INTERIOR DESIGN & ART

Pimlico Road Design District
Pimlico Road Design District

LONDON’S DESIGN SCENE

London is a vast city with many things to see, but if you have more than a few days to visit and are in need of an art & design fix, then this guide is for you. We will start the day in Chelsea, where many notable designers have their showrooms. Chelsea also has a number of delicious restaurant/cafe options. Here is my A Perfect Design Day in London Guide.

If I lived in London, Chelsea is where I would spend a few days a week sourcing materials for clients. The neighborhood has a number of gorgeous showrooms and most everything is within walking distance. Although there is a large Design Centre similar to the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles or the San Francisco Design Center, I find the showrooms that are spread out among Chelsea’s streets to be quaint and charming. The fact that inviting cafes and restaurants are sprinkled among the showrooms, makes a day here even better.

A bad day in London is still better than a good day anywhere else.

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PIMLICO STREET

Pimlico Street is the hub of London’s design showrooms. This gorgeous street is dotted with well-respected antique dealers, furniture showrooms, as well as luxury design firms.

ROSE UNIACKE

Rose Uniacke is the design darling of London, well, perhaps of the world. Her designs are at once rooted in history, but also current and fresh. Her juxtaposition of antique pieces, with contemporary, natural fabric makes the rooms she designs otherworldly.

Her flagship shop is at 76-84 Pimlico Road. It is here where you can see her perfectly curated spaces. Just down and across the street at 103 is where her beautiful selection of fabrics is showcased. Her new paint range is also on display here.

Rose Uniacke Showroom
Rose Uniacke Showroom in London, England

OCHRE

This London design showroom showcases the gorgeous lighting and contemporary furniture designs of a trio of talented British designers. Often-copied, but never as beautiful as the originals, the lighting fixtures are sublime. They also have a showroom in New York, which is equally as beautiful.

Ochre Contemporary Furniture and Lighting on Pimlico Road in London.

CAFES

OTTOLENGHI

You have no doubt seen the cookbooks from this jewel box of a café. They seem to be at the best shops and cafes- for good reason. This shop, with a tiny cafe in the back, has delicious, and I mean absolutely DELICIOUS, food!

*The star of the show- The Flourless Coconut and Chocolate Cake. In one word- DIVINE. If you can’t make it to London soon, try the recipe here .

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Part cafe and part concept store, this is where I ate al fresco on a crisp, but sunny day. The chopped salad and tea were perfect. Light, refreshing and very California-esque.

*Iced tea (my obsession) is not very easy to come by in London. The waiters usually scoff at the idea of ruining a perfectly good spot of tea with ice… Here, however, they happily acquiesced, making one very happy diner.

DAYLESFORD ORGANIC FARM

This is another area hotspot. There is an organic market in front, stocked with locally grown veggies, salads, meat, deli case, honey and other food to take-away. In the back, a sit down café with organic breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

*This is a nice place to buy souvenirs: locally sourced honey, chocolate and/or tea are my favorites.

MELT

Not exactly a café, but a shop devoted entirely to smooth, luxurious chocolates. The bon bons were my favorite.

*For the chocolate lover who wants a unique experience, try one of Melt’s gourmet classes, everything from Bon Bon making to Blindfold Chocolate Tastings.

SHOPS

Perfect Day in Notting Hill, London, England.  Ciel & Lune.  Native & Co. shop.

NATIVE & CO.

For those who appreciate fine ceramics and/or simple, but beautiful home goods, Native & Co. is a treasure. It’s a very small shop that specializes in handcrafted Japanese and Taiwanese traditional and contemporary tableware. These pieces are not only very pretty, but the way they are displayed is soothing to the eye and soul.

MATCHES.COM

One of three brick and mortar shops of this curated designer shopping website. They sell only the best here- 400 established and emerging designers from Balenciaga to Chloe to Batsheva and Gabriella Hearst.

PIPPA SMALL JEWELLERY

Anthropologist turned jewelry designer Pippa Small creates ethically-made jewels to sell in her bright Notting Hill shop. These pieces range from bold to dainty and are inspired by art from all over the world.

SMYTHSON

For perfectly British, meticulously made leather goods and bespoke stationary, this is the shop.

JOSEPH

Another sleek shop for the discerning shopper, Joseph carries its own line of clothing, plus newcomers like Khaite and fashion stalwarts like Celine (my favorite), Isabel Marant, and Maison Margiela.

HOLISTIC HEALTH

Holistic Health options in Notting Hill, London.  Ilapothecary.  Ciel & Lune Travel.

ILAPOTHECARY

This beautiful little place is part spa and part meditation center, with a small apothecary shop in front selling gorgeously packaged facial products and home scents. It’s technically not in Notting Hill, but just a few blocks away in Kensington. This gem of a place is worth the 5-minute walk.

*Book a spa treatment where they use their beautiful, lightly scented organic products or come for a wellness workshop on everything from Ayurveda to dealing with hormones.

BODYISM

If allergies or special food restrictions are a concern, Bodyism Café is a great place to eat. It’s a members only gym, with a cafe and organic skincare shop that are open to everyone.

*Gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and paleo options.

ART

VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM

One of my favorite museums of all isn’t technically in Notting Hill, but it is a short distance away in Kensington/Chelsea. The Victoria & Albert Museum (also known as the V & A) is a must-see while in London. It houses a permanent collection of more than 2-million objects. I particularly love the 30-foot blown glass chandelier by artist Dale Chihuly (see above) and the extensive Asian Art Collection.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you have other favorite things to see and do in Notting Hill, London, please let me know in the comments below. Also, check out our recipe for Ottolenghi’s best dessert ever, Flourless Coconut & Chocolate Cake. One of the best, if not THE best. Really.

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