The Head Concierge at Corus Hotel Hyde Park tells us why London should be top of your list if you’re planning a holiday, and shares his tips for how to make the most of the city.
London really is the perfect place to visit for a city break. It’s not so big as to be completely overwhelming for a first time visit, yet there is so much going on you would never run out of things to do even on your 100th visit. The city is perfect for families, romantic breaks, business trips, cultural pilgrimages, or for those simply looking to indulge in London’s unrivalled food, drink and nightlife scene.
1 The green spaces
The parks are perhaps one of the city’s best loved spaces by Londoners themselves. Venture into Richmond Park for a taste of the English countryside, or Hampstead Heath with its public swimming lake and amazing views. We are lucky enough to be situated just across the road from Hyde Park, which is the largest of the royal parks in London, and home to a number of famous landmarks including the Serpentine Lake, Speakers Corner and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. Hyde Park also offers various recreational activities including open water swimming, boating, cycling, tennis and horse riding, plus hosting events ranging from Gay Pride, to rock concerts and Proms in the Park.
Shopping in London is like nowhere else in the world, from the iconic shopping streets of Oxford Circus and Bond Street, to the plush boutiques of Knightsbridge and world-famous department stores Harrods and Selfridges. If we have guests who have already experienced all of that, I usually recommend them to visit smaller markets like Maltby Street Market or Broadway Market for a more authentic London experience.
If New York is the city that never sleeps, then London can’t be far behind! There is always so much going on. In August the Southbank centre hosted London’s annual festival of love – this year’s event was inspired by the late Nelson Mandela. Or if sightseeing is more your bag, the Houses of Parliament is commemorating 800 years since the signing of magna carter in 1215 – so now is the perfect time to book an audio or guided tour with Afternoon Tea. For art lovers, The National Portrait gallery is currently home to an extraordinary Audrey Hepburn exhibition, celebrating one of Britain’s most iconic film stars.
4 Food glorious food
London is home to a dizzying array of amazing restaurants, from Michelin star meccas to tiny artisan coffee shops producing life-changing cakes. A good way to experience more than just one of them at a time is to go to one of the city’s now iconic street food markets. The hip Street Feast is located in Lewisham, Dalston, and Shoreditch, or Kerb in Kings Cross is very good with hundreds of tasty food stalls offering everything from Vietnamese buns to pulled pork and BBQ ribs.
5 The weird and wonderful
Forget Scandi cool or Parisian chic. Visiting London is all about experiencing the wonderfully bizarre eccentricity of modern Britain. Pay a visit to Camden Lock to see punks, live music and everything in-between. East London for themed cafes – cat cafe, owl cafe cereal cafe – you name it we’ve got it. Get a wet shave, posh Afternoon Tea, or your shoes shined in Mayfair, or simply go and enjoy a pint of beer in a good old English pub – anywhere in the city.
Standing proudly at No.1 Lancaster Gate, Corus Hotel Hyde Park offers unrivalled quality service and value-for-money in a prime central London location.
Overlooking the beautiful Hyde Park, the largest of the Royal Parks in London, the grand white 200 year old listed Georgian building is perfectly situated for guests looking to explore London. The 4-star hideaway is close to everything that the West End of London has to offer, from shopping in Oxford Street, Bond Street and Knightsbridge, to museums and art galleries in South Kensington and world famous visitor destinations such as Buckingham Palace. It is also a short walk from Kensington Palace where the royals, Kate and William reside with their family.