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Christmas & New Year Celebrations in London

Christmas and New Year Celebrations in London

London is an idyllic place to visit at all times of year, but especially during the run up to the festive season.  At Christmas time things are truly special, with a plethora of wonderful events on offer. There are attractions galore, from great Christmas pudding races and festive markets, ice skating at some of the world’s most iconic landmarks, magnificent light displays to a range of shows and pantos, (oh no there isn’t!) All of which should combine to put you in the festive mood. So none of your ‘Bah Humbugging’…get your skates on, wrap up warm and brave the chilly London outdoors to saviour some of these unmissable delights.

Rent a luxury serviced apartment in London to enjoy Christmas in the capital

This month we’ll give you a sample of a few, of what we consider to be, the best festive activities within our glorious capital.  This is by no means exhaustive, but should help to whet your appetite and hopefully set you up for a fantastic Yuletide.

Christmas Light Displays

Christmas is a time when London overcomes those dark, dismal winter nights and gives its streets and department stores a festive makeover with the twinkle of millions of Christmas lights all over the city.  You know Christmas is almost upon us when London’s greatest shopping area, Oxford Street, transforms itself with sparkly, glowing lights (750,000 lights this year alone) and 1778 decorations!

If you want to combine your ‘light seeing experience’,(get it?) with a market or two, along with a glass of mulled wine into the bargain, then there are a host of other areas to explore with more superb light displays.

The Carnaby Street Christmas Lights for instance, are an ostentatious example of Christmas glitz. This famous street often offers visitors a Christmas 20% discount in many of its unique shops. Or head off to Christmas at Kew Gardens, where you’ll be able to follow a mile long, twinkling path of over 1,000000 sparkling Christmas bulbs, lighting up ancient trees and buildings throughout these spectacular gardens. You’ll also experience giant baubles, a flickering Fire Garden, a kaleidoscopic laser display in the glorious palm house and even experience the trees singing! What more could you ask for? Oh yes! Your Christmas visit won’t be complete without meeting Santa and his elves at the North Pole village, whilst to warm yourself up after this fantastic experience, you could partake in a glass of hot chocolate or mulled wine or toast your toes and some marshmallows by the fire.  For those more energetic at heart, you could take the Christmas Lights Bike Tour, which will guide you to some of the best locations to see London’s prettiest Xmas illuminations.  On this 2 hour tour you’ll see some of London’s most iconic buildings lit up with thousands of lights and decorations, flickering unforgettably along your route.  You’ll discover quieter streets that you’ve never encountered before, along with London’s glorious array of wonderful festive markets and some of the most mesmerising illuminations imaginable, such as the famous Hamleys toy store, whose gleaming array of lights will delight your every thought.  During your journey, you’ll also hear hilarious tales of London’s history.  Definitely a unique Christmas experience!

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Christmas markets and fairs in London

If you’re on the lookout for Christmas gift inspiration, then London’s Christmas markets and fairs are the place to be.  Here you’ll not only discover a wealth of hand crafted offerings and foodie gifts, but will also be in the midst of a plethora of festive events into the bargain.  What’s more, whilst shopping ‘til you drop, you’ll be able to sample many of the capital’s street vendors, selling every conceivable type of fast food known to man, along with Christmas beverages.  Why not try, for example, Covent Garden at Christmas?  This London area is truly irresistible at this time of year, with its cobbled piazza, stylish stores and market buildings giving it an air of sheer nostalgia.  With over 40 mistletoe chandeliers hanging elegantly above you, you can find that perfect  gift, whilst savouring the beauty of Christmas.  Combine this with a sumptuous meal in one of Covent Garden’s restaurants, whilst watching a street entertainer and you’ll be able to de-stress after all the hustle and bustle of buying that last minute piece of tinsel! 

Great Christmas Pudding Race

If you’re in Covent Garden on the 2nd Dec, try not to miss 150 Christmas puddings tackle a festive obstacle course, in aid of Cancer Research UK.  Last year raising over £26,000 for this worthy cause, 2017’s outing will be the 37th in its history.  Teams don fancy dress and hurtle around obstacles including foam jets and flour-filled balloons, whilst trying to negotiate and balance Christmas puds on paper plates!  You can register teams of 6 and compete, or simply support and have a fun day out.  There’ll be entertainment and celebrity guest appearances throughout the day.

Southbank Centre Wintertime Market

If you’re looking for that special something, this market features over 50 wooden chalets brim full with festive food and drink and unique presents.  Set alongside the Thames, street food is plentiful, with irresistible smells ranging from Asian cuisine to hot dogs and other traditional fayre.  A glorious way to enter into that Christmas spirit, whilst savouring London’s wintertime sights and sounds is to try out the Bar under the Bridge, where you can indulge in your favourite tipple.

Greenwich Wintertime Festival

Located near the famous 19thC Cutty Sark, this venue combines our 17th C architectural legacy with an unforgettable wintertime festival experience.  Situated in the stunning grounds of the world heritage listed Old Royal Naval College, this inviting, yet intimate market/festival still delivers a great experience which will appeal to everyone. You’ll taste London’s finest festive food/drink and be entertained by theatre, street performers, children shows and live music.  You can find that last minute gift at the Winter Market and for the tots why not make their visit more magical by visiting Santa and his Greenwich launch pad, as he gets ready for his Christmas journey? With a mixture of contemporary and traditional activities, amidst over 500 Christmas trees, this festival is becoming a unique and distinctive Christmas destination. So try boogieing at the silent disco, or marvelling at the amazing ice skating performance from world class skaters, for this venue seems to have it all!

Ice Skating in the Capital

During the ‘Little Ice Age’ during the 17th C to the early19th C, it was common during some winters to ice skate on the River Thames.  Alas, the river freezes over no longer, however London still boasts several venues where those energetic enough, can ice skate in enchanting surroundings to their hearts content.

Take, for example, the Natural History Museum Ice Rink.  This famous museum is home to one such ice rink. With the elegant Waterhouse building as a backdrop you can skate, surrounded by the magical trees laced with fairy lights, weaving like Bambi or a real professional around the majestically adorned Christmas tree. There’s an indoor café, bar and viewing balcony overlooking the ice to enjoy all the falls and scrapes that will inevitably happen, whilst enjoying a restful drink or a toasted marshmallow!

Another grand setting for an ice rink is Somerset House, whose stunning 18thC courtyard is the setting for winter fun.  This 900 sq m outdoor rink is the perfect venue for a real escapade.  Ideal for families, you can combine your skating with winter dining at the renowned Fortnum Lodge, which offers champagne and mulled wine, or watch from the Skate Lounge.  There is the Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade to peruse whilst new this year, are the ‘Skate Lates’, a range of programmed events throughout the winter period.

Enjoy Christmas in London, rent a serviced apartment in the city.

Christmas Day

If you want something different this Christmas Day, you could celebrate like never before on a spectacular panoramic tour of London.  You’ll experience all the amazing city landmarks including Westminster Abbey and Houses of Parliament during your festive tour and learn about London’s fascinating history whilst you soak up the festive atmosphere

Take in a panto or show

No Christmas visit to London would be complete without taking in one of the seasonal extravaganzas within the capital. Take the Magic Circle Christmas Show, for example, where you’ll experience The Magic Circle in all its glory. Featuring superb magic tricks, entry also gives access to The Magic Circle museum.  Or go and see Peter Pan - Wembley Arena, to follow Peter Pan’s adventures in this interpretation of J.M. Barrie’s classic. Martin Kemp is the baddy Captain Hook and Matt Knight plays Peter Pan. This dazzling panto features a full size galleon along with a 7m long crocodile! Meanwhile Disney on Ice presents Passport to Adventure at the 02.  You’ll enter magical world of many famous, yet timeless Disney characters like Simba from ‘The Lion King’, Elsa from ‘Frozen’ and Peter Pan.  Toe tapping music abounds in this mesmerising ice-skating spectacular. Or head off to follow Dick Whittington’s adventures at the London Palladium. For ballet lovers, why not take in and be thoroughly enchanted by a lovely presentation of The Nutcracker (Royal Opera House).

