The Montcalm Blog

Spoil your mother rotten on Mother’s Day in London

March 15th will once again mark that one day in the year when we show all of our mothers how much we appreciate them – so why not take yours on a day she will never forget in the capital city.

After a lazy lie-in take your mum out for lunch at one of the many fantastic restaurants that the city has to offer. Whether it is a traditional pub or a Michelin-starred eatery, you will be able to find the place that your mum will appreciate the most – do note however that it is a busy day for restaurants so you will need to book a table in advance.

Across the afternoon, you have the options of relaxing in a London spa, filling yourselves up more with afternoon tea at The Ritz, or merely enjoying all the iconic attractions that London has to offer, such as Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and the Shard.

As the sun begins to set, head over to the world-famous West End, where you will be able to catch a show. Do you want to tap your toes with Billy Elliot? Laugh so much you could cry at The Book of Mormon? Or see what everyone's raving on about with Wicked? Remember that not all productions will have Sunday shows, and weekend tickets are often in hot demand, so do your research and purchase your seats well in advance.

Other places to consider include the floral Kew Gardens that will be in full bloom at this time of year, Oxford Street for some indulgent shopping, or the charming cobblestone alleyways of Covent Garden. All of these places are easily accessible from the spacious and affordable Montcalm hotels.

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Thought-provoking drama comes to the Theatre Royal Haymarket

If you are looking for some intense and thought-provoking drama in London, then a new show at the Theatre Royal Haymarket may be right up your street.

Taken at Midnight tells the tale of renowned lawyer Hans Litten who, in 1931 Berlin, has to represent people who are in opposition of the expanding Nazi party. He takes on a case in which a thuggish group are charged with murder, but he has to call no other than Herr Hitler as a lead witness. Coming face to face with the future dictator, the lawyer has to use his wit and intellect to keep the pressure on, something that may come back to haunt him when Hitler eventually rises to power.

It is then left to Litten's brave mother who has to save her son against one of the most horrific and powerful regimes in history. Litten's mother is played by Penelope Wilton, famed for her roles in Downton Abbey and recently in The Exotic Marigold Hotel. And with the production directed by critically-acclaimed director Jonathan Church, you would be mad to miss this.

Taken at Midnight will be playing until March 14th and tickets start from £15. If this doesn't really sound like your cup of tea, there are much 'lighter' shows playing in London, including hit-musical Billy Elliot, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown featuring Tamsin Greig, and feel-good show Wicked. Either way, you will want to book yourself into a London hotel so that you don't need to worry about getting back home after a show's late finish. Or you may really want to let your hair down and party until the wee hours of the morning in one of the West End's many fantastic bars and restaurants.

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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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Take a tour of the iconic Wembley Stadium

Wembley Stadium is undoubtedly one of the most famous stadiums in the world, and you have the chance to explore all the hidden rooms and tunnels for yourself!

Take a tour around the stadium, which will see you enter England's changing rooms, walk in the steps of giants through the players' tunnel, stand in front of the Royal Box with The FA Cup, and be able to walk the hallowed turf itself. There is also a special FA150 Exhibition, which celebrates the long history of The FA – highlights to look out for here include the 1966 Jules Rimet Trophy – aka the winning World Cup – and the Original Rules of Association Football dating back to 1863.

We've all dreamed of walking on the pitch of Wembley Stadium, and now you can by booking onto a tour. Tickets cost from £16 for adults, and £9 for children and concessions. Groups of over 30 individuals are eligible for a 15 per cent discount. Tours depart hourly from 10am to 4pm, and is open every day except December 25th and 26th, January 1st and major event days. For more information on rates, discounts and opening times, check out the official website.

If football is not really your thing, the stadium also hosts regular large-scale concerts – and with the likes of Coldplay, Take That and the Rolling Stones all having played here; who knows who you will light up the stage next? Some world-class acts have played at this historic venue so check the website for full listings.  Whatever you decide to do at the stadium, be sure to consider your accommodation options in London early to avoid any disappointment.

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Take a trip to Treasure Island this winter

As the winter blues continue to dominate us all, it's often best to get out of the wind, rain and snow, and one of the best activities to keep the kids amused and entertained is taking them to the theatre – and one show currently on that is sure to captivate them is Treasure Island.

