Tag Archives: London

Tower Bridge London

London rules among American travelers

Tower Bridge London

The most popular international destination for American globetrotters in 2014 was , followed by Paris and Toronto.

That’s according to the latest figures from the Hotel Price Index from online booking site Hotels.com.

The top five destinations remain unchanged from 2013 in rank as well, with Rome (pictured below) and Vancouver rounding out the list.


rome italy

Meanwhile, Cancun and the Riviera Maya were particularly popular in 2014 among US holidaymakers, moving up four spots from 2013 to become the sixth most popular international destination.

The report also showed that while London is a predictable and perennial favorite, Americans are also becoming increasingly enamored with Edinburgh, having moved up six places on the list.

Top 10 most popular international destinations for US tourists

1. London
2. Paris
3. Toronto
4. Rome
5. Vancouver
6. Cancun/Riviera Maya
7. Montreal
8. Hong Kong
9. Tokyo
10. Barcelona

The Arch London

Win a night’s stay at the Arch London for just £5!

The Arch London

Eying a trip to London? To celebrate its fifth anniversary, The Arch London ( located near Marble Arch) is offering rooms for just £5.

The Arch London bedroom

For about the price of a takeaway lunch in London, winners of a promotional contest can stay at The Arch London for one night, and will be given the full treatment: breakfast, dinner, and champagne on arrival.

The Arch London library

To enter, tweet @thearchlondon with the hashtag #ilovethearchlondon. Five winners will be announced February 28.

The Arch London lobby

givenchy cocktail

Givenchy Perfume Cocktails to Debut at London Hotel

givenchy cocktail

Hotel Cafe Royal has teamed up with Parfums Givenchy to create an edible, drinkable form of L’Atelier de Givenchy, a collection of seven haute couture-inspired perfumes, reports The Spirits Business.

To recreate the notes of white pepper, white musk and leather in Cuir Blanc, hotel bar mixologist Tiziano Tasso uses Siberian pine needle extract in a Martini-style cocktail to lend the beverage a woody taste.


Oud Flamboyant, pitched as ‘strong and mysterious’ with scents of leather, oud and labdanum, is recreated in drinkable form with Japanese whisky and mandarin juice for a bold, magnetic, smoky wood flavor.

Drinks are priced at £13 ($20). The special cocktail collection will launch February 1 until March 31 at the hotel’s Green Bar.

Fragrances bar

Last year, The Ritz-Carlton hotel in Berlin also launched an interactive cocktail and perfume experience.

The Hospital Club London

Boutique hotel to open in former London hospital

The Hospital Club London

A former hospital in London turned ‘creative hub’ will be adding 15 hotel rooms in 2015, designed to fuel guests’ creativity and broaden the mind.

Each new room at The Hospital Club in London’s Covent Garden features original artwork and curated exhibits from emerging artists within the club’s creative community.

The Hospital Club bedroom

Set to open next month, the rooms are fitted with leathers, velvets, warm woods and stained glass.

In keeping with the spirit of the Club — which spans seven floors and houses everything from an events company and a TV studio to an exhibition gallery, a screening room and a performance space — a stay in the hotel includes access to events like comedy nights, mixology and cooking classes and networking sessions.

The Hospital Club

Rooms come in small, medium and large sizes while suites include a private terrace, walk-in shower, bathtub and lounge area.

The private members’ only club opened its doors in 2004 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and former Eurythmics band member David Stewart and has hosted performances by The Who. Rooms open January 5.

World Cheese Awards

Blue cheese from England crowned world champion 2014

World Cheese Awards

England has been crowned the big cheese at an international competition, beating French, Swiss and Dutch cheesemakers with a soft blue.

In the 26th edition of the World Cheese Awards, hosted by the BBC Good Food Show in London, a family of third-generation dairy farmers recently turned cheesemakers beat nearly 2,600 cheeses with their Bath Blue.

The blue-veined cheese is made with organic milk and ripened in traditional stone-built rooms for eight to 10 weeks.

Other countries represented in the competition included New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.

