For the first of our new ’24 hours in…’ series we decided to head to the capital and keep ourselves entertained by squeezing in as much as possible across the span of a day. There is absolutely no shortage of things to do in London. It’s one of the world’s premier cities which boasts new restaurants, bars, hotels and gallery’s on an almost daily basis so choosing what to do was no mean feat. Here is what made our to do list…
Friday @ 4pm
Arrive in London. It’s time to dump the bags and freshen up before the evening begins. When travelling I much prefer the extended space and home comforts offered by serviced apartments instead of a cloned hotel room. There are no shortage of these in this city but we opted for the most recent of the Supercity aparthotels. ‘The Rosebery’ which is located in the creative hub that is Clerkenwell. A quick walk from Chancery Lane tube and within walking distance of The City the location could not be more perfect.
The style of the apartment was completely to my liking. Modern, clean and well-appointed with some great art installations in the public areas. The views from the room were top-notch too also (we could even pick out the Gherkin and Tower 42 from the skyline).
London is a mecca for foodies, you can taste some of the finest flavours from all over the world in this city. Few of the premier eateries boast such a beautiful view than The OXO Tower restaurant though. The flagship restaurant in the Harvey Nic’s portfolio is located at the top of the former factory on the bank of the river Thames and offers views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the London skyline.
When we popped along (a few weeks back) the main restaurant was under renovation so we took advantage of the rather quirky ‘OXO Pop Up’ that was centered around the theme of construction. The waiters wore hi-viz vests, the table flowers were replaced by a brick and the menu came on a clipboard alongside some architect’s plans. A far cry from the usual more formal setting but a wonderfully immersive dinner that I shall not forget in a hurry. The food itself was delicious, in particular the decadent walnut tart for desert. Top tip – Ask for a table near the window to make the most of the evening views.
Time to toast the evening for some drinks. The London Cocktail Club recently opening their latest branch in Shoreditch and serve up a menu packed with some of the most creative cocktails I have ever heard of. My personal recommendations are the Jam Jar Daiquiri’s or the Pirate Radio (which comes with a song of your choice played by the DJ). While we are on the subject of music by the way you can expect to hear a mixed bag in here with everything from George Michael to Van Halen being dropped.
Saturday @ 10am
There is nothing to kick-start your day and shake off any hint of a hangover than a good gym session. Gymbox are one of my favourite gym chains (I just wish they would venture north). I love the design, the great equipment and most of all the music. I’m not sure of any other chain who host regular resident dj’s within their premises to spur you along with your training.
The Old Street Gymbox has just recently opened and was a nice 10 minute walk from the apartments in Clerkenwell so it made sense to chuck on my boots and head along here. They have a huge emphasis on functional fitness and as always boxing is at their core but into the mix is a nice sized free weights and cardio area as well as an impressive programme of classes.
With an appetite nicely worked up it is time for some brunch to fill the gap. Karpo. located in Kings Cross (right over the road from the station) is an independent neighbourhood brassiere which serves food all day. Their weekend brunch menu caught my eye when planning the trip and I had been looking forward to trying the banana & salted caramel pancakes in particular…and they did not disappoint. You can of course go for a full English or eggs done just about any which way you can imagine if that is more your thing.
The vibe is chilled and the clientele was completely mixed from young student types, tourists, couple and a table of middle class friends. I liked the variation.
This long-overdue appraisal of the entire career of the British star of Pop Art Allen Jones has just kicked off at the Royal Academy in Burlington Gardens and features examples of his work from the 1960’s right through to the modern-day.
The presentation shows not only te famous ‘furniture’ works but also some vivid canvas works, sculpture and some rarely seen storyboards. The exhibition runs until January 25th 2015.
Food glorious food. It’s time to recharge again this time at my favourite London steak house – MASH. Located in Piccadilly this place has to be seen to believed. The restaurant itself is located sub street level and has the feel of an art deco speakeasy. The dining room is vast and the bar is always buzzing.
The menu has been crafted using some of the worlds finest cattle. Depending on your preference they offer everything from dry aged Danish beef (their signature) wagyu, corn-fed American beef or the specially selected Uruguayan. I opted for the American Ribeye which was succulent, tasty, simply out of this world! If you are into your wines the very knowledgeable sommeliers will recommend you the perfect accompaniment to compliment your meat.
And on that tasty note that wraps up pur 24 hours in…little old London town. If you reckon you have some ‘must do’ suggestions of your own feel free to connect with us and share them, we would love to hear some ideas for your next trip!