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Archive for the London Super Bloggers Category

Is London a good place to visit?

View of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in London

View of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in London

We asked one of our overseas friends what they thought…..


Fog…. Hitchcock…. Pints…. People associate many things with London, but perhaps none more so than vacations. The city receives countless tourists every year, crowds who come to see the city’s museums, eat at its restaurants, and enjoy its theaters. Like all major cities, visiting London does present some difficulties you should consider before going, but if you decide you can handle them, the city is a must see.

Consider Skipping London If…

Public transit freaks you out: There are lots of ways to get around in London, but visitors sometimes find it daunting. For instance, the city’s complicated tube map puts many cities’ intricate transportation schemes to shame. And like any city’s public transit, London’s sometimes is crowded and delayed.

You want only outdoor activities: The weather in London isn’t as bad as its reputation–it’s neither as foggy nor rainy as it seems–but it is highly unpredictable. According to worldweatheronline.com, spring and summer have rampant weather fluctuations, while winter is unpleasant in general. Thus, people craving sun and time outdoors on their vacation might struggle in London.

Crowds aggravate you tremendously: London has a massive population: 7.7 million people jammed into a relatively small area. Add to that crowds of tourists, and streets and attractions can get pretty crowded. The sights are worth it for a lot of people, but if spending time in crowds would ruin your vacation, you might want to skip London or at least look for calmer areas of the city to visit.

But there are lots of good things about London, which may outweigh the above detractions.

Check London Out If…

Food and drink drive your vacations: Contrary to the shaky reputation of British food, London has a number of great eateries. There are pizza joints, upscale restaurants, and, of course, pubs. Writing for Travel and Leisure, Peter Jon Lindberg remarks that ”Whether it’s burger joints or old-school British lunchrooms; elegant Italian restaurants or trendy Peruvian ceviche bars; weekend markets or semi-secret chef’s tables, wherever your taste runs, London has you covered. Few cities on earth offer food this good across the board.” So don’t let all the jokes you’ve heard about British food ward you off: London’s food stacks up against anyone’s.

You love nice hotels: London hotels are some of the best in the world. On the five-star end of the scale, some hotels offer mind-blowing amenities, like The Milestone Hotel‘s 24-hour butler service. And several London hotels double as historic attractions in themselves, like Claridge’s, which has been standing since the 1850s.

History and the arts attract you: London is a haven for museums, theaters, and the like. Enjoy art? You can check out The National Gallery, which houses paintings by Monet, Michelangelo, and da Vinci, among other titans of art history. Interested in the natural world? The Natural History Museum has exhibits on plants, animals, and human history. And for live shows, the city has a vibrant theater scene, with countless venues putting on performances. If you like refreshments with your entertainment, you can visit a pub theater–where you get a show with your pint(s).

Even if the city’s drawbacks give you pause, it might be worth braving the crowds and weather to check London out. There’s a reason London has been voted the world’s most popular tourist destination: The city has much to offer, from food and drink to historical experiences that can’t be had anywhere else.

Trip Report: Jamies Italian, Covent Garden

Jamies Italian restaurant Covent Garden

Jamies Italian on Upper St Martins Lane, London

Hungry, tired, jet lagged and a little travel weary having just landed into London from Dubai we decided to grab a bite to eat early on in the evening. We had nothing special in mind, just wandering around Covent Garden in the hope we would be enticed by a) the look of the restaurant, b) the menu and c) the price. As it happened we stumbled upon Jamie’s Italian in Covent Garden which we were delighted to find ticked all 3 boxes.

Located on Upper St.Martin’s Lane and Slingsby Place, in Covent Garden, the restaurant has a super corner position with some outside tables on the traffic free courtyard side. It really does look inviting and was already quite busy which always seems to be a good sign.

The menu is displayed outside together with the daily specials board, we found some great choices, obviously Italian cuisine is what this place is all about.

Jamies Italian restaurant in Covent Garden, London

Jamies Italian restaurant in Covent Garden, London. The ground floor area.

We entered and knowing it was already pretty busy, we thought there might be a wait, however, to our surprise we were immediately taken downstairs only to discover a huge basement kitchen (all on show to the diner, very encouraging) and another spacious restaurant level. Not at all pokey which was a huge relief.

The open kitchen at Jamies Italian

The open kitchen at Jamies Italian

Our table was quite small, the seating consisted of a leather bench along the wall and a chair to the side. It was fine, more kitchen furniture than dining room would be a fair description.

