Visit London Blog » Eating Out http://blog.visitlondon.com Enjoy the very best of London Tue, 17 Mar 2015 16:11:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Pets in London Pubs, Cafes and Shops http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/03/pets-in-pubs-and-other-places/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/03/pets-in-pubs-and-other-places/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 10:00:36 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39351 Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium

One of the residents of Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium

 

Londoners love animals, so it’s no surprise some people can’t resist taking their pets to work. Here are just some of London’s much-loved resident animals at some of the capital’s friendliest spots.

The cats at Lady Dinah’s
London’s first cat café, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium combines two of the best things in life: a cup of tea and a purring feline. It’s actually a home for rescued cats, so your £6 entrance fee goes towards their welfare and care. And best of all, while you watch the 12 resident moggies enjoying their new home, you can tuck into a cake, light snack or Afternoon Tea. Purr-fect. Booking recommended.

Pearl at Rosewood London
As a pet-friendly hotel (cats and dogs of a certain size are warmly welcomed), it’s no surprise that Rosewood London in Holborn has its own resident hound. Golden Retriever Pearl was named after Pearl Assurance Company, who moved into the building when it was built in 1914. There are plenty of excuses to pay her a visit, from the sparkling Mirror Room restaurant to the cosy, book-lined Scarfes Bar, where you’ll find more than 200 single malts – and delicious Indian bar food.

Pearl the dog at Rosewood London

Pearl the dog at Rosewood London

Barney at the Bell & Crown
Barney the dog is a regular fixture at the Bell & Crown pub, perched perfectly along the river in picturesque Chiswick. It’s a great spot for a pint of real ale, spot of grub or cosy boardgame after a roam around the beautiful Kew Gardens just over the river. And you’re sure to meet Barney as he does his ’rounds’.

Lenny at the Pride of Spitalfield
A friendly locals pub, the Pride of Spitalfields is made even more welcoming by the addition of feline friends Patch and Lenny. These two cats are well-known and have something of their own fan club at the pub, which they make the most of by nabbing the comfiest seats and making themselves at home. Our suggestion? Grab a pint of Bold As Brass made by the local Truman’s Brewery and do the same.

Alice Through The Looking Glass

Alice Through The Looking Glass

 

Harley at Alice Through The Looking Glass
Walk along Cecil Court, just minutes from Trafalgar Square, and you may do a double take when you spot Alice Through The Looking Glass. For in the window of this delightful shop, selling first editions of Lewis Carol’s ‘Alice’ books and more, you may spy a large white rabbit. This is Harley. He’s only in once or twice a week but when he is you can usually find him in the window or in his hutch inside.

Bob at ScooterCaffè

As if it wasn’t already cosy enough with its delicious hot chocolates, quirky decor and soft lighting, ScooterCaffè on Lower Marsh (behind Waterloo Station) has its own resident cat, Bob. Pop in for a stroke and a spot of cake during the day; or a glass of something cold at the bar when the evening crowds flock in.

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The Year of the Sheep: Woolly good attractions in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/02/the-year-of-the-sheep-woolly-good-attractions-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/02/the-year-of-the-sheep-woolly-good-attractions-in-london/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 12:10:52 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39321 One of the eight sheep at Hackney City Farm

One of the eight sheep at Hackney City Farm

This Chinese New Year marks the start of the Year of the Sheep. But celebrating by pulling on a woolly jumper isn’t going to cut it. We pick out seven sheep-ish attractions to shepherd your friends and family to. ‘Ewe’ won’t believe how much fun you can have!

Meet real sheep at Hackney City Farm

London has a number of City Farms where you can see all sorts of farmyard animals – including, of course, sheep. At Hackney City Farm there are eight resident sheep: Speckledy, Tiffany, Sherry, Tess, Baby, Lola, Delan and, last but certainly not least, 11-year-old Littlesheep. Save time for a rummage around the shop and a delicious lunch or snack at the on-site café, Frizzante.

