LONDON 101 ENJOY THE VERY BEST OF ENGLAND’S GLORIOUS CAPITAL
HOTELS CULTURE SHOPS SIGHTS RESTAURANTS
KANOO WORLD TRAVELLER
London Calling England’s capital is one of Europe’s most vibrant and exciting cities. It’s arguably its coolest, too, a place where trends are born and unleashed unto the world on a daily basis. Even if you’re a seasoned traveller to the city there’s every chance you’ll experience something new the next time you visit, such is the speed at which London evolves. In fact, the only thing that doesn’t change is the weather – just remember to buy an umbrella when you land. About This Guide We’ve cherry-picked the 101 best things about London and placed them into simple-to-reference sections, making it easy for you to plan your perfect trip. Our recommendations range from mainstream essentials to more off-beat options, getting you straight to the heart of things. Contents 7
The Hotels – the pick of London’s fabulous five star abodes.
11 The Shopping – where to go to make the most of London’s famed shopping scene. 19 The Restaurants – everything from Michelin star eateries to where to find the best fish and chips. 25 The Culture – the need-to-visit places to enjoy an unrivalled
Production in whole or in part without written permission from HOT Media Publishing is strictly prohibited. HOT Media Publishing does not accept liability for omissions or errors in this publication.
30 The Sights – the must-see sights to cram into your stay.
Produced by HOT Media Publishing FZ LLC
The Knowledge The need-to-know facts for getting to and around London. Getting There
of London transport
bmi offers scheduled services to London Heathrow
– are also in plentiful
from Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah. For ticketing
supply throughout the
information, visit your nearest Kanoo Travel or
city. If you want to hire a
American Express Travel outlet or log onto
car and drive around the
city yourself, you’ll find an endless amount of rental
firms at the airport. Just remember that people drive
It’s easy to get around London and all of the major
on the left hand side of the road in the UK.
sights and attractions are very well signposted. The
London Underground, which is more commonly
Pound Sterling is the official currency of the UK.
known as ‘the tube’, is the most popular form of
Denominations of coins range from one pence to
transport. It’s easy to use and comprises 12 lines
two pounds (100 pence make up one pound) and
which can ferry you from the heart of the city to
notes from five pounds to 50 pounds. At time of
its outer limits. Simply pick up an Underground
press, US$1 was equivalent to 65 pence.
map on arrival into London Heathrow and consider
buying an Oyster Card, which is a cost-effective
Nationals of all GCC countries require a visa to enter
way of travelling without limit on not only the tube
the UK and can stay for a maximum of six months.
network but buses and most local rail services,
Your travel agent or nearest British Embassy will be
too. Buses and black cabs – two iconic modes
able to advise you on the visa application process.
Big events in the Big Smoke...
The Chelsea Flower Show attracts well over 100,000 visitors each year to its inbloom gardens, which are a riot of colour and scents.
The Trooping of Colour is a military parade full of pomp, during which the Queen leads her troops to Buckingham Palace.
July 24 sees the start of Love Parks Week, when London’s glorious parks stage concerts, live theatre productions and myriad other shows.
The world-famous Notting Hill Carnival, which celebrates Caribbean culture, packs in some 50,000 performers over the weekend, attracting 2.5 million people.
Head to Trafalgar Square for ‘Eid in the Square’, which sees thousands flock to the city’s famous landmark to celebrate Eid.
Tuck into fine food supplied by some of the best eateries in London as the city-wide Restaurant Festival cooks up a storm.
UK skies light up with fireworks and bonfire flames on November 5th to commemorate Guy Fawkes’ failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament.
Post-Christmas in London means the start of the sales, when the shops drop their prices and frenzied shoppers hunt out bargains.
The chimes of Big Ben signal the start of a new year and spark wild celebrations at events held across London.
If you haven’t had your fill of New Year celebrations by the time February arrives, head to Soho for the largest Chinese New Year celebrations outside of Asia.
Head to Kensington Palace for The Enchanted Palace, an exhibition of work from the UK’s best fashion designers – among them, Vivienne Westwood.
The London Marathon sees millions of people line London’s streets to cheer on professionals and fun runners as they race the 26-mile course.
Park life London may well be one of the world’s busiest cities but it’s also home to some of the most sedate spots in the UK. The Royal Parks – of which there are eight – are dotted throughout the city and are well worth visiting during your trip. Beautifully maintained, they house an abundance of greenery, historic buildings, monuments and all manner of wildlife – you’ll fall head over heels for the deer in Bushy Park.
The number of English Premier League clubs you can watch in London, a list that includes two of the traditional ‘big four’ Premier League clubs, Arsenal and Chelsea.
The number of visitors in millions to pass through The British Museum each year, which makes it London’s most popular tourist attraction.
The age in years of Covent Garden’s famous and muchloved Market Building, which remains a prominent tourist trap.
The height in feet of Big Ben, the world’s most famous clock tower, which forms part of the Houses of Parliament.
The year that London’s first modern-style ‘black cab’, now synonymous with the city, picked up its first passenger in the capital. London 101
Defining British luxury Brown’s Hotel personifies the refined sophistication of modern British luxury. Each room and suite is individually decorated and many feature antiques and artworks, creating a contemporary elegance and glamorous air. The city’s most prestigious address, Brown’s Hotel also features outstanding dining and spa experiences.
Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4BP Tel: + 44 (0)20 7493 6020 Fax: + 44 (0)20 7493 9381 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.roccofortecollection.com 6
The Hotels Visitors to London are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing somewhere to stay. Outside of the famous five star hotels you’ll find a glut of modern design-driven abodes and ultra-luxurious long stay apartments, which provide the ultimate home from home. When it comes to hotels, no other city on earth
minimum of one week and the high-end stores
does old-school opulence quite like London.
of Knightsbridge are heartily recommended.
And if it’s a slice of five-star-finery you’re after, we
Mayfair is arguably the most upmarket area of
recommend a stay at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde
London and it’s home to The Mayfair, a beautiful
Park. Rooms here look out over Hyde Park itself
property bedecked with the work of numerous
or to the shopper-strewn streets of Knightsbridge,
celebrated designers – the Baccarat crystal
while the in-house amenities are definitely
chandeliers are particularly eye-grabbing. It houses
something to write home about – the spa and
a great spa that caters for men as much as women
restaurant both hold prestigious awards.
and a celebrated restaurant where high-quality
Close to the Mandarin Oriental stands the superb
English food – trust us, it does exist – is the order
Cheval Apartments, where you’re guaranteed
of the day. We suggest you treat yourself to a stay
absolute privacy despite being a stone’s throw from
in one of the hotel’s magnificent signature suites.
some of the world’s busiest – and best – shops.