The seating in the basement of Jamie's Italian

The seating in the basement of Jamie’s Italian

Jamie’s menu offers a good choice of starters, including his famous planks. All good fresh food with tasty oils and dressings. The pastas are made by hand on site fresh each day. Unfortunately for us, our travel tums could only face one course, but looking around at the other tables we could see that the planks are indeed very popular. They come in a variety of different choices including, chargrilled vegetables, cured meats, cheeses, pickles and lovely crunchy salads. All of which are accompanied with the usual excellent olive oils and fresh herbs.

The menu at Jamies Italian

The menu at Jamies Italian

The mains consist of lots of delicious sounding pasta dishes, including the old favourites, lasagne, penne, bolognese and spaghetti dishes. There are some wonderful risotto’s, vongole, linguine and then the usual restaurant staples such as lamb, chicken, turkey, beef-burger, selection of steak dishes, a fish of the day, fresh salads and some really good vegetarian options.

We opted for ‘him’ – beefburger and fries and ‘me’ – the baked shetland salmon. The kitchen provided our mains in no time at all. The presentation was excellent. His burger came towering on the presentation board looking like the leaning tower of Pisa, the usual gherkin, mozzarella, bacon and leaves. My salmon was served with a generous helping of salad leaves coated with a superbly tasting lemony Westombe Dairy ricotta dressing, accompanied by roasted vegetables, carrots and beets. The salmon was perfectly cooked with crispy skin and a generous amount of coarse salt and pepper.

Jamie's Italian Burger

Jamie’s Italian Burger

We opted for still water, a large bottle was served and a glass each of the house wine, ‘him’ red, ‘me’ the white. No complaints there either.

The staff are very attentive (not overly so), but you feel confident that they have been trained well. Full compliments to Jamie’s team for ensuring this confidence shines through from the waiting staff to the customer.

The deli and retail area

The deli and retail area

So, we didn’t take coffee or desert and the bill came when requested. The bill was not at all painful!  Taking into consideration this is one of the most visited areas of central London, also, a very well known Chef’s restaurant we were more than happy to pay the £40 bill and leave a nice tip for the staff.

The wine store at Jamies Italian are crafted to suit the theme of eating in an authentic kitchen

The wine store at Jamies Italian are crafted to suit the theme of eating in an authentic kitchen

In summary, Jamie’s Italian delivered everything you would want from a popular central London restaurant without charging over the top prices. Its a shame we didn’t sample the Dubai one also, but we will on our next visit there!

Even the washrooms were excellent!

The mens washroom

The mens washroom


Hotels close by

♦  Covent Garden Area is less than 5 minutes from the restaurant

♦  Bloomsbury is only a ten minute walk away

♦  St Giles Hotel is a great cheap option if you want to stay in a prime area.



Ian and Janice travelsBio:
Ian and Janice contribute to various websites about their travels and experiences.
♦  Their claim to fame is producing the very first internet travel site in the UK.   
♦  Since those heady days of internet pioneering,  they spend their time being on a permanent “gap year” with an ever growing love affair with the culture of the Middle East and Far East.
♦  Loves: Bangkok for its food; Hong Kong for its vibrancy; London for its interest factor; the Spanish; Marbella in winter; Formula 1 and fishing (only Ian).

Focus On: Top Hotels in Leicester Square

Whether you are on a theatre break or want to go wild in the aisles, there are plenty of choices to rest your head in Leicester Square. With easy access to all the shops, bars and restaurants around Covent Garden, it really is one of the most central locations for a stay in London.


A capital idea you might think, but with so much choice you might be already exhausted and that’s before you look for a hotel! Fear not dear friends as for your eyes only, here are some of the finest experiences guests can enjoy in Leicester Square.


W London Leicester Square, 10 Wardour Street, Westminster, London, W1D 6QF


(c) W Hotel London


Situated in the heart of the West End, the W London is on many traveller’s wish lists. This luxury 5 star venue oozes style and sophistication.


It offers close proxmity to not only the vibrant Chinatown district but Soho as well as Piccadilly Circus which are all walkable. Each of its 192 rooms enjoy modern interiors not to mention a number of different mod cons.


This includes the likes of  oversize plasma TVs, docking systems for your iPods and an extensive media library. In addition, floor to ceiling windows ensures you can take advantage of vistas which overlook Leicester Square itself.


