How to enjoy Thanksgiving in London in 2018

A beautifully cooked Thanksgiving turkeyAt DUKES, we’re known for being a truly traditional, British hotel. We aim to offer a quintessentially British experience in all respects, from the greetings of our front of house team through to the hospitality within DUKES bar.

And with people visiting from all around the world, it’s always a pleasure to hear about different customs, traditions and celebrations. We do as much as we can to make your stay as memorable as it can be, and understanding these helps us ensure you can treat DUKES – and London as a whole – as a home away from home.

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50 days to Christmas: treat yourself to a weekend of Christmas shopping

A view of Carnaby Street, London at ChristmasIt’s official – there are now just 50 days to go until the most magical time of the year. With it seeming like only days ago that our courtyard was full of guests enjoying a morning coffee in the warm summer sun and a drop of cognac and a cigar in the late evening warmth, we can hardly believe we’ll soon be celebrating the Christmas festivities.

And whilst there are some truly fantastic places to soak up the festive atmosphere, for us, it’s difficult to beat London. There’s something truly magical about our capital city whenever you visit, but the entire city comes alive for Christmas.

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4 reasons autumn is the best time to visit London

A shot of London in autumn, showing Big Ben and the River ThamesThe summer is undoubtedly a great time of the year to take a trip to London. The long, bright days that are filled with sunshine and warm weather put everyone in a great mood. There’s a generally fantastic atmosphere that’s easy to soak up and enjoy, adding a touch of positivity wherever you go.

But whilst this may be the case, it’s hard to argue when people say autumn is their favourite time of the year to visit London.

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100 days until Christmas: is London really the best place to experience it?

As of today it is The Christmas lights on Oxford Street, Londonexactly 100 days until Christmas 2018.

2400 hours. 144,000 minutes. Or alternatively, just 14 weekends before the man in the red suit comes down the chimney to leave all the boys and girls gifts.

Obviously a universal occasion that’s celebrated right around the world, there are some brilliant locations to enjoy Christmas in, but many would argue that London is one of the best – if not the best.

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5 things you can do in Mayfair within walking distance of DUKES London

External shot of Burlington Arcade in Mayfair, LondonNestled in a quiet corner of Mayfair, our location is often said to be one of our most revered qualities by our guests. We’re a very short stroll from Green Park station, offering easy access to all of London, and just steps from St James’s Street, which provides direct access to the busy city streets of Piccadilly and Pall Mall.

However, sit with a coffee in our courtyard and you could be mistaken for thinking you’re miles away from the heart of one of the world’s busiest cities.

Undoubtedly a great base from which you can explore the whole of London, what many are often surprised by is just how much you can experience within the immediate vicinity of Mayfair. Sure, London has a vast array of sights and attractions, restaurants and shops – but so does Mayfair.

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How to get to our hotel in Mayfair: from Heathrow

External shot of London Heathrow's Terminal 5 airportWe’re always delighted at the fact so many of our guests come from overseas. Having been established for 110 years, we’re proud of our century-spanning reputation, and the fact we play host to people from all around the world is undoubtedly something we always enjoy sharing.

Now if you are staying with us at DUKES and you’re travelling by train, as we talked about previously, it’s highly likely you’ll pass through King’s Cross.

But this only really applies to our guests from here in England.

If you’re travelling from abroad, and assuming you’re not sampling the delights of elsewhere in the country first or coming via boat, there’s a very high likelihood you’ll be flying into Heathrow.

Although one of six main airports that serve the Greater London area, Heathrow is by far and large the biggest and busiest. In fact, it’s second only to Dubai International Airport as the busiest in the world when it comes to international passengers.

A truly fantastic airport that allows for anyone to join us in London regardless of where you’re located in the world, once you’ve touched down and collected your luggage, how do you get here, to DUKES hotel in Mayfair?

Taxi

Arguably the easiest of the travel options, you have the choice of both black cabs and services such as Uber direct from Heathrow, all available from just outside the main terminal doors.

And being almost a single road from Heathrow to central London, you can kick back and relax whilst your driver takes the journey to DUKES.

However, although it’s less than 20 miles from Heathrow to DUKES, traffic along the A4 – and especially when you enter central London itself – is going to make your journey time well in excess of one hour, particularly during the day.

If time isn’t an issue, a taxi can be a favourable choice. But if it is, exploring some of the other options may be prudent.

Tube

Still one of the quickest, easiest and most efficient ways to travel around London, whilst Heathrow airport may not be in central London itself, it’s served directly by the Piccadilly line, which runs from Cockfosters in north London right through the city to Heathrow.

