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

255 Elgin Ave, Maida Vale, London W9 1NJ, UK

food & drink
Image: The Elgin

Reclaimed wood and exposed brick at The Elgin pub

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

2 Abbey Rd, St John's Wood, London NW8 0AH, UK

Image: Sander Lamme

A taste of Beatlemania

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

6 Warwick Pl, Little Venice, London W9 2PX, UK

food & drink
Image: The Warwick Castle

Quaint exterior of this Little Venice watering hole

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

Little Venice

Blomfield Rd, Little Venice, London W9 2PF, UK

Image: Canal River Trust

Enjoy a stroll along the canal

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

6C Sheldon Square, London W2 6EZ, UK

food & drink
Image: Unsplash


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

5 Kingdom St, London W2 6PY, UK

food & drink
street food
Image: Pergola

Rooftop vibes at Pergola Paddington Central

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.