Mini-series: Rute Vendeirinho takes you to her favourite girly destinations for a weekend, including insider tips and where to go for a girly weekend photo session! First stop London.
Are you desperate for that perfect weekend away with your girlfriends? If so, prepare yourself, forget about the household, the mummy duties… and embrace some girly pampering for a few days. A hassle-free program is just what I promise you! And, please, give yourself a special treat and forget about the budget. Indulge yourself with everything you deserve!
London A direct flight to take
Easyjet has a direct flight from Luxembourg to London-Gatwick with a perfect timing and prices starting at about €100 (return ticket). From Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, you can enjoy two nights, one full day and one last morning full of activities. Alternatively, Luxair also offers a good connection to London-City for just a few more Euros. This s an option to consider if you would like to enjoy London all Friday as well.
A lovely place to stay
Sanderson London Hotel is a 5-star spa hotel in central London. The landmarked 1950s building has been transformed by Philippe Starck into an urban wonderland of avant-garde glamour. Sitting just behind the city’s emblematic Oxford Street, the hotel is in the very heart London’s West End, famous for its theatres, restaurants and shops. Oxford Circus underground station is a five-minute walk from the hotel, with the famous Covent Garden and Leicester Square also easily reached on foot. The average price per night per person is €155 (in a double room), but discount deals can regularly be found either on booking.com or the hotel website.
Insider tip: The bedrooms are perfectly ready for a sleeping beauty with some Egyptian linens and designer beauty products. The Sanderson London Hotel is home to the famous cosmopolitan Purple Bar and, as a hotel guest, your entrance is guaranteed!
Address: 50, Berners Street, London W1T 3NG
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London is a more affordable choice with contemporary decor and perfect location, next to the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, right on the Thames, and a 15 – 20 minutes walk to Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and West End. Also, only 3 minutes from Westminster tube station. Bedrooms are spotlessly clean and the beds are huge and very comfy. As a plus, if after a long day of shopping you don’t feel in the mood to go for another long walk outside, there are plenty of cabs available outside the hotel and it costs less than £10 to West End. The average price per night per person is €135 (in a double room).
Insider tip: If you specifically ask for an external room on a floor higher than the 12th, you will probably get fantastic views of the Houses of Parliament or London Eye.
Address: 200, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7UT
It’s pampering time!
Book yourself a “Hard Days Night” treatment at the Lush Spa on Kings Road. Designed to restore and refresh you, this treatment uses innovative passive stretching techniques. Just relax and let them take care of the rest. Some 75 minutes later, you will feel deeply restored!
Insider tip: For this treatment, you will need to pop on a warm and clean pair of pyjamas on site. But if you’re not comfortable with that, don’t worry. You’ll be more than welcome to wear it over your clothes.
Address: 123 Kings Road, London SW3 4PL
Once you’re ready for the next girly pampering activity, head on to Cheeky Holborn. If getting your nails done seems a little dull, then Cheeky got you covered! Not only is this place a nail bar heaven in the heart of East London but these guys are home to a blow-dry & make-up bar and café too. Plus, you will find a choice of affordable hair, nail and make-up services. This is the perfect place to go just before going out.
Insider tip: Online booking is highly recommendable and let them know you’re coming with your friends. They simply love to give a special treat to a girly group!
Address: 198/200, High Holborn Road, London WC1V 7BD
Get yourself (and your man) a special present. Victoria’s Secret has just the right selection of affordable and very sexy items, isn’t it true? Plus, on your way walking there, you can always have a look at the latest fashion trends.
Address: 111, New Bond Street, London W1S 1DP
Fashionable design is always a must and the Design Museum is now exhibiting “Women Fashion Power” until 26th April 2015. It offers an unprecedented look at how princesses, models, CEOs, Dames and designers have used fashion to define and enhance their position in the world. Discover how women from Dame Vivienne Westwood to Natalie Massenet and from Princess Diana to Anne Hidalgo have used fashion as an important tool of self-expression and empowerment to build reputation, attract attention and assert authority.
Insider tip: The museum is located on Shad Thames, next to the Tower Bridge. It’s perfect to combine with a visit to the Maltby Street Market. Also, located on the first floor of the Design Museum, Blueprint Café has magnificent views overlooking the River Thames.
Opening times: Daily 10am – 5:45pm (latest admission at 17:15).
Address: 28 Shad Thames, London
The perfect pic
A visit to London would not be complete without the perfect classy afternoon tea. Plus, this provides the perfect setting for the perfect London girly weekend picture.
The Dorchester Hotel is known for its gracious service and outstanding quality. It is the only London hotel to achieve ‘The Tea Guild Special Award of Excellence’ more than four times. Price per person is about £45 and the dress code is smart casual.
Insider tip: You should definitely book your table in advance and you can do it online.
Afternoon Tea times: 1pm, 2pm, 3:15pm, 4:15pm, 5:30pm & 6.45pm every day.
Address: The Dorchester Hotel (Mayfair). Park Lane, London W1K 1QA (Nearest tube station: Hyde Park Corner)
Food and wine, please!
Maltby Street Market is one of London’s latest food destinations. This unlikely south-east London backwater quickly became a popular destination for a Saturday morning to early afternoon (9am-2pm-ish) wander with a bit of grocery shopping along the way. Many new traders have got involved during the past few years and the developed Ropewalk has become a full-on street market.
Insider tip: The Ropewalk is located next to LASSCO at 41 Maltby Street, London, SE1 3PA. Also, the available toilets are located at LASSCO. And, just one more very important tip, do carry cash!
Enoteca Rabezzana is a new wine bar in the City of London and it’s the perfect spot for a casual dinner with friends. The sister restaurant of Acciuga was opened late last year and offers 140 wines by the glass and a daily changing menu of Italian cuisine, tapas and bar snacks. While you’re dining, you will soak up the ambiance of the lively open kitchen, the mix of high and low tables, and rows of wine bottles lining the black-and-white patterned walls.
Insider tip: For dessert, and if available, don’t miss the “tortino al cioccolato”, an indulgent, warm combo of cream, cake and chocolate.
Last but not least, you cannot leave London without the perfect cocktail and Plateau at Canary Wharf might just be what you’re looking for. There you will find an out-of-the-box cocktail menu along with high standard finger-food (mini sliders, ham and cheese fingers, steak skewers…). As for the crowd, quite a lot of locals go there on the weekend and the atmosphere is kind of Manhattan cocktail bar and the vibe is super relaxed.
Insider tip: The view at night is pretty spectacular, so make sure you ask for a table by the window. Make sure you book your table to avoid disappointments (tel. 020 7715 7100). Also, don’t be shy, ask the Sommelier for advice, he is known to be very informative and also very entertaining.
Address: 4th Floor, Canada Place | Canada Square, London E14 5ER
You know…because you’re worth it…
By Rute Vendeirinho, March 2015