Pay a visit to Santa

The magic of Christmas isn’t complete until you and your little terrors have visited Santa in one of his many gift-filled grottos around the capital.  We know he’s ultra-busy at this time, yet Santa always makes time to visit some iconic places within the capital to hear if you’ve been naughty or nice! His grotto at London Zoo for example or his hideaway at the WWT London Wetland Centre, are 2 examples of where you can meet the big man himself.  You could even set sail for a sightseeing tour on the Thames with Santa, when he’ll dish out all kinds of goodies to children on board.  Adults can enjoy mulled wine and mince pies as you glide by many of London’s famous landmarks. Or head to Santa's Grotto at WWT London Wetland Centre to go on an exciting sleigh ride with huskies.  In the forest you may find a hidden cabin in this winter paradise and if so you’ve discovered Father Christmas’ grotto!

Sing Christmas Carols

Often many people are so wrapped up in their Christmas preparations, they forget the true meaning of Christmas. So why not take part of traditional Christmas carols at the historic St Paul’s Cathedral, where there is also a Christmas day church service?  Or join in at the Albert Hall with their Carols by Candlelight?  There are many other such services throughout the capital, including the carols sung around Trafalgar Square’s enormous Christmas tree, where you’ll hear choirs performing carol concerts in the run up to the special day.  Whichever iconic venue you choose, you’ll be sure to soak up the atmosphere and be able to reflect on what Christmas is really about.

Experience the Christmas of long ago.

If you want to experience a Christmas of yesteryear, then there’s nowhere better than an Elizabethan Christmas complete with live dance at Hampton Court Palace. Here they have a series of yuletide activities, ranging from an Elizabethan Christmas to singing carols in the courtyards. As well as a magnificent ice rink, the BBC Good Food’s Festive Feast will get the taste buds going with more than 50 food stalls within these historic courtyards.  On specified dates, there will also be a themed ‘Elizabethan Christmas’, with Tudor-style courtyard entertainment along with live period music/ dance, epitomising what the Christmas of 1592 was like.  Alternatively, try Christmas at Kensington Palace where you’ll experience what Christmas would have been like during Victorian times.  There’ll be a host of 19thC activities to experience along with the 8m tall Victorian styled Christmas tree where there will be occasional workshops enabling you to make decorations to take home.

New Year Celebrations

After all the excesses of Christmas time, why not see the old year out by celebrating with family and friends at some of the wonderful New Year festivities on offer within the capital?  Choices are endless, with fireworks, parties, dinner cruises and clubbing to name a few!  Whatever your plans though, be sure to book in advance as it’s unlikely you can just turn up on the night!

Central London’s Firework Display

This event has become a dazzling spectacle of world class proportions over recent years.   A ticketed event, this pyrotechnic display will dazzle and delight, although if you aren’t lucky enough to get a ticket, you can always see the spectacle on TV whilst enjoying a pint or two!  There is a wealth of other activities also on offer to see out the old year.  A dinner cruise aboard a vessel on the Thames is one such choice, as you’ll still enjoy the fireworks whilst enjoying a lovely meal in the warmth of the cabin.  Champagne/live music are available on some of these cruises, allowing you to dance the night away.  You could opt for an exhilarating speedboat ride, a traditional boat trip or welcome the New Year whilst overlooking London’s skyline on the London Eye. Or perhaps watch The Shard light up the sky with a special New Year's Eve light show.

For those who enjoy more cultural experiences, try being transported to 19th C Vienna to enjoy New Year's Eve’s music/dancing in ‘The Magic of Vienna concert’ (Barbican). Experience memorable music by Strauss, whose waltzes and polkas provided the entertainment to the Viennese of yesteryear.

Alternatively, join the Southbank Centre's Vintage New Year's Eve Party, which offers a quirky, yet stylish way to see in the New Year.   With 5 pop-up ‘vintage’ nightclubs, the music ranges from the ‘20s to the ‘90s, incorporating swing, rock’n'roll, disco, soul and cabaret. There is walkabout entertainment, good dining options and a private river terrace to watch the London fireworks.

If you want something more modern then the Ministry of Sound Electric (Brixton) could be for you. This flagship all-night club attracts many followers of the global dance and house music brand.

New Year’s Day

So the New Year beckons, although January 1st is often overlooked by those with hangovers and those who didn’t get to bed until 5am!  However, there are numerous things to do for those who can manage it.

New Year’s Day annual Parade

This spectacular parade, mixes entertainment and traditional pomp with dancers, marching bands, historical vehicles and more, all descending upon central London to enthral the crowd. This colourful celebration starts at Green Park Tube station at 12pm, finishing at Parliament Square at 3.30pm. Over 10,000 performers will feature, with colourful floats representing countries from around the world, whilst over 500,000 spectators will witness the glorious spectacle, with music and confetti wafting through the London streets.

New Year Sales

If you still have money to spend you could hit the sales in some of London’s top shopping hotspots and pick up bargains in the January sales.

Time for a stroll?

Why not walk off the excess pounds you’ve gained over Christmas with an amble around London’s beautiful parks?   Beautiful any time of year, but on a crisp January day they can be even more stunning!

So get planning your wintery stay in London so that you don’t miss a thing.  If you decide to extend your visit to our fabulous capital then Euracom can help! We provide a range of reasonably priced serviced apartments within London, making your stay in the capital a memorable one.

Why not try our Short stay studio apartments London, Bayswater Kensington Gardens W2?

These short stay apartments are situated in Bayswater, near to Hyde Park & Whiteley’s shopping centre. With the West End’s many shops, restaurants and theatres nearby, they’re an ideal base for exploring our lovely capital. Apartments range from £140p/n and each is decorated to a high standard, complete with air con, LCD TVs and fully equipped kitchens and bathrooms. They are also close to some of London’s beautiful parks, such as Hyde Park and its Winter Wonderland.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathroom
  • Concierge / security / reception Daily cleaning service/ Lifts Nearby/ Secure storage facilities
  • DVD player/ Telephone TV / Freeview Wifi
  • Fully equipped kitchen/ Iron / Ironing board/ Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available Bayswater        

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Alternatively, the Short stay apartments London, Earls Court Road, SW5 provide an excellent base and are close to Sloane Square and Harrods. These Edwardian styled serviced apartments are beautifully furnished boasting traditional, high ceilings & sizable rooms, ranging in size from studios, (£153p/n) to apartments which sleep 8 people.  Their proximity to popular destinations like Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea make them ideal for a spot of Christmas shopping. The famous Royal Albert Hall and Natural History Museum are nearby sights and landmarks worth visiting.

