GUIDE TO LONDON Â®
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Christmas MAGIC Get into the festive spirit with carols, cathedrals and cosy spots
Greatest gifts of all How all of London became a stage Restaurants that revolutionised the city C U LT U R E WL DEC COVER.indd 1
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6 WHERE NOW Our guide to this month’s biggest events, from Disney characters on ice to Les Misérables revamped and New Year’s Eve fireworks.
24 SIGHTSEEING The best of the decade: bike hire schemes, royal weddings, skyscrapers and the Olympics.
10 A-Z OF CHRISTMAS We show you how to celebrate the festive season, London-style. Take part in unique events from a fundraising Santa race and outdoor ice skating to singing carols inside historic Westminster Abbey. 16 FROM LONDON WITH LOVE Take your pick from our choice of seasonal gifts that are guaranteed to sparkle and shine. 74 MY PERFECT DAY Actor Michael Brandon, star of the festive musical White Christmas, shares his favourite things to do in London – and where he loves to buy his suits.
38 MUSEUMS & GALLERIES Mind-boggling exhibitions, new museums and some inspiring Zaha Hadid architecture. 44 ENTERTAINMENT We take a look at the rise of immersive experiences and blockbuster West End shows, from Hamilton to Harry Potter. 54 SHOPPING How the high street has transformed since 2010, with savvy technology and influencers. 58 DINING Trends of the decade, including the rise of veganism to the humble avocado becoming a crucial part of foodie diets.
64 NIGHTLIFE We look back at the changes of the past decade, from the huge growth in craft beer to creative cocktails and local gin. 68 SPAS & SALONS Discover how mindfulness has become a huge part of our lives, plus the trend for vitamin drips and grooming for men. 70 ESSENTIALS An experienced hotel concierge shares his strangest requests, as well as tips on how you can make the most of your time here. 72 MAP A useful map of central London.
See more of London at www.wheretraveler.com/london
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NEIL SIMPSON Last year I booked tickets to one of Westminster Abbey’s popular carol services, which was magical. St Paul’s Cathedral has a long line-up of similar events, too.
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As we wave goodbye to one decade and say hello to another, we look back at the highlights of the past 10 years in the capital. We’ve seen Prince William and Prince Harry marry for love, an unexpectedly triumphant Olympics and more diversity on stage, from Hamilton to a black Hermione in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. While we may be leaving the European Union, we are forever welcoming global chefs and cuisine – proving that London is the dining capital of the world. Innovators such as Bompas & Parr, Secret Cinema, Punchdrunk and The Vaults transformed how we go out. But, in the process, ‘immersive experience’ was the most overused phrase. Exhibitions became more like blockbuster movies with famous faces, sold-out tickets, VR headsets and holograms. My favourites? Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty and David Bowie Is.
London introduced the congestion charge in 2003, while at the start of this decade Boris bikes – which we will forever call them – made cyclists out of us all. And proving that we are riding in the right direction, we have become greener, from zero-waste restaurants to water-refill stations. London ended the decade as a city filled with activists, reminding us that – as our first ethnic minority Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, says – ‘London is Open’. Just stand outside the Houses of Parliament and you’ll see statues that were erected in this period: Mahatma Gandhi and the suffragist Millicent Fawcett. Enjoy this special issue, which is a love letter to the past 10 years. I am proud to be a Londoner. And, as you are here, you are one too – you’re always welcome and we hope you have the best time in your home away from home. w w w.wh e re t r ave l e r. com 5
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Have a blast! Watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks, see tennis greats in action and celebrate the magic of Disney
31 NEW YEAR’S FIREWORKS DEC EVE Watch the skyline light up on New Year’s Eve with one of the world’s most spectacular fireworks displays. It takes place on the Thames near the London Eye and opposite Big Ben (even though the tower is currently having a makeover) and is set to tunes by top DJs. To see the show you’ll have to plan ahead as the event is ticketed. Happy new year! www.london.gov.uk
TENNIS AT THE 1 DEC ROYAL ALBERT HALL
If you couldn’t make it to Wimbledon this summer, you needn’t miss out as tennis greats Martina Hingis, Tim Henman and Tommy Haas are competing in the ATP Champions Tour Final at the Royal Albert Hall. The legendary live music venue is transformed into a sports arena (a rare event) with the tennis court in the middle and spectators encircling it, cheering on the sporting stars. www.championstennis.co.uk
MISÉRABLES FROM LES Proving that nothing can stop the longest-running show in 18 DEC the world, Les Misérables moved to the Gielgud Theatre with a staged concert performance and a cast that included Michael Ball and Alfie Boe. The musical, which is now in its 35th year, reopens at the Sondheim Theatre (previously the Queen’s Theatre) with new staging and reimagined backdrops inspired by paintings by the novel’s author, Victor Hugo. www.lesmis.com
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★★★★★ SUNDAY TIMES
‘CONJURES THE IMPOSSIBLE! MAGICAL DOESN’T EVEN BEGIN TO DESCRIBE IT.’ ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
THE STORY CONTINUES ON STAGE NOW BOOKING UNTIL AUGUST 2020 PALACE THEATRE, LONDON www.HarryPotterThePlay.com
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WHERE NOW | CALENDAR
throw Rapunzel in the air, Goofy slide across the ice on a rubber ring and Pumbaa from The Lion King dance around on all fours. You can also enjoy other Disney characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Snow White, Frozen’s Elsa and the genie from Aladdin as they glide on ice to classics such as You’ve Got a Friend in Me, Hakuna Matata, Beauty and the Beast and, of course, Let It Go. While the set is minimal, the stories are brought to life with elaborate costumes, fireworks and ‘magic’ snow. www.theo2.co.uk
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If you love electronic dance music set to visual effects, don’t miss Pete Tong Presents Ibiza Classics at The O2. The Radio 1 DJ returns to the dome with new songs and club classics. Joined by a 65-piece orchestra, it’s bound to be a spectacular evening. www.theo2.co.uk
you mix equestrianism with theatre? You get the much-loved Olympia London International Horse Show, which presents the prestigious Dressage World Cup and Olympia Grand Prix, plus festive treats such as the Santa Stakes. This year’s headline act is the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment performing the Musical Ride, showing off the impeccable horsemanship required during battle. www.olympiahorseshow.com
Attend the final day of Architecture in London at Guildhall Art Gallery See the huge snow-covered Hogwarts Castle on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Be charmed by Michael Bourne’s The Red Shoes on stage at Sadler’s Wells Step on to the turf and see the dressing rooms at Chelsea FC on a stadium tour Enjoy Trafalgar Square’s switching-on ceremony for the Christmas tree lights Head to the famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club to see American singer Curtis Stigers Join the throngs of shoppers along Regent Street with its sparkling lights Visit Henry VIII’s former home, Hampton Court Palace, for its Festive Fayre Find out the secrets of Swedish pop icons ABBA at The O2’s new exhibition Get into the festive season with Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic Bag a ticket for Hamilton, the hip-hop musical about America’s founding father Enjoy animal-themed seasonal fun and step inside an igloo at ZSL London Zoo Laugh along to cheeky cabaret La Clique, part of Christmas in Leicester Square Meet Santa on his sleigh in his secret hideaway at London Transport Museum Head to Westminster Abbey for a free organ recital with astounding acoustics Enjoy equine elegance in all its glory at the International Horse Show at Olympia Embrace the festive feel of A Hollywood Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall Sing along to Rod Stewart’s much-loved hits at this major gig at The O2 Marvel at life-like elephant puppets at Circus 1903 at the Southbank Centre Put your skates on and head to one of London’s magical outdoor ice rinks Squeal on rides and shop at the Bavarian Market at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland See the magical Christmas installation at Dennis Severs’ House in Spitalfields Gaze at treasures at the Tutankhamun exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery Pick up last-minute gifts and sip mulled wine at the South Bank’s Winter Market Cheer on Peter Pan Cup swimmers as they jump into Hyde Park’s Serpentine lake Brave the crowds and bag a bargain at the Boxing Day sales at major stores Savour a da Vinci masterpiece at The National Gallery’s major new exhibition See magic meet mayhem at the hilarious Magic Goes Wrong at Vaudeville Theatre Oh no it isn’t! Have a laugh with Julian Clary in Goldilocks at London Palladium Take an evening stroll through dazzling illuminations at Christmas at Kew Get ready to party! Bring in 2020 the locals’ way by heading to a cosy pub
Search for more ideas at wheretraveler.com
PREVIOUS PAGE: FIREWORKS © ISTOCK; TENNIS © IMG TENNIS; LES MISÉRABLES © HELEN MAYBANKS. THIS PAGE: DISNEY ON ICE COURTESY OF DISNEY ON ICE; HORSES © HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY; PETE TONG © LUKE DYSON
ON ICE PRESENTS 100 YEARS OF MAGIC FROM DISNEY Get your skates on and head down to The O2 to see Disney on Ice Celebrates 26 DEC 100 Years of Magic, a two-hour show on a worldwide tour. Watch a prince
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‘BELIEVE THE HYPE’ NEW YORK POST
THE MUSICAL #BeMoreMatilda
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A-Z of Ch
Whether you want a traditional or a quirky festive period, the Where London team shows you how to have a merry London Christmas, from songs in St Paul’s Cathedral to a pudding race
If you want to feel like an angel at this time of year, you can volunteer. During the festive period, lots of Londoners give back and giving back while on holiday has become more popular, too. Over the Christmas season, you can help the homeless, from serving in soup kitchens to talking with the elderly, through charities such as Crisis at Christmas, Hackney Winter Shelter, Salvation Army Christmas Appeal and The Trussell Trust.
DANCE Get dressed up for The Dance before Christmas at The Vaults (7 & 14 Dec) – a feast with dancing and drinking in tunnels beneath Waterloo Station. There’s also a Christmas show by drag kings and queens with Down’s syndrome at the Southbank Centre (15 Dec; left), and Après, a festive party for groups larger than eight at Magazine London, a new events space in North Greenwich (12-20 Dec). Enjoy drinks in a ski lodge with a Christmas tree, then a meal and live entertainment.
DRAG ARTISTS COURTESY OF SOUTHBANK CENTRE; NUTCRACKER ©
If Christmas isn’t Christmas without carols, then join a singalong at the Southbank Centre (14 Dec), Barbican (22 Dec) or Royal Albert Hall with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain (21-24 Dec). At the Southbank Centre, you can sing along to the National Children’s Orchestra (8 Dec), but if you would rather just listen, hear the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge perform at the Barbican (16 Dec).
While Londoners hurry home early on Christmas Eve, head to Westminster Abbey (above) for a carol service – it’s free, but you must book. If you miss out, you can see the abbey on a coach tour with Golden Tours, which includes a three-course dinner and midnight mass at St Martin-in-the-Fields.
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Christmas A-Z OF CHRISTMAS | WHERE NOW
DRAG ARTISTS COURTESY OF SOUTHBANK CENTRE; NUTCRACKER © ARNAUD STEPHENSON; SANTA’S GROTTO © MUSEUM OF LONDON; KEW GARDENS IMAGES © JEFF EDEN; ALL OTHER IMAGES © ISTOCK
If you’d like to see a traditional ballet, don’t miss the return of Nutcracker at the London Coliseum (from 11 Dec). Set on Christmas Eve, it features English National Ballet dancers and an orchestra playing Tchaikovsky’s original score.
If your children want to meet Father Christmas in a grotto, find him in a paidfor Santa’s Snowflake Grotto at Westfield London’s first outdoor Christmas Market (to 24 Dec). Both Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City will also have live music and carol singers. The Museum of London’s Santa’s Victorian Grotto (to 23 Dec; below) is a more traditional affair. Kids stroll through the museum’s decorated Victorian Walk, before discovering the grotto and telling Santa what they’d like him to add to his shopping list.
Baby, it’s cold outside. Don’t stay in during your trip to London though, because there are acres of illuminated gardens out there such as Christmas at Kew (to 5 Jan; pictured), in which lights and lasers are projected on to the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse to music and fire. Alternatively, don’t miss Enchanted Eltham Palace (5-22 Dec) in the grounds of the Tudor royal residence. Its festive mile-long trail includes interactive lights and open fires for toasting marshmallows (and chilly fingers).
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JESUS On the big day itself, head to St Paul’s Cathedral (right) for a church service under the iconic dome, or attend a morning service at St James’s Piccadilly (11am). You can also watch a nativity scene in Trafalgar Square.
Most Christmas markets serve warm cider and hot toddies – a moreish blend of whisky, honey, lemon and spices such as cloves and cinnamon. You could also try mulled wine at Kupp (above) by the Grand Union Canal in Paddington. If you are teetotal, treat yourself to a hot chocolate in Fortnum & Mason’s Christmas Arcade at Somerset House or from the stove at Paul A Young.
Belt out Christmas number ones – the song at the top of the UK singles chart during the week of Christmas Day – in a karaoke booth at Lucky Voice in Soho. Playlist suggestions: Mud’s 1974 tune Lonely This Christmas, Band Aid’s 1984 charity hit Do They Know It’s Christmas? and Alexandra Burke’s 2008 cover of Hallelujah.
London has several outdoor rinks over the festive period, all with sparkling Christmas trees – so how do you choose which one to visit? The rink at Somerset House is spacious and has a festive arcade and indoor bar, while the Tower of London projects snowflakes on to the moat’s walls. The Natural History Museum (pictured) is also a classic, with a tree in the middle of the rink plus a carousel. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, meanwhile, has a singer and guitarist performing on a bandstand in the middle of the rink, which is strung with fairylights.
Stroll beneath Christmas lights hung above the city’s main shopping hubs on Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street. Carnaby Street (pictured) themes its display each year – recent years have seen parrots, the Sixties and lyrics to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody on display. ZSL London Zoo will also be illuminated (to 24 Dec) and visitors can meet Father Christmas in his grotto as well as watch festive film screenings.
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KUPP COURTESY OF KUPP; DRINKS AND CARNABY STREET © ISTOCK; NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM © FELIPE GONCALVES/ NHM; ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL © GRAHAM LACDAO; LUCKY VOICE © ANT TRAN; CHRISTMAS IN LEICESTER SQUARE © LEON PUPLETT; NEW YEAR’S DAY PARADE © WWW.LNYDP.COM
A-Z OF CHRISTMAS | WHERE NOW MARKETS
London’s festive markets are a treat. Christmas in Leicester Square (right) is the most central, with 30 chalets, a Santa’s Grotto and a mirrored spiegeltent. If you’d like to stroll beside the River Thames, visit Southbank Centre Winter Market for raclette, fondue and bratwurst cooked on an open fire, or Christmas by the River at Tower Bridge for its magnificent views. This year it has a vintage ski theme, 70 stalls and live music, as well as the chance to make wreaths and decorate a Christmas jumper to support Save the Children. Greenwich Christmas Market is also worth a visit for its food, drinks, souvenirs and entertainment.
NEW YEAR’S DAY If you’re looking forward to a quiet New Year’s Eve – or you’re not planning on going to bed at all – then arrive in the West End bright and early to secure a roadside view of London’s New Year’s Day Parade. Starting at noon on Piccadilly, this joyful procession of marching bands, classic cars, skaters, Pearly Kings and Queens and much more weaves southeast through Trafalgar Square and then up to Big Ben. The festivities continue until about 3.30pm.
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One of the best things about winter is cosying up around an open fire. Favourites include The Holly Bush (above), a Grade IIlisted pub in Hampstead with leather chairs, historical photos and a glass ceiling; The Wrestlers, which was established in 1547 in Highgate; and The Churchill Arms in Kensington, which is filled with Union Jack flags and bric-a-brac such as brass instruments, lanterns and ceramic pots.
After opening presents under the tree, turkey with all the trimmings (roast potatoes and parsnips, Brussels sprouts, Yorkshire pudding, stuffing and gravy) is a highlight of Christmas. Try one at Roast in Borough Market (left), which also serves a vegan cauliflower and chestnut roast with gravy (to 24 Dec). Alternatively, The Windsor Castle in Kensington serves roast turkey, venison and pork belly, as well as a veggie butternut, mushroom and kale tart with roasted squash, broccoli and pesto.
In 1932, King George V kick-started the British tradition of a royal Christmas broadcast, and the nation still switches on the telly to tune in to his granddaughter, reflecting on the past year. The royal family usually spends Christmas at Sandringham House in Norfolk.
SHOPPING Don’t go to Fortnum & Mason on an empty stomach, as you won’t be able to resist its wine, tea and Christmas hampers. Liberty has beautifully crafted baubles, while John Lewis & Partners is great for family gifts, from board games to silly jumpers. Harrods’ iconic bear is winterready – it features inside a snow globe, on tree decorations and as a cuddly toy. Selfridges (left), meanwhile, was the first department store in London to put up its window display, which was unveiled in October. It specialises in personalised gifts.
TREES Norway has given a 25m-high spruce tree to London every year since 1947 to thank Britain for its support during World War II. Lights are hung vertically, just like they are in Norway. Don’t miss the moment when they are switched on (5 Dec, 6pm).
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COPPA CLUB © ALLAN STONE; A CHRISTMAS CAROL BOOK © WWW.LEWISBUSH.COM;
The English tradition of pantomimes, or ‘pantos’, dates from the 1500s. The familyfriendly musicals are performed over the festive season and combine slapstick comedy and dance with fairytales, gendercrossing and audience participation. This year, watch Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the London Palladium (from 7 Dec; above), which stars British TV presenters, comedians and actors such as Paul O’Grady, Julian Clary, Nigel Havers and Gary Wilmot. Expect acts by illusionists, roller skaters and stunt riders.
THE HOLLY BUSH COURTESY OF THE HOLLY BUSH; GOLDILOCKS COURTESY OF LONDON PALLADIUM; THE QUEEN AND SANDRINGHAM © ISTOCK; ROAST COURTESY OF ROAST; SELFRIDGES © MATT WRITTLE; TREE © PHIL ASHLEY
If dark nights and biting wind make you want to snuggle under blankets, then have dinner in a Coppa Club igloo (pictured) by Tower Bridge. The transparent domes come with blankets, sheepskin rugs and candlelit lanterns and are under a canopy of fairylights. Alternatively, book dinner in Jimmy’s Lodge on the South Bank and admire a Northern Lights installation.
WHITE CHRISTMAS If you’re lucky enough for it to snow on Christmas Day, buy a sledge from Hamleys and whizz down Primrose Hill or Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath, or make a snowman in one of the Royal Parks. Alternatively, watch White Christmas the Musical at the Dominion Theatre, a new production based on the 1954 romantic comedy, or listen to the classic festive tune Walking in the Air in The Snowman at The Peacock.
COPPA CLUB © ALLAN STONE; A CHRISTMAS CAROL BOOK © WWW.LEWISBUSH.COM; CHARLES DICKENS MUSEUM © JAYNE LLOYD; SLEDGERS © ISTOCK; BODY WORLDS © JEFF MOORE; HOGWARTS CASTLE © WARNER BROS. STUDIO TOUR LONDON – THE MAKING OF HARRY POTTER; CHRISTMAS PUDDING RACE COURTESY OF CANCER RESEARCH UK
AND SANDRINGHAM © ISTOCK; ROAST COURTESY OF ROAST; SELFRIDGES © MATT WRITTLE; TREE © PHIL ASHLEY
A-Z OF CHRISTMAS | WHERE NOW
YULE Support the world’s oldest youth club, St Andrew’s Club, by attending a night of carols, jazz and a performance by the Royal Academy of Music Connaught Brass Quintet, at St Stephen’s Church near Victoria (5 Dec). You’ll also see props and costumes that were filmed for the Yule Ball scenes in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at Warner Bros. Studio Tour. During Hogwarts in the Snow (to 26 Jan; pictured), you can see a model of Hogwarts Castle dusted with fake snow.
Most traditions – Santa, stockings and cards – began during Queen Victoria’s reign and are immortalised in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Experience a Dickensian Christmas at the Charles Dickens Museum in Holborn (above).
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While not very festive, Body Worlds – an exhibition of real human bodies – is open on the big day. You can also tuck into a turkey roast to live music in Homage in The Waldorf, join a carvery at Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar at Marriott London County Hall or enjoy afternoon tea in Sheraton Grand London Park Lane (remember, there’s no public transport on Christmas Day).
ZANY Had enough of turkey? Then go and cheer on people in fancy dress, as they balance a Christmas pudding on a tray while navigating an obstacle course, in the Great Christmas Pudding Race in Covent Garden (7 Dec; left). You can also watch the Santa Run in Victoria Park (8 Dec), or watch hardy swimmers take to the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park in a contest that has taken place annually since 1864 (25 Dec).
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G U I D E
Richard Macneil’s Thames View John Lewis & Partners, £180, 300 Oxford St, W1C 1DX
Carl Randall’s Waterloo Bridge London National Portrait Gallery Shop, £200, St Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE World map luggage tag Royal Museums Greenwich, £10, Blackheath Ave, SE10 8XJ Vintage London Minilite umbrella The National Gallery, £22, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN
Frida Kahlo hardback, £35; From A to Biba paperback, £9.99; Quant by Quant paperback, £9.99; Organic silk block-printed Aeshanne scarf, £115 Victoria and Albert Museum Shop, Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL
Howard Hare sculpture National Trust Shop, £90, www.nationaltrust.org.uk
The Helpers’ Helper baubles Tom Martin London, £25 each, www.tommartinlondon.com
Shellfish lobster large oval platter Emma Bridgewater, £115, 81a Marylebone High St, W1U 4QL
ALL IMAGES FOR GIFT GUIDE COURTESY OF STOCKISTS; ALL GRAPHICS © ISTOCK
Make a statement with these art-inspired gifts, from paintings to sculptures
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WHERE NOW | GIFT GUIDE
National Trust Gingerbread House Kit National Trust Shop, £16, www.national trust.org.uk
Personalised giant tin of chocolates Biscuiteers, £65, 13 Northcote Rd, SW11 1NG
Brut Gold Champagne Harrods, £2,150, 87-135 Brompton Rd, SW1X 7XL
The Milk, Dark and White Chocolate Collection Fortnum & Mason, £35, 181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER 12 Days of Gin advent calendar Cambridge Distillery, £99, www.cambridge distillery.co.uk
More is more when it comes to these tasty treats, from gingerbread houses to cheeseboards
Christmas cheese cake Paxton & Whitfield, £50, 93 Jermyn St, SW1Y 6JE
The Windsor Hamper Fortnum & Mason, £1,000, 181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER
Christmas Bauble Chocolate Truffles Prestat, £12, 14 Princes Arcade, SW1Y 6DS
Pandoro Tradizionale Carluccio’s, £17.95, 3 Barratt St, W1U 1AY
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WHERE NOW | GIFT GUIDE
Orion Taurus ring The Alkemistry, £895, 22 Floral St, WC2E 9DS
Herald rose gold-plated stainless-steel chronograph watch Selfridges, £455, 400 Oxford St, W1A 1AB
Personalised gemstone necklace Merci Mamam, £129, Top Floor, 25 Heathman’s Rd, SW6 4TJ
Frida brooch by Iris De La Torre Victoria and Albert Museum Shop, £25, Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RLS
I Love You Letters Dangle charm Pandora, £465, Oxford St, W1C 2AU
Shine bright like a diamond with these watches and jewellery Mimmosa Star Struck 18ct gold vermeil signet Harvey Nichols, £85, 109-125 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RJ
Red Medusa-lock Icon watch Versace, £990, 179-180 Sloane St, SW1X 9QP
White Petal ‘Lizzie’ large double studs Dinny Hall, £120, 61 Monmouth St, WC2H 9DG Olivia Burton gold and leather watch Selfridges, £115, 400 Oxford St, W1A 1AB
Openwork hearts charm Pandora, £55, Oxford St, W1C 2AU
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‘Practically perfect in every way’
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Super Soft Plush Hamleys, £10, 188-196 Regent St, W1B 5BT
Smartway MercedesBenz G63 electric ride-on car Selfridges, £230, 400 Oxford St, W1A 1AB
London Bus Zoo print Victoria and Albert Museum Shop, £25, Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RLS
Robot Grab Hand The British Library, £5, 96 Euston Rd, NW1 2DB
Lucky Voice karaoke kit Selfridges, £70, 400 Oxford St, W1A 1AB
For big and little kids, these gadgets and games will keep all ages entertained
Pictionary Air Hamleys, £20, 188-196 Regent St, W1B 5BT
LEGO rocket assembly and transport space port John Lewis & Partners, £119.99, 300 Oxford St, W1C 1DX Luckies of London Scratch Map Deluxe Selfridges, £20 400 Oxford St, W1A 1AB
Kodak Smile instant digital printer Amazon, £99, www.amazon.co.uk
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YOU CAN BE IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS new tickets now on sale
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WHERE NOW | GIFT GUIDE Eberjey Gisele longline navy sleep shirt Harrods, £91, 87-135 Brompton Rd, SW1X 7XL Spring Birds PJ set Cath Kidston, £51, 178-180 Piccadilly, W1J 9ER
London skyline cushion The British Library, £50, 96 Euston Rd, NW1 2DB
Blue spruce and frosted pine candle National Trust Shop, £15, www.national trust.org.uk
Jo Malone mini candle collection Jo Malone, £70, 101 Regent St, W1B 4EZ
Budding Meadow Camomile Twinings, £9.50, 216 Strand, WC2R 1AP
Plume cushion in soft teal John Lewis & Partners, £60, 300 Oxford St, W1C 1DX
After you’ve partied in style, relax in style. You’ll have a good night’s sleep thanks to these candles and cushions
Lucky Cat cushion Victoria and Albert Museum Shop, £60, Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL
White pillowcase Fortnum & Mason, £85, 181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask Harrods, £293, 87-135 Brompton Rd, SW1X 7XL
Mahabis classic slippers Mahabis, £79, www.mahabis.com
Little Aurelia Woodland Friends gift set Fortnum & Mason, £150, 181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER
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SIGHTSEEING ‘ 2012 was the decade’s most significant year’ The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee was earlier that same year and it’s left its mark: Big Ben’s Clock Tower was renamed the Elizabeth Tower, while the new, 60km Jubilee Greenway walking route connects every Olympic landmark, from Little Venice to Woolwich (www.tfl.gov.uk). I’d dub the past 10 years the Decade of the Skyscraper. Renzo Piano’s The Shard was inaugurated in 2012, followed by Rafael Viñoly’s 20 Fenchurch Street (the ‘Walkie Talkie’) in 2015. Each broke new ground for London’s sightseeing scene, offering a very different visual experience from the other (www.theviewfromthe shard.com; www.skygarden.london). Shiny buildings and flashy opening ceremonies are fun, but quieter moments stand out, too. To mark 100 years since World War I began, in 2014 the Tower of London was decorated with 888,246 ceramic poppies to represent each British military victim. In 2018, the first Parliament Square statue to depict a woman was erected: suffragist Millicent Fawcett stands outside the Houses of Parliament, to remind us what real progress looks like (www.hrp.org.uk; www.parliament.uk).
