Category Archives: London Leisure

Are you ready for L’Ormindo?

It is often rare that The Royal Opera House and Shakespeare's Globe get together, but when they do, the results are nothing short of spectacular – and now visitors to London will be able to enjoy a fantastic new production of L'Ormindo.

Running at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse until March 5th, this hilarious but emotional show tells the tale of London's 17th-century royals who are trying to battle with love, luck and destiny in a strict society. When deception and love intertwine, the results are shocking. Based on the work of Francesco Cavalli, this joint production will offer dazzling visuals, side-splitting scenes and more plot twists and turns than you can shake a stick at.

While this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to catch some Baroque opera in an authentic ambiance, the show will actually be performed by its nine singers and eight musicians in English. The production has had a very successful run at the playhouse's inaugural season and now it is back due to popular demand.

The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse is located on New Globe Walk, making it extremely accessible from any London hotel via London's underground network. If this show doesn't really sound like it is right up your street, fear not, as the world-famous West End has something to suit all tastes and styles. Do you want hard-hitting drama with Hollywood star James McAvoy in The Ruling Class? Do you want to laugh so hard with the Book of Mormon? Or catch a classic with The Lion King? There is so much choice here that you may find yourself having to come back over and over again to see them all!

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Can fast food really be good? It can at the Real Food Market!

When people think 'fast food', it is easy to think about greasy kebab shops and soggy pizzas. However, in recent years, the industry has seen a bit of renaissance, and if you are making a trip to London over the next few months, then you're in luck.

The Real Food Market near Waterloo Station has a wealth of diverse stalls, selling anything from Jerk chicken to gourmet chocolates. Highlights include Bean About Town, specialising in French-style coffee, Curry Shack that serves up Indian, Mauritian and Caribbean favourites, and Bad Brownie, where indulgent brownies come in flavours such as salted caramel, raspberry cheesecake and even bacon and maple syrup!

The location of the market is also ideal because of its proximity to the Southbank Centre. So if you are working in the area and just want to grab some coffee or if you are sightseeing at the SEA LIFE aquarium or London Eye, be sure to pop in.

Even if you are not so much into your food, there are also pop-up bars selling scrumptious cocktails, hot drinks and locally crafted beer, ensuring there is something to suit all tastes.

The Real Food Market runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until March 22nd. You may want to make a real weekend of it and incorporate some of the city's most iconic sights, such as Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and the London Dungeons. If this is the case, you'll need to book into a London hotel as soon as possible – rooms can often be limited in what is a busy period for the city. The earlier you get your weekend planned, the less likely you will be disappointed!

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Remember lives in Afghanistan at the Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum has a fantastic exhibition on that takes a close look at the day-to-day lives of soldiers who are still fighting in the overseas conflict in Afghanistan.

War Story: Afghanistan 2014 has been commissioned to mark the end of 13 long years that have seen British troops fighting for peace in the region. The display looks at how British combat soldiers have been working with the Afghan National Security Forces to bring stability to the country, but it is the intimate and personal details of their stories that is most touching.

Visitors will gain access to photographs, recordings and films that have never been seen by the public before, while actual museum staff members have been given access to the soldiers when the conflict was still going on so that a really close examination could be carried out – very unusual for a museum display. Highlights to look out for include a Taliban motorbike, a Harrier GR9, Desert Hawk drones and even a suicide bomber's vest.

No one truly knows how the conflict really will wrap up but what is certain is the impact it has left on those who chose to serve their country. War Story is an emotional journey that not only will resonate with all ages but enable us to have a deeper understanding of one of the major things our generation will be most remembered by in history.

The exhibition, which is completely free, will be running until September 6th, so you have plenty of time to catch it. If you need a place to stay, consider the spacious and affordable Montcalm hotels that are accessible to the Imperial War Museum via London's extensive Underground network.

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Montcalm London Marble Arch staff to begin using Google Glass

The Montcalm London Marble Arch has always been committed to offering the very best service to guests, and in keeping with this ethos, it has recently been announced that staff at the five star accommodation provider will soon begin using … Continue reading

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London’s best picnic spots

If you're heading to London at any point during the summer then you'll discover loads of great stuff going on all over the city, and while that's certainly no bad thing, you'll probably find that all that action makes you pretty hungry.

