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London Information
Overview:
One of the best ways to orient yourself is to take a double-decker bus tour. Those famous red two-storey buses provide  More...
Dining:
London hasn't always been known for its extraordinary culinary legacy. And while items  More...
Attractions:
Let's face it… London is regal, royal, and full of pomp and circumstance.  More...
Shopping:
One of the great things about London is the fact that the lines seem to blur…you can go shopping and  More...
Entertainment:
In London , the play is definitely the thing. This city has always been associated with the theatre  More...


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Guide To London
London hasn't always been known for its extraordinary culinary legacy. And while items like blood sausage and baked beans on toast might make you cringe, we can thank the Brits for some good contributions…namely fish and chips, Yorkshire pudding, and afternoon tea.

There was a time when people would say that you could travel to London and enjoy the sights and the great theatre…but don't expect much in terms of the food. Times have definitely changed. Today, diners in London will find most any cuisine imaginable and the food is actually quite good!

But let's get the traditional English fare out of the way first. Here's a quick primer on typical items that you may find on the menu so you know what they are ahead of time. Definitely go for the Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding (a glorified popover) which is considered a traditional Sunday lunch. It's a hearty meal and served pretty much all over town. Fish and Chips are also great for a quick and affordable lunch and they often come served with mushy green peas (you can skip the peas if you want).

Some tours come included with what is called a “Ploughman's Lunch”…don't expect too much here, it's basically a slice of cheese, some pickle and pickled onion, and bread. Shepherds Pie is also a winner…minced lamb or beef and veggies topped with mashed potatoes and grated cheese. Bangers and Mash are mashed potatoes and sausages, while Black Pudding, Blood Pudding, or Blood Sausage is made from the blood and fat of a cow or pig…definitely something to avoid…unless, of course, you go for that kind of stuff…maybe you also sleep during the day too!

There are just too many restaurants across London to mention — and restaurants come and go as well — however, we will give you some guidance on things to try and some of the old standbys that have been around forever.

First and foremost, make sure you make a reservation for Afternoon Tea at one of the finer hotels. This is an unbelievably civilized and very British experience that is not to be missed. In addition to a selection of fresh brewed teas (there is not a tea bag in sight!), you will enjoy a tiered platter of finger sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, and more. One good suggestion is to have afternoon tea before you go to the theatre. This way you will feel fortified enough to enjoy the show and can then grab dinner afterwards.

And speaking of dinner, if you want to try one of the “hot” restaurants in town, it is a good idea to make reservations way ahead of time…probably right after you book your hotel with us. London 's top dining spots are always quite busy and you don't want to miss out on some great places because you didn't plan ahead.

Pubs are a great choice when you want a quick lunch, to hang out and relax, or a more informal dinner…and they can be found all over town. In fact, the Citadine's London Holborn hotel is literally surrounded by pubs including the sixteenth-century Lamb & Flag and the seventeenth-century Ye Olde Cheshire House which are definitely worth a look. Pubs are also an incredible way to meet the locals, hang out, enjoy a pint, and just soak up the ambiance…just take note that smoking in bars is still allowed here.

As mentioned in the shopping section, many of the department stores like Harrods and Fortnum & Mason, have Food Halls which are a great place for a snack or lunch — while it's not the spot for ultra fine dining the quality of the food is extraordinarily good…it's just the ambiance that is a bit more of a market than a restaurant.

Nearly every neighborhood in London has its share of great restaurants that are within walking distance of your hotel. The Grange Strathmore, Plaza on Hyde Park, Gainsborough South Kensington, Swissotel London – The Howard, and Crown Moran Hotel are all in great dining areas where you can find Continental, French, Hungarian, Chinese, Japanese, Asian Fusion, American, Russian…you get the picture.

Finally, one of the great things about the hotels in London is that they get it when it comes to morning coffee. Many of the hotels offer coffee and tea making facilities in your room, so you can brew a cup without having to call room service. The Hyde Hotel and Radisson SAS Portman both have this. Additionally, The Caesar Hotel and the Royal Norfolk both include either an English breakfast or a Continental breakfast in the cost of your room. It doesn't get any better than that!

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