With a prestigious address just opposite Buckingham Palace, Hotel 41 is within striking distance of many of the British capital’s best-known landmarks. However, there are plenty of intriguing and lesser-known spots in London to explore, too. From a secluded Japanese garden to the city’s oldest – and most atmospheric – restaurant, the staff at Hotel 41 share their insider’s guide to London.
Japanese Landscape at Kew Gardens
What more opportune place for a ‘zen’ moment away from it all than in the Japanese Landscape at Kew Gardens? The Japanese Gateway – a near perfect replica of one in Kyoto – is the garden’s majestic focal point. It was originally constructed in 1910 for the Japan-British Exhibition and has since been thoroughly restored. Take a stroll through the garden’s immaculate layout, cut through with shocks of Rhododendron and Japanese anemone. Divided into the Gardens of Peace, Activity and Harmony, this is one of London’s most secret tranquil havens.
Leighton House Museum
A stately house in Holland Park, Leighton House Museum’s exterior may not appear out of the ordinary among its grand neighbours. However, step inside to marvel at the decadent interiors and jewel-coloured splendour of the Orient. The house was home to Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton, and was built according to his designs and whims. Both a studio and a home for the artist, the highlight is the magnificent Arab Hall with its golden dome and intricately tiled walls.
The oldest restaurant in London, Rules is often forgotten in favour of the city’s freshest openings. However, the atmosphere and history contained within these walls is hard to beat and no insider’s guide to London would be complete without it. First opened in 1798, the restaurant has been frequented by some of British history’s most iconic names, with a guestlist that includes the likes of Charles Dickens, Laurence Olivier and Charlie Chaplin. Sip a cocktail in the wood-panelled bar or sample the restaurant’s famously traditional English fare.
Trooping The Colour
A splendid royal occasion, Trooping the Colour is one of the highlights of the year for Hotel 41’s Resident Manager Lauren Hargrave. Held on the Queen’s official birthday in June, the hotel’s location next to Buckingham Palace makes it a prime viewing spot for the highly anticipated flypast. Lauren says, ‘Each year we invite guests staying with us on that day onto our roof to watch this amazing spectacle with a glass of Champagne. You hear the planes seconds before you actually see them and then the Red Arrows decorate the sky with blue, white and red.’
East Window at St Martin in the Fields
Famous thanks to its inspired programme of concerts and central location on Trafalgar Square, our favourite thing about St Martin in the Fields is actually its mesmerizing east window. Designed by Iranian artist Shirazeh Houshiary, the design was created to replace a window that was destroyed during World War II and its abstract, grid-like formation captivates all who glance up at it.
It’s the world’s longest-running tennis tournament. As Hotel 41’s Guest Experience Manager Mitchell Marshall explains, ‘One of London’s most popular destinations and one of my personal favourites places to visit for anyone in 2019 is Wimbledon. From the 1st – 14th July 2019, London will be all about Wimbledon.’ Well-placed for easy access to the tournament at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Hotel 41 and The Red Carnation Hotel Collection is proud to partner with Wimbledon Debentures to offer guests an exclusive and unmissable Wimbledon experience. Additionally, to embrace the Wimbledon mood, the hotel serves a chilled glass of Lanson – the official Champagne of the tournament – to every guest.
Stay at Red Carnation Hotels’ Hotel 41 to enjoy the attractions and events in our insider’s guide to London.
Image credits: lead image © Leighton House Museum/Will Pryce. Japanese Landscape © Royal Botanical Gardens Kew. The Arab Hall © Leighton House Museum/Will Pryce. British soldiers on parade © iStock/oversnap. Wimbledon Centre Court © AELTC/Thomas Lovelock.