Left: Millicent Fawcett This image: Neil on a Santander bike
NEIL SIMPSON Sightseeing Editor
The decade started with the launch of a vital sightseeing tool: Transport for London’s cycle hire scheme. Christened ‘Boris Bikes’ after being unveiled in 2010 by thenLondon Mayor Boris Johnson, they’ve been a huge success. Initially, there were 5,000 bikes; TfL now offers more than 11,500 bikes from more than 750 stations. Pay £2 to hire a bike for 24 hours and the first 30 minutes are free (p. 71). From slightly tatty bikes to a five-horsedrawn carriage, the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton was in 2011. Nothing showcases the UK quite like a royal wedding – Windsor looked glorious for Harry and Meghan in 2018 – and London shone, too. William and Catherine’s marriage licence is displayed at The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries in Westminster Abbey (www.westminster-abbey.org). I moved to the city in 2011 and endured six months of Olympics negativity from world-weary Londoners, but I was excited. In the end, most were shocked by just how triumphant London 2012 was, making 2012 one of the city’s most significant years in the modern era. I now live in Stratford and love visiting the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Quiet canals, well designed landscaping, cafés, restaurants and play areas make it a great day out (www.queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk).
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SIGHTSEEING Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
SIGHTSEEING Apsley House Visit the home of the Duke of Wellington to see its grand interiors. Wed-Sun & bank hols 10am-4pm. Adult £10.50; child £6.30. www.english-heritage. org.uk. 149 Piccadilly, Hyde Park Corner, W1J 7NT. T: 020-7499 5676. F6. Station: Hyde Park Corner.
Dr Johnson’s House Writer Dr Samuel Johnson compiled his first English dictionary, published in 1755, in this 18th-century period home. Please check for performances, talks and tours. Mon-Sat 11am-5pm. Adult £7; child £3.50. www.drjohnsonshouse.org. 17 Gough Square, EC4A 3DE. T: 020-7353 3745. D9. Station: Chancery Lane.
Eltham Palace & Gardens
The British Library The world’s largest library, with a great permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. To 23 Feb: Buddhism. In a space designed to mimic a monastic library, see sacred scribings plus modern art and films. Check for times and prices of exhibitions. www.bl.uk. 96 Euston Rd, NW1 2DB. T: 0330-333 1144. C7. Station: King’s Cross.
Buckingham Palace The London residence and principal workplace of the British monarch has 775 rooms and is normally closed to the public. During the summer months (Jul-Sep) visitors can tour the state rooms and garden. www.rct.uk/buckinghampalace. The Mall, SW1A 1AA. T: 0303-123 7300. F6/F7. Station: Victoria/Green Park.
Changing the Guard Tower of London
Explore the home of the late American artist Severs, illustrating the life of a family of Huguenot silk weavers from the 17th to 19th centuries. Check for tour times and Silent Night tours. Tickets £5-£17.50. www.dennissevershouse.co.uk. 18 Folgate St, E1 6BX. T: 020-7247 4013. D11. Station: Liverpool Street.
This 115m-tall observation tower offers 20-mile views over the Olympic Park and beyond. Check for times and prices. www.arcelormittal orbit.com. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20 2SS. T: 0333-800 8099. Off map. Station: Stratford. This 17th-century building was designed by Inigo Jones for James I, with an exquisite painted ceiling by celebrated Baroque artist Peter Paul Rubens. It is the only remaining part of the Palace of Whitehall, which was destroyed by fire. Daily 10am-5pm. Adult £7; child free. www.hrp.org.uk. Whitehall, SW1A 2ER. T: 020-3166 6000. E8. Station: Westminster.
The View from The Shard
Dennis Severs’ House
Watch the Changing of the Queen’s Guard on the Palace’s forecourt (except in very wet weather). From 10am; check for dates; free. www.household division.org.uk. Buckingham Palace, The Mall, SW1A 1AA. T: 030-3123 7300. F6/F7. Station: Victoria.
The Charterhouse Dating back to 1348, this area was a burial site during the Black Death, before becoming an almshouse in 1611. Tue-Sat 11am-5.30pm; approx three tours per day. Museum and chapel admission free; standard tour from £12; Brothers’ tour from £18. www.the charterhouse.org. Charterhouse Square, EC1M 6AN. T: 020-3818 8873. C9. Station: Barbican.
Chelsea Physic Garden London’s oldest botanic garden was founded in 1673 as the Apothecaries’ Garden, with 5,000 species of plants and glasshouses. Mon-Fri 11am-6pm. Adult £6.50; child £4.50. www.chelsea physicgarden.co.uk. 66 Royal Hospital Rd, SW3 4HS. T: 020-7352 5646. Off map. Station: Sloane Square.
Cutty Sark Climb aboard the world’s last surviving tea clipper. Meet the characters from Cutty Sark’s past and discover stories of life on board. Daily 10am-6pm. Adult £15; child £7.50. www.rmg.co.uk. King William Walk, SE10 9HT. T: 020-8312 6608. Off map. Station: Cutty Sark/Greenwich.
Head back to the 1930s in this palace which is part showpiece of Art Deco design and part medieval palace. Check for times and prices. www.englishheritage.org.uk/eltham. Court Yard, SE9 5QE. T: 020-8294 2548. Off map. Station: Eltham.
Fulham Palace This attractive 15th-century building was the summer retreat of the Bishops of London, with a refurbished museum and botanical gardens. Check for times. Admission free; charges for special events. www.fulhampalace.org. Bishop’s Ave, SW6 6EA. T: 020-7736 3233. Off map. Station: Putney Bridge.
Go Ape! London There are several of these treetop obstacle courses located in the London area, including Battersea Park and Alexandra Palace. Check online for times and prices. www.goape. co.uk. Various locations. T: 01603-895 500.
Ham House and Gardens One of Europe’s greatest 17th-century houses, with gardens that are said to be haunted. Free, 30-min architecture and garden history tours most days. Daily 10am-5pm. Adult £12.50; child £6.25. www.nationaltrust.org.uk. Ham St, Surrey, TW10 7RS. T: 020-8940 1950. Off map. Station: Richmond.
Handel & Hendrix in London Former homes of composer George Frideric Handel and guitarist Jimi Hendrix. See where Handel lived and composed for 36 years, plus Hendrix’s 1960s bedroom restored. Check for times and prices. www.handelhendrix.org. 25 Brook St, W1K 4HB. T: 020-7495 1685. E6. Station: Bond Street.
HMS Belfast Permanently moored on the River Thames, this ship is Europe’s only surviving World War II cruiser. In service until 1965, it’s now a reminder of Britain’s naval heritage. Daily 10am-6pm. Adult £16.20; child £8.10. www.iwm. org.uk. The Queen’s Walk, off Tooley St, SE1 2JH. T: 020-7940 6300. E11. Station: London Bridge.
Houses of Parliament See the stunning art and architecture inside this working parliament building, which is also a royal palace. Tours Sat. Multimedia self-guided tour adult £19.50, young adult (16-18) £17, child £8 (one child free per paying adult); guided tour adult £26.50, young adult £22, child £11.50; childfriendly family guided tour adult £19.50, child free. www.parliament.uk/visit. Palace of Westminster, Parliament Square, SW1A 0AA. T: 020-7219 4114. F8. Station: Westminster.
T: Telephone number. Station: including Underground (’Tube‘) stations, railway and Docklands Light Railway. Please check for full listings, online discounts, time of last entry and festive times. References at the end of listings (B5 etc.) are coordinates for the map on p. 72-73
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SIGHTSEEING The Jewel Tower
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Built in the 1360s to house Edward III’s treasures. Sat-Sun 10am-4pm. Adult £5.70; child £3.40. www.english-heritage.org.uk. Abingdon St, SW1P 3JX. T: 020-7222 2219. F8. Station: Westminster.
Better known as Kew Gardens, this botanical research centre and World Heritage Site contains plants from across the globe. Don’t miss the Temperate House – the world’s biggest Victorian glasshouse – which has recently been refurbished. There is also a great play area for children. To 5 Jan: Christmas at Kew. Enjoy the gardens at night, illuminated by light installations, some projected on to the Temperate House; 5pm-10pm; adult £18, child £11; booking essential. Daily 10am-3.30pm. Adult £18, child £6; charges for special exhibitions. www.kew.org. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB. T: 0208332 5655. Off map. Station: Kew Gardens.
Parents take a back seat here as children take charge. Three times the size of Trafalgar Square, KidZania has everything a child could want including TV and animation studios, a chocolate factory and aviation academy – there’s even a tattoo parlour. The early-years area means that younger siblings will have fun too. Daily from 10am; closing times vary, please call to check; closed 5, 9 & 24-26 Dec. Advance: adult from £16; child from £19. On the day: adult from £18; child from £38. www.kidzania.co.uk. Westfield London Shopping Centre, Ariel Way, W12 7GA. T: 0330-131 3333. Map inset. Station: Shepherd’s Bush.
Princess Diana’s last home and now the residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. 15-22 Dec: The Luna Winter Cinema. Watch festive films on a big screen; booking essential. Queen’s state apartments closed to Mar. Daily 10am-4pm. Adult £21.50; child £10.70. www.hrp.org.uk. Kensington Gardens, W8 4PX. T: 0844-482 7777. Off map. Station: High Street Kensington/Queensway.
The London Bridge Experience An exciting history lesson on the past of the 1,700-year-old London Bridge site. Special effects and actors bring this spine-tingling attraction to life. Tickets include admission to the London Tombs, located under the bridge, which are in a former plague pit. Please check for times and prices. www.thelondonbridgeexperience.com. 2-4 Tooley St, SE1 2SY. T: 020-7403 6333. E10. Station: London Bridge.
The London Dungeon This attraction whisks you back to the capital’s perilous past. See, hear, feel and even smell the ‘bad old days’ as they come to life via costumed characters and special effects. Not for small children or the faint-hearted. Joint tickets available with Sea Life London Aquarium, Coca-Cola London Eye, Madame Tussauds and Shrek’s Adventure. Please check for times and prices. www.thedungeons.com. County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB. T: 020-7654 0809. F8. Station: Waterloo/Embankment.
Coca-Cola London Eye This London icon is one of the world’s largest observation wheels, with astounding views of landmarks along the River Thames and beyond. Share your London Eye memories using #eyelovelondon. Joint tickets available with Sea Life London Aquarium, London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds and Shrek’s Adventure. Please check for times and prices. www.londoneye.com. County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB. T: 0871-781 3000. F8. Station: Waterloo.
London Mithraeum On the site of Bloomberg’s European headquarters, see the ancient Roman temple which was built here to honour the god Mithras. The remains are brought to life through an immersive, multisensory experience. To 11 Jan: Human Activity. Daniel Silver presents his large sculptures, which explore themes such as psychology, the history of sculpture-making, ancient cultures and archaeology. Tue-Sat 10am-6pm; Sun noon-5pm; first Thur of the month 10am-8pm. Admission free. www.london mithraeum.com. 12 Walbrook, EC4N 8AA. T: 020-7330 7500. D10. Station: Bank.
ZSL London Zoo At the world’s oldest scientific zoo, which has more than 750 species, meet Asiatic lions, Sumatran tigers and gorillas. Check for feeding times, where you can see the keepers interacting with the animals. ‘Junior Keeper for a Day’ package allows visitors to meet and feed a variety of animals. Daily from 10am; check online for seasonal closing times and prices. www.zsl.org. Regent’s Park, NW1 4RY. T: 020-7722 3333. B6. Station: Camden Town.
PREVIOUS PAGES: DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE © RHS/HANNAH MCKAY; TOWER OF LONDON AND STATUE © ISTOCK; THE SHARD © THE VIEW FROM THE SHARD; NEIL SIMPSON COURTESY OF NEIL SIMPSON
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Your official River Bus service
Fun. Fast. Frequent To Putney
adult singl e
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From Buckingham Palace to the Royal Pavilion
Treasure A PRINCE’S
Admission payable Members free brightonmuseums.org.uk 21 SEPTEMBER 2019 – AUTUMN 2021
The Royal Collection returns to Brighton ROYAL PAVILION • BRIGHTON BN1 1EE Images: Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019
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Madame Tussauds Celebrated home of life-sized wax figures depicting famous people from the worlds of entertainment, politics, sport and history, from the Queen to Adele. Don’t miss the Star Wars exhibition with 11 sets from the films, the chance to stand with the royal family on Buckingham Palace’s balcony and ‘Tom Hearty’, a model of actor Tom Hardy. Joint tickets available with Sea Life London Aquarium, London Dungeon, Coca-Cola London Eye and Shrek’s Adventure. Check for times. Adult £35; child £30. www.madame tussauds.com/london. Marylebone Rd, NW1 5LR. T: 0871-222 0177. C6. Station: Baker Street.
There’s no point denying that for many people, Christmas means food – lots of food. At Hampton Court Palace’s Festive Fayre weekend (6-8 Dec; p. 35), you can enjoy artisanal food and drink, cookery demonstrations and foodie shopping. A live band performs seasonal music on a bandstand and, of course, visitors get the chance to enter the palace. Forty minutes on the train from Waterloo to Hampton Court station, the palace was King Henry VIII’s favourite. Infamously greedy, we’re sure that the king would have enthusiastically ordered you to get tickets.
The Monument This stone column in the heart of the City was built in 1677 to commemorate the 1666 Great Fire of London. Climb the 311 steps to its observation gallery. Daily 9.30am-6pm. Adult £5; child £2.50. Joint tickets with Tower Bridge available. www.the monument.org.uk. Monument St, EC3R 6BD. T: 020-7626 2717. E10. Station: Monument.
The O2 Huge venue for entertainment and exhibitions, with the ICON designer-brand shopping outlet, an Oxygen Freejumping trampoline park and a new, 12-station virtual-reality zone from Immotion. From 6 Dec: ABBA: Super Troupers the Exhibition. Explore the famous Swedish quartet’s full story, including an in-depth look at each member and their creative process. www.theo2. co.uk. Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX. T: 020-8463 2000. Off map. Station: North Greenwich.
Over 100 Experiences to choose from
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HAMPTON COURT PALACE © HAYLEY BRAY PHOTOGRAPHY LTD
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SIGHTSEEING St Martin-in-the-Fields
This aristocratic palace was built in 1766 by Earl Spencer, an ancestor of Princess Diana. See the eight state rooms on a guided tour. Sun 10.30am-5.30pm; Mon pre-booked groups only. Adult £15; child £12. www.spencerhouse.co.uk. 27 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NR. T: 020-7514 1958. E7. Station: Green Park.
Palladian church with tours, a brass-rubbing centre and live classical music. Regular, free lunchtime concerts from 1pm. 4 Dec: Gala Evening. During the 1950s, the church presented an annual nativity performance to raise money. In 1958, Ralph Vaughan Williams agreed to compose the music especially for St Martin-in-the-Fields. This year the tradition is revived; 7pm-10pm; £150. 8 Dec: Blessing of the Crib in Trafalgar Square. This ceremony includes a candlelit procession and a real donkey; 5.30pm-6.30pm. Mon-Fri 8.30am-6pm; Sat-Sun 9am-6pm. Admission free; brass rubbing from £4.50. www.stmartin-inthe-fields.org. Trafalgar Square, WC2N 4JJ. T: 020-7766 1100. E8. Station: Charing Cross.
St Katharine Docks
18 Stafford Terrace This house offers an insight into the personal life of Punch cartoonist Edward Linley Sambourne, who lived here from 1875 with his family. A highlight of your visit will be the costumed actor tour, on which you’ll meet Mrs Sambourne or her parlour maid Mrs Reffell for a dramatic account based on old diaries. Check for special tours, times and prices. www.rbkc.gov.uk. 18 Stafford Terrace, W8 7BH. T: 020-7602 3316. Off map. Station: High Street Kensington.
Discover the secrets of the Underground
Sir Christopher Wren’s riverside masterpiece, part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, is home to a neoclassical chapel and the Painted Hall, which recently reopened following a major conservation project. Its enhanced undercroft space now includes a new gallery, while you can also see the foundations of King Henry VIII’s birthplace, Greenwich Palace. Daily 10am-5pm. General admission free; Painted Hall adult £12; child free. www.ornc.org. King William Walk, SE10 9NN. T: 020-8269 4799. Off map. Station: Cutty Sark/Greenwich.
Old Royal Naval College
This central London marina dates back to the 11th century. It’s home to regular markets, shops, art galleries and restaurants. www.skdocks.co.uk. 50 St Katharine’s Way, E1W 1LA. T: 020-7264 5287. Off map. Station: Tower Hill.
The waxwork of the Queen that is currently on display at Madame Tussauds is the 23rd to have been made. Images of the clay head were sent to Buckingham Palace during the creative process
DID YOU KNOW?
Experience disused station tours and an immersive exhibition that delves deeper into a mysterious subterranean world.
The Royal Observatory
Stand astride the historic Prime Meridian, where east meets west, to take your place at the centre of the world. Uncover the history of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and see clocks and timepieces that have completely changed how we live. Daily 10am-5pm. Adult £16; child £8. Joint tickets with Cutty Sark available. Book online to save. Audio guide tour available. www.rmg.co.uk. Blackheath Ave, SE10 8XJ. T: 020-8858 4422. Off map. Station: Greenwich/Maze Hill/Cutty Sark.
The View from The Shard
One of Europe’s largest aquariums with 500 species of global marine life and walk-through tank tunnels, including a glass walkway above a school of sharks. You can also snorkel with sharks (£150 including admission), while the Rainforest Adventure attraction is your chance to see snapping turtles and the world’s largest species of spider. Please check for times and prices. www.sealife.co.uk/london. County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB. T: 0333321 2001. F8. Station: Westminster/Waterloo. Ascend the tallest building in Western Europe in a high-speed lift that travels at six metres per second (p. 24). At 309m up, on a clear day you can see as far as Windsor from the open-air sky deck at level 72. Check out the two bars, or make a Saturday night of it at a silent disco on 7 & 14 Dec; £37.50, book online. Daily from 10am; check for closing times. Adult from £27.20; child from £21.25. www.theviewfromtheshard.com. 32 London Bridge St, SE1 9SG. T: 0844-499 7111. E10. Station: London Bridge.
THE QUEEN WAXWORK COURTESY OF MADAME TUSSAUDS LONDON
Sea Life London
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SIGHTSEEING St Paul’s Cathedral
Tower of London
Sir Christopher Wren’s 300-year-old cathedral has stunning mosaics. Climb up the dome to the Whispering Gallery and a further 271 steps to the Golden Gallery for a classic London panorama. The crypt has monuments to Wren and Lord Nelson. The current Great Restoration of the 1920s exhibition details the little-known story of the project to save the dome, after the cathedral was served a Dangerous Structures notice in 1924. The price of admission also includes a multimedia guide and tours, subject to availability on the day. Mon-Sat 8.30am-4.30pm. Adult £20; child £8.50. www.stpauls.co.uk. St Paul’s Churchyard, EC4M 8AD. T: 020-7246 8350. D9/10. Station: St Paul’s.
This breathtaking bridge, which was completed in 1894, is one of London’s most famous landmarks (not to be confused with its less grand, but much older neighbour, London Bridge). You can tour the Victorian engine rooms with a knowledgable guide and even join a yoga class on the glass walkways, 42m above the River Thames (if you dare!). Joint tickets with The Monument available. Please check website for bridge lift times, which are a perfect photo opportunity if you watch from the riverside. Daily 9.30am-5.30pm. Adult £9.80; child £4.20. www.towerbridge.org.uk. Tower Bridge Rd, SE1 2UP. T: 020-7403 3761. E11. Station: Tower Hill.
This historic landmark includes the Bloody Tower, Traitors’ Gate and the Jewel House, home of the spectacular Crown Jewels (p. 24). To 5 Jan: Ice Rink. Book a 45-minute session upon one of London’s most enchanting festive rinks, within the Tower’s moat area; adult from £15, child £10.50; Mon-Fri 11am-9pm; Sat-Sun 10am-9pm. Enjoy free guided tours by ‘Beefeaters’ (Yeoman Warders). Book ahead online to attend the nightly Ceremony of the Keys, which dates back to 1340 (tickets are free). Tue-Sat 9am-4.30pm; Sun-Mon 10am-4.30pm. Adult £27.50; child £13.10. www.hrp.org.uk. Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB. T: 0844-482 7799. E11. Station: Tower Hill.
Up at The O2 Prepare for an unforgettable 90-minute experience that takes you on an uplifting expedition across the roof of The O2. From the viewing platform at the top you can enjoy spectacular 360-degree views of the River Thames, Emirates Air Line, Canary Wharf and beyond. Please check for times and wheelchair access. From £30. www.theo2.co.uk. The O2, Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX. T: 020-8463 2680. Off map. Station: North Greenwich.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London Explore behind the scenes of the legendary Harry Potter films on The Making of Harry Potter Tour. Visitors can witness sets including the Great Hall, Hagrid’s Hut, Diagon Alley and a recreation of Platform 9¾. The new Gringotts Wizarding Bank set is the Tour’s biggest expansion to date, featuring the Lestrange vault and a goblin gallery. It is a fascinating insight into filmmaking. To 26 Jan: Hogwarts in the Snow.. See the breathtaking Hogwarts Castle model sprinkled with ‘snow’, among other festive additions. 9, 10 & 11 Dec: Dinner in the Great Hall.. Enjoy a Christmas feast on the iconic Great Hall set which will be transformed for the festive season (over-18s only); tickets £240; booking essential. Please check for times. Adult £47; child £38. Booking essential. www.wbstudiotour.co.uk. Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LS. T: 0845-084 0900. Off map. Station: Euston to Watford Junction, then shuttle bus.
Wellington Arch Climb to the viewing galleries of this magnificent arch for panoramic views over the Royal Parks and Houses of Parliament, plus exhibitions. Joint tickets available with Apsley House. Daily 10am-4pm. Adult £5.70; child £3.40. www.englishheritage.org.uk. Apsley Way, Hyde Park Corner, W1J 7JZ. T: 020-7930 2726. F6. Station: Hyde Park Corner.
Don’t miss the Changing the Guard ceremony (p. 25)
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DID YOU KNOW? Every morning at ZSL London Zoo, a keeper has to level out all of the holes that the aardvarks dig during the night
Westminster Abbey Consecrated in 1065, this abbey is the crowning and burial site of most English monarchs. It also houses Poets’ Corner, the final resting place of Charles Dickens and other famous writers. In 2018, the abbey unveiled its first major structural addition in more than a quarter of a millennium, a new tower that leads to The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries. Housed in the medieval triforium and offering panoramic views of the surrounding area, this exhibition space tells the abbey’s story by displaying more than 300 objects. Please check for times. 24 Dec: Crib Service. A short service, lasting about 30 minutes, tells the Christmas story. You can also sing Christmas carols. Suitable for families with young children, this service is free and there’s no need to book. Abbey only adult £23; child £10. Abbey and The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries adult £28; child £10. www.westminster-abbey.org. 20 Dean’s Yard, SW1P 3PA. T: 020-7222 5152. F7. Station: Westminster/St James’s Park.
Daily guided sightseeing tours on the Thames between Westminster, London Eye, Tower and Greenwich piers. River Red Rover is an all-day hop-on, hop-off sightseeing service. Other cruises are available. Check website for times and prices. www.citycruises.com. Departure points vary. T: 020-7740 0400.
Departures from major London piers every 20 minutes. Boats set off from 23 piers. Discounts with Oyster and contactless payment cards. River Roamer hop-on and hop-off (valid all day from 9am) advance adult £17.80, child £8.90; on the day adult £19.80, child £9.90; under-fives travel free. Adult single journeys from £4.80; adult Oyster/app/online single journeys from £4.40. www.thamesclippers.com. Departure points vary. T: 020-7001 2200.
