Today I’m welcoming Kelsey Davis from luxury lifestyle site The Lux Authority to the blog for a guest post. While I tend to focus on budget-friendly travel, sometimes it’s fun to imagine what it would be like to go to London with a royal-sized bank account. If you’ve been wondering where to stay or eat if the sky is the limit, she’s got some recommendations for you. (And even if you can’t afford to stay at The Goring, you can always stop by and snap a picture, right?)
Thanks to Kelsey for stopping by Royally Broke – take it away!
London is among the list of the world’s top tourist destinations. The city attracted more than 19 million visitors in 2016 alone. Visitors flock to the city to see and experience the history, the sights, the sounds, and the royalty. As a high cost of living area, London can be, as expected, expensive to visit. While there are countless articles geared toward helping visitors enjoy the city on a budget, what about resources for those looking to live large on a trip to London?
For those who want to experience London with no fiscal limitations, there are nearly limitless opportunities to see and do in high style. Below, behold top recommendations for London on NO budget:
Where one stays certainly sets the tone for the rest of the trip, so finding the most luxurious accommodations is a must for a decadent London stay. There are far too many high-end hotels to list comprehensively, but here are five that should be considered:
This quintessential English hotel has long been a royal favorite. In fact, this is where the Duchess of Cambridge spent her last night as a commoner, choosing to sleep here the night before her 2011 wedding to Prince William.
The Savoy hotel rises above the river on a setback from the hectic Strand, and offers an oasis from the chaos right in the heart of London. The décor boasts two styles: Edwardian on the river side and Art Deco on the Strand side. The guest rooms are large and airy, offering a fresh traditional style.
Evoking images of an enormous ocean liner, and residing the prominent Park Lane, The Dorchester is housed in a landmark Art Deco building dating from 1931. Guests will be hard-pressed to find better service anywhere in London.
The Ritz, London
The Ritz boasts perhaps one of the loveliest dining rooms in all of Europe. White-gloved doormen, attentive bellhops and impeccable chambermaids donning pinnies and caps ensure guests feel like royalty here. The vibrantly-colored guestrooms and suites have been restored to showcase the original XVI style.
Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park
Situated adjacent to Hyde Park, guests will find the public, contemporary, eclectically-styled Asian and Edwardian-influenced ground floor welcoming and people-friendly. The guest rooms are 100% traditionally English in style. If it seems as though the accommodations are fit for a queen, maybe it’s true. After all, she and Princess Margaret learned to dance in the hotel’s ballroom decades ago.
The thriving London restaurant scene has been declared the “capital of the world” for fine dining by many of the world’s most preeminent chefs. With more than 60 venues having been awarded Michelin stars, there is seemingly an endless list of venues for the discerning and well-heeled diner to visit. Here are some highlights:
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught
This restaurant holds two Michelin stars, and rightfully so. Indeed, while the food is the star, the entire experience is a feast for the senses, as the elegant surroundings, and stunning artwork shine as best supporting actors in this culinary adventure.
This restaurant, offering seasonal French fare isn’t, at first glance, the most expensive menu in London. However, there are numerous opportunities to splurge on experiences that drive up the cost. A seat at the exclusive Table Lumière, situated in the center of the restaurant and surrounded by 4,500 shimmering lights will set a diner back $300. For $1,200, a guest can rent out Salon Prive ¬– the restaurant’s cozy, private alcove—for a party of as many as 30 people.
Sketch Lecture Room and Library
This fixture on the high-end London dining scene is known as one of London’s most expensive restaurants. It opened in 2002 and sixteen years later, it is still going strong, having earned two Michelin stars. Known for delectable cuisine, impeccable service and an excellent atmosphere, it’s worth every penny.
This restaurant applies French culinary techniques to a global array of luxurious ingredients, all while keeping the inspiration of the simplicity of Japanese cuisine. Diners sit at Japanese counters and enjoy their personal floor show – a team of master chef’s preparing their meal. This experience comes at a cost, though. Taster menus start at $190 per person.
There’s certainly more to do in London than luxuriate in a stately hotel and dine in prestigious restaurants. For those with endless amounts of discretionary spending money, there’s a list of unique, luxury activities sure to make for a memorable—and expensive—trip.
London in the Sky
This special pop-up event brings together London’s finest restaurants to a table that hangs suspended some 75 feet in the air. This limited ticket event is sure to make for a memorable meal.
Salvatore’s Bar at the Playboy Club
This bar is home to the world’s most expensive cocktail. For £5,500, Mr. Salvatore Calabrese will expertly craft a concoction featuring a 1778 Clos de Griffier Vieux Cognac, a circa 1860 Dubb Orange Curacao, a 1770 Kummel Liqueur, and a touch of circa 1900s Angostura Bitter.
Afternoon Tea at The Goring
Is there anything more quintessentially British than enjoying teatime? The historic Goring hotel offers a traditional tea service, touted as the finest in London.
A Stuart Phillips Haircut
Feel like royalty with a £20,000 haircut by Stuart Philip, the official hair stylist of BAFTA awards. Included in the price are car service to and from the salon, as well as lunch.
Private Helicopter Tour
After enjoying a £5,500 drink and sporting a new £20,000 hairstyle, is there anything else to do but tour the city in style? The London Helicopter company provides vistas of more than 30 iconic London landmarks from 1,000 feet above. A private tour package, priced at £1,500 for six people, offers 30 minutes of breathtaking views of Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, London Eye and much more. Now that’s touring in style!
Ride the Orient Express
The Orient Express remains the epitome of class, elegance, and luxury. Enjoy a murder mystery lunch while treating yourself to a five-course lunch, including champagne and wine. This is a must-do luxury excursion while visiting London.
Kelsey is the Managing Editor at The Lux Authority and is trying to balance both her budget and her credit card balance. She likes to live lavish and treat herself when the opportunity allows it. She loves the newest tech, old cars, the smell of rich mahogany, and leather-bound books as well! When she isn’t working, Kelsey is an avid academic, artist, stargazer, blogger, and yoga enthusiast.