OCCUPATION: Owner and designer, Cora Sheibani fine jewelry
MY STYLE: Young, modern—Alexander McQueen, The Gap, Alaïa.
I LOVE LONDON BECAUSE: There are lots of parks and big playgrounds all over the city. The weather is mild here, and it is generally a safe city that’s unusually green for its size. The museums are plentiful and great—they are also free, and even those not specifically for children always offer something for them. Every concert hall has special music events for children, too.
Sadler’s Wells Theatre
Sadler’s Wells brings some of the most cutting-edge dance to life for the London public, and keeps the afficionados happy with a rotating set of programs featuring everything from the Birmingham Royal Ballet to the Havana Rakatan Cuban dance show. For a more intimate showing, catch a contemporary performance in the Lilian Baylis Studio, a smaller performance space within the Sadler’s Wells building.
The Life Centre
Founded in 1993, The Life Centre is one of London’s original yoga studios. With over 60 classes a week offered in a variety of methods, anyone can find a course fit for them. Best of all? The Life Centre offers multiple children’s activities (from “Sing-and-Sign” sign language class to “Ooh La La!” French lessons) so your kids can stay busy while you meditate and stretch.
Everything about Gelato Mio is authentically Italian, from the soft and sweet ice cream to the expertly pulled Illy espresso to the stores themselves, which were designed in Milan. For your next party, pre-order a Gelato Mio cake—two layers of any gelato flavor (our favorite is mint leaf with chocolate chunks) nestled between two layers of fluffy vanilla or chocolate sponge cake.
Built within the former Bankside Power Station, this former factory is now premier spot for contemporary art in London. With free entry all day every day, you can save up your sterling for lunch in the café, or a poster of one of the gallery’s prized masterpieces (Picassos, Lichtensteins, and Warhols among them) from the gift shop. Be sure to check out Turbine Hall, a five-story space that now houses specially commissioned works by cutting edge artists.
Mandarin Oriental London
The spa at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel—with its breathtaking amethyst crystal steam room—sets a true standard for luxury relaxation. From a speedy facial to a full day Inner Wellness treatment (complete with a body wrap), there’s a true range of options to choose from.
Sally Clarke’s legendary market offers a stunning array of British and Irish goods (seasonal jams, freshly baked breads and pastries, granolas, chutneys, and Irish cheeses) alongside best-of Western European foodstuffs, including Italian and Provencal olive oils. We love stopping by for a unique, homey, and delicately presented hostess gift, or—let’s face it—simply to stock our pantry. Clarke also runs a nearby restaurant, which has won her a spot on the Queen’s Honour’s list.
The Hummingbird Bakery
A modern counterpart to more traditional patisseries, this lovely bakery is often credited for having introduced red velvet cake and whoopee pies to Londoners. All goods are baked on-site, and the cupcakes (with their extra-fluffy icing) are especially popular with Caroline Stanbury’s family. “It makes Yasmine’s day when we visit Hummingbird,” says Stanbury. To have a cake designed and baked just for you, simply schedule an appointment with a Hummingbird cake specialist.
There’s a lot packed into this park, one of the smallest in London. In addition to the dahlias, roses, woodlands, and Kyoto Gardens, Holland Park also houses a youth hostel, playground (complete with a tire swing and see-saw), open-air theatre, and—believe it or not—several saddleback pigs, as they are known to help with woodland management. Kids will love to watch them roll around in the mud!