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London, the bustling capital of England, is a city brimming with history, culture, and excitement. With its iconic landmarks, diverse neighborhoods, and rich cultural scene, it offers an array of unforgettable experiences for visitors from around the world.

For all-season travelers, exploring the top attractions in London promises to be an adventure like no other.

In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the must-visit attractions in London. This information will ensure that your visit to this vibrant city is nothing short of extraordinary.

The Famous Wax Museum: Madame Tussauds

Are you ready for a star-studded adventure right in the heart of London? If so, prepare to meet your favorite stars and historical figures at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum! Step into a world of glamour as you explore lifelike wax figures of Hollywood celebrities, music legends, sporting heroes, and even royal family members.

Want to make it a hassle-free visit? With madame tussauds london tickets, you can skip the queues and dive straight into the action. Featuring over 150 lifelike figures, this iconic museum takes you through history and pop culture. Just scan your ticket at the entrance to begin your adventure! Even children under three get in free but require a reserved ticket.

Immerse yourself in interactive experiences that bring the world of Madame Tussauds to life. You can even test your sporting skills against Usain Bolt. Challenge your vocal abilities with Adele, or step into the spotlight with your favorite Marvel superheroes.

Whether you’re a movie buff, a music fan, or simply curious to see your favorite stars up close, a visit to this museum promises to be an experience you’ll never forget.

Exploring Buckingham Palace: A Royal Journey

No visit to the place is complete without a stop at Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the British monarch. Standing tall and proud since 1703, Buckingham Palace isn’t just a house; it’s a royal masterpiece. With 775 rooms, it’s like a mini kingdom in itself. Imagine getting lost in there!

But wait, there’s more! Every summer, the palace opens its doors for the public to walk through the State Rooms. As you wander through rooms adorned with priceless art and glittering chandeliers, it’s a royal feast for the eyes! Don’t forget the famous Changing of the Guard ceremony, where you can watch soldiers in their uniforms swap duties with military precision.

Interestingly, hundreds of staff keep things running smoothly behind the scenes till today. From footmen to gardeners, everyone plays a part in the royal palace.

Additionally, spread over 40 acres, the place’s stunning gardens are like a green oasis in the heart of bustling London. They are perfect for a leisurely walk or a royal picnic. Just don’t forget to make bookings in advance. After all, who wouldn’t want a glimpse into the lives of the royals?

Journey Through Time: Tower of London

Another iconic landmark that shouldn’t be missed is the Tower of London. A historic fortress and UNESCO World Heritage Site situated on the banks of the River Thames. With a history dating back over 1,000 years, the tower has served as a royal palace, prison, and treasury, making it one of the most fascinating attractions in the city.

It has seen kings and queens and countless events. From royal ceremonies to imprisonments and even executions, the Tower holds stories of power and intrigue. One of its main attractions is the Crown Jewels. Sparkling with diamonds and precious gems, they represent centuries of royal history.

The Tower has also served as a fortress, protecting the city from invaders. Today, visitors can explore its many rooms and corridors. From the medieval White Tower to the battlements offering sweeping views of the city, there’s something for everyone. So, whether you’re a history buff or just curious about the past, the tower promises an unforgettable journey through time.

Where Art Comes Alive: Tate Modern

Art lovers won’t want to miss a visit to the Tate Modern, one of the world’s leading contemporary art museums. As you step inside, you’re greeted by a whirlwind of creativity waiting to engulf your senses. Here, you’ll find works by renowned artists like Picasso, Warhol, and Hockney alongside emerging artists pushing art’s boundaries.

What sets Tate Modern apart is its dynamic approach to showcasing art. Exhibitions change regularly, ensuring there’s always something new to discover. Whether you’re into abstract expressionism or minimalist design, there’s a piece that speaks to you.

Tate Modern encourages interaction. Engage in lively discussions with fellow art enthusiasts or participate in workshops to unleash your inner artist. The museum’s immersive experiences make art accessible to everyone, regardless of age or background.

A Cultural Hub of Creativity: Camden Market

Camden Market is a vibrant place bursting with creativity. It’s not just a market; it’s a cultural hub where ideas flourish, and art comes to life. Located in the heart of the city, this market is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking unique experiences.

Here, you’ll find an eclectic mix of stalls selling everything from handmade crafts to vintage clothing. The market is a melting pot of different cultures and styles, reflecting the diversity of the place itself. From trendy jewelry to quirky artwork, there’s something for everyone.

Additionally, it’s a hub for artists and performers, with live music and street art adding to the colorful atmosphere. Camden Market is also a foodie paradise, with stalls serving cuisine worldwide. And the best part? It’s open daily, so you can experience its magic whenever the mood strikes. Whether you’re a resident or a tourist, be sure to allocate some time to discover this cultural treasure.

Conclusion

The city offers unforgettable experiences for all ages, from star-studded adventures at Madame Tussauds to royal tours of Buckingham Palace. Dive into history at the Tower of London and explore artistic wonders at the Tate Modern. Camden Market awaits with its cultural vibrancy and diverse flavors. No matter which attraction you choose, this city promises to leave you with memories that last a lifetime. So, get ready yourself for an unforgettable journey to this vibrant city, where every corner holds a new story waiting to be discovered.

