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need help with planning a special trip to London

(57 Posts)
Nursenat100 Thu 31-Dec-15 15:12:51

All ideas welcome...

Other half's 40th is looming...I want to plan a really lovely weekend in London. It's still six months away but would like to be able to get reservations/ get planning, hence my post now.

I'll book first class train tickets (I advance, so not too pricey)...but beyond this, all suggestions for hotels, restaurants, stuff to do great fully received!

Mrsmorton Thu 31-Dec-15 16:49:07

I did a treasure hunt type thing; H had to solve a puzzle to get the next thing. I've lived in London for ages but we did some right touristy stuff including the eye which was cool in a private pod. The comedy store is a good night, a bit "down to earth" but often very very funny.

If you've not got contactless cards, order some oyster cards now for getting around. Saves any faff.

Nursenat100 Thu 31-Dec-15 17:31:32

Thanks for that...fab idea! Hadn't thought about a private pod but that could be cool...

Any hotels/restaurant recommendations?

Scarydinosaurs Thu 31-Dec-15 17:33:24

Sky Gardens is a great place to go for views of the city and good food. They do brunch/lunch/dinner/cocktails in a choice of restaurants but you have to book.

I took my DH for his birthday and it's gone down as one of his favourites ever.

Nursenat100 Thu 31-Dec-15 17:35:22

I'll have a look at that, thankyou! I do like the idea of brunch and maybe a late dinner on one of the days

wickedwaterwitch Thu 31-Dec-15 17:36:16

What does he like? Art? Cinema? Buildings? Cars?

And what type of food? Michelin starred? A decent curry? Romantic? With a view?

What's your budget, roughly? What do you think he'd like to see the most?

For my dh's 30th I booked a suite at One Aldwych, booked their private cinema, and bought him 30 DVDs (what I thought would be his top 30, I got it more or less right) and we had a private screen g of one of them with canapés and champagne, was fab!

wickedwaterwitch Thu 31-Dec-15 17:39:02

I think you need some time for mooching / lying in / enjoying the hotel

A 'booked' thing (London eye, exhibition)

One booked special restaurant - with a great view or somewhere where he'll love the food

Tickets booked for anything else you especially want to do

Nursenat100 Thu 31-Dec-15 17:45:19

This is really helpful! Lots to think about! I agree, want to be able to enjoy the hotel if I've paid out for a good one.

He's never been to London since being a child so I'll probably walking to around the major destinations, which I think we can do in a few hours.

He's a foodie, will definitely love to eat anywhere with the wow factor. Beyond that he likes film (the private acreening sounds amazing!). Borough market could work. He likes craft gin, cocktails etc. so any fun suggestions appreciated.

I guess around £1200 budget but could stretch if necessary

Nursenat100 Thu 31-Dec-15 17:47:21

Oh also likes cars (hot rods type things) and motor bikes, if that helps

wickedwaterwitch Thu 31-Dec-15 17:51:11

The Bond in Motion exhibition might be good, not sure if it'll still be on then but you could check

londonfilmmuseum.com/home/

wickedwaterwitch Thu 31-Dec-15 17:53:34

Quite a few hotels have private screening rooms, One Aldwych is one and quite a few of The Firmdale hotels. I've stayed in The Soho and Charlotte St and The Haymarket, all are fabulous

www.firmdalehotels.com/b/screening-rooms/

wickedwaterwitch Thu 31-Dec-15 17:55:07

The radio bar has great views but can be a pita to get into ime

www.melia.com/en/hotels/united-kingdom/london/me-london/radio-rooftop-bar.html

There are other fab rooftop bars though

LexLoofah Thu 31-Dec-15 17:55:45

DH and I had a weekend in London before Christmas, stayed at Sofitel St James which was great in terms of room size, ambience & location as we walked everywhere we wanted to go. We pretty much just walked and talked our way along.

Love the private screening idea, tried to do that this time but Star Wars thwarted us as all booked up so will try next time.

If seafood is his thing try Bentley's or Wiltons, we wanted to go to Rules but it was booked out. Had a great curry at Bombay Brasserie in Kensington I think it was if that appeals.

Did the London Eye with the kids a few years ago - meh. Might do the Shard next time we go, we didn't want to pre-book anything last time just wanted to do our thing.

Have a lovely time OP

wickedwaterwitch Thu 31-Dec-15 17:56:27

Best bars for drinking gin in London according to Time Out

www.timeout.com/london/bars-pubs/the-best-bars-for-drinking-gin-in-london

wickedwaterwitch Thu 31-Dec-15 17:57:50

London gin club does tasting events

thelondonginclub.com/tasting-events-at-the-lgc/

Nursenat100 Thu 31-Dec-15 18:02:31

Ah guys thank you all for your input...cheering me up tonight!

OH is on call tonight...took a chance that it would be quiet and he would be home so I've made a lovely dinner...but it's looking like it's not to be as he's out with no sign of returning. So just me! At least I can sit and Google your recommendations

TurboTheChicken Thu 31-Dec-15 18:04:59

My two favourite restaurants are The Hawksmoor in Covent Garden, incredible steak, fabulous cocktails and a lovely gentleman's club kind of vibe and Roast in Borough Market amazing food and cocktails too, get a table by the window for a view of the market.

Nursenat100 Thu 31-Dec-15 18:05:21

I think the London gin club tasting has made the "definites" list!

wizzywig Thu 31-Dec-15 18:06:58

The Bond Exhibition looks amazing.

MelanieCheeks Thu 31-Dec-15 18:07:38

Champagne up the Shard, and cocktails at Cahoots!

wickedwaterwitch Thu 31-Dec-15 18:09:34

If you want to spend less on an hotel but still get a decent one then The City at the weekend is a good bet - and still walkable to Borough market (it's a mile away) and The South bank. We stayed at The Andaz a while ago and had a large room for much less than we'd have paid in say, Covent Garden. I liked it a lot, the service was great. There isn't much else nearby although Brick Lane is walking distance if you wanted a curry. And it's just above Liverpool st station for the tube.

london.liverpoolstreet.andaz.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html

www.southbanklondon.com

boroughmarket.org.uk

If you want to check walking times this site is useful

walkit.com

Nursenat100 Thu 31-Dec-15 18:12:48

That makes sense re the hotel..great suggestion!

I fancy the shard too...would anyone who has been recommend a specific bar/need to book?

wickedwaterwitch Thu 31-Dec-15 18:17:36

I just checked, we had 2 nights in a large King at The Andaz for £528 (2014 though) - they're £400-479 per room per night during the week (I just picked random dates to see)

They email you when your room is ready and I can see that they invited me to check in at 11.42am - most hotels won't let you check in until 2-3pm so that's extra time in the room (although we were probably just lucky)

Other City hotels discount similarly at the weekend

wickedwaterwitch Thu 31-Dec-15 18:22:35

I'm scared of heights so haven't been up The Shard but someone will know!

Booking.com is good for booking hotels and has better photos of hotels (Andaz site is terrible) and mostly free cancellation. It's good for checking availability for your dates.

I'm pretty fussy about hotels so was pleasantly surprised by The Andaz.

You'll get cheap-ish rooms (for London) at The Waldorf, with a great location but I wasn't impressed last time I stayed, it's had its day I think.

If you like the look of a hotel and want me to look, let me know here and I'll tell you anything I know. I have a filthy hotel habit so happy to help!

fortifiedwithtea Thu 31-Dec-15 18:26:29

Try Maddisons roof top restaurant and cocktail bar at One New Change. Amazing views of St Paul's Cathedral.

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