Strategically in southern east end of Great British island, standing on the River Thames, London is ancient to the core. Settled by early humans hundreds of years before the Romans founded it around the year AD 43, the capital city retains its medieval boundaries and status as an international leader in arts, finance, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, tourism, transportation and several other sectors. As the world’s most-visited city, London also has the largest city airport system in the world. As of 2015, it also has the highest concentration of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, making excellence and opulence the norm rather than an expectation. When you fly into London on a private chartered flight, you could spend a lifetime exploring its World Heritage Sites , elegant galleries, notable landmarks, historic architecture, museum and green spaces. The following are a couple to get you started.
Can’t-Miss London Experiences
Me and me mum and me dad and me gran
We’re off to Waterloo
Me and me mum and me dad and me gran
And a bucket of vindaloo!
-From “Vindaloo” by Fat Les , 1998 England World Cup Anthem
To say that Londoners love Indian food would be an understatement. Like biscuits and tea, curry is synonymous with the term British cuisine. In the U.K., there are over 8,000 Indian restaurants. What was once considers a cheap nosh that you ate after the pub, some are elevating the fragrant cuisine to posh new levels. While many of the hybrid dishes might not be “authentic” to India and its 35 distinct culinary regions, they are authentic London favorites.
- Vineet Bhatia: Located in a Gregorian Chelsea townhouse, Vineet Bhatia opened in September 2016. Named after its Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur, the delights that come out of the former Rasoi kitchen are an exploration of modern Indian flavors. Offering a five to six-course tasting menu, Vineet Bhatia dishes up an exploration of the chef’s life in food, marrying his cultures. Menu items include sago papad canapés, white tomato butter chicken, coffee lamb chops, malai chicken, ghee scallops with pearl cous cous and edamame, and rose-ginger jubjub with chai ganache. Private dining is available upon request.
- Gymkhana: With décor inspired by the last days of the Raj and colonial Indian sporting clubs, the Michelin-starred Dining Room at Gymkhana is one of London’s top high-end Indian restaurants. With a focus on bold spices and chatpatta, the restaurant offers traditional menus in addition to a tasting menu, multi-course “game” menus, seasonal “feast” menus, and a dessert menu. Diner favorites include suckling pig vindaloo, wild Muntjac deer biryani with a pomegranate mint raita, dosas with Chettinad duck, and poached pear with a saffron and pistachio falooda kulfi.
William Shakespeare famously said, “All the world’s a stage.” It makes sense that his playing company, Lord Chamberlin’s Men, named the oak-and-thatch, open-air Elizabethan playhouse the “Globe Theatre” in 1599. After performing to packed houses for over a decade, the theater accidentally went up in flames during a performance of Henry VIII when a cannon misfired and set the thatching and wood beams on fire. After the second Globe Theatre opened in 1614, the Puritans closed it and other London theaters in 1642 to construct tenement dwellings. Using historical documents, architects reconstructed Shakespeare’s Globe in 1997 near the original theater’s site. While watching any Shakespearean play at the Globe is an experience that every London visitor should participate in, seeing a show performed in the original pronunciation is a rare treat.