Have you got a city break to East London coming up? If so, we imagine you’ll have already selected one of the fantastic 5 stars hotels Shoreditch has to offer and planned an itinerary that includes all the must-see sites of this borough that you can finally tick off your bucket list. East London is the perfect place to enjoy a long weekend away, as the areas offer authentic London charm and a plethora of wonderful experiences to enjoy. Before you leave, however, you’ll need to pack everything you need. Of course, you want to travel fairly light for a long weekend, but there are few things that you should definitely bring along with you. Read on to find out more.
A Fully Closeable Day Bag
Now, we are sure that you’ve got your ultimate travel case ready, but the first thing you should definitely not forget is a bag to take with you during the day. East London is home to a wonderful collection of markets and trendy independent shops, so you’ll want to bring a bag that could easily fit a few extra items. This is much better than the alternative of lugging round plastic bags with you that are accumulated with every purchase, which will probably lead to you having to return to your Montcalm Shoreditch Hotel before you’ve finished exploring, just to unload. By bringing a bag, you are not only saving your fingers from the strain but helping the planet by not relying on single-use plastic. The reason we have specified a fully closeable bag is to deter any pickpocketers. Although you need not worry about crime during your visit to the city, an open bag on public transport and in crowds is never a good idea. In your bag, we also recommend that you pack a good book. There are a number of gorgeous parks in East London where you will appreciate a book to settle down with away from the bustling streets.
If you are visiting the city alone, headphones are a great tool that will make you fit in with the locals. Why? Well, because you can put your google maps on through your headphones, which provides directions over your music - so you can explore the city by foot without having to constantly concentrate on a map. Your 5-star hotel Shoreditch front desk will be more than happy to guide you to the nearest tube station, but after that - headphones are definitely a winning solution!
East London has a trendy, up-and-coming vibe, so if you can be sure of one thing, it’s that you will be surrounded by pretty cool looking people. To fit in and feel comfortable, we recommend comfy shoes paired with your favourite day outfits, then something slightly funkier for the evening. If you’re planning on a night out in East London, the vibe is generally still quite casual, so you don’t really need to worry about bringing suits or stilettos (unless you want to, of course!). Before you head for your night on the town, you should definitely book into the M by Montcalm Spa for a luxury treatment, so you can hit the town feeling your absolute best.
London has an abundance of historical attractions with history lovers sure to be captivated by the number of historical spots to visit. Most of them are associated with the history and politics of Great Britain through the centuries. Some of the top sites of historical significance include Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, House of Parliament and Buckingham Palace among many others.
Those looking for budget accommodation can look around for any of the London hotels special offers available at the time of their visit. Properties like the Hotel Park Grand Paddington Court London periodically offers special packages and deals for guests that book directly.
Some of the major historic sites to visit in the city are:
A firm favourite with followers of the royal family is the official residence of Buckingham Palace. It opens for public visitors in the summer for two months, so if you in London at that time drop in and tour the place. It is the most famous royal residence in the country and hots various state functions including banquets for visiting Heads of State and other important dignitaries. The State Rooms are housed with the best antiques, priceless artworks and other invaluable items. Even if you visit at any other time of the year make it a point to see the ceremonial Changing of the Queen’s Guard ceremony held at the forecourt of the palace almost daily at 11 am.
Houses of Parliament:
These are home to the British government and comprise the House of Common and the House of Lords that are formerly referred to collectively as the Palace of Westminster. Another famous attraction nearby is the Elizabeth Tower incorrectly referred to as Big Ben. The latter is actually the name of the bell that rings on the hour. While there are tours of the House of Parliament, the bookings have to be done well before you plan a visit.
Tower of London:
It draws the largest numbers of visitors, is one of the oldest buildings in the city and is more than a thousand years old. Over the centuries the tower has played various roles as an execution site, a prison, a royal palace, home to the royal mint etc. the best way to learn about the tower and its long history is to join any of the guided tours of the tower. These are conducted by the Beefeaters (the yeoman warders of the tower). At present, it houses the priceless collection of royal jewels known as the ‘Crown Jewels’.
Another jewel in the crown is Westminster Abbey that is among the top historical attractions in London. The abbey has been the coronation venue for almost all of the monarchs of England save for three. It also is the location for the tombs of some of the most important figures of English society ranging from scientists to members of the royal family. The abbey has played host to a number of royal weddings with the last ceremony being held in 2011, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge got married.
London is one of the world’s most diverse cities with a huge array of awesome cultures representing almost every nationality on earth. It doesn’t take a long visit to London to start to experience its tremendous selection of excellent restaurants, sights and attractions which have been created by its diverse inhabitants. A must-do for any London visit is eating out in some of its wonderful ethnically inspired restaurants to sample some of the international cuisines on offer. We’re not just talking about some of the best Indian, Chinese and African restaurants around, London offers many other quirky and curious ethnic restaurants which will take your tastebuds places they’ve never been before.