If you cannot bare to leave then why not check out Away Spa which features a wellbeing centre, spa and hot tub. The lively Wyld Bar is the place to see and be seen with its glittering mirror balls and string of live DJs, whilst their private screening room seats up to 39 people.


If that’s not enough then why not sample the delights of Southeast Asian delicacies thanks to Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market restaurant. Plus, if you really are stuck then let the W Insiders assist you with any pressing queries.


Cafe Royal Hotel, 68 Regent Street, West End -Soho, Westminster, London, W1B 4DY


(c) Cafe Royal Hotel


Minutes from the hustle and bustle of Regent Street, Café Royal Hotel is within a stone’s throw of Theatreland, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.


Blending stunning architectural heritage with modern interiors, this has been a real hit on the hotel scene. You can enjoy your very own private butler, whilst each of the 160 rooms don’t disappoint either. Decadent marble bathrooms, free daily newspapers and sound systems by Bang & Olufsen are just the tip of the iceberg.


You can experience classic British dishes at the Ten Room or sip a cocktail in the bar which provides an array of French period décor. To round things off, the holistic well-being centre with hammam will soon bring you down to terra firma with a gentle bump.


Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire, 31-36 Leicester Square, Westminster, London, WC2H 7LH


(c) radissonblu-edwardian.com


Boasting impressive views of the capital, the plush Radisson Blu Edwardian, Hampshire is another firm favourite. Based right on Leicester Square, it is the ideal place to explore not only Chinatown but Soho, Covent Garden or even take in a show or two.



(c) (c) radissonblu-edwardian.com


It’s 124 rooms provide fluffy bathrobes, dedicated work areas, air conditioning and entertainment systems. There is also an elegant restaurant serving up both British and Mediterranean specialities.


Why not warm up this winter and book yourself a treat in one of these impressive venues. For these and other hotels in Leicester Square, check out what’s on offer here.





Simon Lazarus is an experienced PR/Business Consultant and copywriter with a number of clients across different territories including the US, Europe, Asia, China and the Middle East. His vast portfolio includes writing content for a variety of sites on food and drink, travel, personal finance, news, showbiz, sport, technology and much more. He also advises businesses on strategies and marketing across different sectors.

Hotel Spy: Top Hotels on the South Bank

London has some spectacular places to visit. From the glorious north of Hampstead Heath to the bright lights and even bigger department stores of Oxford Street. You can even throw in Westminster and trendy Shoreditch and we’d still not cover it all.


But the South Bank has been a firm favourite with many locals and travellers alike. Thanks to a dazzling array of international cuisine you can really get up close and personal with some top end riverside dining.


Yet when it comes to places to stay the list is as long as David Moyes’ list of transfer targets. Here for your eyes only are some of the best hotel contenders in the area.


Marriott County Hall, London County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, Lambeth, London, SE1 7PB


The Marriott County Hall, London

The Marriott County Hall, London


With stunning vistas of some of the major sites in London including Big Ben and the River Thames you would be hard pressed to find a better location.


Steeped in history, the Marriott County Hall enjoys 5 star luxury within minutes of the South Bank. Guests can take advantage of 200 spacious rooms offering decadent marble bathrooms as well as a host of modern amenities.


This includes a plasma TV with extensive cable channels, fluffy bathrobes as well as a wellbeing centre and pool. The best bit is Waterloo Station is only 10 minutes away and you can even stroll to Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey in under half an hour. Nice.


Hungry for more? Well tuck into one of their succulent hunk of meat which can be found at Gillrays Steakhouse & Bar which delivers an array of steaks and classic British cuisine.



Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, Westminster Bridge Road, Lambeth, London, SE1 7UT


(c) parkplaza.com


The Park Plaza boasts an enviable position within touching distance of The London Eye not to mention a wealth of theatres.


In addition, you won’t have to walk far to the station either as it less than 600 metres away. Ideal for those shopping trips and miles of sightseeing adventures!


You can benefit from not just rooms but there are also studios and apartments at this particular site with mod cons ranging from mini fridges and safes to dedicated work desks.


Guests can work up a sweat thanks to the on-site fitness centre which is available round the clock, whilst there is a sauna, steam room and 15 metre pool if you want to cool off.


Mandara Spa offers the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind but if its modern award winning cuisine you are after the Park Plaza has this covered too.


Its dining options offer Brasserie Joel, Ichi Sushi and Sashami but if you feel like an elegant afternoon tea then head to the stylish 1WB Lounge and Patisserie.



