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David Jones

Paul Smith's Guide to London

Known for creating quirky, 'classic with a twist' pieces, British designer Paul Smith takes us around his favourite London haunts.

Image source: Peter Zelei Images/Getty Images

Where to eat in London

London is such a vibrant city, it's a melting pot of different cultures. I think I'm right in saying you can eat food from more countries here than in any other city in the world. I always struggle to choose favourites and in London that's more the case than anywhere. The Wolseley is a real must-try place in London. I've been visiting there for a long time and never have a bad meal…their vanilla cheesecake is delicious! But equally, somewhere very simple like Bar Italia, just off Old Compton St in Soho, is brilliant. You can sit on the pavement and have a cup of coffee, catch up with friends and watch the mad world of Soho go by. And you can't visit London without stopping by Borough Market.

Where to stay

It depends what you're visiting for. If you're in town to visit galleries then you might want to be in Mayfair. In which case Brown's is fantastic and is just down the road from my shop at No. 9 Albemarle Street. If you're visiting for business than perhaps somewhere more simple is best but if you fancy somewhere really special, then head to Claridge's!

Left image: Repeating elliptical motifs on the facade of Paul Smith's No.9 Abermarle Street shop. Right image: The No.9 leather goods collection.

Where to shop

Paul Smith of course! I have shops dotted all over London and they're all different. My first shop in the city was in Floral Street in Covent Garden and it's still there. My newest one is No. 9 Albemarle Street in Mayfair (pictured above). It's an Aladdin's cave of all different bits and bobs from furniture to clothes and has this beautiful cast iron facade (the only one in Mayfair!) which actually inspired a collection of leather accessories I've designed, which have the same pattern as the shop front.

Shop the Paul Smith No. 9 leather goods collection.

Left image: British menswear designer Paul Smith. Right image: The Byard Travel Suit.

What to wear

Whatever you feel comfortable in, I always say that the key to style is confidence. I wear a suit most days and when it comes to suits, you have to feel comfortable. I often wear a plain T-shirt, a chambray shirt and white leather sneakers with mine for example. A great simple suit is essential like the Byard Travel Suit, which we have named ‘A Suit To Travel In’. It is made with all natural fibres but is crease resistant and great for people who are on the go all the time. It’s also a great cut and can be worn casually with a T-shirt and trainers, or more formally with a crisp white shirt and a tie.