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Premium Tours http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk Mon, 11 Nov 2019 14:17:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.16 35 Things to Do in Notting Hill http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/things-to-do-in-notting-hill/ http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/things-to-do-in-notting-hill/#respond Thu, 07 Nov 2019 08:56:12 +0000 http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/?p=1962 Notting Hill is one of the most diverse communities in London, and it’s one of the most exciting places to explore in the capital. Made famous by the rom-com hit Notting Hill, this is an eclectic district that’s known for its colourful houses and its vibrant yearly carnival. You can indulge in wonderful food, see […]

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Notting Hill is one of the most diverse communities in London, and it’s one of the most exciting places to explore in the capital. Made famous by the rom-com hit Notting Hill, this is an eclectic district that’s known for its colourful houses and its vibrant yearly carnival.

You can indulge in wonderful food, see performances at the local theatres and shop and eat at Notting Hill’s bustling markets.

To inspire your trip to London, here are the best 35 things to do in Notting Hill.

The Best Sights and Attractions in Notting Hill

  1. The Colourful Houses of Notting Hill

Notting Hill is known for its wonderfully colourful streets, and it’s the vibrant coloured houses that really give the area its unique character.

You can find these lovely rows of terraced houses across Notting Hill, but the most famous are on Portobello Road, where much of the film Notting Hill was shot.

  1. Portobello Road

Portobello Road is one of the most famous locations in London, and you’ll find that it’s always a busy and bustling place to visit.

This is where you’ll find the most colourful houses in Notting Hill, as well as some of the best cafes and restaurants, and the iconic Portobello Road market. This is the centre of Notting Hill and one of the best places to visit for shopping and to find local market stalls

Portobello Road sign

  1. St Luke’s Mews

St Luke’s Mews is a historic part of Notting Hill between All Saints Road and St Luke’s Road.

Mews were originally designed as stables for travellers and coaches that were passing through.  Since that era of transportation has long since passed, St Luke’s Mews is now mostly housing but retain their unique, historic style.

  1. Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising

On Lancaster Road, you’ll find one of the most fascinating museums in London. The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising offers an insight into the history of consumerism in the UK.

You’ll be taken on a journey that starts in the Victorian era and looks at how famous household brands have evolved over the decades.

  1. Pottery Lane

For a look at the history behind Notting Hill, take a walk down to Pottery Lane, where you can see lasting evidence of how this whole area was once a slum.

Although Notting Hill is now one of London’s most affluent and sought-after areas, in the 19th century it was a notorious place to live, with squalid and dirty living conditions.

  1. Beehive Kiln

Pottery Lane was given its name because the street was originally used by brick makers. It was once lined with pottery and brick kilns, which were used to produce large quantities of bricks to fuel London’s expansion.

Tucked amongst the nice houses on Pottery Lane, you can still see one of the original brick kilns, known as the Beehive Kiln for its distinctive shape.

  1. Hyde Park

Notting Hill is located very centrally in London. Close to the district, you can visit many famous London sights and attractions, including Hyde Park.

The iconic park is the perfect place for a stroll or a picnic on a hot summer’s day.

  1. Kensington Palace

Located in Kensington Gardens, Kensington Palace is a wonderful place to learn about the Royal Family.

This is the residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with some of the minor royals. The grand stately rooms and gardens are open to the public.

Kensington Palace Gardens

  1. Graffik Gallery

Graffik Gallery is one of the best places to visit in Notting Hill because this is an art gallery dedicated to street art and graffiti.

The gallery has hosted some of the world’s most famous street artists, while they often hold art classes and graffiti workshops too.

  1. Temple Gallery

The Temple Gallery is another great art gallery to visit in Notting Hill. But rather than being devoted to street art, the focus is on ancient art instead.

A more traditional art space, at Temple Gallery you can see many works of religious art, with a heavy emphasis on Eastern Orthodox Christianity and sacred religious works.

  1. Tabernacle

The Tabernacle is a theatre in Notting Hill that works as a multipurpose events venue. It’s located within a heritage-listed building dating back to the 19th century.

The Tabernacle hosts a wide range of concerts, plays and workshops throughout the year, and is a fantastic venue for creatives in Notting Hill.

Shops and Markets

  1. Portobello Road Markets

There are some great markets in London and Portobello Road is one of them. It has a fantastic selection of shops, ranging from vintage retail outlets to local food stores. But it’s the local market that really attracts the crowds.

The markets are on every day, and technically many of the arcades and shops are part of them. On the weekends you’ll find more stalls and vendors on the street, as well as buskers, artists and performers.

  1. Golborne Road Market

At the far end of Portobello Road is Golborne Road, where you have an equally vibrant marketplace. Golborne Road Market is on every day of the week too and it’s best known for its antique and secondhand market stalls.

Notting Hill Market

  1. Lutyens and Rubinstein

If you are a lover of books and literature, then a visit to Lutyens and Rubinstein is a must. The quirky bookstore is one of the most legendary independent stores in London.

  1. Rough Trade

If you’re into music, then Rough Trade is a great place to visit in Notting Hill. This independent record store sells a fantastic selection of music, including old vinyl and rare LPs.

  1. Vintage Shops

Notting Hill’s unique character is represented well in the district’s shops, and some of the best are the vintage shops. You can find stores packed with antiques and souvenirs collected from around the world.

  1. Vegan Night Market

Notting Hill’s culinary creatives come to life at the Vegan Night Market, which is held intermittently throughout the year on Ladbroke Grove.

The focus is on plant-based food naturally, and it’s one of the best of its kind in London. It also stays open late into the night!

  1. Farmers’ Market

Every Saturday morning in a car park on Kensington Street, locals gather to buy produce from farmers and produce growers selling their wares at the Farmers’ Market.

It’s an intimate market, but the best place to buy local products, ranging from fruit and veg to freshly baked pies.

  1. Books for Cooks

A great local bookstore to visit is Books for Cooks, a shop that is dedicated to offering the best cookbooks and cooking related literature in London. As well as selling an enormous range of cookery books, they also run a lovely on-site cafe.

Books for Crooks Notting Hill

Kids

  1. Biscuiteers Icing Cafe

For a fun few hours, head over to Biscuiteers Icing Cafe with the kids, where they can get some hands-on practice icing their favourite cakes and biscuits. As well as being able to enjoy an amazing range of handcrafted sweet treats, the cafe runs special icing classes so you can try your hand at learning their techniques.

  1. Electric Cinema

The Electric Cinema first opened its doors to film lovers in 1910. Today it can proudly claim to be one of the oldest working cinemas in the capital.

While being a thoroughly historic place, the cinema is the perfect place to take kids to catch an afternoon showing or weekend film, as they have a great range of movies playing including classics and new releases.

Electric Cinema

  1. Holland Park

Holland Park on the edge of Notting Hill and Kensington is one of the best places to take kids in the area. This large public space has some lovely grassy areas, the famed Kyoto Gardens and waterfalls, and it’s usually much quieter than the more famous Hyde Park.

Food and Drink

  1. The Churchill Arms

Named for Britain’s Second World War Prime Minister, the Churchill Arms is easily the most iconic pub in Notting Hill. The interior is full of memorabilia celebrating Winston Churchill, but rather than serving classic pub food, the speciality here is Thai food.

  1. Electric Diner

The Electric Diner is a fine Notting Hill establishment that serves food all day. This American-inspired diner has an American-style menu with pancakes and bacon for breakfast, and hefty burgers for the rest of the day.

  1. Andina

True to Notting Hill’s diverse cultural influences, one of the best restaurants to visit is the Andina, which serves up Peruvian food. With a range of Peruvian classics on offer, you can enjoy everything from fresh ceviche to platters of slow-cooked pork.

  1. Acklam Village

If you love London’s ever-growing, laid-back street food vibes, then head over to Acklam Village where you can find Notting Hill’s trendiest food court. As well as hosting a bar and range of street food stalls, Acklam Village also hosts live music events.

Acklam Village Notting Hill

  1. The Chipping Forecast

For some of the best fish and chips in Notting Hill, head to All Saints Road where you can find the perfectly named Chipping Forecast.

They specialise in quality fish and chips, offering a range of batters from simple breadcrumbs to classic beer-batter.

  1. Gin Tonica Distillery

The Gin Tonica Distillery is an establishment dedicated to the best gin in Notting Hill. This is the home of Portobello Road Gin. As well as being able to see the distillation process first-hand, you can also try many a gin and tonic at their gin bar.

  1. Granger and Co

Another classic Notting Hill eatery is Granger and Co, which is one of the best places to go for an excellent breakfast or brunch. It’s the Aussie style here, so you can expect laid-back surroundings and plenty of avocados.

  1. Farm girl

Another classic eatery is Farm Girl, where you can pick up an excellent breakfast or brunch. It’s a health-conscious restaurant, but while it uses lots of fresh, local produce on its menu, the menu is inspired by cuisines from around the world.

Events and Activities

  1. The Coronet Theatre

Notting Hill is a wonderful place for artists and creatives alike. One of the best places to watch theatre in the area is at the Coronet Theatre.

Formerly known as the Print Room, the theatre prides itself on hosting off-West End productions with a focus on independent and niche theatre and film that you won’t find on show in many other places in London.

  1. The Gate Theatre

For a real theatre treat, head to the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill. Located above a pub, the Gate Theatre has the distinction of being one of the smallest theatres in London, with just 75 seats inside the venue.

The theatre has hosted a number of award-winning shows over the years and has seen a surprising number of actors working here who then went on to become household names.

  1. Bay 66 Skatepark

One of the most famous skate parks in London is the Bay 66 Skatepark, which is located in Notting Hill. If you’re into skateboarding or simply just want to watch some semi-pros in action, then swing by for a visit.

  1. Walking Tour

There are lots of walking tours devoted to helping you to discover the best of Notting Hill. One of the best ways to uncover the area’s hidden past and quirky secrets is on one of these tours, which range from history to movie-filming locations.

  1. Notting Hill Carnival

The biggest event in the Notting Hill calendar – and one of the biggest events of the year anywhere in London – is the world-famous Notting Hill Carnival.

This is a lively celebration of Notting Hill’s fantastically diverse community, held on the August bank holiday weekend. You can join in as thousands descend onto the streets to celebrate life with music, good food and the famed Notting Hill parade.

Crowded Notting Hill Carnival

As London specialists, we know a thing or two about the best things to do in Notting Hill, as well as the rest of the capital. While you’re in town, check out Premium Tours’ range of London Tours. We’ll show you the best of the city.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Houses of Parliament http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/houses-of-parliament/ http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/houses-of-parliament/#respond Thu, 31 Oct 2019 08:55:52 +0000 http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/?p=1937 The Houses of Parliament is one of the most iconic sights along London’s extensive skyline. This UNESCO World Heritage Site rises alongside the River Thames in the heart of the capital. Also known as the Palace of Westminster, this is the seat of British democracy. And it’s a building that has seen tumultuous events decided […]

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The Houses of Parliament is one of the most iconic sights along London’s extensive skyline. This UNESCO World Heritage Site rises alongside the River Thames in the heart of the capital.

Also known as the Palace of Westminster, this is the seat of British democracy. And it’s a building that has seen tumultuous events decided within its grand chambers.

The Houses of Parliament is where democracy can be seen in action. The public are allowed to watch debates between Members of Parliament and even watch the Prime Minister speaking.

You can tour through the historic corridors of the Houses of Parliament, and learn first-hand the many unique stories that are waiting within the palace walls. It’s one of the best things to do in London. To inspire your trip, here’s everything you need to know about the Houses of Parliament.

Where Is the Houses of Parliament?

The Houses of Parliament is located in Central London. Given its prime location, it’s an easy place to find and to visit.

In fact, you’ll see the huge clock face of Big Ben long before you arrive, as the tall tower stands proudly above the capital, keeping time.