Yauatcha in Soho

Yauatcha in Soho

Enjoy a sweet sheep treat at Yauatcha

To mark the Year of the Sheep, renowned dim-sum teahouse Yauatcha in Soho has gone sheep crazy, with a themed pop-art window display, pop-up art gallery and “wool makeover” created in collaboration with the Campaign for Wool. Even the dessert has been given a sheep twist, with macaroons made with caramelized sheep’s milk and a sheep’s yogurt lemon dessert. Until 28 Feb.

See Dolly the Sheep’s jumper at the Science Museum

Do you remember Dolly the sheep, the first cloned animal? Her birth was hailed as a scientific breakthrough and kickstarted huge debate – and controversy. While Dolly’s final resting place is at the National Museum of Scotland, a little bit of the world’s most famous sheep remains at London’s Science Museum in the form of a jumper knitted from Dolly’s first fleece.

Liberty

Liberty

Buy designer woollens at Liberty

If a chunky wool knit isn’t your style, check out Marc Jacobs’ new range of soft wool scarves at London’s iconic Liberty store – with suitably out-of-this-world names like ‘Blue Jupiter’ and ‘Turquoise Stargazer’. If that’s out of your price range, head to the third floor and pick up some yarn to make your own!

Spot Shaun the Sheep in London

To coincide with the recent launch of Shaun the Sheep: The Movie, its creators have organised a special art trail, Shaun in the City, featuring more than 100 giant sculptures of the little sheep who came to fame in the much-loved animation film Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave. Look out for the sculptures from March 28.

The Cheeseboard in Greenwich

The Cheeseboard in Greenwich

Shop for sheep’s milk cheese at The Cheeseboard

Tucked away in the World Heritage Site of Greenwich is The Cheeseboard, a tiny artisan cheese shop selling (among other things) delicious sheep’s milk cheese. There’s Ossau Iraty from France’s western Pyrénées regions, Tuscan Pecorino Nero, Terschelling from the Netherlands… but there are some UK favourites too, including Wigmoreand Devon-made Beenleigh Blue (pictured above).

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Cosy Nooks To Go With a Book http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/01/cosy-nooks-to-go-with-a-book/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/01/cosy-nooks-to-go-with-a-book/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 15:58:09 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39292 London Review Cake Shop

London Review Cake Shop

Want a comfy corner where you can devour the latest bestseller? Snuggle up in one of these bookworm holes, scattered across London:

Downstairs at Curzon Soho
The Curzon Soho cinema on Shaftesbury Avenue is a great central spot for readers on the go. Pick up a delicious cake from in-house café Konditor & Cook upstairs, then head down to the subterranean bar area and snag a seat on one of the sofas. Beware, if you’re reading a book about film, a visiting cinema buff may engage you in conversation!

Benugo Bar at BFI Southbank
Walking past the British Film Institute along the Thames, you may think the Riverfront café is where all the action is – but head further in (or round the back) and you’ll find Benugo Bar. Next to the bright dining area is a cosy lounge bar, with comfy seats, soft lighting and an extensive drinks list. If you want something more intimate, ask for the secret door to The Drawing Room – a snug cocktail bar hidden just off the lounge area.

London Review Bookshop
A bookshop with a café is an inspired mix. Bring your own or buy a book from the London Review Bookshop, then settle down to a good read over a pot of tea in the bright and welcoming Cake Shop. As the name suggests, you’ll find all sorts of baked treats here – plus savoury snacks too – to enjoy with your book.

The Cinnamon Club

The Cinnamon Club

The Library Bar at The Cinnamon Club
The Cinnamon Club is known for its delicious modern Indian food, but not everybody knows about its cosy bar. A nod to the building’s former life as the old Westminster Library, the aptly named Library Bar used to be the reading room. Today it’s a great spot to devour a book – before devouring lunch or dinner.

The Dove
The Dove in Hammersmith is a pub with a lot of nooks and crannies – ideal for a bookworm to squirrel away in. The place has a fair few stories of its own – for one, Charles II is said to have wined and dined his mistress Nell Gwynne here. So if you finish your book, you won’t be short of a tale or two to go with your pint!

