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10 of the best places to go and things to do in London

V&A Friday Late Summer Camp September 2011 The Cultural Exposé

The London Lifestyle Awards celebrates the bars, services, shops and attractions that have made great contributions to the capital – and have helped hip and arty urban adventurers like ourselves enjoy lovely and wonderful things to do and places to go in London. Held this year on October 6th at the Park Plaza Riverside hotel, here’s our highlights of the winners at the star-studded event:

  • Best Green Contribution to London – Barclays Cycle Hire

It’s only been just over a year since the Boris Bikes have taken over the streets of London – but the scheme has become a real winner in the capital, with over 138,000 members signed up and more than six million cycle journeys taken since 2010. On yer bikes people! www.tfl.gov.uk

Runners Up

Go Green Car an eco-friendly car service – a green alternative to mini cabs and chauffeurs.

Green Tomato Cars – A London-based private hire car service, using the most viable environmentally friendly cars available

 

  • London Coffee Shop of the Year
- Benugo Café and Deli

This chain of cafes was founded in 1998 by brothers Ben and Hugo Warner (alas “Benugo” – geddit?) and are renowned for the use of quality, fresh ingredients in their sandwiches, salads, cakes and smoothies. They’ve since expanded into bars and restaurants, which are equally conscientious and cool. www.benugo.com

Runners Up

Bar Italia Soho 
- Described as a “Soho institution” that does great cappuccinos

The Haberdashery– Stylish Coffee House, Eatery and Old Vinyls in Crouch End, London

 

  • London Hotel of the Year
- Sanctum Soho Hotel

I once visited this boutique hotel for a friend’s birthday bash on their rooftop garden, and it’s clear they put the capital C in Class. They describe it as “an oasis of comfort, style and sophistication in the heart of London’s buzzing West End” and “an exclusive and extravagant playpen for the most discerning of guests”. Agreed! www.sanctumsoho.com (20 Warwick Street, London W1B 5NF, Closest tube: Piccadilly Circus) 

Runners Up

The Dorchester
- a luxury hotel, situated on Park Lane in Mayfair, overlooking Hyde Park

Rafayel Hotel and Spa– Battersea-based luxury 5 star Eco hotel

 

  • London Cultural Attraction of the Year 
- Victoria and Albert Museum

The V&A is truly a world leader in art and design, housing some of the most extensive collections of ceramics, photographs, drawings, medieval objects and sculpture (their post-classical sculpture collection is the largest in the world wouldya know?), as well as 145 galleries, and phenomenal exhibitions. www.vam.ac.uk (Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL, Closest tube: South Kensington) 

 Runners Up

St Paul’s Cathedral
 – a Church of England cathedral dedicated to Paul the Apostle

Regent’s Park Open Air Open Theatre – Home to the New Shakespeare Company

 

  • London Live Music Venue of the Year – Hootananny 
Brixton

This alternative music spot in SW2 won Best Live Music Pub of the year in 2010 and has developed a reputation for throwing some of the craziest and exciting gigs with quite a lively atmosphere. And they’ve got a pretty amazing Mexican Kitchen to boot. www.hootanannybrixton.co.uk (95 Effra Road, London SW2 1DF, Closest tube: Brixton) 

Runners Up

The o2– The former Dome has transformed into a state-of-the-art concert arena

Dover Street Restaurant Jazz Wine Bar Club– Its restaurants have 3 wine bars and late nights (until 3am)

 

  • London Theatre Show of the Year
- The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre

Warming the hearts of London audiences since 1999, this “roaring production” (sorry!) doesn’t appear to have plans to close up shop anytime soon. www.londontheatredirect.com (21 Wellington Street, London WC2E 7RQ, Closest tube: Temple) 

 Runners Up

Wizard of Oz 
at the London Palladium

Mamma Mia at the Prince of Wales theatre

 

  • London Restaurant of the Year – Searcys Portrait Restaurant

You’ll find this 80-seater on the third floor of the National Portrait Gallery (and that’s 92 feet above ground level so you can imagine the views are simply stunning!) Modern British food is served daily and there’s style and sophistication at the heart of it. www.searcys.co.uk (St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE, Closest tubes: Leicester Square, Charing Cross) 

 Runners Up

Quo Vadis
 – A sophisticated Soho restaurant with a British grill and members club

Aqua Nueva – “Atop Spanish restaurant that combines flashes of bling with flashes of brilliance” says The Telegraph –

 

  • London Bar of the Year 
- McQueen

This award-winning locale was created in the spirit of “The King of Cool” Hollywood actor Steve McQueen and hasn’t failed in being all that and more. Beyond the bar, it’s also got a restaurant and club, and their secret rendevous cabaret night is rapidly becoming legendary www.mcqueen-shoreditch.co.uk (55-61 Tabernacle Street, City of London EC2A 4AA, Closest station: Shoreditch High St) 

 Runners up

The Hoxton Pony
 – Adds an individual and unconventional slant to the gang of venues found in Shoreditch www.thehoxtonpony.com

Artisan & Vine – The Artisan & Vine Wine Bar and Shop was the first to specialise in local and natural wines in the UK. www.artisanandvine.com

 

  • London Club of the Year 
- PUBLIC 
nightclub and bar

New York meets Chelsea at this creative warehouse club targeted at ravers who like to party hard. They’ve even got a VIP section dubbed “The Sweet Room” that’s been designed accordingly. Sweet. www.public.uk.com (533 Kings Rd, London SW10 0TZ, Closest station: Imperial Wharf) 

 Runners up

Merah 
- As soon as you enter Merah, be prepared for an evening treat of glamour, decadence and fun www.merahclub.com

The Roof Gardens – Richard Branson’s roofspot some one hundred feet above Kensington High Street. www.roofgardens.virgin.com

 

  • London Member’s club of the Year 
- Home House

Here’s a PMC that’s too sexy for itself; its 18th century interiors brazenly contradict the youthful clientele, but that’s part of the charm of this eclectic club. And despite the whopping £1,840 joining fee, it’s said to be refreshingly unpretentious. homehouse.co.uk (20 Portman Square London W1H 6LW, Closest tube: Marble Arch)

Runners up

Morton’s Club 
- The most exclusive, yet relaxed private members’ club in Mayfair

Eight Members Club – A private club located in the heart of the City of London

What places in London are your big winners this year? Leave your tips in the comments section below! 

1 comment

  • I agree with you about The Lion King. Definitely the best West End show out there, and I hope it lasts for even longer than Les Mis and Phantom!

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