While you can walk through Central London to reach the palace – just head towards Westminster Bridge and look for Big Ben – you can also arrive by public transport. This is much more advisable than attempting to drive, as not only would you need to pay congestion charges, but parking is almost non-existent in Central London. Where it does exist, it’s expensive.

The nearest underground station is the conveniently named Westminster Station. It’s located on the Jubilee, Circle and District Lines, making it easy to connect on the Tube from almost any other destination in London.

There are also plenty of nearby bus stops and, of course, the classic hop-on, hop-off bus tours also call in close to the Houses of Parliament. These tours can be a convenient way to get around the capital, particularly if it’s your first time, as you’ll have transport between all of London’s most famous attractions and you’ll be provided with plenty of information along the way.

Westminster Tube Station

Guided Tours of the Houses of Parliament

It’s possible to join guided tours of the Houses of Parliament. However, they don’t run all year round. When Parliament is sitting – for most of the year while MPs debate laws and motions –there are only tours on Saturdays, so just one day a week.

During summer though, MPs take a long summer recess, during which time Parliament is essentially not sitting, unless there’s an emergency or crisis.

During this summer recess, tours are run from Monday through Saturday. If you are visiting in summer, usually between August and September, this is the best time to join a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament. There are never any tours on Sundays or public holidays, while the dates of summer recess vary each year so be sure to check in advance when planning your trip to London.

Guided tours can be booked in advance, which is a great way to secure your spot throughout the year. Tours last 90 minutes and tickets can be bought online or on the door, although you get discounts for advance bookings. Tours leave at regular 15-minute intervals on the days that they run. Most tours are in English, but there are limited tours in other languages such as French, German, Italian and Spanish during the summer recess.

You can also purchase an audio guide for a self-guided tour of the Houses of Parliament, which is available in multiple languages.

If you are a British citizen, then you can visit the Houses of Parliament free of charge. However, you can’t just turn up at the door; you need to write a letter in advance to your local Member of Parliament, whose office will then make the arrangements.

Tour Costs

Adult Guided Tour Ticket: £26.50

Adult Audio Guide Tour: £19.50

Discounts are available for students, OAPs, children and for families. Ticket prices valid as of autumn 2019.

The Public Galleries

If you are visiting London outside of tour times or if you simply don’t want to pay for a guided tour, it’s also possible to visit the public galleries of the Houses of Parliament free of charge.

The public galleries are the seating areas found behind the main seating areas for the Members of Parliament or the Lords, in the House of Commons and House of Lords respectively.

These are public areas that anyone is allowed to visit, in order to watch the debates and motions in action. It’s an important part of the transparent British democracy system, as technically anyone can view what’s going on inside the Houses of Parliament.

Unfortunately though, in practice, space and seating is limited, so you either need to time your visit well or queue for a long time to get in.

Parliament can run all through the day and well into the night on some occasions. The public galleries can be visited at any time when Parliament is seated.

To enter the public galleries, you must queue up at St Stephens entrance; entrance is on a first-come, first-served basis. Your chance of getting in depends entirely on how busy it is, which can depend on what is being debated in Parliament and who is speaking.

For instance, the most popular time will always be when the Prime Minister is speaking, particularly at Prime Minister’s Question Time, which is held every Wednesday at 12 pm. It’s unlikely you’ll get a seat at this time, but if you turn up for other motions, it’s very possible. You can check what is being debated and who is speaking through the Parliament information services and on the Parliament website.

Inside palace-of-westminster

Security at the Houses of Parliament

This is the seat of government and democracy in the United Kingdom, so you can expect security to be tight when you are visiting.

There are stringent security measures in place. Each visitor has to be checked and their baggage scanned. You cannot take any dangerous items into Westminster Palace. When you’re visiting, just imagine you are about to fly, because security here is very airport-like. It’s best to leave large luggage and bags behind, or you’ll end up slowing down the entrance process.

You’ll also need to bring some form of identification with you. Ordinarily, visitors are also given an ID badge, which must be worn during their tour of the Houses of Parliament.

A Brief History of the Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament were originally built to serve as a palace by the English kings, hence the name the Palace of Westminster, just over the road from Westminster Abbey.

The first palace to be built here was constructed on the orders of Edward the Confessor and would serve as a royal residence from the 11th century through the 16th century. After 500 years of regal use, the palace was caught in a blaze and burnt to the ground. Parts of the palace survived, and the English Parliament used the remaining sections as their meeting area, where they’ve now met since the 13th century.

In fact, the first English Parliament was convened here in 1265, as representatives from across the country were invited to London, to what was then the King’s Palace, to debate laws and to give more power to the people – or, at least to take power away from the monarch. That makes Westminster Palace one of the oldest democratic bodies in the world, and it’s on this site that the Parliament has convened ever since.

Fire again ravaged the palace in the Victorian era, and the complex was completely rebuilt. The current building took almost three decades to complete, finally being opened in the 1870s. In World War II the Commons was the scene of Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s rousing war speeches, but it was also targeted and hit by German bombers during the Blitz, causing much damage.

The Houses of Parliament survived once again though, and today they are still the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

While royalty no longer lives at Westminster Palace, intriguingly it’s still owned by the Crown and is in effect gifted for the use of government. With such a long and convoluted history, this is just one of the many quirks and traditions that surround the Houses of Parliament.

parliament-view over thames

What to See in the Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament is an enormous complex, and not everywhere is open to the public, even on a guided tour. While you can see the galleries without taking a tour, you need to join one to see the best sights listed below.

Big Ben

Big Ben – officially known as Elizabeth Tower – is the tall clock tower that has become one of the most enduring and recognisable symbols of London.

Big Ben is technically the name of the clock itself. It was constructed in 1859 and has been telling Londoners the time ever since.

It was possible to take tours of the tower and to see the inner mechanics of the clock, but in recent years Big Ben has been undergoing renovation, although it’s set to reopen again soon.

The Commons Chamber

The Commons Chamber is perhaps the most important place in British politics. This is where the Ministers and Members of Parliament meet in order to hold debates and to discuss the future of the country.

The House of Commons is known as the Lower House, and it takes its name from the fact that it’s here that democracy is enacted by the common people and not the Lords.

The Commons Chamber is an elegant room with benches on either side rising upwards and facing across the hall from each other. On one side sit the government, while the opposition sits opposite.

The central area is where the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition stand to give speeches, while at the far end you can find the Speaker’s Chair, where the Speaker of the House of Commons to keep order between the different factions in the Chamber.

London-House of Commons

The Lords Chamber

The Lords Chamber is otherwise known as the Upper House. Whereas the House of Commons is for elected Members of Parliament, to sit in the House of Lords you must be elevated to peerage, which is by appointment only or acquired through hereditary means. Most Lords remain Lords for life after appointment.

The Lords cannot stop laws being enacted but they are there to provide an independent check on regulations, as they have the power to delay Acts of Parliament.

The Lords Chambers is far more lavish than the Commons, and there are many strange traditions in place. While visiting you’ll see the Woolsack, where the Speaker of the House of Lords sits. This tradition goes back to the 14th century when wool was an integral part of the English economy.

The Robing Room

The Robing Room is a unique chamber in the palace that’s used by the reigning monarch before they give their speech opening Parliament.

It’s an elegant, stately room that’s been graced by several kings and queens throughout history.

The Royal Gallery

The Royal Gallery is another lavish room found in the palace, which serves as a location for ceremonies, dinners and events.

It’s the largest room in the Palace of Westminster and it’s decorated with portraits of historic royals.

Special Events

The Palace of Westminster hosts regular events and exhibitions throughout the year.

There are often talks within the palace, which you can find details about and sign up for online. These talks generally focus either on the history or architecture of Westminster Palace itself or on the history of British politics. If you want to learn more about the Houses of Parliament from excellent speakers, these talks are wonderful events to attend.

To find out more about Premium Tours’ excellent selection of London tours, including trips to the Palace of Westminster, contact us today or browse our website.

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47 Things to Do in London with Kids http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/things-to-do-in-london-with-kids/ http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/things-to-do-in-london-with-kids/#respond Thu, 24 Oct 2019 08:55:33 +0000 http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/?p=1946 London is easily one of the most exciting cities in the world to take kids, with a wide range of sights and activities that you can enjoy with the whole family. From watching the Changing of the Guard ceremony outside of Buckingham Palace to exploring the capital’s child-friendly museums, there’s loads of fun to be […]

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London is easily one of the most exciting cities in the world to take kids, with a wide range of sights and activities that you can enjoy with the whole family.

From watching the Changing of the Guard ceremony outside of Buckingham Palace to exploring the capital’s child-friendly museums, there’s loads of fun to be had in London with children.

Here are 47 of our favourite things to do in London with kids.

  1. Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is one of London’s most famous sights, and it’s the perfect place to take children. While you can only go inside when guided tours are held at certain times of the year, the kids will love the ceremony and appearance of the palace and its surroundings from outside.

buckingham-palace

  1. Changing of the Guard Ceremony

Outside Buckingham Palace, children can enjoy one of the city’s most exciting ceremonies: the Changing of the Guard. Held at 11 am from Monday through Saturday and 10 am on Sundays, the Changing of the Guard sees the royal troopers dressed in their extravagant uniforms marching as they change shifts.

  1. Platform 9 and ¾

At Kings Cross Station children can also take their picture at the world-famous Platform 9 and ¾. This is the hidden, magical platform that leads to the Hogwarts Express, and you’ll find it marked at the station. Possibly the most famous platform in London, there’s often a queue so allow plenty of time.

  1. Harry Potter Tours

If the kids are into Harry Potter, then you can treat them to a Harry Potter tour of the capital. You’ll get to see all the most famous filming locations across London, including iconic destinations such as Diagon Alley.

  1. Warner Bros Studio Tour

One of the best things to do in London with kids is to take a Warner Bros Studio Tour. Located outside of Central London, this is a great day out for anyone interested in the wizarding world of Harry Potter. The Warner Bros Studio is where many scenes were filmed, and you can find a permanent exhibition dedicated to the making of the Harry Potter films.

harry-studio-potter-tour

  1. Hamleys

Hamleys is one of the biggest and oldest toyshops in the world. Located on Regent Street, this extravagant shop is a treasure trove of fun and games for kids. You can spend hours exploring the different floors of Hamleys, but just be careful not to spend too much money!

  1. The London Eye

Get a bird’s eye view of the capital and the famed London skyline by taking a trip on the London Eye. The enormous Ferris wheel offers excellent views as you slowly revolve around.

  1. The Shard

For an even better view of London, then take the kids high above the city to the viewing deck of the Shard. The panoramas from the top floors will amaze everyone.

  1. Emirates Airline

Fly high above the River Thames and take a journey on the Emirates Airline. This cable car is a great way to get across the river!

  1. London Bridge

Of course, you can also take a more traditional route across the river. Walk across London Bridge to show your children the city’s most famous bridge! If you arrive early, there are some fantastic places for breakfast near London Bridge.

  1. Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is another famous landmark in the city located near the Tower of London. If you’re lucky you might see the iconic drawbridge being raised.

  1. Tower of London

Children will love exploring the Tower of London, where they can enjoy guided tours run by the Beefeaters, the guards of the castle. You can see the Royal Crown Jewels and learn about the castle’s dark history, while visiting one of the capital’s best attractions

  1. London Dungeon

If it’s gruesome tales of horrible histories that your kids want to know more about, then take them to the London Dungeon. Here you can learn all about London’s dark stories and characters like Jack the Ripper.

  1. Big Ben

If it’s famous landmarks you want to see, then bring the family to Westminster Palace, where you can see Big Ben. The famous clock tower is the most recognisable landmark in the city.

westminster-Big Ben-thames bridge

  1. Hyde Park

Not far from Westminster, the kids can enjoy Hyde Park. This large, open space is perfect for picnics and walks.