What better venue than Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor Brasserie in Leeds to enjoy a leisurely meal with friends or family? Try for yourself the Exquisite Winter Dining Menu.

The Winter Dining Menu at Harvey Nichols offers a selection of starters, mains and desserts, plus a cocktail for just £30 per person. A 3-course menu that is running until 17th March, which means that you’ve still got plenty of time to book yourself in for this wonderful treat.

Leeds


Guests can choose to dine at any of the Harvey Nichols restaurants including Leeds, where we dined, or Knightsbridge, Bristol, Manchester and Edinburgh.

The menu offers dishes such as warm onion and potato hash with whipped goats cheese, and chilli tomato jam, which we tried. Or, escabeche of sea bass with potato, confit shallot, and smoked paprika aioli, another dish we tried. There are two other starters on the menu including chicken liver parfait or charred smoked haddock too.

As you can imagine everything was served beautifully, presented immaculately, and tasted divine. We even had food envy as the table opposite tucked into starters we hadn’t opted for, and the haddock looked extremely delicious.

Exquisite Winter Dining Menu


With five mains courses to choose from, there’s something for all tastes. We decided upon the pan-fried sea bream, served with crushed potatoes, baby gem lettuce, crispy onions and salsa verde. Our other main was the braised shoulder of lamb, with black olive mashed potato, roasted red pepper, whipped goats cheese, and tenderstem broccoli, with a rosemary sauce.

We couldn’t call it between the mains because the fish was flaky and delicate, yet the lamb was hearty and flavoursome. Both were quite outstanding from start to finish.

The dessert menu showcased some wonderful options including whipped milk chocolate ganache, or rhubarb and custard mille feuille. Equally, there was the dessert of all desserts, sticky toffee pudding, or selection of cheeses with crackers and chutney.

Exquisite Winter Dining Menu

One of us was too full to indulge, the other tried the cheeses which were supplied from Yorkshire cheesemonger Cryer & Stott of Allerton Bywater. The cheese was so good, and such a great way to end the meal at Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor Brasserie in Leeds.

We would suggest you book now before the 17th March as this limited time menu will cease to exist past this date, and you don’t want to miss out!

Winter Dining Menu here, book yourself a table here.

Huge thanks to the wonderful front of house team at Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor Brasserie for looking after us perfectly.

Exquisite Winter Dining Menu At Harvey Nichols written by Rachel McAlley

More Food and Drink features with House of Coco

Tucked underneath luxury hotel, Middle Eight is QT, an elegant hideaway that every Friday and Saturday night presents The Leo Green Experience, a musical twist on live jazz, led by the man himself, Leo Green.  Leo doesn’t need an introduction, he’s played saxophone for music legends, Van Morrison and Paul McCartney. He regularly presents on Radio 2 and was described as “The greatest sax player I have ever worked with,” by rock and roll icon, Jerry Lee Lewis.  Along with his super talented band, Leo brings to life some classic old school songs mixed in with the latest releases in a two-hour show that will have you up on your feet at least one cocktail in.

QT is a great venue, intimate enough for you to feel part of the show and enough space to indulge in a shimmy stage side. Cosy tables with low lighting and sumptuous velvet seating give speakeasy vibes with a modern twist.   While the band set up, you can settle into your seat and order from their extensive cocktail and drinks menu and if you’re peckish, indulge in a selection of light bites.   There’s table service and the staff here are slick and seamless, my drink is regularly topped up and my substantial charcuterie platter arrives ahead of the show starting.   There’s various drinks and food packages you can pre-order in advance so it’s worth checking out what is on offer.

As the Leo Green Experience took to the stage, I found myself mesmerised by their electrifying performance. Leo Green’s passion for music was palpable in every note he played, and the band members complemented his talent with their own exceptional skills. Together, they delivered a dynamic sax party that spanned genres and eras, expect big tunes you can sing along to and throwbacks that Leo and his ensemble bring bang up to date. 

What stands out was the band’s ability to engage with the crowd, you quickly feel like an old friend. Leo’s charismatic personality and genuine interaction made the evening fun and memorable. Whether he was sharing anecdotes between songs or inviting audience participation, it was evident that he was dedicated to ensuring that everyone had a great night.  You’re encouraged to request songs and challenge the band to belt out a curve ball, when I was there the group put a spin on a Snoop Dog tune that had guests up dancing.  As the performance comes to a close, no one is sat in their seats.  There’s a group of school mums on a night out and they’re soon up on the stage looking every inch glamorous backing singers, all the while Leo is blowing up a storm on the sax.  The band are clapped off stage and guests thin out to the bar upstairs in the hotel.

The Leo Green Experience at QT is a must-see for music enthusiasts and anyone looking to indulge in a night of fabulous entertainment. With its impeccable service, vibrant atmosphere, and unparalleled performances, this event promises a ridiculously fun evening that will leave you longing for an encore.

