London is a wonderful city with world class hotels, top restaurants, countless opportunities to see great theatre, art and music, and of course plenty of chances for fun and relaxation too. But how do you know where all of the best bits are if you’re new to the city? Well, it can be a little tricky sorting the wheat from the chaff even when you’re a bit more familiar with the big smoke, so to help you out we’ve prepared a list of our top tips for London. Take a look, read and enjoy.
Stay at London’s Best Connected Hotel
Any traveller who enjoys somewhere with good transport connections will love this funky boutique hotel which has just reopened its doors after a huge and successful make-over. It’s in the perfect location – the best hotel near St Pancras station (just 25 metres from the Eurostar Terminal) and pretty much puts you in the best spot to get to anywhere in town. The hotel has 91 exquisitely decorated rooms, in-room entertainment fit for a king and our favourite touch: pantries on every floor where you can help yourself to freshly baked cakes, newspapers and Nespresso coffees. The bar is pretty damn good too. We recommend the ‘1854’ cocktail, which promises to transport you back to the ‘smoke and coal- filled station of over 100 years ago – with a few added luxuries’.
Drinks with a View
In the hustle and bustle of London it is a true pleasure to get up above the buildings to enjoy drinks with a view. Our favourite spot to do this is the OXO Tower Bar, itself an iconic part of the London skyline, you get uninterrupted views of London and St Pauls Cathedral as you sip cocktails from this Thames-side location. Ok – they’re not cheap, but they’re worth it.
Dine First Class
The Plum + Spilt Milk, the Great Northern’s restaurant, is a fabulous place to dine if you really want to treat yourselves and it’s quickly gaining a reputation for being the best new restaurant in London. Highly acclaimed chef Mark Sargeant cooks up delicious classics like Red mullet with braised fennel, Salt Marsh lamb shank hotpot and Monk fish curry with pilaf rice. The staff are ever so friendly, rather model-like and are on hand to cater for your every need and in fact this place is so chic that you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find it’s completely unpretentious too. Service rolls all day from breakfast until midnight and this clever restaurant seems to have a different mood for every mealtime.
Soak Up Some Culture
London’s famed South Bank is an excellent spot to head to when you want to immerse yourself in a little of what the city has to offer culturally. The British Film Institute, The National Theatre and The South Bank Centre (the largest single-run Arts centre in the world) are all there. The kinds of things you can see right now range from exhibitions for Press Photographer of the Year, to the Alternative Guide to the Universe, an exhibition at the South Bank Centres Hayward Gallery involving individuals from Art, Science and Architecture, to Sweet Bird of Youth, at the National Theatre, a Tennessee Williams play starring Kim Cattrall (of Sex and the City) and Seth Numrich.
After all of that exploring chances are you’re going to need some help relaxing, so take a trip to the wonderful Elemis Spa in Mayfair. Their Exotic Steam Rasul is the ideal place to unwind and escape from the business of the city – even better follow it up with a massage. If you enjoy a strong massage go for the Deep Tissue Muscle Massage, or if you prefer something a little more sensual choose the Absolute Aroma Stone Experience. We found the therapists very friendly and discreet and felt truly divine afterwards.
We hope this has given you some ideas for your next trip to London. It’s a wonderful city with a wealth of fun, fascinating and exciting things to offer – if you have any ideas for great things to see or do there too we’d love to hear about them, so please get commenting!