Fashion week actually spans an entire month, with a week dedicated to each of the four fashion capitals of the world: New York City, London, Milan, and Paris. As seasoned showgoers, InStyle editors know the ins and outs of each city. We asked Senior Style Editor Ali Pew to share her go-to spots, favorite landmarks, and local boutique in London.
Where do you go for a drink in between shows?
"I love a good hotel, and The Mondrian is a bridge away from most show spaces. It's nautical but not in the usual way: part of the lobby is made from a bronze ship's hull."
What's the landmark you never fail to Insta?
"I don't believe I did last season, but I love the Millennium Bridge. It's so beautiful at night. The views of the Thames and the city are amazing."
What is your favorite local boutique? And why?
"Alex Eagle—a three-story townhouse in the quiet and charming Walton Street neighborhood. She carries fashion (you can find Chrisopher Lemaire, Protagonist, and Pallas among other many great brands), accessories, jewelry, art, beauty, books, children's clothing, home pieces, etc. It's like shopping in someone's charmingly curated home."
What is your favorite import that you like to stock up on, and why?
"Christmas ornaments and floral print tchotchkes from Liberty."
What's your favorite place to grab dinner? Why?
"Grangers—I love the extremely minimal decor and the food is delicious. It's located in a quiet part of London, which is so nice. London food can be heavy on the meat and potatoes, so last time I was there, Melissa Rubini, our fashion director, and I went to Nopi for the fresh and healthy small plates. It's kinda Middle Eastern, kinda Asian, and really good. The chef Yotam Ottolenghi also has a bunch of delis for amazing salads and even better cakes."
Which place serves the best coffee?
"I always stop by the cafe at the Holborn Dining room attached to the hotel. It's like a miniature market with baked goods and snacks."
What's the night spot to see and be seen?
"I think Chiltern Firehouse is still cool, but more for a drink before dinner. I love going there for a good cup of tea. It's the cutest little hotel in Marylebone with a cozy bar that's part outdoors (with fairy-lit trees) and part indoors centered around a giant fireplace."
What's the best way to spend an afternoon off?
"I love Hyde Park when it's nice out. If I had a free afternoon, I'd go there to run or to just sit and chill. I also love the Tate Modern, which is usually doable since it's near some show spaces, or the Courtauld Gallery at the Somerset House for a quick gallery visit."
What's the #1 travel tip for the city?
"Walk! London is way more spread out than New York, but most of it is still walkable. By walking you can see how parts of the city fit together and stumble upon some hidden gems. I also think people forget to go to East London, but there's a lot going on there—start by pottering around the shops on Redchurch Street."
Where do you always stay when you visit?
"The Rosewood—it has the most beautiful courtyard entrance. The decor is traditional British, but it has a masculine modern feel. Also, it has a gym that's usually empty, and there's always candy in the lobby."
What's the best place for a mani/pedi/spa treatment/blow-out?
"For a spa, I love Sense Spa at the Rosewood. Last year, my mom came down the day I landed and we spent the day at the spa, which was just what I needed before I hit the ground running. For a blow-out, definitely Cheeky at the Shoreditch House."