Heads up: the British are coming! Through Feb. 18, Miami will play host to BritWeek to laud the creative connections between Brits and Americans. In honor of the long-distance love affair, we’re spotlighting some of Miami and London’s most compatible venues.
To and fro
British Airways has flown this transatlantic route for more than 40 years, and based on increased demand, the airline augmented its fleet with a dozen new Airbus 380 jets. In keeping with the theme for the upgrade, passengers traveling from MIA to Heathrow (and back) could sip on Miami-inspired cocktails created by The Broken Shaker while scoping out the superjumbo plane’s Rolls-Royce engines that were designed and built in the UK.
Where to stay
Thompson Hotels boasts two stunning boutique properties in each city.
British Bohemia: Belgraves- A Thompson Hotel shines in the heart of London’s chicest neighborhood Belgravia, which is just a short walk from iconic landmarks like Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and Harrod’s. The five-star hotel’s interior is a midcentury modern dream with eclectic spaces warmed by dark, rich textures. Paying homage to the color of royalty, deep purple hues stand out against metallics and marble. (Fun fact: the same shade of purple defined every aspect of Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953 at nearby Westmister Abbey). 20 Chesham Pl., London
Beachfront Beauty: Thompson Miami Beach overlooks the Atlantic Ocean with the essence of laid-back midcentury glamour inside historic Art Deco towers. The Mid-Beach hotel’s bright and airy rooms reflect its tropical locale with vibrant pops of color that play off the sun’s rays and the water. 4041 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Where to lounge
Artesian is nestled inside The Langham, one of London’s most prestigious hotels with 150 years of history. While the ambiance is traditional and decidedly Victorian, the cocktail bar and lounge is celebrated for its innovative mission. (It’s won World’s Best Bar by Drinks International four years in a row!) The experimental recipes are served in wild vessels like a giant robot or a treasure chest. Some come with surreal garnishes like a balloon that hovers over the drink with the scent of eucalyptus inside, along with a small bag of Guatemalan worry dolls. It’s not a coincidence that the base spirit of this drink is a Guatemalan rum. See what they did there?! The experience is unparalleled, but what we like most is the unpretentious vibe; it feels like it could be your neighborhood bar. 1C Portland Pl., London
Miami Beach’s upscale neighborhood bar is The Regent Cocktail Club at The Gale. Helmed by Cuban cocktail connoisseur Julio Cabrera, the elegant venue is known for sophisticated drinks in an unexpectedly welcoming environment. The crowd generally unwinds in the sumptuous banquettes till the wee hours, while cocktails in vintage glassware fly off the stately bar. 1690 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Where to find inspiration
Tate Modern, part of the Tate’s family of four art galleries, is home to the UK’s collection of modern and contemporary art (1900-present). Provocative artwork covers the walls of this massive museum space in an old power station on the River Thames, where art lovers can gaze at Duchamp, Picasso, Lichtenstein, Rothko, Richter, Calder, Malevich, Matisse, Mondrian and more. Pieces depicting avant-garde performance art are also one of the biggest draws. For instance, Rebecca Horn’s Overflowing Blood Machine (1970). Admission is free. Bankside, London
Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami is establishing a reputation for pushing community engagement through discourse and dialogue. Once construction of the museum is complete, the 37,500-square-foot building will feature contemporary masterworks with a significant sculpture garden. In the meantime, ICA’s temporary space is inside the Design District’s Moore Building. Innovative and experimental art exhibitions and programming are ongoing with a highly anticipated survey of John Miller’s career opening Feb. 18. Admission is free. 4040 NE 2nd Ave., Miami
Where to eat
Two of Miami’s best restaurants for Asian fare hail from London: Zuma and Hakkasan. Expect an extraordinary dining experience on either side of the pond.
Where to drink a pint
The Wilton Arms is a must-find in London’s posh Knightsbridge-Belgravia neighborhood (a couple blocks from the Belgraves). This quintessential English mews pub was built in 1826, and it looks a lot like it did in the ’20s today— carpeted floors and all! The authentic space is accompanied by friendly bartenders and a convivial locals’ vibe. 71 Kinnerton St., London
Lou’s Beer Garden in North Beach is an alfresco gastropub tucked away in the tiny courtyard of a boutique hotel. The craft beer selection is noteworthy and complemented by a seasonal food menu. It’s easy to escape the mania here. 7337 Harding Ave., Miami Beach