It doesn’t happen often but a few months ago, my husband and I got to enjoy a lovely last minute mini break in London. We began by looking for last-minute deals for high-end hotels and in the blink of an eye we were on our way. All thank to the the Voyage Privé website which has a super selection of mini-break options in London to choose from. This has prompted me to share my ideal weekend in London. I wonder what would be on your list?
A top attraction first
On the morning of day one I like to throw myself straight into one of the top attractions, so there’s mistaking I am back in our glorious capital city! My favourites are the Tower of London, HMS Belfast, the Tate Galleries, the Portrait Gallery, National History Museum and the London Eye. There are so many to choose from, depending on your mood, including the Transport Museum, London Dungeons, Madame Tussauds, Science Museum, Imperial War Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
London is one of the top city break destinations in the world for shopping. So, for me no visit is complete without getting lost for an hour or so in at least one of the iconic department stores; Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols, Libertys or the Flagship stores on Oxford Street. For a spot of window shopping, I love Old Bond Street where you find the likes of Tiffanys, Prada and Stella McCartney.
Dining Out in Style
Ok so if we are spending one night in London, this calls for for a world-class dinner reservation. Favourites of mine include Petrus by Gordon Ramsey, Nobu, Bluebird, The Ivy not forgetting the dizzying hights of the Oxo Tower and The Shard. I also enjoy discovering independent gems, in Mayfair’s Shepherd Market or somewhere like Popina off Berkley Square for its dreamy pastries and cakes.
Show-stopping Live Theatre
There is an unrivalled selection of theatres in London and I don’t think a stopover in London is complete without tickets. From a live show in the West End, to breath-taking ballet and opera at the Royal Opera House or Saddlers Wells. Don’t forget Royal Festival Hall, The Albert Hall, the historic Globe Theatre, plus live comedy and household singers/bands in venues all around the City.
With a coffee and pastry in hand, I usually start day two with a bit of stillness and quiet in the park. It’s a chance to reflect on the day before and sets me up for the hustle and bustle of the city again. Hyde Park is very popular, but my favourite is St James’ with its view of Buckingham Palace. It’s central enough to just get away for an hour or so and I always relish approaching it from The Mall, imagining all the pomp and pageantry that has trodden the road before me.
Whistle-stop Sight Seeing
So many hot spots to choose from, but I nearly always visit Horse Guards Parade after leaving St James’ Park, to see the horses. The little museum there is well-worth a visit too nd on my next visit, I really must visit the nearby Churchill War Rooms. From Horse Gaurads Parade §nyou can easily take in the sights of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, the fabulous views of the river and London Eye from Westminster Bridge and Trafalgar Square. Of course, you could take the option to jump onboard a London Tour Bus or take the Clipper up the Thames to save your legs!
When it’s time for a mooch, there is always something to see on the lively South Bank and Convent Garden. I love the sights, smells and tastes of Borough Market and the diverse, distinct feel of Camden and colourful streets of Notting Hill. There are lesser known boroughs I like too, such as Bermondsey Street with its many independent eateries and the, traditional British public house, The Garrison (you might see a famous face). Net time I would like to visit Brick Lane with its chilled-out vibe, promising quirky shops & bars, food stalls and flea markets.