Running at the National Theatre until April 8th, the production is based on Robert Louis Stevenson's famous epic tale of mutiny, murder and money. Taking place on the world-famous Olivier stage, this new show has been written by Bryony Lavery and directed by Polly Findlay making this a must-see.

So what's the story? On a dark and stormy out, the innkeeper's granddaughter Jim opens the door to a frightening old sailor who has brought with him a sea chest of treasures. It is only when Jim chooses to invite him in that her crazy and dangerous adventure begins. What comes after are pirates, parrots, secrets and death – but fear not, the show is suitable for all kids aged over ten. Prices range between £15 and £50 depending on where you choose to sit.

If you are holidaying with the kids, you may want to make a proper trip of it and incorporate some other indoor attractions that London is so famous for. These include the British Museum, Natural History Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, all of which are completely free and keep the little ones amused and educated. There is also the scary London Dungeon if you dare or the iconic St Paul's Cathedral or Westminster Abbey. Whatever you choose to do, be sure to stay in the Montcalm hotels – they are spacious, comfortable and, most importantly, affordable.

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Religious London: places of worship you need to visit

Places of worship are often an interesting insight into a region's fascinating history but also the belief systems of local communities. Therefore, there is often nothing more telling about an area than visiting the local church, cathedral, temple or mosque – and trust us when we say that London sure has its fair share of them. Regardless of whether you are religious or not, here are some of the best that you cannot afford to miss.

Christianity

Naturally, your first port of call will be St Paul's Cathedral. This majestic structure is one of London's most iconic sights, and many often forget that it's actually a functioning cathedral. With its mammoth central dome that reaches a height of 108 metres and its two bell towers on either side, this really is a sight to behold. Built in the 17th century by Sir Christopher Wren to replace a previous cathedral destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, St Paul's even survived the London Blitz and still stands proudly in magnificent fashion.

And this is just the beginning. When you go inside, you will see ornately carved choir stalls, ornamental wrought iron gates and the star attraction: the high altar. Head up the stairs to get to the base of the huge dome, also known as the Whispering Gallery as a whisper can be made against the wall at any point in the circumference and is audible to a listener with an ear against any wall. Continue on up to the Golden Gallery, which offers stunning panoramic views of London.

Another popular attraction is Westminster Abbey, located west of the Houses of Parliament. Dating back to the 11th century, the abbey has been the place of coronation for all, bar two, English monarchs since 1066. With its various chapels, tombs of royals and Poet's Corner to explore, you can easily spend a whole afternoon here.

Be sure to also stop off at All Hallows by the Tower, which is actually the oldest church in the city. Founded in 675 AD, the church overlooks the Tower of London and it is completely free to enter. Highlights to look out for include the Roman relics in the crypt, the Crusader altar and the pulpit from a Wren church.

Islam

The major focal point for all Muslims in the capital is London Central Mosque, also known as the Islamic Cultural Centre. The site was designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd in 1978 and its main draw is the stunning golden dome it harbours.

Head inside and you can enjoy the main hall, which can hold over 5,000 worshippers, the vast carpets, chandeliers and the inside of the dome being decorated with broken shapes in Islamic tradition.

Other mosques you should consider visiting include Fazl Mosque, the first mosque in London having been built in 1924, East London Mosque, which was the first of its kind in Europe to broadcast the Adhan, and Brick Lane Mosque. The last, in particular, is surrounded by a large Muslim community and you will be able to truly immerse yourself in 'modern Britain'.

Hinduism

Situated in the borough of Brent, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir truly is a spectacle. Also known as Neasden Temple, the site is often dubbed as the first authentic Hindu temple in the UK and was actually the first Hindu stone temple in Europe. The complex has the main Hindu mandir carved out of Italian Carrara marble, an exhibition that offers more information about Hinduism, a cultural centre and even a bookshop and gym.

There is also the Sree Ganapathy Temple in Wimbledon, which was opened in 1981 and still hosts regular religious services, weddings and death ceremonies. Interestingly, there is also a holistic approach taken here, with philosophy talks and yoga classes regularly being held.

Buddhism

Standing as the first Buddhist temple to be built in the city, Wat Buddhapadipa is designed in true Thai style and is used for various monastic ceremonies. At first glance you may wonder what the fuss is all about, with its small cottage and monk's house, but then the four-acre site actually features a lake, orchard, flower garden and small grove, making this an ideal place for a relaxing afternoon stroll. Note that while the grounds are open all week, the temple only is on weekends.

