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See London Like a Local

02/27/2014 05:36 EST | Updated 04/29/2014 05:59 EDT

You've been to London before -- so you've visited the Victoria & Albert Museum, been to the Tower of London, shopped at Harrods, and walked the London Tower Bridge (if you need more ideas, check out the AmongMen 48 hours guide to London).

And while many of the sights London is well known for are worth a second visit, should you find yourself in this city for a second or third time, or are seeking out ways to spend it like a local, here is our hit list of things you should do.

Essential stay

You won't even notice the grey skies when you stay in a room on a higher floor at the Metropolitan by COMO -- the leafy green view of Hyde Park is fantastic. Plus, the suites are spacious, clean-lined and filled with natural light -- an oasis from the busy traffic in London. Roll out the yoga mat you'll find in your suite to centre yourself with some sun salutations after a busy day out and about, or better yet, book a treatment at the COMO Shambala Urban Escape (we recommend the signature COMO Shambala massage, which incorporates a signature blend of oils -- if you're looking to say goodbye to any tension you're holding onto).

Essential eats

London's chockfull of great restaurants, so you won't be hunting hard for great grub. For a simple menu, hit up one of the five locations of Burger & Lobster. As the name suggests, all they serve are succulent burgers and lobsters (the latter served grilled or steamed or as a lobster roll), and at one price (20 quid). You'll find plenty of locals here heartily digging into the substantial dishes, and the jovial atmosphere and friendly staff make it worth the visit.

If you have a more posh dinner in mind (say, you want to impress your significant other), make a reservation at the Berners Tavern in the new London Edition Hotel. The soaring ceilings, walls that are simply perfection with framed art, cozy booths and tables -- it all comes together for one glamorous space. Once you're done absorbing the room's beauty, the food will capture your attention, too. The meat and seafood-focused menu includes winners such as roasted Cornish sea bass, with brown shrimp, samphire, kale and whole-grain mustard.

Essential shopping

If you have designer tastes, then a stop into Dover Street Market (at 17-18 Dover St.) goes without question. As the name and address suggest this is the original location -- the Ginza and New York locations came afterwards. The brainchild of designer Rei Kawakubo, this retail shop carries a selection of items curated by the Comme des Garcons designer and her team, including luxury goods from Celine and Saint Laurent, presented in a space that feels like an art installation in itself. Stop in for a peek even if you aren't looking to buy.

Essential dos

If you happen upon some good weather while in London, skip being inside a museum that day and take the tube to Hampstead Heath. This grassy 320-hectare park is filled with locals with their dogs, joggers and tourists. Wear comfy footwear (or plan for your daily run here) and make your way uphill and you'll be rewarded with a fantastic view of London once you reach the peak. Or plan for a picnic by first picking up provisions at Borough Market before heading to the park for a peaceful lunch -- you may find yourself craving some quiet if you've spent one morning amongst the crowd at Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard.

Written by Karen Kwan for: AmongMen.com

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