ADVERTORIAL • June 2022
With a huge variety of stores, dining to die for and proximity to leafy royal parks, Regent Street and St James’s are London at its very best. Here are ten reasons why these two iconic areas should be on your capital tick list
45 Jermyn Street is a bold, beautiful brasserie housed beside St James’s iconic Fortnum & Mason department store. If that isn’t reason enough to plan a visit, then a breakfast menu that offers a crumpet with Marmite and a fried duck egg should seal it. And that’s before we go into raptures over the dazzling décor – particularly the bright orange seating booths.
Presenting (arguably) the most famous toy shop in the world… and for good reason. Entering Hamleys on Regent Street is like stepping foot inside Santa’s warehouse, stacked as it is with more than seven floors of more games and playthings than any child could reasonably dream of. From epic LEGO sets, to giant cuddly bears, there’s something for everyone – even the grown-ups!
Central London isn’t short of world-class retail, but St James’s is a cut above – especially if you’re in the market for razor-sharp menswear. Here you’ll find a selection of independent boutiques lined up along Jermyn Street, such as Emma Willis, Turnbull & Asser, and Harvie & Hudson, as well as accessory outfitters to complement any new outfit, including the famous Aspinal of London in St James’s Market.
Considered the birthplace of British cinema, the early Victorian Regent Street Cinema was the first place in the UK to show a motion picture (in 1896): a grainy black-and-white production by the Lumière brothers. More than 150 years later, it’s still at the top of its game, showing the latest flicks in a gorgeous auditorium filled with gold velvet seats. This summer, tennis fans should head to St James's Market, which will be hosting live Wimbledon screenings so you can watch your favourite sport stars battle it out under a canopy of sky, backdropped by the hum of West End activity.
From the Institute of Contemporary Arts to the White Cube Mason’s Yard, St James’s is a feast for any self-respecting gallery geek. In fact, there are more than 20 galleries in St James’s alone. Specialising in everything from 3812’s contemporary Chinese art to Arnold Wiggins’ 16th-century picture frames, there's a piece for every niche. Oh, and did we mention that St James’s is home to legendary auctioneer Christie’s? To find the gallery that’s perfect for your next afternoon in St James’, click here.
Everyone knows Gordon Ramsay is a stickler for detail, so it’s no surprise that Heddon Street Kitchen, his European brasserie just off Regent Street, gets all the little things right. With cool artwork, gorgeous leather banquette seating (who doesn’t love a banquette?) and illuminated staircases, it oozes special occasion, though it’s the food that’ll have you raving for weeks afterwards. The beef Wellington is life-changing.
Unless you have royal connections, you probably won’t get closer to dining with the Queen than by unfurling a picnic blanket in St James’s Park. That’s because this leafy green space in the heart of London stretches from Horse Guards Parade to Buckingham Palace – and is close enough to the latter, in fact, to witness the Changing of the Guard while tucking into a Scotch egg (which, fun fact, were invented in St James’s own Fortnum & Mason). Perfect for a spot of peace and quiet.
Yes, Regent Street and St James’s are neighbourhoods in which to indulge to the utmost in the finer things in life, but they are well equipped for keeping you in fine fettle, too. Near Oxford Circus, Psycle is an indoor fitness studio specialising in spinning while, just around the corner, Glow Bar will treat you to an infrared sauna – believed to help reduce muscle tension.
The Mile of Style that is Regent Street is home to flagship stores of some of the world’s biggest luxury brands, from All Saints to Burberry, as well as major outlets of others, such as Apple and Breitling. If you’re in town for a summer wardrobe refresh, you’re in luck. Just make sure you’ve packed comfortable-yet-chic shoes.
London is a proudly global city, and if you’re hankering for a taste of foreign climes you’re spoilt for choice – particularly around Regent Street. Aqua Kyoto, a sophisticated Japanese restaurant and bar, is the go-to spot in the West End for sea-fresh sushi and creative cocktails, such as the Geisha, made from gin, apple juice, cucumber and wasabi. Bottoms-up!