Little Black Book: Luke Abrahams | SLMan
Little Black Book: Luke Abrahams
Magazine junkies will be familiar with Luke Abrahams’ work. A travel contributor to Condé Nast Traveller, Harper’s Bazaar, The Evening Standard, Town & Country, Vogue, TimeOut and more, few are more qualified to share their recommendations. Here, he opens up his little black book…

My favourite restaurant in London is Hélène Darroze at The Connaught. I’ve never had a bad meal there. As for the rest of the world? Right now, it’s Da Adolfo in Positano. Think simple and cheap Italian bites with views of the sparkling Med.
 
It’s controversial, but I don’t go to pubs. The last time I stepped into one was about two years ago in Primrose Hill and that was to eat a Sunday roast I really didn’t want.
 
I always get my coffee at two places: Fork on Marchmont Street in Bloomsbury and Briki, a lovely little indie spot in Exmouth Market.

For date night, you can’t beat a walk along the Thames, coffee or drink in hand. If it’s going well, you can keep on walking, but if it’s heading in the wrong direction, there are bus stops, tube stations and endless escape routes aplenty.
 
London’s best bar is The Connaught Bar, of course.
 
Believe it or not, I’ve only just started exploring the UK. I visited Scotland for the first time last year and stayed at The Torridon deep in the Scottish Highlands. The place is the epitome of total escapism and a reality so very different from what you would find elsewhere in the country. It’s barren and desolate, (in a beautiful way) and so quiet. I also fell in love with The Fife Arms. It’s expensive, but for what you get – world-class art, dreamy set-style digs, excellent food and a slice of wellness meets wilderness – the price is worth it.

The best room service can be found at Aman Venice. I requested mint tea at midnight once and it was delivered to my room in about two minutes.

"My favourite under-the-radar London gem is St George’s Gardens. Nobody has ever heard of it, which means I have the place to myself most days."

My go-to drink is… it depends on my mood, but you’ll normally find me with a glass of chablis or barolo in hand, or on the more stressful days, a Diet Coke.
 
If I want a night out, I head to the Southbank. There’s always lots going on down there, from street food to pop ups selling international beers, wines and the odd craft – plus, it comes with great views of the Thames.

My favourite under-the-radar London gem is St George’s Gardens. Nobody has ever heard of it, which means I have the place to myself most days.
 
You cannot beat the view from the top of St. Paul’s cathedral. Climbing the 550 steps to reach its summit really is worth it.
 
For a bit of pampering, I go to ESPA Life at The Corinthia Spa. The hydrotherapy pools and Sturm facials keep me looking the part.
 
Exercise is new to me, especially during lockdown. I recently tried EMS training with Epulsive in Kensington and now, I’m hooked. About 20 minutes of their programme equals 90 minutes of regular gym work and you only have to do it once or twice a week for the benefits to show.

"For a culture hit, I love exploring Bloomsbury. It’s the epitome of literary village life, but in central London."

For a culture hit, I love exploring Bloomsbury. There are so many lovely little independent museums, shops, restaurants (Ciao Bella and Noble Rot are must-visits). It’s the epitome of literary village life, but in central London.
 
For something really special, I shop at Alexander McQueen. I have a section of my wardrobe dedicated to the brand, and believe me, I am not afraid to splurge whenever I browse online or in store.
 
London’s coolest boutique is…Pentreath & Hall. Think unusual decorative delights including Victorian maps, hand-embroidered pillows, classic French dinner candles and alphabet brush pots.
 
For online shopping, I always turn toMATCHESFASHION – sometimes I go a bit crazy.
 
When I’m in New York, I always eat at Le Coucou. I love it. Modern European food slap bang in the middle of Manhattan. Lush. Because of my job, I often stay at loads of different hotels. The 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge really hit the spot when I was last there. Think industrial car park chic with insane views of the Manhattan skyline. For shopping, I love browsing the boutiques that line the streets of the West Village. There’s always something new to explore.
 
In Paris, I like… Utopie in the 11th. I love pastry, so I’ll go there and grab whatever has just come out fresh from the oven. I can never choose just one, but the views from the Shangri-La, Le Meurice and of course, Plaza Athenée are Paris personified. If you want to shop, head to Saint-Germain-des-Prés, of course.
 
My ultimate city break will always be somewhere in Italy. Venice, Rome, Florence… I never tire of a couple of days in this stunning country.

 

Visit LukeAbrahams.com and follow Luke on Instagram @LukecAbrahams

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