My favourite things to do in London!
As Great Britain is our nearest neighbour I thought I would commence my travel writings in London. I love cities and I love London for its buzz, history and style.
You can visit on a blow out and or on a budget and still do wonderful things there. The one thing I love about London is that the attractions are not just for tourists… you always see loads of locals enjoying the experience as well.
Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Marble Arch, Big Ben, the iconic red double-decker bus are all on the tourist map but I am going to tell you about my favourite gems.
Now if you like the theatre and like me you like a bargain , the discount theatre ticket booth, TKTS, in Leicester Square (tkts.co.uk) should be top of your list. Arrive early about 8.30 am to get the best choice of shows for the evening. Then visit Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch and turn left to watch the Queen’s Life Guard trot up the Mall on their horses for the Changing of the Guard at about 10.30am.
I love to take a wander around the National Gallery which is a treasure trove , you could spend the day here, I usually spend an hour! But I love the experience
St James’s is my favourite area upmarket and traditional menswear, and small department stores and the Floris shop , which are the toiletries we stock in the Park Hotel Kenmare.
If you want love and need street fashion, the only way is Oxford and Regent streets.
Escape from the main shopping area to St Christopher’s Place , which is full of great restaurants or South Molton Street( full of coffee shops) and watch the world go by!
The Tate Modern ranks among London’s most-visited attractions. Part of its appeal is the building itself, fashioned by architects Herzog and De Meuron from a vast disused power station on the Thames’s south bank. In addition to blockbuster exhibits and live events, the gallery invites a prominent artist every year to transform its cavernous turbine hall.
It would be easy to spend the entire day in the gallery, but you might want to get out and walk around the neighbourhood, nearby Borough Market, where the delis and restaurants are open all week and a farmer’s market operates Friday and Saturday. Directly across the river from the Tate is St Paul’s Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren’s most celebrated building.
If you like celebrity watching, head to Le Caprice, a sleek art deco brasserie just behind the Ritz hotel, the Ivy or J. Sheekey; the latter two are in London’s theaterland. Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair , serving simple seafood and game dishes, perfectly executed and perfectly served. The most intimate of the bunch is J. Sheekey, a fish restaurant with leather banquettes, paneled walls and an impressive art collection. The Wolseley is another favourite beside the Ritz. If you feel like a wonderful hotel experience it has to Claridges , if only for a cup of coffee and to use the facilities. This Art Deco gem is flawless. The Goring is another favourite which is steeped in tradition.
Berry Bros. & Rudd is Britain’s oldest wine merchant on St James’s Street since 1698, and remains one of the world’s leading purveyors of fine wine. Despite its pedigree, it’s not snobbish. Staff happily chat about the virtues of the cheaper wines and spirits they sell, alongside the rarest vintages. I love to wander in, I never tell them I don’t drink!