Learning further about faith

If you are not close to a specific religion, and you just want to learn about the various faith systems that have existed in British history, various museums across the city cater to this. Over at the Victoria and Albert Museum, there are examples of extremely early Buddhist artefacts, such as Greek-influenced depictions of Buddha and pillars made 2,000 years ago to surround the place of Buddha's enlightenment. In the British Museum, meanwhile, you can look at medieval Christian art as philosophers tried to make sense of the Crucifixion, or check out ancient Islamic artefacts from the likes of Persia and Babylon.

For more information and resources on Britain's relationship with religion, head to the British Library, or go even more local and check out one of the many community stations dotted across the boroughs.

Either way, you don't need to be religious to appreciate the stunning architectural styles of London, communities' commitment to faith and an insight into what role religion has played into shaping up the Britain we know today.

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Flying high – aviation museums in London

If you are into your aviation, you're in luck, as London has a wealth of plane-centric attractions that offer a further insight into this nation's fascinating history up in the skies – here are a few of our top picks.

Royal Air Force Museum

Known as just the RAF Museum, this site is situated on the former Hendon Aerodrome and was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1972. Spanning five major buildings and hangars, the museum is home to 36 aircraft openings and is the result of an increasingly-expanding collection from various smaller RAF museums across the country. In total, there are over 100 aircraft, including one of the only two surviving Vickers Wellingtons in the world, the Avro Lancaster S-Sugar, the only Boulton Paul Defiant on the planet, and a Consolidated B-24 Liberator from Cosford.

The five main exhibition halls are focused on Milestones of Flight, The Bomber Hall, Historic Hangars, The Battle of Britain and the Grahame-White factory. There is also an interesting National Cold War display that houses all three of the V Bombers.

Note that if you still haven't got your aviation fix filled after this, there is a second collection of exhibits housed at RAF Cosford, just five miles north-west of Wolverhampton.

The British Airways Heritage Collection

Since British Airways was founded, so was this heritage collection, with its aim being to preserve the records and artefacts of the company. There is an extensive archive of memorabilia, objects, models, pictures and uniforms dating back to the 1930s.

Based at the airline's Head Office building, the two floors are home to displays talking about the early days of the company, the Air Transport Auxiliary, a memorial case to aircrew, information about Concorde and various strangely-decorated tailfins.  

The ATA Museum

The Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) site in Maidenhead tells the honours and fights of the ATA, especially with so many men and women being employed to fly wat planes between front line squadrons and factories. Even 70 years on, this can be an emotional affair, and with the ATA's headquarters airfield being just two miles from the Maidenhead Heritage Centre, this place is home to one of the biggest collections of ATA records in the world.

These ordinary civilians achieved extraordinary feats as they had to serve their country, and you can learn about individual stories here. For the little ones, there is a spitfire simulator and it is recommended that children take a 15-minute trip on it, while adults can go on it for 30 minutes. Do note that booking in advance is suggested.

Croydon Airport Visitor Centre

Yes, you read that correctly. You can explore an information centre at Croydon airport. Why? Well, this site actually housed the first international terminal in the world until it eventually shut down in 1959. It was here that Amy Johnson made her famous solo flight to Darwin in Australia over 60 years ago. More information on this flight and all others launched from here can be seen at the visitor centre, situated in the control tower.

There is a gift store if you want to buy a special souvenir to remember your trip by, while interactive displays are sure to keep the little ones amused. Tickets are £2 for adults, £1 for concessions and free for children.

Imperial War Museum

If you want a much wider view on aviation and its role in warfare, head with the kids to the Imperial War Museum. You and the kids will learn much more about various historical conflicts such as the World Wars, the Korean War and Vietnam, while you will be able to see how modern aircrafts quickly replaced more traditional methods of weaponry.

This place is so big that you can easily spend a whole day here, and if you want more, there are another two branches in London. Whether it is photos, film, oral history recordings, art collections or military vehicles, there is sure to be something here to suit all tastes.

If you are looking to visit the capital city soon, be sure to book yourself into one of the many London hotels available. You may be flying high at any of these attractions but you will need somewhere to crash your head at night!

