London: City in the spotlight

London: City in the spotlight


At first glance London can seem overwhelming, but don’t be put off! There’s no denying it’s a big city full to the bursting, but that just means there’s lots of things to do.  It’s so big, that I’d go so far to say that there’s no way you can pack in all the sights to a single day visit.  That’s why most people spend a weekend here (even then you’ll struggle to tick everything off you to-do list). That’s why we’re here to help!

The first thing to ask yourself before visiting London is; what area do you want to be in? The city is so vast that it’s not easy to enjoy lots of different events, restaurants or sights without rushing through them.  When you do that, you enjoy it so much less (trust me).  You want to enjoy yourself and not just (in the instance of drinking) nip in for a quick shooter, run to the loo, then on the next place.  You’ll want to sit down, take it all in and create great memories.  Pick your location wisely so that you can see and do all the bits that interest you.

Where’s best to go in London?

For most of you that have never been before, you will want to head for Soho, Covent Garden or the West End.  Full of entertainment during the day, you’ll find buskers and magicians, as well as some awesome shops.  Definitely one to tick off the list if visiting for the first time.  Try not to be shy and get involved if the entertainer asks you to.  Trust me, you’ll have more fun, and you may even be privy to how magic tricks get done if you’re part of the act.

covent garden piazza by stusmith_uk, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  stusmith_uk 

Where to stay?

Then you need to think about the hotel.  This one isn’t easy, but you should be able to narrow it down easily based on the questions I’m about to ask you….

1. Who’s with you? Are you an up-all-night hen party that just needs somewhere to leave your bags and rest your head, or a spa-type hen party that likes your comforts? Are you a couple, or a group of 40 people?

2.  What is the budget?

3. Actual location in London. It’s hard to say where the city centre, as the whole place is so huge.  It’s best to think what you want to see and do, and find accommodation nearby.  Even though the city is jam packed and goes on for miles, there are amazing pockets of greenery, and seclusion that helps escape the bustle of piccalilli circus or Leicester square.  It doesn’t take too long to find great accommodation just out of the busy districts.  Who wouldn’t want to wake up to this view at canary wharf?

Dawn over Canary Wharf Black & White. Fu by bobchin1941, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  bobchin1941 

Getting around

As much as this will be daunting (if you’ve never been here before), the London tube network is awesome.  It;s certainly the quickest way around town, and removes most problems of travel.  Additionally, you may have heard of oyster cards that you can use to pay for travel… well no need to work those out, now you can use your very own contactless card, just tap at each end of your journey and it will figure out the cheapest ticket you needed.

IMG_2208 by upton, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  upton 

 Now on to the good stuff

After shopping your socks off in Harrods, or snapping a selfie from the top of the London eye, you want to have great fun at night.

This is where the bright lights of the West End may beckon you, although Tower Bridge does provide some of the best views at night, the decision (as they say) is yours.

Before you come along, we can help make sure you have a great night by organising your cocktail making class in London in advance.  Then you’ll know you’re guaranteed a great night no matter what else you have going on.  You’ll mix and sip some amazing cocktails and give it a go yourself too.

So, where to go, and what to do?

The Bar at The Dorchester

If you are looking for a truly professional cocktail experience, The Dorchester offers something a bit special, as well as being one of London’s premier hotels. At the Bar, you are able to choose your favourite spirit, and professional mixologists will help you find the cocktail that best suits your tastes, and can even help you create a brand new cocktail on the spot!

You have to try the: Dorchester of London cocktail, a typically London cocktail featuring dry gin and forbidden fruit. This strong cocktail brings honey and fresh fruit notes to a fantastically simple cocktail.  If you’re on an elegant night out, this is definitely to be tried.

City Cruises River Thames Tea

If you’re looking for a great way to see the city, while enjoying some tasty food and drinks, the City Cruises River Thames Tea offers a great day out. We certainly did! Imagine a cruise along the Thames, from Tower Bridge to Westminster, heading back past Embankment and the House of Commons, while delicious treats served to you.  Of  course in true British fashion, we went for a pot of tea and cakes.  I just hope you get the weather we did.

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You have to try the: scones with jam and cream, and a glass of champagne for a quintessential British experience- plus it’s always 5 O’Clock somewhere..

Wahaka Southbank

When we (me and my better half) are in the mood for something spicey, we loved the unique design and food of Wahaka.  The restaurant has been carved from cargo containers (like you get on ships). It’s pretty unique, and right on the waters edge.  The service was awesome, and if you like Mexican food, you really cant miss this one. You really need to try the Pork Pibil. It was certainly one of our favourites, but that’s the beauty of tapas style eating, it’s easy to try lots off the menuWahaka Southbank Restaurant

El Camion

For those looking for a really different venue to enjoy some of the best cocktails in London, El Camion is a gorgeous bar in Soho, full of punks and graffiti art. It is one of the coolest places to sit down with a drink in all of London and it also boasts some of the city’s best mixologists.  As a sipping drink, you should try an espresso martini, I certainly enjoy this over my normal cappuccino anytime.

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The roundup

You’ll notice my trip and recommendations for London are focused around food and drink.  There are of course loads of theatres, ghost walks, museums (wax or otherwise) and other such activities which may be right up your street and are not mentioned here but London is a massive place where almost anything is possible to do.  Unfortunately far too many to mention here in this page, so in the meantime, enjoy these delights, but don’t miss out on London’s best cocktail masterclass, that’s a must on everyone’s list!