A stone’s throw from the nightmarish, overcrowded Oxford Street, Marylebone is a chic and interesting part of central London. It’s close to Regent’s Park and less spendy than nearby Mayfair too, although it’s got its share of posh shops. But wander through its Georgian streets and you’ll find plenty of interesting places to visit, eat, and be entertained. Here’s our guide to Marylebone.
Visit Daunt Books, one of London’s most beautiful bookshops
London is full of fantastic bookshops, but one of the most beautiful is Daunt Books. There are branches of Daunt Books across London, but the biggest is the flagship shop in a former Edwardian bookshop. It was originally a travel and literature specialist, but now you can wander its bright, airy aisles to peruse shelves of food writing, memoirs, contemporary fiction, history and non-fiction, children’s books and as well as travel. It’s an incredibly photogenic bookshop, and thanks to the ‘gram and other socials – it’s often pretty busy, so try and go during the week, rather than at the weekend. The shop also hosts a regular programme of author events.
Peruse preloved finds on Marylebone High Street’s charity shops
Marylebone High Street might be full of bougie boutiques and expensive shops. But you bypass those and find great vintage finds in its charity shops. Posher areas are a great place to pick off cut-price designer items and decent home ware, and Marylebone is no exception. Head to Cancer Research, which is a premium ‘concept store’ aka posh charity shop
where you’ll find designer outfits and home decor pieces without the premium price tag.
Hear Classical Music at Wigmore Hall
It may not have the large-scale grandeur of The Royal Albert Hall, but Wigmore Hall is a beautiful and intimate classical concert hall. It’s also been entertaining music lovers for over 100 years, and has excellent acoustics. These days, Wigmore Hall hosts over 400 concerts a year, and offers subsidised tickets for people under 35, and tickets for its concerts start from around £16.00. Expect performances of composers including Handel, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and Mahler as well as more contemporary music.
Watch a show or take a class at The Cockpit Theatre
Billed as a ‘theatre of ideas’, The Cockpit on Gateforth street champions new writing and emerging talent. It’s a great place to support London’s fringe theatre, or have a go at the theatre making yourself in a class or workshop. But, there’s always an interesting programme of shows including the monthly Jazz in the Round, rehearsed readings, monthly scratch nights (where performers test out new material), and it’s also one of the venues for Camden Fringe in July and August.
Eat Peruvian food at Pachamama Bar & Kitchen
Pachamama is a Peruvian restaurant that uses British ingredients. It’s after the Mother Earth goddess celebrated by indigenous peoples of the Andes. And there is a veritable bounty of earth and sea based flavours on the menu. Divided into land, sea and soil, there are sharing snacks like pork belly chicharrones and corn ribs, ceviche including sea bass, salmon and yellow fin tuna.There are vegetarian, pescatarian and vegan tasting menus too, so there’s something for most dietary requirements.
See an exhibition at the Gallery of Everything
Marylebone and nearby Mayfair is full of galleries, but Gallery of Everything on Chiltern Street is one of the smallest and most unusual. Founded in 2016, it’s part of the Museum of Everything and is dedicated to artists that sit outside of the mainstream. The gallery has hosted exhibitions including Jarvis Cocker’s Good Pop, Bad Pop, which rather impressively reconstructed rooms from his childhood home in the basement. There are new exhibitions every couple of months, as well as events and artists’ talks. It’s a small place full of big ideas.
Sip coffee and stock on magazines at Monocle Café
Combine a trip to Gallery of Everything with a coffee stop at Monocle Café for culture and caffeine on Chiltern Street. It’s run by magazine brand Monocle, and is a great spot for sitting in the window, people watching or flipping through fancy lifestyle and culture mags. You can also pick up some fancy stationery. There’s A small seating area out front for sipping espresso under the blue and white striped awning on a sunny day too. It’s definitely more of a café for taking some time out, rather than pitching up with a laptop all afternoon.
Have food and drink with a view at Alfies Rooftop Kitchen
Alfies Antiques market is London’s largest indoor antiques and vintage market. It’s an Art Deco building with four floors of vintage clothing, mid century homeware, glassware, ceramics, antiques and jewellery. But arguably, the jewel in its crown is the colourful roof terrace with its panoramic views over the city. Head up there on a sunny day where you can get simple, retro lunches like a jacket and potato with beans for a fiver. There are less stodgy options too, including fishcakes and wraps. With most lunches comfortably under a tenner, it’s also one of the best value places to eat in the area.
Finally, honourable mention goes to the beautiful Regents Park, just on the edge of Marylbone – we’ve got it covered in our article
“London’s Top 5 Parks“.