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Roam London via helicopter

While the views from the London Eye and The Shard are nothing but spectacular (how could they not be in such a beautiful city?), there is another way in which you can really see the London skyline in all its glory, with both landmarks visible also!

How is that possible you say? Well, a trip on the London helicopter is exactly how and we can’t even begin to tell you just how worthwhile it is – not only is it a rather exhilarating and thrill-seeking way to sightsee, but there is no other way to get such astounding views of the city.

The London Helicopter offers a number of trips which begin with London Buzz for 12 minutes, which takes you over the main landmarks in central London, London Sights, which lasts for 18 minutes and flies you from the West to the East of the River Thames. London Max lasts for 30 minutes and is only available through private hire, but offers you more time to take in the breathtaking views of the capital. It is also worth looking to take a helicopter ride at dusk so that you can see London as it lights up at night, which is a truly magical experience.

See London from a different perspective through a helicopter tour and you will fall in love even more with the wonderful city. Fly above Buckingham Palace and see if you can spot the Queen and give her a wave before taking in the wonderful Victoria Memorial – the sheer size of it is magnified from above!

The Royal Albert Hall is an iconic building which is completely unmissable from an aerial view, as its red bricked round-shape really stands out as it faces the Albert Memorial.

Have your cameras ready as you head down the River Thames and try to make out the shape for the opening credits of Eastenders. This view is just phenomenal as you fly past the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye and Battersea Power Station to name but a view.

Make sure to really take in the view of St Paul’s Cathedral from the air as it really is so fascinating to see such an historic building set among a rather modern part of the city. Its dome is particularly stunning and well worth taking in from above.

Why not try and see if you can spot fellow thrill seekers crossing the new glass walkway on the Tower Bridge? If you are lucky you may be able to spot a boat passing underneath it too! With the HMS Belfast just before it, this is one of the greatest views of the city that you will ever see.

Feel powerful as you rise even higher than The Shard and see for yourself just how tall and impressive the tall building is before comparing it with the Gherkin, which may be slightly smaller, but nevertheless is just as impressive to see!

The Financial District as a whole is a mighty sight and one which really conveys the economical importance of the capital.

Taking to the skies of London in a helicopter really is a phenomenal experience and one that should not be passed upon. After all, it is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity and you can tell your friends and family that you genuinely did get the best view of London! It is also a very rewarding way to experience and take in the different perspectives of some of the greatest and most recognised landmarks in the world.

If you don’t fancy getting quite that high up in the air while visiting London, then the London Eye is another great option and offers views that spread far and wide across the city. Each rotation of it takes 30 minutes, which gives you enough time to soak in the atmosphere and feel of London. From here you have fantastic views across the River Thames of the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Canary Wharf and St Paul’s Cathedral, to name but a few.

The London Eye also offers a fantastic 4D Experience which allows you to discover London through a variety of multisensory special effects. From bubbles, wind and smell, your senses will be heightened and London will be brought to life in a very unique and exciting way.

As the tallest building in London, it only makes sense that the views from The Shard are out of this world – we have heard that you even get a fantastic view of the city from the toilets! The building itself stands at 310 metres tall and offers three viewing platforms – each of which promise you some jaw dropping sights. If you are really brave, try the open-air floor on Level 72!

The View from The Shard offers you fabulous views of Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral and Battersea Power Station to name but a few, and should you have the chance to do so, try and experience it at night.

Of course, if all of the above options give you a dose of vertigo, then play it safe and go for a London tradition by sitting on the top deck of a double decker red bus! We won’t lie, the view isn’t a birdseye one, but it certainly is fun and by touring through the streets of London you will learn so much more about the city than you ever thought possible. It is also a great way to discover areas that you perhaps wouldn’t have thought to have visited otherwise and while it isn’t the same as seeing the city from the sky, the view is still amazing.

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London’s architectural gems

If there is one thing that London does exceptionally well, it is to offer some of the most wonderful pieces of architecture you will ever see. Here, we have highlighted some of the best for you to visit during your stay in the capital.

Banqueting House

The Banqueting House in Whitehall is famous not only for being the place in which Charles I was executed, but also for The Rubens’ Ceiling, which is nothing short of an artistic masterpiece. It was painted by Sir Peter Paul Rubens and is made up of four canvasses depicting The Union of Crowns, The Apotheosis of James I and The Peaceful Reign of James I. Having been installed in 1636, it is actually the only surviving ceiling painting by Sir Rubens which still stands in its rightful place today.