The Leo Green Experience at QT, Middle Eight Hotel, runs every Friday and Saturday, twice a night. Tickets available at middleeight.com

Code 8 is a haven for beauty enthusiasts looking to add a personalised touch to their make-up routine. Tucked away in Burlington Arcade, just set back from the bustling streets of Mayfair, their boutique store is an Aladdin’s cave of jewel rich lip glosses and lipsticks, velvety smooth beauty balms and radiant highlighters.   Unlike some make up brands, Code 8 isn’t overwhelming with too much choice. Instead, it’s a strip backed, carefully curated selection of essentials that will enhance your make-up bag.

What makes Code 8 extra special is their Bespoke Lipstick Bar.  Working with their team of make up maestro’s you can create your own lipstick, tailor-made to match your skin tone.  Gone are the days of settling for generic shades that merely suffice. Here, you’re the architect of your lipstick masterpiece. Guided by the knowledgeable team, you will embark on a journey of colour exploration, selecting from an extensive palette of hues and finishes.

As soon as I arrive, I’m greeted by the friendly staff who whisk off my coat and quickly replace it with a glass of bubbles.  I take my seat at the Lipstick Bar where I meet Juan Lopez, the Colour Maestro at Code 8, responsible for creating some of the brand’s fabulous lipstick shades in matte and cream.  Juan and I chat about my make up routine, the brands and shades I regularly go for.  When it comes to lipstick and lip gloss I’m a tad boring, I very rarely opt for anything other than a Bobby Brown nude chubby stick.  What I’d love to try is something a little bolder.  Juan suggests we start with a red and then a nude with a bit more punch to my usual shade.  We agree and he gets to work.

Behind the bar is where the magic happens.  Here is a palette of colour pigments which Juan sets about meticulously blending.  As more colours are added the shade becomes more pronounced.  It’s quite therapeutic watching the process come to life, a bit like watching an artist mix their colours while working on a masterpiece.  When Juan thinks he’s got the perfect shade we try it out.  He inspects the colour against my skin tone and shakes his head.  It’s too dark, so he gets back to work remixing until he has the ideal blend and I have to say when we apply it this time, I feel a little more kick ass with a dash of glamour.  We go through the same process until we find a nude.  What makes this experience exceptional is the team’s knowledge, passion and recommendations, all tailored to your preferences. 

Once you settle on your shade the mix is transferred to beaker and gently warmed before being poured into a mould and popped in a machine where its frozen and moulded into a lipstick.  The result is a soft velvety red lipstick which I get to assign a name to.  All the details of your lip colour are recorded and stored on file so you can purchase again, its then boxed in beautiful packaging for you to take away.

Code 8’s commitment to quality is evident in the ingredients they use. Their lipsticks boast a formulation enriched with nourishing agents, ensuring not only a flawless application but also long-lasting comfort. Whether matte, or cream, each finish has staying power.  I wore my new red to a party the following weekend I can confirm it was still going strong by the end of the evening.

As I leave Code 8, I feel like I’ve uncovered a beauty secret I need to share with my girlfriends.  This customised lipstick experience would make a great Mother’s Day gift, a fantastic hen party or a fun afternoon with your best friend.

Bespoke Lipstick Bar starts at £80, appointment types vary from individual bookings to parties for up to 6 people. Makeover consultations and masterclass services are also available to purchase online.  For more information contact Code 8.

From new openings to old friends, London’s dining scene is as exciting as ever. While we do love cooking at home, we’d be lying if we said we didn’t also love eating out at a restaurant and enjoying both the food and ambience of dining out.

Full of both trusty chain restaurants and independent spots, perhaps you’ll know some of the restaurants listed here – or maybe there’ll be some hidden gems you’ll be sure to add to your list. While most of us are seasoned brunch-ers in this city, there are a variety of cuisines that are certainly underrated and well-deserving of a shout-out here.

So if you’re looking for a new restaurant or two to add to your list for 2024 – or if you are happy to be reassured that some old friends are still solid favourites, continue reading for your food fix below.

Best restaurants to book in London

Tandis, Finchley Road

Try Iranian cuisine in London at Tandis Persian Restaurant

One that might not be on your radar but certainly should is Tandis. Previously located in Haverstock Hill, the restaurant moved to Finchley Road some five years ago now – but we’re here to tell you that the same great taste remains. While it may not be as well known as other Persian restaurants more centrally-located, this is our Persian food editor’s family favourite and we’re here to guide you through the best dishes to order, should you (and you should) make your own reservation soon.

All Persian meals must start off with tearing the flatbread (usually lavash, taftoon) and scooping up thick lashings of the creamy mast-o musir (yoghurt dip with shallots). Other starters we’d recommend include the traditional tahdig (crispy rice from the rice cooker or bottom of the pan) topped with either gormeh sabzi (Persian lamb and herb stew) or gheymeh (lamb and split pea stew). If it’s your first time dining here – or at any Persian restaurant – kebab is the main event. You can choose from koobideh (minced lamb), barg (lamb fillet), jujeh (chicken) or shishlik (lamb chops) – all accompanied by saffron rice, a grilled tomato and salad.

