Nourish your nose with perfumes, flowers and fresh coffee. Stimulate your taste buds with tempting rich dark chocolate. And dazzle your eyes in a warehouse gallery museum filled with bright neon and LED signs. In this blog, we tempt you with the quirky experiences London will feed your soul and awaken your senses with, true indulgent pleasures, from the simple to the luxurious.
Algerian Coffee Stores
The heavenly aroma of coffee has wafted through this Soho shop since it first opened in 1887. Forget Costa and Starbucks, Algerian Coffee is London’s third generation, family-run store where you can get an incredible selection of pure and rare coffee beans, tea leaves and fruit infusions. Algerian Coffee Stores on Old Compton Street still has some of its original features, including the wooden countertop and shelves, and regular customers have been getting their coffee here for decades. The shop also sells coffee makers, teapots and sweet treats from around the world. They open at 10am Monday to Saturday, so pop by and smell for yourself.
Columbia Flower Market London
Start your perfect Sunday morning with the scent of fresh flowers. Stroll along Columbia Road with blooms ready to blossom on either side, as you take in the colourful displays and stallholders call out tempting prices. Visit Columbia Road Flower Market shops for bunches of lavender, fragrant white lilies and yellow freesias. Pick out a new houseplant, get some new bulbs to plant or a spiky cactus for home. The market is open from 8am to 2pm on Sundays, with traders offering bargains in the final hour. Plus, there are plenty of shops to browse, cafés selling cakes and pubs serving delicious Sunday roasts.
Head to this gorgeous perfumery and invent your own signature perfume. This luxurious and unique sensory experience comes from the perfumery at Floris London, which has been bottling scents here since the 1730. It offers a range of bespoke services, from one-day fragrance customisation service to a six-month process developing and designing your own perfume. It all takes place in the historic perfumery where many of the old records and artefacts are on display. You can also get your fragrance formulation placed in their ledger for reordering now and for generations to come.
Dark Sugars Brick Lane
Crack apart giant handcrafted chocolate slabs. Bite into rich, melt-in-the-mouth Ghanaian truffles. Hug a hot chocolate topped with tonnes of chocolate spikes. Dark Sugars is a haven for chocolate lovers, with three tempting locations for you to get your sugar fix. There’s the original chocolate shop on Brick Lane, the four-story flagship Cacao House in Greenwich and an ice cream shop in Greenwich too. Enjoy the African and Latin American beats as you browse the chocolates on display at one of London’s best chocolatiers.
In an unassuming Walthamstow industrial estate sits a neon wonderland. Take in the dazzling blaze of colourful twisted tubes filling God’s Own Junkyard from top to bottom with props and signs. There are vintage seedy Soho signs, Hollywood props and flashing lights inviting you to dine, disco dance and enjoy the thrill rides. You can rent signs, hire the venue for a photo shoot or just trip through the light fantastic and take it all in. You can visit for free (and take mobile phone photos) on most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Continue your sensory enjoyment with a stay at one of our luxury heritage hotels in Central London,
The Clermont, Victoria or The Clermont, Charing Cross. You can pour essential oils into a bubble bath in one of our suites, wrap up in luxury bathrobes and sink into our dreamy beds for a great night’s sleep.