24 hours in charming Little Venice
Insider Guide by Ginza co-founder Sarah Ahern, exclusively created for guests at Crystal Hotels
On the surface Paddington can seem a little underwhelming, but walk 10 minutes north of the station and you are in one of London’s quaintest neighbourhoods: Little Venice. And Paddington itself has also been going through a transformation, with startups moving in to co-working spaces in the area and new hotel and venue openings to rival Shoreditch.
Read on to scratch beneath the surface of Paddington and discover its hidden gems.
Breakfast: The Elgin
This big, airy neighbourhood local is just across the road from Maida Vale tube station. An all-day restaurant and boozer, it serves a delicious breakfast (brunch menu available on weekends) and coffee from London-based Coleman Coffee Roasters.
What to order: One of our West London insiders introduced me to this place, and she recommends the avocado and poached eggs on toast, followed by a serving of their (amazing) banana bread.
Morning: Abbey Road
Yes, it is just a pedestrian crossing. But while you are in this area, rich with music history, why not go all-cheese and recreate the iconic Beatles album cover? Abbey Road Studios are not open to the general public, but there is a small and quite cool gift shop on the premises.
Lunch: The Warwick Castle
Situated in a quiet street in idyllic Little Venice, this pub is popular with locals. Its history dates back to 1867 and the decor is traditional and inviting. On cooler days there is a fireplace to keep you warm and cozy.
Afternoon: Canal walk
The canals and waterways of Little Venice are very charming and lovely to stroll around. If like me, you love a slice of celebrity life, Richard Branson’s famous houseboat is moored on Blomfield Road if you are curious to get a glimpse of luxury canal-living.
Coffee: Beany Green
Beany Green is part of the Daisy Green group of cafes that are bringing healthy fast food to London’s coffee scene. The playful Aussie vibes and colourful decor (incl. a cute outside area with artificial lawn and deck chairs) always cheer me up. The coffee is also always spot on.
Dinner and drinks: Pergola
This rooftop venue in the heart of Paddington is fully covered and weather-proofed for the winter season and is home to five restaurant stalls and two bars. It’s a brilliant way to spend an evening under the stars. The restaurants are some of London’s finest purveyors of street food, with burgers from Patty & Bun, ramen from Tonkotsu and tacos from DF/Mexico.