England: East London
For those who think they know London inside and out, the latest areas to explore: the emerging, arty neighborhoods of East London.
You might overlook this literally new neighborhood (the first buildings went up in the '80s), home to most of the national newspapers. But hidden among the high-rises are lots of good excuses to take a joyride on the fun and futuristic Docklands Light Railway or the Jubilee Line's new bit.
Where to stay: The five-star Four Seasons Hotel raised the bar for the neighborhood when it opened a year and a half ago (46 Westferry Circus; 011-44-20-7510-1999; doubles from $500). Next came Circus Apartments, a new high-design hostelry from Christina Ong (owner of the chic Metropolitan and Halkin hotels in London), where furnished apartments are for rent by the day, week or month (39 Westferry Circus; 011-44-20-7719-7000; doubles from $310).
Where to eat: Fish!, a superior chain-ette where you pick your fish and cooking method (33 Westferry Circus; 011-44-20-7519-6020). Riviera, for wood-fired pizza and other southern Italian dishes in an 1800 brick warehouse (W. India Quay, 14 Hertsmere Rd.; 011-44-20-7515-4245). Tabla, for contemporary Indian dishes (oxtail and chickpea soup) in the Georgian-era Dockmaster's House (W. India Dock Gate; 011-44-20-7345-0345). Ubon, Nobu (say it backwards) Matsuhisa's cost-conscious second London location (34 Westferry Circus; 011-44-20-7719-7800).