London: Girls weekend in Marylebone

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No selfie control!

Girls weekend: No selfie control!

 

Getting together with old  friends for a quality period of time is like dusting off a room of your life and sifting through memories while cultivating new ones. Girls weekends, proper ones where you shed kids/husbands/responsibilities, are quite fun. Liberating even. A little reminder that being a mother is not just about the kids, but it’s about you too.

Marylebone village is an excellent area to base yourself for a girly weekend of walking, perusing indie shops, lingering in stylish cafes and sipping cocktails. With Oxford street as its southern border, there’s an abundance of specialist shops to High Street heaven. There’s a range of prices and a distinctly Francophile atmosphere. Plus proper London buzz. You’ll fall in love with the area. We did!

Where I would recommend a friend to stay: 

The Arch caters to corporates during the week, but by Friday night it’s all tourists. Marylebone High Street is a 5-minute walk, and weekend prices aren’t too steep, especially if sharing with girlfriends. It’s an unassuming and quiet, yet chic and contemporary. And you can’t beat the location.

Girls weekend in Marylebone – Suggested itinerary:

From the hotel, take the short walk to Marylebone High Street and puruse the shops. Stop into Daunt Books (the BEST bookstore in London), La Labo for personalised perfume, Brora (expensive cashmere) and La Patisserie Des Reves even if just to look and have the French shop assistants scowl at you! Peak in the windows of Skandium for Swedish home design inspiration. Have breakfast at La Fromagerie Café, a wonderful artisan cheese shop and deli or lunch at the communal le pain quotidian. Or be like Gwyneth and just drink your lunch at the hip Roots and Bulbs juice bar.

Then pop into the Wallace Collection for your fix of 18th century French art.  For dinner, try The Providores and Tapa Room (book upstairs or wait with the masses for tapas downstairs) or The Potting Shed Restaurant & Bar (neighbourly and quiet). On Sundays, don’t miss the Farmer’s Market for seasonal foodstuffs from artisan and local producers.

To explore Oxford Street, head south. Make sure to stop into St Christopher’s Place for lunch (boutique shops and alfresco dining). Try Carluccio’s for a bite to eat or exit toward Wigmore Street and try Le Comptoir (casual Lebanese). Then join the crowds on Oxford Street for High Street shopping heaven!

Take a cab (or tube) to Westminster and board a Thames Jet tour (a highlight, especially on sunny days) and walk across Westminster Bridge to join the crowds taking selfies with Big Ben. Take the short walk up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square where you can wander through the National Gallery or National Portrait Gallery, then have a Bellini at the top floor Portrait Restaurant for panoramic London views (book in advance). 

 

The Arch Hotel, near Marble Arch, Oxford Street and Marleybone

We stayed at The Arch. It’s about 5 minutes from Marylebone Village and Oxford Street, making it the perfect place to base yourself.

A girls weekend has to involve cocktails!

We arrived on Friday evening and had cocktails at the hotel bar. A girls weekend has to involve cocktails!

A cappuccino at La Fromagerie Cafe in Marleybone is the perfect way to start the day after a night out with friends

A latte at La Fromagerie Cafe in Marylebone is the perfect way to start the day after a night out with friends

Just love La Fromagerie Cafe, which is just off Marleybone High Street. Stop in for a cappuccino, Italian deli snacks and award-winning cheese!

I just love La Fromagerie Cafe, which is just off Marylebone High Street. Stop in for a latte, Italian deli snacks and award-winning farmhouse cheese!

Marleybone High Street- Window shopping

Can’t afford the fashion? Just window shopping on Marylebone High Street can make you feel affluent.

Daunt Books

Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street is the best bookstore in London, and quite possibly the world!

La Labo in Marleybone

Neroli 36 was the theme scent of the weekend. They make it on site to order at La Labo in Marylebone.

The Wallace Collection - inside a gallery

The Wallace Collection is a national museum in a historic townhouse in Marylebone. It’s free, so even if you just pop in to admire Rembrant’s The Artist Son, it’s well worth the time spent.

