London—New culinary tastes, hip hangouts and luxe hotels

This article was excerpted from the Wall Street Journal’s Insider’s Guide to London.

With local tastemakers putting down roots in diverse neighborhoods including Belgravia, Covent Garden, Shoreditch and Hoxton, London is swingin’ once again. “Serious dining” now complements London’s vibrant nightlife, revolutionary style, aristocratic structures and gorgeous gardens.


At around 2 a.m., you might catch a sighting of Prince Harry at The Box in Soho, the English satellite of New York’s risqué cabaret club. In Shoreditch, Lounge Bohemia, one of the many new cocktail lounges taking cues from the retro-speakeasy movement, offers Czech canapés in midcentury Eastern Bloc-inspired interiors. Hotel nightlife has gotten a boost from the new W in Leicester Square and Belgravia’s Belgraves hotel.


Morito. While the surroundings are simple—orange Formica bar and old stools—it’s full of atmosphere and serves the incredible tapas with distinct Spanish and Arab flavors. 32 Exmouth Market, 020-7278-7007

The Providores and Tapa Room. The room downstairs serves London’s most popular breakfast—corn and blueberry fritters. Kiwi chef Peter Gordon makes fusion food in the more formal upstairs. 109 Marylebone High St.,

Samarqand. A very cool new restaurant that serves delicious Eastern European-Turkish food. The best are the private rooms, which are very cozy and have karaoke. 18 Thayer St., 020-7935-9393

Annabel’s. Centrally located, comfortable club with reliable dancing music. 44 Berkeley Sq.,

The French House. Soho’s most entertaining old drinking hole carries 30 Champagnes and wines by the glass. 49 Dean St.,

This article was excerpted from the Wall Street Journal’s Insider’s Guide to London.

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