City Breaks

Nothing beats Christmas in London

You spent last Christmas in Paris and the one before that in Berlin. You don’t know where you would like to go to spend the cold but buzzing Christmas season this year, but you would still like to get away.

Christmas In London

If you like to experience a shopping spree like no other, followed by some mulled wine in a cosy pub, then look no further: London is your next destination. Cobbled and picturesque streets, gorgeous Christmas lights and seasonal weather will make you want to pack the beautiful coat you have just purchased and head to the capital of the United Kingdom and the cultural capital of the world!

Here’s how to travel in style:

The Hotel

Finding accommodation in one of the busiest cities in Europe is sometimes challenging, with many hotels being extremely overpriced and others far from the city centre. Moxy London Stratford offers you a unique experience at a great price. This modern hotel in the East of the city is perfectly located with the beautiful Olympic Park just a few minutes walk away and great transport connections to the town centre.

The Restaurant

Fancy trying some great food but don’t want to splash the cash? Head to the centre of town and venture into Chinatown, London’s Chinese quarter. With plenty of restaurants to choose from, this area will become one of your favourite spots in the city if you are a lover of Chinese and Asian food. Try Jen Cafe for a cosy restaurant with homemade food that includes dumplings and BBQ pork. The cafe will enamour you with its great cuisine and nice staff.

The Pub

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life” said Samuel Johnson, and he is right! With the thousands of pubs this historic city boasts, there is one to suit every taste. Rustic, modern, minimalist…choose your pick! The Spaniards Inn in Hampstead is known for being one of the city’s oldest pubs. Established in 1585, the likes of Byron and Dickens were once its clientele. Head there for some great ales and lager!

The Shop

London is known for the exquisite shopping you can do whilst visiting the city. Oxford Street, the town’s main commercial hub, tends to be quite crowded in the run up to Christmas, but you might just beat the crowds if you are up early and head there before everyone else does. Selfridges, close to Bond Street Station, sells everything from perfume and makeup to clothes and accessories. The price tag ain’t cheap, but if you fancy treating yourself, this is definitely the place to go.

If you are planning an escapade this Christmas, make London your destination. Its wonderful architecture will captivate you and its narrow streets will make you want to get lost in the city’s buzzing and electrifying fabric. If you would like to shop for bits ‘n bobs and have a chin wag with a local, book that trip…now!

How to visit London on a budget

Heading off to the big city with just a bit of pocket money doesn’t immediately seem like something we’d want to do. With such an amazing nightlife, it would almost be rude not to enjoy it, right? It is, in fact, possible to explore the city without spending a full months pay on it – as long as you know where to look.

Here is a neat guide to help you enjoy London even though you’re on a strict budget so that you get to enjoy travelling a bit more often.

Face the tube

Let’s start with the easiest first. London has a fabulous public transport system, and it would be a shame not to take advantage of it. While the city is big, it also has a lot of people and many of them happen to be on the tube as well, making it a crowded and warm experience.

By coming to terms with the crowd and familiarising yourself with the tube system, it all becomes a bit more manageable, though, so try not to wimp out and order a cab every time. I first time I used the tube I had to double and triple check the maps to make sure I was going on the right line and in the right direction.

Besides, when you use the public transport system and get yourself an Oyster card, you get to explore the city like a local. They wouldn’t spend their hard-earned money on those overpriced cabs, so why should you?

If you’d like to sit down somewhere more relaxed and be served for once, it’s a good idea to check out a shisha lounge or two – they have great food and a relaxed atmosphere, making it a perfect place to spend a few hours with your friends.

Use the freebies

It’s really easy for tourists to save money as long as they take advantage of all the free things to do in the city. The British Museums, Tate Modern, and the National Gallery are just a few examples of great things to enjoy for absolutely nothing. It’s cultural too – and even a bit educational if you pay attention.

Walking around in the parks, admiring the Thames, and experiencing the Changing of the guards are also fun alternatives that will cost you nothing except for the energy you spend on getting there – or a tiny amount of your oyster fare.

Since you’re probably in the city to do a bit of shopping, why not check out some of the charity and secondhand shops too? Blitz is a well-known option, and they have a vast selection of cool preloved clothes that would just love to join you back home.

The wonderful markets

Booking a table at Duck and Waffle with a magnificent view of the Shard is a great time to spend your afternoon, but not the best alternative when you’re on a budget. Steer clear of the overpriced restaurants and eat at the local markets instead – buy your groceries there as well, by the way, if you’re money-wise enough to stay somewhere with a kitchen.

Borough Market is a great alternative, but you’ll also find excellent street food options at Camden Market. The portions they serve are usually gigantic too, so it should keep you full for a while.

London hen party fun

When most people think of hen parties, they tend to think of ladies getting a little messy on a wild weekend away. However, some people prefer to keep things classier and more sophisticated. Whether you’re a bridesmaid accommodating a bride with more refined tastes or you’re the bride-to-be taking control, London is one of the best places for a hen party that’s a little bit better in just about every way.

London Hen Party

Bridesmaid duties…

We don’t choose bridesmaids just because they’re some of the people closest in the world to us. They’re supposed to help us and in organising the hen party they can be of a lot of help. London’s a big city and it can get confusing, so make sure bridesmaids are each playing a role in coordination with each other. One can be in charge of finding accommodation closest to the things the bride wants to do, for instance, while another organises the use of the city’s extensive public transport system, making it easier by buying Oyster cards.

Let’s go shopping…

Beyond an entertainment and nightlife mecca, London is one of the fashion capitals of the UK. Everyone getting themselves a little extra to take home with them is going to ensure that they’re getting more than they might have expected from the trip. You don’t have to urge anyone to spend, of course. You can make it a little easier if you’re taking some of the London shopping tours that stop by some of the smaller boutiques or even thrift shops instead of just the high-street famous brands. In London, so long as you’re in the right area, you’ll be able to find good additions for just about any price.

Just the girls

The nightlife is not something to be underestimated in the city, either. There’s a whole range of classy, sophisticated bars and lively clubs to be found. If you want to make it truly special, however, skip mingling with the locals. Think about more exclusive nightlife options like getting on the Cuckoo club guest list in advance. You don’t want your time together spoiled by people hitting on the bridesmaids or losing some of the party in amongst the crowd. Instead, treat yourself to a little pampering and special treatment from the staff. The high-end clubs can make you feel like a star, even if it is for a night.

Day time fun

The city is best experienced for more than just a night. If you can organise it, make sure you have plenty of time to explore it in the day, as well. Not just for the shopping but the sheer amount of entertainment, often free, that’s available on the streets. If you want to keep the high-flying air of sophistication up, for instance, stopping by the Globe Theatre or having a day at the May Fair Spa is always recommended.

London gives you the chance to experience a hen party like nowhere else in the UK. Whether it’s enjoying the pleasures of an exclusive club with just your favourite ladies for company or exploring the wealth of daytime activities the city has to offer.