So you’re soon to be visiting London and, on at least one of the days you’ll be in the UK capital, eager to have the most ‘English’ experience possible? Here’s how to fulfil that aim…
Start the day as you mean to go on
Really, what better way to kick-off your ‘full English’ day than by thoroughly indulging yourself via tucking into a Full English breakfast? A hugely popular, albeit rather heavy-duty first meal of the day that UK natives reserve for special occasions (for obvious reasons), this breakfast features lashings of fried ingredients. Sausages, eggs (fried, scrambled or poached), bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, hash browns, baked beans and a side order of toast and butter tend to be the order of the day – or, to be exact, morning. Wash that down with a couple of cups of coffee and orange juice and you’re good to go!
Wallow in the wonderful splendour of Harrods
Following breakfast, why not head to the supremely elegant neighbourhood that’s Knightsbridge to experience perhaps the world’s most famous – and one of its most sumptuous and definitely one of its most old-English – department stores, Harrods? Famed for back in the day not letting in visitors should they be dressed too casually, it’s mercifully relaxed its ‘dress code’ nowadays; its sophistication and refinement most represented today by all the über-expensive goods and truly beautiful things it sells. Put simply, this place is a window shopper’s paradise – many depart with having only bought a Harrods-branded shopping bag, but not all!
Mess about in a boat in Hyde Park
Unless you’re weighed down with shopping from your Harrods pilgrimage, you’ll next want to sample the paradisiacal idyll that’s Hyde Park, located slap-bang in the centre of the city (and so, just a short hop on the Tube away from many centrally-situated hotels, like the Park Grand Paddington Court hotel London and other accommodation Paddington London). In amongst so much worth checking out here is the fleet of rowing- and pedal-boats on the man-made lake that’s The Serpentine – and, on the same stretch of water, the Solarshuttle. The first of its kind in the UK, this vessel genuinely glides along the water thanks only to sun-derived energy and can accommodate up to 40 passengers per sitting.
Breathe in the gothic power at Westminster
Having sampled the serenity of Harrods and Hyde Park, it’s now time as your day slips into late afternoon to gain some cultural and historical perspective as you schlep southeast-wards to Westminster. You could, of course, take the Tube pretty much directly from Central London’s largest Royal Park to the district that contains, as it does, the neo-gothic architectural masterpiece that’s the Houses of Parliament (featuring, of course, Big Ben and its world-famous clock-tower), the Cenotaph war memorial, Horse Guards Parade and 10 Downing Street, home and workplace of the Prime Minister (where the nation’s political power really resides). Yet, should you get off the Tube early – or travel by bus – you can take in the delightful nearby sights that are Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square.
Survey the entire city on the London Eye
Finally, what better way to end your most ‘English’ day possible than to view the whole city from above thanks to going up in one of the pods on the gigantic Ferris wheel which, on the South Bank and just a few steps from Westminster Bridge (thus, a short walk from Westminster), offers fantastic panoramic views of the London skyline. It’s the perfect attraction day or night – and whatever the time of year!