When looking for luxury deals in London, it’s rarely a mistake to go for the oldest and most established names. For the ultimate indulgent day try a selection of the following.
In 1915 PG Woodhouse wrote of our breakfast venue, “Simpson’s in the Strand, is unique. Its keynote is solid comfort. It is a pleasant, soothing, hearty place – a restful temple of food.”
When setting foot into the cool marble floored entrance hall, leave modern London behind. Taking a seat in a booth in the Grand Divan, the high ceilinged main dining room, it’s easy to imagine Woodhouse aunts with their young nephews up from the country, feeding them up for a jolly day out. The place was once a chess club and the owners had the idea of carving meat on domed trolleys at the tables so as not to affect the course of a game and it’s a tradition they have kept up with roast meats to this day.
Breakfast here is a very traditional affair! Choose from the large set English cooked breakfasts the prices of which include toast, pastries, cereals, tea or coffee and juices.
For a less filling but equally scrumptious choice peruse the list of omelette, kedgeree, kippers, Eggs benedict or simply fresh fruit and yoghurt. Don’t feel judged for ordering a glass or even a bottle of champagne, as it is included on the breakfast bill of fare!
Following a breakfast like this one really needs a busy morning and what could be better than some luxury window-shopping? Head north to Bond Street, once the home of Admiral Nelson and Lady Hamilton and now housing the worlds most prestigious brands such as Asprey, Chanel, Cartier, Hermès, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany.
Even if the purse strings can’t take the full force of these names there are bargains to be had, such as visiting Tiffany silver department for a chance of buying a more modest item just to carry out one of the famous blue bags.
Shop at Leonidas for fresh Belgian chocolates, browse Fenwicks or Linneys for little gifts or home décor pieces and pop to Penhaligons for traditional scented bath and body products.
The excitement of the Bond Street shops and the huge breakfast should last through lunchtime, ready for a visit to a nearby Spa such as the wonderful Browns Hotel, for a relaxing beauty treatment.
Having missed lunch the only sensible thing is afternoon tea. Where better than the Art Deco elegance of Claridges? The hotel is in walking distance of Bond Street and offers a choice over 40 teas, served with finger sandwiches, scones and pastries in lavish surroundings. Since the reign of Queen Victoria Claridges has been enjoyed by royalty from all over the world and Hollywood stars of the golden era of cinema such as Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant.
If planned in advance, Claridges, as well as Browns and the nearby Langham, are all historic, opulent hotels to end your luxury day with dinner and a stay fit for a king.
Article by Linda Endersby. Linda is a freelance writer who worked in the travel industry for 19 years and enjoys writing about the places she’s visited as well as indulging in her passion for books in her other role as a children’s bookseller.