Alright, so here's the deal, my company has a grant program that I am taking advantage of to visit London—it's meant to be used in some kind of creative fashion. This means, for me, lots and lots of research. I do this a lot anyhow, but I haven't been to London in YEARS (I lived there in college for a bit). I already know that Savage Beauty is on my list (already have my ticket!) and I will check out what else is going on as far as exhibits.

I'm comfortable traveling and I am semi-familiar with the city, so I am not looking for travel tips or anything.

What I could use some help with is the following...

  • What are good sites to look to for what's happening in the city? Time Out maybe? Not looking for touristy type stuff, so nothing traditionally travel focused (i.e. Frommers, etc).
  • Markets. I think I only went to Portobello when I lived there, but I am interested in anything interesting, even if it has a funky focus.
  • Any must-see neighborhood for unique shops? This is where I do the majority of my research, and while I will definitely look at big stores like Topshop etc, I am looking for the little nooks dense with shops of all kinds. I used to do Kings Road and Church St off of Kensington a lot.
  • Best places to sit down with a bottle of wine and people watch.
  • Does London have its version of a garment district, like NYC? Interested in materials of all sorts, I visit a lot of fabric and trim stores.
  • Recommendations on where to eat ALWAYS WELCOME.
  • Anything I must must must see because it's just too amazing to pass up, do tell.

Cross your fingers for me that this gets past the committee!