London Eye River Cruise Live commentary on a 40-minute sightseeing cruise. Daily 10.45am-4.45pm. Adult £13.50; child £10. Discounted joint tickets with the London Eye available. www.londoneye.com/river-cruise. London Eye Pier, SE1 7PB. F8. Station: Waterloo.
Thames River Services This hop-on, hop-off service features live audio commentary. Departs from Westminster Pier to Greenwich 10.20am-3.30pm and from Greenwich
See it. Hear it. Feel it. Take the all-new interactive stadium tour and museum experience at Chelsea Football Club. Get closer than ever before with exclusive content, 360 films and much more.
Available in 12 languages
WWT London Wetland Centre This 104-acre wildlife reserve has a café overlooking lakes, ponds and gardens that are home to more than 100 species of rare and wild birds. Visitors can watch the otters and birds being fed every day, while there are also daily ‘Spotlight’ talks on various subjects. 1 & 14-15 Dec: Christmas Weekend. Husky sleigh rides for little ones. Daily 9.30am-4.30pm. Adult £13; child £7.90. www.wwt.org.uk. Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, SW13 9WT. T: 020-8409 4400. Off map. Station: Barnes.
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
SOLDIER © VISIT LONDON/PAWEL LIBERA; AARDVARK © ISTOCK
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland To 5 Jan: One of the UK’s biggest winter festivals, held every festive season. As well as a Bavarian market and a traditional fairground, you can ice skate on the UK’s biggest outdoor rink and try an ice-sculpting class. Paddington on Ice, Mr Men & Little Miss: The Show and the world’s tallest transportable Ferris wheel are both new this year. Daily 10am-10pm. To avoid crowds, we recommend walking from Green Park, Paddington or Victoria stations. Free admission; booking necessary for selected shows. www.hydeparkwinterwonder land.com. Hyde Park, W2 2UH. T: 0300-061 2000. E5. Station: Hyde Park Corner/Marble Arch.
RIVER TRIPS Circular Cruise Westminster Circular Cruise Westminster operates a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing service from Westminster Pier. Boats depart every 40 minutes for Embankment, Festival, Bankside and St Katharine’s Piers (for Tower of London), returning non-stop to Westminster. Departures Mon-Fri 11am-3pm; Sat-Sun 11am3.40pm. Adult single £10.75, return £16; child single £7, return £10.75. www.circularcruise.london. Westminster Pier, Victoria Embankment, SW1A 2JH. T: 020-7936 2033. F8. Station: Westminster.
Visit chelseafc.com/wherelondon for more information
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SIGHTSEEING to Westminster via St Katharine’s 11.20am-4.30pm. Check for prices (33 per cent off fares with a valid TfL Travelcard). www.thamesriverservices.london. Westminster Pier, Victoria Embankment, SW1A 2JH. T: 020-7930 4097. F8. Station: Westminster.
Thamesjet The ThamesRush is a 50-minute speedboat experience, combining sightseeing, speed and aquabatics all in one. Departs from Westminster Pier. From 10am, but depends on the tide so check for times. Minimum height requirement 1.35m/4ft 5in. Adult from £39; child from £29. www.thamesjet.com. Westminster Bridge, SE1 7GL. T: 020-7740 0400. F8. Station: Westminster.
TOURS & GUIDED WALKS BEE Midtown Guided Walks Approximately 10 free, themed walking tours per month around Bloomsbury, Farringdon and Holborn, an area also known as Midtown. This month, a series of Sherlock Holmes-themed walks includes Super Sleuth, on which you’ll visit sites in Bloomsbury that are connected to Sherlock Holmes; 4 Dec, 1pm, Holborn Station Kiosk. The full guided walks programme is published near the bottom of BEE Midtown’s homepage; most walks do not require pre-booking. www.bee-midtown.org. Departure points vary. T: 020-7078 7077.
SPECTACULAR SAVINGS AT LONDON’S FAVOURITE OUTLET CENTRE
Big Bus Tours Daily sightseeing trips aboard a fleet of open-top, double-decker buses. Various ticket packages are available, from one to three days. A one-day orientation tour includes a free, 90-minute walking tour and a one-way river cruise. Classic Ticket (one day) adult £39; child £29. www.bigbustours.com. Departure points vary. T: 020-7808 6753.
Big Bus Walking Tours Enjoy a 90-minute historic and royal guided walk from Green Park or Trafalgar Square, along Carlton Gardens, the Mall and through St James’s Park to Horse Guards Parade, taking in areas that can’t be reached by bus. Departs from the Big Bus bus stop at either Green Park or Trafalgar Square. Daily 10am. Free with Big Bus London Tour tickets. www.bigbustours.com. Departs from the Big Bus stop in Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN. T: 020-7808 6753. E7. Station: Charing Cross.
Billingsgate Roman House & Baths Beneath the cobbled pathways of the Square Mile lies a rich Roman history that’s survived 2,000 years of construction, fires and World War II bombs. Lower Thames Street is home to one of Roman London’s most fascinating remains, discovered in 1848. Explore this intriguing insight into ancient life in the City on an hour-long guided tour and discover the remains of the Roman Bathhouse, which lie hidden beneath offices. Sat 11am; noon and 1pm. Adult £10.19; child £8.06; advance online booking essential. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk. 101 Lower Thames St, EC3R 6DL. E11. Station: Tower Hill. A Blue Badge- or City of London-qualified guide drives you around in a taxi for up to five people. Choose from London tours by day or night, trips outside the city and themed tours including a Doctor Who option – on which you’ll see a Tardis and locations from the films and TV series. There’s even a tour for fans of TV’s Downton Abbey. Prices vary and are per taxi. www.capitaltaxitours.co.uk. Departure points vary. T: 020-8590 3621.
City of London Guides Walks A variety of themed walks, focusing on everything from Fleet Street to Smithfield Market and several City gardens, all within London’s historic Square Mile. Prices range from free to £12.50. www.cityof londonguides.com. Departure points vary.
50 discounted big brands, 20 restaurants and coffee shops. Minutes from central London Get an EXTRA 10% OFF outlet prices* Visit LDO Guest Services for your exclusive Privilege Card.
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The Classic Tour Hop aboard a restored 1960s Routemaster double-decker bus and see London’s landmarks in an entertaining, 75-minute tour. Check for times and prices. www.theclassictour.com. Departs from Northumberland Ave, off Trafalgar Square (bus stop outside The Grand hotel). T: 0844-318 7655. E8. Station: Charing Cross.
COCA-COLA LONDON EYE © VISIT LONDON
Capital Taxi Tours
For great views of the city, jump on the Coca-Cola London Eye (p. 26)
LONDON DESIGNER OUTLET WEMBLEY PARK
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DID YOU KNOW?
SIGHTSEEING The London Helicopter Tour
Leeds Castle was a makeshift hospital during World War II and is home to the world’s only dog collar museum, with exhibits spanning five centuries
Discover the capital from the unique perspective of a helicopter. Departing from London’s only heliport, glide above the Thames taking in landmarks such as the Tower of London and The Shard. Choose from the 10-minute Buzz, 20-minute Sights or 30-minute Max tour. Prices start at £200 per seat for a shared tour. www.thelondonhelicopter.com. POD Building, Bridges Court, SW11 3BE. T: 020-7887 2626. Off map. Station: Clapham Junction.
London’s oldest and largest sightseeing company has been accompanying visitors on city tours and out-of-town excursions since 1930. Visit everywhere from Warwick Castle and Stratford-upon-Avon to Stonehenge and Bath, plus all the London sights. Please check for times and prices. www.evanevans tours.com. Departure points vary. T: 020-7950 1777.
London’s oldest walking tour company offers more than 300 walks. Each takes around two hours, departure points vary and there’s no
need to book. As well as Jack the Ripper, Harry Potter and ghost walks, London Walks offers routes around London’s ‘villages’, including Hampstead. Adult £10; child free with an adult. www.walks.com. Departure points vary. T: 020-7624 3978.
Original London Sightseeing Walk The 90-minute Changing of the Guard walk provides amazing views of the ceremony. It departs daily at 10am from the Original London Visitor Centre, near Trafalgar Square on Cockspur Street. £10 per walk, or free with an Original London Sightseeing Tour ticket. www.theoriginal tour.com. 17-19 Cockspur St, SW1Y 5BL. T: 0208877 1722. E7. Station: Charing Cross.
Golden Tours From day excursions to overnight city breaks, the London expert offers quality tours from the capital to popular locations such as Bath, Windsor Castle and Brighton. The company offers an unrivalled range of tours and services. Check for times and prices. www.goldentours.com. Departure points vary. T: 020-7630 2039.
Golden Tours Open-Top Bus Tours See the sights aboard an open-top bus. The Essential Tour includes an English-speaking guide who will describe the sights, or there are multilingual audio commentary tours, where you can hop-on and hop-off the bus. Three-hour, one-day, 24-, 48- and 72-hour tickets. Check for prices. www.goldentours.com. Departure points vary. T: 020-7630 2039.
Guidelines to Britain Book a private sightseeing tour that offers hotel pick-up. Blue Badge Guides-certified London experts, countryside tours and airport transfers. www.guidelinestobritain.com. Departure points vary. T: 020-8299 3000.
LEEDS CASTLE © ISTOCK
Jack the Ripper Tour Blue Badge Guide Richard Jones of London Walking Tours devised these popular two-hour walks in 1982, offering a look at the serial killer. Numbers are limited in order to give participants a better experience. Booking essential. Daily 7pm. £10. www.jack-the-ripper-tour.com. Exit 4, Aldgate East Station. T: 020-8530 8443. Off map.
Kia Oval Tour Tour the famous ground, home of Surrey County Cricket Club since 1845 and a venue for England matches. Please check for times and prices. www.kiaoval.com. Kia Oval, Kennington, SE11 5SS. T: 020-3946 0100. Off map. Station: Oval.
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SIGHTSEEING The Original Tour
Royal Opera House Tours
These live and multilingual open-top guided bus tours take you to the attractions. Its original 24-hour tour includes a free Changing of the Guard walking tour and a river cruise pass. 24-hour adult £34, child £16; 48-hour adult £44, child £21. www.theoriginal tour.com. 17-19 Cockspur St, SW1Y 5BL. T: 020-8877 1722. E7. Station: Charing Cross.
A variety of tours offer access to the auditorium, the Royal Retiring Room and backstage while the Opera House prepares for a show. Backstage Tour most days 10.15am-3.45pm; Covent Garden Legends and Landmarks Tour selected days between 11am and 4.15pm; £10£15. www.roh.org.uk/tours. Bow St, WC2E 9DD. T: 020-7304 4000. D8. Station: Covent Garden.
Royal Albert Hall Tours
See London by Night Tour
Take the one-hour Grand Tour of this glorious Victorian concert hall. Tours daily 10am-4pm. Adult £14.50; child £7.50. www.royalalberthall.com. Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP. T: 020-7959 0558. F4. Station: South Kensington.
Ride around the West End and City in the evening. Regular departures from outside The Ritz. Daily 7.30pm & 9.20pm. Adult £21; child £12. www.see londonbynight.com. 150 Piccadilly, W1J 9BR. T: 020-7183 4744. E6. Station: Green Park.
This reconstruction of Shakespeare’s original Elizabethan Globe Theatre has one of the city’s only thatched roofs, while its Sam Wanamaker Playhouse is a separate, candlelit performance space. The 40-minute tour begins every half an hour, after which you may browse the Globe’s exhibition about the venue and its history. Daily; check for times. Exhibition and Globe theatre tour adult £17; child £10. www.shakespearesglobe.com. 21 New Globe Walk, SE1 9DT. T: 020-7902 1400. E10. Station: Blackfriars.
THE QUEEN’S GALLERY BUCKINGHAM PALACE
The Steam Dreams Rail Co. Via a network of more than 100 stations around the UK, take a memorable trip on board Steam Dream’s fleet of restored steam trains – which includes the Flying Scotsman (p. 36). Day trips from London include Exeter, Cheltenham, York and Bournemouth, each designed to evoke a bygone era of luxury train travel. Classes of travel range from Premium Standard to Pullman-style Dining. www.steamdreams.co.uk. Departure points vary. T: 01483-209 888.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Tour This 90-minute experience takes visitors behind the scenes of the new, world-class stadium, giving exclusive access to first-team areas, as well as the chance to discover its cutting-edge architecture and state-of-the-art features. Check for times. Adult £30; child £15; under-fives free. www.tottenham hotspur.com/tours. 782 High Rd, N17 0BX. T: 0203929 1882. Off map. Station: Seven Sisters.
Wembley Stadium Tours Go behind the scenes at this famous football stadium and concert venue. The 75-minute tour takes you inside the dressing rooms and through the players’ tunnel. Have your photo taken with a replica of the FA Cup. From 10am. Adult £19; child £12. www.wembleystadium.com. Wembley Stadium, HA9 0WS. T: 0800-169 9933. Off map. Station: Wembley Park.
Visit the majestic Royal Albert Hall
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GOLDEN BOY STATUE © ISTOCK
Hire a two-seater electric Renault Twizy, then drive yourself through the streets of London accompanied by an entertaining, GPS-guided audio tour. Alternatively, rent an adorable Twizy without the audio tour and roam freely at your own pace. Prices from £30 per rental. www.twizytours.com. Apcoa Parking Car Park, 21 Bryanston St, W1H 7AB. T: 07376-428363. D5. Station: Marble Arch.
ROYAL ALBERT HALL © ISTOCK
DID YOU KNOW? The 62m-high Monument stands 62m from the spot where the 1666 Great Fire of London started – and a smaller statue, the Golden Boy of Pye Corner, stands at the exact point where the fire was put out
OUT OF TOWN
Hampton Court Palace
Visit the family home of wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. While Churchill and his wife Clementine were still living here, it was bought by the National Trust and maintained on behalf of the nation, retaining its 1930s-style decor. The site has a kitchen garden, woodlands and a restaurant. 7-8, 14-15 & 21-22 Dec: Christmas in Chartwell. Some rooms are dressed for Christmas. House 7-8, 14-15 & 21-22 Dec only, 11am-3pm; garden and restaurant daily 10am-4pm. Whole property adult £12, child £6; garden only adult £9, child £4.50. www.national trust.org.uk/chartwell. Mapleton Rd, Westerham, Kent, TN16 1PS. T: 01732-868 381. Off map. Station: London Bridge or Victoria to Edenbridge or Oxted.
Once the favourite royal residence of Henry VIII, this Tudor palace and 300-year-old maze is set in 60 acres of parkland on the river. Visit the Tudor kitchens, which would have prepared feasts for the king and all his courtiers, then see Henry’s state apartments. To 5 Jan: Ice Rink. Glide across the ice as you take in the view of the palace; adult from £15, child £10.50. 6-8 Dec: Festive Fayre. This festival welcomes all sorts of foodie attractions to the courtyards; included with general admission (p. 28). Daily 10am-4.30pm. Adult £23.70; child £11.90. www.hrp.org.uk. Hampton Court, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. T: 0844-482 7777. Off map. Station: Waterloo to Hampton Court.
Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology Britain’s first public museum dates back to 1683. See archaeological artefacts, Egyptian mummies and Oliver Cromwell’s death mask. To 12 Jan: Last Supper in Pompeii. See a haul of loaned objects from the site including abandoned food, carbonised for centuries by volcanic ash. To 15 Dec: Feed the World: Food and Money in the 20th Century. Discover how monetary objects such as coins, banknotes and tokens related to food in the 20th century and why this was important. Daily 10am-5pm; last Fri of every month 10am-8pm. Free admission, charges for special exhibitions. www.ashmolean.org. Beaumont St, Oxford, OX1 2PH. T: 01865-278 000. Off map. Station: Paddington to Oxford.
GOLDEN BOY STATUE © ISTOCK
Blenheim Palace See three centuries of treasures in magnificent state rooms at this Baroque palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. It’s set in 2,100 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown parkland and formal gardens. To 15 Dec: Christmas Market. Wooden chalets are filled with ceramics, textiles, homewares, leather goods, jewellery, toys, stationery, bags and hats. To 1 Jan: Illuminated Light Trail. Encounter a light tunnel, a garden filled with lasers and the Fire Garden. To 5 Jan: Alice in the Palace. The palace is transformed into a real-life ode to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; adult £27, child £16, booking essential. Please check for times and prices for all attractions. www.blenheimpalace.com. Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PP. T: 01993810 530. Off map. Station: Paddington to Oxford, then bus S3.
HOME OF THE
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CAPITAL TAXI TOURS Family friendly sightseeing tours from the comfort of an iconic London Black Taxi
London Sightseeing Tours C
Harry Potter, Downton Abbey, The Beatles, Doctor Who, Countryside Tours, Stonehenge and so much more!
CAPITAL TAXI TOURS
T: 07970 911223
...for shops, restaurants, theatre bookings
and sightseeing activities in the area
They would be happy to assist you so that you can enjoy the very best that London has to offer in the time that you have to spend with us
Does the Hogwarts Express exist? We’re not in the business of shattering dreams but, if you struggle to locate it in London, try The Steam Dreams Rail Co. instead (p. 34). Using original steam trains that have been carefully restored, the company runs destination trips from London. There are various classes to choose between, from Premium Standard up to Pullman-style Dining. If you go all the way, Pullman means white tablecloths, wood panelling and waiting staff in waistcoats. The company is running a trip north from Ealing Broadway to Lincoln (8 Dec), a city famed for hosting one of Europe’s largest Christmas markets. If you’d rather sing than shop, there’s also a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon via Blenheim Palace from Waterloo Station (15 Dec), which includes a carol concert.
Hever Castle and Gardens
Palace of Holyroodhouse
Dating back to the 13th century, this beautiful site was the childhood home of Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. The Tudor castle has magnificent interiors, the work of the Astor family during the 20th century. Outside, the castle’s gardens feature statuary and a lake for boat rides. To 24 Dec: Christmas at Hever Castle. See the castle dressed for the festive season, then head outside to the Alice in Wonderland-inspired interactive trail and enjoy the illuminated gardens; advance booking essential. Please check for times. Adult £17.75; child £9.95. www.hevercastle. co.uk. Hever, Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 7NG. T: 01732-865224. Off map. Station: London Victoria or London Bridge to Edenbridge.
The Queen’s official residence in Scotland stands at the end of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, against the spectacular backdrop of Arthur’s Seat. Tour highlights include the spectacular state apartments with valuable French and Flemish tapestries and Mary, Queen of Scots’ chamber. 8 Dec: Carols around the Christmas Tree. See the state apartments decorated for Christmas, followed by a concert in the Great Gallery featuring the Scottish Vocal Ensemble; 7pm-8.30pm; £15. Daily 9.30am-4.30pm. Adult £15; child £8.70. www.rct.uk. Canongate, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH8 8DX. T: 0303-123 7306. Off map. Station: Edinburgh Waverley.
The world’s most famous stone circle and a World Heritage Site, Stonehenge is more than 5,000 years old. With obscure Neolithic origins, it is perfectly aligned with the rising sun at the solstice. English Heritage members get exclusive, early-morning tours. The visitor centre has an exhibition, shop and café. 22 Dec: Winter Solstice. Visitors will be able to access the monument as soon as it is light enough to do so safely (approximately 7.45am); free. Daily 9.30am-5pm. Adult £21.10; child £12.70. www.english-heritage. org.uk. Amesbury, Wiltshire, SP4 7DE. T: 0870-333 1181. Off map. Station: Waterloo to Salisbury, then bus or taxi.
This fairy-tale, 900-year-old castle with a moat, gardens and parkland was used by Henry VIII and his wife Catherine of Aragon. Lose yourself in the spiralling yew maze, visit the Birds of Prey Centre and watch a falconry display in the castle grounds. To 1 Jan: Magical Birds & Festive Feathers. The castle’s state rooms are decorated for Christmas using a bird theme, from redbreasted robins to shimmering duckling eggs; free with admission. Grounds and garden daily 10am-5pm; castle 10.30am-4pm. Adult £26; child £17.50; under-fours free. www.leeds-castle.com. Maidstone, Kent, ME17 1PL. T: 01622-765 400. Off map. Station: Victoria to Bearsted.
Osterley Park and House Beautiful country home with formal gardens and stable tearooms. There’s a programme of park runs too, for both adults and children. Please check for house opening times and its Winter Exhibition. Garden daily 10am-4pm. House & gardens adult £12, child £6; gardens only adult £9.60, child £4.80. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ osterley. Jersey Rd, Isleworth, Middlesex, TW7 4RB. T: 020-8232 5050. Off map. Station: Osterley/Isleworth.
Waddesdon Manor The main rooms of this Renaissance-style chateau are closed for winter, but the East and Bachelor’s wings remain open and have been decorated for Christmas. Outside, the gardens are currently sparkling with seasonal illuminations (to 5 Jan) and there’s also a Christmas fair (to 22 Dec). House and grounds Wed-Sun 11am-6pm. Grounds only adult £11, child £5.50; house and grounds adult £21, child £11.50. www.waddesdon.org.uk. Near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP18 0JH. T: 01296-820 414. Off map. Station: Marylebone to Aylesbury.
TRAIN © DAVID IRELAND; NELSON’S COLUMN © KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHY
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SIGHTSEEING Warwick Castle Built in 914 by Ethelfleda, daughter of Alfred the Great, then enhanced by William the Conqueror in 1068, this castle is now a family-friendly experience with landscaped gardens designed by ‘Capability’ Brown. Its past is brought to life with free tours by the castle’s history team, a Castle Dungeon experience, displays of medieval weaponry and a Horrible Histories maze. 21 Dec: Carols at the Castle. With the choir of St Mary’s accompanied by the Royal Spa Brass. To 5 Jan: Ice Rink. The castle hosts an outdoor rink; from £13. Castle adult £20, child £18; castle & dungeon adult £24, child £21. Advance booking (at least five days) castle adult or child £14; castle & dungeon £17. www.warwick-castle.com. Warwick, Warwickshire, CV34 6AH. T: 0871-265 2000. Off map. Station: Warwick.
Watts Gallery Artists’ Village An Arts and Crafts gem in the Surrey Hills, with stunning Victorian paintings and sculptures. Visit the Tea Shop, then wander to the nearby, Grade I-listed Watts Chapel, which was built in an Art Nouveau version of Celtic Revival style. To 13 Dec: Raising the Banner. See the work of Mary Watts and Gertrude Jekyll, who were deeply involved in the suffragist movement. Aware of the historical significance of banners, the suffragists made them an integral part of their political expression. To 5 Jan: In Print: Capturing Light. This annual exhibition returns to explore how 10 contemporary printmakers depict light and shadow in their work. Tue-Sun & bank hols 10.30am-5pm. Adult £11.50 (Tue £5.75); child free. www.wattsgallery.org.uk. Down Lane, Compton, Surrey, GU3 1DQ. T: 01483-810 235. Off map. Station: Waterloo to Guildford, then bus or taxi.
Windsor Castle The Queen’s weekend home and the world’s oldest inhabited castle. This is where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wed and where Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank. Includes state apartments furnished with art by Rembrandt, Rubens and Canaletto. To 5 Jan: Christmas at Windsor Castle Castle. See the state apartments transformed with Christmas trees, twinkling lights and activities to celebrate the festive season. A highlight is the 20ft-high Nordmann Fir tree in St George’s Hall, taken from Windsor Great Park. 7 Dec: Victorian Yuletide. Victorianstyle activities around the castle; free with admission. Changing the Guard alternate days 11am except Sun. Daily 10am4.15pm. Adult £22.50; child £13. www.rct.uk. Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1NJ. T: 0303-123 7304. Off map. Station: Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Central.
Nelson’s Column has towered over Trafalgar Square since 1843
London looks amazing, beautifully lit up at night
See By Night
Departing daily from Green Park bus stop next to the Ritz Hotel
at 19:30 and 21:20
Spectacular live guided tours of London by night
Adult - £21 Child - £12
Private tours available for groups day or night
Tel: 0844 504 3285 +44 (0)20 7183 4744
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MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
‘A mind-boggling number of exhibitions have opened in the past 10 years’
Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty
British star-chitect Zaha Hadid injected a shot of energy into Hyde Park with her Serpentine Sackler Gallery extension, which opened in 2013 (p. 43). This futuristic structure looks like it’s attempting to swallow the adjacent 19th-century gunpowder store. Hadid’s death followed in 2016, just as the Science Museum opened its permanent space designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, Mathematics: The Winton Gallery (p. 41). Speaking of famous Britons, Damien Hirst left a mark on London’s art scene in 2015 when he opened Newport Street Gallery (p. 42), which fulfils the artist’s ambition to share his modern art collection with the public for free. Hidden beside a rumbling railway line in Lambeth, the gallery dedicates its big, bright and airy space to one exhibition at a time. Hirst also installed
his famous Cock and Bull artwork above the dining room at Tramshed restaurant in 2012 – helping to confirm Shoreditch as one of London’s most creative districts. A mind-boggling number of exhibitions have opened in the city over the past 10 years. After the death of designer Alexander McQueen in 2010, the opening of the exhibition Savage Beauty in 2015 created a phenomenon; this was the first retrospective of McQueen’s fashion designs and became the Victoria and Albert Museum’s most popular show to date (p. 42). Visited by 493,043 people, the museum remained open overnight to meet the high demand. You can see McQueen’s Plato’s Atlantis dress in room 40 of the V&A’s permanent fashion collection. In 2016, The Design Museum (p. 39) made a bold move across town, from an easy-to-miss but scenic spot beside Tower Bridge, to a majestic and daring
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN © VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM LONDON; HAYWARD GALLERY © RICHARD BATTYE; TATE MODERN © ISTOCK; COCK AND BULL COURTESY OF TRAMSHED; SERPENTINE SACKLER GALLERY © LUKE HAYES
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MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
MUSEUMS Arsenal Stadium Tours & Museum
Football fans can enjoy a self-guided audio tour for a look inside the players’ changing rooms, tunnel, the dugout and more, or a Legends Tour led by ex-Arsenal players. Tours include the museum for an overview of the club’s history. Check for tour times and prices. www.arsenal. com/tours. Emirates Stadium, Hornsey Rd, N5 1BU. T: 020-7619 5003. Off map. Station: Arsenal.
