My week in London was an absolute blur of museums, English breakfast, cocktail bars, shows and afternoon tea. I was deliriously playing the whole trip back during my 5-hour layover in Reykjavik when I noticed a subtle link between many of my favorite London destinations. It seemed like much of my wonderfully blurry experience was strung together by a soft pink thread. So here they are, five of my favorite London spots that are either drenched in millennial pink from head to toe or interspersed with playful pops of my generation’s defining color.
1.Bob Bob Ricard – Mayfair
Bob Bob’s famous “Press for Champagne” button only had to pop into my Instagram feed once for this opulent Art Deco restaurant to land on my London wish list. We made it Bob Bob after a long day of museums and a very late four-course lunch at the Social Eating House so we opted to sit at the bar in the Blue Dining Room to enjoy their signature Rhubarb G&T, a few glasses of champagne (obviously) and one of the top five desserts of my life.
The menu skips gracefully between British and Russian comfort food with offerings like Chicken Kiev and Sauternes & Truffle Humble Pie. The staff seems to have stepped out of a different time as they polish the etched crystal glassware and call you miss in their bubblegum pink jackets and bow-ties. The low lighting combined with the rich Art deco decor is absolutely intoxicating. With a menu the lists “Vodka Shots at 18 degrees” under starters, you’re in for a playful evening of excess and elegance at Bob Bob Ricard.
Dress Code: Elegant, ties are not required
2. Victoria & Albert Museum– South Kensington
You could honestly fill an entire week in London with nothing but museums and never get bored. Since we stayed in Chelsea for this visit, the V&A museum was an obvious choice for us. The V&A, founded in 1852, is the largest museum of decorative arts and design in the world. You could wander around all day and still not see everything this lovely museum has to offer.
The V&A made it to this list for its pink restrooms and a lovely pink painting of the exterior that I fell in love with. The V&A had my second favorite museum gift shop of the five we visited on this trip (first place goes to the Tate Modern). I got a tote with the lovely pink print, Clare got and sent me the postcard and I regret not also snagging the frameable print. I am an absolute sucker for a good museum gift shop!
Pro Tip: One of my favorite (and admittedly low-brow) hacks is to pop into the gift shop first to get a quick snapshot of all the museum has to offer. It makes prioritizing which exhibits you want to see much easier.
Reservations: Check in advance to see what their special exhibit will be. They often will completely sell out so plan to book ahead.
Dress Code: None
Cost: Free except for the special exhibits which tend to be between $10-$20
3. Peggy Porschen– Belgravia
A visit to Peggy Porschen is apparently a required activity for a blogger visiting London. This charming little cake shop is clearly leaning into the “Millennial Pink” craze and might be one of the reasons this color won’t go away. This is one of the spots on my list that I did a lot of research on. Thanks to the numerous blog posts and lengthy Instagram captions, I went expecting Peggy’s to be over-priced and crowded but I just had to see this Instagram phenomenon for myself. We decided to have cake for breakfast on our last day in London and it wasn’t till we arrived that I found out Clare thought I had been saying “Piggy Portions” the entire time.
We had an absolutely lovely time. I found the prices to be on the high end but perfectly reasonable for the level of artistry that goes into their ornate cakes. We paid about $4 for our cafe lattes and about $10 for a slice of their Vanilla Cloud cake.
Peggy’s might be a cake shop but it certainly became Inst-famous for it’s over the top girly decor. The cake parlor is known for its lavish and seasonal entryway display. Our visit coincided with the debut of their Christmas decor and it did a beautiful job putting me in the holiday spirit!
Pro Tip: Go early and on a weekday to avoid the crowds.
Reservations: Not permitted.
Dress Code: Trust me, you’re going to want to look cute.
4. Dandelyan Bar– South Bank
If you visit one cocktail bar in London make it Dandelyan. Dandelyan is the brainchild of Ryan Chetiyawardana A.K.A Mr. Lyan (World’s Best Bartender 2015, Most Influential Britons 2017, Personality of the Decade 2017) The Dandelyan opened it’s doors in the iconic lobby of the Mondrian Hotel in the fall of 2014 and promptly won best New International Cocktail bar in 2015.
The Dandelyan was on my list but Clare and I serendipitously ended up there on our first day in London while we were walking to the London Eye along the Thames. We excitedly popped in and headed straight for the bar. Our bartender, Jack, was attentive, handsome and knowledgeable. He took the time to introduce us to their extensive cocktail menu, The ‘Vices of Botany’, which “explores our love of exploitation, escapism and the full spectrum of our guilty pleasures. Divided into four sections: Faith, Lust, Currency and Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
Clare and I were absolutely enchanted by the artistry and care Jack put into crafting each cocktail. I ordered the Flower of Five a gin-based grapefruit and passion flower cocktail spritzed with leather to finish. It really was a serendipitous visit because while we were there Mr. Lyan himself happened to pop by. I had been planning to purchase his latest book online to avoid carrying it around for the rest of the evening and taking up precious suitcase space but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get it autographed. I asked Jack if he would have Mr. Lyan autograph my book after his meeting and much to our delight and surprise Mr. Lyan (who told us to call him Ryan) came and joined us at the bar for a cocktail. He made us a list of his cocktail bar recommendations in London and pulled some strings to get us reservations for that evening at his new restaurant, Cub. He was such a kind, humble and down to earth guy and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!
Reservations: Not necessary but available by emailing- Dandelyan@sbe.com
Dress Code: Smart Casual
5. Sketch– Mayfair
Stepping into Sketch is like stepping into another world. Sketch is made up of five completely unique restaurants and bars that cover two floors of an 18th-century building in Mayfair. This fascinating destination for food, drink, music and art is the creation of restauranteur Mourad Mazouz and French chef Pierre Gagnaire. Sketch made it to this list for its bubblegum pink tea room, The Gallery. This cheeky tea room is covered in the playful and childlike drawings of famed artist, David Shrigley and serves champagne infused tea and an impressive array of tea cakes and sandwiches.
Sketch was on almost everyone’s lists of recommendations for my week in London. One friend said “Don’t look at too many pictures of it! This is the sort of place you want to let surprise you.” I took their advice and I really was surprised by everything and everywhere I looked. The downside was that my lack of research meant I didn’t know that afternoon tea in the Gallery was reservation only and they were all booked up that day. Luckily the Parlour is walk-in only and we enjoyed a lovely pot of tea and dessert under the neon pink lighting.
The full-on tea experience is at the top of my list for my next trip to London. Everything I have read suggests it is absolutely worth it and a tea you will never forget!
Pro Tip: Go to the bathroom even if you don’t need it. Trust me, it is so worth it! I am resisting putting up my bathroom pictures because I want you all to be delightfully surprised by the experience.
Reservations: Required for Afternoon Tea but not available for the Parlour.
Dress Code: Art Smart – “We ask our guests to dress with a sense of style and character
Shorts are not permitted”
There they are! Some of the loveliest and pinkest spots London has to offer. I have created a map to help you visualize where everything is and hopefully help you optimize your next visit to London.
Putting together this long overdue post makes me want to start planning my next trip to London right away. Have you been to any of these places before? And do you know of a pink London destination that this list missing?