For all the London-lovers out there, this might just be the most boujee guide you’ve seen all year. Local resident or city explorer, you’ll never be short of things to find in the capital.
This isn’t your ordinary London guide; this one has gone luxury. Fancy living in spectacular opulence for a weekend? Have a special occasion to plan? We’ve taken on London from the high-life perspective (yes, there’s a helicopter in here), so you, too, can see exactly where to go and what to do for a weekend to remember. Your itinerary awaits, sir.
Every trip needs a basecamp (and as far as basecamps go, this one’s pretty lavish).
The Franklin London is a boutique hotel in the heart of London’s Knightsbridge – a pretty swanky area, by the way. Sat minutes from the famous Victoria and Albert museum with the Natural History & Science museums, Harrods and Hyde Park in close proximity, you won’t fall short of things to see here.
A striking Victorian building, The Franklin has stopped at nothing to renovate into a first-class destination. With 35 rooms and suites, there’s something for everyone from the perfectly sizable deluxe rooms to the suite fit for royalty. If you’re in need of a touch of R&R during your stay, rest assured you’ll find it in the hotel’s gardens (Egerton Gardens, that is).
Interior geek? Expect to see shabby mirrors (the smudged-but-it’s-actually-like-that-on-purpose kind) paired with deep black interiors for something that’s Insta-worthy enough for you and your travel companion.
When it comes to dining, the hotel partner up with the Victoria & Albert to bring the museums’ exhibitions to life. Right now, you can find the Wonderful Treats menu which coincides with Tim Walker’s current exhibition. An afternoon tea worth talking about, be sure to fill your boots.
At the end of your long day venturing the city, expect to come back to a fully turned-down room – slippers by the side of your bed and all! Have a browse of the pillow menu (yes, pillow menu) to give yourself the best night’s sleep possible, and wake up refreshed for more exploring the next day.
To make the most of your stay, we’d 100% recommend booking yourself breakfast, too. Oh, and our advice? Get it sent up to your room in the morning. Is there anything better than a full English whilst you watch TV in your king-size bed? We think not.
With more restaurants in London than we dare to attempt to count, narrowing the selection down to just two was close to mission impossible. Alas, we’ve done it. *Exhales. The first: Benihanas.
We’d be surprised if you haven’t yet heard of this spectacular place as it’s one of London’s favourite hotspots that brings just as much entertainment as it does dining.
So, what makes this restaurant so standout? Have you ever heard of teppanyaki? If not, it’s a Japenese style of cooking where the chef uses a large iron griddle (see above). Benihana lets you be a part of this process as they put on a full display right in front of you. Each table has their very own chef (you may be grouped if there’s only a couple of you), where your chosen menu will be cooked and delivered at your table. Expect tricks and expect fire… it’s so impressive you won’t be able to take your eyes off.
With two London locations (Chelsea and Picadilly), you can pick whichever fits with your day’s plans.
Menu highlights: Start with a cocktail while you browse the menu. The staff will be able to give you plenty of preference pointers.
For starters, order from the menu while you wait for your personal chef to arrive. These dishes will come from the kitchen, so it’s a great place to start. Our favourite? Yellowtail.
A salad, soup, and prawn appetiser comes with each main, so don’t fret about that. Whether you favour fish or steak, opt for the Rocky’s Choice (Hibachi Steak & Hibachi Chicken) or the Seafood Palace (Lobster, Black Cod, Salmon & Scallops). This way, you get to sample a whole load of flavours, plus it’s more for you to watch, too!
For your dessert, you’ll struggle to pick just one. Our personal highlight was the Banana Tempura. Drool.
Oh, and don’t forget to order a saké, will you?
Name a better way to see the city than via a helicopter. We’ll wait.
Red Letter Days are best known for their fun, accessible days out across the city, so the fact that they now offer helicopter rides over the capital comes as no surprise to us. This former luxury experience is now easily accessible; this is something we really think everyone should do (at least once in their lifetime).
Pick from multiple locations and book your flight online. On the day, after a full safety briefing, you’ll have the option to upgrade to front-seat viewing to maximise your experience in the sky. With different flight durations available, you can make your helicopter ride last as long as you want (and trust us when we tell you that you won’t want it to end).
The best part about doing it this time of year is the lights. Seeing London from above during the festive season brings a whole new perspective. Book ahead to make sure you get up!
This way for The Red Letter Days helicopter experiences.
Now celebrating 20 years, one of the West End’s most-love musicals, Disney’s The Lion King, is here to impress.
Seeing The Lion King on stage is one of those things everybody has to do at least once. A show unlike any other, the story we all know and love is retold in a way that’s impossible to forget. Set in the heart of Africa, The Lion King brings all the characters to life (we can’t promise you won’t shed a tear) while we’re taken on the journey of Simba and co.
If you’ve never been to the theatre before, rest assured that this is the best way to experience the West End. It’s heartfelt and hilarious simultaneously; it has songs that will give you goosebumps and set designs that’ll keep you guessing.
Despite this being one of the West End’s biggest shows (obviously), the Lyceum Theatre is small enough that every seat has a good view. With the show being suitable for anyone age 6 and over, it really doesn’t matter who you take, so long as you go!
With a total running time of 2 hours 30 minutes (including interval), jetting off to the Lyceum Theatre will be one of the best things you do in London. Matinee or evening show, this is entertainment like no other. Be sure to explore the surrounding areas, too!
The second of our top two restaurants is Gauchos. Another place we hope you’ve heard of (what a great discovery, if not!), Gaucho is best-known for its impeccable interior design in homage to its Argentinian roots.
Steak houses don’t get any better than this. Fact. It’s a simple case of Gaucho’s food and wine expertise combined with second-to-none service that sets them far above the rest. If you’re a meat lover, there’s no other place you should visit during your London venture.
In addition to their standard service, Gaucho has now launched their new Bottomless Beef & Bottle menu – a menu available on Sundays from midday that offers bottomless steak and wine (for a 90-minute dining period). What more could you possibly want?
With restaurants all over the capital (Canary, Chancery, Charlotte Street, Piccadilly, Richmond, Sloane, Tower Bridge etc.), you’re never too far away from this dining experience. A restaurant that genuinely loves what they do, the foodie itch is infectious.
Menu highlights: Gaucho is one of those restaurants where you can’t really order badly. As always, enjoy a drink at the bar – it’s well worth taking in the interiors.
To start, we’d recommend sharing 3 plates for two of you – not because there’s not enough food but because there’s too many to choose from. The Tuna Ceviche, Buratta Salad and Yellowtail were our top picks.
For your main, you’d be mad not to go for a steak (that’s their speciality, anyway). They’ll bring out a board with all of the cuts, hand-in-hand with an explanation of each one and the flavours that come with it. There are veggie and vegan options on the menu as well.
A highlight dessert is the Salted Dulce De Leche Cheesecake with toasted marshmallow on the side. Make sure you leave room for it – no regrets.