Citycations have never looked so chic. A stylish London neighbourhood filled with award-winning hotels, restaurants and mooch-worthy independent stores, Sophie Ritchie shares how to eat, sleep and shop through the poised streets of Portman Marylebone
Central London is hardly the first place that comes to mind when envisioning a friendly village atmosphere. But tucked away just behind Oxford Street awaits exactly that with Portman Marylebone, a chic pocket of London featuring an eclectic selection of award-winning hotels, restaurants and mooch-worthy independent stores – all found within easy walking (and credit card swiping) distance.
With so many businesses awaiting to be explored in this characterful neighbourhood (with many striving not only for excellence but sustainability alongside) Sophie Ritchie shares how to eat, sleep and shop through these sleek streets of urban London.
Where to stay: Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill
A thriving hub of ambience, elegance and classic sophistication, Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill has a prime location on the esteemed Portman Square, a former infantry barracks turned one of the most desirable locations in the capital (where you’ll also find the likes of Home House just steps away). Step into the elongated lobby to immerse yourself in a hive of activity from dawn to dusk – both leisure guests and business travellers are fond of this five-star stay, which means a never-ending cycle of check-ins and departures.
Rooms are spacious and calm, featuring subtle colour silky greys and pops of colour in the form of Cadbury-esque purple velvet armchairs or mocha-hued headboards. Patterned carpets seem to absorb all sound when padding across, whilst the vast beds are oceans of soft sheets and marshmallow mattresses.
Offering a charming dose of British luxury, furnishings include widescreen TVs, writing desks and places to perch a plenty. In the bathroom, Molten Brown toiletries and fluffy robes provide just the right amount of pampering to get you ready for the busy day ahead. Breakfast is as equally excellent, served in The Montagu Kitchen with table after table of buffet-style cereals, toasts, pastries and hot dishes. hyatt.com
Where to Shop
When it comes to shopping, Portman Marylebone is a true chocolate box of unique, thriving businesses that greet each other like old friends. From sourcing the ultimate Ascot dress and cool workout wear to statement leather shoes or even just a relaxing candle, it’s hard to leave empty handed when strolling through these streets.
1 Best for fragrances: Perfumer H, Chiltern Street
With creations designed to represent individuality, Perfumer H is the work of renowned British perfume maker Lyn Harris, who champions bringing naturals back into the craft. Sniff your way around the unique scents, which range from the likes of Driftwood and Dust to Moss and Tobacco. For something special, the handblown candles (which also include a sustainable refill service) are bound to light up any abode. perfumerh.com
2 Best for occasion dresses: Suzannah London, New Quebec Street
Whether you’ve got a wedding coming up or are planning your next Ascot outing, this luxury label (and its chatty staff) will have you suited and booted in no time. Offering classic designs inspired by vintage American and Parisian couture – with playful modern twists that add some contemporary style – it’s no surprise this store is flocked to from around the UK and beyond. suzannah.com
3 Best for sustainable fashion: Ssōne, Chiltern Street
Not only do they sell absolutely mesmerising clothing, but Ssōne is as responsible as they are riveting. A contemporary womenswear brand rooted in craft and committed to conscious progress, peruse its collections to find intricate garments made using rare textiles and traditional techniques from around the world. Just in the time for the last rays of summer, they’ve also collaborated with Ancient Greek Sandals for a limited-edition in-store display where the chemical-free footwear can be seen (and shopped) in all their Grecian glory. ssone.com
4 Best for leather shoe lovers: Sabah House, Chiltern Street
If you love eye-catching footwear, head straight to Sabah House where trying on shoes feels more like sitting in someone’s living room thanks to the array of foliage, records, backgammon sets and even a bar. Neat piles of leather shoes fill the backroom like a treasure trove – with a simple design inspired by the traditional Turkish slipper, which has evolved into a colourful statement piece and handmade by craftsmen in Turkey. Bright blue, tan and even leopard print styles beckon to be tried on – and what’s more, this authentic footwear is designed to be a lifelong shoe, as the heel can be easily repaired to get you back on your feet in no time. sabah.am