In the same desirable district is the ever-popular
Here you’ll have your pick of two and three-
InterContinental London Park Lane, which
bedroom town houses, each of which has amenity-
occupies a former royal residence in full view of
laden kitchens, a separate lounge and dining room
Buckingham Palace and close to other noted
and enough cutlery and utensils to serve a small
landmarks – Big Ben among them. The Executive
army. You’ll also be able to call on a dedicated
Club Level is where you should stay, granting you
access to a superb lounge where complimentary
food and drink is served throughout the day. Be
and enjoy free
sure, though, to save some of your appetite for the
membership of a
exceptional Theo Randall at The InterContinental,
nearby health club
the hotel’s multi-award-winning restaurant.
for the duration
Grosvenor House, which also stands on
of your stay.
prestigious Park Lane, underwent a multi-million-
Bookings are for a
pound refurbishment to accentuate its traditional
Left: Haymarket Hotel; Below: Mandarin Oriental.
‘It’s the super-stylish rooms at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square which are arguably the hotel’s biggest draw. We’re huge fans of the outstanding garden suites’ charm and the results are simply superb. Many a
architectural delight. Location-wise the hotel is slap-
famous face has passed through the hotel’s doors
bang in the heart of Westminster, a mere stroll from
down the years and it retains a loyal following
the pristine Green Park – ideal for a post-breakfast
among the social elite. But it’s through food that
saunter. We advise a leather and suede-clad suite
Grosvenor House has recently found fame, with
in the King’s building, from which you can look out
Corrigan’s Mayfair continuing to rank among the
onto the Houses of Parliament. Perfect.
city’s top tables. Gourmets will also find favour with what’s on
Another hotel that’s chockfull of traditional charm is The Dorchester. Here you’ll find immaculate
offer at the wonderful London Marriott Hotel
suites, a stunning art-deco-style spa and the much-
Grosvenor Square, which houses Gordon
loved Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, which didn’t
Ramsay’s renowned eatery Maze and its more
take long to establish itself as one of the city’s best
causal sibling, Maze Grill. Yet it’s the super-
restaurants following its opening in 2007. If you
stylish rooms which hark back to the Mayfair of
want to top off your stay in style, book The Krug
yesteryear – while giving more than a passing nod
Room for dinner. It’s the original chef’s table, having
to modern charms, which are arguably the hotel’s
opened in the 1940s, and remains one of the
biggest draw. We’re huge fans of the outstanding
most sought-after tables in town, granting diners
garden suites, for their four-poster-beds, marbled
a uniquely brilliant experience as they feast on a
bathrooms, warming fireplaces and, of course,
10-course degustation menu while watching a team
private courtyard gardens – how many city centre
of up to 100 chefs cook up a gastronomic storm
hotels offer one of those?
in the kitchen.
Formed of three individually-designed buildings
Over at Brown’s – an ideal base for anyone
which date to 1901, 51 Buckingham Gate is an
looking to check out the best of Bond Street –
!"&)!$!$%%)&&*$ &&!%"$&&%&&%&"$%)$($+!'$ &)!$)&!' %*$ !"" %$('%&!! !'&!$!'$!! !($%&!$%$!%%&! % &%&,!$* ' #'&!&+!'$&* )))!'! London 101
Clockwise from far left: InterContinental London Park Lane; The Kipling Suite at Brown’s; Sanctum Soho Hotel; The Dorchester; London Marriott Grosvenor Square.
you’ll find a marvellous building steeped in history.
energy and it’s here that you’ll find the brilliant
In its original guise this was London’s very first
St Martin’s Lane. The fact that you enter the
hotel, opened in 1837 by husband and wife
hotel through luminescent revolving doors provides
team James and Sarah Brown. It’s the building in
a none-too-subtle hint of the kind of wit-infused
which Alexander Graham Bell made the first ever
design – Phillipe Starck is the man responsible –
telephone call and Rudyard Kipling purportedly
that makes this hotel such a distinctive venue (the
penned The Jungle Book. Today, Brown’s is famed
Penthouse Suite has to be seen to be believed),
for its sumptuous suites and culinary charms, with
and there are playful elements throughout. You’ll
an oh-so-delectable, award-winning afternoon tea
even find them on the menu at the art-strewn Asia
served up daily and a restaurant – The Albemarle –
de Cuba restaurant, where all dishes are served
offering diners the best of British not only in terms
to share with your fellow diners. Just make sure
of food but art, too. Its walls are lined with original
you snag the lion’s share of the awesome Mexican
works by the likes of Tracy Emin.
doughnuts when dessert is served.
Right in the heart of London’s buzzing theatre district is the oh-so-trendy Haymarket Hotel. It’s the epitome of style, with communal guest areas liberally splashed with unique, original works of modern art and distinctly eye-catching sculptures dotted throughout. We prescribe a stay in one of two beautifully decorated penthouse suites. Although this is definitely a modern masterpiece, you can still enjoy some traditions: a decadent afternoon tea is served in the library. A favourite destination for tourists and locals alike, Covent Garden is an area that throbs with
bmi recommends... Afternoon tea is an English institution and London’s five-star hotels are the best places to try it. And where better than the world-famous The Ritz? Here you can enjoy your fill of pillow-soft scones, dainty pastries and precision cut sandwiches while sipping on the finest teas drawn from across the globe. A truly must-have experience.
The Shopping Whether you want to trawl street markets while being entertained by a plate-spinning performance artist or be waited on hand and foot in myriad luxury department stores, London’s got it covered. Until late 2008, London shopping was all about
While in Knightsbridge you should also take time
treading the streets come rain or shine. But
to visit the original Harvey Nichols. Famed as the
then the opening of the monolithic Westfield
favourite shopping destination of the late Princess
gave Londoners a super-stylish shelter from the
of Wales, Harvey Nicks (as it is known to its Sloane
elements and some 265 stores to boot. Spanning
Ranger clientele) is stocked to the brim with all your
a 43-acre site in Shepherd’s Bush, Westfield is
favourite labels. The juice bar on the ground floor is
Europe’s largest urban shopping centre and easily
the fashionable spot to re-fuel, or if you are looking
one of its best. It plays host to designers such
for something a little more substantial the store’s
as Chanel, Valentino, Gucci and Prada and high
‘Fifth Floor’ restaurant is famed for serving up great
street favourites like H&M and Mango. There’s also
food and drinks – reservations are always necessary
a superb range of eateries. However, if you really
so remember to book ahead.
want to sample London’s unique shopping scene,
If fashion is your passion and you want to do
you’ll just have to pack an umbrella and hit the great
all your shopping under one roof then Selfridges
outdoors – it’s well worth it.
