London tour: from architectural gardens to nose-to-tail dining, the best of the city right now

Take the Wallpaper* London tour – the latest in our weekly travel round-ups of exciting cultural attractions and design-led destinations, one city at a time

aerial view of garden path at Omved Gardens, London
Omved Gardens, a hidden urban oasis and part of Wallpaper’s London tour
(Image credit: Courtesy Omved Gardens. Photography: Thomas Broadhead)

There’s no clearer sign that autumn has arrived in London than a flurry of adverts for new art exhibitions being pasted on the walls of the Underground, and the smell of mulled wine drifting through Borough Market. It’s the perfect time for a recap of the city’s new highlights and latest openings, from secret gardens to a revamped music hub. Here, in the latest of our ‘Postcard from’ series, our junior digital news editor Martha Elliott writes from her hometown to offer a very Wallpaper* London tour. 

Take our London tour: must-sees of the moment

Omved Gardens

view of greenhouses in garden

The greenhouses at Omved Gardens

(Image credit: Photography: William Hearle)

This former urban wasteland in Highgate has been transformed by landscape architects del Buono Gazerwitz into a hidden oasis housing a wildflower meadow, orchard and vegetable patch. Its mission? To function as an outdoor lab and experiment with how food can be a catalyst for change. Its creative space hosts cinema nights, exhibitions and workshops, while its kitchen is designed as a place for chefs to exchange culinary tips.

Sarabande High Road at Paxton 17

outside shot of victorian building

The Sarabande Foundation's new studio space in Paxton 17

(Image credit: © Sarabande Foundation)

Set up by the late Alexander McQueen in 2006, the Sarabande Foundation champions creative minds through scholarships and residencies. In the new year, the foundation will expand its footprint to Tottenham, adding 15 studios and an exhibition space as part of the area’s new creative quarter, Paxton 17. The Sarabande High Road studios, set in two Grade II-listed townhouses, will be let to artists at heavily subsidised rates.

St John Marylebone

Spiced game pie being eaten

St John spiced game pie

(Image credit: Image courtesy St John. Photography: Sam A Harris)

The original St John was opened in 1994 near Smithfield Market by Trevor Gulliver and Fergus Henderson, pioneers of nose-to-tail eating. Now the restaurant is expanding to Marylebone Lane, where it will continue its emphasis on excellent wines and local, seasonal food, staying true to its original mission of serving up wholeheartedly good fare in elegant, understated spaces.

Royal College of Art Battersea Campus

Exterior of Royal college art building

The Royal College of Art building in Battersea

(Image credit: Photography: © Iwan Baan)

At 15,500 sq m, Herzog & de Meuron’s new Royal College of Art Battersea campus building, unveiled earlier in 2022, is the largest development in the college’s history. A central hangar space looks to open the institution towards the street, offering opportunity for public creative performances, shows and discussions, and making the new building an access point into the university’s innovative hub.


view from above of music event, red laser lights

The old theatre at Koko London

(Image credit: Image courtesy Koko. Photography: Mike Portlock)

With a historic line-up that includes The Rolling Stones, Charlie Chaplin and Amy Winehouse, there are few creative venues whose portfolio matches that of Koko. Rising from its ashes after a seven-year revamp orchestrated by Archer Humphryes Architects, the new Koko comes with a bar decorated with Joachim Lambrechts’ artwork, a penthouse with a recording studio and a pool table, and an artistic programme that includes House Gospel Choir and Jon Hopkins.


exterior of building, green windows and red brick

The Queercircle space on Greenwich Peninsula

(Image credit: Image courtesy Queercircle. Photography: Taran Wilkhu)

Newly opened in the Design District on Greenwich Peninsula, Queercircle offers London a public creative space grounded in social action. The charity amplifies queer voices, uniting curators, writers, artists and organisers for exhibitions, talks and tours. Until 21 December 2022, artist Bones Tan Jones presents ‘Tunnel Visions’, their first institutional exhibition in the UK, inspired by a walk they did from Greenwich to Stonehenge.

‘Hallyu! The Korean Wave’

Woman in blue dress

Moon Jar Dress, Blue by Minju Kim. Seoul, 2021 

(Image credit: © Minju Kim. Photography: Sangmi An)

The V&A’s ‘Hallyu! The Korean Wave’ is the first international exhibition to celebrate K-culture’s phenomenal, cross-industry impact. Exploring the Korean Wave’s resonance in art, fashion, beauty, cinema, drama and music, the show will feature outfits worn by K-pop idols, sets from now-iconic films – such as a recreation of the bathroom set from Parasite – and art by the likes of Nam June Paik and Ham Kyungah.

Cecilia Vicuña: Hyundai Commission

pieces of fabric hanging from ceiling, part of Cecilia Vicuña art exhibition at Tate Modern Turbine Hall

Cecilia Vicuña, Hyundai Commission: Brain Forest Quipu. Installation view at Tate Modern 2022

(Image credit: © Tate. Photography: Sonal Bakrania)

This year, Chilean artist Cecilia Vicuña will take on Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall until 16 April 2023, with an installation exploring ecology, femininity, community and social justice. As the artist told us recently: ‘Even though it’s inside the museum, people take it differently, perhaps because it’s an industrial space, it belongs to everybody. Experiencing – sensing, feeling – is the most powerful way of transmission.’

Martha Elliott is the Junior Digital News Editor at Wallpaper*. After graduating from university she worked in arts-based behavioural therapy, then embarked on a career in journalism, joining Wallpaper* at the start of 2022. She reports on art, design and architecture, as well as covering regular news stories across all channels.