Citizen M Bankside 20 Lavington Street, Southwark, London, SE1 0NZ

Citizen-m-bankside Hotel, London

Citizen-m-bankside Hotel, London


Stylish and playful, the Citizen M Bankside has been turning plenty of heads for its innovative design. This modern 4 star hotel is close to several galleries including the Tate Modern.


Bedrooms do not disappoint either with mood lights and a hands on tablet device which allows you to control all its mod cons from the lighting to the LED TV. It certainly is all in the detail.


Highlights include CanteenM providing a range of tasty treats, selection of drinks and warm dishes round the clock.



For more hotels in Waterloo, check out what you are missing here.




The St Giles Hotel London – bed factory or vfm?

The entrance to the St Giles Hotel

The entrance to the St Giles Hotel


I really got let down by friends.  I was travelling into the UK from the Middle East and was supposed to spend the night at their house before catching my onward flight from Heathrow the following day. As I was leaving the hotel in Dubai they messaged to say they were working late that day and would have to pass on the reunion.

I unpacked my iPad and quickly went to the London-Hotels.co.uk  price comparison site and with the taxi waiting outside, I booked the St Giles Hotel at £88 for a double bedroom.

As I was arriving into Heathrow at 2 pm and not flying out until 1 pm the following day, I did not really want to stay at the airport, preferring to go into the central areas. I knew that the St Giles Hotel was in a very convenient area for access from Heathrow using the Piccadilly Line into central London.

I also knew that it was a huge hotel with 700+ bedrooms and that with the low price it would probably be a “bed factory” with noise through the night.  It was with trepidation and a somewhat unenthusiastic attitude that I set off to the airport and London.

An uneventful flight for 7 hours and a quick transfer into central London on the Piccadilly Line from inside T5 got me to the hotel in around an hour. Being lazy, I took the tube direct to Covent Garden and then jumped a cab to the hotel.  The total trip cost me under £13.

The St Giles has concierges, so as soon as the cab pulled up at the front of the hotel he took my luggage up the steps to the check in desk and strangely enough, did not hang around for a tip.

The St Giles Hotel London registration desk

The St Giles reception area


Check in was surprisingly fast, efficient and friendly. We had exchanged our Dirhams at Dubai Airport for pounds sterling so we paid the £88 in cash. Usually, hotels at this stage ask for a card anyway so you can purchase drinks and so on, but at the St Giles they simply stamp your key card holder “NO CREDIT”.

We were allocated a bedroom on the 3rd floor, room 305 and used one of the 4 lifts to get to it.  Up to now all had been good but I was worried about what we find when we opened the door.  Like many London hotels, the corridors are a little narrow and dull but the lift areas on all floors have drinks and snacks vending machines and some even have ice machines. We noticed that all the bedroom doors had electronic locks.

First impression of 305 was that it was small and dated. The bedroom faced onto Tottenham Court Road, a busy road night and day. The bathroom was also very small. There was a double bed with sufficient floorspace  at the side to open our suitcases

The Standard Double Bedroom

The Standard Double Bedroom

Our first impression and the thing that struck us most, was the horrible colour of the room, it emanated a horrible rusty brown, dark orange hue from both the carpet and the quilt cover.  Which,  to say the very least was uninviting.  To some extent it felt dirty, but this was totally not the case, the colour just doesn’t lend itself to welcoming you into a bright, fresh clean hotel room.  In fairness the room and bed linen were very clean.

The room facilities at the St Giles Hotel

The room facilities at the St Giles Hotel

There is a small desk area, with overhead shelving and room for a suitcase to the side. There was a comfortable chair by the desk.  That said, for a double room the second person had to use the bed to sit down. Something which I personally hate doing, especially when you have been travelling on buses, tubes, planes and so on.

The bathroom in the standard bedroom at the St Giles Hotel

The bathroom in the standard bedroom at the St Giles Hotel

There was an electronic room safe, tea and coffee hospitality tray and an opening window.  However, once the window was open, being low down on the third floor you could hear a lot of traffic and city noise from outside.  Once the window was closed the outside noise was reduced significantly.  The windows must be at least double glazed.

The room does have air conditioning but we found it to be too noisy to leave on.  As mentioned above, we found the bathroom a little bit on the small side but very clean and  functional, the shower was fine,   at least the bathroom had been modernised with nice marble effect walls and tiling.

The towels were a little on the small side and thin but this was not a massive problem.  After all, we knew we were paying well under the norm for a central London hotel. The room did provide everything it promises to do on the box.

