You don’t have to fly to Heathrow for a taste of the U.K. Here’s where to find swinging London in L.A. The best places to eat, stay, and shop in Santa Monica's Little Britain
CROSSING THE POND IS as easy as crossing Santa Monica Boulevard, where you can nab a taste of jolly old England in Santa Monica’s Little Britain. From Boddingtons on tap to clotted cream with scones to recent editions of the Daily Mail, here are three spots made for Anglophiles (but unlike in London, you’re still a block or two from the beach).
AT YE OLDE KING’S HEAD, a traditional British pub, the thing to get is the massive serving of fish and chips. Wash it all down with a Snakebite―a blend of Harp lager and Blackthorn cider. $$; 116 Santa Monica Blvd.; 310/451-1402.
HEAD TO THE TUDOR HOUSE nearby to stock your larder with British imports like Yorkie bars and Cadbury Milk Tray, or hit up the deli counter for fresh sausage rolls and meat pies. 1403 Second St.; 310/451-4107.
POP INTO BRITANNIA PUB a few blocks away for bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, pints of ale, and football games on the telly. Maybe you’ll catch David Beckham kicking for the L.A. Galaxy later this summer. $; 318 Santa Monica Blvd.; 310/458-5350.
WHERE TO GO BRIT-CULTURE HOPPING IN WEST HOLLYWOOD
The new London West Hollywood (formerly the Bel Age) combines Regent Street sophistication with SoCal sunshine. Wrought-iron balconies and a resident English bulldog are this ultramodern hotel’s few concessions to the Old Country; the rest of the decor, with its gray suede walls and embossed white-leather-upholstered furniture, is cutting-edge California, perched right below the glitz of the Sunset Strip. Calls to the U.K. are complimentary. From $199; thelondonwesthollywood.com or 866/282-4560.
Right off the hotel lobby, the namesake new restaurant from Gordon Ramsay, a Michelin-starred chef (you might know him as the adorably abusive personality on Hell’s Kitchen), has a menu showcasing small plates, local ingredients, and fresh, clean flavors. Try the hand-dived sea scallops or the roasted Wagyu beef sirloin. Futuristic chandeliers and drawing-room glamour to boot. $$$; 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd.; 310/358-7788.
The building’s bright Pepto-Bismol-pink exterior might be pure L.A., but fashion designer Paul Smith is English through and through. Think boarding-school uniforms with a bohemian twist. 8221 Melrose Ave.; 323/951-4800.
Down the street, find Savile Row elegance at Duncan Quinn among silk ties and dapper men’s suits. 8380 Melrose Ave.; 323/782-9205.
Shop for young, hip threads at Ted Baker, and check out the neon-painted rococo tables and the framed dog prints on the walls. 131 N. Robertson Blvd.; 310/550-7855.
Or head to Reiss (pictured), a few doors down, for candy-hued party dresses. 145 N. Robertson Blvd.; 310/276-0060.