There’s hardly an area that’s more emblematic of classic fairytale London than Piccadilly. At the south end of Mayfair, Piccadilly, and more specifically, in and around Code8’s shop in Burlington Arcade, is the stuff quintessential, old-world London dreams are made of. There is obviously lots to do, so whether you’re passing by or want to make a day of it, we’ve created a perfect guide to the neighbourhood.
1. Browse Around Fortnum & Mason’s
There’s an air of calm that hits you when you enter the iconic luxury department store. Even with tourists that naturally flock to it, there’s a distinct sense of order and decorum. There’s a distinct sense of Britishness. F&M also has such an interesting selection of stationery, cards, gift items, candles, homeware, and random objects of curiosity, that you’ll likely leave with something special. Even if that’s a marmalade trio.
181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER
2. Get Macarons at Ladurée
OK, so sure, you’ve had macarons before, but an iconic meringue treat at the luxury French bakery never gets old. Whether you’re a Fruits Rouge or a Caramel au Beurre Salé kind of gal, with its gold interior, you’ll love the Burlington Arcade outpost of Ladurée. Plus, it’s just a few doors over from Code8.
71-72 Burlington Arcade, W1J 0QX
3. Browse Books to Your Heart’s Delight at Waterstones
There are bookshops and there are bookshops. Spanning six huge floors and over eight miles of bookshelves, Waterstones Piccadilly is Europe's largest. There are over 200,000 unique titles, so there is something for every interest. They have comfy armchairs, where we’ve spent hours poring over some of their art and design tomes.
203-206 Piccadilly, W1J 9HD
4. Taste the Creamiest Ice Cream at Grom
Since celebrated gelato brand Grom opened its first London location last year, the queues never end. But, we can guarantee Grom is worth the wait. The all-natural Piemontese (Turin-based) gelateria prides itself on making gelato the old way, without artificial additives, stabilisers, or thickeners. Nevertheless, it tastes super creamy and delicious. Try the Fico (fig) sorbet or the Gianduia ice cream.
16-18 Piccadilly, W1J 0DF
5. Take in an Exhibition at Royal Academy of Arts
Founded in 1768, the Royal Academy of Arts is the oldest arts institution in Britain and run by actual artists. There is always lots to see in this architecturally stunning building, and their Summer Exhibition features more than 1,500 works. Burlington House, W1J 0BD
7. Munch on Healthy Treats at Carpo
Focusing on nuts, chocolate and coffee, Carpo is like the adult version of being a kid in a candy store. Available bulk style, so you can have as little or as much as you like, their ultra-high-quality slabs of chocolate, endless variety of nuts and aromatic coffee beans are sourced and produced in Greece. Don’t leave without picking up some Himalayan salt macadamia nuts. 6 Piccadilly, W1J ODE
7. See The Latest Contemporary Art at David Zwirner Gallery
With locations in New York, Hong Kong and London, David Zwirner is renowned for showing small exhibitions of highly regarded artists. The exhibitions are always bold and memorable.
Currently on is Singing the Body Electric, a group exhibition curated by Leo Xu, featuring work by aaajiao, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jian Yi-Hong, Wolfgang Tillmans, Wei Jia, and Lisa Yuskavage. The show’s title is derived from Walt Whitman’s ecstatic and politically nuanced poem “I Sing the Body Electric” from Leaves of Grass (1855). The exhibition includes work from across various media that likewise celebrates and complicates themes of the body and desire, while exploring physicality and identity in the context of the synthetic and alienating nature of a highly digitized world.
24 Grafton St, W1S 4EZ
8. Sip a Champagne Cocktail at The Ritz
Designed to create the impression of walking into a glittering jewellery box, The Rivoli Bar at The Ritz London is a classic cocktail lounge, which much like most of this list, is an ode to the glamour of days gone by. Have a pre-dinner drink here after shopping. We suggest the Champagne Cocktail one of the oldest cocktails, dating back to at least the mid-1800s, and features in Casablanca. 150 Piccadilly, W1J 9BR
9. Have Dinner at Cecconi’s
The fabled Cecconi’s, which originated in Venice and now has outposts in West Hollywood, Miami Beach, Brooklyn, Berlin, Barcelona and Istanbul and of course, London Mayfair, never disappoints. Very few restaurants nail atmosphere and food equally quite like it. Find it just after you exit Burlington Arcade. 5A Burlington Gardens, W1S 3EP
10. Catch a Film at Curzon Cinema
In a Grade II listed building, this is one of those rare classic 1920s-style movie theatres, complete with every quaint detail you’d expect the finest surviving cinema building of the post-war period. Despite its heritage, the Curzon Mayfair is very well kept, complete with a proper bar, comfy large seats and a dramatic red velvet curtain. It’s date-night gold. 38 Curzon St, W1J 7TY
Now you can’t go painting the town red before you pop by and see us at 4 Burlington Arcade, W1J 0PZ. Our colour maestros are waiting to help you create your personalized lipstick!