10 days to Christmas: where to get those last minute Christmas presents in London

A small, colourful section of Portobello Road MarketIt might be just around the corner, but that doesn’t mean you have to have all of your Christmas presents bought, wrapped and underneath the tree!

We know plenty of people like to be this organised so they can enjoy the festivities in other ways, and we know others who revel in the Christmas atmosphere, preferring to leave their shopping until a few days before Christmas to truly soak up the festive feeling.

Whichever camp you fall into, London’s the perfect destination. Continue reading “10 days to Christmas: where to get those last minute Christmas presents in London”

6 Things You Need To Do On Your Christmas Shopping Day Trip To London

London Eye at Christmas, at nightOne of the busiest times of the year, hundreds of thousands of people descend upon London to enjoy a spot of Christmas shopping every December. Both for them and for their loved ones, there’s something particularly enthralling about shopping in London on the run up to Christmas.

And with so much to take in and do, we’ve pulled together six key points that can help make your Christmas shopping day trip all that more enjoyable.

Continue reading “6 Things You Need To Do On Your Christmas Shopping Day Trip To London”

30 days to Christmas: 7 sights every visitor to London has to see this Christmas

A unique Christmas tree at Kew GardensIt’s hard to believe that just a few short weeks ago we were talking about all the things there are to do in London during the summer months. Now we’re in the home stretch to Christmas with little over four weeks to go until the big day is here.

Undoubtedly one of our favourite times of the year, London comes alive at Christmas. There’s so much to see and do in the city right the year round, but at Christmas we see a whole host of new sights and attractions to visit and experience.

With many of our guests exploring everything the city has to offer on the run up to Christmas before cosying up in DUKES Bar for the evening, let’s take a look at seven sights you really should be adding to your list of things to visit in London this Christmas. Continue reading “30 days to Christmas: 7 sights every visitor to London has to see this Christmas”

40 Days To Christmas: 4 Things Every Visitor Needs To Know About Winter In London

The London skyline made out of snowAs it’s the middle of November, officially we’re still in autumn. Winter doesn’t technically begin until Friday 21st December, but with the dark nights, cold mornings and the fact we’re less than six weeks from Christmas, it’s no surprise that many of us are feeling like winter has arrived.

And as we’ve talked about before, it’s the summer months when so many people prefer to come to visit London, as there seems to be so much to do for all the family. From relaxing under the sun in a park through to strolling through the hustle and bustle of London late into the warm summer’s evening, visiting in summer definitely offers something for everyone.

Continue reading “40 Days To Christmas: 4 Things Every Visitor Needs To Know About Winter In London”

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.

Continue reading “50 days to Christmas: treat yourself to a weekend of Christmas shopping”

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.

Continue reading “4 reasons autumn is the best time to visit London”

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.

Continue reading “100 days until Christmas: is London really the best place to experience it?”

A guide to Christmas shopping in London

Oxford Street in London at ChristmasIf you’re planning a Christmas shopping spree in London over the next few weeks, then we have the perfect guide for you.

With no better time to visit than during the Christmas period, you’ll be sure to come away feeling full of festive cheer as you experience the city in all of its illuminated grandeur.

To ensure you get your loved one that perfect Christmas gift (and perhaps even a special something for yourself…), we’ve collated our favourite Christmas stores – most of which are within 10 minutes’ walk of DUKES London – in which you’re guaranteed to find everything you need.

Harrods

If there’s one store that is guaranteed to put you in the festive mood it has to be Harrods.

Famous for its annual Christmas window display, Harrods pulls out all the stops and this year’s theme is no exception, taking inspiration from the iconic British steam train.

The lavish window display showcases the store’s most luxurious fashions and you’ll soon feel like you’ve stepped into a scene from the Great Gatsby.

For those of you visiting London this Christmas, make Harrods your first stop!

