As a nation of foodies, London is a holy site of pilgrimage for Singaporeans. We at trivago also love food – it’s all we talk about, besides hotels. As such, jetting off to London for the weekend is pretty popular for us and our trove of tips on must-gos and hotels, which our trivago locals impart here for you to get inspired by, prove it!
Ben: 36, Content Marketing at trivago
City tip: I lived in London for five years where I worked in Marketing, and the best year was spent living in Camden. I would recommend that anyone going to London should visit Primrose Hill – a small park on a hill next to Camden. It’s the perfect place to relax and look out over London on a sunny day.
Next to the park there are some nice bars and cafes of which I would suggest The Queens’ pub on the corner for a drink and then dinner at Odette’s across the road. If you feel like a few more drinks after, you are not so far away from the bars of Camden High Street.
Hotel tip: Staying in the Petersham Hotel in Richmond last year was very special for me. It is a classic hotel, but not old fashioned, and its location, overlooking the River Thames, is perfect.
If you have been to London before, are looking for a new experience, and don’t mind being a bit further out, it’s a great opportunity to see a different part of the city. The hotel is only a five minute walk to the entrance of Richmond Park, which is really something very special and not something you would expect to find so close to the center of London.
Oliver: 25, Motion Graphics Design at trivago
City tip: Rub shoulders with the young and adventurous rascals of Dalston. Filled with unique bars, great clubs, LGBT friendly venues and diversity, Daltson is a great place to experience the excitement that makes London, my home, the city it is. I have my favorite places such as Dalston Superstore for an eccentric night of dancing, Hash E8 for hearty brunch and Dalston Jazz Bar for evening drinks, but it’s really worth exploring the area for yourself for unique discoveries.
Hotel tip: Despite being in one of the busiest tourist areas in London, I managed to find myself a wonderful hotel bar in the heart of Piccadilly. Typically uncrowded, the “Brumus” at Haymarket Hotel welcomes you in with a quirky wireframe horse sculpture. The intriguing art pieces and interior design may not be for everyone but their cocktails and service certainly will be.
At around £11-13 a pop their drinks aren’t the cheapest but come with exceptional craftsmanship. My personal favorite for the winter season is the delicately spiced Apricot and Ginger Sidecar. If you’re in luck and the pool section on the lower floor is open you can sit and drink around a huge indoor pool – a real surprise to find a relatively quiet restaurant in one of the busiest places in the world!
Katherine: 27, Editor for trivago Magazine UK at trivago
City tip: London is my home but it’s not exactly budget friendly! Luckily there are things you can do to keep costs low. Visit the Sky Garden at the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building for free when you book tickets online. Offering incredible City of London views, it’s directly opposite The Shard and next to the Tower of London. All of London’s museums and galleries are also free. Head up to the 10th floor of Tate Modern for stunning views of the city before walking across the Millennium Bridge and having a drink at the rooftop bar at Madison with views of St Paul’s.
Another money-saving tip is to take the commuter boat down the Thames from Westminster to Greenwich. It costs the price of a train ticket and takes past London Bridge and Canary Wharf to Greenwich where you can visit the Old Royal Naval Colleges (also free.) Once in Greenwich take the Emirates Air Line commuter cable car (also the price of a train ticket) across to Canary Wharf.
Hotel tip: My favourite hotel is The Nadler for affordable luxury. Located in Soho it’s right in the centre of the action close to Covent Garden, the West End and Piccadilly Circus.
For Afternoon Tea I would go to Brown’s Hotel where Queen Victoria used to take her tea, and if it’s Christmas I always pop in to Claridge’s to see the Christmas tree designed by a famous designer each year.
Lachlan: 30, User Support at trivago
City tip: Like Katherine, quintessential High Tea is a must for me when in London, and I found my regular spot at Sketch. While Sketch is located in the uber-posh borough of Mayfair, the venue doesn’t feel too pretentious and offers three different seating areas, The Parlour being the most casual. Opt for the Traditional Cream Tea and you’ll be treated to two fluffy scones served with fruit compote and Cornish clotted cream – rich and calorie-inducing yes, but oh so tasty! Wash it all down with one of the many fragrant teas on offer – my favourite is the rose.
Hotel tip: London is an expensive city to live in, so I was all too familiar with being strapped for cash when I was there working in a hostel. It didn’t stop me from dreaming though when it came to the idea of staying in beautiful hotel for a night. One of my favourites has to be The Covent Garden Hotel.
Firstly, the location is a plus! Situated on Monmouth Street, in the Seven Dials part of Covent Garden, this hotel is literally seconds from some of the city’s best boutiques and coffee shops. Secondly, the décor! A little like a Picasso painting, rooms blend mismatched shapes and colours, but somehow it all works together perfectly.
Zoe: 28, Search Engine Marketing at trivago
City tip: So you know museums in London are free, but did you know some of them organize adults-only nights? I am not a huge museum fan usually, but I really like these after hours museum experiences. My favourite is the one at the Science Museum in South Kensington which takes place on the last Wednesday of every month. There is a unique theme each time with different, related activities organised. When I was studying in London, it was a must go for my friends and I every month!
Hotel tip: Food is always a priority in my life, so one of the reasons why I recommend London Hilton on Park Lane is because of the Michelin Star Restaurant inside the hotel, Galvin at Windows.
Serving contemporary French gourmet, the restaurant is located high up on 28th floor. The 360 degree view of London will instantly draw you in as you enter the restaurant. The hotel is located near Hyde Park and Green Park where, on a clear day, you’ll be able to see London Eye and Buckingham Palace from the restaurant. Great Food + Great View = Happy Traveller!
Ellie: 25, Marketing Partnerships at trivago
City tip: Like Zoe, I’m a self-confessed foodie & wine lover and, as such, here are the two places I always return to when I’m home:
- Eat at: Dishoom – easily my favourite restaurant in London, with good vibes all round. Order as many small dishes as you can fit on your table for a unique Bombay Café experience. Opt for the 24-hour homemade black daal, cheddar naan and a mango lassi. Make sure you book ahead though as you’ll be lucky to get a walk-in table during peak times! Go to the branch in Covent Garden and walk to Gordon’s Wine bar afterwards.
- Drink at: Gordon’s Wine Bar – one of the oldest wine bars in London, this candlelit Dickensian spot is where I fell in love with wine! They have an amazing selection that you can pair with cheese, bread and meats. Quintessential London!
Hotel tip: CitizenM is always my first choice! The hotel is the perfect combination of technology with a human touch; in room mood lighting, an iPad controlled media centre, waterfall shower with 24-7 assistance and the comfiest XL king size beds I’ve ever come across! Get a room on the top floor at the Tower of London branch for an unbeatable view over the historic landmark.
I love the rooftop bar and come when I’m working remotely or to take a break from the busy city with a good book and coffee. Despite being in one of London’s most central locations, this hotel has a knack for enticing you to spend more time than you’d planned in its quirky, luxurious communal spaces; and with the free drink voucher you receive on check-in, it’s very hard to pass up!