Features include:

  • Baby cot / high chair (upon request)
  • Breakfast available/ Concierge / security / reception/ Daily cleaning service Desk
  • Workspace Dining table & chairs
  • Fully equipped kitchen/ Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available/Dishwasher in some apartments/ Tea / coffee making facilities
  • Door entry phone/ Lifts/ Welcome pack available
  • DVD player/ Telephone TV / Freeview/ Wi-fi
  • En-suite Bathroom in some apartments

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For an even more spectacular, luxurious stay, with everything you could possibly need in the way of 5 star living, the Luxury serviced apartments Green Park, London W1 Mayfair, are for you.

Located off Piccadilly, these apartments are part of a 5 star hotel, so offer the same amenities you’d expect from a luxury London hotel, with all the added benefits of being self-contained, fully equipped luxury serviced apartments. More expensive than the last examples, (prices start from £765p/n for a 1 bed apartment) yet you get what you pay for, as these luxurious apartments are finished to the highest possible standard, featuring marble bathrooms, spacious lounge, dining area and fully fitted kitchen along with a gym, spa, room/ concierge service.  You even have the option of a private garden or penthouse! With Oxford Street and all London’s shops and festive lights nearby, this apartment could be a real ‘dream come true’ of a holiday.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathroom
  • Breakfast available/ Room service/ Radio / Business centre available/ Onsite restaurants / bars /

More about our Green Park luxury serviced apartments London ›

By Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK (Christmas Lights 2 Uploaded by tm) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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By Simeon87 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Rob at 28 Nov 2017

The hidden gems of London

Most people visiting our wonderful capital city will probably take in London’s most famous sights.  The London Eye, Buckingham Palace and The Tower of London are just 3 of the superb attractions on offer to the discerning tourist, enabling them to experience the very best of London.  People visiting London for the first time may find it difficult to stray off the beaten track and will understandably stick to all these famous haunts.

Yet aside from the glorious crown jewels within The Tower, there is a vast array of less well known, hidden gems throughout the capital that will interest you just as much.  These often beautiful places are sometimes off the main tourist paths, so you may have to discard the guide book and start exploring!  From underground tours of London’s disused tube stations, to ancient, well hidden ‘Roman’ Baths; from a labyrinth of man-made caverns at Chislehurst Caves to a former Victorian toilet, now lovingly transformed into a unique eatery. These are just a few of the places which will thrill and delight you by their quirkiness!

Below, you'll discover some of the secret corners of London, often hidden-away amongst the side streets.  They probably aren’t part of the traditional tourist agenda for the most famous London attractions, but they won’t stay relatively unknown for much longer, so visiting them now is a must, before they become too touristy!  So to discover more of the capital, why not check out these fun things to do in London, and experience a different side to the city with our guide to the secret and hidden spots in London?

West London Hidden Gems

Scale an ice cliff

The Vertical Chill ice climbing wall, WC2E 7HA will thrill both beginners and the more advanced climber. Here you can brush up on your mountaineering skills and become a master climber, all in the centre of London. There are lessons for beginners, or you can just turn up on the day and climb your personal Matterhorn. Not quite as good as Everest, but as near as.

See the last remaining ‘fart-powered’ lamp, WC2R 0EU

Hidden behind the Savoy Hotel in Carting Lane, you’ll discover the last remaining Webb Patent Sewer Gas Lamp. These lamps were, during the 19th C, widespread throughout London, and provided low-cost street lighting.  Also used as a means of clearing the noxious, unpleasant smells coming from London’s sewers, this replica takes you back to a bygone age.

Have lunch in a toilet - Attendant Fitzrovia, W1W 6DY  

This quirky coffee bar, where you can rest for coffee, breakfast or a light lunch, is (wait for it), situated in in a restored Victorian public convenience. Built in 1890, this unique space has been lovingly transformed and restored from a gent’s toilet into one of the most unexpected gems of London. With urinals (clean, obviously), providing some of the seating, this compact eatery, has everything…good food, great atmosphere and the quirkiness that only Britain can offer.  I’d go on to make a joke about the Attendant’s previous functions, but I think you may get ‘peed off’!  (Get the pun?) Whilst on the subject of toilets, why not try the London Loo Tour?  According to the website, the route ‘explores the potty politics of public loos.  From stories of intrigue to practical tips, this tour is an investment in your bladder future! Never be caught short again!’ Sounds interesting huh!

Discover Ancient 'Roman Baths' WC2 

Head off towards The Strand, and you could be taken in, as Victorian Londoners were, by the Ancient 'Roman’ Baths.  Hard to find, they’re situated halfway along Surrey St, so keep your eyes peeled for an old National Trust sign above a gated archway. This leads into Surrey Steps, from which you emerge into Strand Lane. Turn right and then look for number 5.  Interestingly, the baths are probably not Roman.  In fact they probably date back to the 16th/17th C, but the gullible Victorians believed they were much older when ‘discovered’ in the 18th C,  especially when the owner of a little-known plunge pool promoted it as being Roman in origin. Nearly everyone was duped, including respected writers, who soon claimed that it was “without doubt a veritable Roman structure”. 

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Certainly, the brickwork bears resemblance to Roman architecture, and although we’re now certain that the bath dates from the early 17th C, there was little evidence at the time to contradict the story of its ancient beginnings.  These 'Roman Baths' were used by the Victorians for their health benefits and remained operating throughout the 19th C.  This is a great piece of hidden London history, and well worth exploring.

Visit Kyoto Garden, W11 4UA 

For a lovely, tranquil setting, this 55 acre paradise boasts an array of beautiful trees, stone lanterns, winding paths, trickling waterfalls, peaceful ponds with koi carp and splendid statues.  This garden, situated within Holland Park, was a gift from Kyoto in 1991 and is hidden within busy Kensington.  So why not experience a little piece of Japan and visit one of the most beautiful places in London?  With free entry it’s a paradise at any time of year, but particularly in the Autumn, when the garden’s foliage is stunning.

Visit Stafford Terrace - A house stuck in a time warp, W8 7BH

If you’d like to visit a house which has been frozen in a time warp, then this is it!  From the outside it looks pretty unremarkable, yet as you enter the house it’s like travelling back in time to the late Victorian period. Going into this freeze frame of Victorian middle class elegance, you’ll realise the house has been largely untouched since Punch cartoonist Edward Linley Sambourne lived there from 1875 with his family, until he died in 1910.  The entire original decoration still exists, along with many of the family’s personal possessions and furniture. Original diaries, bills and papers make up a huge archive of daily life during the period.  The house is open on various afternoons for guests to visit.

Take a trip to Venice!    W9 2PF

For a peaceful walk or boat trip, away from the hustle and bustle of the Thames, try Little Venice.  Situated where the Grand Union and Regent’s canals meet, this lovely area is where you’ll discover quirky waterside cafes, charming pubs and eateries and even puppet shows! This is London’s answer to Italy’s famous city. The area comes alive in the Summer, when people meander along the riverside to nearby Camden or Regent's Park. If you want atmosphere in a very gentle setting, then this is for you.

Where to stay in West London?

To get the most out of all the above attractions, Euracom have a range of serviced apartments within this area of London.  One example is our Luxury serviced apartments Green Park, London W1.

Luxuriously furnished and finished to a high standard, these superb serviced apartments are located near to Piccadilly.  They form part of a five-star hotel, offering all the amenities of a luxury London hotel whilst also providing all the benefits of having your own self-contained, fully equipped luxury serviced apartment. For a nightly fee of £765p/n , you’ll get an opulent marble bathroom, spacious lounge/dining area, and fully fitted kitchen.  These apartments also have access to a gym and spa and also have the option of a private garden or penthouse! They are a perfect base to explore all London’s hidden gems, as well as the more famous ones.