This multi-award-winning Cantonese restaurant offers two restaurants in London in both Mayfair and Hanway Place. Both are upmarket offerings, they serve excellent contemporary Cantonese and other Asian dishes which are superbly rated by almost everyone who walks through the doors. Classy and suave from both the elegant decor of each restaurant to the food which is presented with a touch of Eastern magic, these restaurants are a must-visit for anyone in London wishing to sample the very best in international cuisine. Both restaurants are a relatively short distance away from the Park Grand London Paddington which offers a superb base for exploring some of London’s most elegant districts.
Flavors of India Paddington
Ideally situated for the Park Grand Hotel, this is one of the best Indian restaurants In Paddington London. An Indian restaurant that combines all the best world-famous traditional dishes ranging from the most authentic of Indian dishes to those inspired by the UK, this rustic restaurant is comfortable, cosy and is laden with fantastic decor and artefacts. Indian cuisine has developed into the UK’s favourite international cuisine, London’s selection of curry houses is superbly strong but this restaurant manages to lift above the noise with its traditional-come-contemporary menu.
Turtle Bay Brixton
London doesn’t have a spectacular reputation for being bright and sunny but this Carribean restaurant does. You’ll be served sunshine on a plate at Turtle Bay, this restaurant’s superb menu combines the best of authentic Carribean food cooked to traditional recipes with some contemporary takes on Carribean-UK classics. You’ll find everything from fruity dishes made with mango and hot sauces to chicken wings, jerk chicken and curry and rice dishes.
This family-run Lebanese restaurant situated in South Kensington perfectly amalgamates one of London’s fastest upcoming cuisines with a superb relaxed atmosphere which is friendly, homely and comfortable. Not far from Paddington and situated in one of London’s classiest areas, this restaurant is surprisingly good value, the portions are large, presentation is first-class and with a fine selection of both authentic traditional and modern dishes available, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
London’s international and ethnic cuisine scene is pretty much unparalleled. There is a tremendous selection, check Park Grand London for special offers London hotels to book your spot in one of the world’s centres of culture and cuisine - it won’t disappoint!
London’s reputation as being one of the priciest cities in the world does become a bit of turn off for those travellers on a tight budget. Whether is hotel costs, travel or dining and shopping, the city’s prices are much higher than anywhere else in the UK. In terms of prices, the city is among the costliest in Europe.
However, there always are ways and means by which travellers can enjoy the city at a lower cost or even do things for free. In terms of accommodation, the London City Suites Barbican have some very attractive offers and package deals at different times of the year. With first-rate facilities, superb customer service and amenities like the Barbican Centre parking, it is a good choice of accommodation when on a trip to the city.
To save costs on dining out at the restaurants London City, look to visit during the happy hours when the prices are as low as half the regular sum. London also has numerous arts and cultural venues that do charge any admission fees to explore. Special exhibitions may charge a fee, but these can be overlooked and visitors can move to tour the free sections.
Among the top free attractions to tour in London, the British Museum must be right up there at the top of the list of venues. The museum is home to one of the most impressive collections of human civilisations, arts, culture etc, and has some of the most priceless artefacts and relics on display. These include rare exhibits like the Rosetta Stone, The Elgin Marbles, Egyptian Mummies and Easter Island statues among other items. The Natural History Museum is another brilliant museum that showcases fossils and other relics from the world of nature. The highlight, of course, is Hope the life-size blue whale exhibit that is found in the Great Hall. Among other engaging displays are its collection of dinosaur fossils that are particularly a favourite with kids that visit the museum. Since both of these museums offer the most engaging displays and are free to visit, they must be on the list of places for a budget traveller to tick off in London.
If you feel you would like to know more about the natural world a tour of the Grant Museum of Zoology should be just the things to satiate your curiosity. Since it is relatively small in comparison to the Natural History Museum, it would be a great idea to club the two together on a single tour. Despite its humbler size it still packs quite a punch with some very engaging exhibits on display. The collection comprises of cabinets, jars and fossils and a tour of the place is like a visit to a science lab. Some of the more one-of-a-kind displays include a 12 millennia old mammoth tusk, a sea cow skeleton and an elephant bird’s egg.
Another fantastic free attraction is the Science Museum with a wide variety of displays and some very cool interactive galleries. A great spot to visit with the younger ones and give then an introduction to the amazing world of science. The exhibits on display cover different scientific eras of history and there even is an IMAX cinema to engage visitors.
