Founded by the Romans, London is a city built on history. From the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons to the Battle of Hastings, the Tudors to Shakespeare, the Blitz to the Windsors, London is a melting pot of timeless traditions and cultural innovation, which integrates 270 separate nationalities and 300 different languages.
Hook Camden Town: Fish & Chips
Considered by the Evening Standard “London’s best fish and chips,” Hook Camden Town, which originated in Dublin, works with 100% sustainable small fisheries, day-boats, and a select group of local suppliers. Prioritizing not only quality products, Hook also contributes to environmental sustainability, using recycled packaging, and cutlery made from 100% biodegradable corn starch. Fried in panko breadcrumbs or tempura, the fish comes with homemade sauces and seaweed salted chips. Guests can also sample the craft beer selection and fine wines served at the eatery. Though the menu changes on a daily basis, from Monday to Thursday, try the lunch fish special with a homemade lemonade for £10. On Tuesdays, sample fish tacos with chips and lemonade also for £10, and on the weekends, enjoy two for one cocktails.
Explore London’s Underground
Though London is endlessly fascinating, there are infinite treasures to discover underground. Catacombs, abandoned stations and lost rivers are just some of the attractions that lie beneath the city. Visit the replicas of the woolly mammoths that once roamed Brittania, WWII tube shelters, and antique shops. Take a 15 minute ride on the the underground Mail Rail, which delivered the post in Victorian London or visit the catacombs of Brompton Cemetery, West Norwood Cemetery, Highgate Cemetery, where the remains of Karl Marx and George Eliot rest. The Vaults, beneath the Waterloo station, is an interactive theatre and avant garde arts center, and Gray’s Antiques houses one of the world's largest and most varied collections of antiques, jewellery, and vintage clothing. For history buffs, the Churchill War Rooms in Westminster, a top-secret wartime hideaway, secured by the Slab, a massive block of concrete, is a chance to revisit where Churchill and his men strategized while the Germans bombed London. Also, visit the Map Room, which has remained intact since 1945.
Have Dinner with Heston Blumenthal
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal buries the myth that British cuisine is subpar. Featuring a glass-walled kitchen, and an industrial decor, the restaurant also houses a 16th-century Tudor-style room for private parties of twelve. Blumenthal, who applies a scientific approach to his multi-sensory cooking believes that eating is "one of the few activities we do that involves all of the senses simultaneously." The chef has been awarded several Michelin stars, and was voted GQ Chef of the Year in 2011. He employs British history to create his signature dishes, using fifteenth century recipes as inspiration. Blumenthal’s most famous dishes include Triple Cooked Chips, bacon and egg ice cream and parsnip cereal, snail porridge, and mock turtle soup. Guests will also delight in the sounds of crashing waves, seagulls and ship horns, which add to the sensory experience. In 2009, Blumenthal cooked for the Queen at Windsor Castle. The monarch sampled a menu that included baked salmon and strawberry gateau, as well as a starter, containing offal and sweetbreads.
These three travel tips are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unforgettable experiences in London. A visit to the city is also a chance to stop by the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, or Big Ben, as well as the Tate Modern, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum or the Natural History Museum. Finally, travelers should also find the time to stop by Borough Market to sample the international gourmet flavors, and relax at one of the many parks, such as Hampstead Heath, Kew Gardens, Richmond or Hampton Court Palace and have a pint on the banks of the Thames. So let us know about your trip to London or offer some feedback on our suggestions.