- Food & Drink
- Design & Culture
- Cars, Jets & Yachts
By Chris | October 24 2007
Ten concierge experts from top London hotels give us their recommendation for your stay in London.
Get up nice and early and head to Hyde Park Stables to meet your four-legged partner for an early morning gallop along the famous Rotten Row in Hyde Park. An absolutely stunning way to energize yourself for the day ahead and catch a special glimpse of London before it’s wiped the sleep out of its eyes.
Head to Borough Market (Thur-Sat), getting there no later than 09:30, if possible. If you’re early some of the stallholders are still setting up and you can really take in the atmosphere of a true London market. Take a good look at all the artisan breads, cheeses and charcuteries, tasting as you go! Then make your purchases and have a wonderful fresh breakfast before the hungry hordes descend. Pure magic.
Work off that indulgent breakfast by taking a lazy stroll along the Southbank from London Bridge to Westminster, walking alongside the river and exploring the local area. Sights along the way include Southwark Cathedral, Tate Modern, Clink Prison Museum, the Golden Hinde, Shakespeare’s Globe, the London Aquarium and Gabriel’s Wharf. You’ll also encounter mime artists and street entertainers along the route by the Royal Festival Hall.
On arrival at Westminster you are ready to board your private capsule on the London Eye. The champagne is chilled and ready and the views are all yours to share.
Now it’s back to the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park for a late lunch at London’s latest restaurant sensation, our very own Bar Boulud.
The Mandarin Spa awaits for your luxurious two-hour pampering ritual.
Off to the Tower you go, for the Ceremony of the Keys, the traditional locking up of the Tower of London that has taken place every night, without fail, for at least 700 years. The importance of securing this fortress for the night is still very relevant because, although the monarch no longer resides at this royal palace, the Crown Jewels and many other valuables still do.
Dinner at Hakkasan, my all-time favorite restaurant in the city. This Michelin-starred modern Chinese restaurant has long been appreciated by those in the know and just gets better and better with time. Secure a reservation to truly experience the buzz that sets this restaurant apart. Whenever I have guests in town I just love to see their reaction as they walk into this amazing dining room for the first time and feel the energy. The food is also amazing; the dim sum platter, soft-shell crab and honeyed Chilean sea bass are my top tips.
For those still with energy, take a trip to Les Ambassadeurs, one of London’s most stylish and exclusive casinos which also boasts the private members club The Red Room.
Enjoy a healthy start to the day with an organic breakfast at The Grill at The Dorchester featuring the best of British produce.
See London’s sights from the water on a river cruise from the Tower of London to Westminster.
Explore Westminster Abbey with its stunning Gothic architecture and more than 700 years’ worth of history.
Stroll past Downing Street towards The National Gallery, London’s premier art gallery displaying masters like Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Renoir.
Wander up to Covent Garden for a light lunch of the finest seafood and a glass of champagne at J Sheekey Oyster Bar.
Book an appointment with a personal shopper at Harrods for a luxurious and bespoke shopping experience.
Dine at Zuma, a trendy Knightsbridge restaurant offering contemporary Japanese izakaya-style cuisine.
Dance the night away to live music at the fashionable Dover Street Wine Bar.
Start the day with breakfast at Princi on Wardour Street followed by a visit to the Wallace Collection on Manchester Square.
For the whole London shopping experience, walk from there to Marylebone Lane and on to St. Christopher’s Place, cross Oxford Street and walk down South Molton Street, then Avery Row. Walk down Bond Street, then turn left along Vigo Street, and back into Soho. Have lunch sitting at the bar at Bocca di Lupo for great modern Italian food. Visit Milroy’s of Soho and purchase an indulgent bottle of whiskey for someone as a gift. Shop for designer clothes at Oxygen on East Castle Street. Relax with a coffee at Flat White on Brewer Street, Soho. Walk south through Chinatown and visit the National Gallery. Dinner at J Sheekey’s for fantastic fish and good people watching.
Start off the day with a full English breakfast at The Wolseley.
Return to The May Fair to meet a personal shopping guide for a tour of Grays Antique Market, home to one of the world’s largest and most diverse collections of fine antiques, jewelry and vintage fashion.
Then on to Burlington Arcade, London’s first shopping arcade, which opened in 1819. It’s the longest covered shopping street in England and is renowned throughout the world for its individuality and craftsmanship.
