Heathrow Airport is about an hour’s drive away. Gatwick airport is about 90 minutes away by car; both airports have daily flights from around the world.
The closest railway station is London Charing Cross, a five-minute drive from the hotel.
Central London is not a fun place to drive; taxis and public transport are plentiful, and exploring by bike or on foot are often the best ways to see the city. If you do bring a car, valet parking costs £55 for 24 hours.
Embankment underground station is just steps away, and is served by the District, Circle, Bakerloo and Northern lines.
Worth getting out of bed for
London well deserves its status as a world city, and you’re right in the heart of it here. The famed theatres of the West End are steps away, the cultural attractions of the Southbank Centre are just over the river (stroll across the Hungerford bridge, three minutes’ walk from your doorstep) and St James’s Park and Buckingham Palace are an easy saunter away.
Admire the UK’s most prestigious art collection, with permanent and visiting exhibitions at The National Gallery (www.nationalgallery.org.uk). It’s open daily (except New Year’s Day and December 24–26) 10am–6pm, and stays open late on Fridays, until 9pm. The Southbank Centre, London’s preeminent arts centre has a variety of venues to explore, from the Royal Festival Hall to the Hayward Gallery, and has myriad restaurants, bars and shops, too (www.southbankcentre.co.uk).
Book a private capsule in the London Eye to feel like you’ve got the capital to yourself: opt for the ‘Cupid’s Capsule’ experience if you’d like to be fed champagne and chocolate truffles while in mid-air, or gather a few friends and try wine tasting or afternoon tea (www.londoneye.com).
For one of the best views you’ll ever see of the city, head to the Royal Festival Hall’s Skylon bar, grill and restaurant, where the floor-to-ceiling windows are as compelling as the ever changing menus and the cocktails on offer (www.skylon-restaurant.co.uk). Created by world-renowned chef Virgilio Martinez, Lima uses Peruvian flavors and ingredients – sourced mainly from the UK or small growers in the Andes and Amazon – to create inventive dishes, presented in a clean, contemporary and downright dazzling style (www.limalondon.com). If you’re in the mood to splurge, multi-venue Sketch offers flashy French-fusion fantasies, brasserie fare, cocktails, or delicate patisseries in its tearoom (www.sketch.uk.com).
Hop on the Tube, or take a leisurely stroll along Southbank, for Arabica Bar & Kitchen (+44 (0)203 011 5151) at 3 Rochester Walk. Expect moreish morsels of a Levantine bent, served in a sleekly styled space beneath a Victorian railway arch. If you're visiting on a Saturday, walk up an appetite by exploring nearby Borough Market; on Sundays in summer, the bar hosts melodic live music sessions. Arabica's user-friendly menu is divided up into sensible sections: dips, fried, raw, clay oven, charcoal and more; cocktails are dangerously delicious. Don't miss the delicately flavoured smoked aubergine moutabel, crispy sesame-crumbed squid, anything with lamb in it and the zingy heritage tomato and za'atar salad. Service is cheery and charming. Delicious food; potent drinks; live music and friendly humans – we can't think of a tastier formula.