 

 

Nothing beats a high speed tour of the Thames on a sunny London afternoon! @thamesjet

A video posted by Susanna Scott (@amodernmother) on

 

Trafalgar Square and National Gallery

After walking around Westminster, we explored Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery/National Portrait Gallery.

 

Portrait Restaurant The Portrait Restaurant’s celebrated view stretches from Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square down Whitehall to the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye. It’s a sensational accompaniment to any meal – breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.

The Portrait Restaurant, at the top of the Portrait Gallery, has views that stretches from Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square down Whitehall to the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye. 

The Providores and Tapa Room

The Providores and Tapas Room: A hip place for lunch or dinner.

Roots and Bulbs in Marleybone

Have a hangover? Get some green juice at Roots and Bulbs on Marylebone High Street.

Fly Shoes London

For comfy shoes that are just that little bit different, try Fly Shoes London.

Lunch at Carluccio's in St Christopher's Place

Sit outside and have lunch at Carluccio’s in St Christopher’s Place.

 

IF YOU GO:

The Arch London 50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London W1H 7FD +44 020 7724 4700 thearchlondon.com Family owned boutique hotel in Marble Arch, spanning 7 Georgian townhouses and two mews homes. Popular with corporates during the week who vacate by the weekend (we got a special weekend rate) and perfectly situated to explore the chic Marylebone/Oxford. There’s a TV in the bath (and a bath pillow). Nespresso and a complimentary soft drink mini bar. Quiet and unassuming, yet contemporary and chic. Perfect.

The Providores and Tapas Room  09 Marylebone Rd, London W1U 4RX +44 020 7935 6175 theprovidores.co.uk Wait for a table downstairs for tapas, or book a table upstairs for more formal dining.

The Potting Shed Restaurant & Bar Dorset Square Hotel, 39-40 Dorset Square, Marylebone, London NW1 6QN +44 020 7723 7874  firmdalehotels.com We found this via OpenTable (a special set menu), and since we all hadn’t seen each other in a while, thought it might be a quieter restaurant so we could hear ourselves talk. English classics in a casual environment. Cricket interior. 

La Fromagerie Café 2-6 Moxon Street, London W1U 4EW +44 020 7935 0341  lafromagerie.co.uk Stop in for breakfast, lunch or a treat yourself to an artisan farmhouse cheese from the walk-in cheeseroom.

Daunt Books 83 Marylebone High St, London W1U +44 020 7224 2295 Travel specialist/general bookstore with original features including oak galleries and skylights. dauntbooks.co.uk.

Le Labo 28A Devonshire Street, Marylebone, London W1G 6PS +44 020 3441 1535 lelabofragrances.com 
Perfumery. The number in the fragrance name indicates the number of notes in its composition and the name of material refers to the most prominent note in it. Technican mix your scent as you wait, and personalise the packaging. Neroli 36 was a theme scent for the weekend (tones of the beach).

Le Pain Quotidien  72-75 Marylebone Rd London +44 020 3657 6949 http://www.lepainquotidien.co.uk/store/marylebone-high-street/#.VQPnEHm-1Vs  Translation: “daily bread”.  Simple healthy food based around a communal table. The Marylebone restaurant was the very first one to open in London!Great choice for lunch.

Roots And Bulbs 5 Thayer Street, Marylebone, London W1U 3JG +44 020 7487 2900  rootsandbulbs.com One of London’s first cold press juice bars.

The Wallace Collection Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN +44 020 7563 9500 wallacecollection.org Museum of world-sourced antiques, sculpture, artworks and armour, set within a palatial townhouse. Free.

Marylebone Farmers Market Cramer Street Car Park, Cramer Street, London W1U 4EW +44 20 7833 0338  lfm.org.uk Sunday outdoor street market trading in seasonal foodstuffs from artisan and local producers.