Features include

  • Bathroom/ central heating Concierge / security / reception/ Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available/ safe
  • Daily or weekly linen change/ daily cleaning service/ room service available
  • Dining table & chairs/ tea / coffee making facilities
  • Fully equipped kitchen/ breakfast available/ dishwasher in some apartments
  • Lifts / lobby / waiting area / telephone / satellite TV / Wi-fi / radio / alarm clock
  • Onsite restaurants / bars/ spa / health club in building or nearby

More about our Green Park Luxury serviced apartments London ›

North London Hidden Gems

The Parkland Walk   Finsbury Park N4 3EY

Stroll along the course of the old railway that once ran between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace. If you want a decent walk, in a serene setting and the chance to experience some greenery at the very centre of London, then this local nature reserve is for you.  The walk boasts a huge variety of habitats and wildlife, with 200+ species of wild flowers.  Here you’ll see orchids alongside dandelions, hedgehogs, foxes, butterflies and a plethora of bird species, along with muntjac deer, which can occasionally be seen.

Head to Chin Chin Labs’ Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream parlour, Cambden, NW1 8AF,

This ice cream parlour is a must for connoisseurs who like something more unusual than the Mr Whippy! Here you can indulge in original ice cream mixtures, thanks to the use of liquid nitrogen!  You’ll watch the process unfold while waiting for service, savouring the mystical chemical clouds in the shop’s laboratory. Served in many different flavours, such as red velvet and water melon, Chin Chin Labs’ delicious creations are not to be missed.

Visit Camden Passage, Islington, N1 8EA

If antiques are your passion then a novel place to browse is hidden away from the bustling streets of Islington.  Camden Passage hosts regular street antiques markets, selling curios and bric a brac, along with superb antique shops where you could bag a bargain.  Unusual cafes abound, along with a range of other quaint shops.

Relax at London’s only bookshop barge, N1C 4LW

If you enjoy a relaxing read, whilst gently idling on the canal bank, then head to London’s only second-hand bookshop barge, Word on the Water.  The barge moors at several sites and has a range of excellent novels to peruse.  This welcoming venue boasts a wood-burning stove to toast those toes, live music and you may even get to cuddle the resident cat!

Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross, N1 9AP

Harry Potter fans will be overjoyed at this little gem.  Situated at Kings Cross Station, you may not think this next feature could be included as a hidden gem.  Yes, this station is a busy, bustling area, although many travellers aren’t aware of Platform 9¾. Thanks to the recently revamped railway station, it now boasts a new platform, nestled snugly between platforms 9 and 10.  It’s easy to find, as there are always queues of muggles waiting for photo opportunities. Luckily, if you want to replenish your wizard supplies and wands, then there is also a wonderful souvenir shop!

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Central London Hidden Gems

Churchill’s Secret Station and other Most of our Hidden London tours

If you’re uninspired by a visit to the London Eye or Buckingham Palace, there’s a new experience below the London streets that could appeal.  The London Transport Museum has devised the very popular Hidden London tours, including a ‘secret station’ used by Churchill during the war, a World War II shelter, a disused underground station at Aldwych and a tour taking you along the disused rail lines.  Tours are in great demand so often sell out quickly, but  these are a rare opportunity to take an intimate peep into London’s hidden historical past, where the warren of tunnels were often used to save the lives of many during the Blitz.

East London Hidden Gems

Chislehurst Caves, BR7 5NL

Slightly further afield, but worth the effort, are Chislehurst Caves, a maze of man-made caverns, dating from the Druids, Romans and Saxons.  They have had varied uses over the years, including serving as an air raid shelter during WW2, when people travelled daily from the bomb ravaged East End of London, to a safer place to sleep.  For a brief time, they have also been a successful music venue, hosting artists like David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix.

Encounter a Soviet tank, Old Kent Road, SE1

Bringing Russia into London, a rather novel piece of social history can be seen.  This materialised due to an argument between a prospective developer, Russel Gray, and Southwark Council.  Denied planning permission for his house, the resident waged war on the council by buying a decommissioned T34 Soviet tank for his child and plonked it on the disputed plot!  Prior to this act, this canny local had the forethought to apply for new planning permission, not for a building but for a 'tank'.  The council granted this request, mistakenly thinking that it was for a storage container of some kind.  The council’s error is to our benefit, as the tank is now a popular attraction for graffiti artists, who regularly change its facia.  Legend has it that the tank’s turret is aimed towards the council offices! So should you fancy climbing over a part of cold war history, you can make a visit to this symbol of two great struggles, the first between communism and capitalism, and another between a local man and a council planning department.

St Dunstan in the East, EC3R 5DD

An excellent picnic spot, this area boasts a church dating from 1100.  It has seen significant damage in past times, the first being inflicted during Great Fire of London in 1666, whilst more recently during the heavy bombing during the Blitz.  Some parts survived though, in particular the steeple built by Christopher Wren. This is certainly an atmospheric place to have lunch.

Wilton’s Music Hall

If culture is what you crave, then look no further! Taking a trip to the oldest surviving music hall in the world, tucked within London’s East End is an experience you won’t forget. Wilton’s Music Hall hosts a wide range of theatrical and musical events is being gradually restored from its dilapidated state, whilst retaining its classic, original features.

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Originally a traditional Victorian music hall, parts still lie crumbling, which add to its appeal.  The ‘shabby chic’ effect also contributes to its character and intimacy, enabling you to either enjoy a drink in the Mahogany Bar, or take a tour around this great historic venue.

Enjoy lunch in a power station, E1W 3SG

For something which may give you a buzz, (another pun), you may fancy lunching in the unique and eccentric setting of Wapping Hydraulic Power Station.  Situated in the old hydraulic power station and surrounded by original disused machinery, pumps and turbines, you can experience the quirkiness of this laid-back restaurant.  After lunch remember to visit the impressive art gallery.

Where to stay in East London?

After a hard day’s sightseeing, you’ll want to rest your weary heads.  We have a range of delightful serviced apartments within this area of London.  One example is our superb, beautifully furnished apartments at Bishopsgate Liverpool Street, Corporate Serviced Apartments London, EC2

These corporate serviced apartments offer both studios and 1 or 2 bedroom apartments. Starting from £138p/n, these apartments feature modern furnishings and lovely solid oak flooring. They are equipped with the latest technology, including individual internet access, ISDN and digital telephones, making your stay more ‘home from home.’  They’ll provide the perfect spot for some peace and quiet from hectic city life.

Features include

  • Baby cot / high chair (upon request)/ welcome pack available//daily cleaning service/
  • Concierge / security / reception/ air conditioning/ door entry phone/lifts/lobby/waiting area/safe
  • Fully equipped kitchen/breakfast available/laundry/dry cleaning facilities available
  • Satellite TV/ telephone/ wi-fi

More about our Bishopsgate Liverpool Street corporate serviced apartments London ›

South London Hidden Gems

Fulham Palace, SW6 6EA

For a range of art, architecture and history, this beautiful palace is an unsung gem within London. With free entry, Fulham Palace has and a varied programme of events throughout the year. Paintings, archaeology and an array of artefacts trace the history of the Palace site from prehistoric times.

explore londons fulham palace sw66ea from a holiday serviced apartment

Mercato Metropolitano and Maltby Street

Two markets off the tourist trail that tend to appeal more to locals, yet are close to the bustling Borough Market, are those of the Mercato Metropolitano and Maltby Street.  With their tantalising food selection, the Mercato Metropolitano food court specialises in dishes from Venezuela to Italian favourites.  Within the 2 courtyards there are also regular cinema screenings.  Alternatively Maltby Street lies under the railway arches in Bermondsey and is close to Tower Bridge. Here, street food is enjoyed by Londoners and visitors alike. With its ‘low-key’ atmosphere great food producers combine with craft brewers.  So pick up a beer from The Southwark Brewing Co whilst dining.  It’s a real treat.