However, if you’re a seasoned Persian diner – or just fancy trying something different – the khoreshts (stews) and rice dishes are so delicious and not to be missed. There’s plenty to choose from – but top dishes include fesenjan (pomegranate and walnut chicken stew) and zereshk polo (rice with barberries and braised chicken). Oh, and every Persian meal finishes with black tea and baklava – enjoy.

Tandisrestaurant.com

Umu, Mayfair

Umu restaurant in Mayfair has already been our Japanese highlight of 2024

Might we have just found our favourite Japanese restaurant in London? We’re ashamed to say it isn’t even a new opening, as Umu has been tucked away in a quiet corner of Mayfair for 20 years – but we’re certainly glad this hidden gem is on our radar now. From its discreet entrance to its elegantly simple dining room, Umu offers diners a Kyoto kaiseki experience, paired with impeccable service.

The Michelin starred spot immediately instigated a sense of calm as soon as you walked through the door – while the recommended sake (a light, floral style) went down a treat as we sipped alongside the first course of turbot carpaccio, as well as sea bass, lobster, chutoro (fatty tuna), scallop and yellowtail (my personal favourite) sashimi. Everything had a distinct freshness to it, with the accompanying soy sauce simply enhancing the existing flavour – as opposed to point blank adding it or even (this has happened at a few restaurants) masking the original taste of the fish.

The tempura selection was fantastic – with both lobster and mushroom proving both fish lovers and vegetarians would have an equally enjoyable experience at Umu – while the grilled turbot was plated up so simply but was so satisfying to both the tastebuds and the tummy. The star of the show? The nigiri selection was flawless. Both the toro topped with padron pepper and red mullet with bottarga excelled, while the langoustine and scallop gunkan varieties were also fantastic. The soy sauce, with lemon and lime juice and chives, was a great addition, too.

Those with a sweet tooth can round the meal off with the Mayfair Garden dessert; Japanese seasonal tiramisu with matcha green tea and a pourable Ginjo sake (my kind of pudding, this), as well as other seasonal sweet treats available.

Umurestaurant.com

Marlowe, Shoreditch

new restaurant london montcalm east marlowe
Marlowe is the new restaurant in the Montcalm East hotel

New to the Montcalm East hotel by Old Street station is Marlowe. Inspired by legendary playwright, Christopher Marlowe, the restaurant pays homage to the vibrant history and diversity of the city. The bar staff make a mean amaretto sour cocktail which is great for sipping as you peruse the menu. The cured trout with pickled cucumber and ham hock and chicken terrine with cranberry relish both make great starters – both packed with good flavour.

For the main course, the slow cooked pork belly with baby gem, tomato and brioche was a standout – although we’d prefer either a less sweet tomato sauce or adding more of a fiery kick – and while the beef cheek and bone marrow flatbread was tasty, we wouldn’t personally class it as a flatbread (as is phrased on the menu). For desserts, opt for the pavlova which was the perfect sweet treat to finish – and make sure you sit by the window for some satisfactory London traffic-watching.

Marlowelondon.com

Hithe + Seek, Bankside

hithe seek hannah crosbie small plates wine pairings menu london
Catch Hannah Crosbie x Hithe + Seek until 2nd March

Stylish bar and kitchen Hithe + Seek has joined forces with wine conoisseur Hannah Crosbie for this limited edition menu of small plates and pairings. Available Tuesday to Saturday until 2nd Mach, the menu features six tasting-menu sharing plates, accompanied by matching wines. For just £99, this also includes a fruity aperitf cocktail with which to kick things off.

Themed around stages of love – or romantic encounters, should we say – this menu featured a variety of dishes, with excellent wines. Our favourites included the ‘Catfish’ which was, in fact, torched king oyster mushroom ‘scallops’ with oyster leaf and parsip purée, paired with a fresh but mellow Taittinger Nocturne Sec NV – while the ‘My-Type-On-Paper’ (langoustine and smoked cheese risotto with citrus bisque foam) was the ultimate decadent comfort dish and the New Zealand Pinot Gris was our favourite wine of the evening. The chilli and mango mousse, hidden in a dark chocolate sphere was perfectly seductive as ‘The Ex’ to end the meal – we would definiely deliberate going back to that one, to be fair.

Vavasour, Pinot Gris; Awatere Valley, New Zealand

Hitheandseek.com

Lusin, Mayfair

Have you tried Armenian food? Another lesser-known cuisine of the Middle Eastern region, Lusin is actually the first Armenian restaurant to arrive in Mayfair’s hotspot of fine dining restaurants. The restaurant itself is as beautiful as you’d expect – and the menu is packed full of traditional dishes. Lusin’s signature aubergine rolls are stuffed with walnut and whipped cheese – and make for a great starter – as does the hummus topped with cubes of wagyu beef.

Also not to be missed are the kibbeh and sujuc (Armenian sausage) rolls. The restaurant’s specialties include a deliciously slow braised lamb shank, served with rice, the classic meat-stuffed manti and the signature dish: the cherry lamb kebab. While Lusin’s famous rose-flavoured ice cream with candy floss is popular across social media, we were more taken with the honey cake, which features layers of honey biscuits and cream and served with actual honey comb.

