London is one of the world’s greatest cities. 24 hours may not be a long time, but you’ll definitely be able to see, do, and discover some of London’s greatest treasures. If you’re keen to spend 24 hours in London like a Brit, by having a quintessentially British experience, then read our luxury travel guide. Explore London the Rich Vein Travel way!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But when you only have 24 hours in a city, you’ll want to combine attractions and activities together to save time. So, for breakfast visit Aqua Shard. Located on level 31 of the Shard (the tallest building in the UK), this restaurant combines contemporary British cuisine with breathtaking views over London. The provenance of quality produce is key at Aqua Shard. The eggs are organic and free-range Cotswold Legbars, whilst the wood-smoked, Lambton & Jackson salmon is deliciously rich and silky. Every breakfast should be like this!
Time is of the essence. Across the river from the Shard, you’ll find Tower Bridge and the 900-year-old, Tower of London. Both, are iconic landmarks of London, with the latter most famous for housing the crown jewels and for holding many infamous prisoners. From Tower Hill, you can take the DLR from Tower Gateway to Canary Wharf – London’s equivalent to Wall Street. Or alternatively, take the underground from Tower Hill to St Paul’s Cathedral. St Paul’s Cathedral has been here for over 1,400 years. During this time, the cathedral has been built and rebuilt five times, but its main purpose has always been as a place of worship and prayer. Although you are forbidden from taking photos inside, it’s impossible not to be impressed by the grandeur of the cathedral, which has seen many a royal wedding throughout history.
Swap the old for the new – or rather contemporary, as you discover Tate Modern – which is conveniently located across Millennium Bridge. From David Hockney and Andy Warhol to Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali, Tate Modern holds the national collection of British art from 1500 to the present day. The Tate Modern is one of the world’s most iconic art galleries. With an extensive international collection of modern and contemporary artworks that few can beat, spending a few hours at the gallery is highly recommended.
Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Whilst you may not catch a glimpse of Romeo Montague at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, it’s still worth a visit! It’s also only a few minutes away on foot from Tate Modern. Stop for a photo, and take the 30 minute guided tour. The tour runs between 13:00 and 17:00 every day at 30 minute intervals (subject to the performance schedule).
From the Globe Theatre, you’ll need to walk to Mansion House station to take the London Underground to Victoria station. Once you arrive at the station, it will be tempting to head straight to Buckingham Palace. However, we recommend visiting Rubens at the Palace first. After rushing around London for the best part of the day, enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, warm smiles, and relish the change of pace. Overlooking the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace, Rubens at the Palace is the perfect location for a spot of afternoon tea. This traditional English occasion will be the highlight of your day as no trip to London is complete without it!
With a reputation as one of the best establishments for afternoon tea in London, and recently highly commended at the Afternoon Tea Awards 2018, it is the perfect place to spend a few hours. The delicious Royal Afternoon Tea features mouth-watering sandwiches and pastries that are heavily influenced by Royal events and dining trends throughout history. Take Rubens Chocolate Cake, for example, inspired by the Queen’s love of chocolate. Whilst the Royal Afternoon Tea also includes a range of delicious savoury and sweet delights including Coronation chicken finger sandwiches with toasted almonds on white bread, plain and chocolate chip scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, and a trendy Gin and tonic cheesecake.
An equally delicious Vegan Afternoon Tea alternative is available, with hummus and red pepper finger sandwiches, warm vegan scones, and a selection of pastries including an English rose macaroon and a silky smooth peach mousse. Should you have any dietary requirements the fantastic team will be able to cater to your needs. However afternoon tea is about more than the delicious treats, and the view, it’s about the full experience. This is where Ruben’s truly excels. Selah, and the entire team are incredibly friendly and will make you feel at ease from the moment you arrive. Whilst the delightful pianist will transport you to a bygone era with a range of classics and modern numbers.
By around this time, you’ll be ready to check-in to a luxury hotel. After a full day of exploring, you’ll probably want nothing more than to dive into a cosy bed in an elegantly appointed room. If you happen to be staying at the 5* Rubens at The Palace, your room will be metres away. However, there are several other luxury hotels that we highly recommend within a short distance of The Rubens. One option is the 5* Milestone Hotel & Residences, the other is the 5* Egerton House Hotel – both featured in our blog post on London’s best luxury hotels! If you’re looking for the quintessential British luxury hotel experience, then look no further. Each of these hotels offers something unique, but impeccable standards can be found in each.
Enjoy a power nap, freshen up, and have a coffee, for the night is still young. British theatre has a rich history, from playwrights like William Shakespeare to actors like Laurence Olivier. London has a vibrant theatre and cultural arts scene, every day of the week you’re guaranteed to be able to watch a mesmerising musical, brand new show, or see a unique twist on a old classic. At Rich Vein Travel, we feel like a good musical can’t be beaten. Head to the West End – London’s entertainment district around Leicester Square, Soho and Covent Garden. Watch Wicked, Les Miserables, Matilda, The Lion King, or any other of the fantastic musical performances delivered by all star casts each day in London.
After the show, indulge in a mouth-watering late night snack. If you’re in the Covent Garden area, head to Homeslice Neal’s Yard for a heavenly slice of woodfired authentic Neapolitan-style pizza. If you’re in Soho visit equally authentic Bun House. Fluffy steamed buns come Cantonese-style at this cosy cafe with a late-night drinking den. Alternatively, order room service upon return to your hotel as you reflect on a day well had in England’s capital city.
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