The September 2023 Travel Guide to London

What to See

“Bob and Roberta Smith: Thamesmead Codex”

thamesmead codex tate modern

“Bob and Roberta Smith: Thamesmead Codex”

Courtesy of Tate Modern

From 2019 to 2020, artists Bob and Roberta Smith interviewed residents of Thamesmead, a housing project built in 1968 to alleviate London’s then-housing crisis. The duo then transformed those conversations into 24 painted placards, now being exhibited at the Tate Modern. 

“They departed for their own country another way”

they departed for their own country

“They departed for their own country another way”

Courtesy of White Cube

Artist Julie Mehretu’s fifth solo exhibition at the White Cube, “They departed for their own country another way” includes three new series for the installation, all of which encompass her abstracted calligraphic language.

“Chorus in Rememory of Flight”

chorus in rememory of flight

“Chorus in Rememory of Flight”

Courtesy of the Barbican Centre

At the Barbican Centre, poet, artist and filmmaker Julianknxx drew on his Sierra Leonian heritage to create a range of work, from the written word and music to visual art. Titled “Chorus in Rememory of Flight,” the exhibition explores the intersectionality of identity.

“Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion”

Priya Ahluwalia

“Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion” features work by Priya Ahluwalia.

Courtesy of the Design Museum

“Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion” will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the British Fashion Council’s Newgen program, which has helped usher in London’s contemporary fashion talent including the likes of Christopher Kane, Christopher Raeburn, Erdem, Kim Jones, JW Anderson, Mary Katrantzou, Molly Goddard, Simone Rocha, Priya Ahluwalia, Saul Nash, Grace Wales Bonner, Bianca Saunders and many more. The exhibition will run from Friday to Feb. 11, sponsored by Alexander McQueen.

“Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto”

Book cover use of this asset requires approval. Please contact your Account Representative. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Roger Schall/Condé Nast/Shutterstock (11807239a) Designer Coco Chanel wearing large-rimmed glasses surrounded by sketches of her designs. Coco Chanel Vogue May 01, 1938 Portrait

Designer Coco Chanel surrounded by sketches of her designs.

Courtesy of the V&A / Photo by Roger Schall/Condé Nast/Shutterstock

The work and life of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel will be on display at the Victoria & Albert museum starting Saturday at the museum’s Sainsbury Gallery.

“Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto” will be the first U.K. exhibition dedicated to the French fashion designer, charting six decades of her career, from the opening of her first millinery boutique in Paris in 1910 to her final show in 1971.

The exhibition features more than 200 looks — some seen for the first time, including costumes designed for the Ballets Russes production of “Le Train Bleu” in 1924; outfits created for Hollywood stars Lauren Bacall and Marlene Dietrich, and early examples of Chanel’s seminal take on evening trousers.

What to Watch

“Sorry We Didn’t Die at Sea”

Sorry We Didnt Die At Sea

“Sorry We Didn’t Die at Sea”

Courtesy of Park Theatre

In “Sorry We Didn’t Die at Sea,” presented at Park Theatre, a dystopian near-future is imagined, in which a series of nationalist, isolationist policies has prompted Europe’s failure. Follow three unnamed immigrants as they flee the continent at the mercy of a people-smuggler in this dark comedy.

“Strategic Love Play”

Strategic Love Play New Key Image scaled 1

“Strategic Love Play”

Courtesy of Soho Theatre

Ever sat through a particularly terrible first date after swiping right on someone? At the Soho Theatre, “Strategic Love Play” centers around exactly that, comedically deconstructing the politics behind modern romance. 

Coco Chanel: Unbuttoned

Gabrielle Chanel at La Pausa

Gabrielle Chanel at La Pausa


Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel is undoubtedly having a revival: Oft-referenced during the Karl Lagerfeld-themed Met Gala, she is the focus of a V&A exhibition, and now the star of a documentary titled “Coco Chanel: Unbuttoned.” The film follows Chanel’s trajectory from orphan to one of the most prominent fashion designers of her era, featuring cameos from her model-muse Jackie Rogers and her long-term assistant, Lilou Grumbach Marquand.

Where to Eat

Bun House

Mooncakes 2023 8

Limited edition mooncakes from Bun House.

Courtesy of Bun House

Founded in early 2017 by married partners Z He and Alex Peffly, Bun House specializes in mouthwatering  Cantonese-style steamed buns and house-made Chinese pickles. In honor of the Mid-Autumn Festival on Sept. 29, a traditional time of celebration on the Chinese calendar, the eatery is offering a selection of limited-edition mooncakes.

Plaza Khao Gaeng

Khua Kling Gai, dry wok-fried chicken with chilis, a signature dish served at Plaza Khao Gaeng

Khua Kling Gai, dry wok-fried chicken with chilis, a signature dish served at Plaza Khao Gaeng.