Lusinrestaurant.com

Fish Game, Wood Wharf

fish game roberto costa london restaurant macellaio rc

A charcoal grill restaurant, Fish Game prides itself on serving up a menu full of sustainable British ingredients, with a particular focus on game and fish. Founder Roberto Costa is known for his mouthwatering steak restaurant, Macellaio RC, so while we were increasingly tempted by the charcoaled beef ribeye, we wanted to try alternative dishes, that the new restaurant was more known for.

Starting things off with the chargrilled squid, with fermented chilli and fried cavolo nero – this was a dish we could have eaten on repeat, all night.Packed full of flavour, it set a very high standard from the get-go. The chilli lime-marinated, chargrilled octopus and bone marrow with butter chilli sauce was rich was delicious, nonetheless, and the steak tartare was not only tasty but made at the table, providing a little bit of dinner theatre, for those who enjoy it. The sweet and sour mallard was the perfect blend of flavours but the star of the show had to be the grilled Cornish monkfish, served simply with rosemary, lime and Maldon salt – and it was perfection.

Fishgamerestaurant.co.uk

Caravan, Covent Garden

An oldie but a goodie, Caravan is the OG brunch spot in London. With its renowned dishes remaining on the menu – such as the jalapeno cornbread with chorizo, it’s clear why this is a restaurant that has withstood the test of time. It’s latest location is in the heart of Covent Garden – and this spacious spot proves its popularity, as it is constantly packed full of brunchers.

The fried rice bowl with greens, a fried egg, kimchi mayonnaise, sambal, crispy shallots, peanuts and coriander was elevated with additional crispy tofu and halloumi – and the hazelnut chocolate and poached strawberry french toast with candied hazelnut was a delicious sweet treat with which to finish. The buttermilk fried chicken could have potentially done with a scallion pancake, rather than a classic one – but was delicious, nonetheless – and we experimented with hard juices by adding mezcal to our green juice. 10/10 would recommend.

Caravanandco.com

Sticks ‘n’ Sushi, Shoreditch (and other locations)

sticks sushi london shoreditch restaurant
Sticks ‘n’ Sushi has opened its latest London location, in Shoreditch

What was once a boutique-style restaurant in London has now grown to a huge chain that appears to be in every corner of the city – but we’re glad to report that quantity hasn’t compromised the quality at Sticks ‘n’ Sushi. The Shoreditch location features the same menu as the other restaurants so veterans can expect the same famous ebi bites (tempua shrimp), grilled edamame, sushi selection and yakitori sticks. Not to be missed are the scallop ceviche, scallops in kataifi batter with trout roe and the seared nigiris (not everywhere does these).

Sushi-wise, if you’re not opting for the mini maki maki (which includes highlight rolls such as the tuna, avocado and tempura shrimp Hells Kitchen and the seared salmon and snow pea Shake Aioli), there’s a miso marinated black cod futomaki and spicy tuna roll that never disappoint, either. Don’t forget to leave room for the sticks, with top choices including the beef with herb butter, miso marinated black cod, cheese wrapped in bacon, grilled shrimp and much more. If you’re worried about not fitting in dessert, don’t worry – Sticks ‘n’ Sushi follows Japanese protocol, where just a small sweet treat is necessary to finish the meal.

Sticksnsushi.com

El Rancho de Lalo, Brixton

Get your Colombian food fix a El Rancho De Lalo restaurant

Brixton is home to El Rancho De Lalo – a Colombian restaurant which offers up canteen-style food. A family-run restaurant, there’s certainly a laidback and authentic ambience to this eatery. The chicharon (crispy cubes of pork belly) and the empanadas stole the show out of the starters – particularly when dipped in some tangy salsa – while the mains featured a variety of grilled meats, with our personal favourite being the whole grilled fish. We’ll be heading back on weekends, when a more extensive menu is served.

Instagram.com/elranchodelalo

Hyped as one of the stand-out shows on the Edinburgh Fringe, Stamptown has enjoyed a lot of good press. Lauren Kate Hughes went along to Soho Theatre for the variety show’s debut run in London to get in on the action.

Stamptown Comedy positions itself as offering something different from the get-go. Firstly, it has a 10.30pm kick-off at London‘s Soho Theatre; a time late enough to widen the eyes of this morning person. With the later start comes the opportunity for dim sum in nearby Chinatown and pre-show cocktails that act as a little lubrication before a somewhat raunchy assortment of acts (read: full-frontal nudity).

Secondly, it promises a variety show in its truest form. The word eclectic is often banded about, but this time it’s completely appropriate. Perhaps the most recurring theme, at least in my selection of acts (they change from show to show) was a lot of nudity. As stand-up Kemah Bob relays to the audience at the beginning of her set – “Oh, the pressure of being the only fully clothed act of the night”. Each act offers something unique, including Martin Urbano, a critic live-reviewing the show amidst Stamptown’s chaotic line-up.

