Answers from Our Experts (3)
From royals and popstars to actors and sports personalities, London is jam-packed with celebrities. Here's where you'll find them.
If you want to dine with the stars, The Ivy is a safe bet. Celebrity tastes are constantly changing, with restaurants going in and out of fashion all the time, but The Ivy has been a favourite with London's famous faces for years now. Its location in the heart of Theatreland is a big draw for actors and other creative types – go late in the evening once the shows have come down for your best chance of spotting the likes of Helen Mirren, Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey.
Membership of a top private members' club such as the Groucho or Loulou's may still be the best route to partying with celebrities, but don't despair if you lack the contacts for such a night out. Recently refurbished Mayfair bar and club Mahiki is open to all and is one of Prince Harry's go-to places. Singer Rihanna, actor James Corden and British diving champion Tom Daley have all been spotted there recently.
Take a stroll through pretty Primrose Hill Village on any day of the week and you're likely to spot one of the area's many famous residents. The original Primrose Hill 'set' included Kate Moss, Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Ewan McGregor and Rhys Ifans but now even more celebrities are calling the area home. Look out for actors Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig, One Direction singer Harry Styles and even Labour Party leader Ed Miliband.
In almost all cases, celebrity status and enviable wealth go hand in hand – so the best way to spot celebrities in London is to head to its most exclusive and expensive locations.
You are all-but-guaranteed to notice a famous face if you opt for a lavish dinner at haute cuisine restaurants like The Ivy or Nobu, choose to spend a night at five star hotels such as The Savoy or Claridge's, or enjoy an evening drink at a chic joint like Mahiki in Westminster or Chinawhite in Soho (or, if you can somehow manage to get in, at The Groucho Club).
However, celebrity-spotting doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. You can also run into the odd celebrity simply by hanging around in the vicinity of Leicester Square on a Friday night (there's bound to be at least one major Hollywood premiere on) or strolling up and down Portobello Road in Notting Hill (a fashion street popular with the likes of Kate Moss and Sienna Miller).
And if that fails, try the traditional British pubs The Hawley Arms in Camden (a popular haunt for everyone from Kirsten Dunst to Simon Pegg, and the one-time regular of Amy Winehouse) and St Margarets in Twickenham (it's close to a major film studio, so a regular with several movie directors and actors).
London is a great place to spot celebrities, with many of them having a base in the capital and numerous events attracting A listers year-round. But there are no hard and fast rules for where to spot them – they are just people with normal lives after all!
Keep your eyes peeled at all times, even just in the street, where you could spot anyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Kate Middleton out running errands, shopping or leaving the gym. Bond Street in the West End and the Kings Road in Chelsea are good bets.
Although the celeb scene changes faster than your average London traffic light, there are also some restaurants and bars where you are more likely to spot a famous face. Head to The Ivy in the West End for dinner, where you could be dining next to George Michael, Elton John or Tom Cruise or Nobu on Park Lane, where Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Kate Moss have all been seen.
The best celeb spotting bars are, sadly, members only (the Met Bar, the Groucho Club) but there's always the chance of seeing a minor royal at Mahiki in Mayfair and there are also plenty of pubs that attract a clutch of famous faces. In Camden try the Hawley Arms or head to Hampstead and the Duke of Hamilton.
Finally, remember that many of the celebrities you might see in London are just going about their business and trying to lead their lives as normally as possible. It is the height of uncool to hassle a famous face over a pint so keep your autograph book and that mobile phone camera tucked away.