Ceiling of the Foreign Office

Located on King Charles Street, the main Foreign Office building was built by George Gilbert Scott in partnership with Matthew Digby Wyatt and one of the most impressive features of it is the ornate ceiling above the Foreign Office’s State Stair.

The gold and green colours are reminiscent of the Renaissance artwork and it is an extremely impressive sight to behold.

St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral is undeniably impressive from the outside, with its unmissable white dome, which is reminiscent of that of St Peter’s Basilica, and the column and towers that feature on its west side.

The interior of St Paul’s Cathedral is even more impressive, however, and should you have the chance to do so, it is highly recommended that you go and have a look for yourself. Similar to its exterior, the dome is the most impressive part inside too and stands at 214 feet tall. It was painted by Sir James Thornhill in the 18th century after he won a competition to paint it. The decor depicts eight stories from the life of St Paul and what is so amazing about this piece of art is the fact that Sir Thornhill completed it within two years and actually painted it while stood 50 metres above the ground!

30 St Mary Axe

Best known as the Gherkin, 30 St Mary Axe is a wonderful and modern piece of architecture which really symbolises London’s financial district. At 180 metres tall it is in fact the second tallest building in the City of London and the sixth tallest building in London. Opened in 2004, its glass exterior which is, well, gherkin shaped, is unmissable and certainly unique.

During your trip to London, why not consider staying at the Montcalm London Marble Arch?

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Things to do near Marble Arch in 2015

With the new year approaching us, it is time to think about what we wish to experience and achieve over the next 12 months. If a trip to London is on the cards, then we highly suggest staying close to Marble Arch and seeing what this side of the city has to offer.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is located minutes away from Marble Arch and one of the most important spots in the city, Speakers’ Corner, can be found very close to the tube station. Here, many important figures have stood and practiced their freedom of speech, from Karl Marx to George Orwell.

There are many activities which take place in Marble Arch. In the summer you can swim in the Serpentine Lake if you feel like doing so, and there is also horse riding and boating available for those who fancy getting a little bit active.

Hyde Park is also known for its many memorials, including the Diana, Princess of Wales memorial, which is a very peaceful and beautiful fountain. There is also a very impressive statue of Achilles which is 18 foot high and was built to honour Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington.

At Christmas Hyde Park becomes the setting for the world famous Winter Wonderland, which is an absolute must-see. There is so much to see and do at Winter Wonderland, from ice skating to hopping on a thrilling ride and exploring the Magical Ice Kingdom which is filled with icy wonder. The Christmas Market here is also out of this world and the perfect place to head to for a unique Christmas gift and a delicious mince pie.

The London Beatles Walking Tour

Bring back the days of Beatlemania with the London Beatles Walking Tour, which departs from the Marble Arch area.

This is the perfect day out for Beatles fans young and old and a really unique and fun way to see different parts of the city. Tour highlights include Abbey Road where you can reenact the famous album cover and Apple Studio, as well as some of the locations from Hard Day’s Night.

Learn facts that you never knew about John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and Paul McCartney, while joining in with a sing along with your tour guide. The tour does include some public transport, but you will be predominantly walking.

Shop until you drop

Marble Arch is conveniently located at the top of Oxford Street, one of the most famous shopping areas in the whole of London. There are so many high street shops that run along the street, including BHS, Coast, French Connection, Footlocker, The Disney Store, Forever 21 and more, making it the perfect destination for those who are hoping to pick up a few new purchases.

One of the best departments stores in the world, Selfridges, can also be found on Oxford Street, and is actually less than a ten minute walk from Marble Arch! Here, in the famous establishment, you can find whatever it is your heart desires – from beautiful jewellery to designer shoes and handbags, as well as perfume, electricals and more. The Foodhall is also an absolute must for foodies to experience and the selection of chocolates, wines, champagnes and teas, to name but a few, are outstanding.

The Wallace Collection

Head over to the Wallace Collection at Hertford House to take a look at what the 25 galleries within it have to offer. A truly breathtaking experience, the museum is best known for its wonderful collections of armour, paintings, furniture and porcelain, of which much of it dates back to 18th century France.

You can spend half an hour here or over two hours and you will still feel as though there was so much more to see. The intricate details on a lot of the pieces are simply exquisite and unique, and the refurbished State Rooms are a sight to behold.

