My Hometown: Welcome to London, With James Harris - Full-Time Travel

My Hometown: Welcome to London, With James Harris

My Hometown: Welcome to London With James Harris

In FTT’s series My Hometown, notable travelers divulge local places they couldn’t live without.

By Esme Benjamin

This month James Harris, real estate entrepreneur and star of the show Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, shares his go-tos for London, England. Raised in St. John's Wood, a leafy enclave of northwest London, James eventually decided to relocate to Los Angeles, where his career and his family thrived.   

In between closing record-breaking real estate deals on the West Coast James visits London frequently, returning to his tried and tested favorite spots again and again. From the city’s best dirty martini and the most atmospheric date night restaurant, to a dreamy countryside escape, James’s recommendations reveal the most sophisticated side of the Big Smoke.

Claridge's Mayfair Suite | Courtesy of Claridge's

The most special thing about my hometown – well, specifically my district of St. John’s Wood – is its family-friendly vibe and easy access to central London. It is also home to the renowned Lord’s Cricket Ground.

The coolest neighborhood in my hometown is Notting Hill, but one of my favorite places to stay in London is Claridge’s in Mayfair. 

When you're in my hometown, you absolutely need to get a dirty martini at Chiltern Firehouse and order literally anything on the menu at Sexy Fish, an upscale Japanese restaurant full of art by Damien Hirst.

Courtesy of Sexy Fish

When friends visit my hometown, I always take them to St John’s High Street for lunch at The Ivy

If you are looking for something a bit more adventurous, check out the endless food stalls at Borough Market and spend time exploring the bars and shops in Soho.

Without question, the most romantic date night spot in my hometown is Le Ponte de La Tour, a French restaurant right on the river, with views of Tower Bridge.

Borough Market, London | By Hulki Okan Tabak

 I spend far too much money at Selfridges department store. 

When you're in the mood for some "me time" head straight to the spa at the Mandarin Oriental.

My secret obsession is the giant food emporium Harrods Food Halls.

James Harris and his family regularly visit London

Something exciting about my hometown is that the world-famous Abbey Road Studios is located in St John’s Wood.  

Don't end a trip to my hometown without going to the Soho Farmhouse for the weekend. If you’re not a SoHo House member, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, a 15th-century manor in the Oxfordshire countryside is also spectacular.

Courtesy of Soho Farmhouse

FTT's London Recommendations 

STAY at The Hoxton, a hip hotel situated in the trendy East London enclave of Shoreditch.

EAT at Sketch, an artsy gastro-brasserie adored by the fashion set.

DRINK at The Churchill Arms, a quintessential London pub known for its flamboyant floral-covered exterior.

Tune in as we chat with Cheryl B. Engelhardt (@cbemusic), a composer and songwriter whose career has taken her all over the world. It’s always been unique places and experiences that inspire her most creative work – like a nine-day, cross-country train trip from New York to Los Angeles and back, during which she composed and recorded her new album, The Passenger.
In this episode, Cheryl shares the highs and lows of that journey, which served as a creative experiment and an opportunity to process grief following the recent loss of a dear friend. 🎧 Link in bio to listen!

BRB, booking a stay at @belmondsplendidomare so we can spend our summer lounging by the Italian Riviera. Link in bio for more travel ideas!
Photo: @belmond

Tune in as we chat with luxury real estate agent, Michael Baldwin, who made a lucrative living in Texas until the financial crisis of 2008 temporarily derailed his career. Michael used the opportunity to live abroad, and sped-date all the international destinations within a four-hour flight of Houston. Ultimately, it was Los Cabos, Mexico (@loscabostourism) that stole his heart.

In this episode, Michael shares the story of road-tripping down the Baja California peninsula to start a new life in San José del Cabo, and why he’s never looked back. 🎧 Link in bio to listen!

This month at FTT, we're introducing the inaugural edition of our travel awards! "Gamechangers" was created to celebrate the people, brands, products and destinations changing the way we travel now, from the influencers who spark our wanderlust to the hotels that host us, and everything in between. Get our newsletter to get the upcoming list of winners via link in bio! ...

With sun soaked days and warmer nights, it's a big hint that summer is on its way. With a plethora of outdoor activities, which U.S. destination is on your bucket list? Need ideas? Link in bio for your next summer getaway.
Photo: @elbunt

Looking for a trip best traveled in the Spring? Pack your bags and go camping at Anza Borrego Desert State Park where the climate is not too hot during the day nor too cold at night. If you get lucky, you might spot a superbloom of wildflowers this time of the year. Link in bio for more travel inspo!
Photo: @theloverspassport

Tune in as we chat with Ahmad Ward, the Executive Director for (@visithiltonhead) Hilton Head Island’s Historic Mitchelville Park – the first self-governed town of formerly enslaved people in the United States.
In this episode, Ahmad shares how his plan to exit the world of museums was quickly discarded when he began interviewing for a role at Mitchelville Freedom Park while on vacation in New Orleans. How a moving visit to the Whitney Plantation, the only Louisiana plantation that centers the experiences of the enslaved population, helped shape his ideas for the project. Plus, how to communicate hard topics, creating "brave spaces" for authentic expression and respectful listening, and the ongoing work of highlighting Mitchelville, a piece of American history that deserves to be widely known, honored, and celebrated. 🎧 Link in bio to listen!

As we continue to explore the best places to travel in the U.S., we're taking the time to shine a light on the Lone Star State, specifically Texas Hill Country. Just a 1.5-hour drive from Austin, you’ll roll right into the glorious Texan terrain where you can enjoy unique wineries, plenty of live music, and a dip in one the area’s famous swimming holes, including this state-shaped pool. Link in bio to travel like an insider!
Photo: @beavers_photos

Pack your bags and pick your next summer adventure from Mexico to the Dominican Republic. Whether you prefer sunbathing in sandy beaches or exploring colonial cities, La Coleccion has the perfect destination for you. Get up to 60% off your booking and more via link in bio!
Photo: @theexploreancozumel part of @lacoleccionresorts

Hike the rim of The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone––a pastel-hued canyon carved by the Yellowstone River. It’s blessed with continuous overlooks to soak up the awe, including the breathtakingly beautiful and aptly named Artist Point. 🇺🇸 Link in bio for the best places to visit the US in 2022.
Photo: @j_kreiss

Tune in as we chat with @mariorigby, an eco-explorer from Turks & Caicos who became famous in adventure-travel circles for walking the entire length of Africa, from Cape Town to Cairo.
In this episode, Mario shares experiences from his epic journey, from life-affirming encounters with locals and wildlife to near-death experiences, and the mental and physical fortitude it took to complete his mission. Plus, navigating sudden fame as the news of his trip spread across the African continent, storytelling as a tool for encouraging courageousness, and the power of walkabouts as a rite of passage. 🎧 Link in bio to listen!

Here's to sunnier days and enjoying the outdoors. ☀️ Link in bio for travel inspiration for the warmer days ahead.
Photo: @reneeroaming