I love London. I’m lucky in that I live 90 minutes away on the train and, when booked in advance, tickets are pretty cheap. The Bloke and I used to visit three or four times a year before the pandemic, usually staying overnight. We would take a section of London that we had never visited before and I would map out ideas of things to see and do.
Now that there aren’t any more restrictions, I have very tentatively started to visit again. Our last trip was last September for my not-quite 40th birthday, and I went on a shorter trip with my mum a little while ago.
I have noticed a huge difference in the last decade of how Instagram has become an integral part of the marketing strategy for many cafes and restaurants. Flower walls, neon signs, even highlighted sections on menus advertising ‘Instagram-worthy’ dishes and drinks have appeared.
Note: beautiful decor doesn’t always mean that the food is good and I’ve had a few experiences where a flower wall has been added to justify exorbitant prices of rather mediocre dishes and poor service. If Instagram is your platform of choice then it’s great to have aesthetically-pleasing pictures, but it’s also important that the food itself is worthy of sharing.
Want to find great Instagram-worthy foodie places in London? Here are just some of my favourites!
Sketch had been on my bucket list for a few years, so The Bloke booked the Afternoon Tea as my 40th birthday present last year. Our Afternoon Tea was in the pink Gallery Room, and both the food and the service was the best I’d ever had. Our visit also coincided with the return of the Mayfair Flower Show, in which various parts of the restaurant was adorned with flower displays from Carly Rogers Flowers and Ricky Paul Flowers. Stunning.
Before I visited I was told more than once to go and check out the toilets. Ever seen Spinal Tap? This. The toilets were situated in individual pods in a large, white open space with coloured panels on the ceiling. There was a stunning flower display at the time which added to it, but even without the foliage, it’s an unusual space that will add something different to your Instagram.
Visit the Sketch website here.
With two parlours in Belgravia and Chelsea, Peggy Porschen is renowned for its pink aesthetic and seasonal exterior decor and is often considered as the original Instagram magnet. Indeed, it’s possible to walk past any time of day and see a bunch of Instagrammers all posing in front of the arrangements around the doorway.
Peggy Porschen is known for cupcakes, but offers a wide selection of menus with breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea and light lunches, and the food (while expensive if you’re on a budget) is just as beautiful as the decor. It is a popular destination and it’s often better to try to reserve a table should you wish to eat there, but what I have found is that if you arrive as soon as it opens you’re more likely to get a walk-in spot.
Visit the Peggy Porschen website here.
Crome is a tiny cafe situated on James Street that is solely dedicated to the most indulgent french toast I have ever eaten. With large mirrored panels, purple walls, neon signs and BRICKS of toasted brioche that range from savoury (including The Salt Beef, Smashed Avo, Black Truffle Cheese & Mushroom) to sweet (including Stuffed Nutella and Strawberry, Salted Caramel and Chocolate and Red Velvet), there are plenty of opportunities to add that wow factor to your Instagram feed. There is also an outside seating area that is perfect for summer brunch.
Visit the Crome website here.
EL&N advertise themselves as ‘London’s most Instagrammable hotspot,’ and I would wholeheartedly agree. With ten cafes situated all around London (and across various countries around the world), each venue is individually decorated with creating the perfect foodie Instagram photo. Pink chairs, neon signs, love heart walls, flower walls, even fairground carousel horses, it’s an Instagrammers paradise.
The food is just as pretty, and the menus highlight which items are their most popular for Instagram. I love the Dutch Pancakes and the Ombré Passion Fruit Cooler.
Visit the EL&N website here.
Milk Train Cafe
Situated at the back of Covent Garden on Tavistock Street is the rather unassuming Milk Train Cafe, offering a selection of ice-cream, candy floss ice cream cones, candy floss milkshakes, and ‘inspired by travel’ ice cream pints. While the decor of their ‘concept store’ is clean and simple with white tiling adorning the walls, it is the ice-cream itself that makes for drool-worthy Instagram photos. Check out the Berry ice-cream I treated myself to on my last visit – it tasted as good as it looked and is now at the top of my favourite ice-cream places!
Visit the Milk Train website here.
Old Spitalfields Market
The Victorian buildings of Old Spitalfield Market on Commerical Street is a hive for anyone interested in fashion, art, crafts and music, and for foodies there is an incredible selection of tasty dishes from all over the world that is made to order. An entire day could easily be spent there just on eating the food alone. One of the standout features is Humble Crumble, an artisanal pop-up serving crumble, topped with a whole range of gorgeous things including marshmallow, custard and chocolate. What I particularly loved about Humble Crumble is how friendly the people who work there are, being more than happy to allow you to take pictures and videos as they are making up your crumble (and it’s obviously something that they’re clearly used to!)
While at Old Spitalfields I tried the classic burger from Bvrger (the ‘v’ stands for vegan). I’m not a vegan but this was one of the nicest burgers I have eaten in a while, and genuinely would have believed that it was meat had I not known who made it. I also ate some rather tasty tofu Bao from Yum Bun and a selection of pork dumplings from Dumpling Shack.
Visit the Old Spitalfields website here.
Founded by Chef Zahra Khan and with two cafes on Bond Street and in Knightsbridge, Feya Cafe offers a selection of hot and cold drinks, brunch and dining dishes with plenty of vegan, gluten-free and halal options… and lots of cake. I treated myself to a slice of gorgeous chocolate and coffee cake and a lychee cooler.
Visit the Feya website here.
Situated just down the road from Peggy Porschen and now occupying the former Dominique Ansel Bakery in Belgravia is the Chestnut Bakery. I discovered it by accident and decided to hop in for breakfast… and I’m so glad I did! With breads from all around the world, pastries and cakes being made before your eyes, Chestnut is a bright, warm and welcoming space to relax and enjoy a great start to the day. The team were also super-friendly.
Visit the Chestnut Bakery here.
Arome Bakery is situated just outside of Covent Garden and is a fusion of french baking techniques and eastern flavours. When I visited there was quite a small selection due to a power cut the day before, but there was still quite an extensive queue! I loved the Apple Tart with Miso Glaze.
Visit the Arome Bakery website here.
Whatever your tastes are, London is a great foodie place for Instagram. And let’s face it – London is such a beautiful city that you could buy a burger from McDonald’s and create a beautiful photo with it!
What are your favourite Instagram foodie places in London? Let me know in the comments below!
Want to see more of my visits to London? Check out my posts here:
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