should be your store of choice. High street and
Even if your budget restricts you to window
young fashion labels compete with international
shopping, a trip to luxury department store
accessories on the ground floor where the style
Harrods is almost obligatory. Try to leave plenty
is uniquely fashion-forward – where else can
of time to explore its myriad departments, though
you combine a Topshop dress with a Gucci bag
the fashion halls would be a good place to start.
and Karen Millen shoes? Upstairs there’s a great
From traditional and classic lines to pieces created
selection of more unusual vintage buys alongside
by more cutting-edge young British designers, you
international designer collections. The men’s
can immerse yourself in rack after rack of the very
department rivals any store in the world with a great
latest styles. But if that sounds like too much of a
selection from street-style to bespoke suiting, and
chore, head to Harrods ‘BY APPOINTMENT’ on the
if it’s gifts you’re after then where better than the
store’s first and lower-ground floors, where a team
‘Wonder Room’ where Selfridges’ team of buyers
of expert shoppers are on hand to trawl the store
have combined all the best presents from across
for you, servicing your every need.
the shop so you don’t have to search for them?
Clockwise from far left: Harrods exterior; Harrods ‘BY APPOINTMENT’; Westfield shopping centre.
Slightly less well-known by tourists, but still renowned for its exquisite brand selection and chic environment, is Liberty. Shopping here is not really about the level of choice – the brand selection is more restricted than the bigger stores – but about quality. Liberty is famed for its
entrance. Vivienne Westwood’s mixture of punk
quintessentially English Liberty print – think discreet
street style and haute couture is as relevant now
florals and harmonious paisleys. In fact, the whole
as it was in 1979 when the store opened. Heels
haberdashery department is superb, and you can
are still skyscraper-high and corsets abound – this
also pick up leather goods and clothing in classic
collection is definitely not for shrinking violets. And
designs – you will be an English rose in no time.
if Westwood’s directional brands are your thing
If you’re in the mood for the ultimate in British
then why not keep it in the family and visit her son’s
retail therapy then a visit to Fortnum and Mason
Agent Provocateur store in Soho, where you
is another must. Just along from the Ritz Hotel
will find exquisitely made separates with a nod to
London and a stone’s throw from Bond Street,
burlesque – expect silk, satin, lace and intricate
Fortnum and Mason is more British than
embroidery combined with vintage designs.
Buckingham Palace and more traditional than the
Of course not all British fashion is avant garde.
infamous stiff upper lip. You may not be able to
Burberry’s world-renowned raincoats are available
purchase an iPod here but you can buy incredible
along with the rest of their chic collection at its New
treat-filled hampers and beautiful accessories. You
Bond Street store – even if you visit in the height of
must also sample the wondrous cream tea at the
the English summer, a stylish raincoat may prove
store’s St James’s restaurant.
something of a necessity.
Away from the city’s department stores,
If the high street is more your thing, London
Vivienne Westwood, at World’s End along the
is definitely the city for you. Topshop is now
King’s Road, is a sight to behold – you know
internationally renowned for its lines including a
you are in for a treat when you spot the large
range designed by supermodel Kate Moss, and you
clock which tells the time backwards outside the
will not be disappointed with the flagship store – just
harrods.com +44 (0)20 7730 1234
ENTER A DIFFERENT WORLD
Clockwise from below: Camden Market; The Conran Shop; Camden High Street.
‘Hit Camden Market and you’ll be swept down Chalk Farm Road in a restless tide of leather jackets, nose rings, hippy tie-dyes and tattoos’ make sure you have the stamina for the experience.
also a basement Inspection Room in which you can
The Oxford Circus location is never quiet and as the
consult the in-store ‘artisans’ on the perfect fit and
range and prices appeal to fashionistas of all ages
finish for you.
you might need to elbow a few fellow shoppers out
Sports enthusiasts, meanwhile, will no doubt
of the way to get your hands on that unique little
have heard of Lilywhites, the multi-levelled store
on Piccadilly. Here you will find every imaginable
It goes without saying that high street fans will
piece of sporting equipment plus all your favourite
love John Lewis. Its flagship store on Oxford
sports brands. It’s particularly good for football
Street is where clued-up Brits go to browse and
shirts, with a whole floor stocking the strips of just
buy the best of just about everything – fashion and
about every team imaginable. They’ll also add a
homewear included. What’s more, should anything
name and number to your shirt while you wait.
take your eye while shopping here, the store can
If you’re after a bit of bling, then Garrard on
arrange to have it shipped to your home in the
Albemarle Street is certainly worth a visit. Famed as
the most dynamic British jeweller – and with Jade
Lovers of all things denim will be excited to visit
Jagger as creative director – you can be sure of real
the marvellous Levi’s flagship store on Regent
rock and roll styling. For a high street jeweller, your
Street, where the warehouse holds a whopping 22
best option is definitely Mappin and Webb, where
different washes in their famous 501 line. There’s
you will find a superb selection of famous names.
Left: Selfridges; Below: Liberty.
But if the ‘three C’s are more your thing then you
an extraordinary range of fashion for purchase –
cannot beat a trip to Hatton Garden. Here you can
designer suits rub padded shoulders with vintage
romance your loved one like a true Londoner by
designs, catwalk classics and urban wear. Peckish?
choosing a stone and setting and designing your
Visit Borough Market, the place to go for delicious
own ring – make sure to shop around to ensure
fresh-cooked street food. And those seeking a
you’re getting the best possible price.
shinier, altogether more up-market rummaging
With its long heritage you would expect London
spot should hit Spitalfields, the squeaky clean,
to have a fairly booming antiques offering, and the
boutique-littered haunt which was subjected to a
city does not disappoint. Take a trip to Christie’s
controversial redesign by Norman Foster in 2003.
auction house on King Street – simply check their
There is some fine furniture to be had in London
website (www.christies.com) to see which sales
– many of the leading stores will arrange shipment
are on during your visit. But if you would rather root
to the Middle East – and nowhere is this more
out the treasures yourself then Portobello Market
evident than Heal’s, where stylish contemporary
is fantastic. Expect a cornucopia of fascinating
design is teamed with high-quality materials to
trinkets, furniture, fashion and objets d’art.
ensure modern elegance. If your taste is a little more
In fact, London’s markets are some of the
leftfield, then The Conran Shop, in the magnificent
finest in the world: also well worth checking out
Michelin building on Fulham Road, is probably more
is Camden Market, where you’ll be swept down
your thing – this is where the seriously stylish furnish
Chalk Farm Road in a restless tide of leather
their pied à terres.
jackets, nose rings, hippy tie-dyes and tattoos.
