5 Awesome Ideas To Make Your Romantic London Trip Extra Special

Posted by on Oct 7, 2015 in Travel Tips |

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Whether you are UK residents or not, every couple wants to visit London at some point in their lives. When organised efficiently, a trip to the capital can be a truly magical time for lovers.

London is perfect for a weekend treat, and equal ideal for getting down on one knee to pop the question. With these tips, you’ll be sure to enjoy a trip that surpasses even your wildest expectations.

Hit The West End

The quality of entertainment in London is as high as any other city in the world. For loving couples, catching the latest stage show is the perfect way to embrace the culture. It’s a guaranteed way to enjoy your visit, and the memories will last a lifetime.

You may want to book early to ensure you get the best seats. Besides, booking online might allow you to secure a discounted price too. What more incentive could you need?

Tour By Rickshaw

London’s underground network is one of the best in the world and is perfect for transporting you from one side of the city to the other. For romantic couples, the option to visit London in rickshaws is the perfect way to tour the central areas in a quirky and romantic fashion.

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It’s less stressful than navigating the crowded underground. Meanwhile, it gives you a chance to appreciate sights you may have otherwise missed out on. Perfect.

Watch The Waterloo Sunset

When you think of London, natural beauty isn’t the first thought that springs to mind. Watching the Waterloo sunset is a magical experience that every couple should look to experience during their stay.

Some couples may also like to get a better view of the Westminster area by taking a ride on the London Eye. It’s a truly spectacular view from the top and is a fantastic way to increase the feelings of love.

Visit Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park is a truly wonderful location at any time of year. During the festive period, though, it’s transformed into the magical Winter Wonderland. It’s the perfect venue for all types of visitors but is particularly appealing for romancing couples.

Photos taken at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, London, in 2011.

Photos taken at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, London, in 2011.

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You can pay to ice skate or visit the Magical Ice Kingdom. Alternatively, you can look around the various Christmas stalls free of charge. After visiting Winter Wonderland, you could also walk around the lake to enhance the romantic feelings.

Book A Luxury Hotel

London is an amazing city and offers dozens of great attractions for loving couples. As brilliant as those features are, no romantic getaway is complete without the right hotel room. If nothing else, a good night’s sleep will leave you energised for the following day.

There are a number of world-class hotels dotted across London, but you don’t have to break the bank entirely to enjoy a quality stay. If you can find spa features too, then that will always be a huge bonus.

Follow the above tips, and your romantic trip to the capital should be the best one ever.

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Top 5 Independent Coffee Shops in the UK

Posted by on Jun 29, 2015 in Travel Tips |

Breaking away from the corporate cup to embrace expressive espressos

For many people, coffee is a fundamental part of the day. Whether it is the morning cup that gets us up and going, or the mid-day coffee break to help us relax, there is just something about a great cup of coffee that cannot be compensated by any other drink. In the UK there are many independent shops that go above and beyond the common coffee cup. Breaking away from the corporate trends, these independent coffee shops offer an elegance and uniqueness worth recognition. It is not that a corporate coffee shop does not offer a good product, but there is something lacking in the experience. Independent Coffee Shops offer a level of personality and dedication that merges a craft into an artistry. Here are five such shops.

Workshop Coffee Company – 75 Wigmore Street, W1U

Workshop coffee company stands as a unique and independent coffee shop worth recognition because their coffees are non-traditional. Each of their main selections has a fruit element added to give the cup a unique flavour. For example: their cult of Done Espresso has a marmalade and plum flavour, the Los Altares has a sweetness of fig, and the Nano Challa has the sweetness of white grape.

Founded in 2011, the company takes yearly trips to Africa where there coffee is primarily harvested. Workshop Coffee Company is located in Marylebone, Holborn, and Clerkenwell.

Notes Music Coffee – 31 St. Martins Lane & 36 Wellington Street

Notes coffee is an all-day coffee shop that goes beyond what a typical shop entails. Opening at 7am, the coffee shop offers the Early Brid coffee selections. Later in the evening, Notes Music Coffee transforms into a coffee shop and wine tasting facility. Each location also has an onsite chef to present dishes that accent the coffee experience.

Adding to the unique versatility of the company, Notes Music Coffee offers live jazz sessions. Notes Music coffee plans to open 3 new stores this year and 5 next year.