Let’s face it, there are certain people in your life for certain activities and not all of them have the same sophisticated cultural pallet as you. While some people are multifaceted and able to enjoy both extreme adrenaline sports as well as old silent film screenings, some activities are suited to certain friends more than others. So think carefully about who you would invite to some of these more unique cultural experiences for the true aficionado – because they may not be for everyone.
The British Library in Euston is hosting an exhibition entirely focused on the study of Buddhism until 23 February 2020. Few people outside countries with large Buddhist populations actually know what the beautiful religion entails as certain symbols and practices have been misappropriated. Upon my first trip into a Buddhist temple, I was rather shocked at the need for signs stating to tourists that it is highly disrespectful to portray depictions of Buddha in a tattoo or to display them in places like a pub. You would probably agree that that should go without saying. If you have the desire to be educated about the enlightenment of the Buddhist paths in order to have a true and respectful appreciation for its core tenants and admire the beautiful artefacts and iconography through which it is taught and honoured, the scrolls and palm leaf manuscripts that give you a glimpse into Buddhist philosophy and cosmology – then you know where to go. It’s a big exhibition, so you may want to budget a few hours to properly soak everything in.
Perhaps you are more tickled by the history and artefacts of Ancient Egypt? Tutankhamun is a name known worldwide from elementary school lessons about Egypt, but the full uncensored story of the young Pharaoh is much more entertaining and is told comprehensively in this exhibition entitled Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh. Almost 100 years after their discovery, the artefacts in this exhibition will conclude their trip around the world at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea on 3 May 2020 – marking the last time that they will be exhibited outside of Egypt. That should serve as enough motivation to get your act together and book your tickets!
If you’re looking for something brand new that is both beautiful and thought-provoking, there has been a lot of buzz about the show coming to the Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden by the name of Aisha and Abhaya. A co-production between contemporary dance company, Rambert, and The Royal Ballet, this show proudly exhibits its talented dancers on stage alongside brilliant film, animation, music and exceptional costumes. The plot is both fantastical and deeply relevant to today’s political climate. Running from 21 January until 9 February 2020, this is bound to be a one-of-a-kind dance experience.
One of the most diverse cities in the world, both in terms of its residents, cultures and cuisines, London is a city where food is celebrated; playing host to some of the top Chef’s and eateries in the country and even the world. With that being said, we all love the classics, and a good Italian pizza or pasta dish is something that can’t always be beaten.
In an effort to support our fellow pasta and pizza lovers in London, we’ve researched and pulled together our five top Italian restaurants near The Arch which serves as somewhat of a border between Oxford Street and West London.
For the High-End Clientele
With an impressive 4.5 stars across over 400 Google reviews, Daphne’s in West London is one of London’s favourite Italians; offering classic cuisines and a high-end vibe that attracts many of the Chelsea residents.
Located just North of the iconic collection of Marble Arch Hotels lies Locanda Locatelli. With an imaginative menu and notable bread options, this Italian is low key but attracts London’s high-level customers due to its celebrity Chef and his networks – many of whom frequent the restaurant.
For a great pizza
If pizza is what you’re after, the Hammersmith based Casa Bardotti Pizzeria is a great option in the West side of London. Available to order on a number of iconic delivery sites, guests enjoying a London Hotel Special Offer can enjoy the pizza from Casa Bardotti’s from the comfort of their own room, though the sleek and cosy atmosphere within the restaurant itself is something not to be missed. If you’re still not convinced of its validity, Bardotti’s is regularly filled with Italian customers – the best kind of review for a great pizza!
For a great location
West London has some beautiful walks, parks and river side views, and The River Café enjoys all of them; with fantastic food, seasonal menus and an airy riverside location that offers outdoor dining in the summer months. What better way to enjoy a taste of Italy than in the fresh air next to the river? The high-ceilings of the River Café ensure the restaurant remains light and airy, while the fresh ingredients and inventive yet simple dishes showcase Italian dining at its finest.
Lastly, we come to San Remo, a West London delight that’s perfect for date night. A family-run eatery that relies on charming staff and classic dishes, San Remo is super cosy yet remains quite contemporary in style with plant life scattered throughout the restaurant. Guests typically enjoy large meals – a mainstay of Italian family eating – while the proximity of tables to the kitchen means that foodies can enjoy watching their food be prepared and cooked in a traditional Italian style.
So, there we have it, some of the best spots to enjoy Italian cooking in the West End of London. After all, fine dining and tiny plates are one thing, but is there really anything better than a great Italian bowl of pasta after a long day of shopping?
The great thing about staying in London is the numerous activities and hangout spots on every corner. You will be spoilt for choice with all the different places worth visiting. With that said, though, one of the most asked questions by guests at hotels like Grand Royale London Hyde Park is a recommendation on the best place to grab a drink.
There is something about games and alcohol that seems to bring people together. These top bars in London have discovered the secret to get people off the mobile phones and enjoy a fun social night while enjoying fantastic beer and cocktails. Here is the best activity bard to visit in London.
