Right after our trip to Switzerland, we spent a few days in London to attend the World Travel Market. It is a massive trade show where the travel industry comes together with almost 5,000 exhibiting destinations, technology and private sector companies, to find and network with travel professionals from all over the world.
I even met the Nomadic Boys – I have been following them on Instagram for years. I was semi-“star struck.” 🙂
AsianMapleLeaf visits The Savoy
This time we stayed at The Savoy, which is one of the most celebrated of London landmarks, proudly standing on the Northbank of the River Thames. Originally opened in 1889, it was the first luxury hotel in Britain with electric lights, electric lifts, hot and cold running water, and many other features. Its rooms and suites have dual historical influences, featuring elegant English Edwardian design or Art Deco style.
This is my second time staying at the Savoy and it has always been one of my favourite hotels. When you walk in you are immediately taken back in time and are stuck by the grandeur of the lobby and Thames Foyer!
We checked into our room and were amazed by the customized “asianmapleleaf” welcome snack! I did not even mention my Instagram account or handle, so I am not sure how they knew. Yet another reason why the service is impeccable – they proactively look to please and welcome each and every guest in a unique way.
Our room was super spacious! We were upgraded to a junior suite with a separate bedroom and living room. The classic Edwardian style keeps to the theme of the hotel and really helps you imagine how it would be to stay there back in the day.
The location of the Savoy is perfect as it is right by the vibrant Southbank, a short cab ride or tube ride from the West End shopping district, and just steps from the theatre district. It is also right by Covent Garden, where you can find a lot of shops and restaurants only a few blocks from the hotel.
The Savoy has a wide range of eateries, including afternoon tea in the beautiful light-filled Thames Foyer. However, this time we opted for some traditional fish and chips at Kasper’s Seafood Bar and Grill. It was delicious!
Exploring London in Just One Day
With just one day to explore, we packed a lot in. We first had a traditional breakfast at The Ivy Market Grill in Covent Garden – only a 5-minute walk from the hotel. It was a great way to start the day.
Next, we walked over to check out Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace (we waved to the Queen from afar). There are large crowds right in front of the palace to watch the changing of the guards. You can also set up a tour of parts of the palace, but only during the summer. The tickets are extremely popular so make sure you look it up and book in advance.
We then made our way to the Tate Modern art gallery – one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the world. It is also one of my favourite museums. The exhibits are always engaging and ever changing. I always check out the Tate each time I visit London, as I will always see something new. It is also free! It’s definitely a great way to spend the afternoon!
After, we made our way to the West End for some shopping and late afternoon tea. From the vibrant Oxford Street to cool Carnaby, the West End is brimming with fabulous places to go shopping in London. The Christmas decoration was already up on Oxford Street and I could only imagine how magical it is to be in London during the holiday season (another trip in the future!). We ended up at Selfridges, one of UK’s higher end department stores. The store is huge and there are basically restaurants on each floor. We went to The Corner Restaurant and Champagne bar for our tea experience. It was so yummy. We definitely ended up with a sugar high!
We ended the evening with a nightcap at the Experimental Cocktail Club. The bar’s entrance is very unassuming behind an unmarked door in Chinatown. This is definitely your typical bar in Chinatown. We walked up a flight of stairs to be greeted by a romantic lounge with a vintage feel. The cocktail menu was not expansive but had a lot of interesting mixes. It was the perfect way to end a perfect trip.