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?”

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?

Continue reading “Is it really possible to see London in a day?”

5 reasons you need to bring your dog to London

A dog appearing to smile with its tongue sticking outOn Wednesday 11th April, it’s National Pet Day, and with just under half of the UK owning a pet, it’s no real surprise that so many are marking the occasion. We love our pets and a day devoted to celebrating how fantastic they are will never go unwanted!

Whilst London is a bustling city, this in no way makes it a place that isn’t pet-friendly. In fact, speak to anyone who has a pet in London and you might just find them saying it’s actually one of the best places in the world to have a pet.

As we’ve said before, there’s something in London for everyone – and that undoubtedly extends to pets, too.

So, with National Pet Day almost upon us, we wanted to look at the UK’s most popular pet – the loyal and lovable dog – and ask exactly why should you consider bringing your dog to London?

  1. We absolutely love dogs at DUKES

A quick look online and you can soon realise just how much we adore dogs here at DUKES – we have a whole page dedicated to our dog-friendly rooms!

Wanting dogs to experience the same high quality service as our human guests, we have on offer everything from dog grooming services and dog sitting options, through to two daily gourmet meals, mineral water and a delightful turndown treat, too.

We go into detail about our dog-friendly rooms here, but think of it like this – if we can make your stay with your dog relaxing and enjoyable for everyone involved, we’ll be sure to go that extra mile to do it.

  1. There are parks galore

If you do decide to stay with us at DUKES, and bring your canine companion with you, you’ve got easy access to some of the country’s most beautiful parks to let you both take in the fresh air.

For instance, Green’s Park is a stone’s throw from DUKES, whilst St James’s Park is only a short distance further. Add Hyde Park into the equation at just a little walk further along from Green’s Park and you can begin to see how a four-legged friend may find London as fascinating as we do.

  1. Doga is flourishing in the capital

The health benefits of yoga have long been discussed – but what about the benefits of doing yoga with your dog?

Doga as it’s officially known is exactly as stated: practicing yoga with your dog in tow. Yes, it may not be conventional, but it’s without doubt proving popular.

Helping to ease stress and make both you and pup more relaxed, you can take part in a doga session right here in London, and by all accounts it’s something you won’t just be experiencing once after you’ve tried it.

  1. Everyone can eat well

Shake Shack is hugely popular in the US, and having opened their flagship UK store in Covent Garden, it’s fantastic to get a taste of what our American friends have had for so long.

But it’s not only humans who can enjoy Shake Shack, as they have a specific menu for dogs.

Consisting of two choices, the first is is the Pooch-ini, which is made up of “ShackBurger® dog biscuits, peanut butter sauce and vanilla custard”, whilst the second is the Bag o’ Bones – “5 ShackBurger® dog biscuits made…by NYC’s Bocce’s Bakery”.

With an enviable menu for us, too, Shake Shake can be a brilliant place to stop on your travels around London.

  1. Enjoy a Sunday brunch

Gaucho is known for its brilliantly authentic Argentine food, but did you know they also have a Sunday Brunch event that’s specifically catered for dogs?

Taking place on the first Sunday of every month at the Hampstead restaurant, for £35 per person you can enjoy a three course set menu, whilst all accompanying dogs get beef and chicken empanadas, a water bowl and a goodie bag.

There are definitely worse ways for you and your dog to spend a Sunday morning in London!

London is a vibrant, diverse and electric city. It’s one that has something for everyone, regardless of your interests, needs or expectations – and that doesn’t change simply because you’re a dog owner (or a dog!).

We love to invite dogs and their owners into DUKES. Wonderfully located to provide access to London in its entirety – if not more so for dog-themed activities – we fully appreciate the needs of dog owners and really do believe London as a whole can be a brilliant place for dog and owner alike.

Image courtesy of Rob Witcher

10 things you didn’t know about London – Part 2

A view of St Paul's Cathedral, London, from across the ThamesFollowing on from the first blog post in a two part series, which can be read in full here, today we’re providing another five things you probably didn’t already know about London. Continue reading “10 things you didn’t know about London – Part 2”

Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland: a truly festive experience

An evening shot of the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park, LondonWinter Wonderland returns to London’s Hyde Park this winter, transforming the vast park into a festive fairyland.

This free event offers a range of fun, festive activities for the whole family, including an illuminated ice rink, magical Santa’s grotto and a plethora of fairground rides. Visitors’ favourites include the Christmas market with a traditional Bavarian theme running through its cafés and bars, as well as the undercover restaurant, Spiegel Saloon.

One of the main attractions of this year’s Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is the Magical Ice Kingdom, which will be returning with its breath-taking ice sculptures. The Kingdom is the largest of its kind in the UK, and was created exclusively for the Winter Wonderland.

What’s more, Zippos’ evening circus spectacle – Cirque Berserk – pushes the boundaries of traditional circus entertainment with a death-defying knife throwing act and daring high wire performance.

The Winter Wonderland starts on the 22nd November and runs until the 5th January. Booking in advance may be required for some of the attractions and events, so check out www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com for more information.

And of course, after embracing the winter weather in Hyde Park, why not come and warm up at DUKES London in our gorgeous bar, which serves the finest Perrier Jouet champagne and champagne cocktails, or treat the family to an overnight stay at reduced rates in one of our Luxury Suites?

Image courtesy of Christine Matthews