The show has been much hyped, with sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, numerous accolades on the awards circuit and a stellar review from the New York Times already under its (sequined) belt. Eager to see what happens during a show that promises to be more akin to a wild night out rather than a middle-of-the-road stand-up show, we headed out on a cold January night and settled into the welcoming bosom of Stamptown’s Soho debut.

In essence, Stamptown is a variety show with different acts weaved loosely together by compere Jack Tucker (IRL name, Zach Zucker) a native New Yorker with a style that’s as hectic as its acts and the creator of Stamptown. The crowd was intimate but interactive, with the mood shifting from hushed giggles to full-bellied laughs as each performer took the stage.

Zach, who’s also an award-winning actor and producer, believes comedy always should be intimate, previously telling Vulture: ‘There is nothing inherently cool, interesting, or morally good about selling out a 300-seater. That’s 300 people who you don’t know and don’t care about. A real comic doesn’t need hundreds of people laughing at their jokes.’

If I had to describe the night in one word, it would be raucous. If I’m allowed two, it’s unique. The format is chaotic, the vibe is wild; it offers a smörgåsbord of performance styles befitting of Soho itself.

There’s burlesque, interpretive dance, stand-up, satire, drag, clowns, characters and singers. Each act demands attention; wallflowers and filler acts don’t exist here. Zach’s narration and the acts he introduces are both completely unhinged, but that’s the fun of Stamptown; you can lose your mind a little.

My favourite acts of the night? It’s hard to choose. But I’d say a stand-up act who ranted on the absurdity of sea salt had me chuckling along gleefully (loyal Maldon shopper right here). As well as a burlesque dancer in a sparkling bikini who did hypnotic things with her bottom. A special mention also goes to roller-skating bubbler Dylan Woodley, who managed to loosen up the crowd with some upbeat dance tracks and an unhealthy amount of Jason Derulo.

I won’t spoil the ending, but hold onto your hats. Because our saucy fire-breathing cowboy certainly doesn’t.

To find out more, visit stamptowncomedy.com

Hotel openings are second to none in London – fitting for a city that attracts the millions of tourists that the UK capital does. Arriving in the West End at the end of 2022, Hotel Amano as firmly cemented itself as a trendy spot to stay when in the city and comes complete with contemporary interiors and a moody ambience.

Complete with its own immersive restaurant – plus a rooftop bar, which offers gorgeous London views, Hotel Amano has good reason to be on your radar the next time you book somewhere to stay in the capital. From the gorgeous gold bathtub (which has no doubt graced your feeds on Instagram and TikTok) to the brass chandeliers and risqué artwork, if you’re not already convinced, continue reading to see why this you should stay in this hotel during your next trip to London.

hotel amano visit london covent garden review
Why not book Hotel Amano in Covent Garden for your next trip to London?

Hotel rooms at Amano

There’s a large selection of room typs at Hotel Amano, meaning whether you’re looking for a snug space to stay overnight or more space for a longer trip, this boutique hotel can cater to everyone’s needs. From ‘cosy’ and ‘comfy’ rooms to ‘roomy’ and ‘roomy plus’, whatever your preferred bed size, Hotel Amano has you covered. For anyone looking for an extra air of luxury added to your trip, the ‘goldy’ is an essential booking – as there’s nothing quite as aesthetically pleasing and opulent as a gold bath tub and shower.

Amanogroup.com

Food and drink at Amano

Penelope’s

An Israeli-Spanish fusion restaurant, Penelope’s serves up innovative dishes for its diners. With an extensive cocktail and wine list, the premium plates we recommend would have to include the nduja pork belly and the black challa calamari (this might be the tastiest calamari we’ve had in London). The beef short rib is an excellent main course – while the ‘seafood on fire’ makes for an impressive dish if you’re looking for some dinner theatre.

hotel amano penelopes restaurant food dinner
Penelope’s at Hotel Amano offers dinner and a show

Speaking of dinner and a show, Penelope’s is known for its sophisticated decor, which provides a glamorous ambience. As well as contemporary dishes, the dining experience itself is immersive – particularly come the weekend, when the restaurant hosts its famous Isramani nights. You’ve not been to a dinner party like it, with sparkler-garnished cocktails, shots straight from the bottle and belly dancers galore.

Amanogroup.com

Amano Rooftop Bar

London knows a thing or two about a rooftop bar – and the terrace at Hotel Amano Covent Garden offers a gorgeous skyline view as you sit back and sip a cocktail. A unique panorama of the city, it’s the perfect place for an aperitif or post-dinner drinks. For anyone who needs a snack with their drink (our hands are raised), there’s a selection of bar bites available (coming from the kitchen at Penelope’s) so you can enjoy that gorgeous black challah calamari alongside your cocktail.

hotel amano rooftop bar london
Hotel Amano also has a hidden rooftop terrace bar

Overall, Hotel Amano is perfectly-located the for typical tourist or traveller visiting London. In the heart of the West End, the hotel is just a five-minute walk from Covent Garden tube station (seven minutes from Holborn and 10 minutes from Temple). In addition to good transport links, guests will find themselves literally nextdoor to attractions such as the Lyceum Theatre, the Royal Opera House, London Transport Museum and a short stroll from Leicester Square. If Penelope’s isn’t the preferred dining choice, guests are spoiled for choice with restaurants and bars in the West End.

