Jet Set: London

For those who love seeing the world, travelling is the ultimate joyride. Whether you take a short haul flight to the Big Apple, or book a
safari in the Sahara, there are an endless amount of places to see that are sure to ignite
your senses. These holidays, one of the gang from the fourth floor ventured across the pond to the Mother Land
to ring in 2013 and impressed is one hell of an understatement. London has been one of the most exciting, vibrant and
historical cities for decades – heck, centuries. Rich with culture, the dichotomous melange of old Victorian structures in the
midst of new, modern architecture and boroughs so cool that you can’t
actually pick your favourite because each one is filled with an abundance of unique attributes. London is in a category of its own. 


After spending two nights in the beautiful English village of Crowthorn, the Covent Garden
Hotel
 became home for the week. If you’re looking for a beautiful, boutique hotel to call
a ‘London cottage’ for a bit, this is your gem. Located in the heart of the theatre
district, steps away from the Royal Ballet and home to the colourful, Neal’s Yard; Covent Garden has everything you need right at your curious fingertips. And if you
need a little assistance finding your way back, the lights draping the streets of the seven
dials
 can guide you home. They saved us a few times.

Here are list of highlights – and yes, their winter weather
may be one of them – it was 10 degrees all week. Unfortunately, you’ll notice ‘befriending Kate Middleton’ didn’t make the cut. Sad. 

Curry!
The Brits love their curries and there is no shortage of places to find them. Traditional English curry houses welcome people all hours of the day, including late, and very late-night dinners. We were introduced to this divine new cuisine on a whole new level and it left us craving poppadoms, tasty onion bhaji and king prawn peri peri. London is known for their Indian chefs and one spot we can’t stop raving about is the Delhi
Brasserie
. With a great LGBT bar across the street and (surprise!) a pub next door, this spicy jewel located in the heart of Soho greeted us with open arms and sent us packing with full bellies. 



Pubs
This goes without saying, but the pub culture in
London is incredible. There are easily three pubs at nearly every ‘junction’ and
they’re all full at any given time. Packed with friends, coworkers, groups, couples,
families (with children) – London pubs are a place where people of all ages congregate and celebrate the day’s end. It’s not just the accessibility and convenience of the pubs that is fun, but the environment inside. Often outfitted in dark oak finishes, olde English taps and a no-nonsense atmosphere, they’re small, intimate, and have great service. We hopped on the ‘tube’ to
Notting Hill Gate to enjoy a few pints at the Windsor Castle, a
quaint looking English house from the outside, a proper British pub on the
inside, and home to a lovely, seasonal beer garden out back. Sold. 

Speaking
of Notting Hill…it really does look like this. And we’re in luck because the
house we fell in love with is only £5,250,000. Brilliant.





Walking
Londoners walk rain or shine. From the 7 Dials to the Tower
of London, the coolest way to get around town is your two feet. Walking is not
only amazing exercise for all the curry and pints you’ll be downing, but the
best way to actually see all the city’s offerings. You can cut across Trafalgar Square through
Buckingham Palace – wave to the Queen – over to Westminster Abbey and the gorgeous Houses of Parliament within an hour. Walking extends beyond the London city
limits and well into the English country side. England has more than 15,000 footpaths that are all maintained by their associated counties. We think Welly’s are
fashionable here but they come in awfully handy when you’re trenching through the muddy walks of Great Britain. 



If
you really don’t feel like walking, the London Underground is without a doubt,
one of the easiest and most efficient public transit services in the world. They’re certainly worth a ride, even just to come back and heckle the TTC a little
more. 



Shopping.
You didn’t think we were going to forget shopping, did you? Lucky for us (and our Visas), we took the window-shopping tour down Bond St. on a Sunday when all the stores were closed. Fashion houses like Chanel, Dior, YSL, and yes, McQueen, adorn Old Bond Street and New Bond Street for a stylish mile. Easily one of the most posh areas in London, Bond Street is situated in the heart of Mayfair. In spite of the beauty and elegance that the area exudes, we must admit another grand display of shopping that unleashed an unexpected inner-child: Hamleys. One of the largest, most popular toy stores on Earth! Six impressive floors on Regent St, Hamleys is one of London’s main tourist attractions, welcoming around five million visits a year. It’s worth it, no matter how old you are. You’re welcome, for that one.


All in all, we had a smashing time and hope our tips give you a little taste of this amazing city. Cheers, mate.



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