The Martini Library at The Arch
It sounds like somewhere James Bond would hang out. And well he might, because this bar at the exclusive Arch London Hotel near Marble Arch is just the sort of place 007 might retire to after a hard day’s spying. Take a seat in an armchair by the roaring fire, flick through the stylish coffee-table books and sip on a glass of your own favourite Martini speciality.

Southbank Centre
If you want to read without spending a single penny, pop into the Southbank Centre along the River Thames. It may be a huge, world-leading arts centre, but it’s also a welcoming public space – with tables and chairs on every level, from the bustling Clore Ballroom to the more peaceful Saison Poetry Library.

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Family Festive Day Out in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/12/family-festive-day-out-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/12/family-festive-day-out-in-london/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 11:35:04 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39257 Father Christmas at Winter Wonderland

Father Christmas at Winter Wonderland

The twinkling lights are up, the mince pies out… London’s getting festive! Enjoy the magic of Christmas with the whole family on a festive day out in London.

Morning: Natural History Museum and Ice Rink

Natural History Museum ice skating

Natural History Museum ice skating

The Natural History Museum is always popular with children, who love the huge dinosaur skeletons, earthquake simulator and hands-on activities. Spend an hour or two exploring the museum’s amazing collections, then let off some steam with a skate around the outdoor ice rink – admiring the outside of the museum as you go for a spin.

There’s a large rink and a smaller one for beginners and children – plus a café/bar for those who prefer enjoying the antics from the sidelines with a tasty hot chocolate.

Lunch: Winter Wonderland

Jump on the 74 bus (towards Baker Street) and get off at Marble Arch, a stone’s throw from Winter Wonderland, just inside Hyde Park. Here you’ll find rides, a magical ice kingdom, a bustling Christmas market and much more.

You’ll also find lots of food stalls and pop-up cafes, where you can enjoy a lunch of piping hot bratwurst sausage in the Bavarian Village, or whatever else takes your fancy. Note: Winter Wonderland is free to enter but some rides and attractions are ticketed and need to be booked in advance.

Afternoon: Oxford Street Christmas lights and Hamleys

Oxford Street Christmas Lights

Oxford Street Christmas Lights

Stroll from Marble Arch along Oxford Street, admiring the beautiful white orb Christmas decorations above. It should just be getting dark by now – the perfect time to see the lights in all their glory.

Turn right onto Regent Street at Oxford Circus and head for Hamleys, better known as every child’s dream shop. Inside they’ll find all their favourite toys, see expert demonstrations and (if you get there for 5pm) you can watch it snow!

Dinner: Spaghetti House

Continue down Regent Street, through Leicester Square and onto St Martin’s Lane. Take a well-earned rest and refuel over dinner at Spaghetti House at number 30. A two-course dinner of Italian favourites is £10.50 for adults and £5 for kids.

Evening: Paddington Bear Trail and Carol Singing in Trafalgar Square

The Bear of London

The Bear of London

After you’ve eaten your fill of pasta, pizza and profiteroles, make your way to London’s iconic Trafalgar Square – just a few minutes away. Look out for The Bear of London, one of 50 unique statues of Paddington Bear dotted around the city. You can even do a whole Paddington Trail, to see all of the statues on one walk. But maybe save that for another day…

Then what better way to end the day than with some uplifting carol singing around the giant Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square? Performances take place from 4-8pm on weekdays, and from 2-6pm at the weekend. It’s enough to make even Scrooge feel festive.

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A Dickensian Christmas in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/12/dickens-christmas-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/12/dickens-christmas-in-london/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 13:58:06 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39263 A Christmas Carol at the Southbank Centre

A Christmas Carol at the Southbank Centre

Many of London’s Christmas traditions date back to the Victorian era, so why not step back in time and explore Christmas as it was for Charles Dickens – the writer of the much-loved classic A Christmas Carol.

