STAY: The Savoy
The Savoy, a short stroll from the catwalks at Somerset House, possesses timeless style. Over the course of its illustrious 120-year-history, the luxury hotel has played host to the most fashionable of guests; Coco Chanel even stayed the night in 1924. Since receiving a modern makeover in 2010, the hotel has also become a show space in its own right; Maria Grachvogel used the sumptuous décor of the ballroom as a backdrop to her opulent autumn/winter 2011 catwalk show.
The Savoy, Strand, London WC2R 0EU, +44 (0)20 7836 4343
DRINK: Long Bar at the Sanderson
The new skinny cocktails served in the Sanderson hotel’s Long Bar are ideal for maintaining a model figure without missing out. Each of the six specially designed drinks uses the freshest ingredients to ensure maximum flavour and minimum calories. The jewel-toned Scarlet Martini features fresh strawberries, cucumber, honey water, vodka and pomegranate juice while the exotic Mexicana combines tequila blanca with green apples, grapes and elderflower cordial – both are delicious and contain fewer than 200 calories.
Long Bar, Sanderson, 50 Berners Street, London W1T 3NG, +44 (0)20 7300 5587
Chef Douglas Santi’s enticing Italian dishes shun rich and heavy ingredients in favour of lighter choices. Located in the heart of Mayfair, Babbo offers a mixture of style and substance with its elegant décor and delicate fare. The Fashion Week-friendly menu is light, healthy and balanced, featuring traditional favourites such as beef carpaccio and sea bass baked in a salt crust. Visit at lunchtime to prepare for an afternoon of running between the catwalks.
Babbo, 39 Albermarle Street, London W1S 4JQ, +44 (0)20 3205 1099
For a taste of guilt-free indulgence, head to Argentine ice cream bar Freggo, which will be serving its London Fashion Week Skinny Mini menu throughout September. Satisfy a sweet tooth with low-fat versions of some of the bar’s signature flavours, including deliciously creamy dulce de leche and fruity Malbec and berries. Refresh yourself at the end of a long day of shows with the lightly flavoured, exotic passion fruit sorbet.
Freggo, 27-29 Swallow Street, London W1B 4QR, +44 (0)20 7287 9506
Liberty has welcomed style-conscious shoppers to its distinctive Tudor-style home since it opened in 1875. Now synonymous with all things British, the historic department store is the perfect place to stock up on new-season pieces by British fashion stars such as Vivienne Westwood, Burberry and Paul Smith. Be sure to make time to visit the newly refurbished beauty hall to recreate the models’ make-up looks.
Liberty, Great Marlborough Street, London W1B 5AH, +44 (0)20 7734 1234
Be the first to snap up fresh talent by paying a post-show visit to Browns. Owned by Joan Burstein, nicknamed the fairy godmother of fashion, this stylish boutique was the first to discover Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan and Comme des Garçons, among many others. The selection of most-wanted collection pieces runs the gamut from the tough to the bohemian and even the futuristic, all of the highest quality and all at the cutting edge of their fields.
Browns, 24-27 South Molton Street, London W1K 5RD, +44 (0)20 7514 0016
Receive a first-class fashion education at Matches, home to a mixture of established and emerging designers ranging from Burberry and Diane von Furstenberg to Roksanda Ilincic and Joanna Sykes. Matches’ exclusive collaborations with the likes of Yves Saint Laurent and Azzedine Alaia have helped the boutique earn its fashion credentials and each of its outposts offers a different shopping experience. Take advantage of the personal service to find your signature style.
Matches, 87 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4QU, +44 (0)20 7487 5400
TAKE AFTERNOON TEA: Palm Court, The Langham London The exquisite Palm Court at the Langham London is a perfect setting to showcase the hotel’s new afternoon tea menu. Inspired by jewellery designer Stephen Webster’s new collection, Murder She Wrote, the Stephen Webster Bijoux Tea features a host of to-die-for cakes and pastries alongside savoury sandwiches and chocolate scones. These edible gems swap sparkling diamonds for glittering icing and gold settings for soft sponge, to delicious effect. Try the Poison Apple, a red peppercorn and dark chocolate shortbread, or the airy meringue sponge with green pistachio Chantilly cream inspired by Webster’s stunning Armadillo ring.
RELAX: The Sanctuary Covent Garden Day Spa
At the end of a long day spent balancing in heels on the cobbles of Somerset House, treat yourself to a refreshing session at the Sanctuary’s Covent Garden day spa. The specially designed Revive treatment targets key pressure points with a lymphatic massage and relieves tension with Thai body stretches. Invigorating essential oils, including grapefruit, mandarin and lemon grass, give the massage an added boost.
The Sanctuary, 12 Floral Street, London WC2E 9DH, +44 (0)844 875 8447