Baby Friendly London Weekend Itinerary

We decided to travel to London with our two very young children (5 months and 22 months), and I was determined not to water down our itinerary with bad, family-oriented chain restaurants and trips to the playground. I wanted to do the things that I as an adult would want to do, with some slight modifications. Luckily, London was perfect for this. The city in general is extremely baby friendly, and youngsters are welcome at the major cultural attractions. And I was most impressed by and grateful for the baby friendly attitudes at restaurants. We went to real restaurants that were Michelin caliber, not some Rainforest Cafe or a Zizzi, and they all had highchairs and greeted our little ones with a smile. It was a refreshing change from the attitudes in New York restaurants, where the staff will usually greet babies with either panic or judgmental side-eye, because they would rather not have them there at all. I already loved London to begin with, and now it holds an even more special place in my heart because it was so nice to the babies! If you plan on taking your little ones on a weekend getaway to London, you can reference the following itinerary for some ideas. You can be sure it will include cultural activities and real meals that both adults and children will enjoy.

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A Weekend in London

This London weekend itinerary is good for those who’ve been to the city before and want to explore it at a more leisurely pace that involves a mix of culture and good, casual restaurants. Picturesque neighborhood Marylebone will be your home base, and you’ll venture into Soho, Fitzrovia, City of London and South London. There’s no rushing from back-to-back appointments to make it to a show or see something before closing time. Stroll about, walk into some interesting boutiques that catch your eye, see an exhibit if you have time and, if not, don’t sweat it, and leave plenty of time to eat the best food.

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Hoppers in Soho, London

vintage tamil posters setting the mood at hoppers

“Let’s go to that Sri Lankan restaurant!” is probably a phrase you will never hear in New York. First of all, I’m not even sure if Sri Lankan restaurants exist in Manhattan. And even if they did, would they get the same level of attention or press that a vegan or pizza restaurant would? London, however, is more accepting of different cuisines than we are, which explains the success and popularity of Hoppers, a Sri Lankan restaurant in Soho. Read More

The Barbary in London

the barbary in covent garden, london

The Barbary is the type of place I’d come to all the time if I lived in London. It has a fun, relaxed vibe, the food is exciting, and the prices are reasonable. The open grill sits in the center of the restaurant like a stage, where diners can pull up at one of the 24 bar seats for a front row seat. Chefs expertly wield the flames to turn out perfectly cooked pieces of grilled meats and other tasty treats robataya-style.

the kitchen’s the stage

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Best New Restaurants of 2016 and the Top Dishes of 2016

2016 was the year of Pasquale Jones. This restaurant makes delicious, accessible food at a reasonable price point (gratuity included!) in a great downtown location. I bring friends here repeatedly so that they can try the clam pie and the pork shank, which are two of Pasquale’s outstanding signature dishes, and no one has ever been let down. The same applies to myself. I’ve been back multiple times because the food is always good.

2016 was also a great year for poke bowls. There’s been an explosion of poke restaurants in the city, and my favorite one is Chikarashi in Chinatown. Indian food is also having a great year with the openings of places like Paowalla, Pondicheri and Indian Accent. So are sexy French restaurants, which are dishing up luscious meats and seafood in all sorts of creamy, buttery sauces in the prettiest of places. Brooklyn shows no signs of slowing down, New Nordic is still a thing, and you can never have too many new sushi restaurants. 2016 for me was also noteworthy for a lot of new overhyped restaurants I didn’t quite understand–Lilia, Llama Inn and Superiority Burger come to mind–but the ones that lived up to expectations really stuck. Here’s my list of the best new eateries that I think will have staying power.Read More