“Sometimes blue cheese can have a metallic flavor, and if it doesn’t it can overloaded with salt, but this was perfectly balanced – a classic blue, flavors that develop slowly in your mouth,” said Canadian judge Louis Aird of the Bath Blue.

Runners-up included a cheddar from Barbers Farmhouse Cheesemakers, also from the UK, and Dinarski Sir — a cheese made from both cow’s and goat’s milk — by Croatian producer Sirana Gligora.

French cheesemaker Roland Barthélemy was also presented with a trophy for Exceptional Contribution to Cheese for promoting the preservation of raw milk and artisan cheeses in France.

Earlier this year, at a similar competition held every two years in the US, an Emmentaler from Switzerland from Gerard Sinnesberger of Käserei Sinnesberger was named the World Champion.

Bath Blue can be found in Bath and the Borough Market in London.

Full results of the 2014 World Cheese Awards: finefoodworld.co.uk

tower bridge unveils glass walkway

Tower Bridge in London unveils glass walkway

‘s Tower Bridge has unveiled a new glass-bottom walkway that gives visitors a sky-high perspective of the city’s iconic double-decker red buses, pedestrians and boats from right under their feet.

Measuring 11 meters long and nearly 2 meters wide, the glass floor stretches across the West Walkway, 42 meters above the Thames River.

Each glass panel weighs 530 kg. The walkway also offers panoramic views of the city for those who may suffer from vertigo.

tower bridge unveils glass walkway

A second glass bottom floor is also slated to open in the East Walkway on December 1.

The newest addition to the Tower Bridge follows in the heels of other international landmarks and sites including the Eiffel Tower, the CN Tower in Toronto and the Grand Canyon, which already offer glass-bottom views.

Balmain London flagship store

Balmain to open London flagship

Balmain London flagship store

, which has undergone a hip revival under young creative director Olivier Rousteing, is set to open a Mayfair flagship store in 2015.

Set in the heart of London’s Mayfair district, the 200-square-meter flagship has been designed by Joseph Dirand.

The South Audley Street location has a stone exterior, black lacquer and gold leaf window and entryway and the interiors mix a classical and sober English design vocabulary with flashes of French elegance.

“I like to think of this new address as the founder’s second home, Pierre Balmain’s London pied-a-terre,” explained Dirand.

Key features include large stone fireplaces, geometric stone store designs designed to mimic traditional English parquet patterns, and antique brass and stainless steel fixtures.

“Balmain has a particularly strong and loyal clientele in the English capital and we’re very happy to be able to offer them this first London flagship,” said Balmain’s CEO Emmanuel Diemoz.

The brand have also revamped its website (which relaunched this week) and added extended e-commerce functionality.

You can now shop the current Fall/Winter 2014 collections, along with fragrances, and the Resort 2015 collection will be available to pre-order from Mid-November. The new store is planned to be open for business in January 2015 with a launch event to follow in March.

The Ritz Hotel London

The most popular hotel in London for the super-rich is..

The Ritz Hotel London

Where do the world’s mega-rich travelers rest their heads when they stay in London? According to a new report, that would be The Ritz London!

According to a report from New World Wealth, which keeps tabs on the hotel habits of 20,000 multi-millionaires in their database, the hotel of choice for 2,600 of the world’s ‘one-percent’ in London was The Ritz, followed by the Mandarin Oriental (2,200), and Claridge’s London (1,900).

The report also highlights different market preferences for luxury brands: The Ritz and the Mandarin Oriental are particularly popular among wealthy travelers from the Middle East and Asia, analysts say.

, meanwhile, is mainly used by business visitors, while The Berkeley brand is popular among rich American and Canadian visitors.


Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

The report estimates that the UK received about 80,000 multimillionaires in the 12 months from June 2013 to 2014.

The Mandarin Oriental London, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire and The Ritz London were the highest-ranking hotels when it came to guest satisfaction, as rated by a panel of selected multimillionaires.

Last month, the same group also found that the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas emerged the most popular hotel among the world’s wealthiest travelers, as it received 6,400 visits in a one-year period.

For the purposes of the study, a multimillionaire is defined as an individual with net assets of at last $10 million USD.

