Getting married is an exciting time in anyone’s life but getting married in London is a truly special event. The heart and soul of the United Kingdom, London has so much to offer to brides and groom and there are so many options to choose from. Choosing to get married in the capital means you can plan your day with all sorts of special touches – there are endless possibilities in such a vibrant and diverse city. When making all important decisions regarding your big day and in the weeks leading up to the ceremony, there is certain information you need to consider to make sure the day goes smoothly. Here we explore 5 questions you need to ask when you’re getting married in London.Continue reading “5 questions to ask when you’re getting married in London”
After an unusually cold start to the summer months, the weather is finally starting to pick up and there is the glimmer of some sunnier weeks ahead. With the warmer weather comes the promise of great opportunity – you can finally get out and fully enjoy all that the city of London has to offer. DUKES London believes there is no better place than London in the sunshine and both the locals and tourists agree. If you are looking to relax during your visit to the capital, The Royal Parks of London are the perfect location to take advantage of the climate and step away from the hustle and bustle of London which the season brings. And DUKES has the perfect summer day activity – a picnic in the park.Continue reading “July is on the horizon – and it’s perfect weather for a picnic in the park”
Here at DUKES London, it feels as though we have only just got over the Christmas holidays and the half term holidays are upon us once again. Children and teenagers throughout the UK have left school behind them for the week and it is the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time together as a family.
London is the ideal place to take a family friendly break – with its diverse nature, there is something for all ages. With so much to see and do, you will certainly be spoilt for choice.
We have rounded up our top 5 things to do in London with children this half term, check them out below. Continue reading “6 things to do in London with children this half term”
Nestled 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.
We’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. Continue reading “How to get to our hotel in Mayfair: from Heathrow”
It’s the beginning of February. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner; that one day of the year where we treat our loved ones with flowers and chocolates whilst expressing our love in written words. It’s something we’ve done for centuries, with it already a firmly established tradition in the early 1600s: Shakespeare mentions it openly in Ophelia’s lament in Hamlet by saying “To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day, All in the morning betime, And I a maid at your window, To be your Valentine.”
Over the years we’ve become even more focused on dedicating the day to those we love, going above and beyond the traditional flowers and cards.
And so being in one of the most vast and varied cities in the world, where there’s something for everyone, we’ve compiled our list of eight of the most romantic things you can do in London (whether you decide to visit us on Valentine’s Day or simply want some romantic inspiration at any point throughout the year!).
1. A picnic in the park
One of our most popular requests at DUKES, there are fewer more romantic ways to spend an afternoon than a stroll to nearby Green Park, unspoilt by little and dominated by natural beauty, with a prepared picnic hamper ready for you to enjoy under the London sky.
But to add a little something extra, our picnic in the park is inclusive of your own butler service. A butler will meet you at the park, lay your rug, set up your food and serve your drinks before leaving you to enjoy your time alone.
You might need a few extra layers to enjoy it on Valentine’s Day, but in the warmer months it can be one of the most relaxing – and romantic – ways to spend an afternoon.
2. London through the Eye
Whilst it’s ‘only’ been a fixture of the London skyline for 18 years, the London Eye has become synonymous with the city. Allowing you to see unparalleled views of all of London from the comfort of an enclosed pod, the experience of being on the London Eye itself is fantastic – but it can be made all that more special for those looking for something a little more romantic.
Taking advantage of the ‘Cupid’s Capsule’, you can enjoy a 30 minute rotation of the Eye whilst sipping a bottle of champagne and nibbling on luxury chocolates. Time it for when the sun is setting and you have an ideal way to finish a day (or start an evening!).
3. Dine on the Thames
If the London Eye offers a brilliant experience of London from above, why not step out of your Cupid’s Capsule and straight onto a river cruise along the Thames to enjoy a bite to eat?
Available for lunch, dinner and afternoon tea, you can sail along the Thames, taking in some of the most notable sights that the city has to offer, at a truly leisurely pace, whilst continuing your loving indulgence with food and drink.
4. Take a trip to the USA
One of the more untraditional romantic options when in London, there’s no arguing, however, that if you’re a fan of life across the Atlantic, a visit to somewhere such as The Love Shake or The Diner can be a brilliant way to while away the time.
With the former a particularly accurate USA dinner in Shoreditch (inclusive of free coffee) and the latter having an extensive menu that could have been taken straight out of any Hollywood movie from the 1950s, you can cuddle up in a booth and chat away whilst eating, drinking and thinking you’re in that movie yourselves.
5. Get tucked away for the night
Sometimes, after busy weeks working, family commitments and everything else life throws at you, your idea of a ‘romantic break’ is one where you can fall into your hotel room and not have to reemerge for at least 24 hours.
And that’s exactly what we’ve perfected at DUKES.
Looking at our romantic escapes, you could take up residence in our Duke of Clarence Penthouse Suite, which has its own private balcony, and enjoy 24 red roses, chilled champagne and luxury Fortnum & Mason chocolates on arrival.
Including a massage for two (available in the suite itself), and breakfast in the room the following day, you only need to leave to enjoy the five course meal in our Great British Restaurant (GBR) and a wonderful romantic horse and carriage ride around Hyde Park – bliss!
6. Looking longingly to the stars
Sometimes, the stars align perfectly and everything falls into place. Whether that’s work or relationships, it can be a truly breathtaking experience to see the London sky lit up and dominated by the glorious stars.
With it possible to enjoy a spot of stargazing easily (Morden Hall Park is a renowned location for it), the Royal Observatory in Greenwich is perfect for a bit of advice and guidance – and use of their Victorian telescope – to help all starry-eyed romantics enjoy the wonders of our universe.
