This month, we’ve picked the brains of Firmdale Hotels, Head of Entertainment Sales Fernanda Bispo, for the inside scoop of everything you need to know for your next trip to London, in particular their Charlotte Street Hotel. From how to get around the city to where to get the best coffee, not forgetting, the business know how on your favourite destinations from the local’s themselves.
What are your top restaurant recommendations?
“Our number one recommended and most requested restaurant is Roka (Japanese) which is just next door. We are very lucky as it is one of the best Japanese restaurants in London! My other favourites are Gymkhana (Indian), The Palomar (Israeli), Hakkasan (Chinese) and Social Eating House (British).”
Are there any hidden treasures you’d recommend?
“I personally love the Wallace Collection in Marylebone. It is a beautiful venue with some very interesting exhibits. We also have the Pollock’s Toy Museum just down the street which is a fun place to take children.”
Which area of London should travellers stay?
“Fitzrovia is the perfect location for both business and leisure guests. We are central enough that the West End, Mayfair, Marylebone and Soho are all within 10 minutes walking distance. We have some incredible restaurants, with new ones opening all the time, as well as bars, museums, galleries and shops.”
If one of our business travellers only has a few hours to see London, what must they see?
“I always recommend for guests who are limited on time to do the hop on hop off bus tour. You can sit on the bus for 2-3 hours and see all the iconic London landmarks, and even jump off to take a river cruise as well if there is time.”
What’s the best way of getting around London?
“If it is peak time for traffic and the tube, I recommend to guests that if they don’t mind walking for 15-20 minutes, it can be the quickest way to get to most places. It can take longer and cost a lot more to sit in a taxi to go to somewhere relatively close like Covent Garden or Marylebone, than if walking. It’s also the best way to see the city and stumble upon shops, restaurants and galleries otherwise missed.”
Where can I get my caffeine fix?
“We have some great local coffee shops, such as No26, Lantana, Sharp’s and Kaffeine which are all independently owned and make great coffee and snacks.”
Where’s the best ‘Happy Hour’?
“My current favourite happy hour is at Neptune at the Principal Hotel, if you like Oysters and sparkling wine then it is worth trying out. Every day from 6pm to 7pm it is half priced Oysters and a featured bottle of wine.”
If you have 5 words to describe your hotel what would you use?
“Vibrant – Colourful – Fun – Unique – Cosy”
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