The Gherkin london

London is now the world’s most expensive city

The Gherkin london

 has become the world’s most expensive city to live and work due to the increased costs of renting homes and office space.

The “Live/Work Index Top 12” listing by international real estate adviser Savills puts the UK capital ahead of , which has topped the ranking for the last five years.


London Luxury Homes

New York and Paris come in at third and fourth place, while Tokyo sits in fifth position. The index measures the total costs renting residential and office space in 12 of the leading world cities.

According to the report, a strong pound means it now costs US$121,000 per year to accommodate staff in London.


Ritz Carlton Hong Kong Kowloon

Hong Kong, meanwhile, boasts residential property prices 40 percent higher than London. For the full report, see (pdf): pdf.euro.savills.co.uk.

Victoria Beckham at her new store

Victoria Beckham’s first flagship store opens today

Victoria Beckham at her new store

On September 25,  will open the doors to her debut boutique, a flagship store located in London’s West End.

Situated on Dover Street, the boutique is set to be a typically minimalist, flexible affair, with no display window packed with glossy wares.

Victoria Beckham London store

Instead, the 560m2 store has been built around the concept of a flexible interior, with retractable shelving for the accessories on the ground floor and clothes hung from moveable, hexagonal blonde gold hanging chains on recessed ceiling tracks.

The space was designed by Farshid Moussavi Architecture, with added touches including caramel onyx and mirror stainless steel counters, free-standing modular seating made from American walnut, a polished concrete floor and stairway, and bottle green glass fitting rooms.

Victoria Beckham store London

Following the lead of Apple and other retailers like Burberry, there are no tills and payment is set to take place throughout the store via iPad.

The three level boutique houses all of the eponymous label’s lines from ready to wear to accessories and denim.

Victoria Beckham Dover Street store

In addition to the regular collections, you’ll be able to get your hands on a new eyewear model, the Classic Aviator in Sky Blue, which has been created exclusively for the boutique.

The store opening also sees the introduction of small leather goods (from wallets to pouches) that range from £150-£480 (around €190-€615) and are only available at 36 Dover Street and online.

Victoria Beckham London store handbags

To coincide with the store launch, Posh has posted this arty video online, which features some nice London scenes – and lots of cute animals.

London Luxury Homes

Top 10 second home spots for multi-millionaires (2014)

London Luxury Homes

 is the destination of choice for multi-millionaires buying second homes, a new survey suggests.

According to “The multi-millionaire phenomenon part 2” the UK capital is a home away from home for a staggering 22,300 of the world’s 495,000 multi-millionaires — the majority of whom come from the UK and Europe.

The city also contains 9,700 multi-millionaire permanent residents.

One MiMA luxury apartment

London is followed by New York, which is the pied-à-terre of choice for 17,400 multi-millionaires, and Hong Kong, with 14,800.

Along with Monaco, London and Hong Kong are the most expensive cities on the list for prime real estate.

For the purpose of the study, carried out by NW-Wealth.com, a multi-millionaire was classified as someone with net assets of $10m or more.

The Arch

Top 10 second home spots for multi-millionaires in 2014

1. London
2. New York
3. Hong Kong
4. Singapore
5. Dubai
6. The Hamptons
7. Paris
8. Zurich
9. Geneva
10. Rio

Coco Chanel apartment

Coco Chanel’s apartment shot by Sam Taylor-Johnson

Coco Chanel apartment

Sam Taylor-Johnson has photographed Coco’ Chanel’s private apartments for a new exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London set to open in September.

Titled “Second Floor,” the photos capture Gabrielle ‘s rooms above the brand’s store at 31 rue Cambon. The 45 photographs will be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London from September 12 to 22.

“Shooting at Coco Chanel’s apartment was an unexpectedly absorbing experience,” explained Taylor-Johnson.

Second Floor coco chanel

“The essence of Chanel is firmly rooted there in all of her possessions and I truly believe that her spirit and soul still inhabits the second floor.”

Architectural details including the famous mirrored staircase and Coco’s furniture and personal treasures (from leather-bound volumes of Voltaire and Byron to crystal chandeliers) were all captured for the project.

