London never disappoints. This return trip was extra special as Gordon and I were visiting our daughter, Anna, who is studying abroad at King’s College. Although a few days isn’t enough time to hit all the highlights in this amazing city, you can cover a lot of territory in a short stay. We were fortunate to experience a few new and exclusive activities provided by CTTW’s wonderful London onsite/partner NOTEWORTHY.
Gordon, Anna, and I got to go “behind the glass” with Phil, the engaging and knowledgeable director of the Churchill War Rooms, a must-visit destination where Winston Churchill orchestrated his World War II strategy. This bunker below bustling London remains exactly as it was then, preserved in time. We sat in the great man’s chair (Churchill’s, not Phil’s, although he is a good man, too). We were able to go “behind the gates” at Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guards and were lucky enough to be there when the Queen’s Gurka soldiers joined in the procession, which is rare. NOTEWORTHY has access to the most sought-after tickets and events in England (even royal engagements). These unique experiences were the highlights of our trip, and they can be yours, too.
When Noteworthy wasn’t in the lead, we were in the capable hands of our Anna, who guided us like a local. We wandered London, lingering in the areas that most suited our interests: We visited the Colombia Flower Market, shopped on Westbourne Grove, saw the current Christian Dior Exhibit at the V&A museum, scouted the best sushi restaurants in the city (Sushi Samba and Sexy Fish came out on top), and enjoyed the best martini at Dukes bar. We also went to the theatre. Hamilton is now playing in London and is every bit as good as advertised.
When not out and about exploring, we enjoyed our two-level Gatehouse rooms and the American Bar at one of my favorite London hotels, The Stafford. The Stafford’s location is hard to beat, and the staff are a delight. Our clients love it there.
Every time I travel, I try to check out hotels and places of interest to my clients. This trip was no exception. I toured several Virtuoso partner hotels and local favorites, including The Corinthia (to-die-for spa), Ham Yard (a WOW from Firmdale), The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane (part of Dorchester Collection). There’s also a new Belmond property, The Codogan in Chelsea, where Oscar Wilde once lived.
Do you remember when London’s dining scene consisted of fish and chips wrapped in newspaper? Happily, those days are long gone. Some of the most talented chefs and well-known restaurants are now found in London. Options are endless and range from the iconic River Cafe to a local Italian favorite called Ziani. We enjoyed a fun splurge on my 14 GBP (that’s about $20!) ice cream sundae at Harrods ice cream bar – worth every calorie and penny! One of the hottest tables in town continues to be the Chiltern Firehouse, a celebrity favorite. The best seats are at the open kitchen area, although this spot may be better for couples than kids.
No matter your style and budget, London is sure to please. We at CTTW can help with insider tips that will make your trip to London new and exciting, no matter if this is your first visit or fifth.
Caroline Travels the World…And So Can You.