OCCUPATION: Art gallery director/owner
MY STYLE: Colorful and creative.
I LOVE LONDON BECAUSE: The green space. There are lots of parks. My kids’ school and friends are within easy walking distance, and there is a sense of community in our neighborhood.
Tucked away in a quiet corner of Notting Hill, Galicia offers a mix of good wine and traditional tapas to a loyal pack of regulars. The fast-moving kitchen serves up flavorful paellea, fleshy olives, and marinated anchovies to a mixed crowd of trendy English club-goers and Spanish ex-pats seeking an authentic taste of home. Though it has an underground feel, the restaurant’s conveniently located the end of iconic Portobello Road, which makes it perfectly placed for finishing off a visit to the world’s largest antiques market.
Hyde Park is one of London’s largest and most celebrated green spaces. Open to the public since 1637, its rich history began when Henry VIII confiscated 350 acres from the monks of Westminster Abbey, and now offers countless leisure options. Joggers and cyclists exercise on Rotten Row, a nickname derived from the French rue de roi, which William III used as an alternative to the seedy walking path between Kensington and St. James Palaces. Water sports enthusiasts can dive in the Serpentine, the large artificial lake built for Queen Caroline in the 18th century. Political junkies can listen to protestors voicing their opinions from soapboxes in the Speaker’s Corner. With options like these, plus monuments, gardens, and world-class people-watching opportunities at every turn, there’s truly something for everyone.
Kensington Memorial Park
Built in 1926 as a World War I memorial, Kensington Memorial Park, also known as St.Mark’s Park, now teems with kids of all ages at play. Between the rocket ship climbing structure, water feature, and on-premises pub, this might just be the perfect playground. Moms and kids will find plenty to do in all seasons—the tennis courts and café are open year-round—but it’s in the summertime that kids squeal as they cool off in a network of colorful fountains.
Named for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the V&A Museum is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design. With four departments (Asia; Furniture, Textiles and Fashion; Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics & Glass; and Word & Image) and 4.5 million objects in virtually every medium, the collection is surely a comprehensive and eclectic one. Spend an afternoon with the costume collection to study the changing tides of fashion among 13,000 outfits dating from 1600 to present, or be dazzled by the equally impressive collection of jewels. Afterwards, kids and adults alike will appreciate the chance to unwind in the recently re-designed garden, where they can admire the museum’s distinctive architecture or just play a game of tag.
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.