Monmouth – 27 Monmouth Street, WC2

Monmouth coffee was established in 1978 and has been serving coffee ever since. One of the key factors which make this coffee shop so great is that their coffee is delivered daily from their roasting site in Bermondsey. Milk is delivered from Jeff Bowles in Somerset. Customers of Monmouth do not get coffee from shelved products but from a local roasting site. Everything offered in the shop is fresh.

Coffee from Monmouth covers beans from Africa, Central America, South America, Asia, and the Pacific. The beans are roasted daily on the premises and customers are encouraged to try a sample of the coffee before buying a cup.

Doppio coffee – 177 Kentish Town Rd. London NW1 8PD

Coffee wholesale Doppio coffee warehouse merges the coffee shop with a coffee supply store. This is extremely beneficial for those who want to have their own expresso machines, and high quality equipment, but at the same time need training in the use of such equipment. Where a supply store would offer the product and a coffee shop would offer the results from the product (for example an expresso can be purchased at a coffee shop, but rarely can you say “that made a good cup of expression, I will take the machine”), Doppio offer both training and tasting within the same facility.

Should you have an independent coffee shop and want to invest in the top of the line equipment, Doppio offers sales, rentals, services, maintenance, coffee barista training, and guidance on all the equipment they sell.

Doppio offers six main categories of coffee in a variety of sizes. You can also taste these coffees at the Doppio Coffee Warehouse location.

Nude Espresso – 26 Hanbury Street London E1 6QR

Nude espresso is an independent coffee company that is focused on the artistry of the coffee experience. From the wholesale to the tasting floor, all tasks are done by hand. This includes the bagging of the coffee and the roasting of the coffee. Their goal is to keep the best quality by ensuring that everything is done above standard.

Nude espresso offers wholesale beans and training. Their coffee is roasted and delivered on a weekly basis. Training is conducted at the Roastery by Hugo Macdonald. The company believes that all coffee vendors should be well established in understanding quality, freshness, and about the products they serve.

Whether you are in the upper or lower part of the UK, you can find an independent coffee shop. Going outside of the corporately owned mass marketed coffee is sure to give you a unique experience and perhaps establish a new more personal coffee drinking routine. The independent coffee shops throughout the UK have a common factor of quality, freshness, and a personal touch. Find a shop near you. I am sure that your taste buds will thank you.

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5 of London’s Most Exclusive Gentlemen’s Clubs

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 in Tips, Travel Tips |

London is home to the private Gentlemen’s club; some of the most revered institutions on the planet. You have to be a member to gain entry in the modern day, while it was also very much the same during the 18th century when the British upper class first introduced them. Compared to the earlier years, there has been a modernisation in the way in which Gentlemen’s clubs are run.

However, the vast majority are still exclusively made for men. You will find it extremely hard to gain entry to such venues, although there’s certainly plenty for you to learn about these highly fascinating institutions. Here are five private Gentlemen’s clubs in London that are of notable interest and particularly stand out.

The Athenaeum

The Athenaeum is a stunning aesthetic building designed by Decimus Burton. The building’s exterior is based on the Parthenon in Athens and features numerous emblems and imagery accompanying a truly spectacular columned entrance. Athena, the goddess of wisdom, is watching down on those who enter with the statue of the goddess situated atop the first floor balcony.

The club has an extensive library filled with tomes, as well as a newly renovated smoking room that is entirely smoke-free. Some notable former members of this delightful gentleman’s club include Herbert Spencer, who possessed philosophies that inspired Social Darwinism.

The In & Out, Naval and Military Club

This was first established as the idyllic resting place for serving officers and those of the armed forces. This is one of many Gentleman’s clubs that have modernised and begun admitting women and those not part of the armed forces. There are two entrances to the club, one of which ensures a strict dress code is adhered to and the other providing a less formal entrance.

From either entrance you can gain access to some of the clubs most luxurious facilities, from a gym and swimming pool to the Goat Bar and a fully equipped business centre. There are 52 en-suite bedrooms to make the most of with the club offering unrivalled and extensive accommodation options. In order to gain membership to this Gentleman’s club you must be proposed or seconded by a member.

