London is one of our favourite destinations at ILNI and so we have collated our picks of the most elegant and perfectly British experiences for an unforgettable trip to this fabulous city.
Stay in Elegance
The Gore Hotel
Situated in South Kensington, the Gore Hotel simply oozes historical elegance and character from every pore. Walking into the hotel you are walking back into an era of glamour and refinement. Like a wealthy estate from a previous era, each room is beautifully decorated with antiques and rich fabrics. Sitting next to the iconic Albert Hall, the Gore Hotel has offered luxury accommodation for more than 100 years and continues to do so today in style.
Shop with Elegance
Liberty is known as the destination of choice for the artistic shopper. Opened in 1875 when the brilliant Arthur Liberty presented a shop selling a collection of ornaments, fabric and objects d’art that instantly proved to be irresistible to shoppers in London. The tradition has not faded with time. Standing at the top level of the store one can look down over the wooden staircases into the beautiful store filled with rare finds, remarkable antiques mixed with the latest and greatest home items, fabrics and stationary. The Christmas selection is simply divine and well worth a visit.
Fortnum & Mason (Piccadilly)
For three centuries Fortnum’s has been known as the quintessential British shop for food. Located in Piccadilly, the store has a long reputation of quality and exclusivity in the products it sells. Be prepared to encounter an irresistible display of gourmet pleasures, from chocolates and biscuits to smoked salmon and Stilton, vintage marmalade and seasonal produce. All housed within the traditional architecture of the store. Our tips; pick a random tea from their huge tea selection to take home and try. And if you are looking for a gift, the musical biscuit tins will bring a smile to anyone’s face.
Ladurée London (Burlington Arcade)
Ladurée is the place to go for French Macaroons. This tiny, yet adorable store with the gold plated interior is located at the entrance to Burlington Arcade. And by tiny we mean mini sized, only a handful of customers can get inside the store at one time. Our suggestion is to choose your favourite flavour / colour through the plate glass window before going in to collect your little pieces of macaroon heaven.
Sip Tea in Elegance
England and Tea go hand in hand and when visiting London one should always take the time for an elegant high tea. Our picks are the Wolseley and the Ritz for enjoying a perfectly British teatime.
The Wolseley (Next to the Ritz)
The Wolseley serves a classic English breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but our favourite is afternoon tea, with gorgeous three-tiered platters of delicate fruit scones and pastries the high tea is a delight to behold and to eat. And did we mention the stylish and luxurious surrounds of this perfect piece of British elegance? Also popular with celebrities, this casual but chic restaurant is a place to see and be seen in.
No trip to London would be complete without afternoon tea at the Ritz. Walking in the ground floor past the hall porter you will find High Tea being served in the spectacular Palm Court among glittering chandeliers and antique mirrors. Towering étagère are stocked with sandwiches, scones, teacakes and pastries, to be enjoyed with shining silverware and fine bone china teacups. This is a purely elegant way to enjoy a high tea with exceptional service and delightful live music from the pianist or harpist.
Pause in between all that elegance
Wellcome Library Reading Room
If you are looking for a space to take a breath and rest for a short time during a busy trip in this fantastic city. Our pick is the Wellcome Library Reading Room. A mixture of part gallery, part library and events space; the reading room offers a space for exploring the Library’s collection or just to relax and read a book. Our tip, take a look at the collection of odd collection medical tools from the past or enjoy a board game at one of the many games tables.
Drink in Elegance
The Bar @ The Dorchester
The Dorchester Hotel on Park Lane (www.thedorchester.com) is home to one of London’s oldest and arguably best cocktail bars in the city. The Bar as it is so aptly named is an elegant space with walls covered in luxurious lacquered mahogany, mirrored glass, velvet and dramatic red glass-spears. The Dorchester has managed to create the perfect atmosphere to enjoy one of their delicious bespoke cocktails. Our pick is the Perfect 10, the house specialty martini.
With so many options in this fabulous city there is something for everyone. Our pick of eight elegant experiences are merely a tasting of the many unforgettable experiences London has to offer. We hope these will be inspiration for you to find even more on your next visit.