Fight Club Shoreditch
Located at one of London’s trendiest neighbourhoods is a rustic bar boasting wooden furniture and dark leather seats in the heart of Shoreditch. The space attracts a laidback crowd looking to enjoy local craft beers while taking part in a game of darts. Game night is open to people of all playing levels, a great way to let loose and make new friends.
Bounce Old Street
Once all the work is done, and away with the seriousness of work. Londoners are all about having a good time and enjoying a fun social evening over a drink. One of the growing game trends in the city is Ping Pong. There are several bars and pubs which now offer this fun table game as part of the unwinding experience. Bounce is an underground bar that boasts 17 tables, and they serve some of the best gin cocktails and the old school favourite pizza.
The Bat and Ball
This is one of the quirkiest fun bars that the city has to offer. You will be transformed into your 13-year self while still enjoying all the pleasures of drinking adult beverages. The Bat and Ball located in East London is a great spot for hosting birthday parties and other fun events. Apart from the bar that serves delicious food and well-curated cocktails, there is also a separate games hall. In the hall, you can challenge your friends and other bar patrons to a game of ping pong or, try your hand at a game of pool. For those that prefer to sit and enjoy a good laugh, then come and experience the live comedy and burlesque nights.
This bar located in Holborn is the only bar in the United Kingdom that has an indoor petanque court. The venue is popular with people looking to host a private party and, the entire is available for hire. There are a dedicated bar and kitchen staff to ensure that your food and drinks are taken care of.
Top tip: If you’re visiting London, save money on your accommodation (and have more to spend at these bars!) by becoming a member of the Premier Rewards programme. It’s free to join, all of the hotels under the Park Grand umbrella are located by the best bars, restaurants and attractions, and the service is five-star.
A generally accepted fact is London is among the most expensive cities on the planet. Whether it is dining or drinking out in the city, the prices are much higher in London than the rest of the country. Similarly shopping at chain stores and other outlets is pricier as well.
While accommodation costs can be steep as well, there are special offers and discounts available from hotels like the London City Suites Barbican from time to time. The hotel offers excellent amenities, excellent customer service and with access to the barbican centre parking as well.
Similarly watch out for special offers or happy hours on offer at the Barbican restaurants in London, which would also help to trim expenses if on a budget. Besides a number of cultural institutions offer free access including the top museums and art galleries. While special exhibits may be ticketed, it is optional to leave a nominal donation at the venues you visit.
One of the must-visit venues is the British Museum, that is world-famous as one of the most iconic museums on the planet. It has a captivating collection of relics and artefacts covering couture, civilisations, arts and human history on the planet. Some of the priceless exhibits on display include Egyptian mummies, the Elgin Marbles, An Easter Island statue and the Rosetta Stone among many others. Similarly, the Natural History Museum showcases some of the most unique artefacts and fossils of the natural world. These include Hope, the gigantic blue whale skeleton occupying centre stage in the Great Hall. The highlight, of course, is the very popular dinosaur fossils collection that captivates all that tour the museum. A visit to the Natural History Museum is a magical experience and enthrals both young and old alike. Both museums offer free admission with the exception of special exhibits.
If your visit to the Natural History Museum has stimulated further interest in nature and the natural world, a tour of the Grant Museum of Zoology would be only quite appropriate. It is far smaller in size making it ideal to combine with a trip to the Natural History Museum. While it may be comparatively smaller it is no less interesting with its collection featuring skeletons, jars and cabinets that is reminiscent of walking into a boffin’s laboratory. There also are some very unique exhibits like an extinct elephant bird’s egg, the skeleton of an extinct sea-cow, a mammoth tusk 12,000 years old etc.
In keeping with the trend of visiting free attractions, the Science Museum is another great venue to explore. With exciting exhibits and captivating interactive galleries that engage both children and adults. It is a wonderful place to introduce kids to the wonders of science in a very informal atmosphere using playful methods. All of the exhibits are curated as per the age categories of children like The Pattern Pod and The Garden for the little ones, while the IMAX Cinema and Energy and Antenna Galleries are for teens and older kids.
London is the hub of entertainment in the UK. It plays hosts to several international sporting events and conventions that attract visitors from all parts of the globe. Aside from being the centre of culture and food, London events are a major driving force behind tourism in the city. These are five of the most talked-about upcoming events in London.
London Film and Comic-Con
This is one of the most exciting events, particularly for film lovers. It sees all the stars from all of your favourite movies, TV shows, and series coming together in one spot. If you have always wanted to meet your idolized tv personality from shows like The Vampire Diaries, then you will want to make sure that you book your slot at this convention. The convention takes place over three days so you might need to book a hotel stay if you are coming from outside of London. Paddington Court Executive Rooms are a great option and can be shared with a friend as they have a choice of a double bed or twin beds. At the meeting you will get to attend talks, engage in a Q&A session and get an autograph from the stars.
