The Chic, Minimalist Guide To London: 12 Must-Know Spots

Photo: Courtesy of Cereal Magazine.
In most great capitals, the statues tell stories of regime-change, revolution, and upheaval. The marble and bronze denizens of London, however, have never been beheaded, unseated, or evicted to an out-of-town retirement zone. The story of this city is one of relentless continuity. While it can no longer be counted among the world's largest metropolises, it remains redolent of Empire and the soot-laden might of the Industrial Revolution. Unrivaled in finance and at the forefront of fashion, tourists throng its streets. A truly global city, its residents not only speak over 300 languages, they also walk with an undeniable swagger.
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Photo: Courtesy of Cereal Magazine.
Workshop Coffee
Specialty Coffee Shop

Established in 2009 by owner James Dickson, Workshop Coffee specialises in the sourcing and roasting of speciality coffee. Supported by an experienced coffee-roasting department, Workshop offers fresh and enthusiastically researched brews in its Clerkenwell-based café. The company also hosts workshops on coffee making and its in-house dispensary distributes Workshop products around the United Kingdom. On a sunny day, you can spend a quiet hour with the paper and a speciality blend on the shop’s long benches outside.

Workshop Coffee, 27 Clerkenwell Road, London, EC1M 5RN; +44 (0)20 7253 5754.
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Photo: Courtesy of Cereal Magazine.
Margaret Howell
Fashion & Lifestyle Shop

The Margaret Howell store in Marylebone has the air of a pristine gallery in downtown Tokyo. While the furniture, lighting, textiles, and clothing all exude a noticeably British aesthetic, there is a tangible sense of Japanese culture in the clean, oak-paneled layout of this room. Here you can purchase hand woven Harris Tweed jackets, John Smedley’s fine gauge knitwear, and Mackintosh raincoats alongside Anglepoise lamps and Robert Welch stainless steel cutlery.

Margaret Howell, 34 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 2RS; +44 (0)20 7009 9009.
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Photo: Courtesy of Cereal Magazine.
Daunt Books

For over a century, Daunt Books has been selling an impressive collection of guides, phrase books, travel writing, history, and fiction from countries all over the world. The Marylebone High Street branch can be discovered in what was previously an Edwardian bookshop, with long, oak lined galleries, viridian green walls, and expansive skylights that render the interior bright and cheerful. The shop is renowned for its wide range of travel material.

Daunt Books, 83 Marylebone High Street, London, W1U 4QW; +44 (0)20 7224 2295.
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Photo: Courtesy of Cereal Magazine.
The Monocle Shop
Lifestyle Shop

Stocking a bespoke range of accessories, books, apparel, stationery, and homewares, the Monocle Shop on George Street emulates the refined and considered nature of this influential publication. Just nine square meters in size, this intimate space is a must-see for fans of the title and those with an appreciation for fine design.

The Monacle Shop, 2A George Street, London, W1U 3QS; +44 (0)207 486 8770.
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Photo: Courtesy of Cereal Magazine.
Serpentine Gallery

Hidden among the oaks and silver birches of Kensington Gardens sits the Serpentine Gallery. Formerly a 1930s tea pavilion, this red-and-grey-brick edifice houses contemporary art exhibitions, displaying a diverse selection of subject matter including a permanent outdoor piece by artist and poet Ian Hamilton Findlay.

Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA; +44 (0)20 7402 6075.
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Photo: Courtesy of Cereal Magazine.
The Corner Room

Corner Room can be found within the mahogany Art Deco corridors of the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green. Opened by experimental Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes, this playfully designed, modern dining room serves an excellent, short menu of dishes such as aged beef with spelt, wild garlic, and ricotta and wood roasted salsify.

Corner Room, Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, London, E2 9NF; +44 (0)20 7871 0460.
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Photo: Courtesy of Cereal Magazine.
Clothing Shop

Positioned just off of Brick Lane, Folk’s flagship store provides a moment of serene respite from Shoreditch’s bustling alleyways. Filled with an array of toggled rain jackets, backpacks, and elbow-batched sweaters, all in the British label’s simple, staunchly masculine designs, this is the place to go for understated and unique everyday clothing.

Folk, 11 Dray Walk, London, E1 6QL; +82 (0)207 375 2844.
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Photo: Courtesy of Cereal Magazine.
Bike shop

Tokyobike is redefining city travel. Founded a decade ago in Tokyo’s Yanaka district, a neighborhood of quiet alleyways and gentle sloping hills, this small independent bike company has expanded to open its first retail space in London’s Shoreditch. The bike’s light frame and simple design are purposefully built to provide a smooth ride, placing an emphasis on comfort over speed.

Tokyobike, 87-89 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4BA; +44 (0)20 7251 6842.
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Photo: Courtesy of Cereal Magazine.
Homewares & Lifestyle Shop

Founded by Danielle and Rob Reid, Folklore is an Islington-based homewares and lifestyle store, which espouses the concept that better living is achievable through simple, functional design. Meticulously presenting French ceramics, HAY chairs, and Dadasi tableware, this light and airy space acts as a gallery for sustainable, contemporary home products.

Folklore, 193 Upper Street, London, N1 1RQ; +44 (0)20 7354 9333.
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Photo: Courtesy of Cereal Magazine.

For more than 100 years, the Tate Institution has been exhibiting a vast array of British and international modern art in a range of venues across the United Kingdom. The Tate Modern is located on the banks of the Thames behind the red brick walls of what used to be the Bankside Power Station. Converted by Swiss architects Herzog and De Meuron into a space filled with cavernous galleries, the TM presents a packed program of exhibitions featuring work from some of the world’s most prolific contemporary artists.

Tate, Bankside, London SE1 9TG; +44 (0) 20 7887 8888.
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Photo: Courtesy of Cereal Magazine.
St. John Bread & Wine

As a part of a group of restaurants that have grown in reputation over the last 20 years, St. John Bread and Wine, which rests white and pristine in the middle of busy Spitalfields, is an ideal place to enjoy a long, leisurely meal. Championing a rigorous devotion to simple, wholesome flavours, St. John plates up an ever-evolving seasonal bill of fare.

St. John, 94-96 Commercial Street, London, E1 6LZ; +44 (0)20 7251 0848.
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Photo: Courtesy of Cereal Magazine.
Ace Hotel

Ace Hotel has branches in major cities like New York, L.A., and Seattle, and its London-based location retains the simple, hipster hospitality of its U.S counterparts. Situated in what was previously Shoreditch’s Crowne Plaza hotel — a large, rather inconspicuous East London tenement — Ace encourages the union of customers who enjoy its warm hospitality and minimalist, industrial decor. A visit here should include dinner at its in-house modernist brassiere, Hoi Polloi.

Ace Hotel, 100 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JO; +44 (0)2076139800.

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