Insider's guide to London: Galvan

Meet the chic quartet behind London-based label Galvan – Anna-Christin Haas, Sola Harrison, Carolyn Hodler and Katherine Holmgren. Having previously worked across fashion and contemporary art, the four women joined forces in order to create their own brand of modern eveningwear, without fuss or over embellishment. The label lands at Parlour X this month, and to celebrate, the four designing women share their top tips on touring their city

 

  1. "London is incredibly metropolitan, international and cultured, yet it also manages to feel very laid back and neighbourhood like – at least to a New Yorker like me who grew up in Manhattan. I love the village feel of Notting Hill, where I live. I also love how green everything is… There’s a park practically every other block and the streets are all lined with big leafy trees.
" – Carolyn Hodler
     
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  3. EATING OUT:
  4. Casa Cruz – My favourite restaurant of the year (pictured above). Located in Notting Hill in an old converted pub that’s been converted into a seriously sexy restaurant, the food is delicious. A mix of Argentinian and international cuisine.
  5. Palomar – incredible Israeli food! Difficult to get a reservation but you can always walk in and eat at the bar.
  6. The Wolseley – Great for breakfast or lunch when you’re in Mayfair. The service is impeccable and the space is gorgeous.
  7. Chiltern Firehouse – Go for the food even if you aren’t staying at the hotel! The steak tartare is a must.
  8. 202 – the perfect spot for a lazy Sunday brunch on Westbourne Grove, the shopping street of Notting Hill. The menu is simple and generally healthy, and the vibe is always relaxed.
  9. Ottolenghi – this is really more of an Israeli delicatessen than a restaurant, but it’s a staple for any Londoner. Great for a take away lunch or a pastry from the bakery.
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  2. CHECKING IN:
  3. Blakes – a boutique hotel in Chelsea (above, the Corfu suite). I used to live next door for years and the bar was my local watering hole. Each of the rooms are individually, and gorgeously, decorated by Anoushka Hempel. I’d recommend staying here if you want to feel like a local.
  4. Chiltern Firehouse – definitely the coolest hotel in town, reminds me of the Chateau Marmont in L.A., also an André Balazs hotel. The restaurant and bar are amazing.
  5. Claridge's – such a classic. If you want old-school glamour in the heart of Mayfair, stay here. The service is incredible.
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  7. SHOPPING:
  8. Matches Fashion – my favourite multi-brand boutique in London. Dolce & Gabbana and Chloé sit beside the best emerging brands, and you can shop evening dresses and cool denim at the same time. The Notting Hill branch is my local. Very similar to Eva's Parlour X!
  9. Conran Shop – inspiring design shop in Chelsea.
  10. Dover Street Market – surely one of the coolest department-concept stores in the world. Beautifully curated and full of both super brands and edgy smaller brands. All jewellery fanatics will be in heaven here.
  11. Portobello Road – full of fun vintage and crafts shops, especially when the market takes place each Friday and Saturday.
  12. Alfie's Antique Market – amazing antique and vintage furniture shop with great mid-century finds.
  13. Bluebird – a beautiful shop with both menswear and womenswear in the heart of Chelsea with a great cafe attached to it.
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  2. TO DO:
  3. Borough Market – an enormous farmers’ market with amazing food stalls situated underneath the train tracks on the Southbank. 
  4. Tate Modern – London’s best modern art museum. Always great exhibitions, can’t be missed.
  5. Serpentine Gallery – one of Europe’s best contemporary art galleries, located in the heart of Hyde Park (pictured above, the 2017 pavilion designed by Francis Kéré). The Serpentine does a great architecture commission each summer on its lawn.
  6. Spa At The Dorchester – worth every penny.
  7. Frieze Art Fair – a global art fair that happens every October in Regent’s Park with both contemporary and old masters. The opening night is always super glam.
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  9. MUST-VISIT PRECINCTS:
  10. Portobello Market in Notting Hill –  every Saturday you can find numerous stalls offering everything from fresh bread to vintage and designer clothes, music and great antiques.
  11. Columbia Flower Market in Shoreditch – near Brick Lane and Spitalfields you can find this street market full of beautiful plants and flowers every Sunday. There are also lots of cafés and restaurants to refuel at along the way.
  12. Marylebone High Street – a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street, this relatively quiet street offers an amazing range of boutiques, a Sunday Farmers' Market and a variety of restaurants, tea rooms and cafes.
  13. Kings Road in Chelsea – spend a day walking the length of the main road and explore the tangle of side roads and lanes which have a variety of hidden gems ranging from vintage stores to pop-up restaurants.
  14. Hampstead Heath – with its mix of countryside, historical buildings, cosmopolitan boutiques and well known pubs, Hampstead offers a breath of fresh air and scenic views of London. If you spend the day there you can wander over to neighboring Primrose Hill for an evening stroll and dinner.
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    3. NIGHTLIFE:
    4. Experimental Cocktail Club – experimental cocktails in a speakeasy-style basement club, hidden behind a Chinatown door.
    5. The Electric in Notting Hill – a long bar with great classic and new cocktails. Exposed bricks and red leather booths make for a cosy feel.
    6. Chiltern Firehouse Bar – an intensely beautiful, buzzing space with incredible cocktails (pictured above).  
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    8. CULTURAL LANDMARKS & QUICK GETAWAYS:
    9. In London, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London and Big Ben are all beautiful and steeped in history. 

    10. Cotswolds – the rolling hills and gold stone houses certainly make for an idyllic getaway. Soho Farmhouse is a must for a day or overnight trip if you have a Soho House membership. If not, then check yourself into a rustic Bed & Breakfast for a romantic weekend.
    11. Bath – Georgian architecture, Roman history and thermal waters, this is the perfect destination spa for culture lovers. A beautiful city with a number of bars and restaurants offering delicious food and drinks.
    12. The New Forest – wild horses won’t be able to drag you away once you’ve experienced its peace and fallen in love with the forest’s idyllic glades, ancient woodland, open moors, heathland and cliff top walks. 

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    14. LASTLY, A FEW SECRET TIPS:
    15. Invest in an Oyster card when you get to London, you can get everywhere on the Underground and it’s a great way to avoid the traffic. It’s also lovely to travel around places like Big Ben in a car or bus so that you can really take in the sites, particularly if you coordinate your timings with sunrise or sunset.
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