Discover the House of Dreams, SE22 8RG

If you love discovering forgotten and previously unloved objects, then The House of Dreams is the place to go. This museum has been dedicated to those objects that would usually be thrown away. As you step over the threshold you’ll be treated to a home transformed into an extraordinary environment that is a shrine to….junk!  Each surface, wall and ceiling is covered with every object imaginable, from such things as old Christmas crackers, china, broken toys and other odds and ends.  There are intricate mosaics and life-sized sculptures of incredible characters which add to the amazing atmosphere of this wonderful place.

The King of Ladies Man, London, SW11 1HG

You’ll find this ‘speakeasy-style’ bar The King of Ladies Man, hidden at the back of a café behind a false wall in a launderette, believe it or not!  Based on a 1970s bachelor pad, it is filled with golden light, pink flamingo wallpaper, gold lamé curtains and specialises in “beer, cheese and disco drinks”.  The laundrette is a nod to the iconic 80’s advert for Levi Jeans and was transformed into a dining and drinking area.  The proprietors will even allow you to perch on the washing machines! Then on sliding back the false wall, you’ll discover the hidden bar with its cocktail shaking staff in Hawaiian shirts!

Old Operating Theatre Museum, SE1 9RY

To see how our ancestors coped with 19th C surgery, and to recognise just how lucky we are to have today’s NHS, for all its faults, the 32 steps up an ancient, spiralling staircase are the stairway to an unmissable spectacle. This museum boasts a frightening array of implements for amputating body parts, reflecting the rather ruthless way that surgery was practiced during the 19th C.  Each Saturday they even have a special demo of Victorian speed surgery at its best, a sight definitely to behold!

london short term vacation serviced apartment stays

Where to stay in South London?

Should you decide to visit any of these great venues in South London then Euracom have a range of very affordable serviced apartments for both long and shorter stays. 

The Luxury serviced apartments South Kensington Collingham London SW5 for example, have recently been stylishly refurbished as self-catering apartments for rent. Here there is space to relax, unwind and even entertain in luxurious accommodation. At £186p/n for a studio apartment, this Edwardian styled house will make you feel truly at home. They are perfect for families who are seeking all the comforts of home.

Features include

  • Cot / high chair (upon request)
  • Bathroom
  • Central heating/ concierge / security / reception/ lifts/ safe
  • Daily or weekly linen change/ daily cleaning service
  • Desk / workspace/ dining table & chairs
  • DVD player/ telephone/ tv / freeview/wi-fi
  • Fully equipped kitchen/ dishwasher in some/ iron / ironing board/ laundry / dry cleaning facilities available

More about our South Kensington Collingham luxury serviced apartments London ›

Summary

So there’s our pick of venues of secret London – a treasure trove of places that currently fly under the radar despite being really amazing.  So why not try a few of these hidden gems for that ultimate day out? You won’t regret it.  

For information on when & where to stay in London and which serviced apartment is right for you & your stay contact us today.

Kbthompson at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Nigel Chadwick [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Wiltonsfan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Rob at 16 Oct 2017

The top 10 things to do in London

Amongst the growing trend of latest technologies and ideas, there is certainly one that has escaped my attention, (and possibly yours)… that of the appropriately named, ‘listicle!’  ‘What on earth’, I hear you ask, ‘is that?’ Well, for the uninitiated, and those who haven't been on the internet for some time, ‘listicles’ have recently become popular with people who enjoy reading lists instead of a good novel!  A "listicle," is generally defined as a phrase for any article which is presented in the form of a list.   So this month we present the top ten things to do in London as a listicle…

Let’s look at what many people would consider to be the top 10 things to do in London our wonderful capital city, also discovering a few which are free.

Unusual facts that may surprise you about the top ten things to do in London as featured in this article!

  1. The London Eye
  2. The Tower of London
  3. The Shard
  4. Buckingham Palace
  5. The London Dungeon
  6. Madam Tussauds
  7. Take a walk
  8. Science or Natural History Museums
  9. Explore the Parks
  10. Stroll the Markets

Rent a serviced apartment in London and make the most of Great Britains wonderful capital city

1. The London Eye

This iconic, giant Ferris wheel is a masterpiece of engineering, located along the Thames. Officially known as the Coca-Cola London Eye, it is over 200 times larger than the average cycle wheel and is Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel, rising to 135 meters tall.  There are 32 capsules, one for each of the London boroughs, each weighing 10 tonnes. Capsules are numbered 1 to 33, with interestingly no capsule 13, for superstitious reasons!  The Eye can carry 800 passengers, (equivalent to 11 London double-decker buses), and welcomes over 3 ¾ million visitors annually.

Did you know?

It was once turned into a rotating nightclub, along with becoming a ‘pop up’ restaurant during the London Restaurant Festival! An unmissable venue!

2. The Tower of London

Despite once renowned as a place of torture and death, this 1000 year old, working monument has been a royal palace, jewel house, royal mint, fortress and armoury. Legend says that the ghost of Anne Boleyn walks the Tower accompanied by her head, placed, appropriately, under her arm.  With over 2½ million visitors each year, this is an attraction not to be overlooked.

Did you know?

For 600 years it accommodated a range of wild creatures, making it the first London Zoo.  Exotic animals, ranging from kangaroos to a polar bear, hunting for fish in the River Thames on a lead! All long gone now, although legend has it that if the Tower’s ravens leave, then this spells doom for Great Britain.  So let’s hope they stay! 

3. The  Shard

This superb vantage point is twice as high as any other in the city.  As Western Europe's tallest building, (309m), The Shard allows visitors to see up to 40 miles away.  The impressive 95 storey

structure was designed as a vertical city, enabling people to work, relax and live.  Its ‘Neo-futuristic’ design was based on the shape of a shard of glass, derived from the architect’s description during planning. Incredibly, 95% of the construction materials are recycled, and the 11,000 glass panels have a total area of 8 football pitches, around 56,000m2. It’s wiring amounts to 320km and would stretch from London to Paris, whilst the swimming pool on the 52nd floor is Europe’s highest swimming pool. An apartment in this fabulous space would set you back around £40 million, so best just to visit!

Did you know?

Near the end of construction, a fox, nicknamed Romeo, was found on the 72nd floor. Later released into the wild, it is thought it survived on food left by construction workers.

4. Buckingham Palace

This unmissable, working royal palace, gives you a glimpse into royal life.  The superb state rooms boast palace treasures and masterpieces from fine artists like Rembrandt and Rubens. Originally named Buckingham House, and the Queen’s official London residence, the house comprises of 775 rooms, including 19 state rooms, 52 main suites, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms! There are also 760 windows and 1,514 doors, 350 clocks and watches, along with a post office, police station, doctor’s surgery, ATM, cinema and pool.

Did you know?

There is an exciting set of passageways running beneath the palace, connecting it to the outside world.  Many royals, including HM Queen Mother and King George VI, enjoyed exploring these.  On one occasion, they encountered ‘a very polite man from Newcastle,’ who was living down there.

