The magnificent St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most popular tourist attractions, but stray just a little way off the busy roads that surround the cathedral and there are plenty of hidden gems to discover
A brief introduction to St Paul’s
The magnificent St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most popular tourist attractions, but stray just a little way off the busy roads that surround the cathedral and there are plenty of hidden gems to discover. The winding lanes south of St Paul’s Churchyard are full of old pubs, little shops and even an extremely fine youth hostel. As one of the oldest parts of the city, the St Paul’s area is also home to much of London’s rich literary heritage. The newspaper industry used to be located at Fleet Street and many famed authors have lived and worked in and around this area, including Charles Dickens, Dr. Johnson and the diarist, Samuel Pepys.
Where to eat and drink
Whether you are looking for a quick lunch during the week, a place to entertain clients or somewhere to visit with the family over the weekend, you will be spoilt for choice in St Paul’s
St Paul’s has recently become a trendy hotspot in the heart of the City of London, with the launch of the One New Change shopping centre. The contemporary glass-walled complex, located on Cheapside, has put the City back on the culinary map, offering a wide range of restaurants, cafés and bars. Whether you are looking for a quick lunch during the week, a place to entertain clients, or somewhere to visit with the family over the weekend, you will be spoilt for choice in St Paul’s.
At the Madison, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the iconic, St Paul’s Cathedral, from the One New Change roof terrace. You could choose a delicious meal at the modern European restaurant, or a relaxing drink after work at the tapas and cocktail bar, while listening to tunes played by the house DJ. ‘The Rooftop’ cocktail is a stand-out recipe, with Hendrick’s gin, Prosecco and a hint of elderflower – so delicious.
Bread Street Kitchen
For informal all-day dining, head to Bread Street Kitchen, founded by celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay. At the vintage warehouse-style restaurant, you’ll be able to watch the chefs in action in the lively open kitchen, while enjoying a globally inspired menu featuring seasonal dishes. You could go for a summery salad from the raw bar, or a warming meal from the wood-burning oven – the choices are wide and varied.
Directly opposite to the Bread Street Kitchen, you will find Barbecoa, a barbecue steakhouse and butchery founded by celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver and American chef, Adam Perry Lang. You can expect to find the finest ingredients, such as quality British meat, game and poultry, cooked using a traditional fire-based method, while admiring the St Paul’s Cathedral inspired interiors. If you fancy a quick bite to eat, pop by the weekly pop-up market stall outside the restaurant.
The Paternoster, located opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, is a traditional pub in the City, offering a selection of classic English dishes and sharing platters, whether you’re after a pint after work, a tasty sandwich at lunchtime or nibble in the evening. For a relaxing weekend, you can enjoy a lazy Sunday brunch or Sunday roast with the family.
Searcy's Champagne Bar
For a more sophisticated experience, stop by Searcy’s Champagne bar and make the most of the wide range of hand-picked wines, premium beers and Champagne cocktails. The stylish venue also offers a daily champagne lunch with sandwich or salad and even an unlimited champagne afternoon tea to accompany the sandwiches, sweet treats and scones with clotted cream and jam.
Health & wellbeing
St Paul’s is an up and coming area for fitness, health and wellbeing and provides a range of options, especially for those who are time poor or dealing with stress
The area of St Paul’s is an iconic element of London’s skyline. With the Cathedral being the centre point of the area, it’s a top tourist destination located at the highest point in the City of London. The area is up and coming for fitness, health and wellbeing and provides a range of options, especially for those who are time poor or dealing with stress.
Energy Yoga is an awesome way to unwind from a busy day, offering classes every day of the week. All classes are Sivananda yoga style – a traditional sequence of challenging yoga postures very close to what has been practised in India for thousands of years. You can expect a complete, challenging workout for the whole body.
The Altitude Centre
Want to reap the benefits of climbing a mountain at altitude, without leaving London? Your wish is The Alitude Centre’s command. A simulated altitude chamber packed full of cardio equipment – rowers, treadmills and watt bikes – ready to get you high. You have the choice of group or solo sessions, with circuits thrown into the mix every now and then.
Yoga on Coq D’argent
A spectacular roof top setting in the heart of City, Coq D’argent plays host to pop up yoga seasons in conjunction with SERENE London. Winter season lasts until the end of March, with classes in a Ski Lodge, ‘Lodge d’Argent’, on Saturday mornings. In the summer it’s perfect for some outdoor yoga in the outdoor roof garden.
Blue Cow Yoga
When things get a little bit too hectic in the City, you can step inside and create some space. Carve out some time to take care of your health and wellbeing by finding yourself in a dynamic flow session, stretch or mat Pilates. There’s something for everyone on the timetable!
With a broad offering of more than sixty yoga, Pilates, Pilates-Reformer, Mindfulness and Fitness classes per week in one location, you also have the option to try out one of their Urban Retreats, known as ‘Reboot’. The centre also boasts a hosts of resident therapists, including osteopaths, masseuses and physiotherapists.
