Let yourself be surprised forever by London
To be able to say that you know London is not enough to go there once, for a weekend or a week. London never ceases to amaze you with its continuous innovations that flank the already endless historical wonders. That’s why there’s always more than one good reason to come back. It is not enough to have walked on the Strand, photographed Big Ben with the Parliament behind it, looked through the spotlights of Carnaby Street, saw the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, shopping at Harrods and having dinner in Soho. There are plenty of other things to see and experience in London, as these six tips that I’d like to suggest you.
What was once an old thermoelectric power plant, thanks to the project of the prestigious Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, has become a must-see gallery of modern art. Visit the Tate Modern to admire the masterpieces of the great artists of the twentieth century, from Mondrian to Pistoletto, and be enchanted by the famous water lilies of Claude Monet as well as by the imposing paintings of Pollock. Before leaving, check out the Turbine Hall, the large central atrium created under the central chimney that rises up to 99 meters in height: it periodically hosts a new installation of contemporary art.
13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
Stop at number 13 of Lincoln’s Inn Fields, that is not just any house but the home of architect Sir John Soan converted into a museum since 1830. The rooms that follow each other in the three articulated floors of the house contain surprising treasures and extravagances, including symbologies Masonic, convex mirrors in the ceiling, secret panels that open onto mysterious rooms, archaeological finds and even the sarcophagus of the Pharaoh Seti. I especially recommend a special candlelit visit which takes place only on the evening of the first Tuesday of the month.
A walk in Camden Town showcases all the folklore and extravagance of London and then hosts several markets that branch off confusing each other, starting with the historic Camden Lock Market. On weekends they are crowded, so it’s better to take a ride on the other days even if you do not intend to buy anything. The fun part is just to stroll around the stalls to savor the atmosphere and to have a snack at the stands that offer delicacies of cuisines from around the world.
The foodlover mecca in London is Borough Market, one of the city’s largest food markets, stretching under the arches of the London Bridge railway. In this paradise of gourmets you can stop for lunch, for a quick bite or a tasting aperitif. The gastronomic offer ranges from traditional fish and chips to fresh oysters, from French cheeses to vegetarian wrappers and vegan smoothies. And the atmosphere is definitely amazing.
A walk in the East End is fun to hunt for the most beautiful murals that decorate the walls between Shoreditch and Brick Lane. Here there are iconic works of contemporary street art, the works of Banksy, the stylized figures of Stik or the portraits of Christian Guémy. And then, this is the most creative area of London, where hipsters coexist with the Asian community of Bangladesh, in the air you breathe the scent of Indian spices and the markets overlap with the ateliers of emerging designers. I suggest you to visit the Old Truman Brewery’s: former brewery, today a realm of hand-crafted jewelery displays, accessories by young designers, craftsmanship objects ranging from inlaid wood to graphic art.
The parks of London are a marvel but in Regent Park there is a surprise that deserves a break. The Open Air Theater is an institution for theater lovers who enjoy the several theatrical performances during the good season. In fact it is one of the most evocative places to watch a work by the father of English literature. Moreover I remember you to do a visit at the Shakespeare Globe Theater, which is also outdoors and rebuilt like the original, it is definitely a must.
Where to Stay
The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences is located in the post district of Mayfair and it is an exclusive family run five star hotel of London which boasts an elegant independent personality. The new look of this exciting property is by British agency Kinnersley Kent Design which perfectly combines the spirit of the area, from the spectacular architectural lobby and lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows that give the impact of being in Green Park that it is situated opposite.
The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences offers to its guests a captivating and elegant retreat close to Hyde Park, Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Buckingham Palace and all the facilities like boutiques, bars, restaurants, musuems and so on of Mayfair neighborhood. It offers 132 rooms, 12 suites, 18 residences and The Penthouse Suite which takes pride in its individuality. The Michelin brothers, Christ and Jeff Galvin overseen the food and beverage area of the hotel, from breakfast to afternoon tea, from lunch to dinner but also private dining experiences and last but not least the 24/7 In Room Dining.
All the guests can get benefit of Spa facilities and gym. The latter provides strength training equipment and cardio machines to name a few. There’s also relaxation areas within the REN Spa. Children are so welcome there’s a Children’s Concierge and many of the fully-serviced residences were designed with families in mind. Last but not least the Living Wall is a captivating vertical garden that goes from the street level to the 10th floor Penthouse.