Bank of England Museum Explore the story of the bank from its foundation in 1694, to its status today as the UK’s central bank. Its latest exhibition, 325 Years, 325 Objects, dives into the bank’s huge archive. Mon-Fri 10am-5pm; closed bank hols. Admission free. www.bankof england.co.uk/museum. Bartholomew Lane, EC2R 8AH. T: 020-3461 5545. D10. Station: Bank.
Benjamin Franklin House Charming 18th-century townhouse and former home of the American Founding Father, with tours by costumed actors. 5, 12 & 19 Dec: Festive Candlelit Tours. Atmospheric evening events. Check for tour times and prices. www.benjamin franklinhouse.org. 36 Craven St, WC2N 5NF. T: 020-7925 1405. E8. Station: Charing Cross.
Body Worlds Tramshed
Known around the world, this museum specialises in the human body. This flagship venue contains 200 fascinating exhibits, using Gunther von Hagens’ latest plastination technology to demonstrate how human bodies operate. Daily 10am-7pm; last Fri every month 10am-10pm. Check for prices. www.bodyworlds.co.uk. London Pavilion, 1 Piccadilly Circus, W1J 0DA. T: 033-0223 3233. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
TATE MODERN © ISTOCK; COCK AND BULL COURTESY OF TRAMSHED; SERPENTINE SACKLER GALLERY © LUKE HAYES
The British Museum
Serpentine Sackler Gallery
building in Kensington. Three times the size of its former home, it won European Museum of the Year in 2018. Its new premises rejuvenated a 1960s Grade II-listed building – and its origamilike roof is spectacular. Following a two-year refurbishment, the Southbank Centre’s Hayward Gallery reopened in 2018 (p. 42). After 50 years, its 66 distinctive roof pyramids finally fulfil their purpose: to flood the top-floor galleries with natural light. Tate Modern (p. 43) had a great decade; in 2016, the gallery opened its Switch House extension, increasing its exhibition space by 60 per cent and helping it to become London’s second most-visited attraction.
NEIL SIMPSON Museums & Galleries Editor
Unrivalled collection of antiquities, including a huge number of permanent displays and treasures from the Roman Empire, ancient Egypt, medieval Europe, ancient Iran and India. To 26 Jan: Inspired by the East. This exhibition demonstrates the exchange between European and North American art with that of North Africa and the Middle East. Sat-Thur 10am-5.30pm; Fri 10am-8.30pm. Admission free; charges for some exhibitions. www.britishmuseum.org. Great Russell St, WC1B 3DG. T: 020-7323 8299. D7/8. Station: Tottenham Court Road.
The Cartoon Museum Dedicated to British cartoons, caricature and comic art from the 18th century to today. To 31 Dec: Comic Creators: The Famous and the Forgotten. Discover the museum’s hoard of comic books. Tue-Sun, check for times. Adult £8.50; child free. www.cartoonmuseum.org. 63 Wells St, W1T 3QQ. T: 020-7580 8155. D7. Station: Tottenham Court Road.
Charles Dickens Museum Visit the former home of the Victorian novelist, where he wrote classics including Oliver Twist. To 14 Apr: Beautiful Books: Dickens and the Business of Christmas. A chance to see what is thought to be the first-ever Christmas card. Daily 10am-5pm; open until 8pm once a month, check online for dates. Adult £9.50; child £4.50. www.dickens museum.com. 48 Doughty St, WC1N 2LX. T: 020-7405 2127. C8. Station: Russell Square.
Chelsea FC Stadium Tour & Museum Guided one-hour tours of the dressing room, players’ tunnel and press room, plus a museum with trophies. Daily 9.30am-5pm. Self-guided tour and museum adult £24, child £15; museum only adult £12, child £10; monthly ex-players tour with past stars of the game from £80. www.chelseafc. com/tours. Stamford Bridge, SW6 1HS. T: 020-7386 9373. Off map. Station: Fulham Broadway.
Churchill War Rooms Explore the fortified secret bunker and the Cabinet War Rooms beneath Westminster, where Sir Winston Churchill worked during World War II. Daily 9.30am-6pm. Adult £22; child £11. www.iwm. org.uk. Clive Steps, King Charles St, SW1A 2AQ. T: 020-7930 6961. F7. Station: Westminster.
The Cinema Museum Artefacts, memorabilia and screening equipment from the 1890s onwards. Guided tour only (booking essential). Adult £10; child £7. www.cinemamuseum. org.uk. 2 Dugard Way, SE11 4TH. T: 020-7840 2200. G9. Station: Elephant & Castle.
Clink Prison Museum In this former prison dating back to 1144, hands-on exhibits reveal London’s penal past and instruments of torture. Check for times. Adult £7.50; child £5.50. www.clink.co.uk. 1 Clink St, SE1 9DG. T: 020-7403 0900. E10. Station: London Bridge.
The Design Museum A leading museum of contemporary design and architecture (p. 38). To 23 Feb: Moving to Mars. Exploring humanity’s next frontier, with a to-scale Mars home, spacesuits and artefacts from NASA. Daily 10am-6pm. Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. www.designmuseum.org. 224-238 Kensington High St, W8 6AG. T: 020-3862 5900. Off map. Station: High Street Kensington.
The Fan Museum Unusual museum dedicated to the art of fans, with examples from the 12th century onwards. Tue-Sat 11am-5pm; Sun noon-5pm; closed throughout Jan. Adult £5; child £3. www.thefan museum.org.uk. 12 Crooms Hill, SE10 8ER. T: 020-8305 1441. Off map. Station: Cutty Sark.
Fashion and Textile Museum Contemporary fashion, textiles and jewellery from 1947 to the present day. To 26 Jan: Zandra Rhodes: Fifty Years of Fabulous. Profiling the British fashion designer. Tue-Sun; check for times. Adult £9.90; child free. www.ftmlondon.org. 83 Bermondsey St, SE1 3XF. T: 020-7407 8664. F11. Station: London Bridge.
The Guards Museum Discover the history, stories and regimental heritage of the five regiments of the Foot Guards, which today watch over the Royal Palaces. Daily 10am-4pm; closed 18 Dec-20 Jan. Adult £8; child free. www.theguardsmuseum.com. Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, SW1E 6HQ. T: 020-7414 3271. D5. Station: St James’s Park.
Horniman Museum & Gardens See the collection of the Victorian tea trader, Frederick John Horniman, including an aquarium and musical instruments. Daily 10am-5.30pm. Admission free; charges for aquarium and special exhibitions. www.horniman.ac.uk. 100 London Rd, SE23 3PQ. T: 020-8699 1872. Off map. Station: Forest Hill.
T: Telephone number. Station: including Underground (’Tube‘) stations, railway and Docklands Light Railway. Please check for full listings, online discounts, time of last entry and festive hours. References at the end of listings (B5 etc.) are coordinates on the map on p. 72-73 www.wheretraveler.com 39
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MUSEUMS & GALLERIES Household Cavalry Museum Go behind the scenes to see the ceremonial duties and roles of the Household Cavalry Regiments. Troopers and their horses work in the original 18th-century stables. Museum daily 10am-5pm. Adult £8.50; child £6.50. www.householdcavalrymuseum.co.uk. Horse Guards, Whitehall, SW1A 2AX. T: 0207930 3070. E7. Station: Westminster.
Imperial War Museum Huge displays relating to global conflicts from World War I to contemporary confrontations, particularly those involving Britain. Don’t miss the Holocaust Exhibition. The Culture Under Attack season demonstrates how war can attack and destroy culture. Daily 10am-6pm. Admission free; charges for some exhibitions. www.iwm.org.uk. Lambeth Rd, SE1 6HZ. T: 020-7416 5000. F9. Station: Lambeth North.
The restored former home of Frederic, Lord Leighton is dedicated to his life and work, with his paintings, drawings and sculptures. The Arab Hall is adorned with hundreds of tiles from the Middle East. Wed-Mon 10am-5.30pm; check for tours. Adult £9; child free. www.rbkc.gov.uk. 12 Holland Park Rd, W14 8LZ. T: 020-7602 3316. Off map. Station: Kensington Olympia.
London Transport Museum The story of London’s transport system, including red buses, the world’s first Underground steam train and a padded cell train carriage from the 1890s. The Hidden London exhibition uncovers the stories of London Underground’s disused stations, through archival photographs and objects. Daily 10am-6pm. Adult £18; child free. www.lt museum.co.uk. Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB. T: 020-7379 6344. E8. Station: Covent Garden.
If you’ve seen Pirates of the Caribbean, you’re probably familiar with the East India Company: they’re the bad guys. Happily, The Wallace Collection is hoping to redress the balance in favour of some of the colonised communities who worked for the East India Company. The Marylebone mansion-turned-gallery’s exhibition, Forgotten Masters: Indian Painting for the East India Company (from 4 Dec; p. 42), displays a collection of 18th- and 19th-century paintings, each by artists who were commissioned by the East India Company – and then forgotten. Those artists include Shaikh Zain al-Din, who worked in Calcutta, as well as the Mughal Empire court painter, Ghulam Ali Khan. These works represent the world of India during that era, as well as the ways in which Indian and British art trends began to merge thanks to these commissions.
Museum of London Docklands
Natural History Museum
Discover the fascinating history of the Freemasons. To 21 Dec: Bejewelled: Badges, Brotherhood and Identity. An array of Masonic badges, known as ‘jewels’, from around the world. MonSat 10am-5pm. Admission free. www.museumfree masonry.org.uk. Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen St, WC2B 5AZ. T: 020-7395 9257. D8. Station: Holborn.
The history of the River Thames, from its time as a Roman thoroughfare to the regeneration of the Docklands area. Ten galleries include Sailortown, with its 19th-century alleyways, as well as Sugar & Slavery. 21-22 Dec: Frost Fair festival. During the 1800s, the River Thames would freeze over and huge celebrations called Frost Fairs were held on the ice. This weekend event recreates the magic of these festivals, with interactive games, workshops, performances and arts and crafts. Daily 10am-6pm. Admission free, charges for special exhibitions. www.museumoflondon.org.uk. No1 Warehouse, Hertsmere Rd, E14 4AL. T: 020-7001 9844. Off map. Station: West India Quay.
See astounding collections at this family-friendly museum, with exhibits ranging from dinosaur skeletons to fossils. To 5 Jan: Museum of the Moon. This touring piece of art is six metres in diameter; its glowing surface is decorated with imagery of the moon. Daily 10am-5.50pm. Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. www.nhm.ac.uk. Cromwell Rd, SW7 5BD. T: 0207942 5000. F4. Station: South Kensington.
Museum of London
National Army Museum
This huge urban history museum has thousands of exhibits in nine galleries, transporting you through the capital’s tumultuous history. To 19 Apr: The Clash: London Calling. Celebrating the album and band. Daily 10am-6pm. Admission free; charges for special exhibitions and walking tours. www.museumof london.org.uk. 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN. T: 020-7001 9844. D10. Station: Barbican.
Interactive displays and exhibitions telling the stories of soldiers’ lives, from Tudor times to the present day. Regular lectures, events and expert speakers on military matters. Daily 10am-5.30pm. Admission free; charges for some exhibitions. www.nam.ac.uk. Royal Hospital Rd, SW3 4HT. T: 020-7730 0717. Off map. Station: Sloane Square.
Museum of Freemasonry
DID YOU KNOW? Norman Foster designed The British Museum’s ceiling. This courtyard is the largest covered public square in Europe
National Maritime Museum Get up close to the objects that made history – from iconic maritime exhibits to great British art – at the world’s largest maritime museum in Greenwich. There are four new galleries: Tudor and Stuart Seafarers; Polar Worlds; Pacific Encounters and Sea Things. Daily 10am-5pm. Admission free; charges for guided tours, events and exhibitions. www.rmg.co.uk. Romney Rd, SE10 9NF. T: 020-8858 4422. Off map. Station: Greenwich/Cutty Sark.
The Old Operating Theatre Situated on the old St Thomas’ Hospital site, it was an operating theatre from 1822, where surgery without anaesthesia took place in front of audiences. It’s now a museum dedicated to Victorian surgery. Check online for times, film nights and surgical demonstrations. Adult £6.50; child £3.50. www.old operatingtheatre.com. 9a St Thomas St, SE1 9RY. T: 020-7188 2679. E10. Station: London Bridge.
The Postal Museum The story of the ‘first social network’, exploring postal history, including old post boxes, delivery bikes and uniforms. Take a ride on the Mail Rail, a train in the underground tunnels which was used to transport post for 75 years until 2003. Daily 10am-5pm. Adult £17; child £10. www.postal museum.org. 15-20 Phoenix Place, WC1X 0DA. T: 030-0030 0700. C8. Station: Russell Square.
Queen’s House This royal villa has spectacular art, architecture and royal history. Daily 10am-5pm. Admission free; charge for guided tour. www.rmg.co.uk. Romney Rd, SE10 9NF. T: 020-8858 4422. Off map. Station: Cutty Sark.
FAMILY OF GHULAM ALI KHAN COURTESY OF FREER GALLERY OF ART AND ARTHUR M SACKLER GALLERY (SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION)/THE WALLACE COLLECTION; THE BRITISH MUSEUM © ISTOCK
Leighton House Museum
The company you keep
Documenting Jewish history and culture in the UK from 1066 to today. Sat-Thur 10am-5pm; Fri 10am-2pm. Adult £7.50; child £3.50. www.jewishmuseum.org.uk. Raymond Burton House, 129-131 Albert St, NW1 7NB. T: 020-7284 7384. Off map. Station: Camden Town.
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Royal Air Force Museum National aviation museum focusing on the RAF, with more than 100 outstanding aircraft on show, including a life-sized model of the F-35 fighter jet. The newly redesigned site now includes two galleries and landscaped grounds. Daily 10am-5pm. Admission free; charges for special experiences. www.rafmuseum.org.uk. Grahame Park Way, NW9 5LL. T: 020-8205 2266. Off map. Station: Colindale.
Science Museum Dedicated to science, technology and medical achievements, with a Red Arrows 3D flight simulator and an IMAX theatre showing 3D science films (p. 38). See Stephenson’s Rocket and the Apollo 10 command module. Current temporary exhibitions include Driverless: Who is in Control? exploring the world of machines that can drive themselves. Daily 10am-6pm; adult-only Lates programme last Wed of every month, 6.45pm-10pm. Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. www.science museum.org.uk. Exhibition Rd, SW7 2DD. T: 0333241 4000. F4. Station: South Kensington.
Sir John Soane’s Museum This 19th-century townhouse and library was owned by architect Sir John Soane, which he left to the nation in 1837. It houses his collection from around the world, plus Hogarth’s satirical artworks. To 5 Jan: Hogarth: Place and Progress. Celebrating the moralistic paintings of this 17th-century Londoner. Wed-Sun & bank hols, 10am-5pm. Check for tours and late-night opening events. Admission free. www.soane.org. 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3BP. T: 020-7405 2107. D8. Station: Holborn.
Somerset House This neo-classical, 18th-century building on the Thames houses the Embankment Galleries, cafés and restaurants, all surrounding a large courtyard. To 23 Feb: 24/7. Take a journey through five themed zones, each displaying artworks that provoke discussion of our increasingly busy lives. Wed-Fri 11am-8pm; Sat-Tue 10am-6pm. Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. www.somerset house.org.uk. Strand, WC2R 1LA. T: 020-7845 4600. E8. Station: Temple.
Twinings Museum The flagship store of Twinings the tea maker since 1706 has a mini exhibition reflecting the company’s 300-year history. See vintage teapots and caddies, plus the original Royal Warrant which was signed by Queen Victoria in 1837. Mon-Fri 9.30am-7.30pm; Sat-Sun 11am-6pm. Admission free. www.twinings.co.uk. 216 Strand, WC2R 1AP. T: 020-7353 3511. D9. Station: Temple.
V&A Museum of Childhood Charming museum with a national collection of childhood objects dating back to the 16th century, plus Rachel Whiteread’s celebrated artwork, Place (Village). To Feb: Extinction Rebellion. A display of artefacts that demonstrate how this environmental activism movement engages with young families. Daily 10am-5.45pm. Admission free. www.vam.ac.uk/moc. Cambridge Heath Rd, E2 9PA. T: 020-8983 5200. Off map. Station: Bethnal Green.
Vagina Museum This new museum claims to be the first of its kind anywhere in the world (p. 42). MonSat 10am-6pm; Sun 11am-6pm. Free admission. www.vaginamuseum.co.uk. Unit 17 & 18 Stables Market, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AH. T: 020-3715 8943. Off map. Station: Camden Town/Chalk Farm. www.wheretraveler.com 41
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MUSEUMS & GALLERIES The Vault
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum & Tour
ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts)
Located under the old Coutts Bank, this vault was originally used to protect the Queen’s treasures. Now part of Hard Rock Cafe, it’s home to iconic rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia from around the world that was all previously owned by famous musicians. Daily 11.30am-10.30pm. Admission free. www.hardrock.com. Hard Rock Cafe London, 150 Old Park Lane, W1K 1QZ. T: 020-7514 1700. E6. Station: Hyde Park Corner.
At the venue of the famous Championships, the museum’s displays range from old trophies and rackets to famous tennis kits worn by recent champions, touchscreens to watch past greats in action and lots more. Its temporary exhibition, No.1: More Than a Supporting Act, tells the story of Wimbledon’s second-largest court as it debuts its retractable roof. Museum daily 10am-5.30pm. Museum: adult £13; child £8. Museum & tour: adult £25; child £15. One free child with every full-price adult ticket. www.wimbledon.com. All England Lawn Tennis Club, Church Rd, SW19 5AE. T: 0208946 6131. Off map. Station: Southfields then bus 493 or a 12-minute walk.
Exhibitions of contemporary art and installations, plus a bar and restaurant, a bookshop and an art-house cinema. To 12 Jan: Honey-Suckle Company: Omnibus. This Berlin art collective is celebrated. ICA galleries Tue-Sun noon-9pm; ICA building Tue-Thur & Sun noon-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-midnight. Adult £5; child free; no admission fee Tue. www.ica.art. The Mall, SW1Y 5AH. T: 020-7930 3647. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus/ Charing Cross.
Victoria and Albert Museum The V&A’s outstanding collection of fine and applied arts spans 3,000 years and includes fashion, paintings, photographs and ceramics from around the world (p. 38). To 16 Feb: Mary Quant. From her Chelsea shop, Bazaar, Quant supercharged UK youth culture from the 1950s onwards with her progressive fashion creations, including the miniskirt. To 8 Mar: Tim Walker: Wonderful Things. Enter the world of this fantastical photographer via his images, films and a collection of unique installations. To 19 Apr: Cars: Accelerating the Modern World. Celebrating the advent of the automobile and the remarkable impact it has made on our world. Sat-Thur 10am-5.45pm; Fri 10am-10pm. Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. www.vam.ac.uk. Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL. T: 020-7942 2000. F4/5. Station: South Kensington.
The Wallace Collection The former Wallace family home displays their beautiful collection of Rococo art, sculpture, furniture and suits of armour. Don’t miss works by Rembrandt, Canaletto, Hals and Velázquez. From 4 Dec: Forgotten Masters: Indian Painting for the East India Company. Encounter the masterful work of local painters (p. 40). Daily 10am-5pm. Admission free. www.wallacecollection.org. Hertford House, Manchester Square, W1U 3BN. T: 020-7563 9500. D6. Station: Bond Street.
Wellcome Collection Wellcome Trust’s public venue, housing hundreds of fascinating artefacts relating to health and the body. Including permanent exhibitions Medicine Now and Medicine Man, which is the personal collection of Sir Henry Wellcome and features eye-popping, antique medical equipment. Tue-Wed & Fri-Sun 10am-6pm; Thur 10am-9pm. Admission free. www.wellcomecollection.org. 183 Euston Rd, NW1 2BE. T: 020-7611 2222. C7. Station: Euston.
World Rugby Museum This showcase for global rugby culture is located in the South Stand at Twickenham Stadium. Expect more than 38,000 objects, including items from early-20th-century Welsh national teams, the 1924 New Zealand side and the 2003 England team. Discover the history of Twickenham Stadium, test your rugby skills in an interactive display and enjoy a range of short films. Tue-Sat & selected bank hols 10am-5pm; Sun 11am-5pm; check for match-related closures. Museum adult £12.50, child £7.50; museum and stadium tour adult £25, child £15. www.worldrugbymuseum.com. Twickenham Stadium, Whitton Rd, Twickenham, TW2 7BA. T: 020-8892 8877. Off map. Station: Twickenham.
GALLERIES Guildhall Art Gallery Paintings collected by the City of London since the 17th century, including pre-Raphaelite masterpieces. It also houses the Roman Amphitheatre (free entry with gallery ticket). Mon-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun noon4pm. Free gallery tours Tue, Fri & Sat afternoon. Admission free. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk. Guildhall Yard, off Gresham St, EC2V 5AE. T: 020-7332 3700. D10. Station: St Paul’s/Bank.
Hayward Gallery This refurbished gallery is the home of visual arts at the Southbank Centre (p. 38). To 26 Jan: Bridget Riley. This British artist is known for her perceptual paintings. Mon, Wed & Fri-Sun 11am-7pm; Thur 11am-9pm. Adult £16.50; child free. www.south bankcentre.co.uk. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX. T: 020-3879 9555. E8. Station: Waterloo.
The National Gallery One of the world’s greatest galleries, with works by Western European masters from the 13th to 19th centuries. Regular guided tours, talks and workshops. To 12 Jan: Leonardo: Experience a Masterpiece. Discover the inner workings of da Vinci’s The Virgin of the Rocks via four themed rooms including a chapel. To 26 Jan: Gauguin Portraits. Charting how this French artist played with the traditions of portraiture. Sat-Thur 10am-6pm; Fri 10am-9pm. Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. www.nationalgallery.org.uk. Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN. T: 020-7747 2885. E7. Station: Charing Cross.
National Portrait Gallery One of the nation’s most prominent galleries, more than 150 years old, includes works depicting famous British people in paintings, drawings and photographs. To 26 Jan: Pre-Raphaelite Sisters. A look at the work of women who have previously been overlooked in this chapter of art history. To 16 Feb: Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2020. The best of contemporary portrait photography from around the world. Sat-Thur 10am-6pm; Fri 10am-9pm. Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. www.npg.org.uk. St Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE. T: 020-7312 2463. E7. Station: Leicester Square.
Newport Street Gallery Damien Hirst’s huge gallery exhibits work from the artist’s extensive modern art collection and includes his art-filled restaurant, which is styled to resemble a pharmacy (p. 38). Wed-Sun 10am-5pm. Admission free. www.newportstreetgallery.com. Newport St, SE11 6AJ. T: 020-3141 9320. G8. Station: Vauxhall/Lambeth North.
Who said learning isn’t fun? Surely no one who’s been to the new Vagina Museum in Camden Market (p. 41). Following a series of pop-up exhibitions around the country and a crowdfunding campaign, this season’s most eye-catching new opening on London’s cultural scene claims to be the world’s first Vagina Museum (Iceland is home to its male counterpart, the Phallological Museum). It spreads knowledge of gynaecological anatomy and health, stamping out the shame and negativity that this body part has historically been subjected to. The museum’s first exhibition, Muff Busters (to 16 Feb), is all about combating the myths that have been created about vaginas. Admission is free, ensuring that everyone can school themselves properly on the mighty cradle of human life.
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MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
DID YOU KNOW? The National Portrait Gallery has the only portrait that William Shakespeare posed for
The Photographers’ Gallery London’s largest gallery devoted to photography, with several temporary exhibitions. To 9 Feb: Shot in Soho. Profiling this rebellious square mile of the West End, with work by the likes of William Klein and Corinne Day. To 9 Feb: Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography. How food has been depicted by photographers including Martin Parr, Wolfgang Tillmans and Nobuyoshi Araki. Mon-Wed & Fri-Sat 10am-6pm; Thur 10am-8pm; Sun & bank hols 11am-6pm. Adult £5; child free; admission free to all from 5pm. www.thephotographersgallery. org.uk. 16-18 Ramillies St, W1F 7LW. T: 020-7087 9300. D7. Station: Oxford Circus.
Royal Academy of Arts
Serpentine Sackler Gallery
This attractive 18th-century building houses Royal Academy Collection works in all media. To 3 Dec: Antony Gormley. Monumental installations and sculpture from one of Britain’s most prominent contemporary sculptors. To 26 Jan: Lucian Freud: The Self-Portraits. The British artist’s paintings, drawings and prints of himself are displayed together for the first time. Sat-Thur 10am-6pm; Fri 10am-10pm; check for regular special events. Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. www.royalacademy.org.uk. 6 Burlington Gardens, W1J 0BD. T: 020-7300 8000. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus/Green Park.