Coco Chanel's Paris Apartment

The exhibition will be free to the public, and the adjoining Saatchi store will also be selling an accompanying book titled “Second Floor” with a limited-edition box set of ten prints picked by the artist.

Quintessentially Lifestyle

Luxury Lifestyle in the Palm of Your Hand…

Quintessentially Lifestyle

Have you ever wished that there were more hours in the day? Many of us waste hours every day organizing ourselves, attending to the minor priorities of our to-do list and this often results in us not getting anything substantial done.

Quintessentially London offer a concierge service that give you back the hours you long for, all you need is a membership.

At this year’s National Luxury & Lifestyle Awards, Quintessentially Lifestyle was awarded Best Luxury VIP and Concierge Brand for 2014. After the launch of their innovative mobile app and new parallax design website, it has never been easier for users to interact with the luxury powerhouse brand.

Quintessentially Members can now make requests to their Lifestyle Manager directly through the app and indulge in their luxury lifestyle on the go.

A Quintessentially Lifestyle Membership is the ultimate solution to stress free living, with concierge services that cater to your every need.

Whether it is reserving a table for two in Mayfair, finding the best schools for your children or helping you plan the perfect getaway, Quintessentially Lifestyle has it covered. Time is precious, don’t waste yours focusing on the minor details, instead spend it enjoying the finer side of life.

With more and more people embracing smartphones, the popularity of apps has rocketed in recent years. As a result business are developing their online presence to mobile platforms. Since the launch of Quintessentially Lifestyle’s new website, users can easily navigate through the services they offer.

Quintessentially Lifestyle app

Enjoy some of the hottest reviews from across the globe before anyone else on their luxury magazine, namely Quintessentially Insider, learn more about the corporate services they offer or become part of the elite membership.

The Quintessentially App has been launched in time for the iPhone 6,expected this October. Quintessentially members will be able to enjoy their membership services on this highly anticipated new luxury mobile phone.

The app brings Quintessentially Lifestyle’s concierge services to your iPhone or Android. Browse the best hotels, restaurants and bars in your area then with one easy click you can contact your Lifestyle Manager directly through this innovative app. If you’re not looking to make a reservation you can enjoy the creative editorial and reviews from the online magazine on your phone.

Download the app on the new Quintessentially Lifestyle website or via the iTunes App Store and Play Store.

Although Members have unlimited access to the app’s features, you don’t HAVE to be a member to use the app, non-members can still find the social hotspots, find out about upcoming events and access the luxury blog – Insider.

Become part of this exclusive members club at www.quintessentially.com.


The Shard opens Western Europe’s highest pool


From today, guests staying at London’s Shangri-La Shard hotel can swim in the highest swimming pool in Western Europe.

The indoor infinity “Skypool” at The Shard sits on the 52nd floor and features views of some of the capital’s most iconic sites like St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and Westminster.


The west-facing 11x4meter heated pool comes with its own bar, Gŏng, which is the highest in the city.

Gong at the Shangri-La Hotel

Designed by Andre Fu of AFSO, the bar and pool area was inspired by the mythical aspect of ‘dou-gong’ — a series of interlocking brackets that are used extensively in historical Chinese architecture. The interiors are a fusion of traditional Eastern and modern Western aesthetics.

The Skypool is open exclusively to hotel guests between 6 am and 8 pm.

london big ben

10 reasons to visit London this year

Shangri-La Hotel The Shard

The Eurostar, the high-speed train that connects London to the European continent in under three hours, is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2014.

But that’s not the only reason to visit the British capital this year. This spring and summer, London is abuzz with cultural activity and attractions ranging from art exhibits to festivals and flower shows. Here is our selection.

“Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy” in the UK at the British Library

Comics Unmasked Art and Anarchy

This exhibit, the UK’s largest ever dedicated to comics, is intended for mature audiences (visitors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult).

Through the iconic characters of historical and contemporary artists, the exhibit retraces England’s rich and varied comic book tradition, covering themes such as violence, drugs and sexuality.

Rare prints, previously unseen sketches and other artefacts illustrate the history of the subversive and iconoclastic world of comics.

