Enjoy a glitzy weekend of retail therapy, West End theatre and show-stopping cocktails with our fun-packed guide.
Saturday in London
Morning: Hit the shops in London’s West End
After breakfast, make a beeline for the West End’s top shopping streets. Begin your day at six-floor shopping behemoth Selfridges on Oxford Street, where you can browse the world’s biggest-ever denim department and the luxurious Wonder Room, jam-packed with high-end brands. Label lovers should wander over to Bond Street for high-end fashion, including Burberry and Louis Vuitton; while devoted fashion fans will love Oxford Street and Regent Street for their abundance of heavenly flagships, including Topshop, Primark, & Other Stories, the Apple Store and many more.
Head towards Piccadilly for Europe’s biggest bookshop, Waterstones, an eight-floor literary paradise. Break for a drink in the bookshop’s 5th View cocktail lounge and café. It might be too early for a boozy cocktail, so opt instead for an alcohol-free one, such as a Virgin Bellini or a Virgin Mary. Then, stroll over to luxury department store Fortnum & Mason, where you'll find shelves groaning with fine food and wine, teas and hampers.
Afternoon: Break for Afternoon Tea
Feeling weary? Indulge in afternoon tea at the Scoff & Banter Tea Rooms, near Oxford Street, rated one of TripAdvisor’s top 10 afternoon tea spots. Fill up on hot dishes: think scallops, oysters and lobster; sandwiches; scones and beautifully presented cakes.
Once you've recharged your batteries, hotfoot it to Carnaby for its 13 streets of glittering boutiques and stylish brands, including Irregular Choice for quirky footwear, Choccywoccydoodah for chocolate treats galore, and We Built This City for cool souvenirs.
Watch the sun go down with a drink at rooftop bar Aqua Spirit, just steps away from Liberty and boasting knockout views of Regent Street.
Evening: Dinner and a show
Dine out at Steak & Lobster, where you can tuck into a 10-inch rib-eye steak or a lobster for £20, or a bit of both with the surf and turf roll.
Discuss the merits of the musical with after-show cocktails at the London Cocktail Club in Covent Garden or Oxford Circus, which has an eye-popping cocktail menu.
Sunday in London
Morning: Visit London’s Sunday markets
Rummage for treasures at one of London’s buzzing Sunday markets. Foodies should check out Maltby Street Market, Southbank Centre Market or Camden Market, where you'll find food stalls offering global fare. For flowers and plants at reasonable prices, visit Columbia Road Flower Market, before lunching at one of area’s many hip cafes, including Mediterranean restaurant Brawn and family-run Spanish café Laxeiro.
Afternoon: See a matinee show or shop in Covent Garden
Take in a matinee performance of a West End show. Shows offering Sunday afternoon performances include The Lion King; Matilda; The Play That Goes Wrong and Thriller. If you’ve had your fill of theatre for the weekend, head instead to shopping hub Covent Garden. Neal Street is great for shoes, cosmetics and streetwear; while Seven Dials is abuzz with independent shops. For arts and crafts, browse the stalls at Covent Garden Market.
If the weather is fine, enjoy an al fresco dinner in St Martin’s Courtyard, home to Bill’s, Jamie’s Italian, Dishoom and more. Then, swing by Monmouth Kitchen lounge bar to treat yourself to some Peruvian-themed cocktails, such as an Inca Punch or a Pisco Sour.
Evening: Enjoy an East London cocktail bar crawl
Round off your weekend with a cocktail bar crawl in trendy East London. Sip an Instagrammable cocktail or two to a soundtrack of live jazz at speakeasy bar Nightjar, or head down to candlelit subterranean bar Happiness Forgets, where you'll be blown away by the delectable cocktails. Booking in advance is essential at both of these bars. Other top picks include Hoxton's Victorian-style cocktail bar, Worship Street Whistling Shop, and Callooh Callay with its eccentric decor and extensive cocktail menu. Cheers!