DICKENS AT HOME
The Charles Dickens Museum, a short walk from the hotel, was the home of the renowned author while he wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby. The manuscripts, rare editions, personal items and paintings housed at the museum, which was renovated in 2012, represent one of the best collections of Dickens’ artefacts in the world.
A TREASURE TROVE OF WORLD CULTURE
The British Museum houses a collection of art and antiquities from ancient and living cultures that spans two million years. Founded in 1753, with the goal of being free to all “studious and curious persons,” it was the first national public museum in the world. Today, it remains one of world’s great repositories.
Centred around the world famous market, now home to boutiques, craft stalls, cafes and restaurants, there is always something new to see and experience in Covent Garden. Street entertainers keep the main piazza bustling and Covent Garden is also the location of the British Museum, London Transport Museum and the Royal Opera House.
Aside from the opportunity to enter the historic Royal Observatory courtyard and cross the Greenwich Meridian Line, known as both the “centre of the world time” or “longitude zero”, Greenwich’s parks, baroque architecture and maritime heritage mean there is plenty to explore.
One of London’s eight royal parks, Henry VIII acquired Hyde Park from the monks of Westminster Abbey as a private hunting ground. Today this lush 142-hectare oasis is a true people’s park with beautiful meadows and children’s playgrounds as well as options for swimming and horse riding.
SHOPPING IN LONDON
Markets, boutiques, historic shopping streets, legendary department stores, quirky specialist stores and the ultimate in bespoke retailers, shopping in London is a never-ending series of exciting experiences.
“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life” said by Samuel Johnson in 1777, and it is as true now as it was then. Brimming with centuries of history and boundless innovative energy, the capital never runs out of places to explore, be they old favourites that have been given a makeover or hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. Rosewood London is ideally situated in Central London, perfect for guests to explore the many undiscovered places and experiences on its doorstep and across the city.
Lamb’s Conduit Street
Located in Bloomsbury, Lamb’s Conduit Street is one of London’s most picturesque thoroughfares. It’s full of independent stores and boutiques as well as the Lamb, a beautifully preserved Victorian pub.
A ground-breaking six-storey space opened by Comme des Garcons designer, Rei Kawakubo. The interior of the store constantly changes with exclusive lines available from some of the hottest fashion designers.
Originally a pop-up store, this is Chanel’s first dedicated beauty store in the UK and included a new Chanel nail bar. Tailormade beauty workshops are also available in the Chanel Beauty Atelier.
A Day at the Market
With their ever-changing array of stalls, the city’s markets are its hippest shopping destinations – bookended by fashionable boutiques that line the streets around them. Portobello Road in Notting Hill is a classic Saturday afternoon stop, while Sunday is the day for Spitalfields in Brick Lane and Columbia Road markets, both located in trendy East London. Alfies, north of Marylebone, is the largest antiques market in the city, operating Tuesday through Saturday.
Perhaps the weather is partly to blame: there is no better city than the British capital for destination shopping venues. Harrods in Knightsbridge is justly renowned, as is nearby Harvey Nichols. Selfridge’s on Oxford Street and Liberty on Regent Street are as glamorous as ever, while Dover Street Market in Mayfair is the trendy place to be.
Umbrellas are a very British accessory and there is no more a traditional umbrella shop than James Smith and Sons, set just a few minutes’ walk from Rosewood London. Crafting some of the capital’s smartest umbrellas and walking sticks since 1830, its wide-ranging selection is still housed in the charming Victorian shop.
Once a series of strong rooms built to safeguard valuables, the subterranean vaults are now home to more than 40 shops containing the world’s largest assemblage of antique silver for sale. Set just five minutes’ walk from the hotel, the little-known vaults offer an opportunity to find a special treasure or a gift.
Slicing through Mayfair from Oxford Street to Piccadilly, Bond Street has hosted some of the most fashionable boutiques in the world since the 18th century. Now a cosmopolitan showpiece for top jewellers, fashion designers and art galleries, it is also steps away from the Burlington Arcade, the Royal Academy of Arts and Savile Row.
Now known as London’s capital of cool, this East End neighbourhood is home to cutting-edge clothing and design boutiques. The best finds are along Shoreditch High Street and nearby Redchurch Street, and shops share space with graffiti and art installations across the district. Dapper men should seek out the progressive men’s tailors near Spitalfields market as they are not to be missed.
ARTThe British Museum opens a major exhibition on the Vikings, presenting new discoveries that have changed the understanding of the nature of Viking identity, trade, magic. At the centre of the exhibition will be the surviving timbers of a 37-metre-long Viking warship, the longest ever found and never seen before in the UK.
