Tastemaker Alyce Tran on the Best Spots to Eat, Stay and Play in London

Alyce Tran

Sydneysider Alyce Tran knows London. She’s visited too many times to count — often, to scope out trends for the homewares brand she co-founded, In The Roundhouse. “My favourite thing about London is its variety, and how each day you are there can be totally different,” she says.

So, if you were after tips for a tasteful experience in London, Tran is the person you’d ask. Ahead, we’ve picked Tran’s brain on the best spots to eat, stay and play in the capital city. From the centrally located and affordable hotel she always stays at, to the best places to soak up art, these are Tran’s picks to experience the best of London.

Best Accommodation in London

“When I am in London, I always stay quite centrally. Dean Street Townhouse [a Soho House property] is my go-to, as it is a mid-priced option, and the rooms are really comfy and feel ‘English’.

“I also love the little things they offer, like how they do your washing as part of the amenities — no crazy charges for your laundry. It’s in Soho, so you can literally walk everywhere from there.”

Best Restaurants in London

“Casa Cruz in Notting Hill, Gymkhana, No 22. As a result of staying central at Dean Street Townhouse, you’re super close to everything. I really love Scott’s, it’s just the best seafood done to a 10/10 level and the restaurant is right in the thick of Mayfair, so you can hob-knob around the area afterward and go to any bar or pub post-dinner.

“I love Gymkhana, because it is the best Indian food I ever have and they have really great set menus for lunch. It’s also the most elevated Indian dining experience I’ve ever had. No 22 is hip right now as there is a private members’ club inside, so it’s great for people-watching and there is a nightclub you can go to post-dinner, which is fun. I wish we had things like this in Sydney.”

Best Things to Do in London

“I love checking out the art scene there. I recommend you look up what is on. For example, while I was there last year, the Chelsea Designer WOW!house was on. It was an installation of creations of a range of interior designers, something different and cool that we don’t have in Australia.

“I always go to The Serpentine Gallery or whatever exhibition they have on at the time, The Tate, and look at whatever Saatchi has on, too. In terms of inspiration, the volume of retailers in London is just immense. I like to make sure I drop into Dover Street Market, Alex Eagle, the Matches Fashion Boutique as they always have a cool installation on.”

Best Places to Shop in London

“Visit the Jess McCormack store, even if it is just to browse, but it’s a cool space with cool art in it. Also, the Matches Fashion Flagship and Selfridges, which is my favourite department store as it is easily digestible.

“The one thing I recommend you leave with is cool stationery from the art galleries you will have been to.”

Best Way to Get Around London

“The tube or a black cab. I love black cabs as they’re so comfortable in London, I prefer this over a ride-share app.”

All images supplied by Alyce Tran.

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