It’s coming up to that time of year where our calendars have reset and ever-important dates start jumping out at us. Mother’s Day, Easter, multiple bank holidays and all those birthdays. In a bid to beat the bookings, we’re getting ahead of the game and thinking up our plans early.
We’ve ventured around our capital to bring you some inspiration for an inexpensive, ultimate London trip.
No London break would be complete without a London hotel at the trip’s epicentre. Who wants to be lugging bags around the capital or worrying about sticking to tight timeframes in order to catch trains at an ungodly hour? True, plenty of hotels in London will cost you an arm and a leg, but look in the right places and you’ll find some absolute delights for a fraction of the price.
The K West Hotel & Spa, Shepherd’s Bush – convenient for two reasons. The first being that it’s easily accessible on the Central tube line (no getting lost if you’re a London neophyte) and in close proximity to Notting Hill, Portobello Road and Kensington. The second? It’s right next to Westfield shopping centre (one of the largest retail destinations in Europe with over 450 shops) – with everything you need to look and feel good both during your visit and once you’ve returned home.
The K West Hotel & Spa – formerly the BBC Recording Studio in the 70s and 80s – has everything you need to complete an ultimate stay. The decor throughout the hotel nods to its previous life (expect references to Bob Marley and the Wailers, Bowie, The Kinks and Roxy Music) starting with a fully equipped ‘Studio Bar’ playing all of the Rock ‘N’ Roll tunes its walls are used to hearing. The Studio Bar throws regular live music nights on Fridays and Saturdays, 10am-2am for all (guest or not) to enjoy, free of charge, so keep an eye out for these! Just above the Studio Bar, you’ll find the Studio Kitchen, now serving their new Glam Rock afternoon tea. Sticking with the music theme, these wondrous afternoon treats are served up on spinning record players.
As if this wasn’t enough, do you really think we’d pick you guys a hotel that doesn’t have a heavy dose of R&R? The K West Hotel & Spa has an award-winning spa (if you hadn’t guessed) fit for any stay duration. Spend an afternoon being treated in the peace and quiet or pop down to use their hydrotherapy pool, sauna, ice-cold snow room, aromatic herbal steam room or the fully equipped K Fit gym (if you’re that kinda guy).
With room prices starting from just £109, check out the hotel and book your stay now.
Food should always be one of the most well-thought-out aspects of any stay. A restaurant can make or break a visit, so we want to make sure you get it right. With M Restaurant, Threadneedle St, you can’t get it wrong.
Winner of Best London Bar & Grill in 2017, M Threadneedle boasts some of the best steaks in Europe… it even has it’s very own Himalayan salt chamber on display to flavour the meat before you eat. Perhaps not a destination for veggies (there are options, but still…), this eatery is upper-class quality for everyone to delve into. Your meal can cost as much or as little as you like, for example, fancy a glass of one of the world’s highest quality wines but don’t have a grand to spare? No worries, their M Wine card (you top up, you get wine etc.) allows you to sample these exquisite wines on tap (kept fresh, obviously) at any stage of your visit.
The staff know every inch of the menu, so don’t be afraid to ask them for help, be it what steak to go for or what wine to drink with it. Be sure to check out the bar too – they’re up for a challenge. Our challenge was a salted caramel espresso martini. They accepted, they won. Even the toilets are well worth a visit if you’ve never sat on a toilet that, by a press of a button, will give you a massage. Don’t worry, it’s voluntary.
With an ambience to die for, M Threadneedle is there to act as your lunch or dinner destination to impress – if not anyone else, then yourself. Go on… you deserve it.
You can’t possibly complete a London trip without popping your head into an art gallery. The epitome of British culture – art exhibitions are one of the cities most-loved activities. And, what better way to celebrate British art than by seeing the latest from Tracey Emin, the English artist who dares to be bolder and better.
Hosted at the White Cube in Bermondsey (one of our favourite galleries just a 15-minute walk from London Bridge), Tracey Emin is back with another mind-blowing collection. Known for being crude, blunt and somewhat controversial, count yourself lucky that her work is here; it’s not often London is graced with an Emin exhibition (Asia seems to get most of them!).
This time around, Emin explores her personal experiences of insomnia, love, fear and anger in sculpture, neon (you know, those famous neon-word artworks she creates), painting, film, photography and drawing.
Running until the 7th April 2019, this must-see exhibition is free entry.
Plonk presents themselves as the world’s first Puzzle Putt, a hybrid between crazy golf and an immersive, puzzle experience. Expect to putt your way around the course with clues to solve as you go along. They recommend you pick up any spare balls you find, too… you never know when you’ll need them.
Opening in March (just in time for all your London-visit endeavours), Plonk Shoreditch is the exciting new social hub that helps you see parts of the city you might not have otherwise. Shoreditch is a buzzy area in East London, a must-visit if you’ve never been before. Before heading to Plonk, be sure to grab a couple of drinks to take with you. The venue has a BYOB policy which suits us just fine (it’s over 18, by the way).
With tickets starting at just £13, you can’t afford not to miss this. Keep your eyes on the prize and aim for that hole in one to bring some fun and laughter to your stay.
Keep an eye out here for tickets.
A far less formal dining destination than M Restaurant, Mr Bao is the ideal option for a casual meal during your busy city schedule. Tucked away in Peckham, this precious hideaway serving outstanding Taiwanese cuisine is one that we’re all over.
The vibes in Mr Bao are always top-notch; there’s not a tonne of space but we’ve never seen it short of busy (plus, it makes for a far more intimate scene for wind-downs and conversation). It’s the food that’ll really steal your heart.
Our top picks? We wouldn’t even know where to start. So we asked the staff. They went through the menu and picked out a combination of dishes that explore every corner of the menu, including their delicious signature Bao buns (that you’ve seen all over Instagram). We’d recommend doing the same. Choose between the sharing plates, Bao buns and specials, and don’t forget to include a few from their Vegan menu, too.
Even their cocktails are first class – fresher than fresh Plum Wine Negroni (made with chocolate bitters ) or try something a little different with a lychee pale ale. It’s excellent food for an excellent price.
PS, Open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, don’t forget to book! It really does get busy.