Our Editor Victoria Brewood gives insider tips to her local neighbourhood, Marylebone, showing you where to eat, drink and shop in one of central London’s hotspots.
Even though it’s only a stone’s throw from the chaos of Oxford Street, Marylebone has a much more laid-back village vibe, revealing a completely different side of London. I’m fortunate enough to have lived in this neighbourhood for the last 8 months or so and I can’t quite believe how peaceful it can be sometimes.
If you’re visiting London, Marylebone is definitely worth your time, so I’ve put together a list of where to eat, shop and play:
If it’s a gastropub you’re after, you can’t beat The Coach Makers, which serves a good selection of house beers and cider, along with hearty pub fare. For ribs and whiskey, The Lord Wargrave is a great spot, serving over 200 varieties of whisky and meats cooked on an imported Cookshack smoker. Other great pubs for after work drinks include The Marylebone and The Larrick.
For cocktails, you can’t beat heading to The Chiltern Firehouse – a Neo-Gothic ex-firehouse turned designer hotel. Being a popular celebrity haunt it’s a little bit exclusive, so depending on the time of day they may restrict it to hotel guests only. In the summer months it’s all about the chic outside courtyard, while in the winter you can warm up in the hotel bar. Another favourite of mine is 108 Brasserie, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner but is also great for just a cocktail and nibbles.
For brunch you’re really spoilt for choice in Marylebone and since it’s so close to the shops near Bond Street, it makes the perfect place to stop for a while and recharge. The Ivy Cafe holds back half its tables for people who drop by without a reservation, so there’s a good chance you’ll be able to pop by unannounced after a quick visit to Selfridges.
My favourite quirky spot is Daisy Green, which serves fresh juices and healthy Aussie-style brunch items. Highlights of the menu are the quinoa porridge and the broccoli and corn fritters. Their classic bottomless brunch costs £33, with a choice of Prosecco, Mimosa or Bloody Mary.
Finally The Providores on Marylebone high street is another popular brunch venue, with the highlight being the grilled chorizo with sweet potato and miso hash, a soft boiled egg, garlic labne and star anise cashew nut praline. Delish.
Arguably the best cafe in Marylebone is Monocle on Chiltern Street, which has a sister cafe in Tokyo, Japan. Monocle publishes a magazine and travel guides to cities around the world, so you can drop buy and pick up the latest issue. Serving Allpress coffee, Swedish pastries, Italian wine and an Asian-inspired lunch menu, it’s the ideal place for lunch meetings or Happy Hour drinks.
Another great cafe is The Borough Barista in Portman Village, which employs baristas who really know their stuff.
There are so many restaurants in Marylebone it’s really hard to choose, but here are just some of the best. Briciole on Crawford Street is an authentic Italian restaurant and deli serving unpretentious Italian classic dishes at affordable prices. The wild boar taglietele is to die for, as are the Arancini Siciliani (fried rice balls) and the Salsiccia con friarielli (sasuages with turnip tops). There’s a huge selection of cheeses and cured meats from the deli, as well as an extensive wine list.
Opso serves Greek tapas with a modern twist in a lively atmosphere, and boasts outdoor seating for those summer months. Try the mini souvlaki, the ‘Kleftiko’ lamb, the black eyed peas and the fried Metsovone cheese, all washed down with a glass of ouzo on ice.
Carousel attracts guest chefs from around the world, with just one sitting at 7.30pm.The restaurant was established by cousins Ollie, Will, Ed and Anna – all travel addicts who came up with the idea of working with chefs from their favourite restaurants around the globe. Book your tickets in advance and you’ll be treated to a menu of four courses in a relaxed environment.
If you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply want to splash out on a meal to remember, The Orrery is a high-end restaurant serving modern takes on classic French dishes. Awarded three AA Rosettes in 2016, Orrery boasts an elegant dining room on the first floor of a converted stable block with a stunning view overlooking St Marylebone Church gardens.
For clothes, the majority of shops and high-end stores can be found clustered around Marylebone high street, including Anthropologie, The White Company and Sandro. Online clothing company MatchesFashion.com also has a bricks and mortar store here, where you can browse the latest high-end designer labels. For shoes there’s the famous ballet flat maker French Sole, or imaginative shoe artist Tracey Neuls, – both can be found on Marylebone Lane If you can’t find the right shoes to fit, James Taylor & Son makes bespoke shoes using a clever 3D scanning system.
Make sure you drop into the little gem of a bookstore, Daunt Books, which is one of the most beautiful book stores in the world. Bring your camera because the long, galleried main room features a beautiful stained glass arched window that is really rather beautiful. All the books here have been organised by country, not genre, which makes it particularly interesting for travellers as well as avid readers.
On a Sunday you can’t beat dropping by Marylebone Farmer’s Market, which features an array of fresh produce including oysters, cheese, apple juice, pies and scones. Make sure you come with an empty stomach because the smell of handmade burgers being BBQd might be far too tempting. The market takes place every Sunday in Cramer Street Car Park from 10am till 2pm.
Have you been to Marylebone? What are your favourite spots? Let us know below.