Formerly a gunpowder store, this arts space is near the Serpentine Gallery and has a contemporary wing designed by Zaha Hadid (p. 38). To 9 Feb 2020: Patrick Staff: On Venus. This installation questions the influences of history, technology, the law and capitalism upon our bodies. Tue-Sun 10am-6pm. Admission free. www.serpentinegalleries.org. West Carriage Drive, Kensington Gardens, W2 2AR. T: 0207402 6075. E4. Station: Lancaster Gate/Marble Arch.
Saatchi Gallery Contemporary art in a huge, renovated Georgian building. To 3 May: Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh. It’s been 100 years since the discovery of the ancient king’s tomb and this is your chance to discover more than 150 of its artefacts. Check for times. Adult from £31.35; child from £21.45. www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk. Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Rd, SW3 4RY. T: 0207811 3070. G5. Station: Sloane Square.
The Queen’s Gallery
This smart gallery adjoining Buckingham Palace has temporary exhibitions with Royal Collection works. To 3 May: George IV: Art & Spectacle. Discover this controversial king and his beautiful collection of stellar art. Daily 10am-5.30pm. Adult £13.50; child £6.70. www.rct.uk/queensgallerylondon. Buckingham Palace, SW1A 1AA. T: 0303-123 7301. F7. Station: Green Park/Victoria.
This beautiful gallery in Kensington Gardens has modern and contemporary exhibitions. To 2 Feb: Albert Oehlen. The veteran German painter showcases his energetic and abstract canvases. Tue-Sun 10am-6pm. Admission free. www.serpentinegalleries.org. Kensington Gardens, W2 3XA. T: 020-7402 6075. E4. Station: Lancaster Gate/Marble Arch.
Tate Britain The nation’s leading collection of British art from 1500 to today, including the world’s largest collection of works by Turner. To 2 Feb: William Blake. Enter the world of this esteemed English painter, printmaker and poet. To 3 May: Steve McQueen Year 3. The award-winning film director (12 Years a Slave) shines a spotlight on diversity, by presenting one class photograph from every Year 3 primary-school class in London. Daily 10am-6pm. Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. www.tate.org.uk. Millbank, SW1P 4RG. T: 020-7887 8888. G8. Station: Pimlico.
Tate Modern See world-class, international modern art in the transformed Bankside Power Station (p. 39). To 15 Mar: Dora Maar. Discover the work of this esteemed photographer, who made her name with surrealist works, before moving on to painting later in life. Sun-Thur 10am-6pm; Fri-Sat 10am-10pm. Admission free; charges for special exhibitions. www.tate.org.uk. Bankside, SE1 9TG. T: 020-7887 8888. E9. Station: Southwark.
TATE BRITAIN 11 S EP 2019 – 2 FEB 2020 The Times Evening Standard
CAMDEN © ISTOCK; WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE PAINTING © NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY
REBEL R ADIC AL RE VOLU TIONARY
PIMLICO u FREE FOR TAT E M E M B E R S Supported by Tate Patrons and Tate Members Media partner
William Blake ‘Europe’ Plate i: Frontispiece, ‘The Ancient of Days’ 1827 (?) (detail) The Whitworth, The University of Manchester
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ENTERTAINMENT ‘The decade has seen more diversity on stage’ When it comes to London’s theatre scene, the past 10 years have been a blast. Gone are the days when you had to choose a dance, play or musical, as the decade has spawned a new category: immersive experiences. While Secret Cinema (p. 52) got there first in 2007, theming food and roaming actors around films, The Vaults launched in 2013 and has since carved a niche for itself around theatrical experiences – so visitors have fallen down a rabbit hole in Alice’s Adventures Underground, been splashed during spells in Disney’s Fantasia and had a foul dinner with Roald Dahl’s spiteful characters, The Twits. This month, you can dance at a masquerade cabaret (Red Palace), dine with drag royalty at Aladdin and the Feast of Wonders and mingle with characters at The Dance Before Christmas.
The Vaults’ director Kieron Vanstone says: ‘Immersive work has been going on for millennia in some guise or another, but it had a resurgence around 2007 and 2008. This lines up with the financial crisis where there was a lot of doom and gloom – during any depression, performance traditionally sees a resurgence as people look to forget their woes and let loose. ‘Immersive experiences are popular because they blur the line between theatre and fun. Going to the theatre can be risky; when you’ve paid over £20 to watch a show and it’s dull, it’s off-putting when you consider the next one. Immersive theatre gives people the chance to make their own night out. If they don’t like the show, that’s OK, because they can talk to their friends and make their own fun. ‘I hope immersive experiences continue to transition across mediums. There’s been a surge in food-related events, which blend immersive theatre and food. I hope we’ll
see other examples of this, such as virtual reality or combining immersive theatre with sports or shopping.’ The decade has seen more diversity on stage, too. While there’s a long way to go until full equality on stage, two of the decade’s biggest hits – the hip-hop musical Hamilton (p. 46) and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (p. 48) have key characters of various ethnicities.
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
While casting directors are becoming colour blind, the trend for swapping traditionally male roles for female ones and vice versa has become more common, too – and this hasn’t been limited to Shakespeare, opera or pantomimes. The musical Company at the Gielgud Theatre in 2019 starred Rosalie Craig as Bobbie, in a role intended for a man. More women are taking to the stage too – in 2016, The Tempest at the Donmar Warehouse had an all-female cast, as did Emilia at the Vaudeville Theatre earlier this year, while Waitress at the Adelphi Theatre has an all-female creative team. As the curtain closes on the decade, our capital’s theatre scene deserves a standing ovation.
SARAH RICHES Entertainment Editor
HAMILTON © MATTHEW MURPHY; DANIEL CRAIG IN CASINO ROYALE © DANJAQ MGM/BACKGROUND © ISTOCK; HARRY POTTER © MANUEL HARLAN; WAITRESS © DEWYNTERS
Secret Cinema’s Casino Royale
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MUSICALS & PERFORMANCES
Oceans between us
& Juliet A musical which asks: what if Juliet’s famous ending was really her beginning? What if she decided to choose her own fate? This show includes songs by Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys. Check for times. Tickets £22.50-£75. www.shaftesbury theatre.com. Shaftesbury Theatre, 210 Shaftesbury Ave, WC2H 8DP. T: 020-7379 5399. D8. Station: Tottenham Court Road/Holborn.
We visit the theatre to escape the real world, which is exactly what happens in The Ocean at the End of the Lane at the National Theatre (from 3 Dec; p. 50). Based on the 2013 fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman and adapted by Joel Horwood, the play begins as Alex returns to his childhood home for a funeral. While there, he is transported to his 13th birthday, when his friend Lettie believed her pond was an ocean. The two pals are then plunged into a dark fairytale in which they must fight to survive. The play is directed by Katy Rudd, who was the associate director of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
Amélie the Musical The story is based on the 2001 French romantic comedy starring Audrey Tautou, which won two Bafta Awards and was nominated for five Oscars. This stage show stars another Audrey, FrenchCanadian Audrey Brisson (Pinocchio, Pericles) as a romantic waitress who enjoys helping her customers. Check for times. Tickets £19.50-£65. www.the otherpalace.co.uk. The Other Palace, 12 Palace St, SW1E 5JA. T: 020-7087 7900. F7. Station: Victoria.
The Book of Mormon This controversial satire, from the writers of TV’s South Park, follows the exploits of two hapless missionaries from the Church of Latter Day Saints. Winner of four Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical. Check for times. Tickets £29.75-£100. www.bookofmormonlondon.com. Prince of Wales Theatre, Coventry St, W1D 6AS. T: 0844-482 5110. E7. Station: Leicester Square/Piccadilly Circus.
Come from Away
Dear Evan Hansen With a Grammy Award and six Tony Awards including Best Musical under its belt, your money is in safe hands – especially as the music is by the people behind The Greatest Showman and Rent. It follows an anxious teenage boy, Evan. Check for times and prices. www.delfontmackintosh. co.uk. Noël Coward Theatre, St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4AU. T: 0844-482 5140. E8. Station: Leicester Square.
Everybody’s Talking about Jamie
Girl from the North Country
Girl from the North Country From 10 Dec: Set in 1934 during America’s
Great Depression, this story about family and love features music by Bob Dylan (p. 50). Check for times and prices. www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk. Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Ave, W1D 6AR. T: 0844-482 5130. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus/ Leicester Square.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
DID YOU KNOW?
From 7 Dec: Stars including
Paul O’Grady, Julian Clary and Gary Wilmot perform in this panto. Betty Barnum and her daughter Charles Kean’s 1856 Goldilocks’ circus is under threat London version of from a rival circus owner. Check for A Midsummer Night’s times and prices. www.londonDream had 90 sprites palladium.co.uk. London Palladium, wearing tutus Argyll St, W1F 7TF. T: 0844-412 2704. D7. Station: Oxford Circus.
This award-winning musical is set on a council estate in northern England and tells the story of 16-year-old Jamie and how he overcomes prejudice. Mon-Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm. Tickets £20-£85. www.everybodystalkingaboutjamie.co.uk. Apollo Theatre, 31 Shaftesbury Ave, W1D 7ES. T: 0330-333 4809. D8. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
Ghost Stories It’s time to face your fears. Mon-Thur & Sat 7.30pm; Fri 7pm & 9.30pm; Sat 2.30pm. Tickets from £20. www.theambassadorstheatre.co.uk. Ambassadors Theatre, West St, WC2H 9ND. T: 020-7395 5405. D7. Station: Leicester Square.
Hamilton Set in the late 1700s, this hip-hop musical has been a multi-award-winning hit on Broadway (p. 44). It’s based on Ron Chernow’s biography of the USA’s founding father, Alexander Hamilton, a poor, orphaned immigrant who was born in the Caribbean. Please check for times and prices. www.hamiltonthemusical.co.uk. Victoria Palace Theatre, Victoria St, SW1E 5EA. T: 0844-482 5138. F6. Station: Victoria.
Ian McKellen on Stage A new show by the theatre great. As well as performing Tolkien and Shakespeare, the star will chat to the audience and invite some on stage. Please check for times. Tickets from £8. www.atgtickets.com. Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton St, SW1Y 4DN. T: 0844-871 7622. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
Les Misérables From 18 Dec: The world’s longest-running musical, adapted from Victor Hugo’s classic novel, is set in post-revolutionary France (p. 44). Check for times and prices. www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk. Sondheim Theatre, 51 Shaftesbury Ave, W1D 6BA. T: 0844-482 5151. D8. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
The Lion King This wonderful adaptation of the popular Disney film has ingenious costumes and inventive puppetry. Check for times. Tickets £23-£200.25. www.thelionking.co.uk. Lyceum Theatre, 21 Wellington St, WC2E 7RQ. T: 0844871 3000. E8. Station: Covent Garden.
Mamma Mia! The Musical A tribute to the hits of the Swedish supergroup ABBA, with a feel-good story set on a Greek island. Mon-Sat 7.45pm; Thur & Sat 3pm. Tickets £27.25-£127.25. www.mamma-mia.com. Novello, Aldwych, WC2B 4LD. T: 0844-482 5115. E8. Station: Covent Garden/Temple.
T: Telephone number. Station: including Underground (’Tube‘) stations, railway and Docklands Light Railway. Please check for full listings, online discounts and festive times. References at the end of listings (B5 etc.) are coordinates for the map on p. 72-73
THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE COURTESY OF NATIONAL THEATRE
An upbeat, heartwarming musical based on the real-life characters in a tight-knit community on a Canadian island, who rallied round to host 7,000 international passengers in the wake of the US terrorist attacks on September 11. Mon-Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm. Tickets £24-£108. www.phoenixtheatrelondon.co.uk. Phoenix Theatre, 110 Charing Cross Rd, WC2H 0JP. T: 0843-316 1082. D7. Station: Tottenham Court Road.
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F O R
T H E
2 1 S T
C E N T U R Y Huffington Post
FROM 18 DEC | SONDHEIM THEATRE | lesmis.com A D E L F O N T M AC K I N TO S H T H E AT R E TM Â© 1986 CMOL
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ENTERTAINMENT The Phantom of the Opera
The well-known tale about a nanny in London with magical powers is brought alive with special effects. Wed 7pm; Thur-Mon 7.30pm; Thur, Sat-Sun 2.30pm. Please check for prices. www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk. Prince Edward Theatre, Old Compton St, W1D 4HS. T: 0844-482 5151. D7. Station: Tottenham Court Road.
Long-running Gothic drama in which a mysterious masked man haunts the Paris Opera House. Check for times. Tickets £25-£175. www.thephantomofthe opera.com. Her Majesty’s, 57 Haymarket, SW1Y 4QL. T: 0844-412 2707. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
Matilda the Musical Show based on Roald Dahl’s book about a girl with magic powers. Check for times. Tickets £20-£122.50. www.matildathemusical.com. Cambridge Theatre, 32-34 Earlham St, WC2 9HU. T: 0844-412 4652. D8. Station: Covent Garden.
9 to 5 The Musical Fun Dolly Parton musical about women who seek revenge on their sexist boss, starring Bonnie Langford and Brian Conley. Mon-Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm. Tickets £20-£125. www.9to5the musical.co.uk. Savoy Theatre, Strand, WC2R 0ET. T: 0844-871 7687. E8. Station: Covent Garden.
Only Fools and Horses: The Musical Comical musical based on the British sitcom about a loveable wheeler-dealer scheming how to get rich. Mon-Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm. Tickets £16.80£175. www.trh.co.uk. Theatre Royal, Haymarket, SW1Y 4HT. T: 020-7930 8800. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
School of Rock: The Musical Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical follows a man who poses as a teacher and tries to turn his students into a rock band. Check for times. Tickets £15-£150. www.schoolofrockthemusical.com. Gillian Lynne Theatre, 166 Drury Lane, WC2B 5PF. T: 0207452 3000. D8. Station: Covent Garden.
DID YOU KNOW? The Mousetrap is the longest-running play in London – it’s been on stage for more than 66 years
To 21 Dec: Cheeky musical based on Cinderella. Check for times. Tickets £15-£37.50. www.charingcrosstheatre.co.uk. Charing Cross Theatre, The Arches, Villiers St, WC2N 6NL. T: 0844-493 0650. E8. Station: Charing Cross.
Jenna is a waitress who dreams of escaping her rocky marriage (p. 45). When a baking contest offers her a chance of a new start, she must find the courage to seize it. Mon-Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm. Tickets £19.50-£150. www.waitressthemusical.co.uk. Adelphi Theatre, 409-412 Strand, WC2R 0NS. T: 0844-579 0094. E8. Station: Charing Cross.
Songs and dance celebrate Michael Jackson’s career. Check for times and prices. www.thriller live.com. Lyric, 29 Shaftesbury Ave, W1D 7ES. T: 0844-482 9674. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
The brilliant and little-known back story of the witches of Oz, with amazing costumes and the hit tunes Defying Gravity and Popular. Mon-Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm. Tickets £24.25-£202.75. www.wickedthemusical.co.uk. Apollo Victoria Theatre, 17 Wilton Rd, SW1V 1LG. T: 0844-871 3001. F7. Station: Victoria.
Tina – The Tina Turner Musical Musical based on the life of Anna Mae Bullock, a farm girl from Tennessee who went on to become superstar singer Tina Turner. Mon-Sat 7.30pm; Thur & Sat 2.30pm. Tickets £10-£159.50. www.tinathemusical.com. Aldwych Theatre, 9 Aldwych, WC2B 4DF. T: 0845-200 7981. D8. Station: Covent Garden/Holborn.
Dancing with death After its world premiere in 2016 and subsequent global tour, Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes returns to Sadler’s Wells (from 3 Dec; p. 53) as a double Olivier Awardwinning production. The ballet is based on the Oscar-winning 1948 film of the same name, with Bernard Herrmann’s original tunes played live by the New Adventures Orchestra. The story follows Victoria Page, an ambitious dancer who is cast by Boris Lermontov (Adam Cooper) as the lead in Hans Christian Andersen’s dark fairytale. But when Page falls in love with the composer, Lermontov feels jealous and forbids her from performing. Torn between her lover and her love of dance, Page is forced into making a momentous, heartbreaking decision.
PLAYS A Christmas Carol Paterson Joseph takes the lead as Scrooge in Dickens’ tale. For over-eights. Check for times. www.oldvictheatre.com. The Old Vic, The Cut, SE1 8NB. T: 0844-871 7628. F9. Station: Waterloo.
The Comedy about a Bank Robbery A hilarious play about six incompetent crooks who are desperate to get hold of a diamond. Check for times. Tickets £10-£73.75. www.the comedyaboutabankrobbery.com. Criterion Theatre, 218-223 Piccadilly, W1V 9LB. T: 0844815 6131. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
Cyrano de Bergerac James McAvoy stars in this version of Edmond Rostand’s 1897 play, based upon the real-life Cyrano, a talented nobleman serving in the French Army who was blighted by insecurities. Check for times and prices. www.atgtickets.com. Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Ave, WC2N 5DE. T: 0844-871 7631. E8. Station: Embankment.
Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller’s 1949 tragedy about an ageing salesman with family woes. Check for times and prices. www.piccadillytheatre.org. Piccadilly Theatre, 16 Denman St, W1D 7DY. T: 0844-871 7630. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child In JK Rowling’s new story, which was specifically written for the stage, father-of-three Harry now works for the Ministry of Magic (p. 44). Most tickets are sold out; check for returns and times. www.harrypottertheplay.com. Palace Theatre, 113 Shaftesbury Ave, W1D 5AY. T: 0300-333 4813. D7. Station: Leicester Square.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Join Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter as they enter a magic wardrobe and leave behind wartime Britain. Check for times. Tickets £15-£69.50. www.bridgetheatre.co.uk. Bridge Theatre, 3 Potters Field Park, SE1 2SG. T: 0333320 0051. E11. Station: London Bridge.
THE MOUSETRAP © ISTOCK; THE RED SHOES © JOHAN PERSSON
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THE BR I L L IA N T OR IG I NA L
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AT HER MAJEST Y ’ S T HEAT RE thephantomoftheopera.com
ENTERTAINMENT Magic Goes Wrong From 14 Dec: Created with magic legends Penn & Teller, Mischief Theatre’s latest show follows a hapless gang of magicians presenting a charity event. As the accidents spiral out of control, so does their fundraising target. Tue-Sat 7.30pm; Sat 2.30pm; Sun 3pm & 7pm. Check for prices. www.vaudeville-theatre.co.uk. Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, WC2R 0NH. T: 0330-333 4814. E8. Station: Charing Cross/Covent Garden.
The Man in the White Suit
To 17 Dec: Master Harold forms
a friendship with two of his parents’ employees in 1950s apartheid South Africa. Check for times. Tickets £15-£86. www.nationaltheatre.org.uk. National Theatre, South Bank, SE1 9PX. T: 0207452 3000. E8. Station: Waterloo.
The Mousetrap A murderer strikes at a party in Agatha Christie’s long-running whodunnit. Please check for times and prices. www.the-mousetrap.co.uk. St Martin’s Theatre, West St, WC2H 9NZ. T: 0844-499 1515. D7. Station: Leicester Square.
My Brilliant Friend Based on the novels by Elena Ferrante, this play is a story of love, violence and ambition. Niamh Cusack and Catherine McCormack star. Please check for times and prices. www.nationaltheatre. org.uk. National Theatre, SE1 9PX. T: 020-7452 3000. E8. Station: Waterloo.
Noises Off This farce follows the cast of a disastrous flop, revealing the mishaps and fumbles both on and off stage as the show goes from rehearsal to performance. Anything that can go wrong, does. The cast includes TV star Meera Syal and Daniel Rigby. Suitable for over-12s. Check for times and prices. www.garricktheatre.org. Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Rd, WC2H 0HH. T: 0844-482 9673. E7/8. Station: Leicester Square.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane From 3 Dec: Plunged into a magical
world, Alex and Lettie’s survival depends on their ability to reckon with dark, ancient forces that threaten to destroy everything around them (p. 46). Suitable for over-12s. Check for times and prices. www.nationaltheatre.org.uk. National Theatre, South Bank, SE1 9PX. T: 020-7452 3000. E8. Station: Waterloo.
Peter Pan Goes Wrong From 13 Dec: Following its award-winning success with The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy about a Bank Robbery, Mischief Theatre returns with this new farce. Check for times and prices. www.alexandrapalace.com. Alexandra Palace Theatre, Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. T: 020-8365 2121. Off map. Station: Wood Green, then W3 bus.
The Play That Goes Wrong Slapstick comedy about a drama society staging a murder mystery; there are plenty of mishaps. Tue-Sat 7.30pm; Sat 2.30pm; Sun 3pm & 7pm. Tickets £20-£72. www.theplaythatgoeswrong.com. Duchess Theatre, 3-5 Catherine St, WC2B 5LA. T: 0844-482 9672. D8. Station: Covent Garden.
A family affair
The Times They are a-Changing indeed, as Girl from the North Country returns to London following its world premiere here and a stint in North America. At the Gielgud Theatre (from 10 Dec; p. 46), Bob Dylan fans can watch a band on stage play 20 of the legendary singer’s classic hits, including Like a Rolling Stone, Positively 4th Street and Desolation Row. Directed by Conor McPherson, the musical is narrated and set in Dylan’s hometown of Minnesota, during the Great Depression in 1934. Film star Donald Sage Mackay (Deep State) plays Nick, a guesthouse owner in debt, alongside the Olivier Award winner Katie Brayben (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical ) as his wife who suffers from dementia, Gloria Obianyo as his pregnant teenage daughter and Colin Bates as his son. Catch this dark tale of tough times before it transfers to Broadway.
Richard III The battle scars from the Wars of the Roses are yet to heal, but that’s not going to deter power-hungry Richard. The crown should be his and no one is going to stop him from getting it: not the king, his own wife, nor the princes in the tower. Monstrous but electric, Richard is Shakespeare’s most charismatic villain, revelling in every moment of his homicidal journey to absolute power. An all-male Original Practices production. Check for times. Tickets from £10. www.shakespearesglobe.com. Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, SE1 9DT. T: 020-7401 9919. E10. Station: Blackfriars.
She Ventures and He Wins 10-14 Dec: This play caused an uproar when it
was published in the late 17th century. Written by one of the earliest known female playwrights, ‘Ariadne’ broke the conventions of her time so much that she wrote under a pseudonym. It follows women who are tired of the old ways of dealing with affairs of the heart and who are determined to control their own romantic lives. Mon-Sat 7.45pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm. Tickets £10. www.youngvic.org. Young Vic, 66 The Cut, SE1 8LZ. T: 020-7922 2922. F9. Station: Waterloo.
Stray Dogs To 7 Dec: In 1940s Russia, poet Anna Akhmatova has lost her first husband to the purges and her son to state prison, where he awaits execution. Now, Stalin, the tyrant responsible for the murder of everyone close to her, wants a favour. Plunged so far into obscurity she is believed to be dead, Anna is offered a new life when the Russian-British philosopher Isaiah Berlin risks the hazards behind the Iron Curtain to find her. But in a world where poetry is a force that can control and move masses for good or ill, which side of the curtain will her loyalty lead her to? The play is based on true events. Mon-Sat 7.45pm; Thur & Sat 3.15pm. Tickets £14.50-£18. www.parktheatre. co.uk. Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, N4 3JP. T: 0207870 6876. Off map. Station: Finsbury Park.
Swive (Elizabeth) From 6 Dec: This new play is performed in the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. It follows Elizabeth I, who was a political mastermind and monarchic force who reigned for 45 years, yet she still felt that her power ultimately resided in her beauty. Please check for times. Tickets from £10. www.shakespearesglobe.com. Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, SE1 9DT. T: 020-7401 9919. E9. Station: Blackfriars.
Teenage Dick From 6 Dec: After years of torment at school due to his paralysis, Richard plots to become president of his senior class. But like all teenagers, and all despots, he is faced with the hardest question of all: is it better to be loved or feared? This is the UK debut of Mike Lew’s darkly comic take on Shakespeare’s Richard III. Check for times. Tickets £10-£40. www.donmarwarehouse.com. Donmar Warehouse, 41 Earlham St, WC2H 9LX. T: 0844-871 7624. D8. Station: Covent Garden.
Touching the Void Directed by Tom Morris (War Horse), this play is based on Joe Simpson’s memoir about a climbing expedition that went wrong. Mon-Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm. Check for prices. www.duke ofyorkstheatre.co.uk. Duke of York’s Theatre, 104 St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4BG. T: 0844-871 7627. E8. Station: Leicester Square.
GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY © CYLLA VON TIEDEMANN
Master Harold ... and the Boys
To 7 Dec: Comedy about a man who invents a fabric that never gets dirty or wears out. Check for times. Tickets £17.50-£90. www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk. Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Rd, WC2H 0DA. T: 0844-482 5120. E7. Station: Leicester Square.
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RAW MUSICAL TRIUMPH.’ ANN TRENEM AN, THE TIMES
★★★★★ D A I LY T E L E G R A P H
★★★★★ THE SUN
★★★★★ D A I LY E X P R E S S
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THERE IS ONLY ONE
P R E S E N T E D I N A S S O C I AT I O N W I T H
T I N A T U R N ER
THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL NOW BOOKING UNTIL JUNE 2020
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To 18 Dec: Ciarán Hinds stars
in Brian Friel’s modern classic, which sees the turbulent relationship between England and Ireland play out in a quiet community. Check for times and prices. www.nationaltheatre.org.uk. National Theatre, South Bank, SE1 9PX. T: 0207452 3000. E8. Station: Waterloo.
