THE BEST WAY TO LONDON
From LAX, Air New Zealand, British, Virgin Atlantic, American and United offer nonstop service to London, and United, Delta and Continental offer connecting service (change of plane). Restricted round-trip fares begin at $553, excluding taxes and fees.
To call numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), then 44 (the country code for Britain) and 20 (city code for London).
WHERE TO STAY:
The Hoxton, 81 Great Eastern St., London EC2A 3HU; 7550-1000, http://www.hoxtonhotels.com. It describes itself as an urban lodge. It opened in 2006 with 208 rooms, industrial design and a buzzing bar and restaurant. Free Wi-Fi and continental breakfast. Room rates generally $79-$320 a night. Because the hotel is used by many business travelers, weekends are cheaper than weekdays.
Boundary, 2-4 Boundary St., Shoreditch, London E2 7DD; 7729-1051, http://www.theboundary.co.uk. Opened on New Year's Eve 2008 with 12 rooms and five suites, each paying homage to a different designer or style. Apart from the café downstairs and restaurant way downstairs, there's a rooftop bar and grill that draws crowds in summer. Rates begin about $325 for most rooms (more for suites), typically dropping to around $260 on Sunday nights.
Shoreditch Rooms, Ebor Street, London E1 6AW; 7739-5040, http://www.shoreditchhouse.com/bedrooms/booking. Opened in April 2010, this is a new facet to the 3-year-old Shoreditch House, a private club just a few steps from the Shoreditch Tube station. Its 26 rooms (some tiny, four with balconies) include access to the club's gym and spa, sixth-floor pool (heated year-round), a two-lane bowling alley, two restaurants and a bar. Some rooms offer striking skyline views. Rates typically run about $140-$425 a night, a representative said, but on Sunday nights they can fall below $130.
WHERE TO EAT
St. John Bread & Wine, 94-96 Commercial St., London E1 6LZ; 3301-8069 or 7251-0848, http://www.stjohnbreadandwine.com. A new take on organ meats and other old English favorites. Dinner main dishes usually about $20. Reservations recommended.
Polpo, 41 Beak St., London W1F 9SB; 7734-4479, http://www.polpo.co.uk. This is Italian food, in a snug 18th century Soho building where the painter Canaletto once lived. Mostly Venetian small plates, priced at $15 and less, to be eaten like tapas. Reservations suggested for lunch; dinner first-come, first-served.
Tate Modern Restaurant, 7th level, Tate Modern museum, Bankside, London SE1 9TG; 7887-8888, http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/eatanddrink/restaurant.htm. Among London's best views. Morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea daily. Dinner 6-9:30 on Friday and Saturday nights. Dinner main dishes about $22.50-$28.
TO LEARN MORE
VisitBritain, (800) 462-2748, http://www.visitbritain.comCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times