The hotel is a small boutique style – so if you’re looking for somewhere with a spa, gym and the whole works, Hotel Amano might not be for you. However, what this hotel does deliver is gorgeous decor, comfortable beds in stylish rooms, good food and a rooftop bar – on the doorstep of one of the most popular areas of London. So, what are you waiting for?

Book your stay at Hotel Amano here

Searcys is popping the corks by partnering with some of the best British zero-alcohol drinks, Pentire and Wild Idol to offer alcohol-free alternatives across its venues this January.

Limited-edition botanical mocktails from Pentire and non-alcoholic sparkling wines by Wild Idol are the perfect tonic for those seeking alternatives to alcohol this Dry January. Celebrating the best of British, these no-alcohol offerings perfectly complement Searcys’ carefully selected list of Champagnes and English sparkling.

Searcys’ 2024 Dry January Menu includes two fitting twists on refreshing summer classics. Simultaneously sweet and sour, the Pentire Paloma is sure to dispel the doldrums of winter. The Pentire Coastal Spritz is blessed with a bracing burst of Cornish salt that offsets the quintessential bittersweetness. The unique botanical notes of Pentire are inspired by the remarkable flora flourishing along the Cornish coast. In the hands of Searcys master mixologists, these luxurious ingredients elevate the mocktail to new heights.

Another British gem served at Searcys is Wild Idol, a premium, alcohol-free sparkling alternative to fine wine and champagne. Wild Idol is hand-crafted using traditional winemaking techniques and a superior blend of grapes for the finest aromatics and purest flavour. A long-time partner of Searcys, Wild Idol’s ingredients have never included alcohol. The production process is simple and pure – ideal for those searching for a New Year detox. Vegan, low calorie and gluten-free, the result is a sparkling drink of the highest calibre, delivering supreme taste without compromise.

Pentire mocktails will be available at Searcys Barbican restaurants (Barbican Brasserie by Searcys and Barbican Bar & Grill), Brigade Bar and Kitchen, The Pump Room in Bath, Carlton Brasserie and Searcys Champagne Bar at 116 Pall Mall, Searcys Brasserie at St Pancras International and The View at the Royal College of Surgeons. Meanwhile, Wild Idol will be served at Searcys Champagne Bar at Battersea Power Station and St Pancras.

For those wishing to elevate their new year even further, an alcohol-free afternoon tea at Searcys at the Gherkin, enjoyed alongside dramatic 360-degree views, will ensure January has all the glamour and excitement of a new year. Priced at £55 per person, the signature Searcys Sparkling Afternoon Tea can be paired with Wild Idol Non-alcoholic Sparkling Wine from 3rd January until 11th February. From delicate cucumber and cream cheese to indulgent smoked salmon and caviar sandwiches, followed by a tantalising array of sweet pastries and scones, Searcys Afternoon Tea at the Gherkin will ensure no one is compromising on those special moments this Dry January.

The Dry January menu across all other venues will be available until 31st January.

searcys.co.uk

In a luxurious retreat within Nobu Hotel London Portman Square, Laura Bartlett discovered a seamless fusion of Japanese elegance, top-tier amenities, and personalised service, creating an unforgettable experience in the heart of Marylebone…

In the enchanting realm of luxury experiences, Nobu Hotel London Portman Square emerges as a captivating haven where opulence intertwines seamlessly with culinary mastery and holistic well-being. I recently found myself ensconced in the splendours of Nobu, a name synonymous with unparalleled elegance and culinary excellence.

From the moment I stepped into the sophisticated embrace of Nobu Hotel London Portman Square, the echoes of my previous Nobu encounters across the globe resonated, setting the stage for yet another remarkable stay. The allure of Nobu lies not only in its sumptuous accommodations but also in the promise of gastronomic delights that elevate the entire experience.

My night began with a solitary rendezvous in the Nobu Restaurant, where the open kitchen unfolded a culinary spectacle before my eyes. The harmonious dance of flavours, featuring iconic dishes such as Rock Shrimp Tempura, Miso Black Cod, and Yellowtail Sashimi with jalapeño slices, showcased the quintessential ‘Nobu Style.’ It was a culinary journey that transcended borders, a testament to Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s mastery honed through years of exploration in Tokyo and beyond.

As the night unfolded, I retired to the comfort of my luxurious accommodation, elevating the concept of luxury living, my stay at Nobu Hotel London Portman Square was further enhanced by a gracious upgrade to a One Bedroom Suite, a haven of sophistication and comfort that surpassed all expectations.

A nod to the hotel’s Japanese heritage, the room featured a traditional Japanese tea set, adding a touch of cultural authenticity to the experience along with the Yukata robes, a quintessential element of Japanese hospitality, enhancing the sense of luxury and relaxation.