St Paul's Health & Fitness Club - Grange Hotels
Located on the site of a 5-star hotel, this spa and fitness club is pure luxury. Choose from a range of beauty and product treatments in what is described as an urban sanctuary in which you can relax and refresh. Or get your sweat on with a fully equipped gymnasium, including swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna.
St Paul’s has transformed in recent years to become one of London’s top areas to shop
St Paul’s experienced something of a transformation in recent years, to become one of London’s top areas to shop. This is due to the opening of shopping centre, One New Change, that boasts women’s and menswear stores a plenty, plus cafés and restaurants from some of the UK’s top chefs. In the surrounding areas you will also find a flurry of beauty stores, while due to its location in the business end of Central London, you can expect numerous premium menswear brands.
One New Change
One New Change shopping centre is full of top fashion stores like Reiss, All Saints, H&M, Oliver Bonas, MANGO and Cos. There are numerous places to stop off for a quick drink, or if you’re feeling hungry try Gordon Ramsey’s, Bread Street Kitchen. The best time to visit is on a weekend, when the stores are lovely and quiet and sometimes it feels like you have the space all to yourself.
The Whisky Shop
The Whisky Shop is pretty much as the name suggests, a shop full of whisky. If you like a dram or two then head to this beautiful little shop, where you’ll find an array of whiskeys to choose from. You can get expert advice from the sales assistants for the perfect gift and they also have a small selection of other spirits, should whisky not be quite to your taste.
Men, this is your one stop shop for all things formal and work-wear. T.M. Lewin are known for their classic and quality shirts, that it is no wonder it’s the stop for most workers in the City. However it’s not just for men, they also have a detailed womenswear collection, so pick up your perfect white shirt here ladies.
Space NK has got beauty covered. Take a break from a busy working day and enjoy trying out some of the latest make-up, from top names such as NARS cosmetics, Stila and Laura Mercier. There’s also a host of haircare and skincare products from leading brands, Aromatherapy Associates and Bumble & Bumble. Book in for a complimentary makeover with an in-store style expert and explore the latest looks.
You will find JOY in the selection of smaller shops just before the One New Change centre. JOY is great for something a little different, not only for fashion items, but its fantastic selection of gifts and cards. Everything from quirky mugs to novelty gifts, who doesn’t need a ‘knit your own beard kit’ or a ‘book of dog selfies’?
Ted Baker & Friends
The Ted Baker store at St Paul’s has an equal mix of both women’s and menswear, but the men lead the way slightly by having their very own ‘Ted’s Grooming Room’, inside the store. Ted’s has teamed up with shaving brand, King of Shaves, to offer services for all things male-grooming – so make sure to stop by for a haircut or a hot towel shave. There’s also an in-house tailor and the Ted Shine and Dandy service, which offers a complimentary shoe or bag shine.
The Perfume Shop
This chain of perfume shops is ideal for finding a new fragrance. The shelves are filled with great choices for both ladies perfume and men’s aftershaves. The Perfume Shop also has a tonne of weekly special offers, including offers on gift sets and a ‘Perfume of the Week’ – perfect for gifting or stocking up on favourite scent.
St Paul’s has a wide range of must-see places waiting to be discovered, many of which often house a treasure trove of unique stories and experiences. Explore some of our top recommendations below and get the insiders’ take on St Paul’s hidden gems.
Postman’s Park is a neat green space squeezed between classic Square Mile offices and apartment blocks. Throughout the spring and summer it is full of flowers, planted and tended diligently by the City of London Corporation. Also inside the park is the Watt’s Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice – an extraordinary commemoration of individuals, mostly from the 19th and early 20th centuries – who lost their lives while they were saving those of others.
Dr. Johnson’s cat, Hodge
Dr. Samuel Johnson – writer of the first English dictionary – lived close to St Paul’s in the 18th century. Today, you can visit his former home on Gough Square and you can also meet his cat, ‘Hodge’, who is commemorated by a bronze statue that also stands in the square. Leave a coin or two in the carved oyster shell beside Hodge and he’ll bring you some good luck.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese
London is full of pubs which claim to be the oldest in the city. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, down a small alleyway off Fleet Street, has a rather more unique claim to fame. It counts literary greats, Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Mark Twain, among its former regulars. Today however, you might have to settle for sharing your pint with the pub’s parrot instead.
St Bride’s Church
Although the last of the news agencies moved out of Fleet Street in the mid-2000s, the legacy of London’s great publishing street lives on if you know where to look for it. You can see the wedding-cake style spire of St Bride’s Church from the road, but you should really get closer to explore this fine church, still today known as the spiritual home of London’s media.
The London stone
You could easily walk past the London Stone at 111 Cannon Street, without even noticing it buried beneath a branch of W.H.Smith. A limestone fragment alleged to be a remnant of Roman London, the stone was once built into a long-destroyed church and moved to its current position in 1962. Since then it has been incongruously displayed behind a brass grille, with only a small plaque informing passersby of its amazing provenance.
Like the look of St Paul’s?
Large office occupiers in the St Paul’s include the London Stock Exchange, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Nomura. Serviced offices in St Paul’s are provided close by on St Martins le Grand and serviced offices on Cheapside, with a new serviced office at Aldwych.