April 19, 2017
London is known worldwide for iconic style and chic culture. Recently Liz Gardner and Ashley Camper took a whirlwind trip through London finding inspiration around every corner.
Read on to find out their recommendations for what to wear, where to go and must-sees for the ultimate English excursion.
Describe your essential London travel wardrobe.
Ashley: When traveling to London the weather stays pretty mild with, of course, a chance of rain. Be prepared for hours of walking but also ready to pop into a high end restaurant or nice museum. Combining casual with chic I usually wear a sleek trouser or clean jean, classic t-shirt paired with a light wool sweater. Layered on that a blazer or trench coat keep the options open. And a must, comfortable and stylish footwear.
Liz: Layers are definitely a must -- we were hit with a few unexpected downpours and it was nice to have a bit of protection against the elements. For my next trip, I'd plan to take a white Stutterheim or other light jacket. It's classic and can translate from the street, to a museum to a great restaurant.
What styling inspiration did you take away from your trip?
Ashley: I love the European style. Its a perfect blend of the classics (airy sundresses, t-shirts, cable knits and trench coats) with individual touches of pattern mixing and pops of color on a neutral palette.
Liz: Everyone is very well-dressed. It's definitely a culture of investment pieces and buying things that are classic and will last a lifetime. There is a cult following of Minnetonka moccasins and that is fun to see as fashion leaders like Kate Moss keep them in the forefront of style conversations.
What was the best restaurant you visited?
Ashley: Borough Market is a must. Located in central London its a bustling open air market full of local food vendors and plenty of people watching.
Liz: Tikka Masala is now a national dish, so it's necessary to get some Indian fare while visiting. England has amazing oysters and seafood, so a stop at Wright Brothers is a good call.
What was your favorite gallery or museum to visit for design inspiration?
Ashley: Tate Modern used to the old Bankside Power Station and has and entryway that will leave you breathless. The museum just underwent remodeling and has stunning views of the Thames and London.
The Victoria Albert Museum embodies the classic with the new of design; from an entire room of just William Morris to exhibits detected to Vogue and Balenciaga.
Liz: My heart was set on visiting the Tate Modern and it's newly opened restaurant -- it was a great inspiration for the Walker Art Center restaurant project I was working on at the time.
The Tate was very warm for a modern art museum, lots of wood and concrete. Also, there was obviously a lot of consideration how light played in the space -- it created interesting patterns as it diffused into the space.
Where was your favorite place to shop?
Ashley: Oxford Circus is the a huge shopping district that yields fully packed (kinda uncomfortably full) tube stations lines. I would bypass that street a walk a bit down the the famous Carnaby Street to find Liberty’s. An old Tutor style department store that has its own haberdashery and vintage couture section.
Liz: I loved visiting Shoreditch. There is a great mix of old world artisan workshops, stylish shops and fun restaurants.
What is one “must-do” when in London?
Ashley: Seeing Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament at sunset sounds cliché but it still remains one of my favorite things to see.
Liz: I loved Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. Historically they were the gardens to Kensington Palace but now it's a common area to walk and picnic. The ponds filled with swans and an expanse of trees and green were a nice refresh from the bustling city just outside its gates.