A recent study found London to be the most Instagrammed capital city in the world – take that, Paris! Whilst Hyde Park nabs the top spot, there are certainly restaurants that we consider worthy of a ‘gram, be it a dish plated up like a work of art, particularly cool interior design or just a good old brunch. Here is our pick of the most photogenic destinations in London that will have you reaching for your phone and giving you one of the best Instafeeds of 2019. After all, if it isn’t caught on camera, did it really happen?
Élan started out on Park Lane and quickly became the influencers’ hangout of choice thanks to more pink than you’ll find in Elton John’s walk-in wardrobe. Seriously. The walls: pink, the floors: pink, the ceiling, yep, slime green. Only kidding. They’re pink too. And they quickly took over spots in Selfridges, Oxford Street, Knightsbridge and, as of February 2019, Belgravia.
Where: Across London
Mondrian’s Dandelyan bar has just been crowned the World’s Best Bar in the World so surely that makes it worth a visit? Throw in the fact the cocktails are innovative and exotic (it won ‘World’s Best Cocktail Menu 2016’ and the man behind them, Ryan Chetiyawardana, is ‘The World’s Best Bartender’) and the bar overlooks the Thames and you’re on to a winner. Not to mention the Tom Dixon designed interior which constantly makes it onto lists of London’s best interior design. Need to chill? Head for the serene agua Bathouse and Spa. Need to eat? Sea Containers restaurant is a winner. An Instagrammers dream from every angle.
Where: 20 Upper Ground, London, UK
Nearest station: London Waterloo East (0.3 miles)
We challenge you to walk into the vast dining room of Berners Tavern inside the London EDITION and not mutter “wow”. It’s hard to get an original shot here so embrace the art covered walls, ornate ceiling and huge central chandelier in your viewfinder. The food isn’t bad either; doorstop-sized brioche French toast, pork belly and a generously filled chocolate eclair tend to dominate the Instagram feed. No filter required.
Where: 10 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 3NP
Nearest station: Oxford Circus (0.4 miles)
Founded in 1963, Annabel’s is arguably one of the most elegant private clubs in London. Its guests have included royalty, Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Elizabeth Taylor and Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s notoriously difficult to get membership with new members requiring a proposer, a seconder and an election by Committee – you’re not just walking in. Since reopening the venue designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (alongside The Ivy, Sexy Fish, 34 Mayfair), has retained the period features of the listed building, with many aspects being restored, including a grand cantilevered stone staircase, elaborate plaster ceilings and majestic Rococo style fireplaces. Known to pop up in many, if not all of the most Instagrammable restaurant guides around, Annabel’s is a haven of colour and unique embellishments.
What’s more, Annabel’s in Mayfair have loos that you could imagine Marilyn Monroe washing her hands in back in the day, or Audrey Hepburn gasping at in Breakfast At Tiffany’s. They’re glam, they’re girly, and the design by Martin Bruznizki Design Studio captures “the spirit of English eccentricity,” which was the plan. If pink isn’t your shade however then they might be a sight for sore eyes. Personally? We’d love a good powder of the nose in these loos.
Where: 46 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, W1J 5AT
Few things photograph better than #latteart. Well, we thought so too until we popped into Clerkenwell Grind for a flat white and ended up photographing the chairs, the bar and the neon wall art… Whilst there’s definitely a ‘feel’ across the Grind venues, Clerkenwell comes out on top amongst the Insta set for its picture-perfect medley of brass, marble, navy blue and baby pink. The espresso martinis and smashed avo isn’t bad either…
Where: Across London
Describe Sketch in one word and it would obviously be ‘pink’. The marshmallow coloured seats and walls will have you reaching for your phone, but the woodland mural in The Glade Bar and egg-shaped loos and are pretty cool too. Bet you never thought you’d actually pee in a pod.
