Above: The library at L'oscar in London

One of the few great cities that combine charm and dynamism in equal measure,Londonboasts inexhaustible cultural riches and a stellar restaurant scene that befits its status as a world capital. The traveler’s greatest enemy is time. It’s all too tempting to spend every morning inmuseums, every afternoonshoppingand every evening at the theater (adding a gourmet meal or two, of course, and perhaps an afternoon high tea for good measure). Choosing what to leave out of an itinerary is a painful task required of all visitors to the city, whether they stay for a week or a month.

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