These tips are from Jose Pauco, Head Concierge at the luxury Milestone Hotel and a member of the Golden Keys. As well as being a 5 star hotel concierge, Jose is also a proud Londoner who writes his own newsletter about things to do in the city which he circulates to friends and guests. Here are some of his favourite tips:
Private ceremony of the keys tour
Although the ceremony of the keys may be accessed by anyone booking a few months ahead, a private Royal London tour can also be arranged through a specialist guide to enjoy the daily Tower of London lock-up ceremony in its full context, making the experience even more memorable.
Surprise romantic picnic in the park
You and your loved one will be whisked off to a secret spot in a London park: it’s not just about the park but the specific spot in the park chosen for maximum romance. You’re then transported by Bentley and left alone with a luxury hamper including gourmet picnic goodies and champagne. Later you can be picked up at the time of your choosing. A heavenly summer experience though you will need the weather to cooperate!
Secret museum tour
Few London visitors are aware of 18 Stafford Terrace – a late Victorian townhouse belonging to the Sambourne family which has been preserved to an amazing level of detail. It has a vast collection of antiquities to reflect life in that era and is like stepping back in time. Edward Linley Sambourne (a Punch cartoonist) lived there with his wife, two children and a live-in servant and the house has been conserved by their descendents. Admission is by guided tour only.
Luxury traditional roast
Many London visitors want to try a traditional roast dinner but where will you find the finest examples? Some of the best are actually restaurants which don’t make a song and dance about their roast specifically but have quietly developed a reputation for those in the know: Simpson’s in the Strand, Hawksmoor and St John’s are prime examples.
Private river cruise
Many are aware that the River Thames offers a fantastic vantage point for taking in the capital, but those with connections may also be able to charter a private boat and arrange a custom tour. Every detail can be arranged right down to the style of vessel, your preferred itinerary, the dining options desired and even your favourite music. It’s the ultimate romantic gesture.
Rajul Chande is Owner of London Hotels Insight.