London is famed for its shopping districts and
The area is a veritable treasure trove of antiques,
the King’s Road in Chelsea is a great place to
arts and crafts and eye-catching furniture from
browse. Starting at Sloane Square – home to the
across the globe. In local boutiques you’ll find
Peter Jones department store and a particularly
Left: Portobello Road; Below: Soho.
silver all in the name of good old-fashioned entertainment. Shoppers will delight in the gorgeous old covered arcade, up-market boutiques and bountiful selection of restaurants and cafes. glamorous branch of Tiffany & Co – you can walk
Last but not least, every man should make it his
for well over an hour and be spoilt for choice for
duty to own a handmade suit, so while in London
boutiques. Don’t miss the Joseph sales shop, set
head to the home of bespoke tailoring, Savile
amongst the high street favourites, for some of last
Row. This is where the likes of Winston Churchill,
season’s stylish essentials. Have lunch in Henry J
Lord Nelson, and, more recently, Prince Charles
Beans or the wonderful Bluebird restaurant before
were kitted out in custom-made cloth.
continuing on to the far end of the street which is home to some seriously chic home brands. The Cath Kidston boutique is outstanding and Osborne and Little will provide the ultimate traditional British touches to your home with top wall coverings. Bond Street becomes more prestigious with every year that passes. You will be spoilt for choice with designer brands – Prada, Max Mara and Ralph Lauren all boast sizeable stores. And it’s also home to flagship stores from Donna Karan and Burberry. If you’re on the hunt for uniquely British brands, head to Russell and Bromley for fantastic footwear or Smythson for the ultimate in English leather goods. If you’re in need of some touristy merriment, head for Covent Garden, where countless street
bmi recommends... The only way to top your London shopping experience is to ensure that you pay less than the advertised price for your purchases. Look out for the name Global Blue on display in London stores and if it’s there you can buy your item tax-free. To get your discount, just ask the shop assistant for a Tax Refund Cheque when paying. Take this to the customs desk at the airport – along with your receipt – where your cheque will be stamped, before cashing it at one of the airport’s Global Blue Customer Services or one of their partner refund points. Simple.
performers juggle, unicycle and paint themselves
Fantastic Fantastic New Fantastic Royal New New Suite Royal Royal opening Suite Suite June opening opening 2010June June 2010 2010
Mandarin Mandarin Oriental Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, Oriental Hyde 66 Hyde Knightsbridge, Park,Park, 66 Knightsbridge, 66 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X London, London, 7LA. Tel: SW1X SW1X +44 (0)20 7LA. 7LA.7235 Tel: Tel:+44 2000 +44 (0)20 (0)20 Email: 7235 7235 email@example.com 2000 2000 Email: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
The Restaurants Few cities across the globe can match London for the sheer diversity and quality of its restaurant offering. Whatever your cuisine of choice, you’re sure to find an outstanding example of it here. You’ll find that London’s food scene caters
The carnivorously inclined mustn’t miss St
remarkably well to visitors from the Middle East.
John in Smithfields (020 7251 0848). Its chef
For straightforward Lebanese food prepared
and founder Fergus Henderson has a philosophy
thrillingly well, head to the glamorous Fakhreldine
of ‘nose-to-tail eating’ – which means that no edible
(020 7493 3424) on Piccadilly. It’s one of the top
part of the animal is wasted. The menu includes
spots in town for kebbeh neyah (raw minced
roast bone marrow and parsley salad, lamb’s
lamb) and muhammara (spicy crushed walnuts).
tongue with radishes, and snails with oak leaf. ‘If
Momo (020 7434 4040) is a name you’ll know (and
you’re going to kill an animal, it seems only polite
probably love) if you’ve ever shopped at Dubai’s
to eat the whole thing,’ Henderson wrote in his
Mall of the Emirates, and the London outpost of
cookbook. With dishes this good, it’s unlikely you’ll
this famed North African eatery serves up tagines
be leaving food on your plate.
to die for. We’re also big fans of Noura (020 7235
Maze (020 7107 0000) is regarded as Gordon
9444) in Belgravia, which boasts a hot and cold
Ramsay’s best London restaurant; a contemporary,
mezze menu as long as your arm, and the moneyed
cool and stylish set-up where the food – rather than
crowd’s favourite Al Hamra (020 7493 1954).
the outspoken owner – does all the talking. The
If you’re looking to try some authentic English
Executive Chef, Jason Atherton, trained at El Bulli
food during your trip, plenty of London restaurants
in Barcelona and spent the early part of his career
dish up a traditional take on the nation’s cuisine.
at Verre in Dubai. At Maze he fuses elements of
The National Dining Room (020 7747 2525) at
British, French and Asian cooking to stunning effect.
the National Gallery offers old-fashioned food done
The set lunch
brilliantly well, such as wood pigeon with watercress
and dandelion, smoked haddock and salmon
value for money
fishcakes, and Eton mess with clotted cream. They
– don’t miss
also do one of London’s best afternoon teas with
the red mullet
piles of delicate finger sandwiches, scones and
dangerously delicious pastries served on a sparkling silver platter.
Vying with Gordon
Photographer: Laurie Fletcher
Clockwise from far left: Fifteen; Hibiscus; Chez Bruce; St John at Smithfields; Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill.
Ramsay for the accolade of being Britain’s most famous chef is Jamie Oliver, whose groundbreaking Fifteen (0871 330 1515) continues to go from strength to strength. The restaurant is linked to
good weekend brunch. Try the corned beef hash
the Fifteen Foundation, a registered charity that
with spinach and fried egg.
aims to teach disadvantaged kids the culinary
Another restaurant boasting panoramic views
skills required to make it in the restaurant industry,
is Skylon (020 7654 7800) at the Royal Festival
and its graduates are among Fifteen’s chefs. The
Hall. It only opened a couple of years ago, but has
Italian food here is superb; don’t miss the potato
already collected awards for the striking interior
gnocchettini with lamb ragu, or the excellent Sicilian
design and Chef Helena Puolakka’s innovative
creations. The Finnish chef’s signature dishes
One of the most popular steakhouses in
include venison carpaccio and pan-fried sea bass.
