London is a sensory overload in every way — we mean that as a compliment, of course. Much like other major metropolitan cities, there’s a lot to take in — sights, smells, sounds — and the sheer volume of places to visit and experience can be overwhelming. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about this buzzy cobblestone jungle, a secret recipe that makes London one of the best bar scenes in the world. This makes having a local guide extremely helpful.

VinePair tapped local expert Monica Berg of the newly-opened Tayēr + Elementary to take us on a personal tour of London’s best food and drink. Please mind the gap.

DRINKING

Tayēr + Elementary

“I started Tayēr + Elementary with Alex Kratena, and it features two distinct bar concepts. At the front is Elementary, a light and casual bar that serves simple and seasonal drinks. At the back is Tayēr, a more progressive bar where we focus on what is inside the glass and on the plate and where the menu is constantly changing. I feel that what we bring is perhaps what seems to be driving the industry now and that’s care over ingredients and flavor with a focus on more minimalist and conscious drinking. I also feel that we have implemented forward-thinking and pioneered methods to streamline the bar experience for staff as well as guests with our hexagon bar built to be versatile and accessible for our team.” Location.

Monica Berg, owner of the recently opened Tayēr + Elementary in London. Credit: Jamie Lau

Three Sheets

“I love Three Sheets for their amazing French 75, although all of their drinks in general are super tasty.” Location.

Three Sheets. Credit: threesheets-bar.com

The Hide Bar

“The Hide Bar in Bermondsey is great for all things London, but especially their Everleaf & Tonic. I really like the fact that they only do British ingredients and it’s super close to my house!” Location.

Fare

“I go to Fare for their Green Apple Spritz, but I also love their range of agave spirits (like El Destilado, which they import themselves).” Location.

Connaught Bar

“Connaught Bar for their Connaught Martini and in general for being the best of the best! I love every minute I spend in this bar.” Location.

Lechevalier Wine Bar & Shop

“I like to go to Lechevalier in Bermondsey for wine and charcuterie — it’s another neighborhood gem within walking distance of our house. Their wines are super interesting and they are always very helpful and give great recommendations.” Location.

EATING

Two Lights

“I absolutely adore Two Lights and I’m obsessed with their hen of the woods dish. I love this place; it’s probably where I go the most when I’m off on Sundays.” Location.

Two Lights. Credit: twolights.restaurant

José

“I love the Galician octopus at José in Bermondsey; it’s also very close to where we live, so perfect for lazy days.” Location.

Leroy

“Leroy has great wine selection and is always super nice to hang out at and just eat, drink, and kick back. The menu changes pretty frequently, but they always have interesting combinations and very modern British approach to ingredients.” Location.

Brawn

“Brawn is maybe my favorite place when I have friends in town and we just want to have a great night out. The wine selection is amazing, and the food is super! I love starting with oysters (when they have them), and then tend to order all the veggie dishes.” Location.

SLEEPING

Dukes London

“Alessandro [Palazzi] is a legend and I always go there when I want to celebrate with a Martini.” Location.

The London EDITION

I love the EDITION’s lobby bar because it’s so easy to hang out, have some drinks, play some pool, and just let the day go by. Further in, you’ll find the Punch Room, which is one of my favorite places (and has a super-amazing team!).” Location.

The London EDITION. Credit: marriott.com

EXTRACURRICULARS

Bermondsey

“I live in Bermondsey (location), so obviously love hanging out there. I definitely would say it’s a must when visiting London! Maltby Street Market (location) is a great place, and you should also try the London Beer Mile and visit great small breweries such as Partizan Brewing (location) and Brew By Numbers (location).”

Marylebone

“Another neighborhood I like is Marylebone — it has a very cozy atmosphere and I enjoy walking around and soaking up the vibe there.” Location.