There is plenty of entertainment for families to enjoy as well as some audio guides and interactive tours for those who wish to learn a bit more about what the collection holds. The Wallace Collection also sees a number of visiting collections each year, so it is worth having a look online beforehand to see if there is anything special happening during your visit.

Of course, with any great gallery or museum comes a fabulous gift shop, and there aren’t many that are as fashionable as the one you will find here! Take home a beautiful piece of jewelerry or some intricately designed plates to add to your home.

Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds is less than a twenty minute walk away from Marble Arch and is a very, very fun place to head to, especially if you love a bit of celebrity spotting! There is a plethora of celebrity waxworks here, many of which you can pose with to have your picture taken – one of the most recent additions is Benedict Cumberbatch, who is already proving to be very popular!

There is a Marvel Superheros section which features Spider-Man, The Hulk and Captain America, to name but a few, as well as a collection dedicated to political figures, including Barack Obama and David Cameron.

Here, you can also get up close and personal with some of the biggest A-Listers on the planet, including Brad Pitt, Daniel Craig (who is suited up in James Bond attire), Kate Winslet and Johnny Depp.

The Royal Family, including The Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as well as Royals from the past, make a special appearance.

Spa at the Montcalm

There really is nothing as relaxing as a trip to a spa and the one at the Montcalm is second to none, especially if you just want to escape the hustle and bustle of the London streets. Facilities include a sauna, steam room, monsoon shower, heated loungers and an exercise pool.  

If you have the time, why not get a treatment? There are so many to choose from, including a chocolate body wrap, a plethora of facials, body scrubs, massages, waxing, manicure and pedicures, as well as a number of treatments aimed towards men.

Should you decide to stay at the Montcalm London Marble Arch and book a Club Room or one of the stylish suites, as a guest you are actually invited to enjoy a complimentary wellness treatment.

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London’s most iconic bar

Following a long day of scouring the shops on Bond Street and taking in the wonderful sights of London, there is nothing better than sitting back and relaxing with a refreshing cocktail, and if there is anything that London does well, it is a cocktail bar.

Here are some of the greatest bars to visit while in London.

The Champagne Bar at the Montcalm

At the top of Park Lane lies The Montcalm London Marble Arch, a wonderful hotel whose contemporary design and decor is second to none. Aside from being one of the most exclusive hotels in the capital, The Montcalm is also home to the fabulous Champagne Bar.

The Champagne Bar can be found next to the hotel’s stunning main reception. Classy, sophisticated, elegant and seductive, a visit with a partner or friends is an absolute must.

Whatever your choice of tipple is, you will find it here as The Champagne Bar offers a delicious selection of Champagnes, wines and spirits. For anyone who loves a great whisky, sampling the large selection on offer will undoubtedly be an experience not to forget.

If it is a tasty cocktail that you are looking for, then you have come to the right place as the cocktail list is well known throughout the capital for its fantastic offerings, mixing a number of old favourites with some contemporary creations. What’s more, if you can’t find the cocktail of your choice, Adrian, The Champagne Bar’s resident mixologist, is more than happy to make whatever it is that your heart desires – a truly unique experience!

There is also a small range of scrumptious bar food and snacks available to accompany your chosen beverage.

Claridge’s Bar

For a bar with an Art Deco feel, head over to the Claridge’s bar. Situated in the upmarket Mayfair area, the 1920s-esque bar was designed by David Collins and is the place to be if you fancy sampling some vintage Champagne.

Claridge’s Bar offers a wonderful selection of liquors and wines too, as well as some expertly created cocktails. Sit back, relax and enjoy the evening.

69 Colebridge Row

If you happen to be in Islington, make sure to pop by 63 Colebridge Row for a drink. While it may look a bit dark from the outside, this only adds to the ambiance of the establishment, which is very cosy and offers a 1950s feel.

The bartenders wear white lab coats while creating their cocktails and the menu truly reflects the talent of the mixologists who use molecular equipment to master their craft.

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All that Glitters – tips and tricks for applying make up during party season

Christmas is the one time when a little, or even a lot, of sparkle and glitter is perfectly acceptable, in fact, it’s practically expected! The Christmas season sees make up trends showcase neutrals, metallic’s and rich deep hues of berry … Continue reading

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