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LONDON 101 ENJOY THE VERY BEST OF ENGLAND’S GLORIOUS CAPITAL

HOTELS CULTURE SHOPS SIGHTS RESTAURANTS

KANOO WORLD TRAVELLER

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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.

cultural fix.

London 2

London 101

30 The Sights – the must-see sights to cram into your stay.

Produced by HOT Media Publishing FZ LLC


London 101

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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

www.flybmi.com

city yourself, you’ll find an endless amount of rental

Transport

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

Money

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

Visas

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.

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Big events in the Big Smoke...

May

June

July

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.

August

September

October

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.

November

December

January

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.

February

March

April

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.

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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.

5.6

The number of visitors in millions to pass through The British Museum each year, which makes it London’s most popular tourist attraction.

180

The age in years of Covent Garden’s famous and muchloved Market Building, which remains a prominent tourist trap.

316

The height in feet of Big Ben, the world’s most famous clock tower, which forms part of the Houses of Parliament.

1948

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

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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: reservations.browns@roccofortecollection.com www.roccofortecollection.com 6

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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

concierge and

access to a superb lounge where complimentary

maid service

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

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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 –

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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

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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?

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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

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harrods.com +44 (0)20 7730 1234

ENTER A DIFFERENT WORLD

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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

vintage number.

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

Middle East.

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.

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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

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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

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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 molon-info@mohg.com 2000 2000 Email: Email: molon-info@mohg.com molon-info@mohg.com

Mandarin O


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

offers superb

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

bouillabaisse.

dangerously delicious pastries served on a sparkling silver platter.

Vying with Gordon

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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

seafood stew.

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

20

London 101


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

London 101

21


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

22

London 101


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.

London 101

23


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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.

London 101

25


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

London 101

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

surrounding Leicester

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

first-served basis.

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.

London 101

27


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

28

London 101


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.

seating capacity.

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…

London 101

29


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

and Rubens.

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.

London 101

31


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.

32

London 101


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London 101