Viewing the First World War through images of the many individuals involved, The Great War in Portraits looks at the radically different roles, experiences and, ultimately, destinies of those caught up in the conflict. The exhibition considers a wide range of visual responses to ‘the war to end all wars’, culminating in the visual violence of Expressionist masterpieces by Beckmann and Kirchner.One of the most influential British artists of the 20th century, Richard Hamilton is widely regarded as a founding figure of pop art, who continued to experiment and innovate over a career of 60 years. Tate Modern presents the first retrospective to encompass the full scope of Hamilton’s work, from his early exhibition designs of the 1950s to his final paintings of 2011.
Britain’s most vibrant arts complex, Southbank Centre comprises the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery, and serves as the home of four orchestras, including the London Philharmonic. With more than 1,300 performances of various types each year, Southbank also hosts a weekly food market, Britain’s largest poetry library and seasonal festivals.In 1997, a British film about six out of work Sheffield steelworkers with nothing to lose, took the world by storm. Simon Beaufoy, the Oscar winning writer of the film, has gone back to Sheffield where it all started to rediscover the six men, the women and the heartache of a city on the dole.... only this time they’re live on stage.
The reviews say it all - "An unstoppable hit. Damnably clever and sharp." (The Telegraph) “The killer whale of comedy." (London Evening Standard). The Book of Mormon is the newest musical of the creators of South Park. A must see while in London. It was named as the most in-demand ticket in London theatre of 2013, and it still is. "Can someone get me a ticket?!" (BBC) – our Concierge can.
London is rivalled only by New York in the global theatre world, and the nearby district, affectionately called Theatreland, is home to all manner of venues, from the grandest and stateliest to smaller, edgier stages. Also known as the West End, it hosts dozens of shows each day of the week, catering to all tastes: from Shakespearean dramas and musical spectaculars to Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, which has been running since 1952.War Horse, based on the beloved novel by Michael Morpurgo, is a powerfully moving and imaginative drama, filled with stirring music and magnificent artistry. South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company brings breathing, galloping, full-scale horses to life on the stage — their flanks, hides and sinews built of steel, leather and aircraft cables.
Encased by Denys Lasdun’s monumental Brutalist concrete frame, the National Theatre is Britain’s largest, with three permanent stages located on the Thames, next to the Southbank Centre. The highly regarded theatre still feels the influence of Laurence Olivier, the company’s first artistic director, whose statue as Hamlet can be found outside the building.
One of the largest performing arts centres in Europe, with three halls, three cinema screens and an art gallery, The Barbican is set in the heart of the City of London. Both the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra are in residence, and its programme of music, theatre, art, dance and film is world-renowned.
Dedicated exclusively to dance, the more than three-century-old theatre puts on hundreds of exceptional performances each year. Melding tradition with constant innovation and experimentation, the programme varies widely night by night, ideal for those seeking something unexpected.
A modern reconstruction of the original Elizabethan Globe Theatre, the circular, open-top theatre recreates the experience of Shakespeare’s time not only through its appealing architecture of English oak without steel supports, but also through live, period-instrument music and plays performed without microphones.
A 10-minute walk from the hotel in Covent Garden, London’s Royal Opera House is one of the world’s greatest opera stages. It presents hundreds of operas, ballets and concerts each year, as well as more experimental pieces, which are giving the once-traditional opera house a new avant-garde reputation.
Established in 1798, Rules is the oldest restaurant in London and serves traditional British food including classic game dishes.
One of the hottest new additions to London’s restaurant scene, The Clove Club is located in Shoreditch Town Hall which was built in 1865. The restaurant offers a five course menu that changes daily and features often overlooked British ingredients and produce.
Chancery Lane is home to the London Silver Vaults which offers the world’s largest collection of antique silver. Open to everyone, it’s possible to find everything from a silver champagne swizzle stick to a silver armchair.
13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields was the house of architect Sir John Soane who was born in 1753. He was profilic collector of art and antiquities which are on display. In 1833 an Act of Parliament established his house as a museum and ensured that the interiors were kept as they were at the time of his death.
Celebrating its 200th anniversary, the Hunterian Museum houses one of the oldest collections of anatomical, pathological and zoological speciments in the UK. Exhibits include the skeleton of the 7ft 7in tall Charles Byrne and Sir Winston Churchill’s dentures.
Larger-than-life English writer Samuel Johnson compiled his vast dictionary in the now three-century-old townhouse buried deep within the circuitous alleys of the City. It is now a museum with restored interiors and a collection of Johnson’s manuscripts as well as portraits of Johnson and his contemporaries.
The grand Victorian Gothic building, opened by Queen Victoria in 1882, sits on the Strand, a 10-minute walk from Rosewood London. Its majestic vaulted interiors, which are full of ornate oak decoration and house the Court of Appeal and High Court of Justice, are open to the public, as are the courtrooms themselves.