Where: 9 Conduit Street, Mayfair, W1S 2XG
Nearest station: Oxford Circus (0.3 miles)
Madison St Pauls is officially the second most Instagrammed location in London (after Hyde Park), and we can see why. Suckers for a good view, tourists and Londoners alike fall for the classic shot of cocktail in the foreground, cathedral in the background. Champagne and cocktails make the perfect sundowners – obviously ideal in summer but in winter the terraces are heated. Bonus points if you catch the sun setting.
Where: Rooftop Terrace, 1 New Change, St Pauls, London, EC4M 9AF, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Mansion House (0.2 miles)
With its hanging plants, monochrome floors and navy velvet chairs, the new Sushi Samba in Covent Garden is a millennial magnet. The interior flows throughout the restaurant, dividing up the different areas without there being any physical barriers. Look out for the gold shimmering ceiling and the statement lights.
Where: 35 The Market Building, Covent Garden, WC2E 8RF
No 197 Chiswick Fire Station gives you serious interior envy. It’ll make you want to white wash your walls, plant a few cacti and replace your sofa with something soft and pink. If a complete home renovation isn’t on the cards then head over to Chiswick instead, for your fix of all things Instagrammable (brunch will call for a #flatlay).
Where: 197-199 Chiswick High Rd, London W4 2DR, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Turnham Green (0.4 miles)
Who wouldn’t want their very own ‘press for Champagne’ button? A favourite for Dream Home boards on Pinterest, these nifty little buttons aren’t the only photogenic feature of Soho’s Bob Bob Ricard. Ever seen videos of imploding chocolate bombs on Facebook and wondered where you can sample such a delight? Bob’s your uncle. And the location of your next ‘gram… or two.
Where: 1 Upper James Street, Soho, W1F 9DF
Palm Vaults is barely a year old but has a seriously loyal social media following – the pastel coloured lattes and unbelievably photogenic palm print wallpaper has more than a little to do with it. Described as a pink jungle meets 70s Miami, the plant-based Hackney cafe is brainchild of Hannah Rose who obviously realised the link between being picture perfect and creating hype – from the takeaway cups to the suspended house plants, nothing has been overlooked. Oh, and make sure you take a trip to the loos whilst you’re there; if there was ever an ideal #bathroomselfie opportunity, this is it.
Where: 411 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 1HY
Bleecker is the king of Instagram burgers, and actually the king of burgers full stop. Pure filth (in the best way), the stacked patties are oozing with melted cheese, sandwiched between a sesame bun. They’re two-handers so sacrifice the selfie and pass your phone to someone else if you want an action shot.
Where: 205 Victoria Street, Victoria, SW1E 5NE
The Churchill Arms is another of those famous venues you’ve probably seen dozens of times and not necessarily noted the name of – mainly because it’s hidden behind a dense array of flowers in hanging baskets, replaced by mini Christmas trees for the festive period. Technically you don’t even need to go inside to get the perfect shot but the Thai food is worth a sit down, as are the proper ales.
Where: 119 Kensington Church Street, Kensington, W8 7LN
Dim lighting is ideal for date night anyway but add in the fact that you’re dining under a canopy of blossom and the romance factor just went through the roof. It’s worth noting that the famous conservatory makes up a small section of the restaurant so if considering for Valentine’s Day, forget it. Staff are polished, tablecloths are crisp and the wine list extensive.
Where: 33 King Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8JD
Michelin-starred Lima is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. The most prized dish of all? Octopus Olivo; octopus braised with white quinoa and botija olives, dotted with perfect polka dots of lilac sauce. Every dish is delicate, colourful and flavoured to perfection and even though the former doesn’t count in a photograph, it makes it all worthwhile.
You probably feel like you’ve been to SushiSamba even if you never have. The second venue on the list of most Instagrammed places in London, SushiSamba serves sushi and cocktails *almost* as photogenic as the view – well, London from the 38th floor is pretty spectacular. The fairylit red tree on the terrace is the most popular photo, although the restaurant itself is pretty spectacular, especially at night.
Where: 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
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