The bed was small for a double but very comfortable and with the air conditioning turned off it was relatively quiet.

There was some noise from outside soon after we had gone to bed and it sounded like they were in our room, I guess that means the walls are pretty thin but it was the only time we heard anything throughout the night.  In fact we slept very well.  This is exactly what you want when you go to bed in a hotel isn’t it?

The bar at the St Giles Hotel London

The bar at the St Giles Hotel London


The bar was really comfortable and we had 2 house wines each, although the bill was a little steep at £28.  The cost does include service so we left no additional tip.  The WiFi in the bar is free of charge  and had a good signal throughout.

The business centre was also good and I was able to print off our boarding passes without any issues they do charge you 50 pence a copy but that was OK with me.

Despite there being 4 lifts, at peak times we regularly had to wait a few minutes.  I recommend not taking the stairs as to the 3rd floor from the ground floor there are exactly 80 steps (Who needs a gym with effort like that).

We did not take for breakfast in the hotel and that was a good move as immediately across the road was a Sainsbury Store where in the morning we bought lovely croissants and fresh orange juice for £2 per person.

So, our conclusion….

The Cons:

♦  Drab and out of date bedroom decor

♦  Road noise

♦  Busy hotel

♦  Slow lifts


The Pros:

♦  Cheap

♦  Fantastic location

♦  Good facilities

♦  24 hour cafe

Would we stay again…

Without a doubt yes.  With the money we saved on accommodation, it paid for a meal at Jamie’s Italian near Covent Garden. Without doubt this is an excellent area where you can walk to Covent Garden in 10 minutes or be shopping on Oxford Street within 5 minutes.  The room offers all you need and the hotel itself has better than average facilities with restaurants, bars, internet machines, casino, gym and a 25m indoor swimming pool.

Think yourself fortunate that the standard rooms have not been modernised or you would be paying an additional £40 for the privilege.

Bed factory or VFM?
A bit of both but nowhere near as bad as we feared


 Insist on as high a floor as possible

 Unless you have a deal including breakfast use Sainsbury’s across the road

 Request a room not overlooking Tottenham Court Road

♦  Book to see We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre, just 100 metres away

Compare prices at the St Giles Hotel London

Focus On: Tune Hotel, Paddington

We all like a bargain don’t we? Yet as we trawl the web in order to look for a bargain or two there is a new contender on the “no frills” hotel scene. Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the world of Tune Hotels.


These simple and affordable venues have already made their mark on the capital. Its motto is a “5-star sleeping experience at 1 star prices,” but does it live up to the hype? Guests can enjoy Tune Hotels across London in Westminster, Liverpool Street not to mention King’s Cross.


Officially part of the Tune Group, under the umbrella of QPR chairman Tony Fernandes, he has several other strings to his business portfolio. This includes AirAsia as well as dabbling in the Caterham Formula One team.



(c) www.tunehotels.com/gb/en/our-hotels/paddington-london/


With sites across the globe from the Philippines to Thailand and Australia, Tune hopes to expand its hospitality empire to more than 100 hotels in the next 12 months.


Yet its Paddington hotel offers one of the best central locations for exploring the sites where you can easily reach several points of interest. This features not only Hyde Park but London Zoo, Oxford Street and is just minutes from the array of restaurants on the Edgware Road.



(c) www.tunehotels.com/gb/en/our-hotels/paddington-london/


Based on a restricted service model, all Tune Hotels provide a pay as you use concept when it comes to services including TV, Wi-Fi access and even toiletries.


So to the hotel itself. Located on Praed Street its bright red post office colour appearance from the outside should not deter you from entering. Its warming lobby space coupled with fast and efficient service has already made it a popular choice in the Paddington area.


In addition to this, each of the 137 rooms has been designed with the optimum space and efficiency in mind. The focus is very much on its ethos to give you the very best for the lowest price.



(c) www.tunehotels.com/gb/en/our-hotels/paddington-london/


You will be able to choose from a number of different in-room facilities ranging from comfortable Hypnos beds and individual climate control to power showers.


It’s certainly out with the old and in with the new as amenities such as a wellbeing centre and room service has been removed in order to enhance the overall experience.



(c) www.tunehotels.com/gb/en/our-hotels/paddington-london/


There is even a coffee shop next door which non-residents will be able to use and is reasonably priced for a light bite or coffee.


In spite of the budget friendly approach which has been taken by Tune Hotels, you can always purchase the extra add ons if you really need a bit more pampering.