  1. Richmond Park

Another beautiful public park to visit is Richmond Park. Located south of the river and outside of the centre, the park is best known for its large deer population.

  1. Hampton Court Palace

Kids will love visiting Hampton Court Palace, too. The grand palace was the residence of Henry VIII, but it’s the dizzying outdoor maze that will capture the attention of children.

  1. Windsor Castle

Slightly out of Central London, a day trip to Windsor Castle is sure to entertain your children. This is one of the Queen’s main residences, where she spends many weekends. It’s a grand and exciting place to explore!

Windsor-Castle

  1. Legoland Windsor

Also in Windsor, one of the best days out for kids can be found at Legoland. This fun-filled theme park is dedicated to all things Lego, and you can find rides and Lego-building opportunities across the park.

  1. Open Top Hop-on Hop-off Bus

Give your children an exciting chance to see the capital from an open-topped Hop-on Hop-off Bus. Enjoy the best sights and attractions as you feel the wind in your hair! Of course, you can hop off at various stops around the capital to explore the main sights and attractions.

  1. HMS Belfast

Moored on the River Thames, HMS Belfast is an old navy ship that fought in World War II. It’s both a great educational experience and a chance to see the city from the river.

  1. Covent Garden

Covent Garden is a wonderful place to visit with the kids. You can take the family through the market stalls and shops, and be entertained by the street performers.

  1. The Moomin Store

The Moomins are much-loved Scandinavian children’s cartoon characters. In Covent Garden, you can visit the colourful and wacky Moomin shop, where you can purchase plenty of souvenirs and Moomin gifts.

  1. The British Transport Museum

The British Transport Museum is close to Covent Garden, and it’s a fantastic place to visit with the children. You can tour through classic London buses, and see old bicycles and cars.

  1. The Science Museum

Another great museum to visit with the family is the Science Museum. Here you can delve deep into the scientific world, and there are lots of hands-on, educational experiences.

  1. The Natural History Museum

Take the kids to the Natural History Museum in London, for more educational experiences. The iconic museum is home to enormous dinosaur skeletons and many more relics from the natural world.

Inside the Natural History Museum

  1. London Zoo

London Zoo makes for a classic day out with the kids. You can spend hours exploring and visiting the different enclosures to see animals from all over the world.

  1. London Aquarium

After visiting London Zoo, it’s time to learn about the underwater world with a trip to the London Aquarium.

  1. Hackney City Farm

Hackney City Farm is another great place to learn about the animal kingdom, but this time with a more local, English feel. Here kids can pet and feed farmyard animals.

  1. Thames River Cruise

The River Thames is the biggest landmark in London and the best way to see it is on a river cruise. Take a boat down the Thames and enjoy the fabulous London skyline.

london-eye-Thames-Cruise Boats

  1. The British Museum

The British Museum is one of the most detailed museums in London, but there are plenty of opportunities for the children to enjoy themselves too with different exhibits and hands-on learning experiences.

  1. The Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum is another of London’s best museums, and it’s a good place to take your children if you want them to learn more about British history.

  1. The Postal Museum

At the Postal Museum, you can learn all about the history of the Royal Mail in Britain. The highlight of the museum is riding the postal train, a driverless electric train – sure to delight the little ones!

  1. Greenwich

Greenwich is a great place to take kids, as you can show them the GMT line and the Royal Observatory in the middle of Greenwich Park.

  1. The Cutty Sark

Also located in Greenwich, the Cutty Sark is a famous landmark by the River Thames.

The Cutty Sark is an old ship that was once one of the fastest vessels on the seas. It’s a great opportunity to teach the kids more about Britain’s long seafaring history.

  1. O2 Climb

The O2 Arena is the distinctive building in Greenwich that was formerly known as the Millennium Dome. For older kids, there’s a rooftop climb that allows you to walk, attached to ropes and harnesses, across the top of the arena for impressive views over London.

  1. Clip n Climb

For more adventurous climbing experiences head to Clip n Climb, an indoor climbing centre geared towards children. There are climbing walls and vertical drop slides, as well as a cafe and other facilities. It’s suitable for all ages and makes for an active day out in London with the kids.

  1. Musicals

A great chance for entertainment is to visit the West End Theatres, where you can watch many popular musicals. The kids will love being taken to such classic shows as the Lion King, where they can sing along to great songs.

  1. Leicester Square

Leicester Square is a fab place to visit too, because not only can you enjoy the street performers and the sights of this famous part of London, but you can take the kids to the classic London cinemas where many of the country’s best movies have their premiers.

  1. Shakespeare’s Globe

You can also take your children to Shakespeare’s Globe, where you can give them an introduction to more classic forms of entertainment.

Not only is Shakespeare’s Globe a lovely theatre to visit, but you can watch performances of the English Baird’s best plays. Perhaps not one for young kids, but definitely great for the older children when they start to study Shakespeare at school.

  1. Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds is a fantastic waxwork museum where you can see wax statues of famous figures from history and the contemporary world. Have your photograph taken next to Nelson Mandela or Winston Churchill, and many more famous people.

Madame Tussauds London

  1. M&M World

In Leicester Square, there’s a giant store dedicated entirely to M&Ms and all their delicious chocolatey goodness! You can try the whole spectrum of flavours and fillings, and come home with shopping bags full of M&Ms.

  1. Go Ape

Take the youngsters out for an adventure-filled day at one of London’s Go Ape experiences. At Go Ape, you are strapped into a harness as you navigate high rope courses that are set up in tall trees.

  1. V&A Museum of Childhood

In Bethnal Green, you can visit the V&A Museum of Childhood, which offers a lovely insight into what it was like to be a child through different eras of history.

  1. Discovery Children’s Story Centre

Another wonderful place to take the kids is the Discovery Children’s Story Centre. This fascinating place is a world of storytelling where children are immersed in imaginative and creative fairy tales.

  1. Ragged School Museum

The Ragged School Museum in Tower Hamlets allows children to experience what it would have been like going to school in the Victorian era. The living museum offers an authentic Victorian atmosphere and is a great place for kids to learn how different schooling was in the 19th century in contrast to conditions today.

  1. Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London, and it’s a great place for the whole family. This large botanical garden is set in Richmond-upon-Thames. You can spend all day exploring the different climate zones and areas in the gardens and greenhouses of Kew, and the kids are guaranteed to enjoy themselves!

For more inspiration on fun-filled family days out in London, check out Premium Tours’ fantastic range of London tours.

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These Are the Best Family Restaurants in London http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/family-restaurants-london/ http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/family-restaurants-london/#respond Thu, 17 Oct 2019 09:00:08 +0000 http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/?p=1923 Eating out can be a real challenge with the entire family to cater for. Even more so if you’ve got young children. However in London, there are plenty of fantastic options across the capital for families, with lots of excellent restaurants and eateries catering specifically for kids. Whether you have a small budget and a […]

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Eating out can be a real challenge with the entire family to cater for. Even more so if you’ve got young children. However in London, there are plenty of fantastic options across the capital for families, with lots of excellent restaurants and eateries catering specifically for kids.

Whether you have a small budget and a big family, or you’re looking for a fancy restaurant in a posh part of the city, we’ve got it you covered. To inspire your culinary adventure to the capital, here are the best family restaurants in London.

Budget Family Restaurants in London

Giraffe

Giraffe is a staple restaurant experience for many families across the United Kingdom, as their excellent menu and great prices are a wonderful attraction. With dedicated kids menus for the youngsters, Giraffe also offers great lunchtime deals that are fantastic value. Giraffe restaurants can be found in many locations across the capital, but all of their venues offer open and colourful dining areas that create a welcoming and friendly environment for the entire family.

Giraffe serves food that’s inspired by cuisine from across the world, but they provide the usual kiddie fare too. You can indulge in a katsu curry from Japan or simply have a plate of fish fingers and lots of ketchup on the side.

Giraffe Restaurant

Farmstand

Farmstand is an intriguing, ethical establishment set on Drury Lane in Covent Garden, which is incredibly family-friendly. The menu is mostly plant based, but there are also a few meat dishes that can be ordered too. Everything is sustainably sourced, meaning you can eat with a clear conscience.

It’s the prices that are the real winner though. If you need a budget breakfast, lunch or dinner and want to eat healthily, then this is the place to go. Breakfast options start from £3 for a bowl of porridge, while at lunchtime you can build Farmstand Lunchboxes, including such choices as Thai green chicken or Sicilian aubergine, for less than £10 per person.

Vauxhall City Farm

For a unique farm experience in the city, then one of the best places to visit with kids is Vauxhall City Farm. Despite being in the middle of London, you can feed and pet the farmyard animals and learn all about British wildlife.

At the same time, Vauxhall City Farm is a great budget option for families when it comes to eating out because the cafe here is entirely geared up for family outings.

The Old Dairy Cafe is open from morning until mid-afternoon. As well as being a great place for parents to refuel with coffee, the café offers a range of lunchtime sandwiches and snacks for the family.

Golden Hind

Fish and chips is perhaps the most classic British meal and London is one of the best places in the country to find good old fish and chips. You can choose a greasy spoon or a fast food shop on any street corner in London, but finding quality fish and chips at a good price for the whole family is more of a challenge.

This is where the Golden Hind steps in because this iconic fish and chip restaurant offers some of the best value in the capital. Located in Marylebone, this is classic battered fish and chunky fried chips territory, and you can have all the trimmings too, be they mushy peas or tartare sauce.

With a century of experience frying fish, you can’t really go wrong. If you need a cheap but filling meal, the price won’t set you back too far either. For the adults, there’s even a BYOB policy on alcohol, allowing you to keep costs even lower.

Golden Hind Restaurant

Wahaca

Wahaca is a Mexican-inspired chain that has several restaurants and food trucks across the capital. If you’re looking for a budget family meal but want to take everyone to an eatery with a bit of spice and character, then Wahaca is the perfect choice.

The food here is just about as authentic Mexican as you can find in London and the prices aren’t too dissimilar either! You can order sharing plates of Mexican food to give the kids a chance to try everything or you can opt for a cheap plate of tacos stacked with fillings for just over £5. For the adults, there’s a range of alcoholic beverages and there are many more dishes on the menu to try, from the super loaded burritos to Mexican salad bowls.

Bistro Union

The best budget option for families in London though could well be Bistro Union because if you get your timing right there are certain times of the day when kids can eat for free.

They offer excellent brunch and dinner menus, with simple dishes based on English classics. During the school holidays and if they are running their early dinner happy hour deal, then kids eat free if an adult is paying full price for their meal. The kids’ dishes are smaller versions of the adult dishes, and it can be a refined place to bring the whole family for a meal out in style.

Mid Range Family Restaurants in London

Rainforest Cafe

The Rainforest Cafe is a favoured place for many families to visit in London because this is a restaurant set up for children. This is an experience in itself for youngsters because the restaurant is designed to emulate the rainforest and there are waterfalls and jungle-themed tables that immerse you in a world that’s found far from the streets of London.

There are animatronic animals, bird sounds in the air and, of course, plenty of good food too. The menu is designed specifically with kids in mind, so you can rest assured that they won’t be complaining about the choices on offer at the Rainforest Cafe.

Rainforest Cafe

TGI Fridays

TGI Fridays – Thank God it’s Friday – is an American-themed restaurant that caters well for families and children.

In fact, TGIs is a favourite amongst both kids and adults, and you can find their restaurants in locations across London, be it central London or in shopping centres. The food portions are big, and there are milkshakes, beers, ice cream sundaes and all manner of burgers and ribs to devour. For birthday parties or big family outings, it’s a choice where you can’t really go wrong. Although the food might not be the best-regarded or most inventive in the capital, you always know what you’re getting and that it won’t cost your life savings.

Homeslice

If it’s pizza that the family are demanding, then it’s time for a trip to London’s fabled Homeslice restaurant.

