Let’s face it; it’s more than possible to take a more than decent Instagram snap in practically any corner of the capital, given how good-looking is the city’s architecture, how elegant its interiors and how inviting its green spaces. But what about for those utter stand-out Instagram moments? What about those rare, visually striking uploadable images? Well, here’s where you might derive them in this most photogenic of cities…
For a perhaps unexpected perspective of the mighty River Thames and the centre of London right around it, be sure to make your way to the glorious greenery of Greenwich Park on a sunny day. For not only is this vast natural space home to The Wilderness, the city’s oldest deer park (with and urban fox, bat and bird sanctuary) but also a boating lake and tennis courts for sporty types. That said, the big draw here is, of course, the perfect panorama afforded from the top of the park’s hill. The foreground’s taken up by the magnificent Restoration architecture of the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House and Old Royal Naval College and the background by the silver trail of the Thames and, beyond that, the equally glistening silver of The City’s temples of finance.
(9 Conduit Street W1S 2XG)
The perfect eatery in which to spoil yourself if you’ve made the base of your London stay in and around the salubrious environs of Mayfair (perhaps at the likes of the Park Grand hotel Hyde Park), the Sketch restaurant doesn’t just offer outstanding menu choices, but also delivers to diners, on an (ahem) plate, really rather incredible Instagram moments. And that’s because its Gallery brasserie (which, food-wise, serves global cuisine) is like something out of an all-pink dream, while the room’s walls provides a cornucopia of eclectic drawings by artist David Shrigley. Meanwhile, Lecture Room & Library upstairs (where it’s all about the Michelin-starred fine dining) is gaudily carpeted, to say the least, the Glade room (excellent for ‘comfort food’) is furnished along a woodland-theme. Even the interior décor of the place’s toilets is something to experience – and, yes, Instagram!
(Silk Street EC2Y 8DS)
Yes, the Barbican complex, although a truly awesome arts venue, is something of a concrete monstrosity (unless you’re a big fan of mid-20th-Century concrete-dominated urban architecture, that is), but on this estate lies, pretty much hidden away, a true jungle – of the botanical kind. Indeed, Barbican Conservatory is the capital’s biggest (after the Pal House at Kew Gardens) and, of course, it’s in the centre of town – so in easy reach of those staying at one of the 4-star hotels Hyde Park. Brimming with plants and trees (2,000 separate species of them, in fact), it also features tropical fish and terrific terrapins in clear pool and even its own cactus room. Granted, access to the natural nirvana’s restricted only to some Sundays and Bank Holidays (which usually fall on Mondays); however, when it is open to the public, it’s free.
Shoreditch’s street art
(E1/ E2/ EC1/ EC2/ N1)
Finally, just the ticket for a morning or afternoon when you fancy a feast for the eyes (maybe after indulging in a fine breakfast around Paddington?), a short hop on the Tube and you’ll find yourself rubbing shoulders with the hipsters of Shoreditch and checking out the area’s quite stunning – and marvellously colourful and vibrant – street art. Effectively, an ever-evolving exhibition of contemporary art, only located outside on white-washed walls, down alleyways and under bridge arches, it makes for many a sight and Instagrammable image, indeed – the most well-know of which, of course, is the Banksy artwork on Rivington Street depicting a security guard with a poodle and the legend: ‘This wall is a designated graffiti area’.