If you want to compare and contrast other hotels in Paddington then check out the link here.





Simon Lazarus is an experienced PR/Business Consultant and copywriter with a number of clients across different territories including the US, Europe, Asia, China and the Middle East. His vast portfolio includes writing content for a variety of sites on food and drink, travel, personal finance, news, showbiz, sport, technology and much more. He also advises businesses on strategies and marketing across different sectors

Focus On: One Aldwych, Covent Garden

If it’s luxury you are after then look no further than the glorious One Aldwych in the heart of London’s West End. The experience starts from the moment you walk in thanks to its Edwardian period architecture.


Theatre lovers will adore its location being so close to a number of different venues, whilst it offers shoppers the chance to explore all the shops, bars and trendy restaurants around Covent Garden.


But you may not want to leave as the luxury experience can be seen from the high ceilings and well turned out staff to the facilities inside.



(c) www.onealdwych.com


There is a swimming pool which features a range of underwater sounds not to mention a collection of steam rooms. The health club is one of the best in the capital when it comes to relaxation.


In addition, the three treatments rooms will ensure you feel both relaxed and rejuvenated at least until its time to check out! Why not indulge in one of their extensive massages or therapies using the finest lotions and potions.



(c) www.onealdwych.com


But wait, we have not even lifted the lid on those sumptuous rooms. Oozing modernity not to mention enjoying a wealth of mod cons, guests can enjoy a wide variety of services from Frette linen and docks for your iPod to PlanTation toiletries and several other touches.


You can even enjoy a spot of TV from the comfort of your bathroom if it gets a little bit too much. Aside from free Wi-Fi access throughout, rooms offer fresh fruit and blooms which are hand delivered to your door every day. Now that’s what you call service.



(c) onealdwych.com


There are a couple of excellent dining options available at One Aldwych featuring Indigo which delivers a wealth of modern European dishes.


Axis at One Aldwych is another contender not to be underestimated and provides a tasty Modern British selection with the focus very much on fresh local produce.


The Lobby Bar is always a vibrant and buzzy place for innovative cocktails not to mention a spot of high tea. In fact their latest offering has wowed many critics and diners alike.



(c) www.onealdwych.com


Taking its inspiration from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory which has just launched at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, One Aldwych has come up with a truly mesmerising afternoon tea.


Chocoholics will certainly have a field day here with several delights to whet your appetite such as rich golden caramel eggs, blueberry brioche, Cocoa bean financier and more – all supported by the magic and wonder of Roald Dahl.


Throw in an exclusive Cocktail Charlie and a collection of award-winning teas from the Tea Palace and you are in for a genuine decadent experience.



(c) www.onealdwych.com


This unique Afternoon tea is priced at £34.50 per person, whilst if you want to upgrade it will cost £43 per head and includes either a choice of a glass of Lallier Grande Réserve Champagne or their signature cocktail.


One Aldwych sets the benchmark in hospitality, but there are other hotels in Covent Garden which guests can enjoy. Time for tea don’t you think?


 >>>>  Compare prices and Book the One Aldwych Hotel London <<<<






Simon Lazarus is an experienced PR/Business Consultant and copywriter with a number of clients across different territories including the US, Europe, Asia, China and the Middle East. His vast portfolio includes writing content for a variety of sites on food and drink, travel, personal finance, news, showbiz, sport, technology and much more. He also advises businesses on strategies and marketing across different sectors

Top 10 special things to experience in London during January 2014

Top 10 special things to experience in London during January 2014


London-Hotels.co.uk helps visitors to London to find local events for them to experience during their stay. We have highlighted 10 unique happenings which may tempt you to brave the cold and experience something special.


♦  The London Ice Sculpting Festival

London Ice Sculpting Festival

The London Ice Sculpting Festival 

January 10 – 12 @ Canary Wharf, London E14

Website  | Hotels


Head down to Wood Wharf in Canary Wharf for this annual ice carving event.  Some of the world’s top carvers will be attacking mammoth ice blocks. The subjects are “Fabulous Fashion” for the Big Block Competition and “River Life” for the Freestyle and Singles categories. There is also a Winter Food Market and a Coffee Bar open during the festival.    


♦  Ice at the Tower

Ice at the Tower

Ice at the Tower

Until January 5, 2014 @ The Tower of London, EC3

Website  | Hotels


An opportunity to show of your ice skating skills beneath the ramparts of the iconic Tower of London. One hour sessions can be booked between 10am and 10pm daily. If you don’t want to participate then you can seek refuge in the Ice Bar and Café.