The East India Club

Commissioned Officers of the Army and Navy as well as those who were members of the East India Company founded the East India Club and merged with sports and public school clubs. Established in the 19th century, young public school boys were given the opportunity to experience the gentlemen’s club for the very first time.

This club is particularly well known for having members of various ages, including retired seniors and young businessmen. The East India Club has not yet modernised to the point where they admit women, although there have been attempts made by current members to modernise. Numerous facilities are available to utilise in this gentleman’s club, such as a gym, a business room and club sports teams’ facilities.

Boodles

Lord Shelbourne, once Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, founded the Boodles Gentleman’s club in 1762 before he was in office. Boodle’s is certainly one of the most well-known and prestigious Gentleman’s clubs in the UK. It celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2012 and takes its name from the former head waiter, Edward Boodle.

The club is aligned as being in partnership with the Conservative Party and gaining membership to the club is no easy task. The admittance process is determined by a nomination system carried out by current members. The club has its own traditional dish, the Orange Fool, which is often enjoyed by members.

White’s

This is probably the most exclusive Gentleman’s club around, with Prime Minister David Cameron once being a member. It was first established in 1693 and is strictly members only. The building itself is arguably the most splendid feature; a grand Portland stone Grade I listed property situated in the heart of St. James’ Street.

You might be wondering why David Cameron is a “former” member of the club. The PM decided enough was enough when the club’s members refused to overrule their men-only policy, resulting in a famous, well-documented snub. However, David Cameron’s father was once the chairman of White’s, meaning he is currently the only member to voluntarily leave.

Many Royals are current members of White’s, including heir to the throne Prince Charles. White’s features a games room, a beautiful drinks bar and plenty of British game on the menu.

Article submitted by www.bestvenues.london, a one-stop shop for sourcing unique venues in London in the corporate, party and major event industry.

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The Top Ways Of Getting Around London

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Travel Tips |

London is one of the most vibrant cities in the world. It is busy, loud and vibrant but yet still manages to hold some tranquil and relaxing getaways. For these reasons and many more, it is the perfect place for tourist visits and family trips. There is something to do in London for every occasion, whether it is a birthday meal, a romantic break or just a little afternoon wander. Sometimes I love nothing more than just taking a walk around a local park or taking some time out relaxing in one of the quieter areas of the city. At other times, it is nice to be able to get just about anywhere you need to be, in record time. Whether it’s hopping in a taxi to a local bar or just taking a walk to your nearest restaurant for a bit to eat. Everything is accessible. But what other travel options are there and which is right for you?

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The Tube – everyone knows about the tube. It may not always be the nicest way to travel, but it does the job and makes for easy and fast travel on a convenient basis. It is worth investing in an Oyster card and making the process even quicker and easier on yourself. This can also be used on bus, tram, overground and rail services, so it’s no wonder, so many of us have them tucked safely in our purse at all times.

On The BusBus travel in London is one way of getting around. Sometimes it can be easier than catching the tube. If you are on a day trip to London, seeing the iconic bright red double decker busses drive past can be entertaining. This is a good way of traveling if you are on your own or as a couple. It’s not always the easiest when it comes to family travel and lugging buggies around.

By Bike – If you are fit and healthy or love a bit of the outdoors then traveling around by bike is certainly an option.Cycling insurance is an absolute must though. Traffic can get crazy in London during rush hours and peak times. You should ensure that you stay within the correct areas and give clear signals.

Taxi – Taxis in London can be expensive. They are a good way to get around if you are in a serious rush or when you’re late for a meeting. Be careful not to rely on them on a very regular basis though as you’ll find yourself severely out of pocket in no time.

By Water – The water taxi is another great way for tourists to see much more of the city. You can hop on and off, and it is especially fun when you are in town for a short stay and want to see the main attractions.

On Foot – As with any city, one of the best ways to see London is on foot. Most places can be easily reached simply by walking. If you have the time, this is a great way to explore the city and to find some sweet little eateries or markets that you might not know about.

 

 

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8 Quirky Ways to Spend Your Time in London

Posted by on Dec 6, 2014 in Food, Travel Tips |

London is a place where there’s something for everybody. The place is so vast, with such a wide variety of things to do, that nobody can say ‘London isn’t my cup of tea’. London is everybody’s cup of tea! You just need to go to the right places. Want a quirky time in London? Try the following 8 things.

