A Comprehensive Guide to Honeymooning in London

big ben cityscape
Photo: Getty Images/Buree Lalitathada

Our editors (and a local!) walk you through where to go and what to eat while vacationing in England's capital.

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big ben cityscape
Getty Images/Buree Lalitathada

Whether you're city-hopping across the pond for your honeymoon, or staying in one European metropolis for the entirety of your vacation, London is a great place to visit. The British capital is replete with rich history, and overflowing with old-world romance. But, London isn't a fossil. It's still bustling with the same energy that's saturated it for years. That's why, when you plan your trip, you should aim for a blend of classic and contemporary. Visit the city to appreciate its roots, but also to enjoy its modern, exciting additions.

To help you plan the trip of a lifetime, we're dishing on our favorite stays, eats, and activities in London, focusing on what's new and upcoming. For lodging, we've highlighted some incredible properties that offer unbeatable spa services alongside their other accommodations—your post-wedding vacay is for relaxing as much as it's for exploring, after all! For dining, we've gone with Instagram-worthy venues, plus recommendations from a local expert: pastry chef Sarah Barber of Hotel Café Royal. When it comes to your itinerary, stop by our activity suggestions to immerse yourself in the modern culture. Each one is found in one of our favorite neighborhoods. Then, if you have time, travel to two nearby locales. We've recommended daytrips at the beach and in the countryside.

No matter how long your stay is and what you hope to achieve while you're there, this list is bound to give you great ideas for making the most of the home of Big Ben.

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Stays and Spas: The Ned

the ned hotel and spa
Courtesy of The Ned

This revamped 1920s bank building in the City of London—a joint venture from Soho House and the Sydell Group—is the hottest game in town. It has nine restaurants and bars and two pools, plus next-level fitness-spa facilities, with a spin studio, a yoga room, a boxing gym, a hammam, and hair and nail salons. From $321 per night.

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Stays and Spas: Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square

hotel pool
Courtesy of Four Seasons

Set just behind the Tower of London, this grand property has a neoclassical colonnade that'll stop you in your tracks. Inside, the minimalist spa is done up in grays, silvers, and glittery gold tiles, and offers blissful steams, scrubs, facials, and massages. From $569 per night.

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Stays and Spas: The Lanesborough

hotel front
The Lanesborough/Oetker Collection

The classic boutique property recently debuted a holistic oasis, where you'll find spa butlers, a health-conscious menu, a hydrotherapy pool, and private mani-pedi suites. Don't miss the caviar lift facial, featuring La Prairie products. From $648 per night.

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Stays and Spas: The Curtain

spa outdoor pool
Courtesy of The Curtain

The latest addition to funky Shoreditch embraces the area's artistic side. The spa takes a pop-up approach, inviting wellness and skin-care brands to set up six-month "residencies" with products and treatments. From $318 per night.

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Dining: London Cocktail Club

cocktail club
Courtesy of London Cocktail Club

"The dimly lit London Cocktail Club has graffiti–inspired décor and a vast menu. "It's a little bit edgy, and the bartenders are amazing," says Barber, who recommends this spot for after-work drinks.

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Dining: Perilla

restaurant dish
Courtesy of Perilla

Chef Ben Marks puts an inventive twist on the farm-to- table ethos—and the prices will make you wonder if zeros are missing from the menu. The $50 chef's-choice tasting starts with seaweed bread and roasted-seaweed butter, and ends with a dessert that uses the best fruit in season.

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Dining: Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester

restaurant dish
Courtesy of Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester

Barber suggests this venue for a celebratory meal. "The Dorchester is an old-fashioned hotel, but the Alain Ducasse restaurant is contemporary and stunning. The rum baba cake is the most refined I've ever had," she explains.

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Dining: Xu

restaurant table
Carols Sachs

This bi-level spot playfully nods to the dining clubs of 1930s Taipei, thanks to an emerald-green bar, painted murals, and pink-leather banquettes. On the ground floor, sip from a tea menu that reads like a wine list. Upstairs, fill up on Taiwanese dishes like chili-egg-drop crab stew.

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Dining: Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

Courtesy of Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

"Hélène Darroze at the Connaught always feels like an indulgence. It's three courses with canapés, wine, and petits-fours," Barber shares. She likes to come here for a leisurely lunch.

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Dining: Henrietta Hotel and Restaurant

hotel restaurant
Courtesy of Henrietta Hotel and Restaurant

Everything about this Covent Garden spot is glamorous, from the leopard-print bathroom wallpaper to the bar's honeycomb floor tiles. Dishes like beef tartare with edible flowers and a green-apple sorbet served in a hollowed-out apple are almost too pretty to eat.

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Dining: Tamarind Kitchen

tamarind kitchen lounge
Courtesy of Tamarind Kitchen

Skip the curry houses on Brick Lane and check out this more casual sibling of Michelin-starred Tamarind of Mayfair. The generous list of kebabs encourages sharing—but you may want the lamb biryani all to yourself.

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Dining: The Bermondsey Yard Café

bermondsey yard cafe
Courtesy of The Bermondsey Yard Cafe

Exposed brick and industrial lighting hint at the building's past life as a parking lot, while the menu (quinoa granola at breakfast, small plates for dinner) attracts a fashionable crowd.

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Things to Do: Fashion and Textile Museum

fashion textile museum exterior
Courtesy of Fashion and Textile Museum

This small-but-mighty museum delivers on the inside—with vibrant exhibits showcasing the likes of Anna Sui and Louise Dahl-Wolfe—and out, with its striking orange exterior.

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Things to Do: London Glassblowing

glass blowing
Courtesy of London Glassblowing

At Peter Layton's studio, watch artisans in action, then pick up a souvenir from the sea of dazzling colors and forms, including tiny ovular vases and large conceptual objets d'art.

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Things to Do: Bermondsey 167

jewelry display
Courtesy of Bermondsey 167

Browse handmade clothes by one of the boutique's owners, semiprecious stone jewelry, decorative barware, and furniture made from reclaimed materials in a space that feels like an old-school curiosity shop.

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Day Trip: Brighton

brighton beach
Hugo Michiels via Getty Images

England's beaches may not get as much recognition as others in western Europe—but this local favorite should. A 60-minute train ride south, Brighton has everything you could possibly want in a seaside escape, including a Victorian-era pleasure pier, restaurants that serve fish in every form, and a stunning 18th-century palace with Mughal and Islamic influences.

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Day Trip: Bath

bath city square
Olaf Protze/LightRocket via Getty Images

Although just 90 minutes from London (via regular trains throughout the day), this UNESCO World Heritage site feels worlds away. It's the countryside at its best, replete with verdant hillsides, centuries-old architecture, and natural hot springs (hence the name). One of its most famous residents is Manolo Blahnik, whose house is reportedly filled with thousands of (what else?) shoes.

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