♦  Hogwarts in the Snow

Hogwarts in the snow

Hogwarts in the snow

Until February 2, 2014 @ Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, WD25

Website | Hotels


For all the Harry Potter fans, here is a special opportunity to visit the Great Hall film set clad in snow. Originally due to close in early January, the studio has now extended this event for an additional month due to the huge public interest.


♦  Tower Bridge Engineering Tour

Tower Bridge Engineering Tour

Tower Bridge Engineering Tour

Every weekend in January @ Tower Bridge Road, London SE1

Website | Hotels


This tour is staged over the Weekends during January and February only. The tour will take you on a journey of Tower Bridge, past, present and future and gives a fascinating insight into the engineering behind London’s most famous Bridge. Experience the panoramic views from atop on the walkway, visit the engine and machinery rooms, not normally open to public and delve down into the vast Bascule Chambers below river level.    


♦  The London Boat Show

The London Boat Show 2014

The London Boat Show 2014

4th – 12th January 2014 @ ExCel, London E16

Website | Hotel


Come and loose yourself for a cruise around ExCel with the annual London Boat Show.  All things nautical await the inner sailor in you!  Should you be in the market to buy a boat, then this is the place to begin.  A truly special day out, even if you are just dreaming.


♦  Cirque De Soleil’s “Quidam”

Cirque De Soleil Quidam

Cirque De Soleil Quidam

4th January until 16th February 2014 @ The Royal Albert Hall, London W8

Website | Hotels


Returning to the Royal Albert Hall the amazing Cirque De Soleil’s Quidam will have you sat on the edge of your seat.  The circular stage brings you up close and personal with the acrobats performing their death defying stunts.  A visual delight for any age or gender.  A must see show which will live in your memory for ever!


♦  Burns Night Dinner at Fortnum & Mason

Burns Night at Fortnum and Mason

Burns Night at Fortnum and Mason

25th January @ Fortnum and Mason,London W1A

Website | Hotels


This is the place to have that special Burns night celebration. Enjoy a traditional supper of everything Scottish, from Cock-a-leekie Soup to Haggis and watered down with Fortnum’s malt whisky. Entertainment by Scotch pipers and speakers.



♦  Ibiza: Moments In Love

Ibiza: Moments in Love

Ibiza: Moments in Love

Until 26 January @ Institute of Contemporary Arts,London  SW1Y

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Relive what was probably your first holiday away from the parents at this Ibiza memorabilia exhibition at the ICA on the Mall.  With posters and photographs going back to the early 80’s, it traces the evolution of the pleasure island. Visit this time machine – if you dare!


♦  An Evening with the Stars

An Evening with the Stars

An Evening with the Stars

January 10, 11, 17 and 18 @ Royal Observatory Greenwich,London SE10

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A very special opportunity to star gaze through London’s one and only 28 inch telescope at the Royal Observatory. The evening includes a Planetarium show, standing on the Prime Meridian of the world and a look through the 18 tonne telescope.

♦  The London Art Fair

The London Art Fair

The London Art Fair

January 15 – 19 @ the British Design Centre, London N1

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Now in its 26th year, this annual event gives Joe Public the opportunity to acquire pieces of art at direct prices. This year there are 2 shows, Photo50 and Art projects. Check out the website for details of the talks and tours available.




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Restaurant Spy: House of Ho

If you think the London restaurant scene is slowing down for Christmas then think again dear friends. In fact you might have to undo another notch on that belt or buy an extra-large festive jumper so you can fit in another opening next month.


Our moles can reveal that Old London Town is playing host to The House of Ho from Bobby Chinn. This brand new restaurant is all ready to go on the 6th of January 2014.


Why not sneak in one more glug of sherry with that mince pie and head on down to Old Compton Street in the heart of Soho to get your eat on.


Born in New Zealand, Chinn has lived in numerous countries already from the USA to Vietnam. Chinn actually achieved a bachelor degree in finance and economics during his stay in the United States and was even a financer for a short period of time on Wall Street.



(c) zagat.com


In 1996, he then set up Restaurant Bobby Chinn and his television credits have included appearances on the Beeb’s Saturday Kitchen and Sunday Brunch on Channel 4 hosted by Simon Rimmer and Tim Lovejoy.