Homeslice has become an icon in pizza-loving circles for the fact that the pizza portions are not only enormous, but the toppings are varied and the food excellent.

The pizza is excellent value given its size and you can order a large pizza for the whole family and even ask for different varieties. You can have half pepperoni and half margarita, so no matter what differences the family might see when it comes to pizza toppings, no one can argue when you eat out at Homeslice!

All Star Lanes

For a fun-filled and action-packed restaurant opportunity in London, then book a table and a lane at All Star Lanes. This is where food meets bowling because All Star Lanes offers both food and bowling in an ever-growing number of locations across London.

You can order from the Lanes Kitchen before, during or after your bowling games, and you’ll find everything from macaroni cheese to halloumi burgers. It’s fun for everyone and the food is great at All Star Lanes, while adults can also enjoy drinks from the bar, including beers and wines from across the world, and specially designed house cocktails.

Sticky Fingers

Sticky Fingers is a restaurant chain owned by Rolling Stones bassist, Bill Wyman. The restaurant has a heavy dose of Rolling Stones memorabilia, a menu full of succulent burgers and juicy ribs, and they actively encourage families with children to visit.

The kids’ menu is perhaps one of the biggest and best in London. For only £8, kids can have a main meal, a drink and a dessert. There are nuggets, cheeseburgers, wraps, mac and cheese, and sticky toffee pudding on offer at Sticky Fingers, and it’s all served in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere in central London.

Masala Zone

For a taste of Indian food in a family-friendly restaurant, then head to one of Masala Zone’s branches in London. The restaurants serve up classic Indian dishes and you can get everything from traditional tikka masala to a scorching vindaloo. They also offer wallet-friendly thalis where you are given a selection of rice and curries on a tray.

For kids, the mini thalis are a great way to feed them for excellent value while also introducing younger children to the diversity of Indian food. As well as this, while the kids are occupied enjoying their mini plates of Indian thali food, grown-ups can try a few cocktails or indulge in some fiery, spicy food at one of London’s best Indian restaurants.

Masala Zone London

Expensive Family Restaurants in London

Bubba Gump Shrimp

If you’re a fan of the Forrest Gump film – and who isn’t? – then Bubba Gump Shrimp will be your number one family restaurant in London.

The themed restaurant is inspired by Bubba Gump Shrimp, the shrimping company run by Forrest Gump in honour of his friend Bubba. The restaurant is light-hearted yet over the top, and it’s a fun place to take kids.

The menu is stacked with all sorts of shrimp goodness, and plenty of other American dishes from burgers to plates of onion rings. It’s not the cheapest outing, but it’s worth it for the atmosphere and the Forest Gump decor.

Hard Rock Cafe

Another American-style restaurant that’s perfect for families is Hard Rock Cafe. The famous brand offers huge burgers and American-inspired shakes and drinks to match, but the real draw is the musical memorabilia, which varies from location to location.

It’s another fun restaurant that’s great for families, with children’s menus and plenty of entertainment around the venue too. For burgers though, it’s hardly the cheapest place in London, but you are really paying for the atmosphere and for the experience when you take the family out to Hard Rock Cafe.

Hard Rock Cafe London

Ottolenghi

Yotam Ottolenghi is the iconic celebrity chef behind numerous cookbooks and restaurants, while his deli outlets across London are famous for their healthy takeaway menus.

There are both restaurants and takeaway options across London when it comes to Ottolenghi. But even a takeaway salad won’t be cheap, given they are all based in the most expensive areas of the city, such as Belgravia and Notting Hill.

The food is wonderful for healthy-minded families who want to indulge and splurge a little on breakfast, lunch or dinner. The restaurants have a communal atmosphere with long tables and friendly staff, and they are happy to cater to the needs of families with children.

Barrafina

Barrafina is one of London’s most sought-after restaurants because this Michelin-starred restaurant offers what’s often claimed to be the best Spanish tapas in the British capital.

While that will always be subjective, what’s not debatable is the price of eating out here – it’s one for a special occasion. But the pure pleasure of an eating experience at Barrafina is unmissable.

For a Michelin-starred restaurant, Barrafina is a surprisingly family-friendly establishment too. There are currently three locations across London, and the premise is that you not only enjoy excellent tapas inspired by the cuisine of Catalonia but that you get to actually watch the chefs preparing it. It’s a great way to keep the younger kids entertained while teenagers and adults will appreciate seeing Michelin-starred masters at work preparing their lunch or dinner.

Although it’s not cheap, it’s a fantastic culinary experience that can introduce the family to the wonders of Spanish tapas.

As London experts, we know a thing or two about the best places to eat in the capital. While you’re in town check out Premium Tours’ fantastic selection of London tours.

 

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The London Family Index: The best London boroughs for families to live in http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/the-london-family-index-the-best-london-boroughs-for-families-to-live-in/ http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/the-london-family-index-the-best-london-boroughs-for-families-to-live-in/#respond Tue, 24 Sep 2019 15:09:13 +0000 http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/?p=1916 Moving when you have a family can be daunting, especially when you’re moving to a city as diverse and gigantic as London is. There are hundreds of reasons why living in London with children is a great step for a family, not least because they’ll be in the centre of everything happening in the country […]

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Moving when you have a family can be daunting, especially when you’re moving to a city as diverse and gigantic as London is. There are hundreds of reasons why living in London with children is a great step for a family, not least because they’ll be in the centre of everything happening in the country – which is very exciting, and sets them up for life.

However, it’s not an easy decision, and there are many factors that play a part: schools, supermarkets, play areas, parks, crime rate, the list goes on. Considering how hard and tiring it is to move home, with kids in tow, it’s important to get it right the first time, and choose the right neighbourhood for you and your family – and then you can put that stress to bed for at least a few years.

At Premium Tours, London is a top destination for us, with an astounding number of tours and experiences available right here in the cosy capital city of the UK, and as it’s our home it’s understandable that we adore it. That’s why we decided to put together the London Family Index in order to determine the best London boroughs for families to live in – so other people love it just as much as we do.

In order to put the ranking together, we analysed a variety of data sources for each of the different London boroughs – 32 in total – which included average house prices and size, the amount of green space and, most importantly, how good the schools in the area are. We then ranked the boroughs based on who offered the best for each of these categories, and hopefully created an index that takes all the stress out of moving to London. Well, almost all the stress.

Results

Ranking in the top spot as the best London borough for families to live in was Sutton, with Richmond upon Thames proving to be a strong second place.

Sutton soared to the top with an average house price of £508,679 for a semi-detached property – not bad considering the average house price in London is £485,830. For this price, families will be getting approximately 100 square metres of property, in an area with the lowest crime rate in all of London. Not only this, but 32% of the borough of Sutton is green space, providing plenty of area for children to run around in, and there are 5 outstanding schools to be in catchment of. It’s also the second quietest borough after Tower Hamlets, making bedtime just that much easier to manage.

Following Sutton, the full top 10 boroughs are:

  1. Sutton
  2. Richmond upon Thames
  3. Kingston upon Thames
  4. Merton
  5. Bromley
  6. Waltham Forest
  7. Havering
  8. Barnet
  9. Kensington and Chelsea
  10. Camden

Richmond and Kingston upon Thames both ranked highly thanks to their low crime rate, for which they placed third and seventh respectively. Richmond upon Thames also scored very well for green space, with an incredible 50.8% of the borough being considered a green area, and the two boroughs came first and second in a ranking determining the happiness and satisfaction of people living in every area of London.

Kensington and Chelsea snuck into the top 10 despite coming second to last for the average price of a house in the area; buying a semi-detached house in Kensington will set you back, on average, a cool £6.3 million. The only borough more expensive was Westminster, where the average is £7.9 million. Having said this, the average salary in Kensington is £171,000, which is over £100,000 more than the average salary in London at £48,023 so it figures that house prices will also be more expensive.

Sutton, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, and Waltham Forest all topped the table in terms of least pollution, which is an impressive feat in an area as polluted as London, while Camden, surprisingly, came in the top 10 in terms of quietness, with an average of 62.5 decibels of noise on a day to day basis.

Methodology

To create our London Family Index, we looked at the following factors:

  • House Prices
  • House Size
  • Crime Rate
  • Green Space
  • Number of Outstanding Schools
  • Life Satisfaction
  • Average Salary
  • Healthiness
  • Pollution Levels
  • Quietness

Using these categories, we established an overall London Family score by scoring each borough out of 5 across the elements, and totaling this together, allowing for a highest available score of 50. The house prices category was first assigned a ranking which was then scored out of 5, as the highest two areas – Kensington and Westminster – were far above the London average. Full dataset available on request.

Sources

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices-in-Hackney-93953.html 

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/housing/articles/housepriceshowmuchdoesonesquaremetrecostinyourarea/2017-10-11

 https://www.met.police.uk/sd/stats-and-data/met/crime-data-dashboard/

 https://www.randstad.co.uk/best-london-borough/

 https://www.atticstorage.co.uk/guides/the-best-places-to-live-in-london

https://www.itv.com/news/london/2016-08-16/londons-happiest-boroughs-revealed-as-richmond-hits-the-top-spot/

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/income-and-tax-by-borough-and-district-or-unitary-authority-2010-to-2011#history

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/datablog/2012/apr/12/london-health-map-local-authorities

https://www.randstad.co.uk/best-london-borough/

 

 

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14 Brunch Spots You Need to Try in Shoreditch http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/brunch-shoreditch/ http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/brunch-shoreditch/#respond Thu, 19 Sep 2019 13:47:53 +0000 http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/?p=1896 If you are searching for the best brunch spots in London there are few better places to be in the late morning or early afternoon than Shoreditch, because this eclectic part of the capital has endless opportunities for brunching. In fact, Shoreditch takes brunch to a new level. This trendy district is home to a […]

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If you are searching for the best brunch spots in London there are few better places to be in the late morning or early afternoon than Shoreditch, because this eclectic part of the capital has endless opportunities for brunching.

In fact, Shoreditch takes brunch to a new level. This trendy district is home to a range of eateries, offering everything from a casual late breakfast to a full-on boozy brunch on the weekends. The vibrant, multicultural nature of Shoreditch also means that, if you desire, you can eat at a different brunch spot every day of the week, and try a new style of cuisine every day of the week too.

From Bottomless Brunches to Peruvian breakfasts, here are the 14 best brunch spots you need to try in Shoreditch.

  1. The Book Club

Shoreditch is well known for its vibrancy and culture, and one of the best brunch spots in the area that will fuel your love of both food and cultural experiences is The Book Club.

This unique cafe and restaurant serve brunch on the weekends and serves breakfast until midday on weekdays. The menu is potato and egg heavy but, as good as the food is, it’s not just the brunch that’s the main focus here, because the Book Club is also one of Shoreditch’s best events venues.

The Book Club hosts music events and cultural demonstrations, and there’s a different schedule every week. There are art exhibitions strung across The Book Club’s two different floors, and it’s easily one of the most creative places in Shoreditch. As a bonus, after breakfasting or brunching, you can even take to the Ping-Pong tables or challenge your fellow diners to a table tennis battle.

  1. Andina Shoreditch

Peruvian food might not be high on your brunching list, but that’s probably because you’ve never visited Andina Shoreditch. Located on Redchurch Street just off Shoreditch High Street, Andina Shoreditch brings the unique tastes of South America to London.

This innovative restaurant has made a name for itself by fusing British ingredients with traditional Peruvian methods of cooking, brought from the Andes to Shoreditch.

Andina Shoreditch is open all day, serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner to anyone searching for new flavours or returning for their Peruvian fix. On the weekends, brunch is served from 10 am until 4 pm, and it’s the perfect way to kick-start your day or to nurse that hangover from the night before.