Dates: May 2 – August 19 – www.bl.uk

“Wedding Dresses 1775-2014” at the Victoria & Albert Museum

Wedding dress Margaret Duchess of Argyll

This exhibit follows the evolution of the wedding gown over three centuries, exploring the influence of iconic designers such as Charles Frederick Worth, Norman Hartnell, Charles James, Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano.

Visitors will admire the dresses worn by various duchesses of the British crown, including the satin and silk gown worn by Margaret, Duchess of Argyll at her wedding in 1933. Dita Von Teese and Gwen Stefani also lent their bridal attire to the museum for the exhibit.

Dates: May 3, 2014 – March 15, 2015 – www.vam.ac.uk

MoonWalk London 2014

MoonWalk London 2013

This nocturnal walking marathon is sure to attract plenty of attention, as the walkers, who are all women, set out for the trek at the stroke of midnight in their bras and eccentric, colorful, often glittery outfits.

Pink is of course the color of choice, as this festive event is intended to raise funds and awareness in the fight against breast cancer.

Date: May 10 – www.walkthewalk.org

BP British Art Displays: “Walk Through British Art” at the Tate Britain

Walk Through British Art

Through an impressive selection of iconic works by major artists, the Tate is inviting visitors to stroll through 500 years of art in the UK.

Works by Bacon, Constable, Hirst, Hockney, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Lowry, Millais, Spencer, Stubbs and Whiteread, among others, are presented in 20 entirely renovated exhibit rooms.

Dates: May 14 – December 31 – www.tate.org.uk

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Regent Park Open Air Theatre

Each year, the famous London park is transformed into a theater under the open sky. Outdoor performances of great English plays, including a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” the Open Air Theatre is staging a number of American classics this season, including Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” and Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Dates: May 15 – September 13 – openairtheatre.com

“Treasures from the Royal Archive” at Windsor Castle

Treasures from the Royal Archive at Windsor Castle

For the first time at Windsor Castle, the public will be able to view certain documents conserved by the royal family since 1914.

Visitors can read selections from the monarchs’ correspondence and personal journals, including a letter written by Prince Albert to the future Queen Victoria while they were engaged to be married.

However, only those who read German will be able to decipher the contents, as the letter was written in the Saxon-born sovereign’s native tongue.

Dates: May 17, 2014 – January 25, 2015 – www.royalcollection.org.uk

London Record Fair at Brick Lane

London Record Fair

Record collectors from all over the UK and Europe will head to this three-day fair to browse through extensive selections of vinyls. In addition to providing a marketplace for vinyls, record players and music memorabilia of all kinds, the fair has a unique atmosphere that invites music lovers to share their passion.

Dates: May 30 – June 1 – londonrecordfair.co.uk

Zoo Lates at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL)

Zoo Lates

Each Friday night in June and July, London’s zoo closes to those under 18 and invites a more mature public to experience a new side of the attraction.

Visitors can watch improv comedy shows by the aquarium and a cabaret review in the amphitheater while enjoying street food in a festive carnival-like atmosphere.

Dates: June 6 – July 25 – www.zsl.org

“British Folk Art: The House that Jack Built” at the Tate Britain

British Folk Art: The House that Jack Built

London’s prestigious museum is presenting its very first exhibit of folk art from the UK. Around 100 works, many of them anonymous, were brought together for the occasion. Paintings, sculptures, textiles and other objects all serve to promote the recognition of a type of art that was long overlooked.

Dates: June 10 – September 7 – www.tate.org.uk

RHS Flower Show at Hampton Court Palace

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2014

This annual event is known as the world’s largest flower show. In addition to admiring the floral exhibits and no less than 50 gardens on display, visitors can attend gardening workshops and demonstrations.

Dates: July 8 – 13 – www.rhs.org.uk

Louis Vuitton at Dover Street Market

Louis Vuitton pops up at Dover Street Market

Louis Vuitton at Dover Street Market

French fashion house,  is opening a pop-up space within the Dover Street Market for fashion week in the British capital.

The pop-up store will feature items from the Fall-Winter 2014-15 collection, which is the first designed by Nicolas Ghesquière for the brand.