Modern Vietnamese is definitely the order of the day here with plenty of inspiration taken from Chinn’s experience in the Far East. Stretched over two decades, this has seen him work in a host of kitchens across the likes of not only Hanoi but Saigon.



(c) destinasian.com


In addition, the Vietnamese cookery on display will no doubt enthral plenty of diners with a melange of both of authentic as well as adventurous grub. So what’s cooking over at the House of Ho?


You can chow down on signature dishes such as Smokey aubergine and crispy shallots served with a warm scallion vinaigrette not to mention a delicate apple-smoked pork belly, shredded confit duck banana blossom salad and an intriguing seafood ceviche for all those nautical fans.


old compton

(c) rightmove.com


Other culinary highlights include “Shaking Beef” and an oozy molton, arou chocolate cake. There is also an extensive wine selection which takes in a wealth of countries with around 60 bins to choose from.


Watch out for the range of sakes available, whilst you are sure to be stirred into a frenzy with the impressive cocktail list. Signature drinks feature the ‘Ho’rny Devil incorporating lemongrass vodka, Vietnamese Devil’s Chilli and fresh coconut for a taste of paradise.



(c) greenteadesign.com


This 90 seater joint is raring to go for the New Year with a 10 metre bar and oak wooden flooring to boot. It may be stormy and wet outside but you can always warm up at the delightful House of Ho.


Chinn up it could be worse!





Simon Lazarus is an experienced PR/Business Consultant and copywriter with a number of clients across different territories including the US, Europe, Asia, China and the Middle East. His vast portfolio includes writing content for a variety of sites on food and drink, travel, personal finance, news, showbiz, sport, technology and much more. He also advises businesses on strategies and marketing across different sectors

Focus On: Ski Season at Hush, Mayfair

With the holiday season in full swing and the treetops glistening, it’s time to go off piste in the capital. Get your snow boots and outfits ready as Hush in Mayfair is all set to unleash a wintry wonderland for its guests.


Tucked away in Lancashire Court in the heart of W1, mum is most definitely the word here. But can you keep the secret safe?


Launching at the beginning of 2014, you can head to the Alps without even stepping on a plane thanks to its après-ski courtyard.


As the ski season kicks off, it is certainly is the perfect time to introduce this powdery white palace. Our moles tell us that the courtyard will undergo a transformation like no other with a good bit of kitsch thrown in!



(c) hush.co.uk


Just think sparkly lights not to mention retro skis and a host of sledges sitting side by side with cosy blankets and hot water bottles galore.


In addition, you can do your own Sound of Music impression if you like and really blend in with the locals.


But what’s cooking at this snug outdoor Alpine retreat? Hush guests can tuck into a number of different off piste delights from schnitzels and spaghetti to baked Vacherin Mont d’Or.



(c) hush.co.uk


For those drinks enthusiasts, why not slurp on one of their brand spanking new signature cocktails which features the Courchevel 1850. This comes straight to your table presented in a monogrammed hip flask.


But wait there’s so much more dear friends. Thanks to their dedicated ski season loyalty card you can pick up at Hush, you will have the ability to enjoy your seventh meal free of charge.


Of course this is on the condition you will pay a visit at least half a dozen times. The icing on the Christmas cake is they intend to whip up a batch of the priciest mulled wine in the world.



(c) hush.co.uk


Well that’s the word on the street anyway. The Mayfair Mulled Wine as it is called is a steamy £50 a glass. Let’s just hope you have change from a ton.


Incorporating a glug of 2008 Château Grand Puy Ducasse, this particular mulled wine is the ideal pick me up this time of year.


Once this warm concoction envelops you like a warm fuzzy hug, feel the blend of cloves, bay leaves as well as anisette balls, cinnamon sticks organic goji berries and saffron.


Hang on to your ski hats though as they are also unveiling their ‘Classics in the Courtyard’ series. This will involve a host of ski based movies which will be shown across January.



(c) hush.co.uk


Films you can hunker down to include ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ and ‘Cool Runnings’ starring John Candy. So whichever way you intend to eradicate those post festive blues get yourself down to Lancashire Court from 2nd of January.


But remember…it’s all a bit hush hush.




Simon Lazarus is an experienced PR/Business Consultant and copywriter with a number of clients across different territories including the US, Europe, Asia, China and the Middle East. His vast portfolio includes writing content for a variety of sites on food and drink, travel, personal finance, news, showbiz, sport, technology and much more. He also advises businesses on strategies and marketing across different sectors