Green Park: Your Local Guide
Green Park: Where revered restaurants and high-end bars nestle amidst regal traditions. Eugh, let’s cut the trite: basically, there’s a lot to do. And that clearly includes a mighty fine green park. Actually, make that two. Double trouble. Now let’s get to it…
Things To Do
Visit Green Park, obvs
Green Park may be one of London’s busiest areas, but the park itself offers a chance to catch your breath.
Is it as glorious as Regents Park or Hyde Park? In terms of manicured gardens, not a chance. But Green Park has something else going for it: simplicity. Vast open meadows allow you to escape the city hustle, large overhanging trees root you back into nature, whilst episodes of the past lie in various war memorials.
It’s the perfect space to grab a picnic, lie in the beating sun (you won’t be the only one) and contemplate thinking about thinking. Green Park is your local park on a grand scale.
Opens at 5am; Closes at midnight
Walk around St James’s Park
Connected to Green Park, St James’s Park is the posh sibling; the one who graduated from a top Uni and enjoys the odd Smoked Salmon Blini for breakfast (insight into my family dynamic there). Jokes aside, St James’s Park is the Royal Park – we’re talking processions for royal weddings, military parades and state celebrations.
All grand stuff, but this isn’t why we love it – for us, St James’s Park is one of the best in London because of its golden trifecta: flora, fauna and far-reaching views.
Unlike Green Park, impeccably manicured gardens and flowerbeds envelop the entire area. We mentioned fauna, and fauna there is. St James’s Park is famed for its pelicans (gifted in 1664 by the then-Russian Ambassador), not to mention waterbirds, woodpeckers, tawny owls, and ever-present squirrels that aren’t afraid of the camera. The pièce de résistance, however, is the curving lake that acts as the park’s centrepiece. It’s a wonderful sight. A walk alongside soothes the soul.
- Cross the Blue Bridge and take in beaut views of famous sights: Big Ben, The London Eye and Buckingham Palace.
- The park is largely gas-lit, creating a charming, old-world feel as the sun begins to set.
- Opening hours: 5am – midnight
Go inside Buckingham Palace
We called this an overrated thing to do, and we stand by it, with a caveat: it’s overrated if you’ve been before, only fancy viewing the exterior, and/or have limited time on your hands.
It’s a sight that will be on every online guide’s ‘things to do in London’ list, and for good reason – it is one of the most recognisable buildings in the world. That said, in our eyes, there are far better ways to spend your time in London. Even the walk there (through Green Park and/or St James’s Park) is far superior to a session of staring at the Palace’s façade. We could be in the minority, though – many flock to see it, and the Changing of the Guard is genuinely cool.
If you’ve got time, plan and book a visit to The State Rooms. You’ll be guided around a small number of rooms that have hosted many ceremonial occasions. Grandeur and opulence spring to mind – pieces from The Royal Collection (Tembranft, Ruebsm, Canova and more) are peppered throughout each room. There’s no subtlety or nuance, but who wants that from a palace?
Indulge in Retail Therapy
Bank account looking healthy? That can change with a swift tap. Shops are bountiful in the Green Park area; expensive shops even more so.
Fortnum & Masons is a 5-minute walk from the station. It’s one of London’s oldest department stores and provides groceries and tea to royalty – translation: it’s not cheap, but it’s a wonderful place to splash the cash or, if you’re like me, imagine splashing the cash if you had the cash to splash.
You’ve also got Oxford Street with the likes of Selfridges and John Lewis, as well as one of our favourite spots in the area: Burlington Arcade. Home to fine jewellers, perfumers, traditional shoe polishers and alike, it’s a destination for luxury goods that blends London history and shopping into one lil’ arcade.
Get Glitzy at The Ritz
World famous for glitz and glam, The Ritz is a hotspot for those with a penchant for afternoon tea, cocktails and fine food.
Book ahead for tea. Whilst you can walk in for cocktails at the Rivoli bar, note that trainers aren’t permitted, regardless of how shiny they are.
Where To Eat
Not only home to green spaces, the Green Park area contains some of the best restaurants and brunch spaces in the city. Here’s our pick of the bunch…
For Fine Dining:
Muse is our favourite restaurant in Green Park. Heck, it’s one of our favourites in the entire city. The menu is inspired by chef Tom Aiken’s life, with each dish representing a place, time or feeling of meaning. It sounds like trite but it’s a genuinely magical experience, with exquisite food at its heart.
If your schedule and budget allow, we seriously recommend reserving a spot.
7-12 Half Moon St, W1J 7BH; Muse
For Value Eats
Misto, Shepherd Market
Misto is a small, family-owned Italian restaurant that is unapologetically itself. It’s not trying to serve you anything other than hearty, delicious Italian food.
