THE BEST . . .
PLACE TO CHANNEL DIANA
27 St. James Pl.
A half-block from that other palace is the ancestral home of the Spencer family (as in Diana). With fifteen staterooms alone, the eighteenth-century pile defines decadence; don’t miss the £40,000 diamond shoe buckles the first Countess Spencer wore. Sundays only, 10.30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
IAN SCHRAGER ANTIDOTE
86-88 Clerkenwell Rd.
This punk-chintz hotel is decidedly cheaper and chicer than Schrager’s St. Martins Lane. Seventies-style supergraphics of the letter Z are emblazoned on everything. Rooms start at £119 on weekends—only £10 more than the nearby Holiday Inn.
EXCUSE TO SKIP THE TATE
Hoxton Gallery Crawl
Start at 16 Wharf Rd.
London’s art scene is edging into the East End, where new galleries seem to open weekly. Go from Victoria Miro’s warehouse (including Peter Doig and Chris Ofili) to Jay Jopling’s White Cube (where Darren Almond and Luc Tuymans show). Then grab a gallery guide and head to Bethnal Green for a stop at Maureen Paley, the industrial Chisenhale Gallery, and Modern Art.
WAY TO BUY SKINNY JEANS
Top Shop Style Adviser
216 Oxford St. (44-084-5124-1144)
When in London, shop for edgy local designers the way Sienna Miller and Kate Moss do: with help from one of Top Shop’s free “style advisers,” who will brave the crowds while you wait in the dressing room. Or call and claim a “fashion crisis”; she’ll messenger over what you need.
Next: A Guide to London's Restaurant Scene