24 hours in fashionable Marylebone
Insider Guide by Esme Verity
This guide is a round up of some of my regular hangouts in and around Marylebone village and reflects the character of the neighbourhood, which combines upscale-London shopping, celebrity hotspots and an eclectic and diverse dining scene.
Morning: hit the shops
The Conran Shop
Marylebone is one of London’s most fashionable places to shop, with a great selection of independent shops and boutiques along Marylebone High Street and the surrounding streets. Below are two of my don’t miss shops, but give yourself enough time to explore as this is one of the best areas for independent boutiques.
For home decor and design inspiration, don’t miss this flagship on Marylebone High Street - opened by the British design icon Terrence Conran. Organised across three flours, and you will find everything from contemporary design icons to vintage one-of-a-kind finds in the building. Don’t miss the penthouse apartment on the top floor and its adjacent Rooftop Garden, spaces dedicated to decorating the urban home and outdoor space.
Morning: hit the shops
If you are a bibliophile, you are guaranteed to love this gorgeous book shop. Daunt Books specialises in travel, and what I really love about this shop is how they organise fiction and non-fiction by country, helping you to find not just the essential travel guide to plan your trip, but also the perfect book to read while travelling.
Lunch: sample Peruvian streetfood at Pachamama
Pachamama serves delicious Peruvian sharing plates in an casual-chic setting. The signature sea bass ceviche with radish, samphire and tiger’s milk is on point, but the other dishes don’t impress any less. On weekend they also serve a mean brunch, including a menu of sweet and savoury waffles.
Insider tip: The ‘snacks’ might be the best part of the meal, so don’t skip this section on the menu. Our favourites are the pork belly chicharrónes (crispy pork rinds) and chicken anticuchos (perfectly spiced chicken bbq skewers).
Afternoon: discover the Wallace Collection of fine art
Housed in a magnificent townhouse in the heart of Marylebone, is a collection of European fine and decorative arts bequeathed to the British nation by the Marquesses of Hertford in 1897 and open to the public as a free museum since 1900. The collection is world-renowned, in particular for the quality and breadth of 18th century French paintings and objects.
Insider tip: The gallery offers a free guided tour of the collection’s history and selected artworks at 2.30pm daily. There are also regular themed lectures.
Dinner: feast on traditional Basque cuisine at Donostia
This restaurant on Seymour Place is light and airy with a delectable selection of Basque dishes.
Insider tip: Try a dish from each section of the menu, starting with the picoteo (and a Gin & Tonic), followed by the pinxtos and cold plates, and then a selection of seafood, meat and vegetarian tapas. And of course - don’t forget dessert.