London Marathon: a runner's guide to London

Runners in the London Marathon, some in fancy dress costumesIt’s one of the most exciting events on any London runner’s calendar, and indeed for thousands of runners from around the world, the London Marathon represents a unique opportunity to race through the streets of this diverse and historic capital. Sponsored by Virgin Money, the 26.2-mile (42-kilometre) course takes in many of the city’s top attractions – and for participants and spectators alike, it’s an inspiring spectacle of determination, athleticism and sheer, hard work.

Whether you’re running the marathon this year or perhaps still dreaming of future challenges, London is a city with a lot to offer runners. If you’re new to the city (or just new to running), we’ve put together a list of London’s top running shops and a few great running routes to try – plus a few tips for those who’ve come to watch the marathon, to make sure they get as much out of the day as do the runners… Continue reading

A guide to London etiquette for visitors

A sign on an escalator in the London underground reading Like all cities, London has its own customs and (often unwritten) codes of behaviour that can sometimes be confusing for visitors. While you won’t be outright shunned for being unaware of London etiquette, it can certainly help you to fit in with the locals and feel more at home if you know some of the more commonly observed rules of London life.

With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of some fundamental London social customs. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or are in London every second week, have a look through and see how many you recognise: Continue reading

10 fun facts about The Boat Race – plus tips for getting the best view

Speeding rowing boat with motion blur to accent speed.As one of Britain’s oldest sporting events, the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race (more commonly known simply as “The Boat Race”) is a London institution.

The annual rowing competition takes place this year on Sunday 6th April 2014 and promises to be as great a spectacle as ever. Although the race itself usually only lasts about 16 to 18 minutes, there’s plenty of build-up to the event and a wonderfully festive atmosphere among the crowds of spectators, making for an entertaining day out.

If you’re new to The Boat Race but keen to take in this historic event, we’ve put together a beginner’s guide to the race, its traditions and the best places to catch all the action. Read on to learn more about one of London’s favourite sporting events… Continue reading

Treat your mum in London this Mother’s Day

A mother and her child walking hand in hand down a street in LondonWhether your mum lives in London, or you’re treating her to a weekend away as a Mother’s Day gift, the capital offers plenty of options for treating this most important woman in your life. Indeed, there are so many great ways to spend quality time with your mother that you may decide not to confine it to Mother’s Day, but in fact to make it a regular practice throughout the year! Continue reading

A guide to antiques shopping in London

Antique objects in an antique shop, with a mantel clock as a centerpiece in the picture.With its long history and diverse community, London is a brilliant destination for antiquers. Whether you’re a connoisseur in search of priceless treasures or a beginner just looking for a unique souvenir, you’re sure to find something to your taste in the antiques shops and markets of London.

To help get you started on your antiquing tour of London, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best destinations for antiques shopping in the capital, plus some tips for the beginner antiques collector. Prepare to begin your very own London treasure hunt… Continue reading

London’s best spring blooms

Colourful flowers in the Sunken Gardens at Kensington PalaceSurely one of the most cheering sights in the world is the appearance of the first spring blooms. When all those adventurous green shoots burst into flower, it’s a sure sign that winter is over and warmer weather is on its way.

Even in a city as large and busy as London, there are still lots of places where you can witness the miracle of spring. If you’re craving a taste of nature (or feel as if summer may never arrive), check out one of these great spots for viewing spring blooms in London – it’s almost guaranteed to lift your spirits. Continue reading

The best places to eat pancakes in London

A stack of pancakes served with butter and maple syrup, with bacon and a bowl of berries on the sideFor pancake aficionados, Tuesday is the best day of the year – Shrove Tuesday (more commonly known as Pancake Day) is a superb excuse to indulge in your favourite treat.

If you’re in London on Tuesday 4th March, why not check out one of the capital’s many excellent cafés, crêperies, diners and restaurants that offer pancakes on their menu? Whether you’re a fan of fluffy, syrup-topped pancakes in the American breakfast style, or prefer a sweet or savoury crepe with an assortment of tasty fillings, there’s a pancake shop for you. Read on for more about this delicious holiday and the best places to indulge your pancake craving… Continue reading

Interview with Sarah from London Boutique moloh

Nightime view of Somerset House in London

Somerset House, London – Photo: brianac37 on Flickr

Just as London Fashion week drew to a close, London Fashion Weekend began. From February 20-23 Somerset House throws open its doors to the public for four days of trend talks, designer previews and a bevy of fashion and beauty shopping opportunities.

Part of the joy of LFW is finding that one-off designer buy or spotting the next big trend for AW14. Followers of fashion in London for the event staying at The Grosvenor Hotel are just a 5 minute car or taxi ride from Somerset House and just around the corner from British fashion boutique moloh.

We asked Sarah from moloh in Pimlico for some insider advice on fashion fads and fancies for 2014. Continue reading

What to do during London Fashion Weekend 2014

Guoman Hotels London Fashion Weekend

Every year in the illustrious grounds of Somerset House the young and the beautiful gather for London Fashion Week. Events are usually reserved for industry professionals and celebrities. Luckily though the event throws its doors open to the public from February 20-23 for a fantastic four-day designer shopping and fashion extravaganza. Continue reading

How to beat the winter blues

The lion sculpture in Trafalgar Square, dusted with snow on a winter's dayThe new year starts well for most people – with the warm glow of Christmas and New Year’s still hanging over us, we plunge ahead with our resolutions to make this year the best yet. Full of energy and enthusiasm, we view with delight the infinite possibilities and challenges of this fresh new start.

By the time we hit February, however, things are grinding to a halt. Perhaps that new workout routine is proving more difficult than you thought, or the post-Christmas credit card bill has left you low on funds well before payday. Everything looks a bit bland once the festive decorations are gone, and you can’t quite shift that last bit of festive weight gain. It doesn’t help that the weather is grey and cold, and the nights long and dark. Your motivation starts to fade, and the urge to crawl indoors and hibernate until spring sets in.

This feeling of fatigue, boredom and discontent experienced by many people is often referred to as the winter blues. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to inspire a bit of cheer well before the onset of spring. Here are a few of our favourite ways to beat the winter blues… Continue reading