And most importantly for our guests, Green Park – the closest tube station to DUKES, which is a very short stroll away – is on the Piccadilly line, giving you direct access to and from Heathrow.

Taking less than an hour from station to station, depending on which terminal you’re departing from at Heathrow, you could realistically be sat at DUKES Bar within an hour of leaving.

Heathrow Express

Now if time is even more of a concern, and you don’t mind a slightly less direct journey, the Heathrow Express could be the perfect option.

An airport rail link between Heathrow and Paddington, it first opened in 1998 and has the sole intention of taking guests between the two stations as quickly as is possible.

With the journeys taking between 15 and 20 minutes dependent on your terminal at Heathrow, our hotel in Mayfair may be a little too far to walk from Paddington at around two miles away, but a few stops on the Bakerloo and then the Jubilee line and you could be here in not much more than 30 minutes after leaving Heathrow.

Bus

Moving back to the other end of the scale, assuming time isn’t an issue, you can take a couple of red London buses from Heathrow all the way to Green Park.

An iconic way to travel in London, importantly, it can take just under two hours, but if you’re wanting to embrace the traditional London experience, what better way to start your stay here than on a red London bus!

Travelling to our hotel in Mayfair

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to travelling throughout London. And unless you have a specific need to be somewhere quickly, there are no right or wrong ways to travel. Every option allows you to experience London in a different way.

When it comes to travelling from Heathrow to Mayfair, the options you have are varied. Giving you choices dependent on your needs in terms of speed, efficiency and cost, however you decide to travel, you can rest assured we’ll be ready and waiting to make your entire stay perfect from the moment you arrive.

Image courtesy of Warren Rohner (Wikipedia)

As one of the oldest cities in the world, what do you need to see when staying in London?

External shot of Kensington Palace, LondonThere are very few exceptions to the argument that London is the best place to visit if you have a love for history. We can maybe look to places such as Athens in Greece, Istanbul in Turkey or Beijing in China, but London is without doubt up there competing against them.

Now those three cities – and several others – have history that extends beyond London’s by some stretch. By comparison, London is relatively new, having been settled in around AD 47 as the Roman Londinium. But it’s the fact it’s younger than some of the others that make it so appealing to history fans – it may be nearly 2,000 years old, but its entire history can be tracked with considerable accuracy.

So with this in mind, if you’re visiting London and are a lover of all things historical, where do you need to visit? What do you need to see? What will truly open your eyes to the sheer awe-inspiring stories of London’s past? Continue reading “As one of the oldest cities in the world, what do you need to see when staying in London?”

Is it really possible to see London in a day?

A variety of London sights and attractions in one photo, including London buses and St Paul's CathedralWhen you think of visiting London, you quite possibly think of spending at least a long weekend here as a minimum. People travel from all over the world to spend a week or two here, and there are more who move to the city temporarily for longer periods to fully experience what it has to offer.

And with so much to see and do, it’s understandable. There are people who return several times a year, each and every year, and still don’t see everything the city has to offer. Apart from anything else, new attractions, sights and exhibitions are opening up constantly, so there’s always something fresh to experience.

So with this said, is it worth simply spending a single day in London? Can you really experience what London has to offer in only a matter of hours?

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8 things everyone visiting London during the summer must do

A summer's evening in LondonSummer has officially started. Marked by the ‘longest day of the year’ on 21st June, summer is here, the sun is shining and we’re ready to enjoy it.

One of our favourite times of the year, ask around the city when someone should visit London and it would be surprising if the vast majority didn’t say the summer. The winter is definitely quieter, which is a plus for some, and both spring and autumn have their own draws, but we can’t deny that London truly comes alive in the summer.

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Why is DUKES Bar such an iconic part of London?

Alessandro Palazzi, the bartender at DUKES Bar, LondonWhen you visit us at DUKES London, we aim to make sure you have a truly memorable experience. This differs for everyone and can be anything from the truly welcoming service from each and every member of staff right through to the food in our highly-coveted GBR restaurant.

But what so often connects every visitor’s experience is DUKES Bar, our world-famous bar that has been serving up tipples of all varieties for decades.

And importantly, given our position in the heart of Mayfair, DUKES Bar has become a firm favourite for many in the vicinity who aren’t staying with us overnight or dining with us at GBR, but who simply want a perfectly concocted drink in a wonderfully traditional, British setting. Continue reading “Why is DUKES Bar such an iconic part of London?”