At The Outdoor Cinema

Haven’t you always wanted to go to an outdoor cinema? Take a beer, a blanket, a snack or two and you’ll have a great time. There are a number of outdoor cinemas in London, so take your pick. They usually play classic films, so it’s more about the experience than the film itself. Either way, you’ll have a fab time.

In Choccywoccydoodah

This colourful cake shop has even had its own TV show. Celebrities commission the top cake makers to create amazing looking and tasting creators for special occasions. Katie Melua commissioned a cake from them, and the staff surprised her with a mermaid version of herself in cake form. You can go and see it all for yourself and even try some special treats in the London store!

In Borough Market

Borough market is full of weird and wonderful food vendors that you’ll enjoy sinking your teeth into, as well as people selling all kinds of cool wares.

Enjoy Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea is big in London; just about every hotel you can think of offers their own special version. Don’t settle for any old hotel though; take a look at the best hotels for afternoon tea before you book your day out. The perfect place to take a friend or relative. A nice way to relax and get away from all of the hustle and bustle too.

Drink Beer on a Roof

If you fancy a beer, head up to a roof to make it even more exciting. I love Frank’s Cafe in Peckham. I’m betting you will too!

A Street Art Tour

This is one of the best places to explore street art in the whole world. There’s a London street art tour for all budgets and time limits too, from a few hours to the whole day. The tour should be both fun and educational. It’ll probably make you want to go out and buy yourself some spray paints too!

In Kentish Town

Kentish town is full of little vintage boutiques for shopping and plenty more quirky places to explore. It’s great for food too, so don’t hesitate to have a bite to eat here.

At Camden Market

Going to Camden is like going to a whole different world. It’s a great place to go if you want to add some quirky accessories to your collection, as well as smoke some Shisha and buy unique clothes. Even if you don’t have a lot of cash to spend, just soaking up the atmosphere is enough.

These are just 8 of the quirky ways you can spend your time in London. There are plenty more, but I’ll let you discover them for yourself! See you next time!

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photo from Elsie Hui

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Ways To Make Your Trip To London That Bit More Special

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Travel Tips |

There is no denying that the capital city is one of the most impressive places to visit in the worldly. The fact that London has so much to see and do means that people from all over the globe want to come here at visit. However, just because your London holiday seems amazing that doesn’t mean that you can’t make it even better

Afternoon Tea

Without a doubt, afternoon tea is an English tradition that you should partake in while you’re in England. There are hundreds of places in London where you could take afternoon tea, with some of these offering more than others. Generally speaking afternoon tea is some finger sandwiches and cakes followed by scones with clotted cream and of course a few cups of tea. Claridge’s offer a world renowned afternoon that is well worth checking out while you are there. It’s a popular place though so you will probably need to book in advance.

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Afternoon Tea

Travel In Style

You can avoid public transport by hiring a car from somewhere such as  http://www.expressrentacar.co.uk/ to explore London. That said, London isn’t one of the nicest places to drive around so why not make sure that you get someone else to drive you around instead? Hiring a chauffeur driven vehicle to take you where you need to go can help to ensure you have a good time. Not only that but you get to avoid the hustle and bustle of public transport and the stress of navigating the busy streets of London.

Fun London Bus Tours

As much as travelling in luxury is great, you do need to get out there and experience London too! London bus tours are a great way to do this. There are London bus tours that run all day and you can simply hop on and off of them as and when you want. On top of that there are other types of bus tour you can sign up for. A bus tour which incorporates afternoon tea or dinner for example or ghost bus tours which mainly operate around Halloween.

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Other Things You Should Do While You’re in London

One of the best things you can do for a trip to London is packed as full as possible. As London offers so much it is important to do as much as possible. So, for example you have to experience dinner in China Town and a wander around Leicester Square a night. A trip to London is also not complete without watching a show in the West End and travelling on a London tube train. You also need to make sure that you see London from the skies by riding the London Eye and visiting any seasonal attractions that are taking place in Waterloo.

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The London Eye

London has something for everyone, so make sure you get out of it exactly what you want. There is an abundance  of websites online that can act as a London tour guide. Just make sure you read up on what London offers so you can plan your trip accordingly.

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