Dates: 29 February 2020 – 1 March 2020
Venue: Olympia London, Hammersmith Road
Spirit Of Christmas
This experience goes beyond more than just a convention. The Spirit of Christmas offers you the chance to shop for some out of this world Christmas decorations, gifts and other items. It is a holiday shopping experience like no other. The convention has a market vibe to it where vendors are carefully selected from a panel of people, and they showcase some of their best hand-crafted items. If you are still not too sure what to get your loved one this Christmas then, head over to Spirit of Christmas. Top Tip: As a member of the Shaftesbury Hyde Park Loyalty Program, you can save 10% of your hotel room rate and use the savings to sample some of the delicious food exhibited at the show.
Dates: 4 November 2019 – 10 November 2019
Venue: Olympia Grand London
Winter art and Antiques Fair
The Luxury Travel Fair
Travel professionals ranging from writers, bloggers, agents and hotel owners come to one of the biggest luxury travel conventions in the city. The event is hosted by Conde Nast Traveller, and you will get to learn more about the tricks of the trade, upcoming deals and offers, and how to get the best hotel rewards. Visitors get to take part in expert-led travel talk and find out what the latest trends in the world of travel are. There will be several caterers bringing you delicious foods from around the world as well as an opportunity to sample delightful champagne at the Louis Roederer Champagne Bar. There is currently a two for one special where you get to bring your friend to tag along at no cost
Dates: 7 November 2019 – 10 November 2019
Venue: Olympia West, London
Located at one of the Royal Parks of London, you will find London Zoo at Regent's Park. ZSL is the oldest scientific Zoo on the planet and opened its doors to the public in 1847. One of my personal favourite childhood memories is spending days visiting the Zoo with my family. The great thing about London Zoo, also known as ZSL, is that it is not restricted to children, but something for the entire family to enjoy.
If you take the Bakerloo line to Regent's Station, you can quickly get to the Zoo on foot. There are signposts in the leafy suburb that give clear directions on how to get to the Zoo. Regent's Alternatively, take the 88bus northbound from nearby Albany Street.
The Zoo is open to people of all age groups, and it is a favourite with school groups and people looking people looking to hire a venue for their private event. A group of 10 or more is entitled to 25% discount off standard online or gate prices. Other benefits for groups include free entry for Blue Badge Guides, free entry for one essential carer with paying disabled visitors, posters and leaflets to promote your group visit.
If you plan on hiring the venue for your special event, you will first need to make contact with the Zoo to check for availability. Proceeds paid to host your event here go to the ZSL charity to help with the protection and sustainability of the animals. The event spaces also have a catering option, much like some of the top Restaurants In Paddington.
There is a range of ticket options to select from single entry tickets to membership options. Depending on the time of the year you decide to visit, fares can range anywhere from £23.40 per Adult to £31.50 per Adult. They are open from 10 am – 4 pm daily.
What to do inside
There is plenty to do at the Zoo. One of the best experiences is being able to have direct interaction with some of the animals. The Keeper for a Day experience allows you to get up close and personal with the animals. You will get an inside look of what it takes to be a zookeeper, and the experience comes with a complimentary lunch.
The Zoo has its own accommodation within its premises. However, most people prefer to stay at one of the neighbouring properties. Grand Paddington Hotel is a contemporary luxury property that offers a wide range of accommodation option. Visitors can have the freedom of being not only close to the Zoo but the surrounding attractions as well. They provide complimentary breakfast with your room rate, and there is WiFi throughout the property. If you plan to travel with kids, look for a family-friendly hotel that allows the entire family to stay together in one room. Hotels with triple rooms London are best for larger families travelling together.
Pubs in London is a favourite pass time. People have been gathering at local pubs to enjoy after-work drinks and discuss critical political matters for hundreds of the years. There is a great beer culture in London, and beer played an essential role in the early economy of London. East London is a part of London known to be modern and attracts a younger and artistic crowd. There is a buzzing nightlife in this part of the city. Some of the best restaurants near Finsbury square serve the best craft beer in town, but nothing beats the feeling of being in an old English pub beer barrels strategically appointed to form part of the bars deco. These are some of the oldest pubs in East London.
The Blind Beggar
This historic pub dates back to the 1960s, and it is the place where the infamous gangster Ronnie Kray shot and killed his rival. This pub is also notable for being the former brewery tap o the Manns which was where the first brown ale was brewed. There is an indoor and outdoor seating area where you can enjoy a wide selection of drinks paired with delicious food.