Anticipating the dawn of a new day filled with Nobu’s distinctive blend of work, wellness, and play, the following morning I ventured down to Nobu Pilates, an innovative addition to the hotel’s repertoire. My first experience with the Pilates Reformer was a revelation, seamlessly aligning with Nobu’s commitment to holistic well-being.

The Nobu ethos extends beyond the plate and the Pilates studio to encompass a diverse celebration of lifestyle elements. Nobu Hotel London Portman Square presents itself not just as a place to stay but as a sanctuary where indulgence and rejuvenation coalesce effortlessly. The seamless fusion of work, wellness, and leisure under one roof epitomises the modern luxury traveler’s desires.

And then, there’s the captivating allure of Nobu Bar – a pulsating hub of energy and creativity. It is here that Nobu Hotel introduces its latest venture, “Drop The Beat.” Launched at the end of last year, this weekly extravaganza, taking place every Thursday, transports guests to the heyday of 80s disco and funk. Drawing inspiration from the legendary Japanese nightclub, Maharaja, it promises an immersive journey into the era’s musical enchantment.

Bar Manager Sophie Bratt, in collaboration with House of Suntory, has curated a new cocktail menu that complements the rhythm and energy of the night. “Drop The Beat” at Nobu Bar is not just a gathering; it’s a symphony of nostalgia and contemporary flair, a celebration of music, mixology, and the unmistakable Nobu ambiance.

In the heart of Marylebone, Nobu Hotel London Portman Square stands as a testament to the fusion of timeless luxury and avant-garde experiences. Whether you’re savouring the exquisite Nobu cuisine, indulging in a Pilates session, or grooving to the beats at Nobu Bar’s latest offering, this luxury lifestyle hotel transcends expectations, leaving an indelible mark on your memory. Welcome to Nobu Portman Square, where every moment is an invitation to elevate your senses and embrace the extraordinary.

Step into the embrace of refinement as Laura Bartlett warmly guides you through the enchanting allure of London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square…

As the soothing hum of the Aston Martin resonated through the sophisticated streets of Mayfair, a cherished annual tradition unfolded. A journey to London, a tribute to my late father, and this time, the resplendent London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square would be the backdrop for crafting new memories with my mother and brother.

Nestled in the heart of Mayfair on Grosvenor Square, the hotel stands as an epitome of sophistication. The iconic and grand facade sets the stage for the luxurious haven concealed within. Perfectly positioned between the vibrant arteries of Piccadilly and Oxford Street, the hotel unveils an enviable tapestry of surroundings. Just across the bustling road lies the expansive 350 acres of Hyde Park, a mere 10-minute stroll leading to the tranquil Serpentine lake at its core.

As the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square embraces its historic Park Lane address, the enchanting neighbourhood of Mayfair gracefully unfurls to the east. Adorned with delightful gardens, squares, and mews, this charming area houses upscale shops and restaurants, creating a tapestry of sophistication. 

For the avid shopper, the iconic Regent Street and bustling Oxford Street beckon just a leisurely 15-minute walk away, promising a retail haven at every turn. Conveniently, Marble Arch (Central line) and Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly line) stand as the closest Tube stations, seamlessly connecting guests to the diverse and vibrant offerings of the city.

In the realm of service and facilities, London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square achieves a delicate balance, marrying formality with attentiveness and character. Staff, adept at recommendations and city itinerary planning, demonstrate a keen understanding of guest needs. Fitness enthusiasts find solace in a modern fitness centre on the first floor, ensuring uninterrupted exercise routines. A ‘mindfulness room’ offers a serene space for yoga or meditation, catering to those seeking moments of calm amid the urban buzz.

In our One-Bedroom Suite at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, the spaciousness was nothing short of extraordinary. With a maximum occupancy of four, the suite effortlessly accommodated the three of us, providing ample room to unwind and revel in the luxurious surroundings. The warm welcome extended beyond the traditional as thoughtful gifts awaited us, creating an immediate sense of hospitality. Cute notes adorned the mirror, serving as affirmations that added a personalised touch to our stay.

The accommodation provided a haven away from the city’s hustle, becoming the centrepiece of our memory-making journey. The suite’s spacious design fostered moments of togetherness and quiet reflection, allowing the past and present to gracefully intertwine.

Welcome to a World of Elegance

London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, standing as a 5-star retreat in Mayfair, extends beyond mere accommodation, promising an immersive experience. The hotel, strategically located near Hyde Park, offers sweeping views over the green expanse. With Bond Street, Knightsbridge, Buckingham Palace, and the West End a stone’s throw away, it serves as an ideal hub for exploring London’s grandeur.

Adding Memories to History Books

As we traversed the corridors of London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, the rich tapestry of its history spanning almost a century unfolded before us. The walls seemed to whisper tales of royalty, dignitaries, and legends who had graced these halls. The hotel urged us to contribute our own memories, fostering a sense of belonging to something larger than ourselves.

London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square had become more than a temporary abode; it emerged as a custodian of memories, a curator of experiences, and a timeless witness to the ebb and flow of life’s grand tapestry. As we bid adieu, our laughter lingered in the corridors, etching yet another story into the illustrious history of Grosvenor Square.