During our last trip to London we stayed again in our beloved Mandeville Hotel. The room was great, the staff was super friendly (Hi Marco!) and the attention was impeccable. Being our favorite London headquarters in the Marylebone area, we decided to explore it and make the most of it.
Marylebone has surprisingly become our favorite neighborhood in London. We wonder why we didn’t pay more attention to it before!!! We fell in love with its little boutiques, gourmet addresses and lively atmosphere. We felt that even though it was neither a hipster nor a posh area, it definitely had both vibes. And a strong family-friendly mood. Best of all worlds together. This area would be perfect for us if we lived in London (and won the lottery, of course).
We started our walk in our hotel and made our way up to Marylebone road. The first places that caught our attention were two shops: At the movies (18 Thayer Street), where you can buy fantastic movie posters and original vintage movie posters or just spend some time admiring their display, and the Monocle shop (2A George Street), which was tiny tiny but really cool. Well, it’s Monocle, it has to be the coolest shop, right? I wanted to take this book with me.
We kept on walking and had a look at St. Jacobs Wells Mews (picture below). I would love to visit all London’s mews one day. I think they are the most charming corners of the city. They tend to be located in the very best parts of London because their original purpose was to serve as stabling and staff quarters for the grand town houses. They are tucked away from the urban hustle and bustle and had a truly community spirit. The perfect place to live: pretty, quiet and exclusive. And they were the home of the service… Isnt’ it ironic?
But undoubtedly, our favorite corner in Marylebone has to be Moxon street. Last Monday we shared with you our biggest discovery, La Fromagerie, but this little street hides more than one gourmet secret. We discovered it while P. was taking pictures of The Marylebone Pub. Those gorgeous golden bicycles against that shade of grey deserved several pictures, don’t you think? Well, being as impatient as I am, I started looking around while she was shooting and realized that I was in paradise: in just a few meters you could buy the most amazing cheese at La Fromagerie, award winning chocolate in one of the Rococo chocolates stores, have a lovely cup of tea in Aubaine and buy the best meat at Ginger Pig. If you love food, this is where you should do your shopping.
And speaking about shopping, let’s focus on this delightful activity. Marylebone has great shops, but we spent a fair amount of time in two of them. The first one was Cologne and Cotton. A beautiful shop with the nicest bed linen and the most amazing collection of vintage bottles. (To be honest I doubt they were vintage, but they certainly looked like it!) If we ever own a cottage in the Cotswolds (you never know…) I would buy the whole store to decorate it.
The second shop where we spent more time than we should was Daunt Books. We sure love a good old bookstore, even more if it has a nice travel section. But this one? This one was perfect! Not only because its amazing books, but also because the place itself was beyond beautiful. I wish we could live in that store. Forever. I mean, Moxon street is a few meters away so we could do our groceries there and then spent the days reading and reading in this bookstore.
We turned left in Paddington Street to discover more fantastic mews and smell the flowers of the Paddigton Street Gardens. Here something really nice happened: an old man stopped us to tell us that those luxury apartments we were admiring used to be a school and a laundry. He told us how everything is changed and how expensive it was now. He was really nice. Living in Germany we sometimes forget how nice people can be. We are getting so used to the Vorsicht!, Achtung! and angry looks that we forget that humanity can actually be kind.
Back to Marylebone High Street! A couple of establishments caught our attention: The Natural Kitchen, with its detox menus, and La Patisserie des Rêves, the absolute opposite to those detox menus. A little bit further on, we stopped in three tiny boutiques that are everyone’s favorite (or at least they should be): Petit Bateau, Aesop and Diptyque. On a row. In a tiny side street (Oldbury Place). Perfection.
We ended our walk thinking about coming back to have dinner at Orrery Epicery and buying the loveliest vases in the Conran Shop. Marylebone: you have everything we need! You are the perfect charming, foodie and shopaholic destination for a Spring day in London!
PS: Happy Easter! We will be back on Monday!