5 Best for activewear: PRISM, Chiltern Street
Founded by ex-style editor Anna Laub back in 2009, PRISM offers luxury, fashion forward resort wear with a sustainable outlook – ranging from chic eyewear to swimsuits and beautiful activewear in the form of leggings, cropped vests, shorts and more. With oodles of colours to choose from, this is shape shifting fashion in the best kind of way. prismlondon.com
6 Best for wellness: Anatomē, Chiltern Street
Lotions and potions, anyone? Dedicated to wellness inside and out, this modern apothecary offers a range of expert-led products to help restore mind and body, including essential oils, health supplements and an organic skincare collection. What’s more, pop by for regular masterclasses or book a 1-2-1 consultation with one of the team’s specialists to unearth the anatome formulas that will work best for you. anatome.co
Where to Eat
All that browsing is bound to work up an appetite. From moreish brunches to late night tipples, pitstops a plenty await to be devoured (especially in Seymour Place, where a variety of dining destinations sit nestled together). When hunger strikes, here’s where to satisfy your stomach in the Portman Marylebone neighbourhood.
1 Best for brunch: Daisy Green, Seymour Street
An Australian-inspired café with sister sites dotted around the Capital, Daisy Green is a must-try when it comes to breakfast, healthy lunches and scrumptious sweets that wouldn’t look out of place in Sydney. Book a table on weekends for their famed bottomless brunch, otherwise get your avocado toast fix in serious style – we recommend sitting downstairs to marvel at statement artwork, floral installations and a bonkers meets brilliant rabbit head sculpture. daisygreenfood.com
2 Best for vegans and vegetarians: The Gate, Seymour Place
First opened in 1989, The Gate is a restaurant group composed (or should that be composted) of plant-based pioneers, serving up delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes inside the realms of laid-back interiors with friendly service. The Marylebone site, perched on Seymour Place is just a few minute’s walk from Marble Arch. Stepping into the space reveals a boho chic array of tables and banquet seating, with white brick walls and lime green colour tones. Focusing solely on meat-free cuisine, there’s ‘planty’ on the menu here – drool-worthy highlights include the hefty Green Dragon Salad, jackfruit-packed Tortillas and a Steamed Hirata Bun filled with ginger and meaty King Oyster mushroom. thegaterestaurants.com
3 Best for French fancy: Clarette, Blandford Street
Calling all Francophiles – based in a relaxed setting of an iconic mock Tudor townhouse, Clarette serves up an array of beautiful French dishes and wines galore, where both old favourites and new unusual grape varieties can be glugged in style. Sit outside on the terrace for the perfect evening ambience reminiscent of Parisian scenes – where one can clink glasses and people watch to their heart’s content. clarettelondon.com
4 Best for late night nibbles and cocktails: Chourangi, Old Quebec Street
Seconds from Marble Arch, stylish Chourangi brings 300-year-old Calcutta cuisine to one of London’s busiest areas. Celebrating the harmonious blend of European, Mogul and Chinese cultures, this thriving eatery offers a menu featuring everything from light bites to hefty curries. The cocktail list is equally as flavoursome – but if you’re a gin fan, you can’t go wrong with a Ladies Delight featuring Gin, Elderflower, Strawberry, Egg White and just the right amount of lemon juice. chourangi.co.uk
Where to pamper: London Grace
There are plenty of hair salons, spas and plenty more self-care treats tucked away in Marylebone, but when it comes to a pamper splurge you can’t go wrong with a visit to London Grace in Seymour Place. This award-winning nail bar meets café and cocktail bar not only provides high-quality nail treatments but an extensive drinks menu alongside – care for a sip with your shellac, madam? Better yet, they’re open until 9pm most nights of the week – meaning you can pitstop at a time that suits you. grace.co.uk
Find out more and start the adventure via portmanmarylebone.com
Words by Sophie Ritchie, editor