See A Christmas Carol on the stage

Many theatres and venues stage their own production of A Christmas Carol every year. There’s a star-studded narration at the Southbank Centre, a ‘chilling and contemporary’ take by the Old Red Lion Theatre, a family-friendly show at the Museum of London, and many more.

If you fancy something a little more dark, try Sikes & Nancy at Trafalgar Studios – retelling the story of two of the most famous characters in Dickens’s Oliver Twist.

Walk in the author’s footsteps on the Charles Dickens London Walk

A Dickens Of A Christmas

A Dickens Of A Christmas

Every Friday (except 26 Dec), London Walks leads a tour into the underbelly of the City of London – the tiny alleys, nooks and crannies where Dickens himself lived and worked. The walk begins at Temple Tube station at 2.15pm.

Enjoy a Dickens of a Christmas at the Dickens Museum

Given the strong connection between Christmas in London and Charles Dickens’s work, it’s no surprise the Dickens Museum has one or two things planned for the festive season. Under the A Dickens of A Christmas umbrella, you can be entertained at A Very Dickensian Christmas Eve, explore Dickens’ former home by candlelight, learn about the darker side of Dickens’ festive works on Bah Humbug Tuesdays, and much more.

Have a festive drink at The George Inn

The George Inn is not only the last galleried coaching inn in London, but also where Dickens himself used to go for a drink – he even wrote it into Little Dorrit. The pub, which can be traced back to 1542, today belongs to the National Trust. Drop in for a pint and take a pew in the Middle Bar, which was once the Coffee Room where Dickens would sit.

Feast on London’s Christmas specialties

Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market

It is said that on Christmas Eve, Dickens would visit the Christmas markets in London’s East End between Aldgate and Bow. Take a leaf from his book and explore the sights, sounds and tastes to be found under the elegant Victorian roof of Leadenhall Market – the setting of the fictional bar Blue Boar Inn in The Pickwick Papers. It may be more upmarket than what Dickens would have encountered in his day – but luckily there’ll definitely be something better than gruel on the menu!

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Five Things to Do In The London Borough of Southwark http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/11/five-things-to-do-in-the-london-borough-of-southwark/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/11/five-things-to-do-in-the-london-borough-of-southwark/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 10:00:10 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39229 Guest blog post by Marlin Apartments

Head south of the river to Southwark for little-known attractions and hidden gems. Here are our top five things to do around the Southwark area:

The Old Vic

The Old Vic

Theatre
Great theatre isn’t just found in London’s glitzy West End; Southwark is home to several renowned theatres, such as The Old Vic, The Young Vic, Southwark Playhouse and Menier Chocolate Factory. The Old Vic produces adaptations of classic plays that often feature big names, such as Kevin Spacey and Richard Armitage, while The Young Vic is a brilliant low-cost alternative bringing you works produced by younger artists.

Borough Market

Borough Market

Borough Market
Foodies unite! For the ultimate experience in quality food and drink, you should head straight to one of the oldest and largest food markets in London. Tease your taste buds with the vast array of stalls on offer, from pastries and treats to continental cheeses and meats. Even if you’re not looking to shop, you can still enjoy a delicious and freshly-cooked lunch at the Borough lunch market. The full market is open Wednesday to Saturday, bit the market is open for lunch on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Museums
Southwark homes a handful of off-the-beaten-track museums in the Southwark area, such as the Fashion and Textile Museum, which feature exhibitions of great British and global fashion through the ages. For something completely different, try the Clink Prison Museum, which offers a glimpse into one of England’s oldest and most notorious prisons.

the shard

London Bridge Quarter
At the epicentre of the area’s redevelopment is London Bridge Quarter, which has transformed the South Bank. The UK’s tallest and most iconic new building, The View From The Shard, is open to the public and offers stellar views of the London cityscape for miles around. But it’s not all just about the view; there are eight world-class restaurants in The Shard alone offering a diverse range of cuisines. So why not sample some of the best culinary efforts London has to offer while absorbing that mesmerising view?

