London tour: from design shopping to exciting dining, architecture and art

Our London tour is a guide to the city’s must-sees of the moment, from Battersea Power Station to a hyperlocal design hub and the best bars and restaurants

Battersea power station seen from above, a must-see on any London tour
(Image credit: Jason Hawkes)

With the new year come new opportunities for weekend getaways, city breaks and time out. We’ve updated the must-sees on our London tour – discover a hyperlocal design hub, a cosy cocktail bar in Covent Garden, a Wallpaper* Award-winning restaurant, and more destinations recommended by our junior digital news editor and native Londoner Martha Elliott. For more inspiration, also see our guides to the latest London art exhibitions and London’s best gallery restaurants, which demonstrate that there is no better city for a visual feast. 

Take our London tour: must-sees of the moment

Atelier100’s hyperlocal design hub

view of interior desgin items at Atelier100, London, with blue curtain behind them

Items from the current Atelier100 collection. Clockwise from bottom left: 'London’ papier-mâché table lamp by Emmely Elgersma; 'Wax-Dipped’ lampshade, by Lola Lely; 'Thames Clay’ vase by Alison Cooke; 'London Brick & Charcoal’ candle holders' by Nina Jua Klein; 'London Cobblestone’ floor light, by Mitre & Mondays; stainless steel tubular chair by Andu Masebo. Styling by Serene Khan

(Image credit: Photography: Trisha Ward)

Atelier100’s west London store opened at the end of 2022 and is pushing ‘hyperlocal design’ in a reshuffling of the manufacturing process, focusing on products made within 100km of the city. Featuring limited-edition works by 13 creatives (selected through a programme run by fashion retailer H&M and Ingka Group, the holding company behind many Ikea stores), the store-cum-creative sounding board is not only a space for the featured designers to receive mentoring and business expertise, but is also a kind of gallery, displaying unique pieces from emerging talents including Andu Masebo, whom we dubbed a Wallpaper* Future Icon in our January 2023 issue.; Livat Shopping Centre, King St, London, W6 9HW


Ikoyi restaurant in london, tables and chairs in low lit room

Ikoyi's new site at 180 The Strand

(Image credit: Photography: Irina Boersma)

Originally opened in St James’s in 2017, the two Michelin-starred restaurant Ikoyi, which built its reputation on an eclectic, but fundamentally West African-influenced menu, has undergone a transformation – which earned it the Best Restaurant title in the Wallpaper* Design Awards 2023. Its new space at 180 The Strand is designed by Danish architect David Thulstrup, best known for the interiors of Copenhagen’s Noma. Wall panels are patinated copper, the floor is lined with slabs of grey stone, while stretching across the ceiling is a woven steel mesh evoking sieves used to sort spices. This is complemented by specially commissioned tableware, leather seating, and red oak tables custom-made by Benchmark Furniture.; 180 Strand, Temple, London WC2R 1EA

Ælfred vintage goods

Aelfred vintage scandinavian furniture emporium in east london

Furniture on display at Ælfred, a vintage Scandinavian furniture emporium in east London

(Image credit: Christian Banfield)

Whether you are in search of vintage midcentury design gems for your home, or just after a dig around some lovely-looking furniture, Scandinavian vintage furniture shop Ælfred is full of design offerings. Founder and dealer Nina Hertig sees the store as a chance for people to ‘celebrate the dying art of discovering treasures in real life’. The Hackney Wick emporium houses reasonably priced lighting, ceramics, furniture and glassware sourced from the Nordics, and has a fresh arrival of stock every two weeks, avoiding the dwindling of choice pieces that so often makes vintage shopping a tiresome charade.; Unit 2B, Autumn Yard, 39 Autumn Street, Bow, London E3 2TT

Outernet: a multifaceted entertainment spectacle

colourful interior at London's outernet

A bar at Outernet London, in Charing Cross

(Image credit: _Jake Davis)

For central London’s Outernet, interior design studio Archer Humphryes combined the typology of a Georgian brickhouse and a 19th-century blacksmiths with a futuristic body, and coated it in digital projections. For those tantalised by state-of-the-art audio systems, the building houses two music venues, as well as a free-to-use recording studio, bars and green rooms. A public digital artwork inspired by Porsche’s brand purpose, Driven by Dreams, in collaboration with Wallpaper* and digital creative studio Lusion, will be on display on 19 January, on the building’s exterior.; Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 8LH