5. The London Dungeon

This thrilling attraction transports you back to Britain’s gory past.  The macabre setting lets your senses explore all the sights, smells and sounds of London’s horrifying crimes.  Not for the faint hearted and with a surprise round every corner, you’ll encounter an array of frightening characters, from torturers, judges and infamous rogues and villains, played by fine actors. So stay alert for the shocks, special effects and rides and become entwined in the world of horror.  Embark on this thrill-filled journey at your peril, through 1,000 years of London's dark past.

Did you know?

Figures like Sweeney Todd and his sidekick Mrs Lovett, are only fictional, as no public records exist which substantiate the existence of a barber named Todd. Yet stories of shocking criminal deeds were often embellished as they were told and were therefore asserted to be true.

6. Madam Tussauds

This fine museum, founded in 1835 by wax sculptor Anna Maria Tussaud, has been enthralling visitors for almost 200 years.  Typical figures included in today’s displays range from historical to royalty, film stars to sporting legends and famous murderers.  Originally holding around 400 exhibits, some of these were damaged irreparably during the war, although many have been remade using the original casts.  Each sculpture takes four months to produce, costing £227,000. Accuracy is paramount, so 250 precise measurements, along with 180 photographs are taken to ensure this.

Did you know?

The singer Ozzy Osbourne once posed in the museum as himself and scared unsuspecting visitors. Mother Teresa decreed that her ‘work was more important than her physical being.’ She was therefore one of the only people to refuse to be sculpted.

Free Activities in the Top Ten

7. Take a walk

Head off to admire the lions in Trafalgar Square and take in the famous Nelson’s Column. Cast in bronze, the lions were designed by Edwin Landseer, who worked from real corpses and the cast of a lion statue.   After this, head inside the nearby National Portrait Gallery to view some fabulous artwork and drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt.

Did you know?

Although he strove for great accuracy, Landseer made a big error. In reality, lion’s backs are convex when laying down, not concave as he depicted them. Many thought they looked more like a sphinx!

8. Science or Natural History Museums

The NH museum boasts a huge collection relating to life and earth science specimens. It holds over 80 million items within five main collections, including; botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology. It has excellent research facilities, specialising in identification, conservation and taxonomy.  Many specimens have significant historical value as well as scientific, like those collected by Charles Darwin.  The museum is particularly popular amongst younger children for its exhibition of dinosaur skeletons.

Alternatively, the incredible Science Museum is another of the city's major tourist attractions, attracting 3 million visitors annually.  Major interactive exhibitions, such as ‘Exploring Space’, are always excitingly displayed and of great interest to young and old alike. The museum now holds a collection of over 300,000 items, including such famous items as Stephenson's Rocket and Puffing Billy (the oldest surviving steam locomotive)

9. Explore the Parks

Hyde Park is just one of eight Royal Parks and is well worth a visit to see such sights as the Serpentine, Speakers Corner and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. Start from Marble Arch tube and stroll around.

Did you know?

Each Christmas Day, a few mad bathers dive into the Serpentine, competing for the Peter Pan Cup.  It’s aptly named, by the Peter Pan author, JM Barrie, who donated the cup.  Worth noting though, that participation is for Serpentine Swimming Club members only, so maybe just focus on cooking the turkey!

10. Stroll the Markets

Why not feast on delicious food at the Borough Market, or watch the street performers whilst dining in Covent Garden?  These are some of the oldest and most charming London areas, with superb cheese and bread stalls, along with a memento or two to take home.

Did you know?

The name of ‘Covent Garden’ was a spelling mistake.  It was supposed to be CONVENT GARDEN, the market garden of the convent of Westminster Abbey!

So there you have it…a ‘listicle’ showing some strange facts about the top ten attractions in London.  Whilst weighing up your choices why not consider staying a while longer to tick some others off your ‘bucket listicle!’  You’ll be glad you did! 

Euracom has a range of serviced apartments to suit your every need, from budget studio flats to luxurious sprawling apartment suites.

Take, for example, the Luxury corporate serviced apartments in London E1, Bishopsgate, these stunningly spacious, recently converted, luxury serviced apartments are bright and well furnished.  Perfect for business travellers and tourists alike, they give easy access to the City and its main attractions like Covent Garden, Spitalfields Market and the Museum of London. From £1034 pw, these apartments offer a range of luxurious services & facilities that cater for everyone.  

Services & facilities include

  • Baby cot / high chair (upon request)
  • Bathroom/ toiletries provided
  • Concierge / security / reception/ door entry phone/ lifts/ telephone/TV / freeview/wi-fi
  • Daily or weekly linen change/ daily cleaning service/starter packs of groceries/ toiletries available
  • DVD player/  radio / alarm clock
  • Fully equipped kitchen/ laundry / dry cleaning facilities available/ tea / coffee making facilities
  • Gym in building or nearby

More about our luxury corporate serviced apartments in London E1, Bishopsgate ›

Slightly more expensive, at £1071pw, are the short stay apartments London, Earls Court Road, SW5.  These lovely, Edwardian styled apartments, feature high imposing ceilings and comfortable, well- proportioned rooms.  Close to Kensington Palace and the Natural History Museum, the four bedroom apartments can sleep up to 8 people, making them the perfect apartments to rent for a short stay in London.

Services & facilities include

  • Baby cot / high chair (upon request)/ daily cleaning service
  • Breakfast available/ dishwasher in some apartments/ welcome pack available
  • Concierge / security / reception/ door entry phone/ Lifts
  • En-suite bathroom in some apartments
  • Desk / workspace/ dining table & chairs
  • Ensuite bathroom in some apartments
  • Fully equipped kitchen/ laundry / dry cleaning facilities available/ tea / coffee making facilities
  • Telephone/ TV / Freeview/ DVD player/Wifi

More about our short stay apartments London, Earls Court Road, SW5 ›

Alternatively, you could opt for our corporate serviced apartments, Holborn Lambs Conduit Street WC1, which are set in a quiet street in the heart of London's Holborn district.  Close to Covent Garden, The British Museum and the City, these apartments make an ideal base for both holidaying and business.  Each apartment has been individually designed and furnished to a high standard, featuring Italian furniture, king-sized beds and comfortable living and dining areas.

Services & facilities include;

  • Baby cot / high chair (upon request)/ daily cleaning service/ welcome pack available
  • Balcony / Terrace (upon request)
  • Central heating/concierge / security / reception/ door entry phone/ lifts/ safe
  • Dining table & chairs/ fully equipped kitchen/ dishwasher in some apartments
  • DVD player/ hairdryer available
  • Grocery store onsite / nearby
  • Kitchen / kitchenette/ iron / ironing board/ laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
  • Radio / Alarm clock/satellite TV/ telephone/TV / Freeview/ Wi-fi

More about our corporate serviced apartments London, Holborn Lambs Conduit Street WC1 ›

By Bob Collowân (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Rob at 4 Aug 2017

Why foodies should visit London this summer

In the not too distant past, on visiting London, you’d have been faced with some rather strange and uninteresting options for local cuisine.  Once, common traditional delicacies, sold throughout the London streets, included jellied eels, a particularly gelatinous meal, along with pie and mash, (also originally made using London’s abundance of eels). Over time, eel pies were thankfully replaced with those made from minced meat or mutton, as meat became cheaper and the eel population declined! To accompany these treats, another London favourite, usually served as a side dish, were cockles winkles and whelks, or a portion of cod and chips, served in newspaper!

