re-wear for many years, there are classic locations in London that I think are representative of the city.

With the iconic Buckingham Palace, Savile Row, and Burlington Arcade within a close walking radius, Green Park and Mayfair area has the history and heritage that celebrates many of the above-mentioned establishments. In fact, this area is often shown in movies as the architecture is unmistakably representative of London. I love showing people around London on their third or later visit - after they’ve seen all the typical London tourist spots that one is meant to visit. The ideal way for me is to walk around this area on foot, and Green Park and Mayfair area is particularly beautiful to experience in this way. At a slower pace, with ample pavements and squares to stumble upon, it is a beautiful way to experience the city. 

Savile Row, London W1S 2ER [Shops]

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Saville Row, London, 2022. Image by Von Chua.

Located just off Regent Street, in Mayfair, Savile Row is a short row of shops with English tailoring at its best. Dating back to the late 18th century, when tailors started setting up business in the area, Davies & Son claims to have the longest history of any independent tailor of Savile Row. Made famous by Hollywood action-adventure film The Huntsman, H. Huntsman & Sons have actually been on the street since 1919, being a tailor producing uniforms for British military officers. Today, it is still the street to visit if you are looking for a bespoke tailored suit; a bespoke suit is made from scratch, just for you, and therefore requires the utmost craft.

Royal Academy of Arts, London W1J 0BD [Gallery]

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Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2022. Image by Von Chua.

The Royal Academy of Arts is all about the art in an architecturally elegant building. With a well-curated roster of art exhibitions, most recently British painter Francis Bacon and Japanese artist Kawanabe Kyōsai, the art institution bridges the classics and contemporary. Being an art institution that was the first art training school in England to receive a royal endorsement, today, the institution remains to be led by eminent artists and architects, who receive the title Royal Academicians (RAs).

Burlington Arcade, London W1J 0QJ [Shops]

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Burlington Arcade, London, 2022. Image by Von Chua.

Burlington Arcade is a small arcade dedicated to high quality and prized purchases new and vintage alike including fine watches and fine jewellery. Called the original department store as it is one of the few precursors of the mid-19th century European shopping gallery, since the pandemic has hit, the historic arcade has taken a hit with many shop closures. With a relaxed atmosphere and beautifully dressed windows, it remains a destination for those seeking to splurge or window shop.

Fortnum & Mason, London W1A 1ER [Shop, Cafe]

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Fortnum & Mason, London, 2022. Image by Von Chua.

First founded in 1707, Fortnum & Mason is a destination for those seeking exceptional tea, food and not to mention, extraordinary service. Now known throughout the world for its exceptional tea, it was not until 1902 that Fortnum & Mason’s brews had the royal stamp. This was when a bespoke blend was created for King Edward VII. To experience Fortnum and Mason at its full force, the afternoon tea in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Room comes highly recommended, as it was also remodelled by David Collins Studio to modernise the tea room a decade ago.

The Wolseley, London W1J 9EB [Restaurant]

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The Wolseley, London, 2022. Image by Von Chua.

Set inside the imposing facade of a former car showroom, The Wolseley is situated at 160 Piccadilly. With an all-day menu, the morning menu of The English breakfast is a classic and a favourite of mine, the simple food combined with the always buzzing atmosphere that is amplified by the sound echo caused by the grand domed ceilings. 

 Artesian at The Langham, London W1B 1JA [Bar]

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Artesian at The Langham, London, 2022. Image by Von Chua.

Voted the winner of the World’s Best Bar accolade, Artesian at The Langham is located a stone’s throw away from Oxford Circus. Behind the award-winning drinks is the ice, apparently, they are produced using a technology that makes ice purer, colder and with a higher density. Do the drinks keep your cocktails cooler for longer? Time will tell when you order a drink during your visit.

Additional London Classic Locations

  • St. JOHN, London EC1M 4AY [Restaurant]
  • The Ned, London EC2R 8AJ [Hotel, Restaurants]
  • Barbican Centre, London EC2Y 8DS [Gallery, Concerts, Cinema]
  • Daunt Books, London W1U 4QW [Bookshop]
  • Chiltern Street, London W1U 5AE [Street with Cafes and Shops]
  • Pantechnicon, London SW1X 8LB [Cafe, Restaurant, Shop]
  • Tate Modern, London SE1 9TG [Gallery]

If you have any questions or would like to share your recommendations of other London classics, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at von@vonxarchitects.com


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