Tour of the Golden Hinde II
Be transported to the Tudor times in this family favourite next to London Bridge. You will be taken on a guided tour around the full-size replica ship by costumed actors who will both entertain and educate about life in the 16th century.  Open 10am until 5.30pm daily.

Marlin Apartments are based in London Bridge, just a five-minute walk from The Shard. We even have a full-size kitchen so you can cook up a storm after shopping at Borough Market!marlin

 

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London Video Of The Week: How To Do London – Eating Out http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/06/london-video-of-the-week-how-to-do-london-eating-out/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/06/london-video-of-the-week-how-to-do-london-eating-out/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 13:06:16 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39052

London is a gastronomic capital, boasting some of the most diverse eating experiences in the world. Watch this video about eating out in London to find out how much to tip and where to find the best pre-theatre restaurant deals. Tuck in!

Eating out in London

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Brazil in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/06/brazil-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/06/brazil-in-london/#comments Fri, 13 Jun 2014 08:34:00 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38923 The Fontanas. Courtesy of Rich Mix

In case you missed the news (where on earth have you been?) the 2014 FIFA World Cup is being held in Brazil. But you don’t need to jet around the world to get into the spirit, there are plenty of amazing places and ways to enjoy Brazilian culture right here in London.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started – from dancing up a storm to sipping delicious rum cocktails.

Brazilian cocktails in London

Made in Brasil cocktail and snacks

The caipirinha is the most popular of Brazil’s cocktails – a refreshing kick of cachaça (sugar cane rum), sugar and lime. Enjoy a classic caipirinha – or one of the many spin-offs, made with fresh fruit – at the newly opened pop-up Barzinho in Soho, Guanabara in Covent Garden or Floripa in Old Street.

Brazilian restaurants in London

Brazil is famous for its barbeques (or churrascaria) – and Brazilians know a thing or two about grilling meat to perfection. Find out for yourself at London chain Rodizio Rico, which has branches in The O2, Islington and Notting Hill. Other dining options include Raizes in Hackney, Barraco in Kilburn or the Japanese-flavoured Sushisamba in the City. While other favourite dishes to look out for include Brazil’s national dish, feijoada (a hearty bean and pork stew), moqueca (a tasty fish stew made with coconut milk) and the deliciously sweet pudim (a caramel-like flan made with condensed milk).

Brazilian music in London

Made in Brasil

The Brazilian music scene is big in London – and growing all the time. To hear live music, you need to head to places like Vauxhall restaurant/bar Tia Maria, glitzy Covent Garden bar Guanabara and Camden restaurant/bar Made in Brasil. As well as samba you’ll find choro, bossa nova, forro, MPB… the list goes on. Many non-Brazilian venues also hold regular Brazilian music nights too, such as Ronnie’s Bar (above famous Soho jazz club Ronnie Scott’s) and Primo near Westminster. And don’t forget to look out for samba, samba reggae and maracatu bands and dancers parading at the Notting Hill Carnival in August.

Brazilian dance in London

Brasil Brasileiro. Courtesy: Sadler's Wells

Like with music, there are many different forms of Brazilian dance – and you find many of them in London. Learn how to shimmy to samba at the London School of Samba itself, partner up for forro dancing (Forro London lists all the different forro nights in London), discover empowering maracatu and samba reggae dance with Gandaia Arts in Brixton, cross continents with Irineu Nogueira’s fierce Afro-Brazilian dance sessions… you could dance every night of the week! If you prefer to watch rather than participate, why not check out Brasil Brasileiro, coming to top dance venue Sadler’s Wells on 8 July.

Brazilian martial arts in London

If you prefer your dance with bite, seek out Brazil’s famous martial arts/dance form: capoeira. You can learn to ‘ginga’ (and the rest) at the many capoeira schools across London. Another popular Brazilian martial art is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – a self-defence sport focused on grappling and ground fighting. Just make sure you don’t get the two mixed up!

