London is the ideal city for a weekend break in the UK, packed with culture, shopping, cocktails, and dancing. Eschew the obvious options with some of these hot tips for a girls’ weekend away.
Start your break with a bit of culture. London has plenty of famous museums—the V&A, the British Museum, the National History—but it also hosts some lesser known charms. The Horniman Museum in Forest Hill holds the bizarre collection of Frederick John Horniman, a Victorian tea trader. Check out the huge overstuffed taxidermy walrus in the main hall—at the time it was stuffed, no one in the UK had ever seen a walrus before and they had no idea it was supposed to have folds in its skin.
No girlie holiday would be complete without a blowout shopping trip, and fortunately London offers plenty of opportunities for that. If you’re looking for something a bit different from the classic high street shops, visit some of London’s independent boutiques. Koh Samui on Monmouth Street (Covent Garden tube) mixes vintage garments from collectors’ fairs with chic outfits from designers like Chloé and Marc Jacobs. Or visit Kokon To Zai on Greek Street (Tottenham Court Road tube)—the creative director here was responsible for the swan dress Bjork wore to the Oscars, and the shop is full of unique designs.
After you’re exhausted from shopping, find a nice place to eat. There are lots of great restaurant deals in London if you want to book in advance, or simply stroll the streets of Soho and the West End. Here, you’ll find food from every corner of the world—try The Gay Hussar for Hungarian specialities or head to Inamo for cool Japanese fusion. From dinner, segue into the night’s dancing with some evening cocktails. Soho is packed with cocktail opportunities, such as the legendary LAB (London Academy of Bartending) on Old Compton Street—an ideal spot for the connoisseur with over a hundred different recipes.
Soho also offers some of London’s best nightclub options. For an edgier option, Punk on Soho Square offers musical mash-ups in decadent Parisian-style surroundings. It also boasts bespoke cocktails and weekly “Rockaoke” on Friday nights, where you can sing along to a live backing group. If you prefer a glamorous cabaret atmosphere, Madame JoJo’s on Brewer Street has burlesque, vaudeville, and cabaret performances alongside its traditional club nights. When you can’t dance any more, you’ll need a soft nearby bed to collapse into. Fortunately, there are currently lots of great London hotel deals to take advantage of this summer. So what are you waiting for? Sling your heels in a suitcase and get your girls to the capital now!