Fair dos; chances are there’s a good deal already on your ‘to do list’ when it comes to prepping your impending business trip to London. The UK capital’s a city of business, commerce and the ultra-modern, fast-paced, interconnected working world so you’re bound to be, well, very busy while you’re here. And yet, everybody needs to unwind – so what about your downtime? Have you considered where to go and what to do when you’ve a few hours to yourself in the evening? After all, there’s a boggling amount of attractions to choose between in London Town…
Things to see and do
Despite being renowned the world over for the great breadth and high quality of the stage productions put on at its numerous playhouses, London’s culture stretches way beyond the West End’s so-called ‘Theatre Land’. If you fancy indulging yourself of a free evening in something a little less ‘mainstream’ than a glossy musical or elegant drama, then why not pop along to the South Bank’s open-air 16th-Century-style Shakespeare’s Globe (open in the year’s warmer months) for a night of Elizabethan/ Jacobean/ Restoration stage entertainment?
Alternatively, you might want to give another open-to-the-elements venue a go, namely Regent’s Park’s charming Open Air Theatre or, come the summer, there’s the terrific classical music season that’s the BBC Proms concerts at West Kensington’s Royal Albert Hall (which is located particularly near to accommodation in Chelsea London) or even the jazz clubs that are Ronnie Scott’s in Soho and The Jazz Café in Camden.
Getting about the city
There’s a reason why the London Underground (or the Tube, as it’s commonly referred to) is so ubiquitous when it comes to getting around London; basically, because it stretches underneath the majority of the city like a subterranean cacophony of arteries and veins – and, despite what you may have heard, much of the time it’s highly reliable and relatively cheap.
That said, if you’re intent on doing London in luxury (as opposed to on a budget; for instance, if you’re already looking to stay at one of the 5 star hotels in Chelsea), then you may prefer the idea of travelling about in iconic black taxi cabs; undeniably one of the trademarks of the UK capital. They’re far from cheap nowadays, but more affordable than hiring a chauffeur-driven service. And yet, the latter may be advantageous if you’re really going to have to get about during your time in London (perhaps you’ll be visiting venues outside London while here on business here) and if you can charge it to an expenses account anyway, well, why not?
Wining and dining
London’s restaurant scene is something else for which the city is revered on a global level. If you don’t hail from the UK yourself you may well be a bit sniffy about British cuisine (and, let’s be honest, for good reason), yet the eateries with which the capital’s packed derive their inspiration and often high-quality menus from every corner of the globe; they truly run the gamut and are particularly good indicators of why London’s considered such the ‘global city’ it is. Indeed, the Chelsea and Kensington area is especially renowned for its Michelin-starred restaurants; you’ll find the likes of Mayfair’s La Gavroche and Chelsea’s award-winning Five Fields, to name just two among so many, all located in this diminutive but highly admired district.
Where to stay?
Finally, to arguably the most important aspect of any work trip spent in London – accommodation. The reality is that Central/ West London has a commendable habit of suiting many international business visitors to the city, as it enables them easy access to the very centre of the city while providing relatively easy and, therefore, particularly good access to the capital’s two biggest and busiest airports, namely Heathrow and Gatwick; both of which are located to the west of London itself.
To that end, if we may, we’d like to take the opportunity then to point out that San Domenico House hotel is ideally located for business travellers; transfers to and from both airports is swift and easy thanks to excellent transport options, while unmissable attractions like the Harrods and Harvey Nichols department stores (Knightsbridge) and the Saatchi Gallery and the Royal Court theatre (Sloane Square) are very nearby – they’re within walking distance. So, honestly, who could ask for more…?