On the brunch menu at Andina Shoreditch, you’ll find healthy doses of avocado, as well as Peruvian chocolate that’s served on pancakes. The Chicharron sandwich is great if you need more of a lunchtime-brunchtime boost for the rest of the day, while if you want to keep things healthy, nothing beats the Andean granola.

  1. Hoi Polloi

If you’re looking for one of Shoreditch’s trendiest brunching locations, then look no further than a visit to Hoi Polloi. This inspired restaurant is found within the Ace Hotel, a hotel chain that is found in other locales such as New York and which has a reputation for being a hangout for hipsters and trendsetters.

Hoi Polloi means the ‘people’. While this is a modern and sleek restaurant, there’s also a minimalist look and feel to the place, which complements the food exceptionally well.

On weekdays, there’s a breakfast menu that is served until midday where you can choose from a range of breakfast items, from simple plates of seasonal fruits to a full-on English breakfast. You can even start your day with a Bloody Mary if you’re looking to really kick things off at Hoi Polloi.

On weekends, brunch runs from midday until 4 pm, and this is the real deal at Hoi Polloi. On the brunch menu, you can order everything from pancakes or eggs to a hefty roast dinner that includes roast beef and all the trimmings. You can even go for the rib-eye steak and wash it down with a few of Hoi Polloi’s signature cocktails.

Hoi Polloi

  1. The Breakfast Club

With branches all over London and across the country, The Breakfast Club is one of the capital’s most beloved breakfast and brunch spots, and the branch in Hoxton is one of the most popular in the city.

The Hoxton branch was one of the first Breakfast Clubs to be opened in London, and it’s a fantastic place to enjoy a beautiful brunch when you are in the area.

This is a restaurant that specialises in breakfast, and they serve nothing but breakfast all day long in their sleek, modern eateries that have an open and airy feel to feel them. It’s a good place to start the day, no matter whether you’re starting the day at 8 am or 4 pm.

The Breakfast Club menu is extensive, and they take inspiration from across the world. You can order a classic full English, you can go for a vegan breakfast or you can order the Breakfast burrito, to name just a few of the items available.

  1. The Barge House

The Barge House is a fantastic place for brunch if you’re looking for scenic views and outdoor seating because this fabulous eatery is found overlooking the canal in a beautiful waterside location.

In summer especially, there are few better places to enjoy a spot of brunch, as you can sit out and take in the refreshing canal-side air and bathe in the Shoreditch sunlight while it’s there.

The Barge House has a full-service kitchen as well as a popular bar, and they are open all through the day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can find classic items such as eggs on toast, or more international breakfasts such as Shakshuka.

The Barge House is famed for its freshly prepared sourdough bread, and on the weekends it’s their exceptional brunch that is the real reason to visit. Their most popular item on brunch days is what they call Breakfast in Bread. A large sourdough loaf is hollowed out and the interior of the bread is filled with all manner of breakfast items.

There are several fillings of Breakfast in Bread, with the most popular being what is essentially a full English breakfast, when your sourdough will be served with bacon, eggs, mushrooms and more. They also offer veggie and vegan Breakfast in Bread, as well as a salmon variety and a spicy chorizo and chilli filling, too.

To accompany these unique bread brunches, the Barge House serves up Bloody Marys and Breakfast Martinis, as well as excellent tea and even better coffee.

  1. Pizza East

A pizza restaurant might not be your first choice for brunch in Shoreditch, but on the weekends Pizza East serves up a fine breakfast and brunch for hungry patrons.

Of course, they are best known for their signature pizzas, as well as their huge range of antipasti, but visit on the weekend and you can delve into the brunch menu. This is Italian breakfast at its best, and while you could just order a pizza for brunch if you’re really hungry, the more rustic brunch items are truly exquisite.

You can try a full Italian breakfast, beef ragu, cured hams, or frittatas, amongst many more breakfast and brunch items on the menu.

Breakfast Pizza

  1. Blues Kitchen

The Blues Kitchen in Shoreditch is renowned for its bluesy vibes, live music and an excellent menu that’s inspired by the soul of the southern USA.

On the weekend, The Blues Kitchen serves up a somewhat infamous boozy brunch, that’s complete with delicious food and endless drinks.

You order your favourite brunch item, be it a brisket burger or the big bluesy breakfast, and then you pick your favoured drink, be it bloody Marys, mimosas or Prosecco. The food is finite, but for two hours, the drinks are unlimited.

  1. Rascals

If it’s a boozy bottomless brunch that you’re after, then spend your weekend enjoying the delights of Rascals, which has made somewhat of a name for itself as being one of London’s most infamous brunching spots.

The food and drink are bottomless at Rascals. While you eat and drink the morning and afternoon away, you’ll be entertained by Rascal’s infamous entertainers. It’s all fun and games and entertainment while you drink and eat, and you’ll be getting stuck into the atmosphere of Rascals for many hours to come.

  1. Dirty Bones

Another great place to enjoy the delights of a boozy brunch is Dirty Bones. Available on the weekends, from 11 am until 4 pm, the Dirty Bones brunch offers you the chance to indulge in New York-inspired food in a heritage-listed London building in Shoreditch.

Dirty Bones has a brunch menu that’s packed with flavour; you can take on the big steak and eggs to set you up for the day or order a huge portion of ribs and crumpets. Of course, at Dirty Bones, as good as the food is, it’s not all about the food, because alongside the brunch items you can order unlimited cocktails.

Drinks to choose from include a Bloody Mary or Uptown Spritz and, for one and a half hours, your drink of choice is endless.

  1. Red Rooster

If it’s American-style food you’re looking for in Shoreditch, then head on over to Red Rooster. This USA-inspired eatery serves up a huge array of American food, ranging from New York to the southern states, but they are best known for their Red Rooster Gospel Brunch.

Held every Sunday, you’ll be able to jump into the delicious brunch menu while a local choir performs Harlem-style gospel to the hungry diners.

It’s a unique experience, and alongside excellent food, you’ll enjoy an excellent performance of gospel songs at Red Rooster.

Red Rooster

  1. The Diner Shoreditch

The Diner Shoreditch is another fantastic restaurant to visit if you are on the search for American-inspired brunch, as this fantastic eatery serves up an all-day breakfast menu.

The Diner Shoreditch is a truly American experience, and the restaurant is set up exactly how you would imagine a classic American diner to be.

All-day breakfast includes such dishes as the Lumberjack Breakfast, and the Hungry Man Breakfast, while you can also order stack after stack of delicious pancakes, with an endless variety of toppings.

  1. Hoxton Grill

One of the best brunch spots to try in Shoreditch is undoubtedly Hoxton Grill. Yet again, this is another restaurant that’s inspired by American-style food, and they serve up a glorious breakfast and brunch.

The brunch menu includes a diverse selection of dishes to order, including simple bowls of muesli or pancakes, to a huge range of different eggs. You can even start your day with a huge cut of steak, while of course there are plenty of cocktails to choose from on the brunch menu too.

  1. Lantana

If you’ve had your fair fill of American-style diners and brunches, then in multicultural Shoreditch you have many more options too. One of the best places to visit is Lantana, a delightful cafe that serves up an excellent Aussie-style breakfast and brunch.

On weekends, they open at 9 am and serve until 4 pm, and you’ll find a vast array of breakfast and brunch items. Expect plenty of halloumi and avocado on the menu, while the coffee is simply excellent as well. There are fruit smoothies too, and you can always start your day out in Shoreditch with a brunch cocktail.

Lanatana

  1. Bird

Our final pick for the best brunch spots in Shoreditch goes to Bird. This simple restaurant is designed with an open-air in mind, perhaps because Bird is proud of their use of free-range poultry.

Bird specialises in two things, and two things only. That’s chicken and waffles, and yes, the two are more often than not combined together. That makes this an excellent brunching spot, combining a waffle breakfast and a chicken lunch or dinner, to set you up for a day in London.

Of course, to complement your waffle and fried chicken brunch, Bird has a wide range of cocktails and other beverages to offer too.

As London experts, we know a thing or two about the best brunch spots across the city, including the trendy Shoreditch area. While you’re in touch, check out our fantastic range of London tours and open-top bus trips to see the very best of the city.

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Everything You Need to Know About Camden Market http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/camden-market/ http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/camden-market/#respond Thu, 19 Sep 2019 13:47:42 +0000 http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/?p=1886 Camden Market is one of London’s most popular tourist attractions because this bustling marketplace is packed full of trendy stalls, food vendors and photogenic street art. Found in the heart of hipster Camden, this historic market started life humbly as just a few simple market stalls. Today you can find well over 1,000 different stalls […]

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Camden Market is one of London’s most popular tourist attractions because this bustling marketplace is packed full of trendy stalls, food vendors and photogenic street art.

Found in the heart of hipster Camden, this historic market started life humbly as just a few simple market stalls. Today you can find well over 1,000 different stalls and shops in this vibrant yet crowded part of London.

If you’re looking for vintage clothing, fusion street food and raucous nightlife, then Camden Market is the market for you. If you are searching for street art, funky restaurants and an atmosphere like nowhere else in the capital, then you have to visit Camden Market.

To help you plan your trip, here’s everything you need to know about Camden Market.

A Brief History of Camden Market

Camden Market has a long and fascinating history. Starting from small roots, over the years and decades it’s grown into one of London’s premier, alternative shopping and entertainment areas, while never losing touch with its humble past.

Camden Market has, for the most part, stayed true to itself, and that’s just one of the reasons why it’s become such a popular tourist attraction.

There have been small markets in Camden for centuries. Given its location on the busy Regents Canal, Camden was transformed into a flourishing trade hub that boomed through the Victorian era.

The market you see it today has more recent roots though; Camden Market began to really evolve into its modern self in the 1970s.

In 1974, a small Saturday market comprising just 16 stalls was opened in Camden Town. With Camden’s growing reputation for all things alternative, it proved to be the best location possible for a market place to grow and to evolve into a hipster setting at the forefront of all of London’s unique cultural scenes.

This was really just the beginning though. Camden Market would grow over the following decades into a marketplace housing thousands of stalls, shops and food vendors, and its story is far from over yet.

The market continues to be revamped and redesigned, and there are many areas such as Camden Lock Village, which have undergone massive regeneration projects to keep Camden Market at the forefront. These projects don’t lose sight of Camden’s ethos and history, and you can still find heritage and tradition everywhere you walk.

Camden Market

Where Is Camden Market?

Camden Market is a big and sprawling place to visit. If it’s your first time in Camden, then working out your bearings can be a challenge at first.

The market is technically several different markets and distinct shopping areas, but the majority of the stalls and vendors are found along Camden High Street, which then turns into Chalk Farm Road when you cross over the busy bridge spanning Regents Canal.

It’s a bustling place. To get here, you’ll want to arrive either by bus or by using the Underground, as there’s almost no public parking available and what parking is available will be short term and expensive.

The nearest tube stations are Camden Town and Chalk Farm, both of which are within Zone 2 on the Northern Line.

Chalk Farm Underground station is found at the northern end of the markets, while the Camden Town stop is more southerly. Whichever station you choose stations will bring you out into the heart of Camden Market.

There are also several overground stations, such as Kentish Town and Camden Road, although these are further away from the markets.

The markets are divided into four major areas, but with thousands of stalls, shops, pubs and restaurants, everything spills over into each other and it can be difficult to know exactly where you are at any one time, not that it really matters. The best way to get around Camden Market is to simply walk – or perhaps push – your way through the crowds and to lose yourself in the marketplace. A good idea is to get off the tube at Camden Town, and then simply walk along Camden High Street towards Regents Canal.

The three major reference areas within Camden Market are Buck Street Market, Camden Lock Market and Stables Market.

When to Visit Camden Market

Camden Market is open 7 days a week, even on bank holidays, and most stalls and shops will open around or 9 am or 10 am. The market stalls and shops generally stay open until around 6 pm, sometimes later, but you’ll find that the restaurants, pubs and bars are all open until much, much later.