Witness for the Prosecution This show is based on Agatha Christie’s gripping courtroom drama and is staged in a former courtroom. Check for times. Tickets from £10-£79.50. www.witnesscountyhall.com. County Hall, Belvedere Rd, South Bank, SE1 7PB. T: 0844815 7141. F8. Station: Waterloo/Westminster.
The Woman in Black A spooky story adapted from Susan Hill’s novel, about a lawyer who visits a remote house to settle affairs after a woman’s death. Check for times. Tickets £21.50-£52. www.thewomaninblack.com. Fortune Theatre, Russell St, WC2B 5HH. T: 0844871 7626. D8. Station: Covent Garden.
IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES Aladdin and the Feast of Wonders Inspired by the wonderful tale of Aladdin, this is a pantomime for adults with dinner and wine (p. 44). Tue-Sun 6.30pm. Tickets £30-£75. www.thevaults. london. The Vaults, Leake St, SE1 7NN. T: 020-7401 9603. F8. Station: Waterloo.
The Crystal Maze LIVE Experiencee Retro, interactive experience based on a TV show. Participants work in groups to solve mental and physical puzzles against the clock. Check for times and prices. www.the-crystal-maze.com. 22-32 Shaftesbury Ave, W1D 7EJ. T: 0161-791 0727. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds Experience the Martian invasion from HG Wells’ 1898 science-fiction novel, which was reinvented as a musical by Jeff Wayne. You’ll be guided by real and virtual actors as you walk, crawl and slide through scenes of Victorian London, while Martians roam outside. Please check for times and prices. www.dotdot.london. Old Metal Exchange, 56 Leadenhall St, EC3A 2BJ. D11. Station: Aldgate.
MAMMA MIA! The Party Actors in costume perform ABBA songs while you dine on Mediterranean dishes in a Greek taverna. Check for times. Tickets from £151.20. www.theo2. co.uk. The O2, Peninsula Square, SE10 0AX. T: 0844856 0202. Off map. Station: North Greenwich.
FESTIVALS & EVENTS Christmas in Leicester Square Enjoy a Christmas market featuring handcrafted gifts, food and drink stalls and Santa’s grotto. Shows, comedy, circus and cabaret take place in a 1920s spiegeltent. Some events are free; check for times and tickets. www.christmasinleicestersquare. com. Leicester Square, WC2H 7JY. T: 020-7492 9942. E7. Station: Leicester Square.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland This is one of the UK’s biggest winter festivals. There’s a Bavarian market, fair rides and huge ice rink, plus the world’s tallest transportable observation wheel and the Magical Ice Kingdom, which is set in sub-zero temperatures and features sculptures made out of ice. www.hydepark winterwonderland.com. Hyde Park, W2 2UH. T: 0300-061 2000. E5. Station: Hyde Park Corner.
Enjoy dinner and a cabaret inspired by magical folk tales. Wear a gothic mask fit for a ball (p. 44). Please check for times and prices. www.thevaults. london. The Vaults, Leake St, SE1 7NN. T: 020-7401 9603. F8. Station: Waterloo.
Secret Cinema: Stranger Things
13 Dec: BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor
Barbican Rafael Payare from Venezuela. 7.30pm. Tickets £12-£40. www.barbican.org.uk. Silk St, EC2Y 8DS. T: 020-7638 8891. C10. Station: Barbican.
Secret Cinema (p. 44) has a reputation for hosting spectacular immersive experiences themed around a film or TV show. Once you’ve booked, emails provide clues to the dress code, time and location – usually an enormous building in an unusual place. Previous experiences have included Lawrence of Arabia with real camels, The Red Shoes with ballet classes and 28 Days Later, with zombie chases. The latest one is all about the Netflix show, which is set in the ‘80s. Please check for prices. www.secretcinema.org. Secret location.
22 Dec: Carols and Classics with Charles Dickens. The London Concert Brass and London Philharmonic Choir are joined by a guest reader to perform Victorian carols and readings from A Christmas Carol. Tickets £26-£48.50. 3pm. www.cadogan hall.com. 5 Sloane Terrace, SW1X 9DQ. T: 0207730 4500. G6. Station: Sloane Square.
The Wolf of Wall Street
St James’s Piccadilly
To 19 Jan: Dress up and enter the world of
Jordan Belfort, the real-life stock-market millionaire whose life became a book, a film – and now an immersive experience in a secret location. Discover the highs and lows of the millionaire lifestyle, the debauchery that comes with it and the pressures of a high-level FBI investigation. Details are revealed by email once you’ve paid for a ticket. Tickets £59.95. www. immersivewolf.com/event/the-wolfof-wall-street. Secret location.
ANIMAL KINGDOM Marvel at elephants; no, this isn’t the zoo, it’s Circus 1903, with life-size puppets. Be transported back to a turn-of-the-century circus to watch acrobats, trapeze artists and a new act, the Brazilian Wheel of Death, at the Southbank Centre (from 19 Dec). www.southbank centre.co.uk
This 1676 church has free recitals every Mon, Wed & Fri at 1.10pm and concerts from 7.30pm. www.sjp.org.uk. 197 Piccadilly, W1J 9LL. T: 0207381 0441. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
St Martin-in-the-Fields Church Lunchtime and evening concerts and recitals. www.smitf.org. Trafalgar Square, WC2N 4JJ. T: 020-7766 1100. E8. Station: Charing Cross.
Wigmore Hall 22 Dec: Van Kujik Quartet performs Mozart and Brahms. 11.30am. Tickets £14-£16. www.wigmorehall.org.uk. 36 Wigmore St, W1U 2BP. T: 020-7935 2141. D6. Station: Bond Street.
CONCERTS: POP, JAZZ & WORLD The Jazz Cafe This live music venue and club specialises in jazz and funk. 3 Dec: Dat Brass. 13 Dec: Dub Pistols. 16 Dec: Chynna. 23 Dec: La La Land: The Soundtrack. Check for times and prices. www.the jazzcafelondon.com. 5 Parkway, NW1 7PG. T: 0844847 2514. Off map. Station: Camden Town.
Kings Place 20 Dec: Awake Arise – A Christmas Show. English
folk music. 8pm. Tickets £16.50. www.kingsplace. co.uk. 90 York Way, N1 9AG. T: 020-7520 1490. Off map. Station: King’s Cross.
The O2 Enormous venue for live music. 1 Dec: Elvis in Concert – Live on Screen. 9-10 Dec: An Evening with Michael Bublé. 17-20 Dec: Rod Stewart Live in Concert. Check for times and prices. www.theo2. co.uk. The O2, Peninsula Square, SE10 0AX. T: 0844856 0202. Off map. Station: North Greenwich.
CIRCUS 1903 © MARK TURNER IMAGES
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ENTERTAINMENT Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club London’s most famous jazz venue. 5-8 Dec: Curtis Stigers. 9-11 Dec: Motown and More... with Natalie Williams’ Soul Family. 17-21 Dec: Ray Gelato & The Giants. Check for times and prices. www.ronnie scotts.co.uk. 47 Frith St, W1D 4HT. T: 020-7439 0747. D7. Station: Tottenham Court Road.
In the heart of Leicester Square
Southbank Centre 20 Dec: Futuretense: Myele Manzanza. The drummer
celebrates the release of his album A Love Requited with a free gig. 6pm. www.southbankcentre.co.uk. Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX. T: 020-3879 9555. E8. Station: Waterloo.
DANCE Barbican To 1 Dec: Heavy handed, We Crush the Moment. This new dance piece features performances by guest artists each night. It’s an immersive experience, somewhere between a dreamscape, meditation and a nightclub. Suitable for over-14s. Check for times. Tickets £5. www.barbican.org.uk. Silk St, EC2Y 8DS. T: 020-7638 8891. C10. Station: Barbican.
Royal Albert Hall 28-31 Dec: The Nutcracker. The Birmingham Royal Ballet presents this tale with a score by Tchaikovsky. Check for times and prices. www.royalalberthall.com. Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP. T: 020-7589 8212. G4. Station: South Kensington.
Last minute & discount theatre tickets
Royal Opera House To 7 Jan: The Sleeping Beauty. The Royal Ballet
performed this classic story, with Tchaikovsky’s score, to reopen the Royal Opera House in 1946 after World War II. To 16 Jan: Coppelia. Ninette de Valois’ charming ballet, with mechanical dolls, is a festive favourite. Check for times and prices. www.roh.org.uk. Bow St, WC2E 9DD. T: 020-7304 4000. D8. Station: Covent Garden.
Sadler’s Wells From 3 Dec: The Red Shoes. Dance based on the film by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale (p. 48). Check for times and prices. www.sadlerswells.com. Rosebery Ave, EC1R 4TN. T: 020-7863 8000. Off map. Station: Angel.
CHILDREN & FAMILIES Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost To 5 Jan: The Irish writer’s comic novel is brought
to life. Check for times. Child £12-£22; adult £16-£28. www.unicorntheatre.com. Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley St, SE1 2HZ. T: 020-7645 0560. Off map. Station: London Bridge.
The Paper Dolls From 11 Dec: Adapted from the book by Julia Donaldson. For three to four-year-olds. Check for times and prices. www.polkatheatre.com. Polka Theatre, 240 The Broadway, SW19 1SB. T: 020-8543 4888. Off map. Station: Wimbledon.
The Snowman To 5 Jan: Back once again for the festive season, this is perfect for toddlers, where mime and music tell the story of a boy who befriends a snowman. Check for times and prices. www.sadlerswells.com. The Peacock, Portugal St, WC2A 2HT. T: 020-7863 8222. D8. Station: Holborn.
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SHOPPING MAJOR SHOPPING AREAS Bond Street This smart area is home to designer boutiques, antiques, art and jewellery specialists, plus auction houses Sotheby’s and Bonhams. D6/E6/E7. Station: Bond Street.
Canary Wharf This is a first-class shopping destination in a smart and impressive development in the Docklands. Off map. Station: Canary Wharf.
Carnaby Once the domain of 1960s mods and rockers, the Carnaby area still appeals to the fashionable set. D7/E7. Station: Oxford Circus.
Covent Garden This former fruit and vegetable market is now a popular centre for arts and crafts. Nearby is Seven Dials and its quirky independent shops. D8. Station: Covent Garden.
Hatton Garden This hidden historic corner of London is home to the jewellery trade and the centre of the British diamond industry. C9/D9. Station: Farringdon.
Jermyn Street & St James’s Some of the oldest specialist menswear shops in London are found in this area, including hatters and shirtmakers. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
King’s Road Once famous for upmarket fashion and cutting-edge style, this boutique-lined street still attracts a stylish crowd. Duke of York Square bustles with antiques and furniture shops. G4. Station: Sloane Square.
Oxford Street Europe’s busiest shopping street has major department stores including Selfridges and John Lewis, plus popular high-street chains. D6/D7. Station: Oxford Circus/Bond Street/Marble Arch.
Regent Street Originally designed by John Nash, this prestigious area includes Apple, Liberty, Swarovski, the first British Ferrari shop and Burberry. D6/D7/E7. Station: Oxford Circus/Piccadilly Circus.
Savile Row One of London’s most famous areas for tailoring is in upmarket Mayfair. Find bespoke tailors including Anderson & Sheppard, Gieves & Hawkes and Kilgour. E7. Station: Green Park.
So determined is Samsung to disrupt the traditional retail environment that its latest space in Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, is about as far removed from a shop as you can get. Doing away with cash points and price tags in favour of interactive spaces that showcase the very best innovations from the brand, Samsung KX is all about hanging out and having fun. Visitors can make their mark on a 10-metre digital graffiti wall, become a superstar DJ at the tap of a Samsung smartphone and sit in a ‘connected’ concept car to marvel at how checking the contents of the fridge from the driver’s seat will soon be a reality. With the opportunity to grab a coffee from the café and solve your digital dilemmas in the Support Lounge, this is experiential shopping at its finest. Upper Level, Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DQ. T: 0330-726 0059. www.samsung.com/uk
MAJOR STORES Fenwick Designer names and regular events. Mon-Wed; Fri & Sat 10am-7pm; Thur 10am-8pm; Sun noon-6pm. www.fenwick.co.uk. 63 New Bond St, W1S 1RQ. T: 020-7629 9161. E6. Station: Bond Street.
Fortnum & Mason Established in 1707, this is famed for its food hall. Mon-Sat 10am-9pm; Sun noon-6pm. www.fortnum andmason.com. 181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER. T: 0845-300 1707. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
Hamleys Huge toy shop spread over seven floors, with high-tech and retro toys. It also has demonstrations of toys and games. Please check for times. www.hamleys.com. 188-196 Regent St, W1B 5BT. T: 0871-704 1977. D7. Station: Oxford Circus.
Harrods Browse magnificent Edwardian food and meat halls and a range of fashion and cosmetics, then stay for afternoon tea. Mon-Fri 10am-9pm; Sun 11.30am-6pm. www.harrods.com. 87-135 Brompton Rd, SW1X 7XL. T: 020-7730 1234. F5. Station: Knightsbridge.
John Lewis & Partners Find fashion labels, homeware and electricals. Please check for times. www.johnlewis.com. 300 Oxford St, W1A 1EX (and branches). T: 020-7629 7711. D6. Station: Oxford Circus.
Selfridges This is the largest shop on Oxford Street: visit the department store for the finest products in beauty and fashion. Mon-Sat 9.30am-10pm; Sun 11.30am-6pm. www.selfridges.com. 400 Oxford St, W1A 1AB. T: 0800-123 400. D6. Station: Bond Street.
LUXURY ARCADES Burlington Arcade Running from Burlington Gardens to Piccadilly, this Regency arcade is home to high-end specialist shops. Mon-Fri 10am-7pm; Sat 9am-6.30pm; Sun 11am-5pm. www.burlington-arcade.co.uk. Burlington Arcade, W1J 0QJ. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
Leadenhall Market This beautiful Victorian covered market in the City is home to traditional labels and unique fashions. Mon-Fri 11am-5pm. www.leadenhallmarket.co.uk. Gracechurch St, EC3V 1LR. D11. Station: Monument.
Alexander McQueen Flagship fashion boutique with clothes, bags and shoes, dedicated to the late, great designer. www.alexandermcqueen.co.uk. 4-5 Old Bond St, W1S 4PD. T: 020-7355 0088. E7. Station: Green Park. T: Telephone number. Station: including Underground (’Tube‘) stations, railway and Docklands Light Railway. References at the end of listings (C4 etc.) are coordinates for the map on p. 72-73. Check for festive hours 54
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Burberry catwalk show
Fashion flashbacks From must-have bags to in-store tech, Kathryn Conway looks at how the high street has changed
BURBERRY CATWALK SHOW © DAVID M BENETT; ALEXA BAG COURTESY OF MULBERRY; CHARLOTTE TILBURY © DAN WHELDON PHOTOGRAPHY; APPLE STORE © ISTOCK
SAMSUNG KX © HANUKMAN/HANSTUDIO
From conspicuous to conscious consumers
Rewind to 2010 and I remember a time when Mulberry’s Alexa was the ‘It bag’ of the moment and we were all clamouring to get our hands on any newly launched Apple product. We obsessed over what was hot and not, and only the enlightened cared to question the social cost of the product they were purchasing. Thankfully, as the decade draws to a close, sustainability is now high on the agenda and many consumers are shopping from a more ethical, eco-conscious standpoint. The high street has changed dramatically in the past 10 years. The surge in online shopping, the impact of influencers and the dominance of social media in our purchasing decisions (who doesn’t love to swipe?) has forced any brand with a bricksand-mortar presence in London to raise its game. The savviest have woken up to the fact that simply selling a product is no longer enough – and it was arguably Burberry that was first to realise this. I was lucky enough to attend the opening of Burberry’s flagship in Regent Street in 2012 and I remember thinking it was all so very ‘tech-xy’. Burberry was already live-streaming its fashion
Mulberry’s Alexa bag
shows at that point, but this renovated sartorial playground gave us changing-room mirrors that flipped to show the clothes on the catwalk and RFID tags in garments that allowed access to multimedia content relevant to the product. It felt fresh and exciting. Much to my delight, smart mirrors have also become de rigueur in the world of beauty. At Tom Ford Beauty in Covent Garden, a mirror will record your makeover and email it to you for reference. At Charlotte Tilbury, Magic Mirrors help you to virtually model each of Tilbury’s 10 looks (I’m so The Vintage Vamp). Who’d have thought this would be on the cards 10 years ago? Now that shipping containers have become shops/hipster hangouts (thanks, Boxpark!) and you can’t move for brand experiences (hello, 5 Carlos Place, the home of Matchesfashion.com), it makes you wonder: what’s in store for the coming decade? Apple store
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Twinings L STREET
Vivobarefoot Crazy Pig Elliot Rhodes Offspring Designs E N AllSaints DEL Clair Naa TCG L S London Molteni&C Dada Lululemon TRE B Birkenstock ET Masala ZoneO W S Vans NEA Office TR Restaurant French Bare Escentuals L S EE Ellesse T R ESabon T Connection ET Speedo Nike Geox LEE KNOMO Rolex N. Peal Mango Diesel Benefit Cosmetics Camper L’S Ray Ban Mulberry Fresh Bobbi Brown NEA D Botique S T YAR Coco De Mer Tiffany & Co. TUMI FlyMLondon Clinique Penhaligon’s Dr. Martens Kiehl’s CHANEL A H Cath Linda Farrow L COVENT GARDEN Links of London Penhaligon’s R Kidston L A KarenJMillen NG Club Monaco AM Dior EA LEY Miller Harris ES Atelier Cologne Sonos ST ST Kurt Geiger Stanfords Rohan Unconditional Paul Smith MAC CARAT Tom Ford Crabtree & Evelyn ME Cosmetics R C E Aspinal of London Beauty Laura Lee Jewellery R S Diptyque Michael Kors Apple Store T R E Levis Tatty Devine E TARKET Radley Le Labo Jack Wolfskin b. The Cambridge Danse agnès The Shop at The Bluebird Satchel Company Lente Oakley Pretty Ballerinas Burberry K-Way COS Urban Decay The White Moleskine Monica Vinader Fred Perry Pandora Company Oliver Sweeney Mariage Frères Aesop & Other Stories Hackett NT E The Real McCoy’s Barbour V Jo Malone O C Sandro Jack Wills Calzedonia Claudie EN Pierlot GARD les EL
If you want to travel in style, head to Cath Kidston. Home to rucksacks and totes, take your pick from these practical and pretty products with distinctive prints, which include floral and London-inspired designs. 28-32 Shelton St, WC2H 9JE. T: 020-7240 8324. www.cathkidston.com
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Nigel Hall BROA Jaeger D W I C K S T LEXI
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We Built This City
Ben Sherman Levi’s Puma
Billionaire Boys Club Lamuete
Replay Estée Edit Dr. Martens
Cloth House Beyond Retro
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Make up Store
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Swarovski Retro London
K I N G LY
With its silk scarves, stunning stationery and a world-famous haberdashery department, Liberty is one of the most iconic stores in London. Look out for the new, exclusive Emma Bridgewater Dark Dahlia crockery collection. Regent St, W1B 5AH. T: 020-7734 1234. www.libertylondon.com
Liberty H&M Home Clarks
CA STR RNAB EET Y & For s por t SOHO and y labels tren nam dy es
PHOTO CREDIT GOES HERE IMAGES COURTESY OF THE RETAILERS
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Urban Outfitters Russell & Bromley H&M Mango Uniqlo M&S Sports Direct Zara OXF American Apparel STREE
Carnaby Street & Soho
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LYNNE MACLACHLAN © SUSAN CASTILLO; ROXANNE GILBERT © SYLVAIN DELEU
London Designer Outlet
Find a classic trench coat for men, women or children by this British label, which also has a monogramming service – great for gift ideas. www.burberry.com. 121 Regent St, W1B 4TB (and branches). T: 020-7806 8904. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
Mall with around 70 high-street retailers offering reductions of up to 70 per cent. Check for times. www.londondesigneroutlet.com. Wembley Park Boulevard, HA9 0RX. T: 020-8912 5210. Off map. Station: Wembley Park/Wembley Stadium.
This image: Lynne MacLachlan’s spiral necklace Right: Roxanne Gilbert’s orb rings
Razzle dazzle ‘em
Need a gift to impress the most difficult to please? Or perhaps you’re having a fashion fail and need a little something to jazz up your party outfit. Whatever the dilemma, Dazzle (from 1 Dec) is the perfectly timed festive fix. For the past 38 years, this jewellery fair has showcased designs by the world’s best contemporary jewellers and become a platform for new talent. This year, five graduates join the line-up of more than 80 designers, many of whom are pioneering not only digital technology, but also incorporating recycled gold, plastic and even bicycle inner tubes in their pieces. We love the work of Devon-based jeweller Alysa Freeman, whose unusual silver pieces made from compressed, recycled newspaper are a comment on her dyslexia. Don’t miss Dazzle Extras, where handmade textiles, prints, wall hangings and ceramics are given a chance to shine. Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse St, SE1 9PH. www.dazzle-exhibitions.co.uk
SPECIALIST STORES Buckingham Palace Shop Browse royal souvenirs, including Alex Monroe’s jewellery line. Mon-Sat 9.30am-5pm. www.royal collectionshop.co.uk. 7 Buckingham Palace Rd, SW1W 0PP. T: 020-7839 1377. E6. Station: Victoria.
Exuding style and class in all of its designs and products, fashion-forward shoppers can browse accessories, clothing and bags. www.chanel.com. 158-159 New Bond St, W1S 7UB (and branches). T: 020-7493 5040. E6. Station: Green Park.
This huge shopping centre has plenty of high-street names and luxury brands, plus the immense KidZania (p. 26). www.westfield.com/london. Ariel Way, W12 7GF. T: 020-3371 2300. Map inset. Station: Shepherd’s Bush.
Mouthwatering outlet for traditional food and ingredients from Japan. www.japancentre.com. 35b Panton St, SW1Y 4EA. T: 020-3405 1246. E7. Station: Leicester Square/Piccadilly Circus.
Westfield Stratford City
Add a little ooh-la-la to your life with a pair of chic red-soled chaussures from Monsieur Louboutin. www.christianlouboutin.com. 17 Mount St, W1K 2RJ (and branches). T: 020-7491 0033. E6. Station: Green Park.
This mall has 270 shops, a cinema, casino, bars, restaurants and outdoor spaces. www.westfield.com/ stratfordcity. 2 Stratford Place, E20 1EJ. T: 020-8221 7300. Map inset. Station: Stratford.
JEWELLERY & WATCHES
The desirable luxury brand brings its legendary Italian quality and design to London. www.gucci. com/uk. 18 Sloane St, SW1X 9NE (and branches). T: 020-7235 6707. F5. Station: Knightsbridge.
Hackett This store is for those who hanker after the classic British gentleman-at-leisure look – polos, sporting jackets, suits and accessories. www.hackett.com. 193-197 Regent St, W1B 4LY (and branches). T: 020-7494 4917. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
MALLS & FACTORY OUTLETS ICON Outlet New venue for fashion and lifestyle shopping, with restaurants and bars. www.iconattheo2.co.uk. The O2, Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX. T: 020-8463 2000. Off map. Station: North Greenwich.
David Morris This esteemed British jewellery brand offers beautiful couture jewellery, hand-crafted to the highest standards using the finest stones. www.davidmorris.com. 180 New Bond St, W1S 4RL. T: 020-7499 2200. E7. Station: Green Park.
Links of London Fashionable jewellery and watches featuring high-quality designs and offering an engraving service. www.linksoflondon.com. 491 Oxford St, W1A 2LR (and branches). T: 020-7491 2371. D5. Station: Bond Street.
Pandora Immense selection of jewellery, including charm bracelets that you can build, plus astrological symbols. www.pandora.net. 257-259 Oxford St, W1C 2DD (and branches). T: 020-7407 2007. D6. Station: Oxford Circus.
Get a unique souvenir at this gallery and shop, where everything is created onsite. www.london glassblowing.co.uk. 62-66 Bermondsey St, SE1 3UD. T: 020-7403 2800. F11. Station: London Bridge.
The Noble Collection Explore licensed, finely crafted treasures from Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings. www.noblecollection.co.uk. 26-28 Neal St, WC2H 9QQ. T: 020-3795 6298. D8. Station: Covent Garden.
Red Bus Shop Souvenir shop stocking London-related products and the Harry Potter range. www.redbus shop.co.uk. 59-61 York Rd, SE1 7NJ (and branches). T: 020-7401 7033. F8. Station: Waterloo.
Twinings Trading since 1706, this shop stocks teas. Daily, check for times. www.twinings.co.uk. 216 Strand, WC2R 1AP. T: 020-7353 3511. D9. Station: Temple.