With more than 720 different species of animals the Zoological Society of London’s 14.6-hectare (36-acre) site at the top of Regent’s Park is one of the city’s most popular family attractions. Known as a progressive zoo, its exhibits include Animal Adventure (a new children’s zoo), Giants of the Galapagos, Butterfly Paradise, Meet the Monkeys, Rainforest Life, Gorilla Kingdom and the recently opened Tiger Territory, home to a pair of water-loving Sumatran tigers.
A stone’s throw from Kensington Palace on the south side of Hyde Park, the road offers a wealth of options, from the Science Museum’s interactive displays and the Natural History Museum’s inspirational exhibits to the eclectic Victoria and Albert Museum, where modern ballgowns share space with 18th century British crafts as well as a range of items from across the globe.
One of the world’s greatest toy stores, Hamleys is spread across seven stories and 5,000 square metres, filled to the brim with plush toys, games, puzzles and much more. Established in 1760, the original site – no longer in use – was just a few steps from Rosewood London in High Holborn.
Horse Riding in Hyde Park
There is no better way to see Central London’s best-known park than from atop a noble steed. Both group and private rides are available seven days a week from stables north of Hyde Park. Suitable for all abilities, the leafy rides are guided and offered to adults and children over the age of five.
A Trip to the Theatre
London’s world-renowned dramatic spectaculars are not just for adults. A host of plays and musicals catered to the whole family are presented across the theatre district year-round, from the timeless elegance of The Lion King to quirkier shows with shorter runs, such as Matilda the Musical and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.
A View From Above
There is nothing quite like getting a new perspective on the sprawling city. The South Bank’s non-stop rotating London Eye provides a view toward the Houses of Parliament and surrounding buildings, but for a truly panoramic view, private helicopter tours cannot be beaten. They not only climb higher, but also traverse the capital, offering views unavailable any other way. Rosewood London’s concierge can assist with booking this unique way of exploring London.
A View From Below
The Thames has always been the lifeblood of London, and a boat trip down the river’s centre offers a glimpse of both the city’s past and present. Buildings that look ordinary from the ground take on new significance from the water, and even the water itself seems to have a life of its own. Journeys can be short or long, fast or slow: Rosewood London’s concierge is happy to advise about all the options.
This south-east London district is home to the recently refurbished Cutty Sark, a majestic clipper ship, the Greenwich Meridian – longitude degree zero – as well as to the Royal Observatory and the former Royal Naval College, whose stately confines have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and now houses the National Maritime Museum.
One of London’s most famous landmarks, the Tower of London is home to the Crown Jewels, Beefeaters, the famous ravens and nearly 1000 years of British history.
Take a flight on this 135 metre tall Ferris wheel on the banks of the Thames and see all of London beneath you.
Currently enjoying its Diamond Anniversary, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is the world’s longest running show. Over 250,000 performances have been given and this play is now part of theatrical history.
For a glimpse of greenery without venturing outside the city, the Royal Parks are unbeatable. All offer unique opportunities in addition to their natural splendour: from the paddle boats and zoo in Regent’s Park, the bird-filled lake in St. James’s Park, the namesake palace and the Serpentine Art Gallery in Kensington Gardens to Hyde Park’s lake meadows and sculpted gardens.
Once home to London’s fruit, vegetable and flower trades, the covered market today is the centre of a vibrant shopping and dining district, just a few minutes’ walk from Rosewood London. With dozens of off-beat boutiques, high-street shops, street entertainment and buzzy restaurants, the neighbourhood also encompasses the Royal Opera House and a number of theatres. It is one of London’s most appealing neighbourhoods for lovers of arts, culture, food and fashion.
A Walk Along the Thames
The indomitable River Thames is essential to London’s identity, as it slices through the capital on its way to the North Sea. Just a short walk from the hotel, it presents one of the best opportunities to traverse the city. Heading east, walkers will encounter the National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, British Film Institute (BFI), Tate Modern, the City, The Tower of London and Tower Bridge. Heading west, the Southbank Centre is the first sight, followed by Westminster, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and Chelsea.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Perched at the highest point of the City of London, just a short walk from the hotel, the Christopher Wren-designed cathedral has dominated the London skyline for more than three centuries. Constructed from Portland limestone – like much of the British Museum, National Gallery and Buckingham Palace – the cathedral is open to the public and holds services daily.
Set immediately to the south of the hotel, the leafy park is the largest public square in London. It was designed in part by English architect Inigo Jones in the 17th century, and the square is flanked by its namesake Inn – one of four original Inns of Court that comprise the core of the British legal system – as well as hosting Sir John Soane’s Museum, the Hunterian Museum and a scattering of buildings belonging to the London School of Economics. Just around the corner is The Old Curiosity Shop, made famous by Charles Dickens.
Synonymous with the metropolis’ financial centre, the City of London is a one-square-mile district within London that dates back to the Roman settlement Londinium. Nowadays, in addition to glistening glass high-rises, it is home to St Paul's Cathedral as well as a host of smaller churches and hole-in-the-wall pubs that are among the oldest in Britain.