London, Smiths of Smithfield (020 7251 7950),
A speedy, great-value pre-concert menu is available
is conveniently located next to London’s biggest
if you’re in a hurry.
meat market. It’s an ambitious concept, a four-
Seasoned celebrity-watchers know all about The
floor warehouse with each level offering a slightly
Ivy, London’s number one haunt for star-spotting.
tweaked meaty menu. The best food is on the top
With the clientele permanently scanning the room in
floor, a rooftop restaurant with spectacular views
hope of seeing famous faces, the restaurant could
of the city and chateaubriand steaks large enough
serve up anything and people would barely notice.
to share. On the ground floor they do a legendarily
Yet the food on the international menu remains
impressive and affordable. Naturally enough, there’s
the Wagamama chain, but don’t go expecting
caviar and lobster on offer, but you can also opt for
simple bowls of noodles here. We’re talking
an Ivy burger.
stir-fried jellyfish, steamed eel and soft-shell crab;
The Wolseley on Piccadilly (020 7499 6996) is glamorous, grand and slightly over-the-top – perfect for special occasions. If you can’t get a
contemporary Chinese food in London’s most stylish restaurant. Nobu (020 7447 4747) was the first Asian
table for dinner, when the menu focuses on French
restaurant in London to earn a Michelin star.
and German food, it’s worth considering breakfast
Opened by Nobu Matsuhisa in 1997 and given a
here. As well as the full English they offer Swiss
dose of star quality by co-owner Robert De Niro,
birchermuseli, Scottish kedgeree, and for a really
the influential eatery has been lauded for blending
opulent start to the day, a caviar omelette – you
traditional Japanese dishes with South American
won’t be needing coffee to wake you up with its
touches such as tomato salsa. Don’t go home
hefty price tag.
without devouring their signature dish, the glorious
The influence of Le Gavroche (020 7408 0881) on the London dining scene cannot be overstated.
black cod with miso. Chinatown has traditionally been a no-go area
It was opened by French brothers Michel and Albert
for people who care about food, but times have
Roux in 1967, became the first restaurant in the
changed and the area is now more of a go-to
UK to receive three Michelin stars, and some of the
spot. Among the new restaurants transforming
country’s most celebrated chefs, including Gordon
Chinatown’s reputation is Keelung (020 7734
Ramsay and Marco Pierre White, have worked in
8128), London’s first northern Taiwanese outlet.
its kitchens. It’s hardly cheap, although the three-
Several of the items on the menu are served tapas-
course lunch menu is a big saving on the evening
style, which means you can experience a wide
a la carte menu.
range of unusual dishes. The deep-fried oysters,
Boundary (020 7729 1051) opened for business earlier this year. It’s the latest offering from Terence
sea bass and pepper prawns all make you wish Taiwanese cooking was more widely available.
Conran, London’s most successful restaurateur, and it’s as ambitious as anything he’s done before. It thrives on its unconventional location in arty Shoreditch and there’s a small boutique hotel and a bakery here, too. Expect classic British cooking at eminently reasonable prices. A recent survey revealed that Chez Bruce (020 8672 0114) is Londoners’ favourite restaurant, although due to its location few tourists go there. This is a shame. The view stretches out over Wandsworth Common, one of London’s biggest green spaces, while the kitchen prepares superb regional French cooking – try the guinea fowl with potato pancakes. There are many fantastic Asian restaurants in London, but Hakkasan (020 7907 1888) is the best of the lot. The Michelin-starred eatery
bmi recommends... London might well boast restaurants serving up dishes to die for, but don’t miss the chance to sample its humble yet most famous food – fish and chips – which recently celebrated its 150th year of existence. The North Sea Fish Restaurant (020 7387 5892) is a good place to go if you’d like your dining to remain refined, but if you want to make like a local head for the ‘chippy’ and take your ‘fish supper’ away, wrapped up the traditional way in paper. Try the imaginatively named Rock & Sole Plaice (020 7836 3785) in Covent Garden. It’s the city’s oldest fish and chip shop and still one of its best…
is the creation of Alan Yau, who gave the world
Left: Fakhreldine; Below: Hakkasan.
‘You’ll find that London’s food scene caters remarkably well to visitors from the Middle East’ A series of bestselling cookbooks and a TV
swanky Chelsea restaurant rewards brave diners
series, The Italian Kitchen, have helped The River
with leftfield wonders such as sashimi pizza, sweet
Café (020 7386 4200) in Hammersmith become
potato gyoza and grilled wasabi prawns.
London’s most popular Italian restaurant. Its
Leafy Richmond in the south-west of London has
fresh, seasonal Mediterranean food has earned
plenty going for it. There’s the medieval alleyways,
it a Michelin star and the Chocolate Nemesis is
the quaint shops, the grazing deer in Richmond
London’s most lusted-after dessert. A five-course
Park and The Victoria (020 8876 4238), one of
meal will set you back £80, but you’re guaranteed
London’s top restaurants. Expect friendly service,
food of the highest quality.
fresh seasonal produce and good old-fashioned
Londoners used to travel to the Welsh border just
British cooking – try the roasted lamb shank for
to eat at Hibiscus (020 7629 2999), but thankfully
Sunday lunch and spend the afternoon walking off
the Michelin-starred restaurant relocated to London
the calories in the neighbouring fields.
in 2007. The city’s gain is the countryside’s loss
The oldest restaurant on this list is Bentley’s
because the British food here is outstanding.
Oyster Bar & Grill (020 7734 4756), which first
Some of the more eclectic picks on the menu we
served hungry Londoners in 1916. Under the
recommend you try include Hereford snail, Cornish
guidance of owner and head chef Richard Corrigan,
spider crab and roasted quail.
who keeps the Piccadilly restaurant as faithful to
If you ever doubted that every conceivable kind
the original prototype as possible, Bentley’s still flies
of food could be found in London, Sushinho (020
high. Naturally enough, the oysters are the menu
7349 7496), a Brazilian-Japanese fusion restaurant,
standout, but don’t ignore the excellent grilled fish.
will put your mind to rest. With a sprinkling of miso
The ever-excellent Arbutus (020 7734 4545)
here, a touch of chimichurri sauce there, and a
is hugely popular with Soho office workers due
welcoming bossa nova soundtrack, this super-
to its fantastic lunches and it’s equally busy in the
Clockwise from below: Sushinho; Maze; The River Café; Moti Maha.
evenings when theatre-goers take advantage of
Book well in advance if you’d like to eat at Moro
the early dinner deal. If you get a chance to try the
(7833 8336), the ‘Muslim Mediterranean’ restaurant
seafood bouillabaisse or the roast rabbit, you’re
on Exmouth Market that’s won several awards and
certain to leave with a smile on your face.