Camden Market is one of London’s most famous tourist attractions and, unfortunately, that means that it’s always a busy place to visit.

Weekends and bank holidays are when the market is at its liveliest and there’s always something going on. However, on weekends, it can also be absolutely packed, and it can be difficult to walk around and even to find tables at restaurants and pubs. If you don’t mind pushing your way through tour groups and queuing to get into venues, then it’s an atmospheric if busy time to visit. In summer, things are even busier than colder times of the year, particularly when the sun is out.

If you want to enjoy Camden Market without the crowds, then you’ll need to visit during the week. If you want time and space to browse through the stalls and shops then you’re best visiting on Mondays or Tuesdays, as later in the week, it starts to get busier the closer you get to the weekend. In reality though, such as the fame of Camden Market, there are few times when it’s not a crowded place to visit.

Buck Street Market

On the corner of Buck Street along Camden High Street, Buck Street Market is an integral component of Camden Market, and it’s recently been totally redeveloped.

This is the area of the market that’s closest to Camden Town tube station. If you alight here, this is the first part of the market you’ll be exploring.

This is an outdoor market area, and it’s where you can find a few hundred stalls and vendors who are mostly selling clothing and accessories. While the goods for sale aren’t necessarily the most exciting part of Camden Market, it’s the perfect place to visit if you need a few new T-shirts during your stay in London!

In fact, there is a lot for sale here. You can find everything from cult TV clothing to knock-off designer brands. It’s a classic market, and you’ll find good deals and hidden gems stashed away amongst the stalls.

Buck Street Market also has a new addition in that many of its stalls were redesigned when large shipping containers were brought in to house new market stalls and to give the street even more food vendors. It’s an exciting time in Camden, and things are changing yet again.

Camden Lock Market

Continue along Camden High Street, and you’ll stumble upon Regents Canal, where you can find Camden Lock Market. This is the most famous area in Camden Market, and it’s the place that gives the entire market its name.

This was where the market began in 1974; since then it’s grown outwards, along the canal and down Camden High Street.

Nestled around Camden Lock, you can find hundreds of market stalls and vendors, and you’ll find a huge range of products for sale from T-shirts and vintage clothing to excellent fast food.

In fact, the street food is one of the best reasons to visit Camden Market and you can find some of the best near Camden Lock. There’s a truly international range of food available, and you’ll be tantalised by the vendors and cooks offering you tasters before you buy to entice you in. It’s loud, it’s noisy and it’s impossible to walk away hungry.

For sale, you’ll find Indian curries, burgers, classic fish and chips, huge boxes of Chinese food and cuisine from every country imaginable.

Camden-Lock

Stables Market

Stables Market is another part of Camden Market that was previously separate until it joined forces with Camden Lock Market to create a sort of super-sized market.

It was a good move and both markets have grown exponentially and essentially run into one another, as they merge and spillover on both sides of the canal.

Stables Market runs along Chalk Farm Road and, in a previous life, the area was a horse stables, hence its name.

The horses were there for use in Camden’s bustling industrial world and for use on the canal into the early 20th century. With the decline of horse transport, the stables became obsolete until it became the home of a new marketplace.

Today, there aren’t so many horses or stables around, but the Stables Market has become a legendary London attraction.

Here you can find an array of shops and market stalls both indoors and outdoors, and many are set up in the heritage-listed buildings that have been taken over by the retail and hospitality industry.

The most famous shop in the Stables Market is Cyberdog, a unique retail outlet that represents Camden’s alternative side. This is a shop for techno lovers, as you’re greeted by employees whose sole and singular task is to dance on a podium all day. It’s a strange and bizarre place and a tourist site in its own right.

New Developments in Camden Market

Camden Market seems to be constantly in a state of redevelopment, and given the nature of the market things are always in flux here.

Large parts of the market are scheduled for redevelopment, as Camden has become one of London’s most visited tourist areas in recent years. One area that is currently under regeneration is Camden Lock Village. This was once an integral part of the market, until a fire destroyed much of the area. It’s set to be turned into a swanky new development with shops and more market space, and will hopefully retain the character of Camden when it’s open.

Restaurants, Bars and Pubs

As well as the markets stalls and the food vendors, there are plenty of restaurants, bars and pubs to call into when you are visiting Camden Market.

If you’re looking for authentic British pub grub then there are plenty of classic Camden pubs to have lunch or dinner at and to enjoy a few pints of beer too.

At night, Camden comes alive with drinkers and parties, as Camden Town is well known for its excellent nightlife, bars and clubs.

Camden Bar

Music and Artwork at Camden Market

Camden Town has long attracted trendsetters, hipsters, artists and musicians and it truly is one of the most eclectic areas in London. The markets are no exception. As you walk around and make your way through the crowds you’ll soon notice that there is a lot of street art and graffiti in Camden.

It’s one of the best reasons to visit too because the walls have even been used as a canvas by infamous street artists such as Banksy. You can find some of his most iconic pieces hidden around Camden Town.

You might also see a statue dedicated to Amy Winehouse because this was where the famous singer made a name for herself. Camden has a rich musical tradition and in many of the bars and pubs around the markets you’ll find plenty of live music events all through the week.

There are many legendary music venues to check out in and around the markets, and you can enjoy everything from jazz to punk, and all that’s in between. Classic venues include the likes of The Dublin Castle, KOKO and the Jazz Cafe, and all are places where you might just chance upon the next big act before they become super famous and make it onto the world stage.

amywinehouse-camden

This is one of the most happening parts of London. There’s always something going on in Camden. While you’re in town browsing the stalls at Camden Market, checking out the street art and sampling all that tasty street food, check out Premium Tours fantastic range of London tours to see the best the city has to offer.

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Here’s Where to See Live Music in London http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/live-music-london/ http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/live-music-london/#respond Mon, 16 Sep 2019 13:56:32 +0000 http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/?p=1872 The United Kingdom has an exceptional live music scene, and London is always at the forefront of the best musical trends. It’s the heart and soul of the country’s musical talent, and it’s a stage where the world’s best bands and artists come to play to packed crowds. London has some incredible music venues, ranging […]

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The United Kingdom has an exceptional live music scene, and London is always at the forefront of the best musical trends. It’s the heart and soul of the country’s musical talent, and it’s a stage where the world’s best bands and artists come to play to packed crowds.

London has some incredible music venues, ranging from the glamorous arenas of the O2 and Wembley where famous stars play to thousands of people, to the grimy and dark back rooms of pubs in Camden or Shoreditch where rising stars begin their careers.

Many of London’s smaller venues have a lot of history behind them too, and there are few other cities in the world that can match the British capital for musical heritage. London is one of the best cities in the world for live music. Here are our favourite venues to see live music in London.

O2 Arena

The O2 Arena is the second largest music venue and indoor events space in the United Kingdom. Since the mid-2000s, it’s been playing host to some of the biggest tours and artists in the world.

This is a huge venue – in the UK, only the Manchester Arena is bigger – and The O2 Arena has become one of the most iconic live music venues in the world, since the old Millennium Dome was repurposed and turned into an events space.

The arena hosts big world tours and can house thousands of screaming fans, both seated and standing, making this one of the best and the biggest musical experiences in London.

The SSE Arena, Wembley

The SSE Arena, Wembley is London’s second-largest indoor live music venue, after The O2 Arena. It’s one of the best places in the capital to see headlining acts from around the world.   

Wembley Arena is one of the city’s most iconic music venues, and it’s found in the shadow of the equally iconic Wembley Stadium, where live music events are held throughout the year.

This is a historic place, as the building dates back to the 1930s when it was originally built as a swimming pool. Since the late 1940s, it’s been used as a music and events venue, and over the years many historic names have been on the bill, from the Beatles to the Spice Girls.

Wembley-Arena

Eventim Apollo

Another classic live music arena to visit in London is the Eventim Apollo. Formerly known as the Hammersmith Apollo, it’s located in the west London district of Hammersmith. Since 1932, the Apollo has been hosting music and other entertainment events to packed crowds.

The Hammersmith Apollo is set in a heritage-listed building, and it’s one of the most classic live music venues in the capital. The Apollo has had various different names and sponsors over the years, but it’s always kept its brilliant atmosphere and feel. With a capacity of only around 5,000 people, the performances here are much more intimate and personal than performances in larger indoor arenas such as the O2 or SSE Arena, Wembley.

The Dublin Castle

Camden Town is well known for its alternative, trendsetting vibes, and the music scene in the north London district is second to none in the capital. Camden is the place to visit for iconic and historic music venues, and it’s the place to visit to find the next big acts before they become famous.

One of Camden’s most famous live music venues is The Dublin Castle. This small pub is hidden away in the heart of Camden Town and is often referred to as the home of Britpop. Many famous bands and musicians have played within the cramped confines of The Dublin Castle, before going on to become world famous.

Madness was the first band to really bring the Dublin Castle fame, while other acts that have passed through the doors here include Amy Winehouse and Blur.

The Dublin Castle

The Old Blue Last

Another London pub that always seems to be at the forefront of the capital’s music scene is The Old Blue Last. Set on the hipster streets of Shoreditch, few other pubs in the capital have such a long history and such a reputation as this.

The Old Blue Last is owned by Vice Media, and they regularly host parties and live music events. The pub dates back over 300 years and has long been serving London’s patrons with round after round of ale and beer.

The pub and venue hosts live music acts almost every night of the week, and many of the shows are free of charge to watch. It’s a great venue to try and catch the next big bands. Big names that have played here before they made it big include the likes of the Arctic Monkeys and Florence and the Machine.

Jazz Cafe

If rock and pop music isn’t your thing, then London has plenty of live music venues catering to different genres. If you’re into jazz, then head on over to Camden Town where you can enjoy the delights of the famous Jazz Cafe.

For jazz lovers, few other places in London can match the Jazz Cafe for soul and performances here are always intimate. The Jazz Cafe can only host around 400 people, and it’s a great experience listening to jazz in such a small setting.

The Jazz Cafe has also branched out into other music genres too, and they host reggae, hip hop and blues artists too, amongst many others.

Cafe Oto

If intimate live music venues are what you’re searching for in London, then look no further than Cafe Oto. Located in the heart of Dalston – a district that’s famous for its music and venues – Cafe Oto is a simple cafe and restaurant during the day, but by night it turns into a beautiful live music space.

Cafe Oto is often voted to be one of London’s coolest live music venues because nothing beats it for either charm or grace. You’ll find jazz artists and electronic acts playing to small crowds at Cafe Oto, while the venue also hosts regular workshops and cultural exchanges when they aren’t hosting performances.

Royal Albert Hall

Located in South Kensington, the Royal Albert Hall is one of London’s most highly regarded and well-known music venues. This is musical history at its finest, because Queen Victoria personally opened the venue in 1871. Since then, it’s played host to many of the country’s best concerts and musical performances.

The Royal Albert Hall is best known for hosting the Proms, a classical music event that’s held every year and is broadcast across the world. The historic building can host around 5000 people, in tiered seating stands, and even if you can’t get hold of tickets to an event here, you can still join guided tours of the fascinating building, to learn more about the intriguing history of the Royal Albert Hall.

Royal Albert Hall

Alexandra Palace

Another classic and historic music venue to visit in London is Alexandra Palace, referred to affectionately as the ‘Ally Pally’. This iconic venue was originally opened in 1875, and it was intended to be a theatre. It was a theatre that was far ahead of its time too, and it revolutionised the Victorian entertainment industry.

The wider Alexandra Palace entertainment complex has several different entertainment spaces, and there are theatres and performance venues within this grand Victorian-era palace. As well as live music events, which are held in suitably Victorian climes within the heritage-listed building.

It’s a beautiful place to see concerts, musical performances and other shows and events while you are visiting London.