The Whisky Exchange Choose from a wide range of fine whiskies and spirits. www.thewhiskyexchange.com. 2 Bedford St, WC2E 9HH. T: 020-7403 8688. E8. Station: Charing Cross/Covent Garden. www.wheretraveler.com 57
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London is known for bucking the trend when it comes to fashion, art and technology – and in the past decade it’s been making waves on the dining scene, too. Cast your mind back to 2010, when avocados were just a humble fruit. In the past 10 years they’ve morphed into a superfood, an emoji and an Instagrammable breakfast – as well as the star ingredient of Avobar London in Covent Garden. With its pergola ceiling, potted cheeseplants and palm prints on the walls, the café’s interior is as on-trend as its menu, which features avotoast (naturally), bowls of avocado tuna poké and a sweet potato and red lentil burger with a bun formed from an avocado. Leave space for dessert – which is avocado cheesecake, of course (www.avobar.co.uk).
Avocado wasn’t the only trend of the decade. We’ve also seen veganism rocket, from a niche fad followed by your hippy aunt to a mainstream diet practised by everyone from Benedict Cumberbatch to Beyoncé. So make like Beyoncé and visit Café Forty One in La Suite West hotel, to feast on plantbased dishes including gnocchi pesto and afternoon tea (www.lasuitewest.com). Avocado: the superfood of the decade
The decade has shone a spotlight on Jason Atherton (one of Gordon Ramsay’s protégés); his first restaurant, Pollen Street Social, was awarded a Michelin star in its opening year in 2011, followed by three more Michelinstarred restaurants: Social Eating House, City Social and The Clocktower in New York. He’s just opened The Betterment at The Biltmore Mayfair (www.jasonatherton.co.uk). Atherton’s contemporary Clare Smyth has pioneered the decade’s increase in young female chefs, along with Monica Galetti and Sarah Barber. After working with Gordon Ramsay, Smyth became Britain’s first woman to win three Michelin stars. Her first restaurant, Core by Clare Smyth, is in Notting Hill and has two Michelin stars. It came in at number four in this year’s prestigious National Restaurant Awards – high praise indeed (www.corebyclaresmyth.com). (www.corebyclaresmyth.com
THIS PAGE: JASON ATHERTON COURTESY OF JASON ATHERTON; CLARE SMYTH COURTESY OF CORE BY CLARE SMYTH; AVOCADO © ISTOCK. FACING PAGE: WILD HONEY © MING TANG EVANS
‘Avocado has morphed into an emoji and an Instagrammable breakfast’
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Goodman Top New York steakhouse with US and British beef. ££££. Mon-Sat L & D (and branches). www. goodmanrestaurants.com. 24-26 Maddox St, W1S 1QH. T: 020-7499 3776. E7. Station: Oxford Circus.
Hard Rock Cafe London The original London branch of this burger bar is decorated with music memorabilia. ££. Daily L & D. 150 Old Park Lane, W1K 1QZ. T: 020-7514 1700. www.hardrock.com. E6. Station: Hyde Park Corner.
Hard Rock Cafe Piccadilly Circus
The English Grill
This modern steakhouse has an open kitchen and a large covered terrace. ££. Daily L & D. www.sophies steakhouse.com. 42-44 Great Windmill St, W1D 7ND. T: 020-7836 8836. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
Restaurant with chandeliers, serving daily roasts. ££££. Daily B, L & D. www.rubenshotel.com. The Rubens at the Palace, 39 Buckingham Palace Rd, SW1W 0PS. T: 020-7834 6600. F6. Station: Victoria.
St Pancras by Searcys
The Palm Court
Ornate dining room with all-day British dishes and a Champagne bar. ££-£££. Daily B, L & D. www.stpancrasbysearcys.co.uk. Upper Concourse, St Pancras Station, Euston Rd, N1C 4QL. T: 020-7870 9900. C8. Station: King’s Cross St Pancras.
This grand hotel lounge is an ideal setting for afternoon tea. ££. Daily L & D. www.ihg.com. Kimpton Fitzroy London, 1-8 Russell Square, WC1B 5BE. T: 020-3797 7282. C8. Station: Russell Square.
Enjoy classic British dishes in this beautiful dining room. Ties obligatory. ££££. Daily B, L & D. www. theritzlondon.com. The Ritz, 150 Piccadilly, W1J 9BR. T: 020-7300 2370. E7. Station: Green Park.
London’s legendary burger bar has rock memorabilia and an extensive menu. Daily L & D. ££. Criterion Building, 225-229 Piccadilly, W1J 9HR. T: 020-7287 4600. www.hardrock.com. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
This elegant hotel restaurant attracts an older crowd and is known for its Dover sole. £££. Daily B, L & D. www.chesterfieldmayfair.com. 35 Charles St, W1J 5EB. T: 020-7491 2622. E6. Station: Green Park.
Underneath the church (p. 29), this brick-vaulted café serves English comfort food. £. Mon-Sat B, L & D; Sun 11am-6pm. www.smitf.org. St Martin-inthe-Fields, corner of Trafalgar Square, WC2N 4JJ. T: 020-7766 1158. E8. Station: Charing Cross.
Hollywood-inspired dining experience with film memorabilia and an international menu. ££. Daily L & D (bar to 1am). www.planethollywood london.com. 57-60 Haymarket, SW1Y 4QX. T: 020-7287 1000. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
Rainforest Cafe In a mock rainforest setting with animatronic animals, choose pasta and chargrilled chicken. ££-£££. Daily L & D. www.therainforestcafe. co.uk. 20 Shaftesbury Ave, W1D 7EU. T: 020-7434 3111. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
BRITISH (MODERN) Caxton Grill Superb selection of steaks cooked on a Josper grill, plus seafood dishes. ££££. Daily L & D. www.caxton grill.co.uk. 2 Caxton St, SW1H 0QW. T: 020-7227 7777. F7. Station: St James’s Park.
Darwin Brasserie Dine on level 36 of the ‘Walkie Talkie’ on sea trout with roast pumpkin. ££-£££. Daily B & D; Mon-Fri L. www.skygarden.london. 20 Fenchurch St, EC3M 8AF. T: 0333-772 0020. E11. Station: Monument.
Café in the Crypt
Cheneston’s Elegant dining room for dishes such as venison and Dover sole. £££. Daily B, L & D. www.milestone hotel.com. The Milestone Hotel, 1 Kensington Court, W8 5DL. T: 020-7917 1000. Off map. Station: High Street Kensington.
The bee’s knees
The Ritz Restaurant
CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN Galvin at Windows Michelin-starred rooftop restaurant. £££. Mon-Fri & Sun L; Mon-Sat D. www.galvinat
windows.com. Hilton on Park Lane, W1K 1BE. T: 020-7208 4021. E6. Station: Hyde Park Corner.
Ting Located on level 35 of The Shard, this restaurant serves European dishes with an Asian influence. ££££. Daily B, L & D. www.shangri-la.com/london. Shangri-La, The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, SE1 9QU. T: 020-7234 8108. E10. Station: London Bridge.
The much-lauded chef and restaurateur Anthony Demetre has reopened his acclaimed restaurant Wild Honey in a new venue, at hotel Sofitel St James. Floor-to-ceiling arched windows, velvet banquettes and pendant lighting give the ambience of a European café. Its modern European menu serves breakfast, business lunches and romantic dinners. It stars bouillabaisse, barbecued quail, roast rabbit, and, on Sundays, whole roast partridge. True to its name, this is also the place if you have a sweet tooth; linger over a cocktail with homemade pine honey at the bar, or wild honey ice cream made with honeycomb from a beehive frame. 8 Pall Mall, SW1Y 5NG. T: 020-7968 2900. www.wildhoneystjames.co.uk
AMERICAS (NORTH & SOUTH)
CORE BY CLARE SMYTH; AVOCADO © ISTOCK. FACING PAGE: WILD HONEY © MING TANG EVANS
Fenchurch Restaurant This smart brasserie on the roof of the ‘Walkie Talkie’ serves fabulous seafood. £££. Daily L & D. www.skygarden.london. 20 Fenchurch St, EC3M 8AF. T: 0333-772 0020. E11. Station: Monument.
Great Court Restaurant Enjoy lunch or afternoon tea above the museum’s iconic Reading Room. ££. Daily L; Fri D. www.british museum.org. The British Museum, Great Russell St, WC1B 3DG. T: 020-7323 8990. D7. Station: Holborn.
The Montagu Kitchen Modern brasserie with seasonal dishes, weekend brunches and afternoon teas. ££. Daily B, L & D. www.themontagurestaurant.co.uk. Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, 30 Portman Square, W1H 7BH. T: 020-7299 2037. D5. Station: Marble Arch.
Rex Whistler Restaurant This restaurant, featuring a mural, has an excellent wine list to accompany roast beef or lemon sole. ££. Daily L. www.tate.org.uk. Tate Britain, Millbank, SW1P 4RG. T: 020-7887 8825. G8. Station: Pimlico. T: Telephone number. Station: including Underground (’Tube‘) stations, railway and Docklands Light Railway. Please check for full listings, online discounts and time of last entry. References at the end of listings (B5 etc.) are coordinates for the map on p. 72-73. Check for festive hours. www.wheretraveler.com 59
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AFTERNOON TEA Enjoy afternoon tea in the executive lounge of this riverside hotel, which has glass walls with views of Big Ben. Sandwiches are filled with smoked salmon, coronation chicken and egg and cress and are made with spinach, lemon, tomato and Peruvian bean bread. Sweets include blackcurrant sponge; a shot of rose, strawberry, lychee and vanilla pudding and yogurt mousse. You can also have toasted tea cakes and vanilla and golden raisin scones with Devonshire clotted cream. www.radissonhotels.com
ROSEWOOD LONDON Rosewood London has collaborated with the Royal Academy of Arts to create a new tea inspired by the British sculptor Antony Gormley, which coincides with the gallery’s exhibition
Antony Gormley’s afternoon tea celebrating his life and work. As well as sandwiches and scones, executive pastry chef Mark Perkins has created sweets that look like miniature apples and chocolate-dusted spheres dangling on wires. You’ll dine in the Mirror Room, which has floor-to-ceiling mirrors. www.rosewoodhotels.com
THE LANGHAM The Langham has teamed up with Daunt Books to create a children’s afternoon tea. Little ones can choose a book to take home with them before sitting down in the Palm Court to colour in a menu. Following sandwiches made out of ham, cheese or jam jigsaw pieces – finally, food that children are allowed to play with – kids can nibble on bite-size treats in every colour of the rainbow, arranged on a plate like numbers on a clock. A pianist provides entertainment. www.langhamhotels.com
The Langham The Langham
FISH AND SEAFOOD
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
This Grade II-listed dining room has great seafood platters. £££. Daily B & D; Wed-Sat L. www.ihg.com. Kimpton Fitzroy London, 1-8 Russell Square, WC1B 5BE. T: 020-3797 7282. C8. Station: Russell Square.
Exquisite food at a venue to dress up for. ££££. TueFri L & D; Sat D. www.alainducasse-dorchester.com. The Dorchester, Park Lane, W1K 1QA. T: 020-7629 8866. E6. Station: Hyde Park Corner.
This Michelin-starred restaurant serves biryanis with exquisite flavours. £££. Daily L & D. www. amaya.biz. Halkin Arcade, Lowndes St, SW1X 8JT. T: 020-7823 1166. F6. Station: Knightsbridge.
This decades-old restaurant is loved for its fish and chips, pies and fishcakes. ££. Daily L & D. www.sea shellrestaurant.co.uk. 49-51 Lisson Grove, NW1 6UH. T: 020-7224 9000. C5. Station: Marylebone.
Michelin-starred dining room with Atlantic sea bass. £££-££££. Daily B, L & D. www.lanesborough.com. The Lanesborough, Hyde Park Corner, SW1X 7TA. T: 020-7259 5599. F6. Station: Hyde Park Corner.
Excellent tasting menu and street food. ££££. Mon-Sat L & D; Sun D. www.benaresrestaurant.com. 12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, W1J 6BS. T: 020-7629 8886. E6. Station: Green Park.
Chutney Mary Enjoy a gourmet tour of India at this beautiful restaurant and dining bar. £££. Daily L & D. www.chutneymary.com. 73 St James’s St, SW1A 1PH. T: 020-7629 6688. E7. Station: Green Park.
Farzi Café Modern bistro (p. 62). ££-£££. Daily L & D. www.farzilondon.com. 8 Haymarket, SW1Y 4BP. T: 020-3981 0090. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
Masala Zone A vibrant restaurant that serves street food, thalis and regional curries. ££. Daily L & D. www.masala zone.com. 9 Marshall St, W1F 7ER (and branches). T: 020-7287 9966. D8. Station: Oxford Circus.
A taste of Sicily
Norma in Fitzrovia is the new restaurant and cocktail bar from The Stafford London, specialising in Moorish-influenced Sicilian cuisine. A display of clams, oysters and red prawns on ice will draw you in, but you’ll stay for its pasta dishes and grilled meat and fish. Try the tagliolini with sardines or beef bavette, followed by honey gelato with figs and ricotta. Like the menu, the interior is inspired by Sicily’s café culture, with ornate arches and geometric tiles. 8 Charlotte St, W1T 2LS. T: 020-3995 6224. www.normalondon.com
Tasting menus of Indian dishes with modern twists, served in a recently refurbished, light-filled dining room. £££. Daily L & D. www.tamarindrestaurant.com. 20 Queen St, W1J 5PR. T: 020-7629 3561. E6. Station: Green Park.
Thali Popular restaurant which serves classic dishes such as tandoori prawns, lamb curry and crab patties. £££. Daily L & D. www.thali.uk.com. 166 Old Brompton Rd, SW5 0BA. T: 020-7373 2626. Off map. Station: South Kensington.
ANTONY GORMLEY © PATRICIA NIVEN; PARK PLAZA COURTESY OF PARK PLAZA WESTMINSTER BRIDGE; THE LANGHAM © SIMON JOHN OWEN; NORMA IMAGES © MILO BROWN
PARK PLAZA WESTMINSTER BRIDGE
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge
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THREE OF THE VERY BEST INDIAN RESTAUR ANTS This award winning sophisticated with an innovative twist, in a theatrical open kitchen setting. Michelin star. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Halkin Arcade (Entrance via Lowndes St) Belgravia, London SW1X 8JT T: 020 7823 1166 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Private dining room seats 14
The rich setting, interesting art and romantic candle lighting are secondary details in Londonâ€™s haven of great Indian contemporary food. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week; weekend brunch with live music. 73 St Jamesâ€™s Street, London SW1A 1PH T: 020 7629 6688 E: email@example.com Two private dining rooms seat 30 and 16
Classical dishes, lovingly prepared and beautifully served in sumptuous surroundings overlooking Regent Street. The oldest Indian restaurant in the world has a Michelin star. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Mezzanine Floor, Victory House, 1st floor 99 Regent Street, London W1B 4RS T: 020 7734 1401 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Private dining room seats 24
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Veeraswamy The UK’s oldest and most famous Indian Michelinstarred restaurant, with dishes include Patiala lamb shank and lobster curry. £££. Daily L & D. www. veeraswamy.com. Victory House, 99 Regent St, W1B 4RS. T: 020-7734 1401. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
INTERNATIONAL Bbar South Africa-inspired restaurant and bar – try the biltong and rib-eye steak. ££. Daily L & D. www.bbarlondon.com. 43 Buckingham Palace Rd, SW1W 0PP. T: 020-7958 7000. F6. Station: Victoria.
The Cavendish The European menu includes smoked burrata and black pudding Scotch egg. ££-£££. Daily B, L & D. www.35newcavendish.co.uk. 35 New Cavendish St, W1G 9TR. T: 020-7487 3030. D6. Station: Baker Street.
The Terrace This restaurant, with high ceilings and chandeliers, serves salads, burgers and Italian dishes. ££. Daily B, L & D. www.amba-hotel.com. Amba Hotel Charing Cross, The Strand, WC2N 5HX. T: 0800-330 8397. E8. Station: Charing Cross.
ITALIAN Caffè Concerto
IMAGE COURTESY OF FARZI CAFÉ
Popular cafés for breakfast and cream tea. ££. Daily B, L & D. www.caffeconcerto.co.uk. 88 Kensington High St, W8 4SG (and branches). T: 020-7494 6850. Off map. Station: High Street Kensington.
A real fusion
Following openings in Dubai’s Al Safa district and Gurgaon in northern India, Farzi Café’s founder Zorawar Kalra has made the jump to Britain with his group of modern Indian bistros (p. 60). Situated in the ideal spot for pre- or post-theatre dining (it is opposite The Phantom of the Opera), its glamorous interior appeals even if you’re just dropping by for drinks; it’s made a big effort with the cocktails, with each one corresponding to an astrological sign. This is filling food, so choose gingerly unless you’re ravenous. Meat lovers will be thrilled by the butterroast beef marrow and flame-grilled lamb chops, while the smoked aubergine bharta is a lighter, pretty and satisfying vegetarian option.
A longstanding favourite in Mayfair, El Pirata, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year! Loyal locals and visitors love its authentic Spanish tapas menu, with favourites such as chorizo, fiery padron peppers, Jamon Iberico, and myriad types of seafood dishes such as Mediterranean prawns and calamari. It even offers a set tapas menu to make your choices easier. The ambiance here is truly magical, a mixture of Mayfair elegance with a cozy, friendly feel, plus superb service. There’s also an impressive selection of Spanish wines on the menu.
‘A Spanish gem’ – Zagat ‘with surprisingly good prices’ – Harden’s Mon – Fri: 12.00pm – 11.30pm Saturday: 6.00pm – 11.30pm 5-6 Down Street, Mayfair W1J 7AQ 020 7491 3810 | www.elpirata.co.uk 62 W H E R E LO N D O N I D E C E M B E R 2019
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ENJOY THE THALI AT
Verdi Italian Kitchen Dine on stone-baked pizzas or afternoon tea in this music hall, with free live music on Fridays. ££. Tue-Sun L & D. www.verdiitalian.com. Door 12, Royal Albert Hall, SW7 2AP. T: 020-7070 4401. F4. Station: South Kensington.
REAL INDIAN FOOD
JAPANESE & KOREAN Sakagura Izakaya-style ‘Japanese pub’ wth sharing dishes, so order saké and craft beers alongside nibbles and small plates. ££. Daily L & D. www.sakagura london.com. 8 Heddon St, W1B 4BS. T: 020-3405 7230. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
RIVERSIDE Bateaux London Dine on the Thames with live entertainment. £££. Daily L & D cruises; Sun L with jazz. www.bateaux london.com. Embankment Pier, WC2N 6NU. T: 020-7695 1800. E8. Station: Embankment.
The London Showboat Enjoy lunch or afternoon tea aboard this boat, or dinner with live jazz. £££-££££. Booking essential. www.citycruises.com. Westminster Pier, SW1A 2JR. T: 020-7740 0400. F8. Station: Westminster.
R.S. Hispaniola Delightful moored restaurant boat serving British cuisine. £££. Daily L & D. www.hispaniola.co.uk. Victoria Embankment/Hungerford Bridge, WC2N 5DJ. T: 020-7839 3011. E8. Station: Embankment.
BAYSWATER, 75 BISHOPS BRIDGE RD COVENT GARDEN, 48 FLORAL ST SELFRIDGES 4TH FL, 400 OXFORD ST EARLS COURT, 147 EARLS COURT ROAD
SOUTH EAST ASIAN
CAMDEN, 25 PARKWAY ISLINGTON, 80 UPPER ST SOHO, 9 MARSHALL ST
M ASA LA ZO N E .COM
Thai Pot This casual spot offers good-value dishes such as stir-fried beef, fish cakes and sticky rice. £. Mon-Sat L & D. www.thaipot.biz. 1 Bedfordbury, WC2N 4BP. T: 020-7379 4580. E8. Station: Covent Garden.
Yuu Kitchen A former Nobu chef creates sharing plates inspired by Japanese, Filipino, Taiwanese and Hawaiian food. £-££. Tue-Sat L & D; Sun L. www.yuukitchen.com. 31-33 Heddon St, W1B 4BN (and branches). T: 020-7478 8910. E7. Station: Oxford Circus.
SPANISH El Pirata This Mayfair restaurant has been serving tapas for 25 years. ££-£££. Mon-Fri L & D; Sat D. www.el pirata.co.uk. 5-6 Down St, W1J 7AG. T: 020-7491 3810. E6. Station: Hyde Park Corner.
A two-floor Modern Indian Bistro serving cutting-edge, Avant-garde Indian Cuisine. Try delicious dishes such as Chicken Tikka Masala and Goat Shawarma Biryani. A bright, lit-up bar welcomes you to try our exquisite cocktails.
VEGAN & VEGETARIAN The Gate Serving gourmet vegan and veggie dishes by candlelight since 1989. ££. Daily L & D; Sat & Sun B. www.thegaterestaurants.com. 22-24 Seymour Place, W1H 7NL. T: 020-7724 6656. D5. Station: Marble Arch.
Mildreds Try the Vietnamese ‘duck’ in this lively Soho venue. ££. Mon-Sat L & D. www.mildreds.co.uk. 45 Lexington St, W1F 9AN (and branches). T: 020-7494 1634. D7. Station: Oxford Circus.
Tibits Vegetarian buffet with hot dishes and salads. You pay by plate weight. ££. Daily B, L & D. www.tibits. co.uk. 12-14 Heddon St, off Regent St, W1B 4DA. T: 020-7758 4112. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
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NIGHTLIFE ‘The decade has seen a ginaissance’ London alone. We serve Yes! on tap and Sunset, a red ale. If you’re lucky we might still have casks of Wood Green Hopping City, made as part of a community project that saw locals growing hops in their gardens’ (www.thegoodnessbrew.co). Fancy a pub crawl? Then head to Bermondsey’s ‘beer mile’, home to 20-odd microbreweries, from Southwark Brewing Co to Fourpure Brewing Co (www.southwark brewing.co.uk; www.fourpure.com). The past decade has seen a ‘ginaissance’, too. While the juniper-based spirit isn’t new, sales of gin nearly doubled between 2016 and 2018, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. Over a G&T in a gin workshop at The Ginstitute, you’ll see a 400-litre copper pot in The Still Room and learn how to make your own (www.theginstitute.com). Despite all of this, non-alcoholic drinks are an emerging trend. Redemption opened in Notting Hill, Shoreditch and Seven Dials. It has an extensive list of cocktails, along with vegan, sugar- and wheat-free dishes (www.redemptionbar.co.uk).
Fourpure Brewing Co.
SARAH RICHES Nightlife Editor
If the ’80s nightlife scene was all Peach Schnapps, blue cocktails and Slippery Nipple shots and the ’90s were Malibu and Coke and the alcopop Hooch, then the early millennial years were defined by craft beer and cocktails with house-made syrups, decorated with petals and poured over custom-carved ice. Which brings us to 2010, when cocktails were presented in anything but a ‘normal’ glass. Champagne flutes were out; tea cups, jam jars and milk jugs were well and truly in. At Purl, a speakeasy bar in Marylebone, I once had a cocktail served in test tubes and another that came with a balloon which, when popped, released flavoured mist. I also sipped from a glass bird in a birdcage in Vijay’s Lounge above the Indian restaurant Lokhandwala in Fitzrovia (www.purllondon.com; www.lokhandwala.co.uk). There were plenty of new bars worth raising a glass to. Created by Ryan Chetiyawardana, Lyaness in Sea Containers London opened in April 2019 and soon made the shortlist for the World’s 50 Best Bars. Two months later came Kwānt, underneath Momo restaurant, which is also on that list. It’s headed up by Erik Lorincz, formerly of the Savoy’s American Bar (www.lyaness.com; www.momo.london). The rise of craft beer led to an increase in microbreweries. The Goodness Brewing Company,, which opened in May near Alexandra Palace, is one of the newest. Co-director Zack Ahmed says: ‘There’s been an explosion of microbreweries over the past 10 years, with more than 100 in
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T H E M O S T FA M O U S G E N T L E M E N ’ S C LU B A N D R E S TA U R A N T I N T H E W O R L D DI S CRE T I O N
QUA L I T Y
S ERV I CE
For Reservations and Enquiries
020 724 0 55 3 4 w w w. s t r i n g f e l l o w s . c o . u k Club open
Monday to Saturday 9.00 pm - 4.30 am or later 16 -1 9 U p p e r St . M a r t i n’s L a n e , L o n d o n WC 2 H 9 E F
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TRADITIONAL PUBS The Blackfriar This Grade II-listed Art Nouveau pub opened 100 years ago. www.nicholsonspubs.co.uk. 174 Queen Victoria St, EC4V 4EG. T: 020-7236 5474. E9. Station: Blackfriars.
Cittie of Yorke The dark nooks and crannies, rafted roof and open fire in this Grade II-listed building take you back to 1430. Enjoy a pint in this atmospheric pub. 22 High Holborn, WC1V 6BN. T: 020-7242 7670. D9. Station: Chancery Lane.
The Dog and Duck A traditional real-ale pub with regularly changing cask beers as well as a great range of pub food and bar snacks. www.nicholsons pubs.co.uk. 18 Bateman St, W1D 3AJ. T: 020-7494 0697. D7. Station: Tottenham Court Road.
v A Christmas carol
‘I will honour Christmas in my heart,’ says Scrooge, the miserly character in Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol Carol. What better way to honour it than at The Great Christmas Feast (24 Dec-12 Jan), in a secret location near Sloane Square? Set on Christmas Eve, it begins with Dickens reading in his study. The event is created by The Lost Estate, which specialises in theatrical dining experiences. Sets are created by the design team Darling and Edge, which has worked with the immersive company Gingerline and Hello Darling. Barbecue specialist Neil Rankin and David Lagonell – the former head chef of Nopi – prepare ingredients with techniques that were popular during Dickens’ time such as pork popcorn, quince and terrine, and pheasant and game platters. Cocktails include spiced apple toddy and sherry cobbler with winter berries, made to the author’s grandson’s recipes. Raise a glass to the roaming musicians. www.greatchristmasfeast.com
The Flask This 17th-century pub in a pretty location is a real step back in time. It is allegedly haunted. www.the flaskhighgate.com. 77 Highgate West Hill, N6 6BU. T: 020-8348 7346. Off map. Station: Highgate.
