The Euro has dropped below the dollar for the first time in almost 20 years – motivating Americans to book European trips right now as their travel dollars are going further than ever before.
According to the latest Traveler Insights Report from Expedia Group Media Solutions, London was the third most booked destination globally in Q2 and the second most booked international destination by North American travelers, said Visit London. If a trip to London is in pro-cess for you, here are 5 stops to add to your brilliant itinerary.
1 – London Downtown & Tower Bridge Donut Tour
Taking an early flight into London (we had a 6:30 a.m. arrival) and looking for something fun and interesting to do that will get your legs walking around the beautiful city? The new Underground Donut Tour is the ideal answer! The London tour was recently added to the American company’s roster, which has been around since 2015 (it’s the first overseas tour). During the two-hour tour, expect not only delicious donuts at four stops along the way, but a good bit of London history, as well. Pace yourself (I ate all but two bites of my first donut and then slowed waaaay down!).
You’ll enjoy the creativity and beauty of the desserts, as well as the taste. Do you fancy jam-filled or chocolate-filled, we are asked on the first stop. It’s a fun and active way to start your visit to London, and the steps you get might offset a donut or two!
2 – Go City Explorer Pass
This digital pass will allow you to get into any of the featured attractions you’d like from the list of locations offered in London. This is a convenient way to see some of the city’s highlights (you can even plan your itinerary through the app).
As a bonus, Go City allows passes to be active for 60 days after activation. This allows you to spread your attractions out however you see fit. Or, if you’re only there for a few days, you can bop around to as many attractions as possible within your visit.
A small number of attractions require reservations due to ticketed timing. These attractions will have this noted within the app and in the confirmation email, and will provide further instruction or direct you to the attraction website for more information.
A few recommended highlights: Hop on the Thames River Cruise for a truly unique way to view the city. Our tour guide had a sense of humor and a great deal of knowledge about the history of London. You can jump on at one of several spots and either enjoy a roundtrip or hop off at another location.
The Hop-On Hop-Off buses are another great way to see the city. Simply find the nearest stop on your app, scan your pass when you hop on, enjoy sitting down while you see the city and hear behind-the-scenes info and hop off wherever you desire.
3 – KERB food court near the Tower of London
Many tourists want to see the Tower of London, if not take the tour. Right behind the Tower is the KERB food court where you can choose from a variety of food trucks. The trucks are a great way for everyone in your party to grab what sounds good. The lines are short and conveniently located right next to the Thames River Cruise stop, also. Grab a truffle burger with truffle fries from Truffle or the halloumi fries from Oli Baba’s, and pair with an ice cold draft beer!
4 – Rooftop dining at The Dorchester
The Dorchester is one of the most iconic historic hotels in London, on the edge of the famous Hyde Park. With top hat wearing bellmen welcoming you into its grand doors, head upstairs via the elevators to the fairy tale-like rooftop bar. The interior halls are lined with velvet and the terrace hosts some of the most spectacular views in town! The summer is hot, feeling like you’re up next to the sun, but guests can hear sounds from a nearby concert in the park.
Start with the houmous (hummus, as we say) and the burrata with heritage tomatoes and basil. On a warm day, these starters are perfectly paired with a chilled cocktail or glass of chardonnay. The truffle pasta or risotto is a most divine dish. Wrap it up in a lovely bow with a giant (sharable) chocolate peanut butter cookie.
5 – G & Tea Experience (Gin + Afternoon Tea) at Flemings Mayfair
London’s historic Flemings Mayfair Hotel hosts what we all know to be a must in London, afternoon tea. Head downstairs to their luxury and super chic Manetta’s Bar, where you’ll be escorted to a table set with exquisite china, prepped for your over-the-top experience. The unique aspect of this particular tea is that the spirits sommelier has procured three flavors of gin to pair with your sweet treats. Come to this tea ready for desserts (some teas include savory sandwiches but this one leans hard on the sweet tooth.)
Choose a gin, or a hot tea (you can even ask for a cappuccino or other coffee if that’s more your style) and work your way up (or down) the tower. Idle away an hour or two enjoying scones, cakes, macaroons and other gorgeous desserts popping with color. And, the delightful customer service is the cherry on top with this experience!
Cover Photo courtesy KERB
Marika Flatt, Outstanding Austin Communicator 2021, is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She began her travel writing career in 2002 with Austin Woman Magazine and now writes their “The Texas Traveler” section. She can be seen as a contributor on TV shows across Texas, offering travel tips.