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

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

London Winter Theatre Highlights 2014

Sign for a theatre stage doorNo trip to London is complete without a visit to one of its many excellent theatres, especially during the cold, dark nights of winter, when there are few things better than to sit back in a cosy auditorium and wait to be transported to another world. London’s theatre scene is legendary, and the calibre of shows hitting the stages in winter 2014 is no exception. From light-hearted musicals to thought-provoking drama, there’s something for every taste.

Read on to see our picks of the top London theatre shows playing this February and March… Continue reading

The most romantic films set in London

A romantic view of London across the Thames River with a dramatic pink sky behind the dome of St Paul's CathedralLondon is a filmmaker’s dream – rich in history, characters and charm, it’s a vibrant and complex setting for films in any number of genres, but especially for tales of romance. With its misty streets, cosy pubs and constant reminders of days gone by, it’s a brilliant backdrop for stories of love lost and found – and the teeming lives of its millions of inhabitants are a source of constant inspiration for cinematic storytellers.

At this most romantic time of year, we’ve put together a list of our favourite romantic movies set in London, as well as some of the featured locations which you can still visit today. Read on to revisit your favourite romantic London films, or discover some new favourites… Continue reading

Enjoy a luxury Valentine's Day in London

Statue of Eros in Picadilly Circus, LondonTrue love is something that should be celebrated all year round, but all too often we get busy with our day-to-day lives and forget to show our significant others how much we care. That’s why Valentine’s Day can be a great reminder – it provides a yearly opportunity to make that statement of love loud and clear.

If you’re spending Valentine’s Day in London this year, we’ve put together a guide to luxury Valentine’s Day treats in the capital – from indulgent gifts to fine dining, and exciting experiences they’ll never forget! Read on for some luxury Valentine’s Day inspiration: Continue reading

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions for 2014?

Three coloured post-it notes spelling out Happy New YearHow are you getting along with your New Year’s resolutions? Even as we celebrated throughout December by indulging in festive treats, millions of us were already thinking ahead to the important changes we’d make in 2014. Saving money and losing weight are old favourites, but how did New Year’s resolutions come about, and how many of us actually keep them? Check out the latest Guoman Hotel blog to learn more – including some handy tips for making a fresh start in the New Year. Continue reading

The history of Christmas dinner: what’s on your plate this year?

Christmas dinner with roasted turkey and all the trimmings on a festive decorated tableChristmas day is fast approaching, and for most of us, that means enjoying a roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings. But how did this delicious Christmas custom come about?

From mince pies to traditional Christmas pudding, we look into the history behind the festive favourites we enjoy around the table each Christmas. Read on for our mouth-watering history of Christmas dinner… Continue reading

Christmas in London: the best places to visit this festive season

Westminster on a Christmas NightIt’s that time of year again – Christmas is almost here and the London shops are ready to welcome visitors from around the world. Why not join them and add some sparkle to your Christmas? London is a fantastic place to be at Christmastime, with lights, carols, shopping, and plenty of eating and drinking.

If you’re planning to visit London at Christmas, this blog has handy tips on the best places to get you in the Christmas mood. All are within easy reach of at least one of the Guoman Hotels, so you won’t have to go far for some seasonal fun.

Let the festivities begin!

Christmas shop until you drop

If you’re in search of the perfect Christmas gift, head to Harrods in Knightsbridge for a touch of luxury at this iconic department store. A beautiful place to visit all year round, at Christmastime Harrods is truly special, with festive window displays, quality merchandise, and the extraordinary food hall full to bursting with mouth-watering delicacies.

Being one of the world’s biggest stores you will need plenty of time to take in the 300 departments and seven floors. Pick up a Harrods stocking filler or two – after all, anything with the famous Harrods logo is sure to impress gift recipients of all ages. Over Christmas there are extended opening times, so take your time and get the most out of this thoroughly stylish shopping experience.

Celebrate with a creative Christmas cocktail

While you are in Knightsbridge continue your Christmas shopping at the famous Harvey Nichols Department Store. Sitting impressively on the corner of Knightsbridge and Sloane Street, it’s often considered by many to be the younger and more stylish relation of Harrods. Explore eight floors of beauty, lifestyle and fashion collections – Christmas shopping at Harvey Nics won’t disappoint.

For fantastic views over London visit the Harvey Nichols Oxo Tower Bar, a great way to relax and enjoy a cheeky cocktail. You can make your Christmas very merry from the 9th to the 20th of December by celebrating the 12 Days of Cocktails, with a different festive cocktail on offer each day during the countdown to Christmas. If you fancy finding out what’s in a ‘Three French Hens’ or a ‘Nine Ladies Dancing’ then this is the place to be: the delicious cocktail menu was exclusively created by the Oxo Tower Bar team. Cheers!

Strut your stuff at the Tower of London outdoor ice rink

Skating on the moat at the fortress battlements of the Tower of London is a unique Christmas activity to get your heart racing. Stunning at night with the sparkling Christmas lights, every year thousands of visitors flock to ice skate at this iconic London landmark. Make sure you check the weather forecast on the day you are visiting to ensure your wear suitable clothing. “Ice at the Tower” is open from 10 am to 10 pm daily right through to the 5th of January, so get your skates on this Christmas.

See something sweet and fluffy at the Royal Opera House

A trip to see the sparkling annual production of The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit. Just a 10-minute walk from our stylish Charing Cross Hotel, the Nutcracker is on from the 10th of December until the 16th of January 2014; so seize the opportunity to enjoy some Christmas glitz from the Royal Ballet.

For pure indulgence, don’t miss a magical Nutcracker Christmas Lunch or Sugar Plum Fairy Afternoon Tea that’s been designed exclusively by world-famous pastry chef Claire Clarke MBE. You’ll be in for a culinary delight like no other with treats like chocolate tree fudge cake. Due to its popularity make sure you book ahead.

A winter wonderland at Trafalgar Square

Christmas in Trafalgar Square is the perfect way to be part of an iconic London Christmas. Every year the world famous 20 metre high Nordic Christmas Tree is lit up until the twelfth night (January 6th) for all to enjoy. A tradition since 1947, the tree is donated each year to Britain from Norway and is a proud symbol of thanks dating to back to WW2. Seeing the tree in all its sparkling beauty is a highlight of Christmas in London.

The fun continues throughout the month with carol singing under the tree from the 9th until the 22nd of December. Sing along to all your favourites with wonderful performances from more than 50 choir groups from 4 pm to 8 pm weekdays and 2 pm to 6 pm on the weekend. Trafalgar Square is convenient to our luxury Guoman Hotels, so you’ll never be far from Christmas celebrations at Trafalgar Square.

For even more insider tips on what to see and do in the capital, search for the hashtag #UnlockLondon on Facebook and Twitter to discover more hidden gems.

You can also enter our competition to win a ‘Secret London’ weekend packed with exciting experiences. These include:

  • a 2-night stay for 2 people at a Guoman Hotel of your choice (plus dinner and drinks)
  • a secret-agent themed speed boat tour on the Thames
  • a half-day personal shopping experience with a personal stylist
  • a 90-minute treatment each at a city-centre spa
  • a helicopter ride over the city
  • £250 spending money

However naughty or nice you’ve been it’s easy to have yourself a merry little Christmas in London. Enjoy the festive fun!