24 hours in bustling Paddington
Insider Guide by Lenka Blaskova from Crystal Hotels. Exclusively created for guests at Crystal Hotels three hotels in the Paddington and Bayswater areas.
Paddington is a bustling transport and commercial hub in the heart of London. Scrape beneath the busy exterior, and you will find some lovely cafes and unique sights and things to do - and you might even meet a very special bear who was named after this famous part of London.
Paddington provides the perfect base for exploring a different side of London - especially if you are travelling with little ones. Read on to discover my tips for a fun-filled 24 hours in Paddington.
Breakfast: Java U
Java U is a cozy, exposed brick haven on the bustling Padding thoroughfare Praed Street, which borders Paddington train station on the south side. The cafe is inspired by the city of Montreal’s cafes, blending North American and French coffee and cafe culture and combining it with a great selection of contemporary, but comforting breakfast dishes and sandwiches.
Morning: Alexander Fleming Museum
The laboratory of Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin can be found in this medical museum, operated by the renowned science and technology institution, Imperial College London. For science nerds, it is a small but very interesting and inspiring piece of medical history. Guided tours are available and there is a short film about the man and the discovery that has saved countless lives across the world.
Lunch: Frontline Club
The Frontline Club restaurant features modern British cooking and ingredients in this historic members club for journalists. The dining room is bright and airy and decorated with famous journalistic photographs through history. Open to the general public, all profits from the restaurant go to support the Frontline Club Charitable Trust and its journalism workshops and events programme.
Kioskafé is a completely unique cafe-come-newsagent concept from Monocle , where you will find a thrilling selection of indie magazines covering everything from art to business, and which can be purchased in-shop or printed on demand. While you peruse the stands or wait for your magazine to print, you can enjoy a coffee, fresh juice or a glass of something bubbly.
Afternoon: get a photo with Paddington Bear
Inside busy Paddington Station you will find a statue commemorating the spot where Paddington Bear, full name Paddington Brown, was first found by the Brown family in the 1958 children’s classic, A bear called Paddington. As the unofficial mascot of London, Paddington Bear continues to charm and delight fans both young and old, and for many, provides a first introduction to the British way of life (including, of course, a love of marmalade).
Afternoon: explore London's canals by boat
The London Waterbus Company, Little Venice/Camden
The London Waterbus Company is probably the easiest way to take a boat trip on the canals. It runs between Little Venice and Camden, passing Regents Park on the way (if you wish you can by a combined ticket for the London Zoo and take the boat directly into the zoo). Tickets are fairly reasonable at £14 for an adult return and can be bought on board (advance booking not required). The boat runs more or less year-round, but it’s a good idea to check the timetable for departure times and frequency.
Dinner: Casa Malevo
Casa Malevo is a rustic eatery in Connaught Village, between Paddington and Marble Arch. Despite its upscale setting, this restaurant is relaxed and laidback and prices are reasonable for the quality you get. Delicious steaks and other grilled and meaty delights are on offer (cooked to perfection), and there is a garden and children’s play area in the restaurant - so perfect for both romantic dates and fun family dinners.