Reserve your serviced apartment in London and make the most of Londons summer foodie events!

Thankfully, with the huge influx of multicultural influences within the capital, ‘British’ cuisine has developed out of all recognition during the last few years, through the welcome introduction of ….flavour!!  From a simple ‘meat and two veg’ society during the 60’s and 70’s, Britain is now addicted to the spicy, more interesting foods of today’s London eateries and food outlets. This long awaited, dramatic turning point in British eating habits, along with our love affair with the ‘new era’ of experimental British cuisine’, has resulted in many fabulously exciting restaurants and special cafés surfacing throughout the capital.  London is now on the ‘foody radar’ and is becoming one of the most popular cities in the world now for its inventive array of superb dishes, often inspired by overseas cooking. 

Celebrity Chef Restaurants

There are a plethora of excellent celebrity restaurants dotted around the city.  The Ivy, for example, situated in Covent Garden, is a long-standing ‘celebrity haunt’ within art- deco surroundings, which excels in providing modern British food, and Ivy classics along with other contemporary dishes, suited to any palette.

Covent Garden is also renowned for other well- known celebrity chef haunts, such as Jamie's Italian.  This restaurant is perfect for al fresco dining, whilst you soak up the atmosphere of this famous ancient, London market.  It features fantastic, rustic dishes inspired by the traditional food of Italy, incorporating flavour and flair with a great cocktail or two!

Or why not head to celebrity chef Angela Hartnett's Cafe Murano, a spin -off of her restaurant in Mayfair, where you’ll experience her take on cooking, using big, bold flavours.  Delicious classics such as braised lamb shoulder with Tuscan beans and celery will take you beyond heaven, whilst the jewel in their crown is the veal tartare, a melt in the mouth delicacy.

More Modest Options

For a menu dedicated to the bounty of the sea, try J Sheekey, which serves fabulous oysters and shellfish along with old-fashioned snacks like herring roe on toast. Alternatively, try their more upmarket dishes, like Dover sole or lobster thermidor.  The comforting fish pie is outstanding, whilst the shrimp and scallop burger takes the taste buds to a whole new level.

Or for an even more affordable dining experience, why not seek out ‘Battersea Pie’ in Covent Garden Market, which has the aim of making proper British food and sharing it with as many people as possible?  Here you’ll get a truly authentic and delicious British dining experience, enabling you to sample a wide range of succulent pies, with of course, the inevitable mash!

Whilst exploring the eateries of Covent Garden, to make your stay even more relaxing, why not stay at one of Euracom’s serviced apartments within the area, such as…

Covent Garden - St Martins

These apartments are close to the wide variety of shops, markets and restaurants and are perfectly located between Covent Garden and Leicester Square. Each impeccable apartment offers designer furnishings and modern appliances such as digital LCD TV, DVD player, internet access and fully equipped kitchen. The penthouse apartment boasts a fabulous kitchen and a huge private balcony, plus much more!

Other features of these apartments include:

  • Balcony / Terrace (upon request)/Central heating/ Daily cleaning service
  • Desk / workspace/ Dining table & chairs
  • Fully equipped kitchen/ Dishwasher in some apartments/ Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
  • Door entry phone/ Lifts/ Meet & greet arrival service
  • DVD player/ Hairdryer available/ Iron / Ironing board
  • Radio / Alarm clock/ TV / Freeview

So why not combine a ‘celebrity chef dinner’ or night on the town, with a luxurious stay in these fabulous apartments?

More about our Covent Garden serviced apartments ›

Try the Unusual!

Moving closer towards Regents Park, a few of the more unusually named restaurants include ‘The Potato Project’, the baked potato company.  The owners are passionate about giving you a quality fresh menu in atmospheric and homely surroundings and providing an exciting experience for everyone. Their menu shows that the humble potato can be more than just something you have with beans or cheese! Typical twists on the classic jacket include, a smoked ham hock, pesto mayo, sun-dried tomato & melted mozzarella filling.  (Makes you wonder whether you can get a potato that’s big enough to accommodate this lot!)

Or, a mere stones- throw away, near Shoreditch, is the The Ginger Pig Café, which is an unpretentious, reasonably priced eatery. The Ginger Pig Cafe is a rustic, yet cosy place, within Hoxton Market.  Apart from the typical breakfast and brunch dishes, there are delectable burgers and rib eye steaks on the brunch menu.  A warning though, these sizable dishes aren’t for the fainthearted!

A trip to the Archipelago Restaurant (W1), will send you on a sensory dining journey amidst palm trees, Buddhas and giant peacock feathers!  A globally inspired cuisine awaits and will ensure that your senses are awakened through fragrant and indulgently tantalising dishes. If you want to sample crocodile, wildebeest and kangaroo, then this restaurant is for you, whilst if you prefer classics like chicken and fish, then these are also firmly on the menu. If you want to part of ‘London’s culinary portal to world cuisine’ then this restaurant will give you a night to remember!

The Alchemist (EC3) This experimental cocktail lounge and eatery in the heart of London is well worth a visit.  Here, mixologists ‘create every cocktail with an obsessive eye for detail, presented in vessels orchestrated to add a devilish dash of theatre.’  Also specialising in a range of menus, which, according to customers ‘cross between genres’, inevitably making this an extremely interesting, entertaining evening!  They serve huge main courses, along with ‘naughty nibbles’ to accompany a drink. The rather oddly adorned walls and weird and wonderful artworks, provide an additional talking point! do.

Whilst sampling some of London’s best West End eateries, why not also sample Euracom’s amazingly spacious, yet affordable serviced apartments at the following location?

Weymouth Street London, W1

This property, set in the heart of London's West End, is a short walk from London’s major amenities and attractions.  It features a range of one bedroom apartments accommodating up to 3 people, along with a studio which can accommodate 2. For a weekly rate of only £650 p/w, the building is in a prime position for all central restaurants, bars and pubs, and has good accessibility to the underground.  

Other features include…

  • Desk / workspace
  • Dining table & chairs

Fully equipped kitchen/Dishwasher in some apartments / Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available

  • Door entry phone/ Property supervisor nearby
  • Telephone/ TV / Freeview/ Wifi
  • Twin or double beds in some apartments

More about our Weymounth Street serviced apartments ›

Go East!

Venturing ever more eastwards towards East London, the ‘Cereal-Killer Café is a must! 

Situated in Brick Lane, at the heart of the East End, this colourful, nostalgic eatery boasts more than 120 cereals, plus a selection of milk and toppings. Ranging from the bog standard cereal (it is anything but!), to ‘CEREAL MILK ICE CREAM’, which is an excellent way to cool down during our long, (hopefully), hot summer, this café provides excellent value for money, even catering for the little rascals in our life, by offering such delicacies as ‘Disney princess cereals’ or ‘Frankenberry’, for the boys! For a breakfast with a difference, this is a must!

Alternatively, the Frog Restaurant (E1), run by chef of the year (2014), Adam Handling, is worth a visit if you want beautifully presented food sourced with the finest ingredients.  Adam’s love of all things Asian has inspired him to create dishes prepared with a number of different techniques and styles, thus delivering a real depth of flavour to his recipes.  Dishes to delight your taste buds include crab doughnuts, which will both surprise and wow you!  Adam’s ingenious cooking and flavour combinations, demonstrates just how far British cooking has come along since those heady days of the jellied eel!

If you are intending to make your visit to London’s eateries an extended one, then Euracom’s serviced apartments listed below will make an ideal base.