spawned a trio of bestselling cookbooks. European
You’ll find no shortage of Indian food in London, but two restaurants have taken the cuisine to another level. The first is Amaya (020 7823 1166)
and Arabic styles fuse seamlessly on the menu. Try the charcoal-grilled lamb with slow-cooked leeks. While London is home to some truly superb
in Knightsbridge, a contemporary Indian tapas
restaurants, there is culinary life just outside the
restaurant. The dishes are unlike any you’ve seen
capital too, if you’re happy to take a short trip
before – the jackfruit biryani, spinach and chopped
outside the city. Indeed, on a small, nondescript
fig cakes, and mango tiramisu are creations of near
street in the village of Bray on the outskirts of
otherworldly brilliance. Meanwhile, at Moti Mahal
London, you’ll find one of the very best restaurants
(020 7240 9329), Chef Anirudh Arora creates
in the world. The head chef of The Fat Duck
luxurious pan-Indian concoctions such as guinea
(01628 580 333), Heston Blumenthal, is a pioneer
fowl with cumin, venison kebabs with saffron and
of molecular gastronomy, using the principles of
figs, and courgettes stuffed with shrimp paste.
physics and chemistry to create unique dishes. A
Unlikely though it may seem, one of the best Thai
seafood dish comes with an iPod playing ocean
chefs in the world is Australian. David Thompson’s
sounds, a cup of tea leaves one side of the mouth
cookbook, Thai Food, is considered the last word
hot and the other cold, and signature dishes
on the south-east Asian cuisine, and his Michelin-
include sardines on toast sorbet and snail porridge.
starred London restaurant, Nahm at the Halkin (020
Arranging a meal at The Fat Duck isn’t easy: it’s a
7333 1234), is almost as good as a trip to Bangkok.
45-minute train journey from London. But you’ll be
– it really is that impressive.
rewarded with an incredible eating experience.
A Great British Service
Fly bmi, British Midland International to London from Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam and sample our superior Business Class, which has its roots firmly in great British service. Before you fly
You can take advantage of our complimentary
If you feel like freshening up once you’ve touched
chauffer service, which will see our driver whisk you
down in London you can head to bmi’s Arrival
to and from the airport in both Saudi Arabia and
Lounge, where you can have a piping-hot shower
London Heathrow. What’s more, on the return leg
and refreshments before you head into the city.
of your trip you can arrive at London Heathrow as late as 30 minutes before your flight is due to depart
and we’ll handle the check-in formalities for you.
At London Heathrow bmi offers a dedicated Premium check-in area for Business Class
customers. Heathrow’s Terminal 1 is also home to
Let our renowned Cabin Crew tend to your every
our incredible international lounge, The Great British
need as you tuck into plates of fine food prepared
Lounge. Here you can enjoy unbeatable levels of
to order by our fully trained onboard chef. Then
comfort, whether catching up on work or sleep,
you can simply sleep it off in our fully flat bed with a
or enjoying complimentary
generous 203cm of legroom.
food and drink.
The Culture From museums and galleries (all of which are free to enter) to outstanding opera and standup comedy – it’s impossible to be bored in the English capital. If museums are your thing, South Kensington and
A museum-visiting day would be incomplete
Knightsbridge, on the south side of Hyde Park,
without checking out the British Museum, which
are home to a cluster of them. A giant Diplodocus
opened in 1753, although the current building
skeleton famously dominates the main hall of the
arrived a century later. Its aim is to present the
Natural History Museum, while in other rooms
story of human culture from its beginning to the
you’ll find everything from fossilized shark teeth to
present day, so it deserves at least a few hours of
rare gemstones, a preserved body of a giant squid
your time. Among its seven million items are some
and a full-size blue whale model. The museum also
of the world’s greatest treasures: a colossal bust
hosts excellent temporary exhibitions – running from
of Rameses II, the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon
May 28-September 5 is The Deep, an exploration
Marbles and 140 mummies and coffins, the largest
of the weird and wonderful creatures that reside
collection outside Cairo. The centre of the museum
11,000 metres below sea level.
was redeveloped at the start of the decade – its
On the same road, the Victoria & Albert
Great Court boasts a spectacular glass roof
Museum claims to be ‘the world’s greatest
designed by Sir Norman Foster and is bigger than
museum of art and design’, and with over four-
a football pitch.
and-a-half million objects representing 3,000 years’
You don’t have to be a boffin to enjoy the
worth of human history, it would be hard to argue
Science Museum, which celebrated its centenary
with them. Like the Natural History Museum, the
year in 2009. It does a fantastic job of explaining
V&A constantly has fantastic temporary exhibitions
how advances in technology have affected
– until September 26 you can see Grace Kelly’s
everyday life. Its exhibits include the first locomotive
spectacular wardrobe – but whatever you’re
train, the Apollo 10 space module, and the first
interested in, from Chinese art to early Islamic
ever microcomputer from 1965. The museum
history, 18th-century fashion or Renaissance
does a truly great job of catering to kids, even the
sculpture, you can find it here. Free guided tours
coolest of whom couldn’t get bored here, and also
take place four times daily and last an hour, and
houses an IMAX cinema which shows films on
before you leave, grab a scone and a cup of tea
sea monsters, sharks, bugs and dinosaurs on its
in the V&A Café, the first museum restaurant in the
mega-sized screen. A day out here is guaranteed
world and still one of the most visually stunning.
to entertain kids and big kids alike.
Clockwise from left:Tate Britain; Shakespeare’s Globe; The Imperial War Museum.
‘On any day of the week, hundreds of concerts take place in London, spanning every thinkable genre’ Over on the south side of the river, the Imperial
three auditoria; the biggest, the Olivier Theatre, is
War Museum opened during the First World War
named after the NT’s first artistic director and one
‘not as a monument of military glory, but a record
of the nation’s greatest ever stage actors, Lawrence
of toil and sacrifice’. The ground floor is full of
Olivier. The building’s notorious Brutalist architecture
weaponry, tanks, submarines, cannons and Spitfire
divides opinions, but few can doubt its pivotal role
planes, but it’s the permanent exhibitions on the
at the centre of British theatre over the last few
horrors of the two world wars and the Holocaust
decades. Daily backstage tours are available and
that stay in your head well after you leave.
£10 tickets are available for sold-out shows if you
From the Imperial War Museum it’s only a 15minute walk through Southwark to Shakespeare’s
queue up from 9.30am on the day of performance. Also in the arts complex known as the South
Globe. The original theatre was destroyed by
Bank is the British Film Institute. Don’t expect to
fire during a production of Henry VIII in 1613 and
find the latest Hollywood blockbusters here, or even
the second Globe was abolished by a Puritan
necessarily British movies; the centre specialises in
government in 1642. Its third incarnation opened in
independent films from around the world and gives
1997, a faithful-as-possible rebuilding of the original
filmgoers the chance to re-watch classics on the
theatre that took nearly 30 years to complete.
big screen. If you’ve time to kill before a screening,
It’s a wonderfully atmospheric place to watch
you can hunt for bargains in the used book fair
Shakespeare, and standing tickets are only £5,
by the river, or order tea and cake in the rather
one of London’s best cultural bargains.
excellent BFI café.