Thames Jet Westminster Pier, Victoria Embankment, London SW1A 2JH +44 020 7740 0400  thamesjet.com 50 unforgettable minutes as you experience high-speed aquatics.

National Gallery, London Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN +44 020 7747 2885  nationalgallery.org.uk

National Portrait Gallery St. Martin’s Pl, London WC2H 0HE nationalportraitgallery.org housing a collection of portraits of historically important and famous British people.

Portrait Restaurant Level 3 of the National Portrait Gallery, www.npg.org.uk The Portrait Restaurant’s celebrated view stretches from Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square down Whitehall to the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye. It’s a sensational accompaniment to any meal – breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner. 

St. Christopher’s Place, London, W1U 1AY stchristophersplace.com Shops, fashion boutiques and restaurants near Oxford Street.

Carluccio’s St. Christopher’s Place, London W1U 1AY +44 020 7935 5927  carluccios.com Authentic Italian restaurant and deli.

Comptoir Lebanais, 65 Wigmore Street, London W1U 1JT lecomptoir.co.uk Casual Lebanese wraps, tangines and salads. 

Fly London  5 St Christopher’s Pl, London W1U 1DZ flylondonshop.co.uk Contemporary footwear with comfort in mind.

Do you have any recommendation in this area? What do you enjoy about a girls weekend away?

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24 Responses to London: Girls weekend in Marylebone

  1. Wander Mum 19/11/2015 at 16:19 #

    Wow. That is one comprehensive itinerary. I’m very impressed if you managed all that. Marylebone is a perfect place to be based…close to all the action and a beautiful area – I love wandering down the high street there and looking in all the gorgeous shops. The Thames Jet sounds a lot of fun! I have never done that before. You are so right about the importance of hanging out with old friends and reconnecting with yourself without kids. I recently went abroad with my best mate and it was just an important experience…I think I need to plan another!! Thank you for linking up to #citytripping x
    Wander Mum recently posted…City Tripping #2My Profile

  2. Shobha George 18/11/2015 at 02:19 #

    Thank you for this great travel guide! 🙂
    Shobha George recently posted…Podcast Show Notes for Visiting Beijing With KidsMy Profile

  3. TinyExpats 17/11/2015 at 14:42 #

    Such great recommendations! Now I want to follow that list to the point :)) #citytripping
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  4. Cathy (MummyTravels) 17/11/2015 at 09:59 #

    I totally agree about girls’ weekends, having just (finally) had one with one of my oldest friends last month – and lots of memories from your post about Marylebone. I used to live not far away, and would forever be popping over to the street to see the new places to eat or shop which were always opening. Not so good for my bank balance! But a great place to stay. Thanks for linking to #citytripping
    Cathy (MummyTravels) recently posted…City Tripping #2My Profile

  5. Sarah (@tamingtwins) 11/09/2015 at 05:11 #

    Reading this has really made me smile this morning. We stayed in the area for 6 weeks whilst having IVF treatment there. Daunt Books was one of my favourite haunts and Le Pain Q for breakfast. Thanks for bringing some lovely memories! Hope you had a fab time x
    Sarah (@tamingtwins) recently posted…Hanbury Hall, WorcestershireMy Profile

  6. Hayley - Downs Side Up 18/05/2015 at 20:06 #

    I am just organising a girls’ weekend, in Bath as it happens, but your post has reminded me of how very essential it is to get back in touch with our original identities, as you say sans enfants, from time to time.
    Hayley – Downs Side Up recently posted…Photo of the Week!My Profile

  7. Jody Brettkelly 20/04/2015 at 00:47 #

    Wow – that place has completely changed! It used to be so scungey – now look at it. Love the weekends away they are so refreshing and you laugh just like you used to.