Brazilian events in London

Joga Bola! at Rich Mix

If you want to find out what Brazilian events are happening in your area or right now, pay a visit to Culturart.co.uk, a great online resource of Brazilian happenings and culture – with a handy monthly newsletter. Other top sites to visit include Brazilian/Latin American magazine Jungle Drums and the website of London’s Brazilian Embassy. Just three upcoming events not to miss include: the World Cup kickoff party Brazil Day at Trafalgar Square on 12 June, musical feast Joga Bola! at Rich Mix (from 12 June to 13 July) – with The Fontanas (pictured top) and many more, and Radical Geometry: Modern Art of South America at the Royal Academy of Arts (5 Jul-28 Sep).

Find out where to watch the World Cup in London.

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How To Find a Pop-up Restaurant In London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/06/how-to-find-a-pop-up-restaurant-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/06/how-to-find-a-pop-up-restaurant-in-london/#comments Tue, 10 Jun 2014 09:00:55 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38805 Grub Club Supper Club Confit Comme Ca

With pop-up restaurants springing up everywhere, London’s foodie scene has never been more exciting. Not only do you get to try great food from the capital’s brightest new chefs, but you’ll meet new people and enjoy a totally unexpected evening.

But how do you find a pop-up restaurant or supper club in London? Here are a few leads to get you started:

Grub Club

On Grub Club’s easy-to-use website you just type in a day you want to eat out, a location, the number of people and any keywords… then bing! A tasty selection of options pops up. You can then filter the options by price, cuisine, diet (i.e. vegan, allergy-friendly) and even choose options that are for charity.

One to try: Summer Fish Feast (27 Jun, £35pp): Head chef Adha, otherwise known as The King of Gnocchi, serves up his well-appreciated gnocchi with seabass ragu, cherry tomatoes and burrata cheese, with other special dishes like black fettuccine with Devon crab & dill, or his famous octopus salad.

London Pop-Ups

Comprehensive blog London Pop-Ups not only lists new pop-up restaurants, but pop-up bars, shops, galleries and gigs too. The ‘London Supper Clubs’ tab lists all regular supper clubs and when they’re next happening. If you want to catch the freshest face on the blog, click ‘Open this week’ to find what’s new in town.

One to try: The Argentinian Pizza Supper Club (Saturdays, £25pp): authentic Argentian pizza in a café/gallery space off Old Street – includes dessert, half a bottle of wine and live music.

The Londonist

The Londonist publishes a monthly dedicated guide to eating on the fly: 10 Foodie Pop-Ups To Try This Month.

One to try: Morty & Bob’s (Wed-Sun): indulgent cheese toasties served from pub Off Broadway, along East London’s Broadway Market. Optional top-ups include bacon, pulled pork and avocado salsa.

The Nudge: Pop-up London

London lifestyle website The Nudge dedicates a whole section to ‘Pop-up London’, and each month picks The Best Pop Up Restaurants In London. May’s list included a five-course feast at the National Trust’s Osterley House, Roti Chai’s ‘Chaat Shack & Chai Bar’ on the Southbank, and Pop Up Barbados in, er, Dalston.

One to try: Struie Road, Clerkenwell (13 Jun, 18 Jul, 19 Sep, 17 Oct, 21 Nov, 5 Dec. £49pp) An eight-course seasonal menu with a Scottish flavour – dishes include wild boar sausage rolls with gooseberry ketchup.

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Video of the Week: How To Do London – The Basics http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/05/video-of-the-week-how-to-do-london-the-basics/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/05/video-of-the-week-how-to-do-london-the-basics/#comments Fri, 30 May 2014 10:50:32 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38841
Planning your first trip to London? Then don’t miss this essential guide to doing London like a local, where you’ll be given useful tips like how to use the legendary Oyster Card, where to stand on an escalator and how to pronounce Leicester Square. The video also features top London sights, including Camden Lock and Tower Bridge.

Want more travel guide tips? Head to the Visit London website.

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