Follow the river to the West, and you’ll find Britain’s National Theatre. The complex houses 26
From Les Miserables to Chicago and The Lion King, the West End of London is the capital of the
world when it comes to
collection of paintings. Unlike
musicals. Locally known
most other major art museums,
as Theatreland, the area
the National Gallery’s collection
is owned not by a private
Square continues to
individual, but by the people
be a huge tourist draw,
of the United Kingdom, which
not least because
means it’s free to visit at all
huge stars such as
times. Highlights include
Matt Damon, Gwyneth
masterpieces by Leonardo da
Paltrow and Madonna
Vinci, Titian, Vincent Van Gogh
have attempted to prove
and Claude Monet.
their acting chops on
The adjoining building is
the London stage in recent years. It’s advisable to
the National Portrait Gallery, home to 10,000
purchase tickets online in advance because sold-
portraits of famous and influential Brits. These
out theatres are commonplace. But sometimes
subjects vary from kings and queens to William
you can get a great deal on last-minute seats from
Shakespeare, Bob Geldof and Paul McCartney. The
the Tkts stand in the centre of Leicester Square,
BP Portrait Award takes place every summer, with
where cut-price tickets are sold on a first-come,
the shortlisted paintings and photographs available
to view in a free exhibition. Both the National Gallery
Perhaps the most magical theatre experience in London, however, can be found at the Open Air Theatre, which presents a season of plays,
and the National Portrait Gallery are open late (until 9pm) on Friday evenings. London’s other great art collection can be found
comedy and live music every summer under the
at Tate Britain which focuses on British art. The
night sky in Regent’s Park. Do what streetwise
permanent collection covers 500 years from 1500
Londoners do – arrive early with a rug, some
to the present day, and includes works by artists
cushions and a tasty picnic, and keep your fingers
such as William Hogarth, Francis Bacon and
and toes crossed for good evening weather.
Thomas Gainsborough. The gallery organises the
Another glorious setting for outdoor concerts is
controversial Turner Prize, an annual award given
Kenwood House, a former stately home on the
to a British artist aged under 50. Recent shortlisted
edge of Hampstead Heath, which featured in the
entries have included an empty room with a light
film Notting Hill. Every summer, a series of weekend
going on and off, an unmade bed, and a shark
concerts is held on the estate.
preserved in formaldehyde.
For something a little more high-minded, the
The Tate Modern, a museum of international
Royal Opera House is just the job. The first two
modern art, dazzles visitors before they’ve even
opera houses burned down in fires in 1808 and
entered the galleries. The building used to be one
1857 and though large sections of 1858’s third
of London’s major power stations, and the ground
attempt still remain, most of the building was
floor Turbine Hall, which once housed electricity
reconstructed in the 1990s. Don’t worry if your
generators, is now used for large-scale, site-specific
German, French and Italian isn’t up to scratch –
installations. One recent exhibit featured a giant
English subtitles accompany every performance.
crack across the floor of the huge hall. While several
Just about every movement in European art
visitors fell in and sustained minor injuries, the
from the 13th century to 1900 is represented
crack confirmed the Tate Modern’s commitment
somewhere in the National Gallery’s priceless
to strange and thought-provoking art.
Left: Kenwood House; Below: The Tate Modern and Millennium Bridge.
‘Perhaps the most magical theatre experience in London can be found at the Open Air Theatre, which presents a season of plays, comedy and live music every summer under the night sky in Regent’s Park’ London’s grassroots arts scene buzzes like
rock bands playing to a handful of people in tiny
no other city’s, but you’ll have to leave the major
spaces to superstars such as Bruce Springsteen
galleries behind and head to Shoreditch and
performing for thousands. There are three main
Hoxton to find it. These neighbouring districts
concert halls at the South Bank Centre, although
of east London are famed for their dozens of tiny
events also take place in the lobby, the ballroom,
galleries in which you’ll find the cutting edge of the
and the space by the River Thames outside. All
UK art scene.
types of music are represented here, from jazz to
The White Cube Gallery on Hoxton Square is the area’s best-known haunt for challenging and
blues, rock to opera, and the acoustics are always crystal clear.
provocative new art, but there’s no need to step
London’s other major concert hall is the
indoors at all. The walls in this area are covered
Barbican Centre, which puts on an equally
head-to-toe in street art; some brilliant, some
eclectic schedule of live music, dance, theatre and
atrocious. The walls are regularly scrubbed clean,
film. The London Symphony Orchestra, one of the
but the art will usually be replaced by something
world’s most acclaimed orchestras, is based at the
else within days. Look out for works by Banksy –
Barbican and performs frequently.
art by the notoriously secretive street artist has sold for thousands of pounds. London truly excels when it comes to live music.
Immortalised in the Beatles’ song ‘A Day in the Life’, the Royal Albert Hall, opened by Queen Victoria in 1871, is the UK’s best loved concert
On any day of the week, hundreds of concerts
venue. Every year since 1941, the Albert Hall has
take place, spanning every thinkable genre; from
hosted The Proms, a two-month summer festival
Left: The V&A; Below: The British Museum.
of classical music and enthusiastic flag-waving
its busy programme of talks and debates covers
organised by the BBC. It also hosts pop and
just about everything and anything.
rock concerts: the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin,
After a trip to the ICA, you’ll be looking for
The Who, and of course, The Beatles, have all
something a bit more light-hearted. At the long-
performed in the hall’s lavish domed interior. The
established Comedy Store in Piccadilly Circus,
really big gigs tend to be staged either at the
well-known comedians take part in a live version
20,000-capacity O2 (formerly the Millennium Dome)
of TV’s Whose Line Is It Anyway, the improvised
or Wembley Arena, which has a 12,500-strong
comedy game with plenty of audience participation.