  8. mummyofboygirltwins 07/04/2015 at 20:55 #

    Oh this looks like such fun! Love getting together with girlfriends! I have never really done London this way and would love to – looks great fun. You did so much!! Thanks for sharing. Jess x

  9. HonestMum 25/03/2015 at 08:12 #

    Adore this area and it’s brought so many memories back from our lives in London. Fab pics and picks! x
    HonestMum recently posted…Our Weekend in Pictures-Welcoming in the SpringMy Profile

  10. Sarah Ebner 22/03/2015 at 21:56 #

    Love this area of London too – and it sounds like you had brilliant fun. Agree re Daunt books, what a building! And I love your pics….
    Sarah Ebner recently posted…Disneyland Paris by RobertMy Profile

  11. Sarah Christie 21/03/2015 at 22:29 #

    I love London but have never been to Marylybone, it looks fab and I love your photos, I love Islington its amazing and this looks similar x
    Sarah Christie recently posted…Striking Mums, The Eclipse and LifeMy Profile

  12. Rosaline Star (Rethink Street) 17/03/2015 at 12:03 #

    You can’t beat London for a weekend away because you can cram so much into a short time. It sounds like fun – and love the selfie!
    Rosaline Star (Rethink Street) recently posted…Wizardry in the Witching HourMy Profile

  13. I love this post – packed full of bang up to date titbits. London is wonderful and it’s good to see the virutes of this area extolled so magnificently. It looks like you had a glorious time with your girlfirends, and, as you say, how lovely for that time to be about you. We’ll make a Brit out of you yet, Susanna, you’re earning it! X
    Anya from Older Single Mum and The Healer recently posted…The Big 5 Life Lessons.My Profile

  14. Michelle Twin Mum 16/03/2015 at 21:22 #

    I’m off to stay in London with my Mum this weekend, so this is super useful, thanks Susanna. You looks as if you had a fab time. Mich x
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  15. jbmumofone 16/03/2015 at 16:59 #

    That Thames Jet looks awesome! I have never visited Marylebone but will be sure to check out that cheese shop, looks amazing!
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  16. Donna@MummyCentral 16/03/2015 at 14:48 #

    Had no idea that scooters for adults even EXISTED. But it sounds great fun.
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  17. Donna@MummyCentral 16/03/2015 at 14:41 #

    I’m determined to do a break in London, either with family or friends, in the near future. This looks like a fabulous area to visit
    Donna@MummyCentral recently posted…Review: Dino TalesMy Profile

  18. Emma 16/03/2015 at 14:29 #

    What I wouldn’t give for a weekend in my own Capital city right now… Loved this post S, packed full of tips and useful info! Emma xx

  19. Wow, looks like you had a blast! So many lovely places. Need to check next time I am in town!
    Mirka Moore @Kahanka @Fitness4Mamas recently posted…Top 5 Mother’s Day RetreatsMy Profile

  20. Helen @actuallyblog 16/03/2015 at 13:50 #

    Maryleboone is such a cool place to hang out – not been there in ages but it just feels so chilled. And so much lovely food!
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  21. Pinkoddy 16/03/2015 at 13:08 #

    Sounds so amazing. I love London and never thought of going for a girlie weekend but it makes SO much sense. Thank you for your insights.
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  22. Sarah Pylas (Grenglish) 16/03/2015 at 10:46 #

    I LOVE this area. I was living in Maida Vale when I first met my husband and we used to meet at Baker Street station, as it was in the middle for both of us. We later went on to get married at the Marylebone registry office and had our wedding reception at The Landmark, so the area holds very fond memories for me. So many fun things to do, I also love Providores. I met a friend for lunch a couple of weeks ago and we went to a fab little place in Marylebone (am seeing her tonight so will ask her to remind me what it was called) with an adorable secret courtyard. Also love St Christopher’s Place, which may or may not be related to its proximity to Selfridges 😉

  23. Emma (@emvanstone) 16/03/2015 at 09:55 #

    Looks like the perfect girly weekend! How did you manage to squeeze so much in?

  24. Trish 15/03/2015 at 19:45 #

    What a fabulous collection of places to visit. I have centered myself around Paddington and Lancaster Gate on other visits so will shift over a little next time to try these.
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