West End, London
What it has to offer:
One of London’s most popular areas for tourists undoubtedly has to be the West End. It’s home to some of the city’s biggest and most well-known attractions as well as home of the best shows the UK has to offer and the best most iconic streets for shopping.
Go celebrity spotting on the streets, soak up the culture and excitement of the glorious talent throughout the many theatres and eat your way through Chinatown. There is so much on offer in this area, you won’t be disappointed.
A hotspot for fantastic restaurants and bars, you are sure to have the most luxurious and exciting time in this corner of London. We couldn’t possibly list everything to do in this fantastic area, but we have rounded up some of the top things to do in your 48 hours from where to stay to which events not to miss.
Where to stay:
If you’re looking for a sumptuous, grand and gorgeous stay, then look no further than The Mandrake in the heart of Fitzrovia. Something out of the ordinary with its exquisite design throughout every nook and cranny. Choose from the 34 luxurious bedrooms or perhaps splash out on a suite or penthouse.
You’ll have plenty of options when it comes to dining with no fewer than six ways to indulge, including a lively bar with its own DJ on the weekends. If winding down is more your vibe then you can take full advantage of the spiritual wellbeing treatments available during your stay. From Multi Instrumental Sound Journeys to Medicine Song Tribal Ceremonies, there is plenty on offer for alternative therapies.
Less than a stone’s throw away from the bustling Covent Garden you’ll find the Henrietta Hotel. With unmissable views of the city skyline from some of the 40 stunning rooms, designed by Dorothée Meilichzon, you’ll feel like a real city goer at this boutique hotel.
A unique hideaway and a home away from home, this hotel offers guests the perfect blend of style, comfort and splendor.
For sheer opulence and luxury why not book a stay at L’oscar London in Covent Garden. Rooms are bedecked in stunning wallpapers and paints, with a full complement of furnishings and accessories to boot.
A guaranteed decadent stay in a vibrant location, L’oscar is a must-stay for special occasions and celebrations.
Where to eat:
Entering the Top 50 Gastropubs list in 2020, The French House is a go-to for celebrities and foodies alike. In the heart of Soho, you’ll be able to enjoy dishes such as Carlingford oysters with grated horseradish; confit garlic and goats’ curd on sourdough; and pâté grande mere with spiced plum chutney.
Placing fifth in 2022’s National Restaurant Awards, BiBi, in Mayfair, is the perfect spot for progressive Indian food. Expect traditional dishes, large and small plates and a regularly changing menu so you can experience as many award-winning flavours as possible. The produce-led menu has included dishes such as Devon scallop nimbu pani, buffalo milk paneer and Pondicherry chocolate & mint kulfi.
For meat lovers, a trip to The Guinea Grill is a must. A 600-year-old pub in Mayfair serving some of the city’s best beef. On the à la carte menu, for starters, you can expect dishes such as: devilled kidneys or sweetbreads on toast; smoked eel with poached egg and watercress; and a half dozen rock oysters.
Where to drink:
With hundreds of great bars in the capital you certainly have your choice, but we’ve narrowed down a couple of unmissable bars for your visit.
In Soho you’ll find the classic cocktail bar, Bar Termini. The menu is small, but very much perfectly formed and consists of coffee, wine cocktails, food and takeaway cocktails. Relax with an aperitivo or enjoy a house Negroni with some small plates after a day of shopping and exploring.
Just up the road you’ll find Swift, a split venue with 2 different vibes, a more casual buzzy layout on the ground floor and a relaxed – some would say sensual – lounge in the basement. Each with differing menus, you’re sure to find a drink to match your mood.
If you’re exploring Chinatown, you must visit Opium Cocktails & Dim Sum Parlour, a nearly hidden gem in the capital that will take your breath away. A bar across 3 levels, each giving a very distinct experience – each one as modern and fresh as the next. Enjoy expertly crafted drinks with interesting flavours and serves, why not tuck into some dim sum as well.
In Mayfair you’ll find the multi-award-winning Connaught Bar in the Connaught Hotel. Famed for its martini trolley, the expert team are on hand to provide you with the most opulent cocktail drinking experience. There’s a reason this bar was voted the best in the world two years running.
Sights to visit:
An absolute haven for shopping, the West End is brimming with flagship stores for some well-known brands, providing you with a unique retail experience. Some of the world’s most renowned retailers can be found on Oxford, Regent and Bond Street, all within your holiday destination. Not to mention Saville Row, Burlington Arcade and Covent Garden! Whether browsing luxury stores or popping into your old favourites, these streets provide you with a incomparable shopping encounter.
Visit one of the city’s top landmarks, Piccadilly Circus. Often described as the ‘Times Square of London’ and is one of the most famous intersections on the planet. It’s estimated that nearly 100 million people walk through Piccadilly Circus each year.
For the artsy types, there are plenty of magnificent buildings to visit such as The National Gallery with free entry daily. Peruse at your leisure or take a guided tour and soak up all the wonderful exhibits throughout this magnificent infrastructure. From Monet and Van Gogh to Rembrandt and Michelangelo, this gallery is full f iconic artwork and pieces of history.
Find & experience authentic East Asian cuisine in London’s Chinatown with over 70 restaurants, shops, bars and cafes. Chinatown has a rich history dating back to the 18th Century but more recently the 1950s when the local businesses started popping up. With the website saying
‘By the late 1960s, Chinatown was truly established as the epicentre of London’s Chinese community – now numbering in the tens of thousands as more and more Chinese workers arrived from the British territory of Hong Kong’.