When you think of London it’s easy to picture the iconic landmarks that served as a backdrop for last year’s summer Olympics; Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and the MillenniumWheel. But London has more to offer the discerning visitor than sightseeing alone and is the ideal location to experience a traditional and luxurious break steeped in history, culture and fine dining. The city is also home to many of the world’s best shopping districts including Bond Street renowned for its extensive range of high class designer shops and Savile Row, home of the best bespoke tailoring since the 17th century. If you want to discover a traditional and truly British experience the capital city has something to suit everyone’s tastes.
The Royal Wedding in 2011 and the Queens Jubilee last year reminded everyone about the pomp and ceremony which is an intrinsic part of the traditions of London. The unique and spectacular ritual of the Changing of the Guard happens on a daily basis in the summer as does the Ceremony of the Keys, the nightly lock up of the Tower of London.
Staying in central London offers you the convenience of having everything at your doorstep and there’s somewhere to suit all tastes and budgets. For a real treat splash out on one of the luxury hotels in London (http://www.guoman.com/en/index.html) where you’ll enjoy first class service. The Royal Horseguards hotel has a stunning location on the banks of the River Thames and lets you experience a truly British way of life. The hotel was awarded membership of the esteemed Tea Guild in 2012 so taking a traditional afternoon tea in The Lounge should not be missed. If you fancy a drink stronger than tea you might consider visiting one the capital’s fine whisky bars -Boisdales on Canary Wharf has a reputation for being one of the best. It serves a selection of over 1,000 malt whiskies in a luxurious and vibrant setting.
Heritage in London
London is a historically rich city and home to many of the finest buildings, gardens and museums that welcome visitors. Art Deco decadence can be seen first-hand at the glorious Eltham Palace, a medieval royal palace which was bought and extended by the wealthy textile Courtauld family in the 1930s. Set in beautiful gardens and featuring a gold plated bathroom and stunning original art deco interiors this really does transport you back to elegant days gone by. By contrast the Design Museum (http://designmuseum.org/) gives you the opportunity to glimpse the city’s future heritage and showcases contemporary design of all kinds; architecture, fashion, furniture and graphics.
The city continues to flourish dynamically and is today regarded as one of the most modern and cosmopolitan cities in the world. Cutting edge fashion and design are at the forefront but its roots are firmly placed in the past. Savile Row, in Mayfair, continues to uphold its traditional design ethics and remains home to the master craftsmen of fine tailoring. No.1 Savile Row has been home to the luxury brand of Gieves and Hawkes for over 100 years but newer stores continues to open; Richard James at 29 Savile Row provides bespoke suits for David Beckham and Bryan Ferry. Most bespoke suits take 6 to 8 weeks to make and will cost upwards of £3,500 but their quality, fit and cut will be unparalleled.
London truly is a cultural feast where heritage, tradition and luxury merge together for an unforgettable experience. Will the capital city be on your travel itinerary this year?