7. Go back to the Roaring Twenties
Whether it’s the smarter attire, formal pleasantries or the music of the time, it’s hard to argue the 1920s doesn’t have a romantic appeal to it. And whilst London can’t whisk you back in time directly, it can do a very good impression with some beautifully themed bars and restaurants.
Giving you the opportunity to get truly suited and booted, there are numerous bars and restaurants that allow you to enjoy the era, but few do so as well as The Candlelight Club.
A ‘pop up’ that doesn’t have a permanent home, it moves around London with events throughout the year that allow you to become fully immersed in the 1920s era – and that includes only being lit by very romantic and cosy candlelight.
8. Get lost and explore
One of the most alluring qualities of London for many is being such a vast city, you can easily fade into a crowd. You can be anybody you want to be and enjoy the anonymity that you simply don’t get elsewhere.
And if this is particularly appealing, holding your loved one by the hand, jumping on a Tube or into a taxi and heading to a random location can be such a liberating experience.
Whether you decide to head to a part of Central London you’ve never been to before or explore the likes of Hampstead Village a little further out, you can find shops, try food and enjoy a tipple or two in places you simply won’t have come across by sticking to a strict schedule.
It takes a little bit of an adventurous mind, but sometimes that’s what keeps a relationship as healthy as ever.
Want to stay in London this Valentine’s Day? Explore our romantic offers for something truly special and memorable.
Image courtesy of Shaherald Chia
It’s over a month since the festivities of Christmas. We’ve all put up with the cold weather, most people have been back into the swing of work for several weeks and at DUKES we’ve been looking forward to the year ahead.
Being located in St James’s, we know we’re fortunate to have the opportunity to visit the sights, enjoy the atmosphere and take in everything this wonderful city has to offer every single day of the week.
As Walter Besant said: “I’ve been walking about London for the last thirty years, and I find something fresh in it every day.”
From the bitter cold of late through to the blazing hot summer days, you’re never at a loss of something to do when you’re staying in London. Indoors or out, right in the middle of the City or at the very edge of the outer boroughs, it’s somewhat of a cliché now, but there really is something for all.
With that said, everyone has their favourite part of the year when they like to spend time in London; that time where everything just falls into place and you have the brilliant mornings, the best days and wonderful evenings.
And it’s hard to argue with the people who say spring is the best time to visit.
The best British weather
Kicking off the reasons why, let’s start with one of our favourite things to talk about – the weather!
Generally seeing temperatures of between 11 and 15 degrees during the day, it’s the ideal temperature for everything. You can wrap up with a jacket if you’re feeling cold, but don’t need to wear half a dozen layers to combat the icy winds of wintertime..
Similarly, with these higher temperatures comes very little by the way of rainfall (at least not of the torrential variety). A shower here and there is easy to cope with – perhaps even enjoy – when you can jump in and out of somewhere to shop, or grab a bite to eat without needing to take off coats, jumpers and hats..
But whilst the milder weather is undoubtedly an attractive part of springtime in London, it has to be the longer days that are particularly pleasing – by the time we’re into May, it’s generally light well past 8pm, making the days seem longer, which is fantastic when you’re trying to see as much as you can on your visit.
Sights and attractions for everyone
And if you’re visiting in spring, you can be certain there’ll be enough for you to see and do.
By way of an example, let’s take a look at some of the events we’re looking forward to between 1st March and 31st May this year:
- St Patrick’s Day: 17th March
- Good Friday: 30th March
- Easter Sunday: 1st April
- Easter Monday: 2nd April
- London Marathon: 22nd April
- St George’s Day: 23rd April
- The Royal Wedding: 19th May
- FA Cup Final: 27th May
And these are just eight of the most notable events that come to mind straightaway – it doesn’t include some of the others that we’re particularly looking forward to, including International Health Day on 7th April and – conversely – National Hamburger Day on 28th May!
You can make it a family break
As mentioned above, Easter falls right in the middle of spring this year. With many schools closing for two weeks, it’s this time of year when a family visit to London can be ideal.
If you’re restricted to school holidays, the summer break is a brilliant time to come, but it’s undoubtedly warmer and busier. This can bring with it a fantastic atmosphere, but we can’t get away from the fact you’ll also see more queues for most attractions.
This isn’t the case over Easter. Easter week is definitely busier than those before and after, but it seems more manageable; there aren’t as many people compared to the height of summer, but all of the attractions are open – including the ever-popular street performers of Covent Garden – and so you get all of the benefits with none of the downsides.
Plus, it can be warm enough to take a picnic along to Green Park (a very short walk from DUKES) and spend a day enjoying a part of London that’s over 400 years old and where you’ll find arguably the most ‘natural’ part of the city – unlike many of the other parks in London, Green Park is almost completely free of buildings, statues or monuments, instead dominated by towering trees and wildflowers.
Visit when you can
We love London in the springtime. It’s a truly magical time to visit this wonderful city.
But we also love it in summer, winter and autumn. Each season really does bring something new to London.
If you only have the opportunity to come and see us in the months outside of spring, we’re confident you’ll have as spectacular of time as if you were visiting in spring itself. Yes, spring in London is fantastic – but the reality is, London has so much to see, do and experience that it’s impossible to say that one time of the year is better than the other. It’s always a fantastic time when you’re walking the streets of London!
Image courtesy of Cristian Bortes.
As many of you will know, London is filled with many fantastic attractions and sights – from the London Eye to Big Ben – but the Queen and the Royal family are a particularly big attraction for many people.
So, we wanted to share some information and ideas about the Royal attractions in the capital. And there are a wide variety for you to choose from!
If you were Queen (or King) for the day, where would you spend your time? Continue reading “5 Royal sights to visit when in London”