Address: 337 Whitechapel Rd, Shadwell, London E1 1BU, United Kingdom
Opening Hours: Sun – Thu 11 am-12 pm, Fri and Sat 11 am -12 am
Golden Hearts Spitalfields
Located in the Spitalfields Arts Market, you will find this hidden gem dating back over several decades. The pub attracts the art crowd of Shoreditch with the 70-year-old + lady still serving drinks behind the bar. If you would like to hear stories of days in the war and enjoy a historical experience then head over to this pub on the busy commercial street. Montcalm Royal London House Spa is located within easy reach from the pub.
Address: 110 Commercial St, Spitalfields, London E1 6LZ, United Kingdom
Opening Hours: Mon-Satat 11 am – 11 pm, Sun 12 pm – 10:30 am
The Carpenters Arms
Another one in Shoreditch is the Carpenters Arms. This classic bar offers a wide range of beers from across the globe, and they serve delicious comfort food in the intimate and modest setting. The bar is open seven days a week, and they serve anything from house wine and beers to top international brands and classic cocktails. Visitors can expect to find a comprehensive menu of pub grub.
Address: 73 Cheshire St, London E2 6EG, United Kingdom
Opening Hours: Mon – Thu 4pm – 11:30pm, Fri and Sat 12pm – 12am, Sun 12pm – 10:30pm
Prospect of Whitby
The Prospect of Whitby is a historic public house on the banks of the Thames at Wapping in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is said to being the site of the oldest riverside tavern, dating from around 1520. Guests staying at any of the hotels near Liverpool street station can head over to this pub to immerse themselves a part of history.
Address: 57 Wapping Wall, St Katharine's & Wapping, London E1W 3SH, United Kingdom
Opening Hours: Mon – Thu 12 pm – 11 pm, Fri and Sat 12 pm – 12 am, Sun 12 pm – 10:30 pm
London has a surprising abundance of green spaces. With its parks, nature reserves and urban farms, the city offers up a wide range of amazing chill-out zones, all year round walking routes and secret gardens all yours to discover. One aspect of London’s outdoorsy culture that is popular with tourists and guests at the Grand Royale London Hyde Park is the city’s smattering of Royal Parks. As the crown jewels of London’s abundance of greenery, these parks offer up a unique insight into the stately history of the city and promise beautiful natural landscapes, surprisingly expansive for an inner-city park.
Why are they called the Royal Parks?
The Royal Parks of London were all at one point owned by the monarchy, either as private pleasure gardens or royal hunting grounds. Whilst all are now open to the public, these parks are known for holding over 5000 acres of green space and promise a broad range of activities and natural landscapes. Whilst it might be winter right now, these parks still hold a vast range of activities and attractions for winter wanderers.
Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
Located near to some of the best London restaurants, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are split by the man-made Serpentine Lake and between them make up 620 acres of land. Don’t miss Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, a park winter fair running throughout November into January.
Green park is another centrally located green space which intersects with St James’s Park and Buckingham Palace. Made up mostly of fields and walkways, this park takes up 47 acres and leads to Piccadilly Circus. The park also plays host to a variety of memorials, including the Canada Memorial and Bomber Command Memorial.
One of the farthest out of the Royal Parks, Richmond Park is a nature reserve that was originally built for King Charles I as a deer hunting park. The deers of Richmond can still be found roaming the 9 and a half square kilometres of land.
Regent’s Park is located just off of Baker Street and Great Portland Street and combines landscaped gardens with vast green fields and even an open-air theatre. This park is especially popular with London locals, and also hosts a range of open-air art exhibitions every year, curated by the Frize Gallery.
St James Park
Overlooking the back of Buckingham Palace, this Westminster based park is full of idyllic cafes, ponds and vast green fields for commuter rambles.
With at least 4000 years of history, Bushy Park was first made royal for use as an aristocratic sports ground. Now home to Teddington Rugby and Hockey Club, the park is, like Richmond, a nature reserve teeming with forested areas and wildlife.
With beautiful views over the cityscape, Greenwich Park is home to the Royal Greenwich Observatory and the Cutty Sark. Dating back to 1675 and based in the docklands area of East London, Greenwich Park offers 184 acres of historic parkland and beautiful views over the Royal Hospital and Canary Wharf business hub.
The entertainment and tourism industry is an ever-adapting beast. With the ever-changing demands of the public, London has become a city well versed in meeting the needs of its visitors. With hotels such as the Marble Arch Hotel Oxford Street offering a versatile service, visitors to the city will be accommodated for, whatever their needs.
When it comes to tourist attractions, London never fails to pave the way for innovation and education. With higher demands for customer satisfaction, business owners have had to up their game and make their attractions as hands-on as possible. Interactivity adds a certain sense of engagement to an event or city tour, giving customers a chance to enjoy and learn through doing. Here are just a selection of the wide range of interactive events and activities that guests at the Marble Arch Hotel can enjoy during their visit.
