Discover the cool side of London: 10 memorable experiences
Monday 11, October 2010
The new Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane invites a fresh look at one of the world's favourite destinations.
One of the most exciting cities in the world, London is famous for its treasure trove of national monuments and historical landmarks. But with so many to choose from, where to start?
George Murray, concierge manager at the new Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, shares a few of his insider tips on ten interesting things to do within easy reach of the Hotel. Even better - let George and his team make all the arrangements.
1. Make it a walk in the park. The Hotel's easy proximity to four of the city’s most glorious open spaces - Hyde Park, Green Park, Kensington Gardens and St James Park – make it the perfect starting point to enjoy the 500-year heritage of London’s Royal Parks. Take one of the history and nature-filled guided walking tours through any of the parks and enjoy a work out for the mind, body and the spirit all at the same time.
2. At No. 1 London, Apsley House boasts the most impressive address in town. Just across Hyde Park Corner from the Hotel, the house is one of the capitol’s finest Georgian building,s and is the only English heritage site in which the owner’s family still resides. Home to the first Duke of Wellington (for whom the wellington boot was named), Apsley House opens its galleries and public rooms for tours of its art and antique town house collections. A great all-weather outing for the family.
3. For a look into the fascinating and diverse world of cheese, a visit to Paxton and Whitfield, cheesemongers to the Royal family since 1850, is a must. Whether a cheese connoisseur or simply a foodie searching for a new culinary experience, marvel and taste the best from the traditional cheese makers of rural Britain and France. As Winston Churchill once observed, “a gentleman only buys his cheese at Paxton and Whitfield.”
4. To find St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, walk to the north end of Trafalgar Square in the heart of central London. Here, in the most unexpected yet magical surroundings of this landmark 18th century church, one can attend a lunchtime or evening music performance as part of its popular year-round concert series with a wide-ranging repertoire from chamber music and choral recitals to jazz nights and candle lit orchestral evenings. All daytime concerts are free.
5. Stroll past the elegant galleries and boutiques of the Mayfair district and uncover a more edgy side to the London shopping experience with a visit to the Dover Street Market. This new retail concept from Rei Kawakubo of Commes des Garcons offers six floors of open plan browsing and shopping space displaying must-have super-brand designer wear including limited editions from Raf Simons, Junya Watanabe and Aber Elbaz. Shop till you drop.
6. Discover the White Cube Gallery in Mason’s Yard. Originally an electricity sub-station, it was the first free standing building to be built in the St James’ conservation area for more than 30 years. Now accommodating some 5000 square feet of exhibition and gallery space, White Cube presents a continuous program of eclectic works by leading international and British artists.
7. Ever wanted to make chocolate like the professionals? The Rococo School of Chocolate in nearby Belgravia offers a fantastic hands-on opportunity to learn the art of chocolate making. Take a class with award-winning chocolatier Prof du Choc Laurent Couchaux and surprise friends and family with the perfect truffle. Or, just sit in Rococo’s secret garden, a Moorish courtyard oasis, and sip a cup of rich hot chocolate.
8. Rotten Row in Hyde Park is London’s most famous equestrian venue, boasting the most beautiful and unrivalled setting for horse riding in any capitol city in the world. Book a riding lesson at the Hyde Park Stables, or just take a ride by the Serpentine Lake along one of the bridleways – there are 5 miles of them in the park – and enjoy the scenery and the great outdoors from horseback. Fun for the family all year round.
9. For a journey of nostalgia with a dash of adventure, take a train ride on one of the glamorous Orient-Express trains from yesteryear. Each of the British Pullman and Northern Belle carriages from the original Venice Simplon-Orient-Express trains have been restored to their original Art Deco glory and are reminiscent of the ‘golden age of travel.’ Choose from one of the many day trips that head out from Victoria Station to the countryside, sea side towns, castles and more before returning to London. Sit back with a glass of Champagne and enjoy.
10. For the best view in town, take the elevator up to the 10th floor of Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane and wonder at the view. See how many iconic city landmarks can be spotted from the Spa and Fitness Centre – Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and many, many more. The sky’s really is the limit.
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