I'm in London currently with team members Kendall and Shanna and am thrilled to be showing them around my hometown. We're about halfway through our trip and are including a lot of experiences and staying at 3 different hotels along the way. We are on a mission of fun, food and theatre, all the while continuing to keep up with our work while learning and learning again about how to improve our recommendations and our clients exploits.
There will be a part 2 next week for sure, but for now, here's the Top 5 from our first few days.
Top 5 - London
1. Rovi (above and below)
There are probably not many top 5 lists for London that would start off with a restaurant but bear with me, the foodie in me and the team just cannot help it. My absolute favorite cookbook is Jerusalem by Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi. If you come to Rovi, considered the flagship of Ottolenghi's London empire then stand by to be wowed. This was special and one of the best meals of my life, no exaggeration. Mediterranean dishes elevated with genius creativity. The 90 seat restaurant serves a menu with vegetables at its heart but with a fresh focus on fermentation and cooking over fire. The highlight (above) was Rump Steak (55-day aged), rainbow chard, and mushroom ketchup.
2. Great Scotland Yard (above and below)
As much as I enjoy visting and staying in varied hotel options, this is my personal current Central London go to, though that doesn't mean it's right for all our clients. I love the very convenient location close to so many of London sights including Trafalgar Square, the Embankment, Westminster, Buckingham Palace and much more. Then the vibe just strikes the right balance between quirky and homely. Beyond that in the 5-star luxury space it represents very good value.
3. Out and about (above and below)
Although we love to feed our clients quest for learning about the history of all manner of things English and London especially, we also try to encourage a day without any program. If the weather complies then just strolling around Central London, and a Royal Park or two, or three is a blessing. We had one such day this week and covered 9 miles!
4. Gin and Sin (above and below)
This was an offbeat tour we enjoyed with a new supplier of ours for experiences in England and France. Beginning at a church hidden amongst the alleys and back streets beneath the city’s mainstream facade, we discovered the backroads of Soho, a London you’ve never seen or heard about before and a glimpse into a past when the glamour of the cocktail bar met the criminal underworld. With a heavy focus on the music industry also this was a lot of fun and with a few lurid tales thrown in, quite eye-opening. For example the Coach & Horses (below) is on the face of it a homely, humble pub, but it's certainly a little rough around the edges, with some stories to tell.
5. The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour (above and below)
OK folks, this was more fun, informative, exciting and wondrous than I could possibly have imagined and I now know that this is is a must-see when in London. That goes for anyone who's even just glanced at the book cover of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone or any of the others. It's worth the 1 hour trip outside of London to the north and our top tip is to UBER to avoid a taxi, train and bus transfer or a large bus tour.
However the very top tip is to purchase entry tickets way in advance, as this sells out every single day.
I learned so much about the painstaking process of film making that I suddenly view movies in a whole new light.
If you are ready to plan England the J5Travel way, we would love to plan your trip!
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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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