Explore London with our quintessential winter weekend city guide

Written by Leah Sinclair

While travelling abroad may still be up in the air, there’s no reason why you can’t embrace the magic of the city and explore it in a way you never have before. 

London at any time of the year is particularly lovely – especially when the weather holds up.

There’s just something about enjoying the spring sunshine and getting into the full swing of summer as people line the streets drinking beers and sipping an Aperol spritzes.

And it doesn’t begin and end with warm weather as it can be equally as enjoyable walking through London’s most picturesque parks in the middle of the autumn as the leaves turn and the cooler weather sets in –but there’s something particularly alluring about the capital during the winter for me.

Perhaps it’s the excitement of a new year or the idea of cuddling up in a coffee shop with a warm beverage and a good book in hand that entices me. But, truth be told, it’s very rare that I go beyond my usual spots and it can be pretty easy to get into a routine.

While travelling abroad is still up in the air due to the spread of the Omicron variant, finding time to explore new places is getting harder and harder – but there is so much more to the city that even us natives don’t know about, making this the perfect time to explore what London truly has to offer.

If you’re looking for a weekend filled with exploration and relaxation, we’ve shared our guide on the perfect weekend, from where to stay, what to do and where to eat – and it’s sure to make you appreciate the city a little bit more while getting that much-needed leisure time before we really get stuck into 2022.

Where to stay in London

Pan Pacific Hotel, Liverpool Street

Weekend in London: Pan Pacific Hotel London

There are many beautiful hotels in London but there’s something particularly special about the Pan Pacific Hotel.

Based in Liverpool Street, the Singaporean-owned hotel is stunning to look at and features 237 bedrooms and an array of dining destinations, from Straits Kitchen (where you can get a delicious English breakfast) to The Orchid Lounge where you can enjoy the wildly unique Singaporean-inspired Kopi Tiam Afternoon Tea, which combines traditional favourites with the creative influence of Asian ingredients.

Weekend in London: Pan Pacific Hotel’s festive afternoon tea

While there, you can also take in all wellness treats they have to offer, from the 18.5m infinity pool with inspiring views over the Plaza to the indulgent treatment rooms, which are designed to destress both body and mind.

Book the Pan Pacific Hotel 

What to do in London

Play an immersive football game at Toca Social

Weekend in London: Toca Social

If you’re looking to do a fun activity, Toca Social is a great option. 

Set in the heart of London’s 02 Arena in Greenwich, Toca Social is an entertainment concept that transforms the way in which people meet and play, providing the world’s first immersive social football experience.

Grab your own booth and spend 60-90mins playing a variety of football games while indulging in sweet and sour cocktails, mouthwateringly good nibbles and great music.

Book Toca Social

Visit the city’s best markets

Weekend in London: Borough Market

London has some amazing markets year-round, and this time of the year provides the perfect opportunity to see them all. From Crafty Fox Market and Borough Market to Maltby Street Market, you can make a day of it and explore London’s independent businesses while enjoying a few beverages and getting a trinket or two for yourself or a loved one.

Where to eat in London

Park Row

Weekend in London: Park Row

If you want the ultimate dining experience, Park Row is the place to visit.

Situated within a stunning Grade II listed venue in Soho, guests will be able to descend into the DC universe via a secret door in Wayne Manor.

From there, guests make their way down a spiralling staircase before being transported into a magical and enchanting space, inspired by the DC Universe.

Park Row features five premium restaurant and bar spaces and combines multi-sensory storytelling with world-class food and drink that draws from some of Gotham City’s most famous residents.

And if you want to embrace a truly immersive experience, the Monarch Theatre is a must-visit.

This captivating dining experience comes with 360-degree projection mapping and an expansive tasting menu that combines food and storytelling into one fascinating experience.

Book Park Row

Head down to Doña Bar

Weekend in London: Doña bar

This mezcal and musical bar in the heart of Stoke Newington is perfect for catching up with friends in a low key yet lively space.

From the plush flamingo-pink interiors and sumptuous velvet seating to the delicious cocktails and even better Tigre Tacos, this spot is perfect for a wind-down with friends – plus, there’s live music every night and many of them are female performers.

Book Dona bar

The Sky Pod and The Fenchurch restaurant

Weekend in London: Fenchurch Restaurant

Make an evening off it and head to Fenchurch Street for the ultimate London dining and drinking experience.

Start off at the Sky Pod, located 35 levels above the city, and enjoy the alpine-themed space, which includes live music and dance-worthy DJ nights running every Monday – Saturday evening. 

Boasting frosted-wreath archways, tree foliage and twinkling lights, the Sky Pod is filled with Instagram-worthy moments, and you’ll be able to take the best pictures while enjoying an alpine-themed beverage.

Afterwards, move a couple floors up to the Fenchurch rooftop restaurant, which serves contemporary British menus and is a foodie experience not to be missed.

Showcasing the finest new culinary talent, Fenchurch has an incredible head chef at the helm in Michael Carr, and you’re sure to enjoy the innovative flavour combinations and beautiful presentation while taking in the sights.

Book the Sky Pod and Fenchurch Restaurant

STK Strand

Weekend in London: STKStrand

If you’re looking for a buzzy atmosphere with delicious food to boot, STK has got you covered. The Strand location features stunning interiors and a brilliant DJ spinning tunes that’ll make you feel like you’re in a club (without any of the hassle).

We’d highly recommend trying its brand new speciality Wagyu beef menu, which is curated by the restaurant’s renowned chefs for meat lovers everywhere. Oh, and don’t forget to get the mac and cheese and creamed spinach as a side – thank me later.

Book STK Strand

Images: Jack Hardy; Pan Pacific Hotel London; David Jensen; Getty; lastminute.com; Toca Social; Park Row; Doña Bar STK Strand

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