The Queen is tucked up in bed with her hot-water bottle and living corgi blanket, and a pea-soup fog has closed in for the night. It’s winter in London, chaps. If you listen closely, you can hear the Cockney natives hailing each other through the thick mist, and tourists yelling spells from Harry Potter. Brace yourself and coast by the suspect bars and restaurants on this chilly evening. They’re promoting their traditional fare of bangers and mash washed down by warm ale, but you’re attention is better spent on loftier sights, luxury venues, and chic entertainment spots. Come along with us on an opulent journey to the most decadent spots to enjoy in London when the weather gets chilly:
Trendy London Shopping
It’s Boxing Day, so put up your dukes for some fisticuffs. Just kidding—Boxing Day has nothing to do with actual violence (thank goodness, because your arms are scrawny). Celebrated the day after Christmas, massive sales sweep the city and make it the perfect opportunity to head for Harrods or Selfridges. Tired of that old ragged suit? Catch a hackney, listen carefully to a charming regional accent, and make haste toward Savile Row to purchase a tailored suit. Opulent shopping is the backbone of Central London. Cruise down Bond Street or Covent Garden to catch a glimpse of the finest designer labels. Must-visit stores include, but aren’t limited to, Harvey Nichols, Fenwick, and Fortnum & Mason.
Private Sightseeing Tours
One of the best ways to see the city is by going on a sightseeing tour. Are we talking about slumming it with other tourists wearing fanny packs and sports socks? Never! Cashmere and lace will only do for you. Give the open-bus tours a pass and take a private tour of the Tower of London. Or book a chauffeur and hire a guide for the day, sipping wine and savoring canapés as your very own local Brit takes through all the major sites, at your pace.
Exclusive Dining Venues
Perhaps no other destination in the world offers as many diversions for the wealthy and curious as London. Colored by culture, shaded with refinement, London attractions feature the finest champagne bars and classiest restaurants. Watch the snow fall beyond the windows of The Langham Hotel as you sit in a cocktail lounge that was recognized as “World’s Best Bar” by Drinks International in 2012. The Artesian serves up classic cocktails with a twist; it’s said you can see the gates of heaven after drinking one of its rum creations. Or you can head to Galvin at Windows, a Michelin-star restaurant on the 28th floor of the Hilton in Mayfair. With an insane view of Hyde Park and the city, you’ll take dining with a view to a whole new level. But to satisfy your truly decadent, luxurious taste, order “The Gigi,” a £9,000 per glass champagne cocktail at—you guessed it—Gigi’s in Mayfair. The cocktail includes 1990 vintage Cristal and 1888 Samalens Vieille Relique Vintage Bas Armagnac brandy. Is that fancy enough for you?
Traveling on the cheap is for commoners. You’re ready to live it up and London and you deserve some luxury. Now that you know the city’s top spots, you’ll be dining with the Queen in no time.