With several personalities from the original TV show,
For something a little different, spend an evening
you’re guaranteed a laugh.
at Sadler’s Wells, which specialises in physical theatre and dance. When Richard Sadler opened an Islington theatre in 1683, this area was still rural – the second part of the theatre’s name comes from the medicinal well water found on the site. The current theatre, the sixth to open on this site, invites dance groups from all over the world to perform. Recent productions have featured Brazilian flamenco, mime, ballet and circus troupes. At the Institute for Contemporary Arts, there’s something for everyone, all of it stimulating. Its cinema screens films you’re unlikely to find anywhere else, its concert hall puts the spotlight on little-known music from around the world, its galleries host group shows of challenging work, and
bmi recommends... If you love nothing more than a good stage show, London’s West End is your place. Pick of the musicals are ’60s rock-based Hair, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies and, excitingly for the girls, Legally Blonde The Musical. If you prefer your drama sans songs, The Woman in Black is a classic spook-fest but those with kids should head to Waterloo Station where they’ll pull up a seat beside the disused rail track to watch children’s classic The Railway Children…
The Sights You’ll never gain a true appreciation of London if you only travel by tube. Drink in the city’s magnificent parks, monuments and architecture on foot (or from a bus window). All roads lead to Trafalgar Square, at the
The Houses of Parliament were constructed
very heart of London: despite the city’s
in the mid-19th century after the original buildings
vast size, most of its main attractions
were destroyed in a fire. It’s the home of British
are within walking distance of here.
government, and visitors are able to attend
At the square’s centre is Nelson’s
parliamentary debates during the week. No tickets
Column, a statue built to pay tribute
are required, although there’s usually a big queue
to Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died
in the morning outside the St Stephen’s entrance.
in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Four
The clock tower at the north end of the Palace
bronze lions loyally guard the statue,
of Westminster is universally known as Big Ben,
and four plinths – one of which is used
although the nickname actually only refers to the
to display contemporary art – mark
great bell inside the clock.
the corners of the square. Trafalgar
Almost every British monarch for the past 1,000
Square has played a huge role in the
years has been crowned and buried at the large
city’s history, serving as the place where
Gothic building next door, Westminster Abbey.
Londoners congregate when they want
Technically, the building isn’t reserved for royalty,
to celebrate – or demonstrate.
although you’ll need to do something pretty
Walk down The Mall until you reach
impressive to join the likes of William Shakespeare,
Buckingham Palace, home to every
Charles Darwin, Geoffrey Chaucer and Sir Isaac
British monarch since Queen Victoria.
Newton. The 700-year-old building is open to
Each summer, when Queen Elizabeth
visitors six days a week (on Sunday it’s closed).
and Prince Phillip go onholiday in
Take the short walk to the River Thames and hop
Scotland, the palace’s 19 lavish State
into a capsule in Europe’s biggest Ferris wheel.
Rooms are opened to the public. These
The London Eye was only originally intended to be
lavish rooms are used to entertain
a temporary structure, but plans to take it down in
foreign guests and are regally appointed
2005 were dropped because it had rapidly become
with paintings by the likes of Rembrandt
the city’s most popular tourist attraction, boasting
over three million visitors a year. In the course of its
Clockwise from far left: The London Eye; Big Ben; Buckingham Palace’s famous guards.
30-minute journey – it moves very slowly – you can look out over this vast city and, on a clear day, see almost everything. At night, when some of London’s most beautiful buildings and monuments are lit up, it’s even more spectacular. The current (and fourth) version of St Paul’s cathedral was designed by architect Sir Christopher Wren – its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. Visitors can climb the 259 steps to the Whispering Gallery, so called because the unique acoustics allow a whisper to bounce from one side of the dome to the other. From here, it’s a punishing 530 steps to the Golden Gallery, which boasts awe-inspiring views of the city. At the Tower of London there are always lengthy queues to see the Crown Jewels, worn by the Queen every year for the opening of parliament. But it’s not all glamour: executions haven’t taken place at the tower since the Second World War, but confirmation of the site’s bloody past is here for all to see, with an assortment of swords and axes in the White Tower, built by William the Conqueror in 1078. The guided tours are great fun, especially for kids, who’ll love the gory tales and ghost stories – the site is supposedly haunted by the spirit of Anne Boleyn, one of the two wives that Henry VIII had
bmi recommends... You couldn’t walk the whole of London in a day, but if your time in the city is limited, you can take in its key sites from the open deck of the hop-on hopoff Original London Sightseeing Tour buses (020 8877 1722). Water babies may prefer to peruse the city from the Thames – City Cruises (020 7740 0400) runs numerous tours lasting from 30 minutes to three hours. If you’re looking for something a bit quirkier, Evan and Evans Tours’ (020 7950 1777) Jack The Ripper walking and coach-based nighttime expedition will grant you access to the spookier side of the capital. You can also walk in the famous footsteps of a whole stable of stars – call London Walks (020 7624 3978) who run a tour of Charles Dickens’ London which the literary-minded will revel in...
executed at the tower.
Clockwise from left: View of London from Hampstead Heath; Hyde Park; Buckingham Palace from St James Park.
‘The biggest park in London is Hampstead Heath and its highest point offers a stunning panorama of London’ For more stories of the ghoulish variety, don’t
Spread across 350 acres at the heart of London,
miss the London Dungeon. The vampire-
Hyde Park offers beautiful landscaped gardens,
costumed staff on the street outside give you a
snug cafés, and many perfect spots for a picnic
taste of what’s to come – a fun-filled, tongue-in-
and a read of the newspapers. It’s divided in two
cheek romp through London’s scarier side. Using
by the Serpentine Lake, where swans flutter away
actors, rides and special effects, the Dungeon gets
from visitors making a splash in rented rowing
grisly with tales of murder, torture and execution.
boats. Located next to the lake, the Serpentine
Expect macabre encounters with Sweeney Todd
Gallery always has a fascinating art exhibition on,
and Jack the Ripper.
while elsewhere in the park is the Princess of Wales
Friendlier characters await visitors at London Zoo, the world’s oldest scientific zoo. The Zoological Society of London has worked hard to
Memorial Fountain, where people pay their respects to Lady Diana. London’s biggest park is Hampstead Heath,
recreate the animals’ natural habitats so they have
and its highest point, Parliament Hill, offers a
plenty of space to roam in. Kids will love getting
stunning panorama of London. The view from here
acquainted with Bobby, Zaire and Effie, the stars of
is so good it’s protected by law. If you’re feeling
Gorilla Kingdom, while architecture buffs will admire
brave and fancy a dip, there are separate outdoor
the striking buildings, from the art-deco penguin
swimming pools for men and women here, and
pool to the modernist concrete elephant house.
facilities for many other sports.
3140)8)0=6)()7-+2)(*368,) 78')2896=8,)32(32%66-388637:)236 59%6)3**)67%2)<4)6-)2')2338,)6,38)0'%21%8',8)43983*=39679-8)%2( &%7/&=8,)?6)40%')-2=3963;246-:%8)+%6()2 %/)-2%")782(7,3;36 -2(90+)-28,)&398-59)73*%=*%-6):)0-28,)74%'-39709<96=3*396)<'097-:) 09&392+)6)2.3=)<59-7-8)(-2-2+*63136(32%17%=%8-',)0-278%66)( 1%>)8,)6)0%<)(1%>)6-00)<'097-:)6-:%8)-2-2+36):)2-2=3966331 <4)6-)2')8,)7,%4)3*,38)0783'31) The London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, London W1K 6JP For hotel bookings
For Gordon Ramsay dining reservations 1%>)
London travel guide