Roundhouse

In Camden Town, the Roundhouse is one of north London’s most historic music venues. It might not be as well known as the Royal Albert Hall or have the prestige of Alexandra Palace, but the Roundhouse has history enough to match both. Being in the heart of Camden, the venue is known for hosting artists and festivals throughout the years, including the likes of The Doors and David Bowie, and the BBC’s Electric Proms.

The Roundhouse is a heritage-listed building that dates back to the 1850s. This was never a purpose-built events arena; the Roundhouse was originally built to house a railway turntable. After this was abandoned, the building has been used variously as a warehouse and storehouse, until it was repurposed as an events space in the 20th century. It’s a Camden classic and a fantastic place for live music events.

The Camden Assembly

Camden Town is absolutely packed with excellent live music venues, and another great place to visit in the district is The Camden Assembly. This classic Camden venue has recently had a name change and was formerly known for years as the Barfly.

The Camden Assembly is really just a small pub, but it’s earned its rightful place amongst the legendary live music venues of London for hosting some of the country’s most up and coming artists before they hit the world stage.

There’s a small capacity of just 200 people, and it’s one of the most atmospheric places to experience live bands in London. When it was known as Barfly, the pub hosted such greats as Coldplay and other Britpop sensations when they were still making it onto the music scene.

The Blues Kitchen, Camden

While you’re in Camden, you can also visit The Blues Kitchen, a legendary restaurant that hosts some of the best blues evenings in the capital.

There are several branches around the capital now, in places like Shoreditch and Brixton too, but the Camden branch is easily the most well known. The restaurant focuses on serving excellent food that’s inspired by the culinary traditions of America’s deep south, and you can enjoy everything from slow-cooked brisket to huge servings of chicken wings.

The Blues Kitchen hosts regular blues and jazz artists through the week and on weekends too, and you’ll find many famous and up-and-coming stars playing at the restaurant. If you love good food and good music, then there’s nowhere better to spend the evening than the Blues Kitchen.

Union Chapel

One of the most unique live music venues in London is found in Islington, and it’s unusual because it’s also a fully functioning church.

As a church, Union Chapel dates back to 1874. In recent years, it’s earned fame by hosting music events and also for caring for the homeless through its charity projects.

While regular church services are held here, the building is transformed at night into a beautiful live music space, and bands and performers play within the atmospheric stonewalls of this Victorian-era church.

O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Another classic London venue catering to larger crowds and bigger bands is O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Dating back to 1903, this was originally designed to be a theatre, before being taken over by the BBC to be used as a filming location for different television shows. In the 1990s, the venue was transformed into a live music space, and since then it’s become a well-known destination for quality bands and performers.

This is still a small venue compared to the big arenas though, and O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire can only hold around 2,000 spectators. That doesn’t stop big bands joining the bill though, with past performances including David Bowie, Pearl Jam and Mumford and Sons. It’s a legendary place and one of the best live music venues to visit in London.

Shepherds Bush 02 Empire

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These Are the Best Yoga Classes in London http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/yoga-classes-london/ http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/yoga-classes-london/#respond Mon, 16 Sep 2019 10:24:07 +0000 http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/?p=1853 London has no shortage of places to learn and practise the art of yoga. But finding the best yoga classes in the capital can be a challenge, given the fierce competition. You can find classes and sessions in almost any leisure centre or community hall, while there are more and more dedicated yoga spaces opening […]

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London has no shortage of places to learn and practise the art of yoga. But finding the best yoga classes in the capital can be a challenge, given the fierce competition. You can find classes and sessions in almost any leisure centre or community hall, while there are more and more dedicated yoga spaces opening up each year.

Finding the best yoga classes in London for you will also depend on the style of yoga you are looking for. Across the capital, you can find many different variations of yoga being practised and taught, and you can try out different classes each week to discover which style truly suits you.

From the sweaty moves of hot yoga and Bikram to the spirituality of Kundalini or the classic moves of Ashtanga, there are a lot of places to practise yoga. Here are our favourite yoga classes in London.

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga is the most classic form of yoga you can find being practised in London, and there are plenty of different places to try it across the capital. Ashtanga yoga was designed by Indian yogi K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore in the 20th century. This famous yogi took traditional, historic yoga poses and traditions and created a new form of yoga for the modern era. His techniques helped popularise yoga across the world, while still keeping close to the heritage of ancient yoga.

Ashtanga yoga involves individual poses being linked by Vinyasa, or flowing poses. It can be hot and sweaty, and it’s good for your strength and breathing.

Ashtanga Yoga

Good Vibes

One of the best places in London to try Ashtanga yoga is Good Vibes. This excellent fitness studio has its base in Fitzrovia on Tottenham Street, and they focus on offering positive fitness classes that empower you with energy, positivity and, above all, good vibes.

Some of their most popular classes are their yoga classes. They have a range of different classes catering to different levels, be it beginner lessons or intense sessions for experienced yoga lovers.

Their focus is on Ashtanga yoga; if you’ve never tried yoga before, then this classic variety is the perfect way to ease into the pursuit. You can join their beginner classes, where you’ll learn the basics, and once you’ve got the moves down you can move into their more intense Vinyasa sessions, where you’ll leave sweaty but refreshed.

The Good Vibes yoga studio offers a temperature-controlled space that’s great for Vinyasa. During the cold winter months, they heat the room to the level of an Indian summer’s day where you can escape the chill and practise yoga as it’s meant to be done, amongst the heat and humidity.

Triyoga

Triyoga is one of London’s most well-known yoga centres, and they have excellent classes dedicated to the practice of Ashtanga yoga, amongst many other varieties and forms.

They have studios in Camden, Chelsea, Ealing, Shoreditch and Soho, and they cater to a wide range of clients and abilities. Across their different locations, they teach hundreds of classes each week. If you’re looking to either learn the Ashtanga ropes or to delve deeper into the world of yoga, then Triyoga is one of the best places in London to do it.

Their beginner courses and introductory offers are great. You can have private lessons with one-to-one tuition, or you can join group sessions with like-minded, wannabe yogis. If you’re looking to develop your Ashtanga techniques further, then there are a range of classes offered for mid-level and experienced yoga lovers, while if you truly want to take your yoga skills to the next level, then you can even learn how to be a yoga instructor at Triyoga.

Ashtanga Yoga London

If you’re looking for a more personal studio and smaller classes, then one of the best places to go in the capital is Ashtanga Yoga London. Run by a handful of dedicated instructors, the studio focuses almost entirely on Ashtanga Yoga, and few other places can match it for personalised service and commitment to the practice.

Their studio is called Dharma Shala, and it’s located in King’s Cross. This is more than just a yoga space, as Ashtanga Yoga London has become more of a community than just a commercial enterprise. If you are searching for like-minded yoga lovers, then this is the place to be.

At Ashtanga Yoga London, you can learn the basic moves of the Mysore-style yoga sequences, before moving onto the more experienced, free-flowing Vinyasa classes that are typical of Ashtanga.

There are classes all through the week, and you can pay per session or become part of the Ashtanga community and purchase monthly packages for the different classes.

Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is one of the most popular, modern forms of yoga you can find being practised in studios across London. Hot yoga is so-called because the idea is literally to get hot and to work up a huge sweat during your routines. The idea is to sweat and to sweat hard. Hot yoga is performed in hot and humid conditions, which are designed to replicate those found on the Indian subcontinent where yoga originated.

There are different types and styles of hot yoga, but most originated in the mid 20th century and became popularised as a way to dispel impurities in the body as well as to lose weight and to strengthen core muscles.

Hot Yoga is intense and vigorous, and you need a basic level of fitness at the very least to survive your first few classes, before stepping it up as you progress while you learn the different techniques and styles.

Frame

One of London’s best hot yoga spots is Frame, a yoga company that has six separate locations across the capital offering thousands of classes a week. Frame is an all-encompassing yoga business, and they offer classes and tuition in almost every conceivable style of yoga possible.

Frame likes to focus on getting you hot and sweaty in all their classes, and they really take the meaning of hot yoga to a new level. Whichever classes you choose, be it beginner or advanced sessions or free-flow or power yoga, you’ll be leaving in a sweat, but also leaving revitalised and restored. Alongside traditional yoga classes, they also offer their own unique brand of hot yoga, which is simply called Frame Yoga, where different techniques and styles are combined to leave you with the ultimate hot yoga sweats.

Another Space 

Another Space is one of London’s most infamous hot yoga spots; any class you take at this well-known establishment will leave you painfully sweaty and aching for days.

Their classes aren’t for the faint-hearted, but they are excellent if you are looking to push yourself above and beyond and to take hot yoga to a higher level while improving your strength, stamina and fitness.

With locations in Covent Garden and Bank, this is one of the most intense yoga centres in central London. Perhaps knowing this, they have a great policy with no joining fees and no hidden costs.

Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga is a form of hot yoga that has several distinct differences and attributes. This is one of the most popular forms of hot yoga that you’ll find across the world. In London, there are many classes dedicated solely to the art of Bikram.

Founded by Bikram Choudhury, this modern form of yoga follows a specified set of poses and techniques that are performed in sequence in a hot and humid environment.

Bikram Yoga

Fierce Grace

One of London’s best-known studios for bringing the heat, Fierce Grace has seven studios across the capital and is a forerunner of the hot yoga revolution in the city.

Established by a student of Bikram Choudhury, Michele Pernetta, Fierce Grace has eight different classes designed to suit every schedule, level and mood. Standouts include the eponymous ‘Fierce Grace’ class, ‘Wild’ which combines strength poses, and the advanced ‘Fierce’, also known as ‘the Beast’.

If you’re injured, stiff, unfit or in rehabilitation, the S.O.B class – which stands for Stiff, Old or Broken – is a powerful way to get you moving again.

The Hot Spot Yoga

The Hot Spot Yoga is well known for its focus on hot yoga and Bikram yoga, and it’s one of London’s best spots if you’re looking for intense Bikram sessions. Their classic classes include long Bikram yoga routines, where you’ll be immersed in the heat of the Indian subcontinent while never leaving London.

Prepare to get hot and prepare to get really sweaty, because The Hot Spot Yoga can help you take your yoga game to a more intense level than ever before. They offer a heavy schedule of classes through the week, and with sessions lasting for 90-minutes at a time you’ll be left aching, yet thoroughly versed in the techniques and poses that Bikram yoga comprises.

You might want a good grounding in less intense hot yoga techniques before venturing into this yoga centre though, or you’ll leave your first session aching and hurting for the next few days.

Hot Yoga

Kundalini 

Kundalini Yoga is a more niche form of yoga, and there are fewer studios offering classes and sessions across the capital. It’s a more spiritual form of yoga, and the idea isn’t to get hot and sweaty but to focus on breathing and technique in order to awaken the spiritual energy that’s found within you.

It’s a unique and calming form of yoga to practice and a wonderful form of relaxation and meditation.

Joy

Joy is a yoga centre dedicated to Kundalini Yoga, and it’s easily one of the best places in the capital to try it out.

It’s a relatively new studio having only opened its doors in 2018, but they are already the preferred choice for many spiritual seekers in London. You can join their Kundalini and meditation sessions to awaken your own inner spirituality, and to learn more about the meditative and healing processes involved in this particular form of yoga.

Kundalini Yoga London

Located in Fitzrovia, Kundalini Yoga London is another great space to learn all about this meditative form of yoga.

With a focus on small class sizes and a personalised teaching style, this is the place to really begin to connect with your inner Kundalini spirituality and power. Run by a single instructor, there are only a few classes a week, so book in quick to secure your spot if this is the style of yoga you are looking to learn more about.

Free Yoga Classes in London

Yoga is a relatively inexpensive hobby to take up, but most classes, instructors and companies charge fees for their sessions. You can save money by purchasing memberships, once you find the best classes for you and the instructors that suit you best. Many studios offer multiple-session packages or unlimited monthly subscriptions that will give you hefty savings on paying individually.