Of course, there's never any shortage of great places to eat in the capital, although every now and then it's nice to have a bit of a change and dine al fresco.

That's not to say you shouldn't take the opportunity to sample London's top restaurants when you're in town, but enjoying the odd picnic as well is a fantastic way to soak up the atmosphere of this amazing city while restocking your energy supplies at the same time.

One place that's always popular with picnickers is Greenwich Park, which contains an enormous hill. From the top it's possible to see the entire London skyline, making this a wonderful spot to sit and enjoy your packed lunch, as it means you won't have to take a break from sightseeing while you eat.

What's more, Greenwich Park is surrounded by many of London's top visitor attractions, such as the Royal Maritime Museum, the Cutty Sark and the Royal Observatory – the latter of which actually sits in the park itself, at the top of the hill.

Another excellent spot for a picnic is Hampstead Heath, which is one of London's most serene green spaces. With a mix of open fields and wooded areas, it will make you feel like you're out in the countryside rather than in a big city, although if you climb to the top of Parliament Hill you'll be rewarded with an amazing view of the capital.

There are of course plenty of other excellent places to enjoy a spot of al fresco lunch, with the likes of Hyde Park, Regent's Park and Primrose Hill all being terrific options.

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Discover art, outdoor activities and more at the Serpentine this summer

The Serpentine in Hyde Park is always a great place to be during the summer months, with plenty of cultural activities taking place on and around this picturesque body of water in the heart of London. For instance, if you … Continue reading

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London’s West End outperforms Broadway

The age-old question of which is the better theatre destination out of London and New York appears to have been answered, with the London Theatre Report 2014 confirming that the West End put on a considerably better show than Broadway last year.

For several decades, the two heavyweights of the theatre world have been pitted against one another, with all of the most popular musicals enjoying runs on both sides of the Atlantic, yet this is the first time that an investigation has been carried out into the performance of the London theatre scene.

According to the study, some £403 million was taken at the West End box office last year, with this figure being 20 per cent higher than the amount grossed by theatres on Broadway over the same period.

Yet don't let this fool you into thinking that ticket prices are simply more expensive in the British capital than they are in the Big Apple, as the report also indicated that the number of discounts snapped up by punters in Theatreland is increasing all the time.

Indeed, the average ticket price for a show in central London last year was between £27.76 and £36.05, which is less than the figure for 2012 and also considerably lower than the amount spent by theatregoers in outer London, where the average ticket price was found to be just over £10 higher.

Commenting on the figures, Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "London is without doubt the theatre capital of the world. From the bright lights of the West End and our thriving fringe, to the rise of immersive theatre in the unlikeliest of places, the quality, variety and breadth on offer here is unrivalled."

If you're interested in catching a show in the West End, you'll have plenty of options to choose from, with popular musicals such as the Lion King, the Book of Mormon and many others currently playing in the capital. You'll also find lots of fantastic London hotels within walking distance of the West End's top theatres.

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New report shows that London really is the theatre capital of the world

It's certainly no secret that London is up there with the best cities in the world when it comes to theatre, and is often considered to be rivalled only by New York, with Broadway being the US's answer to the … Continue reading

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Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the SEA LIFE London Aquarium this summer

With the summer holidays now in full swing, there really has never been a better time to book a stay in a London hotel with the kids, as there's always so much to do in the capital over the warmer … Continue reading

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Take a trip through time on a London Zoo history tour

Of all the fascinating sites and attractions that the capital has to offer, London Zoo has to be up there with the best of them. Housing a huge number of exciting animals from all over the world, it's the sort … Continue reading

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Act like a big kid in London this summer

The summer holidays are about to begin, so whether you've got children and are looking for ways to keep them entertained over the coming weeks, or are feeling like a big kid yourself and want to get in on all … Continue reading

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Enjoy dinner with a view in London

There are many reasons to visit London, although for large numbers of tourists, sightseeing and dining are two of the city's biggest draws. Indeed, the capital is famous for its iconic skyline, which is full of instantly recognisable landmarks that … Continue reading

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