Aldgate Commercial Road serviced apartments London E1

Ideally suited for travellers wishing to stay in the very heart of London's City centre to access the major tourist attractions, these contemporary styled, self-catering apartments have been tastefully furnished those personal touches giving them a ‘home from home’ feeling.  From a nightly fee of £129p/n, these spacious living quarters are fitted to a very high standard, featuring a comfortable lounge, fully equipped kitchen & modern bathroom. Furthermore, many of the apartments have balconies, giving scenic views of London’s striking skyline.  There are excellent transport links and the apartments are close to many of the trendy, quirky bars and restaurants mentioned above.

Other features include:

  • Balcony / Terrace (upon request)
  • Bathroom / En-suite bathroom in some apartments/
  • Fully equipped kitchen/ Dishwasher in some apartments/ Iron / Ironing board
  • DVD player / Satellite TV/ Freeview/ Wifi
  • Concierge / security / reception/ Lifts / Lobby / waiting area
  • Daily or weekly linen change
  • Dining table & chairs / Tea / coffee making facilities
  • Sofa bed (upon request)

More about our Aldgate Commercial Road serviced apartments ›

By CCFoodTravel.com - PC304602, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40777508

By Rob at 11 Jul 2017

Celebrate Fathers Day 2017 in London

If your dad is the outdoor, active type, why not try a fabulously exhilarating helicopter tour, souring over the London landscape, taking in sights such as The Shard, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace, or opt for a daredevil speedboat excursion on the Thames in a RIB (rigid inflatable boat).  Prices range from £150 per person for this superb helicopter experience, or around £43 per adult for the speedboat ride. Two thrilling ideas, sure to blow the wind out of his sails!

Reserve your serviced apartment in London for Fathers Day

Still for those adrenaline junkie fathers, for £130, the SEA LIFE London Aquarium offers the experience of a lifetime- ‘Snorkelling with Sharks.’  Your Dad will be able to get up close and personal in the aquarium's famous shark tank, giving him a really nail- biting encounter with these beautiful creatures- the ultimate sea predators, without the need to leave the UK.  Not for the fainthearted!

Alternatively, you could challenge Dad to a 90 minute, amazingly unforgettable expedition across the roof of the O2 Arena!  For a £30 fee, he’ll be suspended 53m high and wend his way along a tensile fabric walkway, enabling him, at the summit, to savour the unsurpassed 360° view of London on the observation platform.  An unforgettable experience!

For sports mad fans, you could opt to treat your Dad to a tour of the infamous Wembley Stadium, which is an all- encompassing, behind the scenes tour, taking in the England changing rooms and the players’ tunnel where many football legends have walked before you onto the highly revered turf.  To top your visit, you’ll be able to pose in front of the Royal Box with ‘The Cup.’ The tour also includes an exhibition which celebrates football history.

For a rather less expensive option, (that is depending on how much you intend to drink!) you could take your Dad for one of the latest range of craft beers which are becoming increasingly popular throughout the capital.  These are progressive beers brewed by small-scale enterprises, quite unlike traditional British beer and often with a unique taste. Combine this with a gourmet burger, or a meal at a trendy gastro pub like The Anchor and Hope or the Canton Arms, and you have a marriage made in heaven!

Brewery tours are a very popular idea for Dads who like to know the ins and outs of making good beer.  Head off to the Camden Town Brewery to meet he brewers, have a look around and find out all there is to know about beer production.

On a historical theme, or for those Dads who see themselves as military buffs, why not pay a visit to HMS Belfast and take time to explore what life was like on Europe’s only surviving 2nd World War cruiser?  There is a host of activities to give your Dad a wonderful, educational day out, whether it be recovering a drowned plane, becoming a lookout on the flag deck and being wowed by the 360- degree views of the capital, or experiencing the boiler and engine room environment 15 feet below sea level, in the bowels of this famously imposing warrior of the seas. Prices start from £14.50.

If you want to treat your Dad to a more leisurely pursuit this Father’s Day, there are a wide variety of options. From that leisurely meander amongst London’s beautiful variety of gardens and parks, to the cultural treats of an evening under the stars at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre.  Combine this with a hilarious play such as Twelfth Night, at the famous Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and you have everything you need for an indulgent treat to keep Dad happy for another year! 

If you are travelling from a distance, or intend to make your Father’s Day visit into a longer stay in London, then Euracom can help!  We have a range of affordable, serviced apartments, close to all the major attractions in the heart of our wonderful capital.

Take, for example, our prestigious serviced apartments in Curzon Street, which are situated in Mayfair.  From £1127 p/w, this accommodation will provide a private, self- catering oasis after a long day of sightseeing. A short distance from the chic Mayfair shops, and close to many of London’s famous theatres like The London Palladium, all apartments include spacious living/dining areas and a luxury kitchen providing scope for entertaining. Added to this a marble en-suite bathroom, and you have the ultimate in luxury, ideal for treating your nearest and dearest to a well- earned break.  

Features include;-

  • Concierge / Security / Reception / Safe
  • Daily cleaning service
  • Dining table & chairs
  • DVD player
  • Ensuite bathroom in some apartments
  • Fully equipped kitchen / Dishwasher in some apartments/ Iron / Ironing board
  • Tea / Coffee making facilities
  • Dry cleaning facilities available/ Hairdryer available/ Laundry /
  • Non- smoking apartments
  • Radio / Alarm clock /Telephone TV / Freeview/ Wi-fi

More about our Curzon Street W1 serviced apartments ›

For a slightly less expensive option, although no less attractive, the serviced apartments at Sussex Gardens, Hyde Park, would make an excellent choice.  Within a Grade II Victorian listed building, (once the home of the 1st Duke of Wellington), these lovingly restored apartments are situated near to Kensington Gardens, with close proximity to the famous Hyde Park and Marble Arch. Suitable for both short / longer periods of stay, this comfortable accommodation provides a great base for both business travellers and those on vacation. Ranging from a weekly cost of £1011 per week, these apartments provide that ‘home from home’ feel, combining superb design features with fine Victorian architecture.

Features include;-

  • Bathroom Concierge / security / reception
  • Dining table & chairs
  • Fully equipped kitchen / kitchenette /Dishwasher in some apartments
  • Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
  • Lifts/ DVD player/ Radio / Alarm clock/ Telephone/ TV / Wifi

More about our Hyde Park W2 serviced apartments ›

For those needing easy access to attractions on the Eastern side of London, such as the 02 Arena, Excel Centre, or Westfield shopping centre, our 111 apartments at Stratford, have been tastefully designed by a top architect, whose brief was to provide high spec, comfortable apartments, without a high London price tag.  With easy access to Central London via Stratford Station, this accommodation provides comfort and space along with superb technology, such as wide screened TV’s. Up to date kitchens and bathrooms with premium quality fittings add to the appeal of these fantastic apartments.  At a reasonable rate from £93p/n, features of these apartments include;-

  • Baby cot / high chair/ Wheelchair accessible
  • Bathroom/ Toiletries provided
  • Fully equipped kitchen/ Iron / Ironing board/ Tea / Coffee making facilities/Welcome pack available
  • Concierge / Security / Reception/ Lifts/ Lobby / Waiting area
  • Daily cleaning service/ Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
  • Desk / workspace/ Dining table & chairs
  • TV / Freeview /DVD player/ Wi-fi

More about our Stratford serviced apartments ›

By Diliff - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3639626

By Rob at 1 Jun 2017

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