Our London team trip concluded just over a week ago, but we are all still talking about it non-stop which is a very good sign that everyone enjoyed it. We squeezed in stays and visits to the following properties, but this really was a trip about experiences and the wide range of options that London can offer.
Hotels we experienced were, Great Scotland Yard (Hyatt), One Aldwych (independent), and Rosewood London. Then Rubens at the Palace, Hotel 41 and Egerton House (all Red Carnation hotels), and St Ermins (Marriott Auotograph Collection). We do get around a bit!
Here's our Top 5 from the second half of our London sojourn.
Top 5 - London
1. Ted Lasso Tour (above and below)
Myself, Kendall and Shanna are all unashamed Ted Lasso fans, and when we found out there was a new tour that featured the filming locations in Richmond, we were booked in an instant.
Our guide Emmy was a local and also an aspiring actress, so really knew her stuff including some inside knowledge into whether there will be a Season 4. You'll need to book a tour with her in order to find out, we are sworn to secrecy! On top of it being a fascinating tour, Richmond is also a delightful SW London neighborhood to walk around from Richmond Green (below) to a great walk along the banks of the Thames with several pubs along the way.
2. Egerton House (above and below)
I've featured this property before but it absolutely deserves to be highlighted again. It does not have the best rooms, the best facilities or even a restaurant open for dinner, but somehow this homely, intimate hotel provides impeccable service and an experience you will never forget.
Our Virtuoso amenities here are second to none. The exquisite Martini Making Class and the legendary afternoon tea are both included with any booking and are worth over $200 per person.
Egerton is also possibly the most British luxury hotel you could experience. We continue to recommend this wonderful hotel for many of our clients.
3. Marlow (above)
Marlow is a small market town about an hour west of London with the River Thames flowing through the middle of it. It is worth a visit in itself but we had an ulterior motive.
I have a connection to the Hand & Flowers, a 2-star Michelin pub in this beautiful town. Owner/chef Tom Kerridge used to be the sous chef in our small Cotswolds restaurant back in the late 1990s. He was clearly destined to make his mark in the industry and wow he really followed through on that.
The team took a day trip out to the countryside west of London in order to experience the restaurant for the first time, as I had not made it there before. It did not disappoint in any way.
A chill pub atmosphere and above and beyond food and service were enjoyed by all. From my amuse bouche mini sausage roll, through the duck liver parfait, pork tenderloin roasted on a licorice stick to the best souffle I have ever tasted (banana and chocolate) it was all phenomenal. Thank you Tom Kerridge for making me proud and thank you current head chef Tom de Keyser for exciting my taste buds.
4. Theater (above)
We were on a mission on this trip to hit the London theater scene hard and managed to see 4 shows in our 8 day stay. You should note that West End shows average less than half the price of Broadway equivalents so this really is the city to visit if you are any type of drama or comedy or musical fan. Our line up was Six the Musical, Wicked, Dancing at Lughnasa at the National Theatre, which leaves the outstanding highlight of A Streetcar Named Desire starring Paul Mescal (below). This was the most intense theater experience of my life, and I cannot go without mentioning lead actress Patsy Ferran, who was mesmerizing, spending the entire 2 1/2 hour performance on stage.
5. Food Tour (above and below)
There is no J5Travel team trip without a local food tour, especially if it's in my home city. For me there is nothing better than hearing foodies describe their passions, whether they are restauranteurs, cheese makers, chocolate fiends or especially your tour guide. Starting with Fortnum & Mason (above), grocers to the Royal Family we delved into chocolate, tea, and condiments on the ground floor before heading to some smaller specialists throughout nearby Soho. We ended close to Neal's Yard in Covent Garden where there is a fairly new upscale food court serving international cuisine and beverages of the utmost quality. The cheese food conveyor belt spot we alighted upon (below) had over 25 cheeses circling us, all matched with something a little unusual, but always delicious. The crumbly Caerphilly cheese I had paired with a small handmade piece of vanilla fudge was ridiculously yummy.
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I love travel and I love travel planning just as much and I am proud to be building a team as passionate about exploring the world as myself. It took me a very long time to align my career with my undeniable passion for exploring, but now I and the team are here for you. Your personal travel tailors - award reservation and luxury custom itinerary experts. We provide a bespoke service, imagining and creating itineraries for independent minded families and groups.
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