Battersea Power Station

Restored facace of the battersea power station, London

The restored façade of Battersea Power Station in London

(Image credit: Brendan Bell)

Thanks to its distinctive chimneys, Battersea Power Station has long been a defining feature of  London’s skyline, and – having undergone a revamp – it can be added to the list of must-visit attractions. It is now the heart of a sprawling industrial complex that offers luxury shopping, offices, and residences, with artwork sprinkled throughout. Transformed by architecture studio WilkinsonEyre, the Grade-II listed building provides a towering industrial backdrop to its surrounding complex, which feels much like a compact city in itself. Panoramic elevator experience Lift 109 offers views from one of the chimney tops.; Circus Rd W, Nine Elms, London SW11 8AL

Common Decency bar at NoMad hotel

Lounge of the london cocktail bar part of nomad London hotel, pink chairs and curtains

Common Decency bar, part of the NoMad London hotel

(Image credit: Courtesy Nomad Hotels)

Recently opened in the basement of the NoMad London hotel in Covent Garden, Common Decency is an underground haven from central London’s bustling streets. The building, the former Bow Street magistrates’ court, hosted the trial of Oscar Wilde for his ‘affront to common decency’ and the bar’s tongue-in-cheek historic reference sets a playful tone. The drinks menu is led by Leo Robitschek, VP of food & beverage at NoMad Hotels, with input from the mixologists behind the bar; they bring twists to classic cocktails, such as with salted caramelised quince, fermented cucumber and Szechuan oil. See more suggestions for the best London cocktail bars.; 28 Bow St, London WC2E 7AW


food on plates in london restaurant

Food at Palestinian restaurant Akub, in Notting Hill, London

(Image credit: Courtesy Akub)

Opening 16 January, Akub sees chef and restaurateur Fadi Kattan and business partner Rasha Khouri introduce Palestinian cuisine to Notting Hill. Kattan’s French, Sudanese, Japanese and Indian ancestry informs the menu, which uses local seasonal British produce to its full potential. Small-batch Palestinian spirits, craft beers from Taybeh, classic wines and an apricot-fuelled margarita, amongst other cocktails, fill the drinks list, and interiors by Fare Inc nod to Palestine's landscape.; 27 Uxbridge Street, London, W8 7TQ

Cecilia Vicuña: Hyundai Commission

pieces of fabric hanging from ceiling, part of Cecilia Vicuña art exhibition at Tate Modern Turbine Hall

Cecilia Vicuña, Hyundai Commission: Brain Forest Quipu. Installation view at Tate Modern 2022

(Image credit: © Tate. Photography: Sonal Bakrania)

Chilean artist Cecilia Vicuña is taking over Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall until 16 April 2023 with Brain Forest Quipu, an installation exploring ecology, femininity, community and social justice. As the artist told us recently: ‘Even though [the installation is] inside the museum, people take it differently, perhaps because it’s an industrial space, it belongs to everybody. Experiencing – sensing, feeling – is the most powerful way of transmission.’ The monumental work recently clinched Best Art Installation in the Wallpaper* Design Awards 2023.

The Connaught Patisserie

lined up pastries in the connaught patisserie in london

The counter at the Connaught Patisserie in Mayfair, London

(Image credit: Courtesy The Connaught Hotel)

Now delivering its artful pastries to the local Mayfair area, The Connaught hotel’s patisserie is a London must-visit. The interiors, designed by London design studio Ab Rogers Design, feature rosy marble floors and glossy white marble counters, soft-edged seating that resembles ring boxes, and hand-blown pink crystal lights that hang overhead, evoking blown sugar. All this centres around an exquisitely presented glass counter, where head pastry chef Nicolas Rouzaud's tempting, symmetrical lines of perfect pastries sit, ready to be paired with coffee, tea or champagne.; The Connaught, Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL

Martha Elliott is the Junior Digital News Editor at Wallpaper*. After graduating from university she worked in arts-based behavioural therapy, then embarked on a career in journalism, joining Wallpaper* at the start of 2022. She reports on art, design and architecture, as well as covering regular news stories across all channels.