Fortnum and Mason

Nowhere spreads Christmas cheer like the 307-year-old Fortnum and Mason, as the store is transformed into a magical winter wonderland adorned with the most beautiful Christmas decorations.

The store is renowned for creating the most decadent Christmas hampers full of tasty treats, making Fortnum and Mason a must for all food lovers.

Liberty

Located on the fourth floor, the Liberty Christmas shop is definitely worth a visit. With a beautiful range of vintage-looking Christmas wreaths and other intricate decorations, Liberty has something to suit everyone.

And for those of you with a sweet tooth, stop by Liberty’s chocolate shop on your way out for some sumptuously tasty goodness.

Hamley’s Toy Store

For anyone with young children this Christmas, you can’t visit London without taking a trip to the famous Hamley’s Toy Store.

With more toys than you could imagine, this certainly is toy heaven – and at Christmas time, could be mistaken for Santa’s grotto.

So if there’s something left on Santa’s list, Hamley’s is sure to have it!

Selfridges

Last but not least on the list, the famous Selfridges of Oxford Street. If you’re yet to get a gift for that special someone, Selfridges is the answer.

With a wide selection of stylish and quirky gifts for him and her, a trip to Selfridges is sure to put a smile on your better-half’s face this festive season.

After a busy day of Christmas shopping, what better way to unwind than with a festive glass of fizz in our famed DUKES Bar?

We at DUKES London hope you have a sparkling Christmas!

Image courtesy of Kyle Taylor

The Natural History Museum ice rink is here!

The ice rink at the National History Museum, LondonThere’s something for everyone at the Natural History Museum ice rink this Christmas. Whether out for a romantic rendezvous or a family outing, every single person leaves the ice rink with memories that can last a lifetime.

With more than 1,000 square meters of ice and over 75,000 fairy lights lacing the trees above, it guarantees one of the best festive atmospheres in London.

Entertainment is available for visitors of all ages: a fairground carousel, a junior rink for younger skaters and delicious festive-themed refreshments in the Café Bar. Offering sumptuous food, warming drinks and creative cocktails, families can feast on delicious treats, and couples can cosy up with a hot chocolate on the open-air balcony overlooking the rink.

Not to forget the museum itself, a day in the Natural History Museum is arguably the best museum experience in the world. With free entry, countless fossils and life-size replicas of dinosaurs including the majestic T-Rex, it’s truly breathtaking.

And to finish your day? Take a pleasant stroll from the museum, through Green Park and Knightsbridge (which isa great way to take in some of London’s most prestigious areas), and finish with a drink in DUKES Champagne Bar, as featured on Made in Chelsea!

Image courtesy of David Hawgood

Christmas at Kew Gardens: explore the winter trails!

Kew Gardens at ChristmasThis year, Kew Gardens’ annual seasonal makeover is not one to be missed. Take a stroll through the illuminated gardens as they are transformed with a series of lighting installations created by prestigious artists from all across the UK.

As twilight falls and the magic begins, take in the enchanted gardens and beautiful winter landscape as you explore all that Kew has to offer. An enjoyable stroll through the gardens should take around one hour and 15 minutes.

Once you’ve explored the enchanted gardens, it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy one of the many festive family attractions!

Take a ride on the charming Victorian carousel and other vintage fairground rides, or visit the boutique Christmas market which promises foodie treats and festive music for all.

There’s something for old and young alike and you can even visit Santa’s Grotto and meet the man himself. Kew Gardens really does promise to be a magical visit this Christmas and offers fun for all of the family.

The winter trails at Kew Gardens will take place from 4.30-10.00pm on a range of different dates between 28th November – 4th January. Visit http://www.kew.org/ for more details.

And if you’re heading to London for this, why not make the day really special and treat a loved one to festive afternoon tea at Dukes Hotel before whizzing on to Kew Gardens for the winter trails? Accompanied by a glass of champagne, it’s the perfect toast to the happiest season of all!

Image courtesy of Alex Liivet