Cabana founder and Editor-in-Chief Martina Mondadori lived in London for 10 years before returning to her native Milan in 2018. She still travels to London regularly, heading straight to her go-to fabric shops, antique dealers and ‘home from home’ hotel. Read on for Martina’s London.




London is just so vibrant, I’ve never lived anywhere quite like it. The city also holds a particularly special place in my heart as Cabana Magazine came into being while I was living in London. I’m convinced the creative milieu in which I found myself subliminally spurred me on to create, just as it has for countless others.

What’s so fantastic about the city is that you can literally do anything - that, for me, is its real beauty. Your imagination is the limit. I’ve done the craziest things, which I would not have contemplated elsewhere but in London just seemed right somehow. It is dynamic, and charmingly eccentric, like no other place. Here are my favorite places, spaces and go-to addresses in London. Martina Mondadori



My Favorite Place to Stay: At Sloane

They achieve the impossible – a seamless blend of London style with Parisian charm. No mean feat! François-Joseph Graf's interiors and decoration are second to none. The finishes and details are immaculate. It’s small enough to feel like home, and so luxurious. It is such a treat, I always look forward to my stays here.

My Favorite Antique Shop: Joss Graham

I love antique textiles for the feel they bring to any room. Joss Graham is my go-to in London, he has a fantastic range from all over. Even better, he has an exquisite selection of blinds, the bamboo 'Chik' designs are particularly chic.

My Favorite Museum or Gallery: The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection may not be on everybody’s radar, like some of London’s bigger museums, but I think it is all the better as a result. There are some stunning works here. It's worth a visit just for the Fragonard, but there is so much more. Turner’s watercolors are peerless. 



My Favorite Place of Architectural Interest: Palm House, Kew

Who could not be entranced by the sheer joy of this building? It's simply stunning on every level – the history, the architecture, the conservation work, the plants themselves. It’s just so amazing to stand there gazing up at the canopy, effectively transported to a tropical rainforest in the midst of London!

My Favorite Restaurant: Nico’s

I’ve been a fan of Robin Birley’s aesthetic forever. His clubs are as legendary as his father’s, and rightly so. Nico’s, his new place on Hertford street, is relaxed but elegant. It’s the perfect place to meet friends for a light lunch, or go for pizza with the kids.



My Favorite Shop: The Cloth Shop

The Cloth Shop on Portobello Road for fabrics for any occasion or need. And Portobello Road in general. It needs no introduction, having been world famous since the 60s. I particularly like the vintage and have picked up some wonderful fabrics. I love this area of London so it’s a no brainer for me when I’m in town.  

My Favorite Hidden Treasure: The British Museum

Anything at The British Museum, which is full of hidden treasures. It holds fond memories for me, visiting as a child and then later with my own children. Its collections are breathtaking, as is the building itself, the centuries of accumulated knowledge, the stories behind the artifacts. Who could not be captivated?



My Favorite Market: Kempton Antique Market

You can't beat Kempton for one-off antiques and vintage. It has an abundance of the quirky and hard to find. It's perfect for that little something that gives a neglected corner a lift. I could spend all day browsing, but one tip – get there early!

My Favorite London Tip: Duro Olowu

My favorite fashion designer, always. Don't miss the chance to visit. I relate so well to Duro's ethos, we both had very cosmopolitan upbringings. The way he draws on so many cultures - the mix of patterns and textiles - really speaks to me.



- - - - - - - - - -




Discover London's myriad charms, straight from the address books of our Editors and Big Cabana Family insiders, with an early July release of our London City Guide, launching Fall 2024. You’re in for a real treat - from hidden house museums and lovingly curated collections, to secret gardens, textile emporiums, atmospheric restaurants, and more. Secure your limited edition copy now. 

Join the Cabana family