At Synergy, London holds a special place in our hearts. Besides being a dream vacation for many members of the team, three members in particular have a special connection with the English capital. Ms. Denise D’Mello, the Director of Global Solutions calls this city her home. Amy Ramskill, an integral part of the L.A. sales team, lived in London for seven years, and Paige Gildner, a marketing intern, graduated high-school from The American School in London. Denise, Amy and Paige co-created this post because Synergy is internally intwined with this fabulous city, and is making great strides to increase the properties available for our guests and clients. We hope this “Top 3 London” tour guide will lead our guests to the best places to eat & drink, shop, stroll and explore in London.
Top 3 Items to Pack
1. Smart Trench Coat: Think in layers when traveling around London. Amy says, “It can be hot on the Tube, cold outside, and comfortable in the attractions.” A smart trench coat like the Banana Republic Classic Belted Trench is an attractive outer layer which you can shed easily, and check at a museum’s coat-check.
2. Comfortable Flats: Whether you are commuting to work, or walking around the city on the weekend, a pair of comfortable yet trendy flats is a must-have for any fashion-savvy woman. Denise says, “When I see clients I wear my flats then slip my heels on at the bus stop.” A metal toe like the Kate Spade Eddie Flat is a fresh fall twist on the classic pointed toe flat. Looking for a less expensive option? Try the Mia 2 Jay Flat to get the same look.
3. Sunglasses: Denise says, “I know it sounds mad [to pack sunglasses] but the winter sun is so bright and when the sun comes out after it rains, it’s blinding!” The stylish “cat-eye” lens, shown on the Tom Ford Matina Sunglasses, is funky and fun and looks good on all face shapes.
1. Smart Pea Coat: For men who do not want to wear a full trench-coat, a pea-coat is a smart alternative. While wool might be a heavy material for everyday wear, it is a classic look and will last for multiple falls and winters. The Bayswater Pea Coat from J.Crew is a timeless investment.
2. Brief Case: For a business man in the city, an attractive leather brief case is a must. The Trafalgar Arlington Briefcase allows you to travel comfortably on public transportation and will conveniently hold everything you might need during a day at the office.
3. Jeans: Dark wash jeans like the 7 for All Mankind Standard Pacificka Jean are a wardrobe staple and will allow you to easily transition from a business casual work-day to an after-work pint at the Pub.
Top 3 Quintessential London Activities
What do you think of when you think of London? The Royal Palace? Afternoon tea? Black cabs and double-decker buses? Whatever it may be, here are our top three choices for capturing that quintessential London moment.
1. Afternoon Tea at the Dorchester
2. Fish & Chips at Poppies: Fish and chips (the British slang for French Fries) is an inexpensive and authentic way to enjoy one of the most famous meals in the United Kingdom.
3. Sunday Roast & Yorkshire Pudding at The Montague Arms: Sunday Roast and Yorkshire Pudding will keep you full and warm on a drizzly Sunday afternoon. The cozy decor of The Montague Arms pub will add lasting effect.
Top 3 Tourist Attractions
With so much to see in the city, the choices of what attractions to spend money on and which ones you should hold off on may seem daunting. We’ve tried to narrow down what we think are the tourist attractions well worth the money.
1. Tower of London: Adults and children alike will be enthralled during the tours led by the Tower’s own Yeoman Warders, also known as the Beef Eaters. The history behind this mighty tower encapsulates the rule of the monarchy in England, not omitting the gruesome stories of famous beheadings or spooky ghost stories. As Paige’s favorite tourist attraction in London, the Tower is one spot you can absolutely not miss.
2. The London Eye: For some of the best views of the city and an enjoyable experience on-board one of the largest Ferris Wheels in the world, take a ride on the London Eye.
3. Red Bus to Abbey Road: Seeing the Abbey Road crosswalk is a must for any Beatles fan or music lover. Locals are used to pausing for tourists in the crosswalk, giving you the chance to snap your own rendition of the famous album cover.
What do we think you can afford to miss? Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, The London Dungeon and The Changing of the Guards Ceremony which Amy says is better on T.V.!
Top 3 Museums
1. Tate Modern: Amy says, “Have a cappuccino or glass of wine on Level 7, overlooking the Millennium Bridge.”
2. British Museum: Rotating exhibitions, including the Shakespeare exhibit currently on display, keep this museum one of the most interesting museums the city has to offer.
3. Natural History Museum: Free entry and loads of kid-friendly exhibits will keep you and your family entertained for hours.
Top 3 Weekend Markets
1. Portobello Market in Notting Hill: You will be amazed by the huge variety of fresh produce, clothing, jewelry and antiques the stalls on Portobello Road have to offer. Do not miss stopping into the Notting Hill Bookstore, made famous by the 1999 Romantic Comedy starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, “Notting Hill”.
2. Camden Market: For those with artsy and eclectic taste, Camden Market will become a haven.
3. Borough Market: Denise suggests a weekend visit to Borough Market during lunchtime, followed by a walk down the Embankment up to Westminster Bridge. This is a great day itinerary to catch some of the many sites along the waterfront.
Rainy Day Activities
While it isn’t always rainy and cold in London, it is important to have some back-up activities on days when your umbrella is your best friend, and the gray sky is drizzling.
1. Catch a Matinee at the Royal Opera House
2. Explore Harrods and dine in the Market Halls: Amy’s favorite tastes in the Market Halls are the seafood and champagne.
3. Take the Eurostar to Paris: Amy suggests escaping the rainy city altogether and taking short train trip to la ville de l’amour. She adds, “I love the train in the rain!”
Top 3 Dinner Spots
1. Belgos: This chain restaurant with three locations in London offers beer, mussels and “all things Belgian”. For a fun and unique dining experience at a reasonable price, Belgos is the place to be. $$
2. Nobu Park Lane: In London, Nobu is synonymous with mouth-watering Japanese food and sushi. Denise recommends the signature Black Cod which she says is “melt-in-your-mouth amazing”. $$$
3. Fifteen by Jamie Oliver: This retro-style, “Italian-led” restaurant by renowned chef Jamie Oliver donates profits to the Better Food Foundation. $$
Please share your London experiences with us and enjoy your time in this amazing city!