Chiltern Street: A Little London Hideaway

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When a hip neighborhood emerges in London it tends to cross quickly from local hangout to harbinger of the masses, but after undergoing a three-year regeneration program, Chiltern Street manages to touch on trends while maintaining all the charm of an urban hideaway. This lovely little area in Marylebone is one of my favorite spots to bring guests after dragging them through crowded tourist stops and cramped subways. It’s much quieter over on Chiltern Street, with the added bonus of lovely window displays and plenty of nooks to stop for a sip and nibble. 
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This grand historical building was transformed into a boutique hotel and haute restaurant by lauded hotelier André Balazs. Serving as crown jewel of the neighborhood, the firehouse attracts socialites, culture vultures and foodies alike. If you don’t want to book a dinner, nab an outdoor seat at the pub next door and watch for the celebs and royals who frequently roll up.
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Mococle Cafe:

As an offshoot the the namesake magazine, Monocle keeps a trademark eye for aesthetics while serving local coffee and Japanese-influenced snacks. (Insider’s tip: They don’t have wifi, but there is often a neighboring network you can gain access to for free.)

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Shreeji Newsagent:

 A faded awning disguises the treasures inside this sliver of a store. Candy and soda fill one wall as if by habit, while the opposing shelves hold the most coveted of indie mags such as Lucky Peach, Another Escape, and Kinfolk. Great for a browse.

 

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Cire Trudon:

Established in 1643, Cire Trudon provided candles to the royal court of Louis the XIV and now – with the opening of their first boutique outside of France – to the homes to Londoners.
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Trunk Labs and Trunk Clothier:

These side-by-side stores offer a double dose of tailored men’s clothing and modern accessories. This is the place to shop for gifts for your guy this holiday.
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Cadenhead’s Whiskey Shop:

The Pimm’s cups had its season, but whiskey owns the British calendar. Stop by to ogle the enormous selection or stay for an educational tasting complete with canapés. I always stock up on a collection of mini bottles to give to friends when traveling back to the States, and I suspect they’d also make for very welcome stocking stuffers.

Have you been to Chiltern Street? Do you know of any other quiet corners of London I should visit?

Where to Find Thanksgiving Staples in London

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As a bonafide, registered Mayflower descendant, I feel it my inherited duty to uphold the autumnal traditions of my people who, like myself, sucked at farming. The pilgrims came to their new home with little knowledge of the land and – again, much like myself – had to force the locals to aid them in their quest for food. Together they rejoiced and wore buckles and ate turkey and drank too much and commingled and furthered the gene pool that would eventually beget me. So basically, the first Thanksgiving is my origin story.  Continue reading

Tongue-Tied in Prague

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I like to think I’m good at languages. I speak pretty decent Spanish, am currently learning French and can understand a small amount of Italian. The thing is that those languages are all delightfully similar to my mother tongue and therefore somewhat easy to pick up. Czech on the other hand? I’m absolutely hopeless. Continue reading