The London Diaries: Central London

An American ex-pat shares the best restaurants, museums, and workouts in Soho and beyond.

In partnership with American Express, Furthermore asked influential Equinox talent and friends in London to curate their favorite fitness spots, healthy restaurants, as well as culture, art, and style destinations. If you’re headed to the U.K. capital for London Fashion Week, consider this is your complete travel guide—just one more way American Express has your back no matter where you go.
Justin Jacobs
Justin Jacobs, Tier X program manager in the U.K., moved overseas last November to launch Equinox’s newest and most exclusive location in the United Kingdom, E by Equinox St. James.
A longtime New Yorker, he quickly fell in love with the city. “I live in central London because it feels the most like New York City, my home for the last 10 years,” Jacobs says. “It has the best shopping, dining, and entertainment London has to offer.”
Here, his picks for how to spend a day in the center of the city.
THE WALK/RUN
Distance: 3.92 miles

Start at Leicester Square, walk down to Embankment then over to the South Bank and up to Tate Modern. Take the Millennium Bridge back over into the City, then walk along Embankment and cut up to go into Covent Garden. Come back down through Seven Dials and end back at Leicester Square.

THE FITNESS

“Our most experienced and educated staff create tailor-made programs in the gym with additional support on nutrition and recovery.”

“Boxing is huge here in London, which means the instructors for the classes are great and provide a good mix of boxing skills and interval training.”

THE FOOD

“You’ll find homemade pasta and antipasti with solid vegetable options like aubergine polpette and a tomato salad. It’s a staple date spot among the nightlife in Soho.”

“This is my favorite brunch spot. It’s a combo of Jewish deli and Mediterranean flavors. It’s in Kingly Court, which has a group of restaurants next to shopping in Carnaby and Regent Streets.”

“This beautiful space has everything: a home and garden shop, a cafe, and two excellent restaurants that focus on clean Italian flavors with simple grilled proteins and vegetables. It’s also a nice spot for afternoon tea.”

“It’s a go-to all-day casual spot for coffee, easy bites, or a glass of wine. It’s right next to Russell Square—a nice place for dog walks and soaking in the rare London sunny moments.”

“This is the most fun dining experience I have had in London. Mediterranean food is served in a super intimate setting of about 30 seats.”

THE CULTURE

“An arts center that hosts concerts, movies, galleries, and events, Somerset House also has a good selection of restaurants and shops. Check out Bryn Williams, where seasonal and local fruit- and vegetable-based small plates are the stars.”

“This artist-run school and museum showcases art and architecture. It hosts classes on drawing and sculpture and talks with various artists. They also do walking tours of architectural sites like Shakespeare’s Globe.”

Shopping on Carnaby Street and Regent Street

“You’ll find big-name brands like Nike on Regent Street and smaller brands like Sweaty Betty on Carnaby Street. Be sure to check out Liberty London, an old department store.”

Shopping on Seven Dials

“There’s a solid mix of shops, food, and bars here. You can easily spend the better part of a day walking around—eating, drinking, and shopping. B1866 and Vanmoof are two of the coolest bike stores in London.”

“This cinema showcases both popular and indie films. There's also a member's bar on the roof with a fantastic view of central London.”