Heading to the British capital? Here's our guide to stellar accommodation for families, couples and friends, plus where to go for afternoon tea and drinks with a view
London, one of the most visited cities in the world, is always on our travel radar. Steeped in history and architecture, the Brit capital of cool offers a fascinating mix of old and new. If you’re making (or already made) plans to jet off to the UK to see the Big Ben, eat at The Fat Duck, or catch the highly-anticipated Rugby World Cup (18 September to 31 October), this handy little guide, carefully put together by our friends at Lightfoot Travel, can help you find the right hotel to stay, as well as pointing you to places for afternoon tea and evening tipples.
Where to stay in London
For couples and friends
Tucked away in London’s hip Soho district, the Soho Hotel is surrounded by some of the city’s best restaurants, bars, and cafes. It’s also located close to West End, so be sure to head over to the theatres to be entertained by a stellar cast on stage. Been there? Well, there’s probably a new restaurant or watering hole to suss out in the area!
For a dose of Oriental elegance, check into the vertiginous Shangri-La at the Shard, Shangri-La group’s second foray into Europe. Dubbed the city’s first high-rise hotel, this modern property with an Asian twist boasts unrivalled views over London in every direction, which we just can’t get enough of!
In one of London’s most coveted districts lies The Berkeley, an elegant hotel that has been the epitome of style since the 1800s. It retains some of its original interior wood panelling and decorative carving, and is just a short walk from Harrods. Don’t miss out on the scrumptious Michelin-starred dining at Marcus Wareing after a day of shopping around the neighbourhood.
Located in the vibrant east of London overlooking the River Thames, Four Seasons Hotel Canary Wharf is perfect for families. In addition to kids’ amenities and baby-sitting services, this property has a superb concierge that make spot-on recommendations for all kinds of entertainment whilst in the capital.
If you’re looking for a quintessentially English experience, nothing beats the charm of The Goring Hotel. Families will feel like royalty here, where the highest levels of personal service permeate throughout. The Goring also offers cake decoration workshops, a plethora of story books and lots more to keep the kids occupied and happy. What’s more, your little ones can roam free in the private gardens whilst you enjoy simmering pot of tea.
At The Ritz London, children are treated as VIKs – Very Important Kids! The fun begins right from checking in: kids receive a special welcome gift and cute bathroom amenities. Hotel staff are also more than happy to provide in-room games consoles, age-appropriate children’s books and DVDs, special treats at evening turndown… all to make your princes and princesses feel right at home. Careful, your kids may never want to leave this sumptuous abode.
Where to go for high tea in London
Not surprisingly, the English capital boasts an unimaginable number of tea parlours to suit every taste.
For an afternoon tea with a fun twist, head over to Hoi Polloi in East London in The Ace Hotel. The modern brasserie serves seasonal dishes in a laid-back and funky atmosphere. Purists can still indulge in the traditional cucumber sandwiches whilst the more adventurous will be tempted by the Yorkshire pudding with parsnip ice cream!
Those who consider themselves traditionalists can drop in at The Dorchester for a decadent and succulent afternoon tea. Scones are made using a 50 year old recipe, and there are tasty finger sandwiches, sugary delights and a wide selection of teas to be had.
Rooftop bars in London
Radio Rooftop Bar at Me London Hotel is the place to be if you want fantastic views of the city to accompany your refreshing sundowners. You’ll see The Savoy, Waterloo Bridge, The Shard, St Paul’s, the London Eye, Covent Garden, Big Ben and Trafalgar Square (to name but a few) from up there.
Another great vantage point is the Sky Garden, London’s highest rooftop garden, which comes with its very own Sky Pod Bar. Its delicious cocktails changes with the seasons – expect to sip on warm boozy concoctions during the autumn and winter months on chairs decked with blankets.
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This article was brought to you by Lightfoot Travel, a Singapore-based luxury tour operator offering expert travel advice & inspiration, tailor-made itineraries & full booking services.