Didn’t get a summer break this year? Or do you prefer to escape when the weather is crisp and cold and the hotels are extra cosy? A weekend break to London with your girlfriends might be just what the doctor ordered, before the Christmas frenzy begins. Here are some ideas for how to plan your trip – making last-minute travel plans to London during the winter is every girl’s dream!
Everyone knows that London is famous for its exclusive shopping scene, with endless fashion outlets just waiting to be explored. If you’re looking for some upmarket browsing, Knightsbridge is home to the luxury shopping departments of Harrods and Harvey Nichols – two big names for serious shoppers. Close by is Sloane Street, home to slightly-less-pricey, but still just as covetable, names such as Levis and LK Bennett.
Oxford Street remains as buzzing as ever. Selfridges lures in more and more crowds every year, with its huge collection of clothes, toys, gifts and beauty products. Have fun wandering around – you’ll need a whole day just to take it all in!
Once you’re feeling tired out from shopping, there’s nothing better than relaxing with a cool, refreshing cocktail. London has some of the best cocktail bars country wide. Try the Booking Office at St Pancras Renaissance London – the epic, soaring architecture, which once bustled with passengers, is almost as awe-inspiring as the delicious drinks.
If you’ve been maxing out your credit card in Knightsbridge, the laid-back Mandarin Bar serves well-made drinks in generous proportions. Whilst over near Tottenham Court Road, the Shochu Lounge serves Japanese vodka cocktails, expertly mixed in a super-sophisticated atmosphere. Nearby, the Dabbous bar combines the classic and the unorthodox with an array of surprising drinks, perfect for a relaxing evening.
If cocktails aren’t really your thing, you could always go for an afternoon break with a nice pot of tea at one of London’s many cafes and hotels. The Mari Vanna in Knightsbridge offers a lovely choice of afternoon teas in beautiful old-world surroundings, while traditionalists can enjoy their tea in style at Piccadilly’s The Ritz.
Of course, London is also famous for its many gastropubs and restaurants, with new delights opening all the time. If you’re looking for a fun night out, the All Star Lanes in Holborn provides top-notch burgers, chillis and cheesecake in an American-style diner setting. Or how about a traditional Japanese meal at the sophisticated Sushinho restaurant in Chelsea?
Over in Canary Wharf, The Parlour serves an array of great British food in a fun and busy atmosphere. If you’re more partial to Indian cuisine, try Cinnamon Soho for a delicious range of dishes, including a late-night supper menu.
After all the fun of the day, you’ll want a great place to crash out for the night. What better way to spend a weekend with friends than choosing one of London’s many spa hotels?
K West in Shepherd’s Bush offers a relaxing herbal steam room, hydrotherapy pool and the chance to cool off in an innovative snow room. Pestana Chelsea has luxurious rooms and a range of beauty treatments, while The Montcalm gives its guests a rain shower with up-market toiletries in each private marble bathroom!
As well as all the wonderful sights London has to offer, a winter break means you’ll also be able to enjoy the lights, music and festivities of the Christmas season. London is especially beautiful this time of year – a holiday location not to miss.
Tracey Chandler is a female, freelance travel writer, specialising in travel writing and lifestyle-interest articles for female-orientated publications. She is, at present, learning all about what Latin America has to offer the female entrepreneur who loves to travel.