In addition to apparel, shoppers will find jewelry, shoes, bags and sunglasses seen on the runways.


The boutique will run for two months until 14 October and Louis Vuitton will also stage a takeover of Dover Street Market’s corner window from 1-15 September, both coinciding with London Fashion Week and also DSM’s tenth anniversary celebrations taking place over the course of the month.


Spaces dedicated to the same collection will also be opened in the Dover Street Markets in New York and Tokyo.

The Gherkin

Gherkin skyscraper put up for sale

The Gherkin

One of London’s most iconic buildings, The Gherkin, in the heart of the city’s financial district has been put up for sale.

The skyscraper, which was designed by Lord Foster, opened in 2004. It is currently let to around 20 tenants, including Swiss Re.

Interest is expected from around the globe for the 40 storey landmark office building and offers in excess of £650 million are being sought.

The Gherkin london

The tower was placed in receivership in April by its creditors after one of its owners was placed in insolvency.

A dedicated website has been set up at www.gherkinlondon.com for interested parties to register by Saturday 16 August, with  the bidding process expected to end in September and closure by mid-October.


London bar The Artesian named the best in the world


London hotel bar The Artesian at The Langham was named the World’s Best Bar at the 8th edition of Tales of the Cocktail festival.

Bartender Simone Caporale also snagged the title of International Bartender of the Year, while The Artesian scooped up two more awards in categories such as Best International Hotel Bar and Best International Bar Team.

Under the direction of head bartender Alex Kratena, the upscale lounge elevates cocktails into a sensory, artistic and gastronomic experience that has included everything from opium incense to inflated pillows, smoke and mirrors.

Other major international winners at the event include 28 Hong Kong Street in Singapore, which took the title of Best International Cocktail Bar;

The Aviary in Chicago for World’s Best Cocktail Menu; and The Dead Rabbit in New York, which took the title of World’s Best Drinks Selection.

Digidiva cocktail

The Artesian has launched a new cocktail menu under the theme “Unfolding and Exploring,” that includes gemstones, larch, leather mushrooms and parsnip. Cocktails are designed to unfold throughout the drinking experience.

The ‘Will of the Woods’ is described as a liquid forest, made with Glenlivet, Vermouth, larch, mushrooms, citrus and honey, served in a wooden drinking bowl.

And the ‘Selfie Compatible’ is a vaporized cocktail that contains Ron Zacapa 23 Floc De Gascogne, Verjus, Beer and Bitters.

leather aged cocktail

The Artesian is also the reigning champion for the second year running on the World’s 50 Best Bars list.

PUMA x McQ Debut AW14 Collection

Puma x McQ collection launches in London

PUMA x McQ Debut AW14 Collection

The German sportswear brand’s footwear collaboration with the Alexander McQueen second line  was unveiled at an event Wednesday night.

mcq puma

Mixing Sarah Burton’s unique vision with ‘s sportswear heritage, the two brands have unveiled a line inspired by human anatomy, including ribcages and tendons, and marble prints.

Puma McQ

The men’s and women’s styles feature Moulded TPU material, mesh and nubuck. Women’s shoes include the McQ Leap (with a wedge heel) and the Rush Lo and Mid styles, all set to go on sale on August 1.

Mary Charteris

The shoes were revealed at an event at Factory 7 in East London where guests (including fashionista Mary Charteris, and Phoebe Collings-James) were treated to music from Horse Meat Disco and cocktails from Ciroc.

Notting Hill, London

London property prices the highest in Europe

Notting Hill London

With an average price per square meter of $13,613, the British capital stands out as Europe’s most expensive city.

Paris follows closely in second, with an average square meter priced at $11,082, according to a study by audit firm Deloitte published yesterday.

Budapest was ranked as the European capital where property prices were the cheapest, with a price per square meter of $1,553 on average. Lisbon was second, with an average of $2,235 and Warsaw was third, with $2,322.

Property prices in the Spanish capital Madrid took a dramatic 23% fall, while Vienna, on the other hand, has followed the opposite trend, with a sharp 9% rise. In the same vein, home prices in Copenhagen have undergone an 8% rise while they have gone up 7 percent in Berlin.