After shopping, relax for lunch at Gordon Ramsay’s one Michelin-starred Murano. Enjoy the arts and history in the afternoon with a visit to The Wallace Collection.
Take a tour of one of London’s hidden gems, Apsley House, once home to the Duke of Wellington. It’s also known as Number One London, because it was the first house encountered when coming from the countryside through the toll gates at Knightsbridge. It boasts one of the finest art collections in London, with paintings by Velazquez and Rubens.
Dine at two-star Michelin The Square for dinner. For a nightcap, stop by The May Fair Bar, a popular hotspot for celebrities.
Fortnum & Mason and LibertyHamleys
Go underground for a peek at the Churchill War Cabinet Museum.
Take in a classic Shakespearian drama at the Globe Theatre in Blackfriars, or check out the stately Wallace Collection in Manchester Square.
Don’t miss Portobello Road either, and if it’s sunny, hire out a bicycle with Fat Tyre and take a cycle tour of London in the fresh air.
Covent Garden Hotel
Phone: +44 (0)20 7806 1000
Take a stroll down Mount Street and visit some of London’s top designer boutiques from Balenciaga and Christian Louboutin to Marc Jacobs, then pop into Scott’s for a bite to eat.
After this, you could move along to Bruton Street off Berkeley Square where you can find more boutiques, including Diane von Furstenberg, Matthew Williamson and Stella McCartney for the lady, with Brioni and Holland & Holland for the gentleman. This part of town also offers you the chance to drop into several art galleries.
If you still need more retail therapy, you have Bond Street and Savile Row just around the corner.
Address: 20 Mount Street, W1K 2HE
For a complete shopping experience, visit this enormous department store in the heart of London. It offers designer brands galore, whatever you are after.
A trip out to Kew Gardens and lunch at Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, off Petersham Road, Richmond, Surrey.
The Metropolitan Hotel
Phone: +44 (0)20 7447 1000
Breakfast at The Wolseley, and then walk through Jermyn Street and historic St James’s Square to Trafalgar Square.
A private tour of the highlights of The National Gallery followed by lunch at Yauatcha, arguably the best Dim Sum in London.
Shopping time: walk through buzzy Carnaby Street to Liberty, the iconic British store combining rich tradition with an eclectic mix of established and future design classics.
Visit Bond Street, Bruton Street and Mount Street for old school English retailers conveniently en route back to the hotel. Return to The Metropolitan Hotel to enjoy Afternoon Delight in the Lobby Lounge.
Take in a West End show with a distinctly British feel, for example the award-winning production War Horse, which has superb puppetry on a life-size scale in a moving and ultimately very human drama set in the throes of the World War I.
Post-theater dinner at J Sheekey Oyster Bar, a short walk from the theater. Be dazzled by the amazing fish and oysters in one of London’s most celebrated nightspots. You never know who you might spy there!
Leisurely in-room breakfast, taking in expansive park views from your Metropolitan Room.
Enjoy a morning river journey down the Thames to the Tate Modern, seeing London from a different perspective. Arrive at the gallery early to enjoy the space and tranquility before the crowds build. Stroll along the Southbank to Westminster returning through St James’s Park and Green Park.
Sunday lunch at Corrigan’s Mayfair: experience the very best of British cuisine, having worked up an appetite on the way. If you still have the energy, head through Hyde Park to the Victoria & Albert Museum and Natural History Museum.
Address: 19 Old Park Lane, W1K 1LB
Address: 66-70 Brewer Street, W1F 9UP
Cuisine: Fish & Seafood
Address: 20 Mount Street, W1K 2HE
Address: 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, W1K 7EH
A well-loved emporium of the beautiful and the bizarre. Excellent place for buying unusual and luxurious gifts.
Dover Street Market, 17-18 Dover Street, W1S 4LT
Unlike any other shop in London, each of the five floors of Dover Street Market is home to a unique collection of clothes, shoes and jewelry. The setting – an incredible warehouse-style space – is very avant garde, offering a fascinating concept and surreal design, making it more like a museum than a store. But then what you would expect from the designers of Comme des Garçons? You will find here limited edition pieces from countless independent designers as well as classics by Lanvin, Alaia and John Galliano.
London RIB trip
If you are a real thrill seeker, then it must be the London RIB (rigid inflatable boat) experience. On this, you shoot along the Thames at full speed in one of their boats (similar to the ones the SAS use), whilst enjoying the fastest ever sightseeing tour London has to offer.