And we have to mention the service – you’ll receive a welcome akin to it being your tenth visit, despite only being your first. A local favourite and for good reason.
7 Shepherd Market, W1J 7PE; Misto
Queens of Mayfair, Queen St
A brunch spot that is genuinely on our ‘can’t go wrong’ list. They say consistency is key, and we’re yet to have a bad experience here. They also offer a cracking bottomless brunch.
It’s a proper brunch spot that delivers on atmosphere, service and quality grub.
17 Queen St, W1J 5PH;Queens of Mayfair
Maru, Shepherd Market
Probably our favourite Japanese restaurant in the capital.
Maru serves the most intricately prepared and presented food over 20 beautiful courses. The restaurant only sits eight people, so book ahead. Oh, and don’t be late.
18 Shepherd Market, W1J 7QH; Maru
Green Park – Food Scene
Where To Drink
Did you know? Green Park contains some of the best drinking spots in the capital. True story.
The Guinea, Mayfair
The Guinea is a London institution in the heart of the Green Park area known for three things: history, pies and Guinness. They’re renowned for serving a smooth, creamy pint of the dark stuff that lacks the metallic taste that plagues many a pint. Lovely stuff.
30 Bruton Pl, W1J 6NL; The Guinea
The White Horse, Mayfair
The White Horse is a wine-led pub experience from the team behind HIDE. The interior is a beauty (think sophisticated restaurant meets artisan pub), and the wine list is, to say the least, big AF. The menu comes from the team at Hide and is unsurprisingly delish. A must-visit Green Park bar.
5 White Horse St, W1J 7LQ; The White Horse
The Connaught, Mayfair
Twice voted The World’s Best Cocktail Bar (2020 and 2021) and most recently placed 5th for 2024, suffice to say The Connaught is a bloody brilliant spot.
Famous for their incomparable attention to detail, we urge you to book a table and grab yourself a Martini (enjoy the show).
16 Carlos Pl, W1K 2AL; The Connaught
Mr Fogg’s Apothecary, Mayfair
An often overlooked cocktail bar, Mr Fogg’s Apothecary is one of our favourites. They’ve got an extensive cocktail list centered around the central character of Around The World In 80 Days. The decor is elegant, akin to that of a members’ club, and there’s no need to part with a significant amount of cash to feel welcome (unlike a member’s club). It’s a fun space equally perfect for a night on the tiles with friends or a more refined evening *cough* date.
34 Brook St, W1K 5DH; Mr Fogg’s Apothecary
Old Spike, Piccadilly
Old Spike offers a calming space to take a respite from the mayhem of Central London. They’re also on a mission to help those who have experienced homelessness through training, hiring and profit donations.
In the area and fancy an intricate artisan brew? Old Spike’s got ya.
16 Sherwood St, W1F 7BJ; Old Spike
Green Park – Drink Scene
Where To Stay
If you’re up for it, luxury hotels are at your fingertips, but you can also bag stays that won’t leave you broke. Here are our picks…
Sofitel St James
A first-rate spa, tea room, bar and restaurant, not to mention high-end yet understated rooms, The Sofitel St James is one of the best hotels in the area. The façade is glorious and sets the tone for everything else.
30 Bruton Pl, W1J 6NL; Sofitel St James
At some hotels, you’re merely a number, but this couldn’t be further from the truth at The Chesterfield. Boasting individually styled rooms – some inspired by England cottage garden florals – together with utterly delightful members of staff, this is money well spent.
5 White Horse St, W1J 7LQ; The Chesterfield
Green Park – Accomodation
If you’ve only got a day…
Let’s say you’re in the Green Park area by 10am (this hopefully gives you enough time for the train and whatnot), my first tip would be to treat yourself to as much retail therapy as your heart desires. In other words, get ahead of the crowd. If that means Oxford Street, so be it. Though I’d defo recommend heading to Fortnum & Masons. If your shopping spree is a long one and you find yourself in need of sustenance, pop into Mercato Mayfair.
Once your shopping fix is, well, fixed, get yourself a dose of caffeine and food at Le Deli Robuchon, then make haste to Green Park. Now sit, stroll, meander – whatever it is, allow your mind to wander. If you’ve not visited Buckingham Palace and want to do so, now’s your chance. After that, make your way through St James Park. Now, you’ve got options depending on what takes your fancy. Up for a spot of art? Head to The Royal Academy of Arts or The National Gallery. Fancy a pint? The Guinea is well worth visiting.
The evening divides us. For some, a West End show is the answer. There are plenty of restaurants offering pre-theatre menus if this has your name on it. If not, I’d recommend grabbing a table at one of our recommended restaurants and heading for cocktails afterwards. Martinis at The Connaught or Sours at Mr Fogg’s Apothecary? Yes, please.
Our London Guides
See all of our London guides
(written by residents)