Group lessons and classes are always cheaper than private lessons too and are a great way to make new friends and delve into the wider yoga community and lifestyle.

If you are looking for free or heavily discounted yoga classes, then many studios offer excellent introductory rates for beginners, where you can join either sample lessons or where you can take advantage of low rates for the first few sessions or even months of your membership.

On International Yoga Day – a day dedicated purely to the pursuit of all things yoga – almost all studios offer free sessions to celebrate the beauty of yoga and to spread its good vibes.

Many new or small-time instructors working on more of a hobby basis will also offer group or community sessions for free or for minimal costs. Many of these classes run in summer, as they take place outside, in parks or public spaces.

Yoga in London

If you’re visiting London to take advantage of the wonderful range and variety of yoga classes across the capital, check out Premium Tours’ fantastic range of London tours. As London experts, we show you the best the city has to offer in terms of major tourist attractions and museums, though we know a good deal about eating, nightlife and lifestyle, too!

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15 Delicious Places for Brunch in Notting Hill http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/brunch-notting-hill/ http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/brunch-notting-hill/#respond Wed, 21 Aug 2019 08:30:13 +0000 http://blog.premiumtours.co.uk/?p=1813 Notting Hill is one of London’s most colourful and vibrant districts. It’s an area known for both its affluence and multiculturalism. With a variety of different communities and a reputation for creativity, it’s no wonder there are some excellent restaurants and eateries located in Notting Hill. That creativity and diversity is passed onto those restaurants. […]

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Notting Hill is one of London’s most colourful and vibrant districts. It’s an area known for both its affluence and multiculturalism. With a variety of different communities and a reputation for creativity, it’s no wonder there are some excellent restaurants and eateries located in Notting Hill.

That creativity and diversity is passed onto those restaurants. With its relaxed vibes and laidback qualities, Notting Hill is the perfect place for a casual, yet refined brunch. From classic brunch establishments such as the Electric Diner to innovative egg-based establishments such as Egg Break, there’s a lot to choose between.

To inspire your mid-morning jaunt in London, here are 15 delicious places for brunch in Notting Hill.

  1. Electric Diner

The Electric Diner is Notting Hill’s most famous brunching institution. Located on the eclectic Portobello Road, the same road that was made famous by the classic rom-com film Notting Hill, the Electric Diner is the number one place to head to mid-morning.

With an unusual mix of American and French influences and themes, the Electric Diner sums up Notting Hill’s casual yet refined vibes. You can choose from a range of brunch items, from omelettes cooked with Gruyere cheese to a Philly chilli cheese dog. The brunch menu is a mix of breakfast and lunch, but the portions are decidedly hefty and you can go for the full English, or even the rib eye steak at 11 am.

It’s a great place to start the day late and an even better place to start the weekend. You can wake up by choosing from the coffee selection, or you can start the day in style with an Electric Diner Cocktail.

Rib eye

  1. The Dayrooms Cafe

Another eclectic brunch option in Notting Hill is the Dayrooms Cafe. This is a boutique cafe, run by the boutique team that owns the Dayrooms brand, which usually focuses on designer clothing.

With that in mind, you can expect the Dayrooms Cafe to be magnificently well designed – and it assuredly is. The décor is fantastic and the ambience is excellent. It’s cosy and space can be limited, but it’s by no means exclusive – this is Notting Hill after all.

The menu is inspired by Australian brunch, and if anyone knows how to do a solid brunch, then it’s the Aussies. You can expect plenty of eggs, lots of avocado and lots of fusion on the brunch menu at the Dayrooms Cafe.

  1. Eggbreak

Eggbreak has been literally breaking eggs and stirring things up as they’ve broken their way onto the Notting Hill brunch scene in London.

As the name suggests this is a restaurant that focuses almost exclusively on eggs, the finest of breakfast and brunch ingredients. Eggbreak though, isn’t just a breakfast or brunch option, because this quirky restaurant is actually open all day, for dinner and lunch too.

Their all-day menu has a wide range of items, especially considering everything is egg-based. If you’re trying to be healthy, then you can go for the avocado and eggs, but if you’re looking for a greasy start to the day then choose the McDonalds inspired sausage and egg muffin, which is dripping in cheese and sauce. Many of the items are also inspired by different parts of the world, and you can find sauces ranging from spicy sambal sauces from Asia to spicy Sriracha or classic Bernnaise.

  1. Snaps + Rye

For a real multicultural treat, then head on down to the excellent Snaps + Rye for a real taste of Denmark in Notting Hill.

Danish food isn’t exactly a go-to brunch for most Londoners, but that’s changing quickly in Notting Hill, as Snaps + Rye’s reputation goes from strength to strength. The main item on the menu is rye bread. The restaurant serves up a wonderful selection of Smorrebrod, a unique style of Danish sandwich where fillings are served on open rye bread.

Those fillings are superbly Danish too, with choices ranging from juicy meatballs to expertly smoked salmon. To accompany, there are seasonal soups, plenty of pickles, and plenty more pickled herring.

The snaps part of the restaurant’s name comes from the Danish alcoholic beverage, snaps, which is very similar to schnapps. There’s an extensive cocktail menu using snaps as a base and, of course, if you’re here for brunch then you can order those snaps-based beverages straight away.

  1. Granger & Co

Bill Granger is the chef behind Granger & Co, a minor celebrity from Australia who has hosted cooking shows and written a few books too. Granger and Co draw on his expertise and his Aussie background, and you can find several outlets across London. Each is designed to emulate that laidback Aussie atmosphere that the country is famous for.

In Notting Hill, you can find Granger & Co on Westbourne Grove, and it’s a great place for brunch. There’s no specific brunch menu at Granger & Co, but the breakfast menu runs until 12pm and from there the lunch menu takes over, so time your visit depending on which of the menus you’d rather eat from. Both are excellent, however.

You can find plenty of healthy options, with lots of avocado, salmon and quinoa found on the menu at Granger & Co.

breakfast bagel

  1. Farm Girl

Australians seem to flock to Notting Hill, and yet another Aussie offering is Farm Girl. Australian-owned and with branches in places like Chelsea and Knightsbridge, as well as on Portobello Road, this is a franchise aimed at the more affluent clientele in central London.

The ambience of Farm Girl though is hardly exclusive. Like many other Aussie-run establishments, it’s laidback, airy and refreshing. The menu is incredibly healthy, and the all-day selections comprise a range of delicious and nutritious brunch bowls.

The bowls include the likes of Acai Bowls or Dragon Bowls, as well as more lunch-style options including salmon and avocado (the River Bowl) or goats’ cheese and rice (the Billy Bowl).

  1. Pizza East

Also located on Portobello Road, a pizza restaurant might not seem like the first choice for brunch options. But actually, Pizza East takes brunch to a new and exciting level in Notting Hill.

This Italian restaurant is well known for its excellent pizza and pasta dishes, and it’s a popular dinner destination on Portobello Road. They also have an extensive breakfast menu, including their signature full Italian breakfast, which is really just a full English with focaccia bread.

On weekends they have a dedicated brunch menu too, to draw in the brunch-loving crowd on Saturdays and Sundays. You can enjoy the full Italian breakfast, or you can choose from pizzas and pasta. On Sundays, you can even jump right into the roast dinner at brunch time.

pizza

  1. Daylesford

If you are looking for fresh, organic farm produce, then look no further than Daylesford. Located on Westbourne Grove, this is both a farm shop and cafe, and the ingredients are brought in fresh from their farm in Daylesford, Gloucestershire.

It’s a taste of the English countryside in the centre of London, and it’s a marvellous effort at bringing fresh, homegrown food to the capital.

The cafe has a fantastic breakfast and lunch menu, with dedicated brunch offerings on the weekend. The menus are very seasonal, but you can rest assured they always include a fresh range of fruit and vegetables and plenty of artisanal cheeses.

  1. Bluebelles of Portobello

The charming Bluebelles of Portobello, located on Portobello Road, is one of Notting Hill’s most lovable brunch offerings. This quirky little cafe draws in customers with its affable and personable style and decor, and fresh food.

Bluebelles of Portobello offers a classic range of brunching items, from bacon sandwiches to eggs benedict, while there’s a great selection of coffees, teas and other drinks to accompany it all.

They also pride themselves on their cakes and baguettes. If you are in a rush and don’t have time to sit down for lunch, then you can easily take away a slice of cake or a fresh filled baguette to eat on the road.

  1. Lowry and Baker

Also on Portobello Road, Lowry and Baker is another fantastic little cafe that offers a fine selection of brunching items. This is one of the most popular cafes in Notting Hill and on weekends, it can be incredibly busy. If you can get a table though, you’ll be able to see what all the fuss is about!

The menu isn’t extensive and it’s not over the top, and everything is incredibly well priced given the location of Lowry and Baker. In a world of over-the-top restaurants and flashy cafes, the simple concept behind this independently run cafe is a welcome relief. This is back to basics when it comes to brunch, but everything on the small menu is truly superb.

portobello-road

  1. Farmacy

Farmacy, as the intriguing name might suggest, is a Notting Hill restaurant that’s dedicated to serving healthy, fresh food.

The vast majority of the menu at Farmacy – which is located on Westbourne Grove – is vegan, with the remainder being vegetarian. If you’re not a meat-eater, then this is the place for you in Notting Hill.

The setting is glorious too, and the clean and airy restaurant atmosphere adds to the clean and healthy food on the menus. The food itself is mostly sourced from a single farm on the Kent countryside, and the ingredients are fresh and seasonal.

  1. Beach Blanket Babylon

Beach Blanket Babylon is best known as a cocktail bar, and a cocktail bar that describes itself as ‘decadent’. The restaurant and bar is found in a converted Georgian-era mansion, and it’s well known for its classic English overtones and extravagance.

While they have a popular dinner menu, they also have a brunch menu on the weekends. This though is not your average brunch, but it’s a boozy brunch, in true Beach Blanket Babylon style.

Get your weekend to an early start with plenty of drinks and plenty of food to keep you going through the morning and into the afternoon.

  1. Pix

Pix is a restaurant that serves up simple Spanish style pintxos, a type of tapas that’s popular across Spain, but particularly so in the north and Basque country.

Pintxos are usually served up on small slices of bread with cocktails sticks, making them easy to eat and even easier to eat in abundance. At Pix – which has several locations around London – you can enjoy a big selection of hot and cold pintxos and tapas, but the real draw is the bottomless brunch they offer on the weekends.

This is what pintxos and tapas were made for, and you can eat as much as you like!

  1. Ottolenghi

Run by Yotam Ottolenghi, the famous chef who specialises in Mediterranean cuisine, Ottolenghi in Notting Hill is a small establishment that serves up a fine selection of salads and pastries.

This is fresh, light food and it’s perfect for brunch. It’s mostly takeaway fare as the cafe itself is very small in Notting Hill, but it’s perfect if you’re looking for a working brunch or to snack on the move during the week.

Alternatively, you can order in a salad or a selection of pastries for brunch if you’re in a real hurry or if you find yourself too busy to get down to Ledbury Road.

  1. The Little Yellow Door

The Little Yellow Door is one of Notting Hill’s best-loved establishments because this is not just a restaurant and a bar, but a unique concept. The idea behind The Little Yellow Door is that you are eating and drinking with friends in their flat. The atmosphere is friendly and cosy – it literally is in someone’s flat – and the food and drink are absolutely superb.

They throw parties, they have games to play and they have great deals. The best deal is the bottomless brunch, which is on offer on the weekends!

Exploring a big city like London can be tiring, so stopping for brunch is the perfect way to refuel so you can continue your sightseeing or shopping adventures. While sampling Notting Hill’s famous brunches, why not check out Premium Tours’ fantastic selection of London tours to top off a superb trip to the UK’s capital.

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