Oliver Hooson's London Design Hotspots

To celebrate the wonderful and varied design of London, we asked lifestyle photographer and cycling enthusiast, Oliver Hooson, to take us on a tour of London’s best design hotspots and architectural gems. From Mayfair to Bethnal Green, via the City, join us as we explore London through Oliver’s eyes.


Sketch, a bar and restaurant situated in London’s Mayfair, can be described as truly unique. At first glance, Sketch could easily be mistaken for a collection of galleries and curated showrooms. Take the walkway between the Gallery and the East Bar, for example. Leave the multi-coloured disco lights behind and enter the Gallery to find walls covered in the inimitable work of David Shrigley, painted years before the term ‘millennial pink’ was even coined. Enjoy a bottle of Peroni at the beautifully underlit, beaten-bronze bar or take a seat at one of the perfectly overstuffed chairs, and admire your surroundings.


Found on one corner of Old Spitalfields Market, this converted bank-turned-restaurant is a wonderfully unexpected break from the city that surrounds it. From the main entrance, you’ll enter an intimate dining area with comfortable seating and warm colours throughout. However, enter Blixen from the Market side, and find a hideaway of sprouting foliage and exposed brickwork. Enjoy Blixen’s fantastic brunch spread, share a Peroni or simply while away a morning in this oasis of calm.

The City of London

For over 500 years, the City of London has been a hub of trading and commerce. Central London, now known as The Square Mile, has felt the influence of five centuries of design, relatively untouched by the Great Fire of London and the aftermath of war. As a result, there is an incredible architectural juxtaposition between the old and new world, on a scale rarely seen elsewhere.. The City is full of restaurants, bars and offices and makes for a worthwhile stroll between Central and East London… just remember to look up!


Located just a stone’s throw from London Fields, bonds.Hackney is a multi-functional space that houses both Earl of East and Kana. Bonds.Hackney is a coffee spot, event space and retailer stage for locally handcrafted materials including ceramics, candles and leather goods. It also acts as a workspace for the artisans that sell their pieces, taking the meaning of buying local to a whole other level.