Based on London’s South Bank, Shrek’s Adventure is an interactive storytelling experience which takes you on a journey with some of the most memorable characters from the Far Far Away franchise. Mixing live performers with detailed and interactive sets, the audience is transported on a journey that will undoubtedly delight old and young alike.
Prepare to learn about the city’s past with blood-curdling detail. With actors guiding you through tableaus of the London Plague and Jack the Rippers hunting grounds, the London Dungeons are certainly not for the faint of heart. Now based on the South Bank, you can enjoy river flume rides, medieval execution themed lift drops and some of the most notorious figures from the city’s past.
Clink Prison Experience
Housed near London Bridge in one of the city’s most infamous medieval jails, the Clink, as it’s come to be known transports you through ominous torture chambers and a history dating from the 12th to the 18th century.
Escape Rooms London Bridge
There is a surprising abundance of escape room events dotted around London Bridge. Whether it’s due to the high footfall of tourists or the central city workers looking for some after-hours thrills. Whatever your team, the sheer number of escape rooms in the city could have you locked behind doors for weeks on end.
Harry Potter Tour Warner Brothers Studio
Take a trip out to Leavesden and enjoy the world of Harry Potter. At the Warner Brothers Studio on the outskirts of London, Potter fanatics can explore the sets, props and art from the internationally renowned film franchise. With green screen and dress up fun, you can wander through the world of the boy wizard-like never before.
Jack the Ripper Tour
Located in Whitechapel, the Jack the Ripper Tour is guided by professional actors and experts and takes you through the crime scenes of the infamous serial killer. Explore evidence and theorise the identity of the Ripper, all during an atmospheric nighttime tour through the Victorian streets of East London.
Part of the Museum row of South Kensington, guests at West London luxury hotel rooms are just a stone’s throw away from one of the most interactive science museums in the world. With experiments, inventions and three floors of fun, the Science Museum is an interactive must-visit for all ages.
Christmas in London has been a special time going right back to when Charles Dickens was writing about Ebeneezer Scrooge. However, the festive season really reached new heights just over 10 years ago when the first Winter Wonderland arrived in Hyde Park. Over a decade later, the annual Christmas festival has become one of the most important and popular events in the city at this time of year.
Thousands of visitors attend Winter Wonderland every year to enjoy over 100 rides and attractions, so if you’re coming to stay at San Domenico House Hotel London this Christmas, here’s your guide to visiting Winter Wonderland:
What’s on at Winter Wonderland?
There are lots of great Christmas markets on around London at this time of year and also plenty of places that offer funfair rides or an ice rink. But how many can offer all of that in one place? None but Winter Wonderland, which makes the most of its location in Hyde Park with the largest open-air ice rink in the UK, lit up by over 100,000 lights. For fans of markets, there are all kinds of food, drink and arts and crafts stalls to enjoy. New for 2019 there’s even a 70m observation wheel to give you incredible views across Hyde Park and London in general.
Winter Wonderland for kids
Of course, while this Christmas festival is great fun for all ages, the real question is what’s on offer for children. The most obvious answer is that it has the best Santa’s Grotto in the whole of London, where kids can meet the great man himself and his elves, while they can also enjoy the 45m ice slide and the festive parade. There’s plenty of children’s entertainment on in the shape of Zippo’s Christmas Circus, Paddington On Ice and Mr Men & Little Miss - The Show.
That Festive Feeling
One of the things most of us want from a trip to somewhere like Winter Wonderland is to leave feeling much more festive than we did before as we walk back to our accommodation in Chelsea London. There are plenty here to make sure you get that, especially The Magical Ice Kingdom, where you can visit a special recreation of A Christmas Carol made out of snow and ice. See that magical Dickensian Christmas that we talked about at the start, but with the extra festive twist of it being sparkly and icy.
Get the Adrenaline Pumping
And finally - what few other winter fairs can offer - some exhilarating rides, including the Munich Looping rollercoaster, Wilde Maus XXL and Ice Mountain, plus fairground traditions like the High Flyer and Carousel, With over 100 rides and games on offer, you could quite easily spend your whole day and night just trying them all out.
Getting to Winter Wonderland
If you’re staying in a hotel around Hyde Park, you’ll be within walking distance of Winter Wonderland, but if you’re travelling from further afield, you can get off the Tube at Victoria, Bond Street, Knightsbridge, Green Park, Marble Arch or Hyde Park Corner.
Soho is one of London's most famous and exciting areas to visit. A hive of activity and attractions of all shapes and sizes, Soho is full of historical landmarks and hidden gems at every turn with luxury accommodation in London close by. With a little something for everyone, Soho is also ideal for solo-travellers. Check out this to-do list if you are planning to visit the area.