The George Inn This tucked-away, historic pub was established during the medieval period. www.nationaltrust.org. uk/george-inn. 75-77 Borough High St, SE1 1NH. T: 020-7407 2056. E10. Station: London Bridge.
The Guinea The site of an inn since 1423, this friendly venue has great Young’s ales and bar food. www.theguinea. co.uk. 30 Bruton Place, W1J 6NL. T: 020-7409 1728. E6. Station: Bond Street/Oxford Circus.
The Magpie & Stump
Waxy O’Connor’s This popular Irish venue has four bars split over six levels. It has pub food and live music. www.waxy oconnors.co.uk. 14-16 Rupert St, W1D 6DD. T: 0207287 0255. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
Waxy’s Little Sister A smaller sister venue to Waxy O’Connor’s, serving traditional Irish beers and whiskies, plus bar food. www.waxyoconnors.co.uk. 20 Wardour St, W1D 6QG. T: 020-7287 0255. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese This Grade II-listed pub was built soon after the Great Fire of 1666. 145 Fleet St, EC4A 2BU. T: 020-7353 6170. D9. Station: Blackfriars.
BARS & CLUBS The Back Room
St Pancras Champagne Bar
On level 52 of the Shangri-La Hotel inside The Shard, this is one of London’s highest Champagne bars, ideal for sunset cocktails with jaw-dropping views. Reservations recommended. www.the-shard.com. 31 St Thomas St, SE1 9QU. T: 020-7234 8000. F10. Station: London Bridge.
Order bubbly at Europe’s longest Champagne bar, which overlooks trains. www.stpancrasbysearcys. co.uk. St Pancras International, Upper Concourse, Euston Rd, N1C 4QL. T: 020-7870 9900. C8. Station: King’s Cross St Pancras.
Gordon’s Wine Bar London’s oldest wine bar has been uncorking bottles since 1890 in its candlelit, stonearched basement. Arrive early to grab a table. www.gordonswinebar.com. 47 Villiers St, WC2N 6NE. T: 020-7930 1408. E8. Station: Embankment.
Jack Solomons Club Ring a bell in a kiosk in Soho and you’ll be granted access to this underground bar/club that’s inspired by a boxer. www.jacksolomons.com. 41 Great Windmill St, W1D 7NB. E7. Station: Piccadilly Circus.
Located next to the Hard Rock Cafe, this fun bar displays vintage and iconic music items. www.hardrock.com. 148b Old Park Lane, W1K 1QZ. T: 020-7514 1700. E6. Station: Green Park.
Enjoy Prohibition-era cocktails at this stylish basement bar, with live music most nights. www.barnightjar.com. 129 City Rd, EC1V 1JB. T: 020-7253 4101. C10. Station: Old Street.
This outstanding bar, oozing old-world charm, is renowned for its superior Martinis. www.dukes hotel.com. Dukes London, 35 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NY. T: 020-7491 4840. E7. Station: Green Park.
The bar is named after the British cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, whose caricatures line the walls. www.scarfes bar.com. Rosewood London hotel, 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN. T: 020-3747 8611. D8. Station: Holborn.
CASINOS Hippodrome Casino This landmark venue has fabulous gaming, plus the Heliot Steak House. www.hippodromecasino.com. Cranbourn St, WC2H 7JH. T: 020-7769 8888. E7. Station: Leicester Square.
LIVE ENTERTAINMENT Ronnie Scott’s The world-famous jazz venue has hosted top musicians for more than 50 years including Prince, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Miles Davis. www.ronniescotts.co.uk. 47 Frith St, W1D 4HT. T: 020-7439 0747. D7. Station: Tottenham Court Road/Leicester Square.
Stringfellows Open since 1980, this club was established by the late Peter Stringfellow and is one of the world’s best-known gentlemen’s clubs. Free entry when dining. www.stringfellows.co.uk. 16-19 Upper St Martin’s Lane, WC2H 9EF. T: 020-7240 5534. E8. Station: Leicester Square.
Most bars open 11am-11pm, most nightclubs open 10pm-3am. The UK’s legal drinking age is 18. ID may be required. T: Telephone number. Station: including Underground (’Tube‘) stations, Railway and Docklands Light Railway. References (B5 etc.) are coordinates for the map on p. 72-73. Check for festive hours
IMAGE COURTESY OF THE GREAT CHRISTMAS FEAST. PREVIOUS PAGE: IMAGES COURTESY OF THE VENUES
This pub dates back to the 1500s and doubled up as a viewing spot for hangings. Closed weekends. www.magpieandstump.com. 18 Old Bailey, EC4M 7EP. T: 020-7248 5085. D9. Station: St Paul’s.
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The Society of the Golden Keys of Great Britain (Les Clefs d’Or) welcomes the world’s travel & tourism industry
Preferred charity partner
Please visit the concierge desk during your stay - nobody knows the UK like Les Clefs d’Or.
‘ One-stop shops have become big business’
Lily Allen, to treatments you can access. Openings include Harvey Nichols’ REVIV and Harrods’ The Wellness Clinic, where Cowshed at Selfridges you can have vitamin drip injections. If you’re really stuck for time, now there are salons to help you – fast. Cowshed leads the way: it offers hair removal in five minutes and a scalp massage in 15 minutes. It’s not just about salons; with Treatwell you can book a treatment on the go and Urban Massage lets you schedule a massage in your hotel room. If you’re jet-lagged and need a haircut, then visit Neil Cornelius. The 24-hour hair salon means that no matter which time zone you came from, every day can be a great hair day. This has been the decade where the metrosexual man has found his home. Ted’s Grooming Rooms opened and offers traditional shaves, while Banya No 1, a Russian bathhouse, has men-only days where you can be thrashed by twigs – and enjoy vodka. One-stop shops have become big business and hair salons have led the way as multipurpose venues: Hershesons opened in
REVIV at Harvey Nichols
Fitzrovia offering blow dries, waxing, nail treatments and a café; Blade Hairclub in Soho has a hairdressers, an espresso bar and cocktail bar; and at Barber & Parlour in Shoreditch you can get groomed, eat, drink and watch a film. As technology advances and wellness is approached more holistically, we can only hope that the next decade sees fewer crazes and more classics.
KOHINOOR SAHOTA Wellness Editor
COWSHED © RACHEL MANNS; ALL OTHER IMAGES COURTESY OF THE SALONS
Over the past decade we have been introduced to the Hollywood, brotox, vampire – as well as foreskin – facials. But one of the ongoing changes on the spa scene is how they are not only covering your physical health, but also your mental health: mindfulness has become the biggest buzzword of the past 10 years. Take Bamford Haybarn Spa, with branches in Knightsbridge and Brompton Cross. A rarity in London, the latter location has a giant, airy, light-filled room where you can practise yoga and meditation. You can also book sessions with a spiritual and Daoist expert. Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that one of the biggest trends has been the rise in botulinum toxin, better known as Botox. The use of Botox, which is injected in the face and relaxes muscles to lessen the appearance of wrinkles, moved from the likes of Harley Street to the high street. Clinics have been filling the gap – as it were – for people who do not want full-on surgery. Dr Sebagh, whose clinic is loved by beauty journalists, says: ‘It’s the little black dress; it will never go out of fashion.’ Proving that celebrities do not just set fashion but also wellness trends, vitamin drips have gone from being Instagram stories posted by the likes of Kendall Jenner, Rihanna and 68 W H E R E LO N D O N I D E C E M B E R 2019
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SPAS Bamford Haybarn Spa First opened in the Cotswolds and loved by celebrities, this is the spa’s city branch. Treatments take a holistic approach to wellbeing, using botanical products. There is also a rooftop pool. www.the-berkeley.co.uk. The Berkeley hotel, Wilton Place, SW1X 7RL (and branch). T: 020-7201 1699. F6. Station: Knightsbridge.
Body Relaxation High-quality, deep-tissue massage in your hotel room, apartment or the Sloane Street studio. Open until late. T: 07906-029577.
Bvlgari Spa This award-winning spa has 11 private treatment rooms and one double spa suite, with its own steam room, jacuzzi and treatment room. There’s also a fitness area and an exquisite 25m swimming pool. www.bulgarihotels.com. 171 Knightsbridge, SW7 1DW. T: 020-7151 1055. F6. Station: Knightsbridge.
Chuan Spa Step inside this luxury spa, which uses the principles of Chinese medicine to rebalance your mind, body and spirit. There is a VIP suite for couples. www.chuanspa.com. The Langham, 1c Portland Place, Regent St, W1B 1JA. T: 0207973 7550. D6. Station: Oxford Circus.
Elemis Day Spa Situated in Mayfair, this spa specialises in facials that tackle ageing, pigmentation and blemishes. The Penthouse is a private suite that you can share with a guest: upgrade your experience with a bottle of Champagne. The Speed Spa offers treatments in 30 minutes. www.elemis.com/ dayspa. 2 Lancashire Court, W1S 1EX. T: 020-7499 4995. E6. Station: Bond Street.
Mandara Spa Spa with a contemporary edge and a luxurious Asian touch. The decor features a bamboo forest, Mondrian paintings and Japanese Shoji screens. Signature treatments include the warm bamboo massage. There is a double treatment room, fitness centre and swimming pool. www.mandaraspa.com. Park Plaza, 200 Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7UT. T: 020-7620 7300. F8. Station: Waterloo.
Mandarin Oriental Fresh from a refurbishment, this luxury spa is inspired by Chinese treatments. The menu offers scrubs, massages and facials. www.mandarin oriental.com. 66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA. T: 020-7235 2000. F5. Station: Knightsbridge.
One Aldwych This spa offers a range of treatments including massages, manicures and waxing. Brands used are Natura Bissé and Oskia. The health club is excellent, while the pool is chlorine-free and has underwater music. www.onealdwych.com. One Aldwych, WC2B 4BZ. T: 020-7300 0600. D8. Station: Covent Garden.
The Refinery Men-only spa with treatments ranging from sports massages to traditional shaves. If you want to master a wet shave, you can book a lesson. www.the-refinery.com. 60 Brook St, W1K 5DU (and Harrods branch). T: 020-7409 2001. E6. Station: Bond Street.
Rocco Forte at Brown’s Hotel An oasis of calm in the West End, boasting a premium selection of treatments and a 24-hour gym. Luxury treatments include a Gold AgeDefying Facial and Carat Diamond Face and Body Ritual, while there are also treatments for two. Brands used include Forte Organics and Spiezia Organics. www.brownshotel.com. Albemarle St, W1S 4BP. T: 020-7518 4009. E7. Station: Green Park.
The Spa at Dolphin Square Moroccan-inspired luxury. Signature massages include the Moroccan Majorelle and Arabian Ceremony. Treatments can be combined with a hammam. There is also a menu for bridal and hen parties. www.dolphinsquare.co.uk/spa. Chichester St, SW1V 3LX. T: 020-7798 6767. Off map. Station: Pimlico.
Spa Illuminata Enjoy this holistic skin and body-care haven. The menu includes facials and massages for men and women. Anti-ageing treatments include anti-wrinkle injections and skin peels. www.spa illuminata.com. 63 South Audley St, W1K 2QS. T: 020-7499 7777. E6. Station: Marble Arch.
AVENA MASSAGE by qualified female masseuse
Total relaxation, revitalising massage Please call to book an appointment at your hotel, home or our studio on:
Ushvani This plush spa in Chelsea has won many awards. Its philosophy is based on ancient Asian culture and takes a holistic approach to pampering. Treatments include the Malay and Balinese massage, which incorporates herbs, spices and flowers. Look out for yoga classes, too. www.ushvani.com. 1 Cadogan Gardens, SW3 2RJ. T: 020-7730 2888. G5. Station: Sloane Square.
LATE APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE
SALONS Gentlemen’s Tonic This is a stylish, men-only grooming establishment with a barbershop, body and hair treatments and products. www.gentlemenstonic.com. 31a Bruton Place, W1J 6NN. T: 020-7297 4343. E6. Station: Bond Street.
Geo F Trumper A traditional barbershop in Mayfair, which offers wet shaves, manicures and haircuts for an elegant result. www.trumpers.com. 9 Curzon St, W1J 5HQ. T: 020-7499 1850. E6. Station: Green Park.
Hershesons At this trendy hairdressers, you can choose your favourite fashion-forward look from a menu and a stylist will create it. www.hershesons.com. Selfridges, 400 Oxford St, W1A 1AB (and branches). T: 020-7493 1600. E6. Station: Bond Street.
BODY RELAXATION Alina from Denmark offers a high quality, super relaxing, full body massage directly in your hotel room or apartment or at our Sloane Street studio. Open late.
Please call: 07906 029577
Jo Hansford This hair salon, which is home to top stylists, is renowned for its colour correction work. The salon also has a chef. www.johansford.com. 48 South Audley St, W1K 2QB. T: 020-7495 7774. E6. Station: Marble Arch.
Windle & Moodie Award-winning hair salon specialising in catwalk looks for women. The 20-minute Speed Styling service offers styles from updos to braids. The salon uses Bumble & Bumble products. www.windleandmoodie.com. 41-45 Shorts Gardens, WC2H 9AP. T: 020-7497 2393. D8. Station: Covent Garden.
T: Telephone number. Station: including Underground (’Tube‘), railway and Docklands Light Railway. Most spas are open seven days a week, but please check for festive hours. References at the end of listings (B5 etc.) are coordinates for the map on p. 72-73
INSPIRING LONDON’S VISITORS
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TICKET INFORMATION Oyster cards & Travelcards An Oyster card is a pre-paid travel smart card. It’s a cheap way to pay for single journeys by bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail train services in London. You can buy a Visitor Oyster card before you leave home for a £5 fee and pre-load it with credit at www.visitorshop.tfl.gov.uk. The system has nine zones. Zone 1 is in central London. Visitors can buy Oyster cards and Day Travelcards from stations, Visitor Centres and any Oyster Ticket Shop. UK visitors can also pay for their travel with a UK-issued contactless payment card. See www.tfl.gov.uk/visitinglondon. An Oyster card also gives you a 25 per cent discount on London’s cable car, the Emirates Air Line and a 10 per cent discount on single journeys on most Thames Clippers river buses. For more info, visit www.visitorshop.tfl.gov.uk.
GETTING AROUND For 24-hour travel information, visit the Transport for London (TfL) website. www.tfl.gov.uk/ visitinglondon or call T: 0343-222 1234.
London Underground (The Tube) www.tfl.gov.uk. See London Underground map (above). Services run Mon-Sat 5am-12.30am and Sun 7.30am-11.30pm on most routes. The Night
Tube service runs Fri-Sat on the Central, Jubilee, Northern (via Embankment), Piccadilly and Victoria lines. Fares vary; a Zone 1 adult fare costs £4.90 (£2.40 with an Oyster card).
London Buses London buses run 5am-12.30am. Night buses (midnight-4.30am) operate on main routes (several services are 24-hour). You can’t pay for a bus fare with cash, so use a Visitor Oyster card, Oyster card, Travelcard or a UK-issued contactless payment card. A single fare is £1.50 with an Oyster card or a UK-issued contactless payment card. You can make unlimited additional bus and tram journeys for free within one hour of first touching in. Visit www.tfl.gov.uk/buses.
London Overground www.tfl.gov.uk. Trains run Mon-Sat 5am-midnight; Sun 7am-11.30pm on most routes. Please check for 24-hour services at weekends.
Docklands Light Railway (DLR) Trains run approximately every three-anda-half minutes to 10 minutes. Mon-Sat 5.30am12.30am; Sun 7am-11pm. T: 0345-222 1234.
Trains Paddington serves the West Country, Wales and the South Midlands. Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street serve East Anglia and Essex.
Euston King’s Cross St Pancras Marylebone and St Pancras King’s Cross International (connects to St Pancras) serve north, central and south-east UK. Charing Cross London Bridge Waterloo and Victoria serve southern England. Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk St Pancras or call T: 0345-748 4950. Eurostar uses International. Visit www.eurostar.com. Call T: 0344-822 4777 (from outside the UK, T: 03432-186 186).
Accessible London Get information for deaf and disabled travellers, including step-free journeys on the Tube, bus and river services at www.visitlondon.com/access and www.openbritain.net.
Taxis You can hail a black cab (taxi) in the street. Fares increase after 8pm. You cannot hail private-hire cabs or minicabs, which you must book. We advise against using any vehicle that approaches you in the street, except licensed black cabs. www.tfl.gov.uk.
Congestion and Emissions Charges There is a charge to drive in central London, MonFri 7am-6pm. Pay in advance or on the day (£11.50), or after (£14). This area is also the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ); cars must meet emissions standards or pay a further daily charge. T: 0343-222 2222. www.cclondon.com.
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Original Bus Tour Xxxxxxxx
CONCIERGE Richie Long ,
Head concierge at 11 Cadogan Gardens Somerset House
Afternoon tea at 11 Cadogan Gardens
Any strange requests?
What’s your dream day in London?
I’ve been asked where Hugh Grant lives.
Listening to classical music at Cadogan Hall, such as the work of Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. It makes me wish I had taken up the piano rather than the accordian at school.
What’s your most popular request? A table at the local private members’ club, Raffles, which is famous for hosting a young Prince Harry.
How can visitors see London in a day? Take The Original London Sightseeing Tour for the best views of the capital.
What’s beyond zone 2? Brentford Football Club, a personal favourite. It’s the only football ground with a pub on every corner, so most visitors never make it to the kick-off! Or take a stroll around Richmond Park – just watch out for the deer.
What should families do? Teenagers should go to Camden and get a rude T-shirt that will shock their nan.
What should repeat visitors do? Visit our hotel’s Chelsea Bar, where mixologist Carmine has created a menu with eight Negronis to celebrate the iconic Italian apéritif’s centenary.
Share a hidden gem. The Nags Head in Belgravia’s Kinnerton Street, south of Hyde Park. So many celebrities visit – it’s like Madame Tussauds with beer.
A quintessentially British experience? Go ice skating outside at Somerset House or the Natural History Museum, then warm up with a hot chocolate afterwards.
Any romantic ideas? Take them to see ET accompanied by a live orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall (8 Dec).
What can visitors do when it rains?
ORIGINAL BUS TOUR © GRANT ROONEY; SOMERSET HOUSE © LUKE DYSON; RICHIE LONG AND AFTERNOON TEA COURTESY OF 11 CADOGAN GARDENS; ROYAL ALBERT HALL © PAUL SANDERS
Royal Albert Hall
Sit in The Chelsea Bar drinking Carmine’s award-winning Negronis until it stops.
Make sure your driving licence is valid for the UK and see ‘Congestion and Emissions Charges’ (p. 70). Hertz: T: 0870-844 8844. www.hertz.co.uk. Kendall Cars Ltd: T: 0800-770 007. www.kendall cars.com. Enterprise Rent-A-Car: T: 0800-800 227. www.enterprise.co.uk. Miles & Miles: T: 020-7591 0555. www.milesandmiles.co.uk.
It’s often quicker to get around London on foot. Look out for blue and yellow Legible London street maps. www.tfl.gov.uk/legiblelondon.
River services www.tfl.gov.uk/river Thames Clippers: www.thamesclippers.com. Thames Clippers River Bus serves 23 piers, with departures every 20 minutes. Adult prices start from £4.40. River Roamer ticket (unlimited hop-on/hop-off all day from 9am) adult £19.80, child £9.90; family (two adults, up to three children) £39.60, children under five travel free. There are also discounts available on Thames Clippers with a TfL Travelcard, Oyster, via the app or online.
Emirates Air Line cable car London’s only cable car runs across the River Thames between Greenwich Peninsula (The O2) and the Royal Docks (ExCeL London). You can board from the North Greenwich or Royal Victoria sides of the river (return flights are available). Buy a combined ticket with Thames Clippers and London Transport Museum. Cabins arrive every 30 seconds and the journey takes five to 10 minutes. www.tfl.gov.uk/emiratesairline.
Why is 11 Cadogan Gardens special? Lord Chelsea built four separate townhouses in the 19th century, which later became our hotel. One of the suites still has a private entrance, which is perfect for when our high-profile VIP guests are staying.
Santander Cycles There are 11,500 bikes for hire from 750 docking stations throughout central London. £2 to hire a bike for 24 hours and the first 30 mins of each journey are free. There’s no need to book, but you need a debit or credit card to hire a bike. Visit www.tfl.gov.uk/santandercycles or call T: 0343-222 6666.
Coaches London’s main coach services use Victoria Coach Station, a central hub that offers travel to destinations around the UK and some parts of Europe, such as France and the Netherlands. SW1W 9TP. T: 0343-222 1234. www.tfl.gov.uk/ coaches Station: Victoria. D4.
DELIVERY Mail Boxes Etc. Worldwide parcel delivery, courier and postal services. There are 1,600 stores worldwide and more than 150 stores in the UK and Ireland. Mail Boxes provides trained, certified packers. There is also a digital printing and copy service. T: 01608-649230. www.mbe.co.uk/london.
24-hour Tube lines
The service runs on Fridays and Saturdays on the following lines. • Jubilee line: Across the entire line • Victoria line: Across the entire line • Northern line: Between Morden and Camden Town and between Camden Town and High Barnet/Edgware • Piccadilly line: Between Cockfosters and Heathrow Terminal 5 • Central line: Between White City and Leytonstone; between Ealing Broadway and White City; and between Leytonstone and Loughton/Hainault www.wheretraveler.com 71
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XFORD STREET STORE. A GREAT BRITISH FAVOURITE.
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Michael Brandon is starring in White Christmas. Born in New York, he now lives in London. He starred in the TV show Dempsey and Makepeace and in the stage shows Jerry Springer: The Opera and Singing in the Rain
Which is your favourite building? The MI5 building is one of my favourites; all that sandstone and green. If they turned it into apartments, it would be phenomenal.
The Ivy MI5
Where do you like to shop? When I do wardrobes for films, I go to Selfridges as it’s easy to try lots of designers, especially suits. Tell us your favourite park... Richmond – it’s like a wonder of the world. There are herds of deer. You’ll see a thousand little Bambis and ones with huge antlers. Seasons go by and they just roam. I used to jog there – now I go there for my walks. How do you like to get around the city? I used to get my driver to take a back seat so I could drive and discover the city. This is a great city for walking. I used to prefer driving in my own car, with my own route. Where do you go to drink? Tramp nightclub. Johnny Gold, the founder of Tramp, was my best man at my wedding. I was given his number by three different people: Robert Culp, Michael Douglas and Rod Stewart. I didn’t know it was the phone number of the same guy! I used to have dinner and drinks there until the early hours.
What do you like doing for entertainment? Good theatre is truly a wonderful thing. There’s a place in Barnes called Olympic Studios, which used to be a famous recording studio. They were going to tear it down, then they turned it into a cinema and restaurants. You can sit in a comfy chair and see a movie. Where do you like to eat out? The Ivy on the King’s Road is great for dinner. Actually, any Ivy is great. My favourite place for lunch is Colbert, a French café. Which is your favourite hotel? The Draycott, off Sloane Square. I did a play about it! My oldest friend works in PR and he’s stayed there over the past 25 years. What makes London stand out from the rest of the world? Well, it’s home. It has been home for a long time. It was hard to get used to the weather – but there’s more to life than weather. When the sun is out the people just change, they are happy, they sit outside and fill the
parks. London is a centre – although it’s not in the middle of Europe – it’s the centre of Europe. You can go to Paris for the weekend. The whole world is accessible from here. Tell us about winter in London. There are people I know who get sick of LA and the sunshine. They want to feel the brisk air, seasons changing and put on coats. How do you celebrate Christmas? We used to go to LA, but it doesn’t feel like Christmas there anymore. London has snowed the past few years but now I can’t go anywhere as I have a puppy. It’s like having a baby. Why should people see White Christmas? White Christmas is an absolute winner. It makes you feel good; it makes your eyes well up and fills your heart. It gives you that festive feeling – people helping people. You know what you’re going to get and it’s good! To 4 Jan. Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Rd, W1T 7AQ. T: 020-7927 0900. www.dominion.theatre-tickets.com
WHITE CHRISTMAS © OLIVER ROSSER AND MICHAEL WHARLEY; MICHAEL BRANDON PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHAEL BRANDON; THE IVY IMAGE COURTESY OF THE IVY; ALL OTHER IMAGES © ISTOCK
Which museums do you like? The British Museum. Also, if you’re a tourist with kids, go to Exhibition Road: you have the Science Museum, where anyone of any age can get lost. I remember doing that when my son was small. I filmed the last episode of Dempsey and Makepeace among the dinosaurs in the Natural History Museum, and it was cinematically beautiful.
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Enjoy experiences, surprises and seasonal treats to welcome back The Spirit of Christmas for 2019 Find more about Christmas at: regentstreetonline.com
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