Lon­don

The UK’s cap­i­tal city of­fers much to ex­plore on both sides of the River Thames

Business Traveler (USA) - - INSIDE - By Va­le­rian Ho

HORSE GUARDS PA­RADE

One of Lon­don’s quin­tes­sen­tial at­trac­tions, the Horse Guards Pa­rade is a won­der­ful slice of col­or­ful Bri­tish tra­di­tion. Be­fore you see it, though, pay a visit to the House­hold Cav­alry Mu­seum in White­hall to learn more about the his­tory and he­roes of the Bri­tish Army’s se­nior reg­i­ment from its ori­gins in 1661. As well as au­dio­vi­sual pre­sen­ta­tions, ex­hibits and dis­plays of uni­forms, you can watch the troop­ers pre­par­ing their horses through a glass par­ti­tion. The Chang­ing of the Guard cer­e­mony takes place at 11:00 AM Mon-Sat and 10:00 AM on Sun­days. The mu­seum is open daily 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; ad­mis­sion is £7 ($10.50) for adults and £5 ($7.50) for chil­dren; house­hold­cav­al­ry­mu­seum.co.uk.

BOYDS BRASSERRIE

From White­hall it’s a short walk to Trafal­gar Square; turn right into Northum­ber­land Av­enue and stop for lunch at Boyds Brasserie, sit­u­ated in a his­toric Vic­to­rian build­ing. It was once a 500-room ho­tel, but was req­ui­si­tioned by the war of­fice in 1940. In­side the restau­rant the dé­cor is im­pres­sive, with

much of the 19th cen­tury Verde de Prato and San­guino mar­ble re­main­ing. The menu of­fers tra­di­tional Bri­tish fare with a mod­ern twist in the form of“Bri­tish tapas.” Try the seafood bisque (£8.5/$13) for mouth­wa­ter­ing fla­vor, or the de­li­cious sea bass with golden raisins and kale with a Jerusalem ar­ti­choke purée (£21/ $32). Lunch Mon-Fri noon to 3:00 PM, af­ter­noon tea Mon-Sun 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM, din­ner Mon-Sat 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM; 8 Northum­ber­land Av­enue, Lon­don WC2; tel 0207 808 3344; boyds­brasserie.co.uk.

THE RIVER THAMES

You can­not visit Lon­don with­out strolling along the River Thames. After a full lunch, walk south down Northum­ber­land Av­enue un­til you reach Vic­to­ria Em­bank­ment on the north side of the broad river. Cross via the Golden Ju­bilee Bridge to the South Bank; as you’re cross­ing look right and two iconic Lon­don sights stand on op­po­site river­banks: the his­toric Houses of Par­lia­ment on the right, and the mod­ern Lon­don Eye wheel on the left. Once on the South Bank, turn left and start walk­ing. Along the broad pedes­trian prom­e­nade you’ll see peo­ple jog­ging, rid­ing bikes, fool­ing around on skate­boards or en­ter­tain­ing the crowds with huge soap bub­bles and other in­ven­tive acts.

TATE MOD­ERN MU­SEUM

A gen­tle 20-minute stroll brings you to the mas­sive brown ed­i­fice that is the Tate Mod­ern Mu­seum. This was orig­i­nally the Bank­side Power Sta­tion, but was con­verted into a gallery in 1995 by Swiss ar­chi­tects. To­day, a visit to the Tate Mod­ern takes in the full scope of mod­ern art in a sin­gle visit, from iconic art­works such as Andy Warhol’s Mar­i­lyn Dip­tych and Lee Bul’s Crav­ing White to the lat­est pho­to­graphic art and more. Of course a full ex­plo­ration will take you most of the day, but if your time is lim­ited you can visit just one of the spe­cial ex­hibits that are reg­u­larly put on here. Ad­mis­sion to the mu­seum is free, but there is usu­ally a fee for spe­cial ex­hibits. Open daily 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Fri and Sat un­til 10:00 PM; tate.org.uk.

BOR­OUGH MAR­KET

Back by the river­side, turn right and walk past the re­con­struc­tion of Shake­speare’s fa­mous Globe Theatre, be­fore turn­ing south onto Park Street un­til you reach Stoney Street.You have ar­rived at Bor­ough Mar­ket, a well-known food par­adise whose his­tory stretches back to the 11th cen­tury. In this war­ren of stalls wind­ing through five acres, you’ll find more than 100 ven­dors ped­dling an ex­cep­tional se­lec­tion of pro­duce, both Bri­tish and in­ter­na­tional, from truf­fles and cheeses to fruits and hams. The en­tic­ing aroma of hot dishes such as paella and whole-roasted pig fills the air, tempt­ing cus­tomers to chow down. Bor­ough Mar­ket is open Mon-Thu from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Fri un­til 6:00 PM, Sat from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM; 8 South­wark Street, Lon­don SE1 1TL; bor­ough­mar­ket.org.uk.

THE BERKE­LEY HO­TEL

Lon­don is fa­mous for its af­ter­noon tea, but rather than queue for a ta­ble at well-known tourist hotspots like the Savoy or the Ritz, why not try an equally classy but more se­cluded es­tab­lish­ment. From Lon­don Bridge Sta­tion it’s a 30-minute Un­der­ground ride via the Ju­bilee and Pi­cadilly lines to Hyde Park Cor­ner (£2.3/$3.5); head to­wards Knights­bridge and turn left at Wilton Place to reach the Berke­ley Ho­tel (a black cab will cost around £20/$30 but may take con­sid­er­ably longer, de­pend­ing on traf­fic). The Berke­ley’s Caramel Room is one of the city’s chicest places to eat and drink. Its award-win­ning Prêt-à-Portea af­ter­noon tea sports a cre­ative twist that is pop­u­lar with fash­ion­istas, who love the cakes and pas­tries in­spired by the lat­est cat­walk de­signs. The menu changes ev­ery six months, and the tea set costs £45 ($68). Af­ter­noon tea is served from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM daily; tel 207 107 8866; the­berke­ley.co.uk. BT

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