Courtesy of Plaza Khao Gaeng

Plaza Khao Gaeng, which means “curry over rice” in Thai, specializes in Southern Thai regional dishes and was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand earlier this year. Food from this region happens to be the most challenging to prepare as it’s the most herb-intensive cuisine among the Thai repertoire and requires fresh coconut milk and coconut cream in the process.

Must-try dishes here includes Gaeng Gati Gai, a version of yellow curry made with herbs, vegetables, and paste from the south of Thailand, as well as Khao Yam, puffed rice salad with fish sauce and vegetables; Gaeng Som, sour seafood curry; Khua Kling Gai, dry wok-fried chicken with chilis, long pepper and wild galangal, and Gung Pad Sator Sai Gapi, tiger prawns with stinky beans, shrimp paste and chilis.

Namaiki Omakase


Namaiki Omakase

An authentic Edo-Mae sushi restaurant that uses traditional Japanese cooking techniques, and offers an omakase menu. Omakase is derived from the Japanese term for “I’ll leave it to you.” It requires diners to have complete trust in the chef, and accept dishes created especially for them. Head chef Daichi creates unique menus, and those with large appetites should rejoice. When dining omakase, finishing everything that’s put in front of you is essential for good sushi etiquette.

May Fair Kitchen

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Seafood platter from May Fair Kitchen.

Situated in the heart of Mayfair, the restaurant offers dishes that celebrate the delicate artistry of Japanese izakaya cuisine combined with the vibrancy of Italian fare. Highlights from the menu include a Japanese seafood platter with dressed oysters, Hamachi tartare, tuna sashimi, and Cornish crab dressed with chili and lemon, seared beef salad with Lombardy gorgonzola dolce and truffle dressing, and parmesan- and lemon-crusted French trimmed lamb cutlets.

Where to Treat Yourself

The Peninsula London

The Lobby at The Peninsula London.

The Lobby at The Peninsula London.


The idea to have a Peninsula Hotel in London stretches back more than three decades, and now the legendary hotel brand has finally opened its doors just in time for guests in town for London Fashion Week. The hotel has 190 rooms and suites as well as 25 residences, as well as a retail arcade with tenants including the British luxury company Asprey, jeweler David M. Robinson, and Mouawad.

The Peninsula enlisted Michelin-starred British chef Claude Bosi to oversee the hotel’s rooftop restaurant Brooklands, which serves contemporary European cuisine, with most of its produce sourced from the British Isles. The ground-floor Chinese restaurant Canton Blue offers Cantonese dishes with a twist. While at the triple-height The Lobby restaurant, guests will be able to enjoy the hotel’s famous afternoon tea service, as well as all-day dining classics, accompanied by live music performance.

House of Sunny

The ground floor of House of Sunny's Soho pop-up shop.

The ground floor of House of Sunny’s Soho pop-up shop.

Courtesy of House of Sunny

Indie brand House of Sunny has opened a pop-up shop in the heart of Soho. Composed of two floors — one for womenswear and one for men’s — each reflects the brand’s midcentury modern interior design ethos.

The pop-up will be the first to house the brand’s most recent collection alongside in-store exclusives, such as a heavyweight cotton T-shirt with screen-printed graphics. Shoppers will also be able to grab coffee at House of Sunny’s limited-edition café, which serves an array of beverages. 

The 111Skin Suite

Shelving in 111Skin treatment suite.

The 111Skin Suite.

Photo courtesy of 111Skin

Get a skin refresh from husband and wife duo Dr. Yannis Alexandrides and Eva Alexandridis’ brand 111Skin, from hydro lift infusion facial; rose gold radiance facial; celestial black diamond nonsurgical face lift; a de-puffing cryo facial, and a rose radiance body treatment starting from 180 pounds. This season the brand has partnered with Erdem for its spring 2024 show.

Vintage Lacoste

Lacoste has tapped London-based vintage seller Wavey Garms for an immersive pop-up at Truman Brewery in East London as part of its 90th anniversary celebration. Andres Branco, founder of Wavey Garms, was tasked to source unique garments and host interactive workshops from Thursday to Sept. 26. The venue will welcome guests for dubplate seminars with women’s DJ collective EQ50.

Natasha Zinko 


Natasha Zinko’s new store.

Natasha Zinko has relocated from Mayfair to nearby Soho although the move might as well have been across the ocean. The new space is far more raw and utilitarian than before — a result of all of the shipping, ordering and storage that Zinko and her team did during the pandemic — with knurled metal flooring and industrial storage style fixtures while upcycled cardboard boxes line the walls. 

No space is wasted: Display rails are built into storage racks that hold stock, ensuring that online orders can be easily shipped out from the store. There is also an emphasis on sustainability, with Zinko creating installations out of used boxes. 

There is also an element of collaboration, too, with plans to host the clothing brand Bonne Nuit Studio in October, and further projects with lifestyle businesses in design, fragrance and home.   

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