Soho Walking Tour
A great way to explore Soho and its history is on a walking tour. As you walk around Soho, you'll get a flavour of its checkered but wonderfully intriguing history. Previously famous for its brothels and strip clubs, Soho is known for its salubrious past and entertainment. Before catching an early walking tour its a good idea to grab breakfast around Paddington at the Park Grand Hotel Hyde Park.
With six-stories of photography from hundreds of top photographers from around the world, the Photographers' Gallery holds some real gems. Over the years the Photographer's Gallery has introduced international photographers such as Juergen Teller, Andreas Gursky and Taryn Simon to British audiences. They have also championed the work of UK-based photographers such as Martin Parr, Nick Knight and Corinne Day. An exceptional gallery, these photos will live long in the memory after your visit.
Book Shopping in Foyles
With a fantastic 200,000 books spread out across four miles of shelves, Foyles used to hold a Guinness World Record for being the biggest bookstore in the world and is a book lovers paradise. Foyles is a beautiful building with a full-height central atrium filled with natural light owing to the large windows. Complete with a cafe and an auditorium, Foyles is an ideal spot to browse a world of books, to enjoy a coffee, or to find a quiet corner in which to read.
Visit Carnaby Street
The home of the swinging 60's. With everyone from the Rolling Stones to Elizabeth Taylor, The Who and Jimi Hendrix frequenting the area, Carnaby Street was an epicentre of cool. A hub for mods and hippies alike, Carnaby Street was filled with fashionable clothes outlets and underground music bars, and today remains a great place to shop, eat and reminisce.
For any collectors of vinyl records, Soho is one of the very best places in the world to visit. Staying true to its musical heritage, Soho has many vinyl record stores to visit and to enjoy. With an eclectic mixture of musical genres, you can find all kinds of weird and wonderful records from jazz and blues, to electronica and dance music.
It's always nice to have a breather from the sheer volume of activity and choice available in London. Soho Square is a lovely place to chill out and relax in a wide-open area away from all of the hustle and bustle. Sit back with a coffee on one of the park benches and enjoy some people-watching, or take some time to read a book that you've bought from Foyles, the choice is yours.
Many solo-travellers frequent Soho and enjoy the world-renowned nightlife. A tourist attraction in its own right, Soho is an inclusive environment for everyone to enjoy. Just make sure that you check out whether or not you need to book in advance for entry to particular bars, clubs and restaurants.
Looking for somewhere to stay locally that is as equally amazing as these attractions? The Park Grand Hotel Hyde Park is an excellent choice for solo-travellers visiting the area. It is just a four-minute walk from Paddington station.
When it comes to the hotel world, the word ‘luxury’ can sometimes be quite loosely applied; leaving guests wondering what exactly they paid the premium price tag for after all. In short, however, ‘what is luxury’ is really just as personal as the question ‘what tastes good’. In this article, we intend to uncover the word ‘luxury’ and point you towards those venues in London which really do embody the true value of the luxurious – including what to look out for and how to unveil the truly luxurious from the blindingly standard.
What is luxury?
Luxury means something different to different people, often depending on your past experiences and your general lifestyle. Whether it translates into freebies, a comfortable bed, great value packages or the standard of the hotel facilities, creating a generic definition of ‘hotel luxury’ is a near-impossible task.
For someone searching for luxury hotel rooms in London, the scale of the results is likely to vary greatly. Some of the best offerings we’ve seen embody not only a luxury hotel but also a fantastic location, providing guests with easy access to some of London’s greatest highlights and attractions. Areas within the hotel are also subject to scrutiny when it comes to valuing a hotel’s luxury status, including not only the inclusion of spa facilities but also their standard and popularity.
Defining a hotel room as 'luxury' again depends on the hotel you are in and what you are used to. If the hotel is one of London’s more premium offerings, any hotel could be seen as luxury. One of the most popular hotels in Marble Arch offers a unique ambience which is often described as luxury, mainly because it provides such a contrast to the busy chaos of Marble Arch outside its front doors. Elegantly designed bedrooms and bathrooms add to the hotel’s appeal and the exclusive nature of its limited rooms only seeks to add to the air of exclusivity and luxury.
Does it include a spa package or experience as part of your booking? Is breakfast included, and is it unlimited? Does the bar provide a waiter service rather than forcing you to queue and wait your turn? All of these things may seem like small extras but can mean the difference between a standard and a typically luxury hotel. Next time you’re looking to add a hint of luxury to your stay in London, do some research online to find the best deals that offer more for your money. And remember, just because it says luxury and has a doorman at the front to welcome you to the hotel, that doesn’t mean it has to meet your personal view of what ‘luxury’ really is.