Matt WestMATT WEST
MANDARIN ORIENTAL HYDE PARK, LONDON
PHONE: +44 (0)20 7235 2000
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.